Carpe Diem

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Dead Poets Society was one of our family’s favorite movies growing up. The power of those students standing on their desks and saying “O Captain, My Captain.” The mantra, Carpe Diem, ringing through my mind.

Carpe Diem — Seizing the day looks much different for me now than it used to. There was a time when it meant traveling solo around the Middle East or Southeast Asia — it meant something extreme and exciting.

Now, Carpe Diem often means seizing the opportunity to snuggle up with my boys at the end of the day, seizing a rare date night with my husband, and working like a mad woman into the wee hours of the night to make my next film project a reality.

My husband and I run a small production company. We’re committed to creating stories that sustain our humanity; stories that illuminate dark corners; stories that can create change. And let me tell you, it is not always easy. In fact, quite often it is hard. As a teenager and young adult, I did not imagine that Carpe Diem might mean:

  • Your children finding you hiding in the bathroom in tears because your latest campaign has launched, but not to the response and fanfare that you had hoped.
  • Throwing up three mornings in a row because you are overcome by the fear of failure.
  • Wading through a sea full of the word “no” or, more accurately, “we love what you’re doing, but…”
  • Deep uncertainty about everything and paralyzing fear.

But, so it is. My latest film project, ‘The wHOLE’ is a gritty dramatic series about race, crime, prison and so much more starting with harsh reality of solitary confinement.

We’re deeply committed to telling this story with humanity and integrity and in collaboration with individuals who have lived it. We are also deeply committed to the project being an independent production.

The road to making this project happen has reflected my commitment to live an intentional, meaningful life as an artist while I raise my sons, and it has taught me the value and necessity of community. Finding your community — no, not finding it – but BUILDING your community, actively supporting others and building a community that matters, that works, that moves everyone forward. If we are going to live our best lives, if we are going to seize the day, we need this type of community.

When you build this type of community, you discover something beautiful: we need each other; we want to need each other; we want to support one another. People want to support the inspiring work of others. People want to see the dreams of others blossoms and to follow that inspiration as they seek their own dreams.
When I reached out to others to support my dream, I was surprised that people not only responded by supporting me, but even thanked me for asking them to be a part of this dream, of this work, of the community I was building.

I found that others were grateful to be a part of the embrace of an intentional life. I discovered how beautiful the space of shared gratitude is.

The next time you doubt yourself or pull back when you should probably move forward, push through those fears and doubts. Go. Seize the day. State your dream. Move your intentional life forward, and invite others to walk with you as you make your best, intentional life real. Share your dreams with others. Invite them to be a part of it. Carpe Diem. It’s SO worth it.

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Jennifer Fischer

About Jennifer Fischer

Jennifer Fischer is a film producer, editor, and the co-founder of Think Ten Media Group. Her latest multi-award winning film, "Smuggled,” saw her tackling distribution, successfully securing theatrical screening events at universities, colleges and community organizations throughout the United States and abroad. She fell in love with filmmaking while at Harvard getting her MA in Middle Eastern Studies as she discovered the power of media to explore difficult topics. Her first short film, "Songs of Palestine," was presented in conjunction with her Masters Thesis and premiered at a Quaker International Relations Conference. Jennifer also ran a film festival for 7 years when she first moved to California, and she curates various film-related boards on Pinterest; her Film Articles and Resources Pinboard was recognized by Indiewire as one of the Top 10 Pinboards for Independent Filmmakers to follow. She is currently producing, “The wHOLE,” a short film series about mass incarceration.