Funemployment is finally here!
Today, March 4, 2019, marks a very emotional milestone in my career as a filmmaker. It is the day I release my first ever feature film, Funemployment. Many people who have been following my journey know about Funemployment because this is the movie that literally jump started my crazy dream of directing films.
When I went to business school to get my MBA at the University of Texas McCombs, I had made a scary decision to put everything on the line. Despite having a well-paid corporate job, great traveling perks, and a cushy lifestyle, I knew I was not happy. Something in my life was missing. I soon discovered that what I was missing (oddly enough from being on a 48-hour film project) was passion and purpose. I was great at my consulting job, but I was doing the absolute minimum to get by. I lived day by day constantly watching the clock and wondering when I would be done with work. This was not how I wanted the rest of my life to be.
When I made the decision to pursue directing full time, I was clueless on how and what I was doing. I started off my first few years (2007-2010) experimenting with solo film projects -- practicing my craft via YouTube skits and sketches. Somewhere during that time I read Robert Rodriguez’s book, “Rebel Without a Crew” and decided that the obvious next step in my filmmaking career was to make a feature. Yes, it probably would have been an easier and more economical choice to start with a short film, but I wanted to start with the hardest goal to prove to myself that I could do it. And I did. We did.
Armed with a band of other newbies in the biz, we worked tirelessly for half a year shooting Funemployment. We worked during weekends when we were free, often times switching roles and crew based off of scheduling and work schedules. Everyone worked for free or next to nothing, fueled by our passion of creating something great. The beauty is that we had no clue what we were doing, but we knew that as a film family we would get it done at any physical and emotional sacrifice.
We had a 21 hour day several days in a row. We had 4 hour days. We got our cars stuck in the mud and shot in locations that you cannot even get into anymore without a paid permit. We were so ignorant and yet some of the best work came from not knowing that it wasn’t possible. We made it possible. We learned and grew together as a team. Most of the people on this team have gone on to make many films together. Now older, wiser with a hint of jade, we look back at Funemployment with love.
We hope you enjoy the film and can feel the love that went into every step of this film. Yes, the image isn’t perfect and the sound is far from it, but there is a palatable passion, every minute of this 1 hour 39 minute film – a film that was a huge part of the last 5 years of my life. Five years! And I serve it onto a silver tray, my heart, to you.
“Do you know what ramen is made out of? Failed hopes and failed dreams.” - Phil, Funemployment