Leveling Up

Sumeet Kumar (@sumeetkumar__ @amoebamedia)

“I’m sending this to 5X Press the day of Kobe Bryant’s demise, an individual who personified perseverance and dedication to his craft. Despite his confusing legacy as an NBA legend, I think it’s okay to mourn your heroes. #MambaMentality”

Fear can be a driving factor and the root of our eventual choices, actions, and decisions that shape our life. I remember sitting in a cafe back in 2017 preparing for my LSAT’s the second time around. Two hours had passed and I was stuck on the same problem. I kept thinking to myself and wondering why I was stuck, I had already done this before. I sat in the exam board a year prior for the entire day grinding it out with the rest of my law school hopefuls. I’ll never forget the person next to me suffering from what seemed like Restless Leg Syndrome. She later told me it was a fuck ton of Adderall. 

As I kept staring at the page trying to decipher what to do, Bhaveek was blowing up my phone with an idea he had for a web series. I had always had a love for film, so much so that I spent an entire year during university watching a film a day (I actually watched 365 films that year, this sounds really pretentious as I type it). By the time I finished chatting with him about the idea, the barista at the cafe asked me to pack up and head home, they were closing. 

I never finished that problem. I realize how much that decision to not take the path that was chosen for me, but to instead create my own was out of fear, not passion. We eventually went on to make Lux-Me, my first credit as a producer and probably the biggest learning lesson about film production. You see, the thing about filmmaking is that it’s truly a collaborative process. I quickly learned that as a producer, it was not only my job to manage some budgets and deal with contracts, but to create an environment that supports creativity and workflow. You’re bringing words from a piece of paper to life by managing and supporting different visions from different creatives. Your hiring actors, production designers, gaffers, grips, and a plethora of departments all in the hopes that it will create synergy and deliver the intended vision. 

Along the way, there were many disasters and even bigger learning experiences. I had falling outs with many people over creative differences and simply not understanding the process that best suited their needs. I was so caught up on being a good producer  that I forgot to be a good person sometimes. Fear began to strike up again and I felt like maybe I was just way in over my head with this film stuff. 

I took a step back in 2018 and focused on my business, Amoeba Media, continuing the journey of creating. I’ve seen the ebbs and flows of business now and producing content in a more controlled environment. I get to work with different businesses and  brands who teach me new ways to be efficient and creative. There’s still creative differences and problems that arise, but the past two years have allowed me to gain the emotional intelligence to deal with them in a pragmatic and empathetic way.  

People often joke that the producer is the set punching bag, but I like to think of myself as more of a sponge, soaking up all the creativity coming from different departments and supporting their visions. After working in that realm of fear for so long, I finally feel like I’ve validated to myself why I even wanted to pursue this in the first place. That decision made out of fear of a future not wanted, feels like a passion and drive to create. I want to continue supporting creatives and executing content both at the film and commercial level. I’m not one to dish out advice as I consider myself a student of this craft, but for anyone reading this and failing to take that leap, I feel you. Just do it.

Sumeet Kumar (amoebamedia.ca)
5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.

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