Hey Marc, good questions.
1) I think it's possible, but I generally wouldn't recommend it. Freelancing comes with some pressures and curly problems that make it difficult as a starting point if you have obligations to kids/house and only 6 months experience under your belt, not to mention clients may expect and deserve more. If you have the chance to work in a team, and with people with experience, then that would ultimately be the best next step.
2) That really depends on your professional network (the best job opportunities come via contacts), where you live (urban ares with more professional services have many more openings) and who you want to work with (workplace culture, UX maturity and hiring practices). Overall, I think your motivation and flexibility will be much more of a factor than your age. Personally, I think you're not in a bad position at 41 with life experience, energy levels and potential, but people wanting to hire the cheapest and most energetic designers would disagree with me. There are plenty of us around your age in UX, and I think we're still driving the changes. Don't rule out internships, either.
3) As @hawk mentioned, I started in film too (as a cinematographer), and there are quite a few others here in the forums with a background in multimedia, video, animation, etc—@maxflyer in 3D animation and graphics and @SteveCrow in video production, to name two. It's not unusual for UX people to cross over into areas like motion design, but its early days so still really depends on the project and the opportunities, not the industry expectations.