A few nights ago, I was looking for a movie to keep me awake. As I perused the iTunes movie library, I noticed a documentary on the Van's Warp Tour. I wasn't really familiar with the Warp Tour other than I see it advertised whenever it comes to town so I thought I'd check it out. I'm glad I did - and now I'm going to recommend it to you.
I'm not suggesting you watch it because it's a great movie (though it is good) or because I don't want you to miss the head-banging music and breathtaking mosh pit scenes. No... I recommend this movie because of how well it documents the incredibly hard work and persistence that it takes to be a successful musician. I was inspired and humbled by how hard these guys work to earn their living - and I'm not even talking about practicing their craft.
Over the past ten years, the wedding photography business has become so much more competitive. Making money requires a lot more work. Commercial photography has been on a downward trajectory for longer still. It takes determination and grit to succeed.
But nothing like on the scale of what these musicians are doing. Those that seek to break through face such long odds and sacrifice so much. Rejection is at every turn. Those that have broken through tour constantly (301 days a year for one tattooed band leader and father) while another plays a the Warp Tour, signs autographs, then drives two hours each way for an evening gig.
This movie does a great job of putting our own profession into perspective as well as proving a nice kick in the pants for getting your butt moving.
Just as I was about to hit the post button, I came across another video with a similar message. This one is short and quite heartwarming. It's the story of a little boy who built his own arcade and then patiently attended to it in the hopes that customers would one day visit it. His determination and creativity is truly an inspiration.
Before I sign off, there's one other point of inspiration here. And that is that inspiration and great stories are all around us. The filmmaker could have just missed the great story that was in front of him. Instead, he saw the potential and went for it. The next time you think that great photos require you to visit some distant land, keep this story in mind.