- Eric Temple
Karma and Happy Accidents
The Power of Serendipity...
As a documentary filmmaker, I've come to believe in the power of karma and serendipity in shaping my career. Over the years, I've had countless experiences that have led me to realize that the right projects just seem to appear at the right time.
Karma is a concept that many of us are familiar with. It refers to the idea that our actions have consequences, and that what we put out into the universe comes back to us in some form or another. In my experience, this is particularly true in the film industry. As filmmakers, we often have to work long hours for little pay, and it can be easy to get discouraged. But I've found that the more I put of myself into my work, the more opportunities seem to present themselves. For example, early in my career, I was working for a PBS station and was hired by a person who would become a mentor to me. We stayed in touch even after he moved on to Hollywood, and our relationship lasted decades. After a long period of silence where we lost touch with each other, he brought me on board to be a cinematographer and director of a PBS documentary that he was working on. That project turned out to be a huge success, and it led to many more opportunities down the line.
Serendipity, on the other hand, refers to those happy accidents or chance encounters that seem to happen just when we need them. As a filmmaker, I've had many moments like this - moments when I've stumbled upon a story or met someone who ended up being a key player in a project. In fact, these are the moments that can make or break a documentary. One must be open to these accidents and learn to pivot toward them even if it means changing your carefully thought-out story.
Of course, it's not always easy to recognize these moments for what they are. Sometimes they come disguised as setbacks or failures. But I've found that if I'm open to new experiences and willing to take risks, these moments often lead to something unexpected and wonderful.
In conclusion, karma and serendipity have played a significant role in my career as a documentary filmmaker. While hard work and perseverance are essential, it's also important to be open to new experiences and to trust the Universe. There have been too many happy accidents in my career for it to be random.