“The biggest failure I ever had was with my thesis film at Columbia’s graduate film school – a movie I’d poured all of my savings into (nearly $25,000) and worked on for eight months. A day before my final showing to the faculty, I previewed it to a professor who recommended I slash it to pieces and completely recut it. Panicked, I followed his advice and presented the hacked-up version to the faculty the next day, who absolutely despised it. All credibility I’d earned among my professors over the past three years went up in smoke. A few weeks later, I ran into one of these disappointed faculty members – one who’d been a huge supporter of my work before this and now could barely look at me. I told him the story of the last-minute recutting. He asked to see the original version. When I showed it to him, his eyes lit up: “Ah, Now I see you.”
It was the most valuable lesson I ever received. Don’t let someone knock you off course before you reach your destination. Trust the work. Always trust the work.”
-Soman Chainani | Tribe of Mentors
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