The Importance of Passion Projects

Early this year, between projects, I decided to go out and shoot a personal, mini-documentary on tabletop gaming. Roleplaying games use to be a passion of mine when I was younger (much younger) and I was interested to know if it was still a popular pastime.

I dropped by Dueling Grounds, a popular gaming store in Toronto and spoke with the owner Wayne about my idea. He was very interested and we scheduled a time for an interview.

What followed was a wonderful couple of days filming. I met a lot of terrific people, was reintroduced to games I knew and discovered games I’d never heard of. It was a great experience both personally and professionally. Personally because I got to explore a subject that really interested me and professionally because I got to experiment with techniques I wouldn’t be able to in a typical paid gig.

Passion projects are important because they remind us of why we got into this business in the first place. Sometimes I find myself in a bit of a rut creatively, because with the pressures of deadlines and budgets there’s often no room to experiment. If something needs to be right the first time it’s easier to go with tried-and-true methods than to take a chance. Passion projects provide that chance to experiment, make mistakes and to grow as a filmmaker.

Take a risk. Have some fun. Don’t over think it. Your passion is what got you started and it’s that same passion that will keep you sharp, current and motivated. To misquote Dory “Just keep shooting, just keep shooting..”

Here is my passion project mini-doc: Magic, Miniatures & Make-Believe. Big thanks again to the owner, staff and customers of Dueling Grounds