Film crew explores quarter-life crisis
Seven second-year SAIT film and video production students are putting together a documentary to bring awareness to the very real dilemma many young people are faced with; a quarter-life crisis.
The crew is looking for people to share personal stories that might help other young people struggling to find direction in their lives.
SAIT counselor and registered psychologist Danica Heidebrecht said typical symptoms of a quarter-life crisis, or “transition” as she calls it include exploring new romantic relationships, learning more about who one is and wants to be, exploring new career paths and experimenting with new things and being curious of new opportunities
Heidebrecht also said experiencing a quarter-life crisis can often feel intense, difficult and rattling. People can feel overwhelmed and lack a sense of direction.
Camera operator and cinematographer of the film, tentatively titled (So You’re a Quarter Dead,) Ranjene Mazumdar came up with the concept for the documentary from observing changes in her circle of friends and herself around a certain age.
After struggling with different aspects of her own life, including relationships, career and school, Mazumdar did some research and discovered the quarter-life crisis. She’s since made it her mission to let others know.
“We’re trying to make a documentary that isn’t just talking heads, we want to really resonate with people emotionally,” Mazumdar said.
After pitching the concept to her class she was approached by several classmates who seemed to fit the mold.
“People came to me later and were saying, ‘I totally feel that,’” she said.
Mazumdar said the typical quarter-life crisis happens around 20–35 years old. With the majority of SAIT students in that age range, the crew hopes students will be willing to come forward with their stories for the documentary.
“We really want people to be candid and honest on camera,” Mazumdar said.
Producer Stephen Sander felt a quarter-life crisis creeping up on him after taking a year off after high school. Sander went back to school a year later, however, and admitted he felt that helped to detract the quarter-life crisis from completely setting in.
“I tried to make the most of being young, instead of getting to the stage of trying to play catch up,” said Sander.
Sander said some of his friends show clear signs of going through a quarter-life crisis. He gave the example of a friend who seems to be struggling to find a direction after graduating high school.
“It’s almost like he can’t accept that he’s moving into a different phase of his life,” he said.
Through working on the documentary, Sander feels he’s learned a lot already and thinks people who watch the finished product will feel the same.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said, “and a great learning experience.”
The documentary is being filmed in various locations around the city, including the Calgary airport.
“Travel is often times a component of quarter-life crisis and can also be used as a metaphor for escaping,” Mazumdar said.
SAIT offers a workshop called STEP into SAIT, designed to help students with their transition to post-secondary and can benefit young adult students choosing their career.
The workshop is designed to help provide students with tools and information to help them succeed.
If you have experienced a quarter-life crisis and want to share your story, contact director Mackenzie Lawrence, at mackenzieAlawrence@gmail.com.