Hello Jennifer K in Florida.
I think people can make a living at any career they're passionate about and also willing to work very hard. For Filmmakers we're talking very very very hard, like M.D. hard in a quite different way. Film requires a pretty diverse skill and personal quality set. Someone has to be a keen observer of people and what some call "the human condition"; they have to gravitate to storytelling, and in general they love films like crazy. They also have to be willing to work really hard and hustle, particularly when they're starting out, but that requirement never really goes away. It's a lifestyle born of love and passion and no one would call it a practical career choice. I can't begin to judge whether you're suited or not. Certainly the doubting isn't a sign of it not being a fit; instead it's a sign of common sense. I never wanted to be a banker, lawyer, cop, businessman (fill in any number of blanks.....) It's a bit of a disease, but a great way to really study the human condition and various other phenomena and try to make something truly magical. I was a bit of a phenom coming out of film school, won some awards, had an agent and a manager, and thought it would be easy from there on. It wasn't. I ended up (accidentally) teaching filmmaking for 17 years and that was great, and recently went back to making my own stuff. Everything we do takes belief, patience, and hard work.
Steven recommends the following next steps:
- The one piece of advice I'd give you while you're still in film school (if you decide to stay the course) is to make good friends, volunteer to crew with anyone you can stand on any project that doesn't offend your values, learn all the major skill sets and associated technical requirements/apps/etc.... and always be a hard worker in all stages. A person doesn't have to turn into the next hotshot writer/director to "make it" in films. I know tons of people who are great at one aspect and make a pretty terrific living at it, as long as they keep growing in knowledge and skills, and they can get along with others. Good luck whatever you decide.