Monday, December 31, 2012

It Was a Very Good Year

Actually, 2012 was a very bittersweet year for TPD. It's been a roller-coaster, in fact.

In 2011, I was approached by the parent company to The Venture Channel, the network that has licensed the first television-length season of The Peregrine Dame.

In 2012, we signed the contract, making the deal legal, although it's not hard to get out of; contracts in TV land are often not as valuable as, oh say, toilet paper. The network was due to launch in several countries this fall, the first in late August, then more in October. Then it all turned into early December. None have gone up as of today.

That's the bitter. The sweet is that I still spent a large portion of my year getting to do what I've wanted to do for years now: traveling and teaching people about it. I filmed in six countries this year. Well, five and a U.S. territory, but if you ask Puerto Rico, they still call themselves a commonwealth country.

I hope that people do learn new things when they ultimately watch the series. And I still think they will be able to, albeit later than either I or the network planned. I hope it motivates and inspires people to do some things they've always wanted to do, but were afraid to do by themselves - whether those things involve traveling or not. But the truth, for me, is that even if it's never seen, if the worst happens and I never make a dime back on the whole project, what I have learned is worth much more than gold.

The process has taught me patience in a measure I could not have fathomed before starting the whole adventure. Individual countries have shown me where my values lie and what my hypocrisies are. Preconceived notions and believed-in stereotypes have been blown away. I have realized what it means to feel lonely, to be an outsider, a curiosity. I've also experienced kindness and good faith from total strangers all over the world. Help and support have come from people I now am grateful to call friends.

I still have moments of breathtaking anxiety when I think of the possibility of utter failure from a professional and financial angle. But when I can quiet those thoughts, I find reason and comfort in a couple of things I've learned from this complex trip: we, as humans, are all much more alike than we are different, and if we are to survive as a species, it will only be through person-to-person contact and discovery that we will make it. It's much harder to hate someone - for no reason - who's completely different from you once you've gotten to know them.

Thankfully, travel is getting easier and easier with technology and innovation. Believe it or not, it's also becoming less expensive if you're willing to reach beyond your comfort zone and use some of the incredible tools out there. So, here's to a new year, and new adventures. To self-discovery and education, however you go about it.

I am still hopeful, for the show and its future. And although it's certainly not in my nature to be, I'm even optimistic. I'm also thankful I can spend one last day this year doing what I enjoy. Time to get back to editing.

Happy New Year, everyone.