Moonlight streamed through open windows as I lay awake in bed, thinking about how I’d changed since graduating college and taking on my first job just over one year ago.
For one, I’d started running in the morning instead of after work, more because it seemed the responsible thing to do rather than because I liked it.
Every morning would start with a fumbling slap at my alarm clock, jogging 5 miles like an irritated zombie (who’s too tired to be a full fledged, angry zombie), head off to work for 9 hours, home, dinner, bed.
A panic at the periphery of consciousness fused with reality, resulting in a 5, 10, and 20 year projected life gameplan that looked frighteningly…the same.
My first year in the workforce, nothing had changed except the numbers in my bank account.
Now, it’s important to clarify that this is not a bad schedule, and the job was for my Dad’s company, which I was very proud to work for. I was the ‘special projects’ guy that would figure out whatever needed to be…figured out.
I learned to code and built a new company website from scratch. I negotiated 30% on annual fright costs. I shot and edited a one-off tutorial video on a budget. It was, frankly, an amazing job and I was lucky to have it.
But, like running in the morning, it didn’t fit.
I walked into my parents room (yes, I was living with my parents, but a year out of college that’s not toooo bad) and, like a lost child decades younger, had a heart to heart about what I secretly wanted to do next: direct films. And move out to LA to give it a shot.
It must have crushed my Dad.
He had taken over the company from his Dad after he passed away, and over the past year had given me a crash-course on running a company that people would kill for. But the thing I loved the most about that year was the time we spent together, and the relationship we transformed from father-son to friend.
He not only accepted my dream, but embraced it as his own.
I cannot put into words how much this means, each and every day.
In 2010, after 6 months of preparation, research, and further soul-searching (to make sure this quarter life crisis was in fact, a real passion), I moved to Los Angeles to teach myself film. From scratch. As in, never-held-a-professional-camera-in-my-life, what-do-those-buttons-do scratch.
Soooo…why the tectonic shift?
When a film dares to dance with a universal truth, it is indescribably powerful and profound. The credits roll and your seat creaks softly as you lean back, and you wonder.
You wonder about life, about what you’re supposed to do, about the perspective presented. You take time to consider the ‘big questions’. To re-evaluate. To learn. To connect.
And sometimes, if done just right, film becomes transformative.
I didn’t move to Los Angeles to make films. I didn’t give up a great job to pursue a passion. I moved because I wanted to be moved — and I wanted to share that with other people.
This is why I founded Karl Stelter Studios.
If you connect with this, regardless of your video needs, I’d love to connect with you.
If you’d like to follow my creative work, check out my strictly-personal-projects blog ‘Film With Purpose‘.