The picture is me two weeks back, loaded up with the Panasonic Varicam LT on the Steadicam for a recent commercial film I wrote, directed, helped shoot, edited, and did the VFX for. I love getting my hands dirty, and I love being involved in all aspects of production.
I talk to some fellow directors, and they're all about the perks of the job: sitting in the chair, feeling like a big shot, getting coffee brought to them just the way they like it, and walking the red carpet. I mean, that's nice and all but that stuff's got nothing to do with my mission.
My mission is to continue my journey as a filmmaker. A filmmaker encompasses roles that make them both a generalist and a specialist. They get the big picture, along with most of the details. A filmmaker is someone who shepherds a project from concept through final cut. You need to know a lot about a lot, from branding and scriptwriting all the way through production and even post-production and visual effects. It takes years of learning to get here, and the learning never stops.
I love that. Almost as much as I love strapping on my Steadicam and doing a few shots myself, letting my DP take a break while I do the dance.
By the way, being a filmmaker doesn't mean you don't work with the best people you can. I always get the best crews I can, for every project. Being a filmmaker means that you have the knowledge and skills to credibly create with your talented crew. A certain amount of self-reliance gives you a certain amount of respect from your fellow creators on set. It also helps you communicate better with them. All this helps to tear down walls so you can get things done.
I get things done. I'm not just another director, or even a multi-hyphenate as Hollywood says. I'm a filmmaker.