I moved to Southern California at the age of 16 to go to college to work in the film industry and got a job on set before I finished my first semester of classes.
I have the most insane job in the world now which can only be comprehended if it is broken down in a modular system of five basic stages.
The first one is Development. I either buy or write a script. This is the easiest part for me and also the cheapest.
Then it goes into Pre-Production. Break the script down, determine how much it will roughly cost. Then cast it, select the necessary crew members, secure the locations, buy or rent the gear needed, assign tasks and deadlines for all department heads, and spend the next two months getting into a thousand asthetic arguments with both artists and techs.
The third stage is Production. Most people love this stage but quickly get burned out if they screwed up in the first two stages. Some will say it's art, others science, but it's neither It's magic.
After that it goes into Post-Production and I spend the next few months in a dark room editing, color correcting, and avoiding audio work. I hate editing audio so I always pass that off to some else.
Final stage is Marketing & Distribution. I can't give away all the secrets now can I?
If you put all those stages together then you get the most insane job in the world but it's all I've ever wanted to do.