What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

“Would you like anything to eat Sir?”

“Yes please, can I pay by card?”

“Only credit card”

“Ok that’ll be a no then”

I knew I should have booked with Virgin.

I am writing this as I sit onboard my 8+ hour flight from the Gold Coast, Australia to Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. All I can think about is how I am going to devour a bowl of noodles as soon as I get there! Then I will board my second flight to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam where I begin the next phase of my life as a digital nomad in Asia.

Here is a photo I took today once I landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport:

Kuala Lumpur International Airport_01

And now as I post this I am sitting in a hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I have just been attacked by the blades of a drone helicopter which I will be using to film some aerial footage whilst I am here in Saigon…battle scars! How I suffer for my art! Haha.

Last night I slept on the streets:

Sleeping Rough Outside Gold Coast Airport_01

So it’s nice to have a bed once again!

The last 4+ months of my life I have spent in Australia, mainly Brisbane. This place:

Brisbane City SMALL_02

And now I will throw myself into a life of uncertainty, mystery and most likely a mixture of difficulty, struggle and undoubtedly a load of fun!

I have enough money to last me for the short term but if I want to really make this work then I’m going to have to pull my finger out and really push for what I want. My love, my passion and what I plan to make money from is filmmaking. I plan on taking it to the next level. The first thing that worries me though is this:


It is a sad fact. I think that many people seem to assume that there isn’t a huge amount of skill, time or effort that goes into creating video. You just point and shoot don’t you? Then just cut it all together without much effort in iMovie or something right? Shove some music underneath it and there you go! Well not exactly!

What about an understanding of lighting, composition, sound, editing and a decent amount of creativity? I have a long way to go in my career but I think that the foundation that I have built up so far and the knowledge and understanding of the aforementioned is not something that you can just learn overnight. I’m still learning every day. It takes more than some decent gear to get the shot.

“That looks like an expensive camera. You must be able to get some really good shots with that!”

How many times have you heard that? Well maybe none if you don’t have a decent camera! But I’ve heard it so many times. And I think that there are many people out there who assume that if they have all the best equipment, they will magically be the best filmmaker. Well think again buddy! You may have all the gear, but quite frankly you’ve got no idea!

“Hi I would like to hire a videographer to create a video for us but we just don’t really have any budget at the moment. Would you accept some dust collected from the bottom of my shoe?”

Although I love my job, come on people… Don’t insult me! If you don’t have the budget then don’t even bother asking.

Hopefully I won’t encounter too many of these types of enquiries whilst I try and make a dent in the SE Asian video scene. Although tbh, it is inevitable!

So whilst in Australia I have been working with a wedding cinematographer. I have learnt much about the craft of storytelling along with a whole bunch of other key filmmaking theories and methods. My creativity levels at the moment are bursting at the seams and I am ready to go! As soon as I land in Asia I want to hit the ground running, and as it happens I have already got my first client! Yay for me! It’s a score for proactivity! First things first though, I lost my only tripod in Australia so I will have to get on that one ASAP and replace it/buy a couple of new ones. Imagine a filmmaker without a tripod! It’s like a plumber without the plums! Haha, that was the first thing that came to mind even though it doesn’t make any sense!!! Unless you’re a plumber that doubles up as a plum salesman. Then you would be screwed!

So watch this space, I will be creating a whole load of new and interesting content. I have a few personal projects in the pipeline and some great ideas in this head of mine just waiting to come out!

And just a few words about the title of this post… I chose that title because when we are young we all have dreams of what we want to do when we grow up. As we get older it is easy to forget that we once had passion for an exciting future and we make excuse after excuse about how it is actually impossible to achieve what we really want in life. I feel that we must never let go of our dreams. Otherwise what is the point of living?


If you or anyone you know is looking for a filmmaker in South East Asia then please let me know/get in contact. Maybe you know someone that wants a video promo done for their business? Also my first trade is video editing, so maybe you’re a traveller that has filmed a whole bunch of video whilst travelling and wants it edited into one nice package? Get in touch!

Email me at info@patrickwatkins.com for any enquiries.

In the meantime, you can check out my professional website here: patrickwatkins.com

And here is my showreel for anyone interested in my work over the last few years:

Digital nomadism here I come!!

Patrick out…

2 Responses

  1. Rich Cheng 28th November 2014 / 12:39 pm

    I think it’s actually not just filmmaking, but any kind of creative freelance work that has this problem. The dance community is always banging on about how you shouldn’t work for free (and rightly so).

    You might enjoy this. And this. And this.

    • Patrick 28th November 2014 / 4:37 pm

      Haha, amazing! All very funny, really love those quotes. And that video is just perfect at getting the point across. And it’s funny you should post this now, I was just having a conversation with a friend about this exact topic tonight.

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