Los Angeles, CA
My ECIAH would be the moment I realized that my career was going to be a reality, and I recognized it in a very specific instant.
I was a couple of years out of film school, writing scripts and trying to get financing for various projects to produce or direct. It was a chaotic and confusing time, being out of school. After graduation, I was no longer competing with peers for recognition, but competing with established industry professionals for attention, jobs, and financing for projects. I think everybody experiences that uncertain feeling in his or her chosen profession, not just in the entertainment industry. One day, you're a graduate, and start hitting roadblocks that you never encountered before, wondering if "it" is ever really going to happen, whatever "it" is: being a surgeon, a writer, or a clown. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your abilities, there are still going to be moments that try your convictions.
After almost four years of grinding away, working on small projects here and there while trying to land a significant deal, I finally got "the" call. The financing deal for one of my feature film projects had finally been locked down. It was something I'd been chipping away at for more than a year. No – that was not my ECIAH. When I got the call, the feeling was more relief than anything. I knew that the next six months would be a total whirlwind of pre-production, production, and post-production, so I initially didn't have time to spend much time reflecting. For the next couple of days, I wasn't thinking about the future, just the idea that I now had to get on with making a movie and there was no time to waste.
My actual ECIAH moment, the moment where it really dawned on me that everything was going to be different now, came a few days later. I had picked up a cashier's check from the investors and was on my way to the bank to open my business banking account.
I vividly remember the walk from the parking lot to the bank entrance, across a courtyard of patterned tiles, toward the black glass structure. I remember looking down at my shoes as I walked, as weird as that seems now, as if watching my steps draw me closer to the door. I remember staring down at the check in my hand, and confirming once again that the amount was correct and all the proper zeroes were there. And I remember thinking: "After today, nothing will ever be the same." Since that time, I have produced or directed over 200 movies, commercials and music videos. But it all started with that one check.