I came into my film studio everyday. Tackled my job with confidence. Went through the motions while editing. Continued to deliver quality work to my happy clients. Yet, I felt like I was running on a treadmill going nowhere fast. I was hitting creative roadblocks. I was seeking a little guidance (and I knew I wouldn’t find it on a shrink’s couch or at the bottom of a bottle.) Then I read a book and began adapting how I go about my business (video production) and my life to Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.
As I slowly and surely develop an integrated way to conduct my video business using these powerful strategies, I thought I would develop a blog and share with you my experiences. My improvements. My outlook. My successes. And yes, my failures.
My name is Dave Hudson and this is the story about how I am applying Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” to my career of making motion pictures. I will show you where I failed and where I was victorious, but most of the true lessons came from where I failed. Ahh, such is life, no?
It began when I was 4… no really, we are going that far back. (It’ll be quick – I promise). That was when I saw my first Elvis movie and it was THEN I KNEW what I wanted to be. I held that dream of being an actor from then to when I studied Radio and TV with a minor in Theatre @ SIUC 18 years later. I kept that dream when I auditioned for an indie Christian film known as “The Calling”. I held fast to that dream all the way through production, post- production and still while sitting in the AMC South Barrington, IL Theater (17 to be exact.) waiting for the movie to begin. Then, the movie started (mind you, I was the supporting lead actor in this picture). The second act came where my character shows, and I was…well…NOT GOOD. However, the movie still intrigued me as to how it was assembled. I began questioning why some shots were used and fascinated by how different lighting in certain scenes added to the overall tone of the film. By the time the movie was over I knew it was going to be my skills in production and eye behind the camera that I would focus the next 20 years of my life on… and beyond. My acting skills…moving on!
Since then I have been in the production world for 12 years. I am the founder and Executive Producer of a smaller production firm, D. Hudson Productions (not bad for a kid from C’Ville) and I make a living whilst getting to learn many new things.
My greatest lesson came the autumn of 2011 when this “Big Gig” came a knockin, this project had many smart, creative, and dedicated people on it, yet there where some rough characters, some poor planning, miscommunication, and budget issues all which led to a lack of sleep, posturing, sore back, constant second-guessing of myself, minor eruptions of anger, and… the list goes on. In the end, I failed in many ways. Don’t get me wrong, the end result was great, we finished on time with zero dollars over budget placed on the client, client was very pleased with the production and the end result, won an industry award, the Davey Awards (no relation), I met some cool people, and got to work with friends and family! However I failed in other ways. This first failure was losing to my own aggression. I was compelled to read “The Art of War”. Something inside me clicked. I had to dedicate as much time to creating a great living environment around my professional life as possible… as well as into my personal life. As Sun Tzu says “Taking a state whole is superior, destroying it is inferior to this”. Lesson Learned #1: In order to be victorious, I must first have victory over my aggression.
I hope you tune into hearing more about my story and how I’ve been able to be “Productive with Production and the Art of War.”
http://dhudsonproductions.com/ visit my site, have a look around.