January 4th, 2003



For the past many years, I've been working as a contract engineer. Mostly software, some hardware, doing a bunch of different projects. On one hand, I've enjoyed working at a number of different places, and I've learned a whopping lot about different engineering disciplines, styles, and techniques, to the point where I'm VERY good at it. The downside is that when the contract is done, I am gone, and I rarely get a chance to see the finished product.

The downside has been getting to me for a while. I consider myself to be a craftsman, and I like to create well-crafted things; the kind of things that I can be proud to attach my name to, and say "I did that". Unfortunately, I see the software/hardware industry heading toward fast, mass-produced crap, and it bugs me. Case in point: the last place I worked had adopted something that is becoming an industry standard: the "acceptable fault level". Meaning that the product is released with known bugs, but rather than fix the bugs before release, they release the product to market and plan an update sometime in the future. They do it because getting the product to market faster means more money, even if it doesn't work, and these businesses are driven by the bottom line. Usually it's because they are publicly held companies, and the main purpose of the company is increasing the stock price rather than making the product.

Most of the companies that are capable of hiring a contract engineer are publicly owned. So I'm already on a downside. Combine that with a crushed economy, and most businesses that are capable of hiring contract engineers aren't.

So once again, I find myself without a job that I don't like anyway. A mixed blessing at best.

When it gets right down to it, I don't like working for other people. Or more accurately, I don't like working or people who don't appreciate craftsmanship. Which leads me to believe that my entire future career may be in jeopardy.

Dissatisfaction v2.0

I want to be a filmmaker.

Let me back up a bit: I want to be a good filmmaker.

I've been working toward that goal for a while. The studio is actually pretty well put together (with the exception of the open space, which is currently filled with remodeling crap), and I have managed to produce a couple of successful programs. And I've worked on other people's films. I've even auditioned for roles in some real-life Hollywood-type films (no, I didn't get the parts), but I've never made my own films.

I recently hooked up with a group called Stone Soup Films (http://www.stonesoupfilms.com), and we're scheduled to shoot a short film in less than a month. I'm excited because it's a good way for me to get motivated to be creative and to get my own momentum going for my own film projects.

Time to dust off the scriptwriting tools and polish up some of those old projects. :)