Building a business is a learning experience and in my short time as a filmmaker, I have learned a lot of lessons and made a lot of mistakes. The goal of this website is to help you avoid some of the mistakes I have made along the way by giving you a behind-the-scenes look into some of our productions.

A Look Back on 2015 // The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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For the bad and the ugly, these mainly come in the form of personal lessons and moments that sparked personal growth.

Okay, I must admit, that was somewhat of a mis-leading title. It was not THAT bad and not very ugly ;). 2015 was definitely a great year – from the people I met, the places I traveled and projects I had the opportunity to work on. When I look back on these events, I find it hard to believe it all took place over one year.

As I wrap this year up and jump into 2016, I wanted to look back a some of these memories from the past year and talk about what I have learned through each of these experiences. I will say that this year was the biggest year of personal growth I have had in some time.

When I look back on any year, I always think of where I was at the start of the year and think of how I have grown as a person. For me, a successful year is based on the personal growth I make outside of my accomplishments. The biggest realizations for me came from my personal understandings of the ID, EGO and SUPER-EGO and their impact on my decision-making.

The ID, EGO & SUPER-EGO

ID, EGO, and SUPER-EGO are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction our mental life is described.

The ID is the unorganized part of the personality structure that contains a human’s basic, instinctual drives. Id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. The EGO acts according to the reality principle and seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long-term. The ego attempts to mediate between id and reality, it is often obliged to cloak the unconscious commands and tries to conceal the id’s conflicts with reality. The SUPER-EGO reflects the internalization of cultural rules, mainly taught by parents applying their guidance and influence. The super-ego also aims for perfection.

Let your actions speak for themselves.

From my interpretation, the ID is what forms a person. It motivates actions based on impulse – it is the unconscious side of your brain that acts before thinking. The EGO is the inflated sense of self-worth while the SUPER-EGO is your hopes, desires and dreams. It holds you accountable for not reaching these goals and surfaces as grief when you don’t reach these goals. More simply, the ID is what you want for yourself (your identity) — it is the part of the mind in which innate instinctive impulses and primary processes are manifest based on life experiences, the EGO is one’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance and the SUPER-EGO as is the part of a person’s mind that acts as a self-critical conscience. It is what holds you accountable for your actions.

  • ID – Unconscious self.
  • EGO – Bridge between the unconscious and conscious self.
  • SUPER-EGO – Conscious self.

What I have learned is that once you are able to spend time to think of how each affect you as a person (and truly being harsh and honest with yourself), you are then able to start moulding your unconscious self. Now before I jump into the realizations, I want to look at what has helped me start to understand the importance of each of these ideas.

When I look back on any time in my life, I always think of where I was a person and the impact that each experience has had on me. This year was great as I was able to start to understand who I am as a person and who I want to be. Here are some of the experiences that helped shape this transition.

Video Projects

Production-wise, the focus of 2015 was on corporate work through local agencies and with this work, I was able to experience filmmaking more directly through content marketing. Working with such constraints was fascinating and truly took thick skin to implement some client changes. These experiences also helped in my understanding of the importance of staying true to who you are and not living your life for others. I learned that although these budgets may be larger, they often restrict your creativity and hold you back as a person and as an artist.

Places Visited

2015 was also full of travel. Through the year, I visited: Banff four times, Colorado twice, Canyonlands twice, NYC, SF four times, LA, Plymouth, Pelee Island, TO five times, Montreal, Halifax twice, Calgary five times, Vancouver twice, Whistler, and Montana three times.

The Turning Point

My major turning point occurred during my last trip to Canmore this past month. On the trip, my goal was to rediscover my passion as a storyteller through a personal project I was to develop and produce while on this trip.

For the trip, I was set to spend two weeks travelling through Alberta and BC in hopes of rediscovering my passion for filmmaking through the production of my first passion project in 6 months. I wanted to also reconnect with nature after having been away from it for so long. In the end, the lingering corporate projects kept me from truly achieving this. I ended up producing a piss-poor story with some nice visuals. What I realized though is the importance of not forcing growth and evolution, rather letting it happen as it needs to. I know I am not producing the type of stories that I connect with but that’s okay. It will come and I will become creatively fulfilled again – I just need to be patient :).

A Conscious Realization of the Unconscious

“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” ~Sonya Friedman

For me, this realization came in the form of simplicity. I realized that in order to truly live the life I want to live, I had to focus on what makes me happy and build a life that supports these desires. I realized the importance of taking risks and pushing for what was important to me, not others. In relation to my creative self – this meant finding an authentic voice and not forcing it. This meant taking time to understand my voice and knowing the process was an evolutionary one. It meant not faking my voice and not emulating. It meant being patient and letting it happen as it needed to happen.

I’ve learned that purpose does not convert and that story is the most effective way to communicate. I’ve learned that the best work comes when you push the little things harder and then go back and push even more. It makes for a difficult process but a much more rewarding result. I’ve learned that good stories come when you are able to connect with the given story through emotion and experience. It doesn’t matter the format. It doesn’t matter the length. It doesn’t matter the subject. The key is to make something you can connect with and something that makes you think differently. If you are able to create something you can connect with, you will then inevitably be able to produce something that others can connect with in one way or another.

Looking forward to 2016, I am excited for what is to come. I am excited to slowly find my voice and do so through these new experiences. I am excited to refine my personal and collaborative relationships. I am excited to grow as a person and do so with the people who push me to be a better person. Cheers to the future and thanks to everyone who have helped make 2015 a great year! 

  • Donnie Wagner

    understatement: “with some nice visuals”. Thanks for this post, good things to think about. Love the macro shots of coffee and the aerial shots were beautiful. The shot at the 7 minute mark is unreal, you had to be excited about that one.

    • prestonkanak

      Thanks, man! Yeah, was pretty excited about that shot – got so lucky!!

      • Brice LeCarre

        I’ll second the “unreal.” Definitely a knock your socks off shot. I don’t believe even Hollywood could have staged that one.
        Lucky? I think your hard work created or facilitated the “lucky shot”

        • prestonkanak

          Hah thanks ;).

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