It’s Time for Me to Beat 2020 Challenges

Amanda Bussman
4 min readJul 22, 2021
Photo by TheRegisti on Unsplash

It would be more adequate for me to state the past 11 years’ struggles. I figure I’ll take it with one thing at a time and start with the turbulence that 2020 provided me with. It’s time to kick those roadblocks out of my life and start persevering.

At the end of 2020, I received a fellowship for filmmaking.

If we backtrack here, in 2016, I graduated from Rhode Island College with my BA in Film Studies. A degree that I struggled to earn.

I was never a great student.

That coupled with the fact that during my 2014 fall term my father passed away posed its challenges. The day I walked across that stage I couldn’t have been more proud of myself.

Graduating wasn’t the hardest part of my journey. The hardest part is what comes after walking the stage.

Everyone says, “don’t go to school with film, you’ll get nowhere”. This isn’t true. Go to school for whatever your dreams are and then put in the work. The key to everything, as I’m seeing now 5 years later, is working at it.

I live in a small state. One where the film community is large but incredibly tiny. Like most things in Rhode Island, I guess you could say.

This means that productions come to the state and 1 of 2 things happen. Either they are staffed by out of town crew or everyone who is unionized in state jumps on them.

In my first few years out of school, I was a production assistant on two features.

One was a small indie film that I adored working on. The hours were long. Sometimes we froze to death outside at a junkyard in the middle of the night. Overall, the experience was one I adored. Seeing the director’s vision come to life was extraordinary. It even made up for the fact that the lead actor was kind of (not kind of) a dick.

The second one was not so great. The experience (while I’m still grateful for it) pushed me away from enjoying crew work. The assistant director’s outbursts caused me to cry in my car at the end of most days. The younger cast (and HMU) will always remain my bright spots on that set. They kept me going on my worst days.

During and following my time on these sets I also participated in two years of…

Amanda Bussman

An aspiring creative writer who is attempting to figure out how to follow my passions and make a living doing so.