In the summer of 2007, I was fresh out of college and rearing to break into the film industry. I knew my future lay in filmmaking, but I had to make a change. If I was going to break in, I would have to do something drastic.
So I packed a bag, jumped on a plane at LAX and left the country.
I landed first in Prague, where my dreams of success almost rivaled my sheer naiveté. Little did I know, failure is a fantastic motivator.
I transitioned south to Budapest where I began building online video travel guides for expatriates moving abroad. I filmed and edited in fifteen different countries across Europe and the Middle East. I became familiar with cities as far away as Almaty and Erbil, all the while honing my craft.
Four years after arriving in my adopted city, I launched a production company called Two Horse Films and went freelance. This gave me the opportunity to work in small productions, mostly commercial and viral. I worked primarily as a creative producer and video editor.
I moved into television and became a film editor for On The Spot, a top rated documentary series running on Hungarian and German TV. It has won the 2013 Golden Nymph at the Monte Carlo TV Festival and the 2014 Golden Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival, among numerous other accolades.
My time with this close-knit team has been transformative. Before coming on, my editing knowledge was limited to fast-paced small projects. Working in the long form documentary space created huge creative challenges that defined my skills in spectacular ways.
My responsibilities grew and I began supervising the show’s post-production pipeline. This gave me a new opportunity to develop strong relationships with our vendors while managing tight deadlines. And when the episodes were delivered, I turned around and wrote all written materials for each film’s festival circuit.
It’s been close to a decade and I’ve been fortunate enough to run the gamut of the Hungarian film industry. Think of it as one long eye-opening workshop, hugely rewarding in both work and life experience. Now I realize there is only so much more I can accomplish in such a small place.
I will have to do something drastic, again. It’s time to go back to the United States for the next leg of my adventure.