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Taking An Extended Break from Post Production - New Perspective
Old 1st April 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Mister_T's Avatar
 

Taking An Extended Break from Post Production - New Perspective

After 3 years working in a completely different industry, I'm back in post. And what a refreshing change it was.

Towards the end of my last stint in post production (which was about 7 years), I was suffering from major burnout. I had mixed and dialog edited so many projects with such crazy time demands that the quality of my work had really tanked. Yes the clients were happy but I was not. So I moved to a small farm for a few years and took a break. Ended up working in a totally different industry and traveling all over for work. It was the second most fulfilling career move I have ever made.

But life changes and I really missed the creative aspects of post production, so I decided to jump back in. Which has been the most fulfilling career move I have ever made. My ears are open, mind is agile, and I am attacking each project like a 6 year old at an ice cream shop. It's like when I first started out but with actual skills to back up the energy and gusto.

Have you ever taken a break from post for an extended period of time? I think for some of us it is healthy, and for me in particular, it has reinvigorated my love for the work.
Old 3rd April 2019
  #2
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Mundox's Avatar
I would love to be able to do that. But for me taking a break means losing clients, so it is not viable.

I think I'll wait until I really had enough.
Old 3rd April 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Mister_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundox View Post
I would love to be able to do that. But for me taking a break means losing clients, so it is not viable.

I think I'll wait until I really had enough.
Fair enough! I know I lost a few clients but the bigger ones were happy to hear from me when I let them know I was back at it again, and luckily they have been giving me some work.

I think I got spooked when I realized how many other mixers I saw at 40+ who were divorced, drinking too much, and didn't seem happy. Not all, but enough. This time around I will count my lucky stars while the work lasts and savor every second of it. But also be careful not to burn out, and not let the work negatively impact my family.

More than anything it made me realize how lucky a select few of us are to be able to do what we love for a living. My dad didn't get to that, neither did his dad. Doing something you enjoy and are good at sometimes feels like winning the lotto.
Old 3rd April 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

That's just awesome! I have more respect for this decision of yours than any academy award win!

Not many people will do it because of the well-known cognitive fact of loss aversion.

The really sad thing is often that being completely overworked is celebrated as some kind of success or good thing. Busy bragging. Which it is not.
Old 4th April 2019
  #5
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Henchman's Avatar
I've never wanted a break, as I worked quite a few "Real" jobs before I got into doing what I really wanted to do.
Old 26th April 2019
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_T View Post
After 3 years working in a completely different industry, I'm back in post. And what a refreshing change it was.

Towards the end of my last stint in post production (which was about 7 years), I was suffering from major burnout. I had mixed and dialog edited so many projects with such crazy time demands that the quality of my work had really tanked. Yes the clients were happy but I was not. So I moved to a small farm for a few years and took a break. Ended up working in a totally different industry and traveling all over for work. It was the second most fulfilling career move I have ever made.

But life changes and I really missed the creative aspects of post production, so I decided to jump back in. Which has been the most fulfilling career move I have ever made. My ears are open, mind is agile, and I am attacking each project like a 6 year old at an ice cream shop. It's like when I first started out but with actual skills to back up the energy and gusto.

Have you ever taken a break from post for an extended period of time? I think for some of us it is healthy, and for me in particular, it has reinvigorated my love for the work.
Interesting to hear about burnout in this business from someone who appears so young. That being said everyone in this business appears to be young from my old vantage point! I've been in post for over 40 years. Breaks are good and healthy. This business can be all consuming and if you let it take over your life you may wake up years later and realize you forgot to have YOUR life. Everyone will feel the pressures from work differently. Those who are raising kids and want to be actively involved in their lives will feel the pull of work vs life stronger perhaps. Ultimately follow what works for you. Film making is one of those careers where everything we do unrelated to film making makes us better film makers. I bet you know what a small farm sounds like better than I do.

Enjoy the ride.
Old 26th April 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by piratepost View Post
Film making is one of those careers where everything we do unrelated to film making makes us better film makers.
Wise words!
Old 28th April 2019
  #8
Can't imagine I'd ever get enough of the post business, but I understand where you're coming from.
I was actually thinking about doing this:
https://www.workaway.info/
You know, find some hosts somewhere that's totally NOT here in need of something I can do, audio-post wise.
Anyone have experience with them or something similar?
(And no, I have no financial interest in the aforesaid organization...)
Old 29th April 2019
  #9
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cebolao's Avatar
 

long holidays do the trick

i have like 4 weeks of summer holiday every year

Old 2nd May 2019
  #10
My solution for these breaks is going to work on film productions. I still keep my sound cart and full location rig for such “vacations”;-)
I return totally refreshed after the experiencing hard core on location. Plus I often got a chance to pick up few nice backgrounds or six while I work.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

What was your "sabbatical career" while you were on hiatus?
Old 4th May 2019
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Mister_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
What was your "sabbatical career" while you were on hiatus?
I managed product development for White's Electronics, Inc. Went to Brazil to find gold in the Amazon, slept under the stars for a month, and got to experience a corporate environment when I was in the office. Met a bunch of awesome people and got paid to treasure hunt when testing new products.

It was a great experience, and made me really appreciate getting back into post. Plus I found I do better as a freelancer since I can work as much as I want to instead of punching a clock.

That 3-year break eliminated all of the jaded, cranky, stressed-out mentality (you know, typical post guy) and has made it to where I really balance my life out instead of working 20hrs straight when I first get a new show. Plus I think my work is better now than it was 3 years ago.
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