As I get older, revelations occur mostly too late yet still valuable. The other night, my mom called me to tell me my father has just been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. A few minutes later, I was nauseous, head pounding. My brother died of brain cancer barely a year ago. Unbeknownst to most people, I had colon cancer 5 years ago. Mortality remains at the forefront of my thoughts at the moment. And it overwhelms me. I slowed down my productivity to cope with my health, my mind, and my spirit. Now I feel like rushing to complete a millions movies because the clock is not ticking and it is making me feel terrible.

On Saturday I had scheduled to help a friend shoot some establishing shots for his short film that I have been editing for the past 10 months. People keep bailing on him and I wanted to help him. Now I wake up Saturday morning with barely any sleep, nose stuffed, snot dripping, headache, bones tired, and generally not feeling good at all.

My drone stopped working and the controller would not charge. Researching this, it will take 8-12 hours to fix. To me the majority of these shots were intended to be drone shots, and my emotional state was erratic to say the least. It rang in my head though that the reason I offered to help is because everyone else kept bailing, so I determined not to bail. I packed up a couple tripods, my lens kit, two cameras, and got on the road.

When I arrived on location, I started building up the camera. After about the 3rd setup, I made a startling realization that I no longer felt sick, tired, or distraught. I was in the zone and being creative, helping someone else manifest their vision. Even my head cold evaporated. I went to see my father after the shoot day was rained out before landing the final shot.

I’m going to see my dad at the hospital today on my way to teach a class on filmmaking. I’m not big on believing in psychosomatic illness, but it’s impossible to argue the facts in light of my day Saturday. Maybe I prefer to believe that stress lowers the immune system. Yet, I cannot deny the correlation as witnessed.


Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer


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