I went for a long bike ride last weekend. Part of the ride took me up to the end of Castle Creek, a beautiful valley high above Aspen. A recent snowstorm had dropped fresh snow on the alpine peaks, and the trees were every imaginable shade of yellow, orange, and red. Upon reaching the top of the climb (above), I noticed a few large trucks. Then I saw a few black Suburbans, then a craft services tent, a cherry picker, more grip trucks and panel vans. There were at least 40 people up there, most of them male, over 40, professional looking New York / LA types. One of the crew members told me that it was a Jeep commercial, and I joked that I thought everything was now done in CG. He laughed and said that the footage they shot would be "covered in a bunch of graphics anyway."
I've never shot a Jeep commercial in Castle Creek, but I did feel an immediate kinship with this crew. We've all chosen career paths that primarily pay in experiences instead of money. We live with the constant anxiety of not really knowing that there will be another job. We just assume that if we keep working, and improving our craft, that we'll continue to be sent to beautiful places to work on challenging, interesting projects, hopefully with people that will teach us a few things along the way.
It's these experiences that keep me moving forward toward the next project. It's not easy, and it's not for everyone, but I wouldn't have it any other way.