How To Ditch “Traditional” And Follow Your Passions w/ Joyce Tsang
When starting out as a filmmaker, it’s not uncommon to have doubts about how to break into the industry. Filmmaking may not have the stability and security of a “traditional” job, but for those of us with a passion for it, the risk of not acting is greater than the risk of taking the leap.
Perhaps nobody knows this more than Joyce Tsang. Joyce had an unconventional start when she decided to become a filmmaker. Before picking up a camera, Joyce worked as a research and development engineer. Now she’s an Emmy award-winning filmmaker who’s killing it making films for some big brands like Facebook and Nike, as well as docs, and narrative films.
Today Joyce and I break down what it’s like to switch careers and make your start as a filmmaker. The decision to go this less than conventional route comes with its own set of challenges and payoffs which we discuss. We also talk about learning and growing your business through collaboration and building strong professional relationships.
Did you get into filmmaking after working in a completely different field? Tell me how it went in the comments below!
In this episode:
- Making the decision to quit your stable job to begin a freelancing career
- How shooting weddings is a great way to learn about the filmmaking industry in general
- The joys of learning and collaborating with all sorts of people
- Why waiting until you’re “ready” before you start taking chances will not work
- The importance of being in a community and sharing your hopes and dreams for your business with others
- Building and nurturing relationships with your clients and crew as one of the most important parts of this business
- The freedom that working on your own projects gives you
“It was less about the fear that this could fail and we could lose all our savings, but it was more the fear of having that regret later on [for not changing careers]. [10:50]
“In every shoot that I go on, I learn something. First of all, there’s no shoot goes according to plan, so there’s that. You always learn something from whatever goes wrong…. But there’s always something that I take away from meeting and collaborating with new people, and I find that to be one of the most rewarding things about what we do.” [22:10]
“If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be on the sidelines for the rest of your life.” [24:00]
“Hire people who are smarter than you… Hire somebody who can shoot better than you. Hire somebody who’s really good at producing and pay them for what their experience brings. Maybe you don’t make anything off that part of it, but the learning experience and the relationship that you can build from working with really qualified and well-connected people in the industry is massive.” [30:05]