Wandering off, The story of 2021

Wandering off? That could mean so many things. If it means losing interest in those things that use to feel important, it could be a combination of Covid and the political climate. Covid + political climate= feelings of doom and despair. The media doesn't help at all.

Do I feel that way? Not at all. Well, sometimes but I'm close enough to the finish line to not care that much. I worry about the younger people though. The premise of Soylent Green seems like a real possibility for them.

(The movie Soylent Green was adapted from the novel Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison. Very good book!)
 
It's weird that you mention Harry. I became friends with him in the years before his death. He was a really nice guy, but it was kind of a sad situation at the end. I got to know him after optioning the rights for Deathworld back in 2010. He was in a care facility at that point, and he complained a good bit about non alcoholic beer that they made him drink, because of the dangers of alcohol interacting with some of the medications he was on. He told me he had become very popular in Russia in the last few decades, and said he was basically the Steven King of Russia, with huge sales over there. It was strange to me, but he was terrified of his own agents and lawyers, who had apparently gained some kind of control over his finances and legal affairs. At the same time, I was talking to Alex Cox, and at the time he was planning to make "Bill the Galactic hero" thought I don't think he ever managed to get it financed. Anyway, just an interesting coincidence that you mention him. He had a great sense of humor.

As far as the original post question, I've just had a lot of strange experiences over the last few years. Growing up, all the young artists were trying as hard as possible, showing up to a hundred practice sessions to play a local bar gig, investing tens of thousands of dollars in equipment to try to make things happen. These last few years, looking for interns, it's an endless parade of people showing up for 1 hour, or one day, with a 200 dollar laptop, and then just quitting if they aren't instantly successful on the first try at task x. I've tried the normal way, which is that if some work isn't good enough to publish (like a foley track, orchestra que, or vis pass) I'd try to teach them to execute it better. Anyone I told that they needed some growth or training just quit instantly. So I tried heaping mindless praise on the most pedestrian of efforts. They still just wandered off after very little effort. I'm talking about people trying to learn blender, and just giving up during the donut tutorial.

Is there anyone left out there with enough mental stamina to accomplish things that take more than a few days to accomplish? I once watched a documentary about a pro wrestler that trained for 6 years so that he could pretend to hit someone with a folding chair. How long exactly do people think it takes to develop a modular 3d pipeline and implement a sprawling fictional universe? I used to have guitar students who would show up for one lesson, and then declare 30 minutes in, that they just weren't good at guitar, and had decided to quit. People do know that results worth having require sustained effort right?
 
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I don't mean to pick on the younger generation, of whom I am definitely not a member, but it's been said they are the "everyone wins" generation. All you have to do is show up and you win. I suppose if I felt that way and I were confronted with a problem that took longer than a few hours to solve, I'd quit too. One of the local coffee houses in my area can not find employees that will stay. They show up, find out that they are there to work, then they never come back. I know for a fact the assisted living facilities for old people are having a very difficult time finding and keeping Certified Nursing Assistants, CNAs. Again, they show up, work for a day or two then never come back. Now, remember, these CNAs paid to take a class to earn their certification so they could get a job. When they get to the job and the realization sets in that they must actually interact with older people who need their help, well, they don't like that. They leave.

I only read Make Room! Make Room! a year or two ago. My copy of the book now resides on a special shelf in my library where I keep my favorites. Not the classics but damn good books such as Papillon, They Shoot Horses Don't They, A Clockwork Orange, The Boys from Brazil and many more..
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I heard that not all who wander are lost.

if the coffee house can't keep workers its probably not paying enough and they were expecting more tips
 
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Is there anyone left out there with enough mental stamina to accomplish things that take more than a few days to accomplish? I once watched a documentary about a pro wrestler that trained for 6 years so that he could pretend to hit someone with a folding chair.
It may be that the latest generation doesn't appreciate that to deliver quality work takes lots of time and effort. I definitely see some of that in younger people I interact with. I see an attitude that assumes money should be flowing for the effort of showing up rather than realizing that it comes from the effort of a hard day's work. Day after day after day.

However, to be fair, I don't think I always appreciated how hard one has to work to be accomplished at something. It is only now, at -- ahem -- an older age, that I recognize how much time I must put in to achieve what I consider even mediocre results in my film work.

So, it may be a generational thing, or it may just be that it takes time for the lesson that "A lot of hard work is hidden behind nice things." Like most things, maybe some people get it earlier in life and some people never get it. Maybe there are generations that get it earlier or not at all or it may be a personal journey.
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I'm older too, but I don't have an issue with the "younger generation" as a whole. I see lots of terrific people who work their asses off - and some who don't. I see the same in my generation too - the number of my former co-workers (roughly my age) who I would have cheerfully throttled is quite large. And the 2 worst people I ever dealt with on set are now in their 30's and 40's, respectively.

I think every group looks back and says that younger people just don't get "it" - whatever "it" may be. And every generation faces a different group of challenges, and thinks the older folks have lost touch.
 
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People keep wandering off this year, what do you think is the cause?

Wanderlust. :seeya:


Seriously, though, I think Covid restrictions encouraged many, many people to review their priorities in life - personal and professional - and a good number of those have realised that they don't need to wait till they've suffered a complete breakdown and/or burnout and/or total disillusionment before deciding that there are more important/fulfilling opportunities waiting for them elsewhere.

Then again, my own version of "wandering off" is more literal. A combination of circumstances - none of which are pandemic related - have required me to devote more time to the "day job", and that in the form of a series of short contracts that have played havoc with my more artistic ambitions. The productive rhythm I enjoyed last year (when the pandemic kept other people from wandering into my creative space :D ) has been thoroughly trashed this year.

By way of compensation, I've indulged in ... purposeful wandering, hoping to find inspiration for the future.

2022-rando-vosges04.jpg


2022-luzern-09.jpg


Frankfurt2021-Steam-Train-02.jpg
 
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It may be that the latest generation doesn't appreciate that to deliver quality work takes lots of time and effort. I definitely see some of that in younger people I interact with. I see an attitude that assumes money should be flowing for the effort of showing up rather than realizing that it comes from the effort of a hard day's work. Day after day after day.

However, to be fair, I don't think I always appreciated how hard one has to work to be accomplished at something. It is only now, at -- ahem -- an older age, that I recognize how much time I must put in to achieve what I consider even mediocre results in my film work.

So, it may be a generational thing, or it may just be that it takes time for the lesson that "A lot of hard work is hidden behind nice things." Like most things, maybe some people get it earlier in life and some people never get it. Maybe there are generations that get it earlier or not at all or it may be a personal journey.

I basically wrote this post because over the last year, I've had this long parade of people come in and start working on the project, only to quit and wander off after ridiculously short periods of effort. One person showed up for 20 minutes one day, and then quit, because they decided "the project wasn't going anywhere, and they could find better opportunities elsewhere. 20 minutes. Since that time, we've worked about a collective 5000 hours on it, and it's just now getting to where you can see some potential. I just don't get people that put a brick on the floor, look at it, and then declare, "this skyscraper will never work" how do you know? How could you possibly determine that at this stage of the game? Same thing with my guitar students back in 2000. Some of them barely had the guitar out of the case before declaring "oh, I'm just not good at guitar, I quit"
 
Great shot! I love the balance here, both shape and color.

Oh, the shame - that was a smartphone photo ! :tear:

Taken a few weeks ago on what started out as a very pleasant spring morning, with a very pleasant spring forecast for the afternoon. On account of which I set out in my warm-weather hiking clothes (shorts and t-shirt :rolleyes:) only to find myself two hours later caught in a thunder, lightning and hail storm, which dropped the temperature from about 20°C to 5°C in the space of 30 minutes. And then it started to rain.

Even though the hike was physical enough to keep me warm inside, my arms were so cold I couldn't bear to take the proper camera out of my backpack. But about an hour later, the rain had eased off, and when I reached that point (Rocher des Titans in the Vosges, Alsace/France) the effect of the light filtering through the humidity and the trees demanded a photo, so I made do with the phone.
 
I just don't get people that put a brick on the floor, look at it, and then declare, "this skyscraper will never work" how do you know?

I reckon that's the fault of various third parties - colleges, universities and software companies - convincing people with limited artistic competence that they too can be a Great Talent. For me, this started way back with Microsoft's WordArt, and a million bog standard office workers convincing themselves that they'd been magically endowed with all the graphic design skills needed to create a new logo for their business.

Similarly, in education there's been a shift from providing courses that hone a writer's or an actor's innate skill towards training programmes that promise any and every young-adult wannabee a creative future, no talent necessary.

If it's of any consolation, since last autumn I've twice had an appointee to a scientific position just drop out at the last minute for ... "reasons" ... meaning I've had to re-boot the programme again (and again) and fill in the gaps that should have been covered. A third appointment has just been made ; but this time I've made it clear to the Higher Ups that if this one drops out, so do I.
 
One person showed up for 20 minutes one day, and then quit, because they decided "the project wasn't going anywhere, and they could find better opportunities elsewhere. 20 minutes.
Yes, Nate, I've witnessed the same thing. Especially, with some younger people. I had some PAs on my last film quit after doing a few hours of traffic lockdown. I know it's not glamorous. I know it's not what people think of when they envision working on a film, but any of us with any experience know it's how you begin to meet people and ingratiate yourself to people that will eventually take you on to the next gig and the next gig and eventually to more challenging and interesting positions.

The only thing I'm not sure of... is this a maturity thing or a generational thing?
 
Yes, Nate, I've witnessed the same thing. Especially, with some younger people. I had some PAs on my last film quit after doing a few hours of traffic lockdown. I know it's not glamorous. I know it's not what people think of when they envision working on a film, but any of us with any experience know it's how you begin to meet people and ingratiate yourself to people that will eventually take you on to the next gig and the next gig and eventually to more challenging and interesting positions.

The only thing I'm not sure of... is this a maturity thing or a generational thing?
I can't help but imagine it's a bit of both. Attention spans have suffered egregiously in the wake of social media running an 8 second dopamine hit cycle. Now we have people that are growing up with that standard.

I can say from my own experience though that maturing played a big role in my current perception. As a kid, I looked for the magic bullet, the cheat code. Once I became a bit wiser, I understood that humility, hard work, and stamina were just as important as intellect or creativity, probably more important on many levels. I try to explain it to younger people like a driving instructor "keep your eyes way down the road, don't try to drive according to what's 3 feet in front of you.
 
Oh, the shame - that was a smartphone photo ! :tear:

Taken a few weeks ago on what started out as a very pleasant spring morning, with a very pleasant spring forecast for the afternoon. On account of which I set out in my warm-weather hiking clothes (shorts and t-shirt :rolleyes:) only to find myself two hours later caught in a thunder, lightning and hail storm, which dropped the temperature from about 20°C to 5°C in the space of 30 minutes. And then it started to rain.

Even though the hike was physical enough to keep me warm inside, my arms were so cold I couldn't bear to take the proper camera out of my backpack. But about an hour later, the rain had eased off, and when I reached that point (Rocher des Titans in the Vosges, Alsace/France) the effect of the light filtering through the humidity and the trees demanded a photo, so I made do with the phone.
The mist combined with the reds, greens, and greys really strikes a nice balance. A really photogenic piece. And the truth is, smartphone cameras are getting really good these days. I wouldn't exactly sell my red just yet, but it's shocking just how high the quality is for a phone camera that's not even intended for professionals.
 
I reckon that's the fault of various third parties - colleges, universities and software companies - convincing people with limited artistic competence that they too can be a Great Talent. For me, this started way back with Microsoft's WordArt, and a million bog standard office workers convincing themselves that they'd been magically endowed with all the graphic design skills needed to create a new logo for their business.

Similarly, in education there's been a shift from providing courses that hone a writer's or an actor's innate skill towards training programmes that promise any and every young-adult wannabee a creative future, no talent necessary.

If it's of any consolation, since last autumn I've twice had an appointee to a scientific position just drop out at the last minute for ... "reasons" ... meaning I've had to re-boot the programme again (and again) and fill in the gaps that should have been covered. A third appointment has just been made ; but this time I've made it clear to the Higher Ups that if this one drops out, so do I.
It's a real problem for people that are trying to do serious work. You spend months sometimes, bringing the new guy up to speed, only to have them give up and quit before they are even ready to start the real work.
 
Wow... I tried to do a 2ND EDIT and everything disappeared... LOL.

So it wasn't becoming a YouTuber that was the fastest growing small business in America... It was becoming an INFLUENCER.

So my 2ND EDIT had to do with two university professors I know but do not know each other... They both tell me that the amount of students not even showing up to class whether online or in person is SKYROCKETING and even worse... The amount of students who never did SHIT the entire semester and are getting an "F," try like hell to get these Professors to give them some kind of small bit of extra work in order to get a passing grade.

I'm sure this is widespread...

Young Creators are Burning Out and Breaking Down
 
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