About the project

What made you go with this concept for FAIL?
I was visiting my father in the hospital and I just started to shoot. The beauty of this for me is the spontaneous nature of it. I don’t “work” that way at all, I produce the crap out of everything I do. I ended up using very little of what I shot. When I sat down to edit the piece, I needed words to express my feelings of what was happening in front of me.

Read More

Three of our filmmakers focused on the idea of failure through the eyes of their father. What is it about the father and son relationship that brings FAIL to mind?
He provided for me as a child and now the roles are reversed and I don’t want to fail him. Three years ago, he suffered a fall and had a brain injury, losing a good deal of his memory and cognitive function. Compound that with his loss of hearing, congestive heart failure and other elderly issues…we have become his caretakers. It’s the greatest gift I have ever been given and yet I put a lot of pressure on myself not to screw it up. I know he will die at some point and that is not in my control. But that weight is still ever present.

Is success the opposite of failure? If not, what is?
Success to me is not definable. How do you measure success? And for that matter, failure is subjective and not measurable either. We are emotional beings and we internally assign the measure of our success and failures individually. When I was younger, I told myself “Failure is not an option”. I look back on that sentiment today and see “failure” as a teacher. What can I learn from any experience, positive or negative? And more importantly, how will I use that information to make healthy decisions in my life.

Why are creatives so afraid to fail…why are any of us?
Our job is to please. The irony for all creatives is that we operate in a subjective world that has objective needs. A client needs a photograph or a video to tell a story. The end product and the process are always in conflict with one another, until we see the smile on our client’s face and know they are pleased. We live in fear of failing, but it’s not a tangible fear, it’s internalized. For me it used to be my driver. Today I embrace fear, and I engage in a dance with her. Most days, I get to lead.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I want you to know you really touched a nerve with this project! I carry deep feelings about failure. I was glad to share some of them through this film. Growing up as a baby boomer and the child of immigrant parents, failure was not an option (I guess that’s where I got it from). My parents wanted a better life for me than they had and that can put a lot of pressure on the whole family structure. I know my kids have a completely different approach to the concept of failure; it’s not nearly as present in their lives. And that is a good thing.

About the FilmMaker

WAYNE CALABRESE
Photo|Cinema|Production
calabresestudio.com

ABOUT THE CALENDAR

Sometimes, the beauty is in the imperfection. Thanks, Lauren Hutton.