Thank You

As I get closer to graduating from Los Angeles Film School,  I want to take the time to thank everyone for their support.  I’ve also had a chance to hear from people saying that I’ve been an inspiration, and I also appreciate that as well.  I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact on those around me.  The journey that I’m on is full of uncertainty, but I’m looking forward to the challenge that it presents me.

Now that I’ve said thank you, let me also ask a favor from everyone.  If you watch my stuff, or read my stuff(I know some do both), then my favor is this, I’m trying to get exposure, and I want to have a more active interaction on the things I do. You like a video, comment on what you liked about it, hell tell me what you think could be improved, but if you do think it’s good, feel free to share, and tell people about my work. I want to make everyone feel as welcome as I’ve felt supported and loved.  There will be plenty of things coming out in various forms of media.  Watch and see the creative outlet explode.

The Next Step-Ready to Go with Weight Loss

Last week I went in for a series of tests.  They did an EKG, checked out my arms and legs for blood clots, did an ultrasound of my stomach and heart. Wednesday night I had a sleep study, and Thursday morning, I had a Endoscopy.  It was an experience that I won’t forget.  When they took a scan of my sinuses, I felt like Bill Bixby in The Incredible Hulk(1978) television series.

So now that I’m well on my way to actually doing this, I feel that I have to get my butt in gear and actually start getting a bit of exercise.  I’m currently focusing only dual class schedule at the moment, but I’ve got a good momentum going that I think I will take a hike this weekend.

So many changes are getting ready to happen, and while I’m excited, I’m also terrified with the fact that these changes are big.  I found out from my sleep test that I might have sleep apnea, but I need to set up another test so that I can go down and sleep with a mask on( yay me).  I will update you more later.

Forward March

Wow! In seven months I get to call myself a graduate from Film School.  I will have my Bachelors of Science in Digital Filmmaking, and I’m about ready to have an office, since plans kind of fell through with the other place.  Life is good!  All I need now is a few more shots for my B-roll of my documentary, and it’s been suggested that I might consider applying for a Film Festival.  These are the moments that I love.  It seems like a validation of all my hard work, and I couldn’t be more excited on what the future has in store for me.

I have some friends, who are about to deal with the one year anniversary of their son’s tragic death… things have really changed in this past year.  I think I appreciate the people in my life more.  Even if we aren’t close, I seem to wish that they have safe travels and hope that they arrive back safely.  Life is too short to let negative things get in the way, and if there is anything I’ve learned, it’s too treat people better, because you never know how they may change your life.

We started this local Geek group called The Geeks of the IWV last August in response to the celebration of his life.  I thought it was a good way to help my friends mourn, and to help deal with their grief.  I never thought that this whole process would change me as well.  I feel that I’ve become a better person, a better friend, and more positive about life.  I love my kids so much more than I ever thought I did.  I love my wife more because she’s supported me.  My friends have also seen a difference in the way I handle things.  With this group, I’ve been able to network so much better than I ever thought possible.

I think tragedy can become triumph in the end.  The tragedy itself never goes away, and I in no means, say that to cheapen what’s happened, but I think it can lead to self discovery.  When I had my suicidal melt down and work, I needed help, and I was able to find that help through a professional.  The tragedy that hit me at the time was that friends, and family members had suffered suicide in their lives. Around that time, there were five people that I had heard committed the act.  I knew one of the people locally,  he was a hip=hop dance instructor  at the gym I was going too at the time.  When I found out what happened I became morose because I felt like if I had the chance to talk to him, he would have known that he wasn’t alone.  We connected over our fondness of hip-hop and talked about trying to choreograph some dance moves to a Michael Jackson song or two.  His death really impacted me.

Human connection is important.  I try to pay attention to what people wear when I see them at my job, and it often times leads to conversations, and friendships.  I’ve become acquainted with so many people by noticing the lanyard they wear around their necks.  If it’s a sports team, we’ll start talking about sports, and we talk about favorite players, and teams that we like.  The one that gets the most attention is when someone wears either comic book characters or video games.  Those usually spark the best conversations  and I’ve made a good set of friends because of it.  It’s funny what you can learn about someone if you pay attention to what they wear.

I had a conversation with my little brother today, and I think that I finally summed up my goals in life.  I told him that it’s hard work building an empire, and that’s what I feel like I’m doing.  I want to do movies, music, podcasting, and on top of all of that, I want to have the accessibility to show that I’m there to support those who can’t handle mental illness. Sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be any options than to end their lives.  All I can say to that is- I’m here, you’re not alone, I love you.  Don’t let the darkness be the answer, because there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.  I know that it doesn’t seem like it, or that the light is too far to see, but endure, fight through it…you’ll come out stronger in the end.

These are things that I’m more passionate about now.  I’m getting the tools to help lend a voice to the unanswered, and I plan on using it to help.  My creativity is there to help entertain and maybe even be thought provoking at times.  Life’s hard, and I’m the first to admit that I’ve wanted to quit.  I almost have, more times than I would care to admit.  My depression hit me hard because I felt like I was stuck in a spot that I wasn’t happy in.  I had set plans to leave everything behind because I couldn’t deal with being stuck.  Life was closing in around me.  Now I’m moving forward to a bright future.  I’m not stuck anymore, and the momentum is carrying me along a new path.  Somedays it moves very quickly, than other days, I wonder if I’m still moving, but forward is always ahead of me.

While I’m not going to mention names of my friends who lost their son,  I do want to leave a thought on the eve of the anniversary: I love you and your family.  My heart goes out to you in your time of suffering.  I’ve seen growth from both of you in this past year, and I think you’ll learn to manage with your loss better as time goes.  Your eldest left a giant hole in the lives of everyone who had the fortune of knowing him.  I wish that I could have known him better than the chance that I had.  By the time my family and I had entered into your lives the way we did, he had already became a working man who was busy with school and work.  The time I did share with him was great because we geeked out about the same things.  Just know that there isn’t a day that you two don’t cross my mind, and I’m always going to be here for you.

 

Projects=Experience

I’ve been looking at different jobs in the entertainment industry, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the things I’m working towards doing are going to help me gain the experience that I need to help me continue towards my future profession. Entertaining people has been a passion of mine since I was younger.  It started with me cracking jokes to help cheer my friends up.

I’ve been looking forward to getting a few of the podcasts projects off the ground.  I’ve been fascinated with the idea of doing a radio since I started listening to Mark and Brian, and I would love to bring out my thoughts on various subjects ranging from geek culture to politics. I even have ideas for a NSFW podcast that would allow me to discuss more adult content, and bring out my full force, uncensored, sense of humor.

As I move forward towards the end of school, I know that I’m going to be working on gaining a whole new level of experience.  Yes, I am starting my own production company, and yes, I would love to work with others.  As a person, I’ve learned that networking is key. I’ve been doing that for the last couple of years, and I think that it’s helped give me a chance to have better relationships with the people that I’ve gone on to network with.

Going through some life changing events of the last several years, I’ve grown quite a bit. I think that I’ve gotten my ego out of the way of my personal growth.  I used to think that I was going to do whatever it was to make it on my own, and I would let things get in my way of trying to succeed.  I’m now being a more positive person, not for anyone specifically, but myself.  Those who might benefit from the energy that I try to emit, I’m always glad that it helps.  Life it too short to dwell over the negative things, and we all need to enjoy life.

I just felt like I had to put something down tonight.

Friends

So, Sarah and I took our friend Alisa with us to a SCA event down in Dun Or, or Lancaster, Ca for people who aren’t into the medieval reenactment group. It was their 25th anniversary and Sarah’s second time being the youth activity officer. Alisa went to be her helper, and I went to support our local barony.

One of the things that I like about being a member of the Society is that I’ve made friends with some amazing people. This is also the most open minded group of people that I’ve ever been around. I’ve met several people who are like minded and enjoy the geeky things that I like.  So, I was talking with my usual group of people at events, and I we had a great time.  One of my friends, also introduced me to a long time friend, who helps run a geek internet radio station.  She was happy to introduce us, because she wants to see my creative endeavors sprout up and become something bigger then it is.

As the event came to an end, my friend, her family, and my group of people went out and had dinner together. The best part was, that I realized that I enjoyed being around these people far more than I ever realized. They are good people, and also intelligent as well. So, dinner took way longer than it should have, and without having our kids with us, it was nice to spend time with adults that we share a passion for geeky and possibly crude humor.  It was a wonderful night, and I look forward to actually hanging out more often now that we realize how much we enjoy each other’s company.

Documentary

The first week in my Documentary Post production, and what I’m learning that editing a documentary is different than editing a a movie.  When filming a movie, short, or fictional story, you build the film around the script, where a documentary is the opposite where you build the story around the footage that has been filmed.

I’m looking forward to filming a few different, styles… i.e.. commercials, music videos; this way I can diversify my portfolio.  It’s also a great opportunity to stretch myself out as a storyteller. I have a top notch creative team that I’m working with and I find that it helps me be a better person creatively.

An idea of a “shared universe” for all our projects came up, and I think that’s a great idea, and kind of a thought I had already had as an idea. That way we could add another interesting part to the whole creative process. So, what element from what story is going to be referenced in which part of the current project.  Just so you know now, Life Happens is the central point to everything to come. The tragic start to Roger and Chelsea’s story is something that I’m looking forward to telling, as it is the second script that I’e written. Second Chances was the first one I wrote back in 2012.  I’m looking forward to revisiting that work at some point in the future and re-write it, especially since I’ve learned more about structuring a script. It was the story that broke my writer’s block.

This Short Experience

Wow! I sit here and reflect on the fact that I got this short completed. Everything from the writing of the script to the crazy filming, and finally too the experience of editing.  I enjoyed doing the sound editing, but I also found it to be one of the most time consuming portions of this process.  It’s funny that I think buying the rights to use two songs in this short was the most exciting part of my experience.

What I’ve learned through this whole process are lessons that I’ll continue to carry with me for the rest of my life.  They’ll also help in making me a better story teller.  The way this has gone, the most important lesson is that pre-production is the most important first step. I’ve learned that I need to work on organizing things better.  The biggest part of filming-roomtone is key.  If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, it’s an unsung hero for the world of bringing film to life. Oh, and I can’t wait until we can start scoring and doing our own music.  I think that will be a great experience.

I know that with the hardship that’s come with this picture, it will make everything that comes after seem like a piece of cake.  It also makes me hungry to do more, and I wish that I could dedicate far more time to working on my craft. Plus having my new creative partner is going to be a wonderful experience to help get the ideas flowing.

As I’m writing this, I’m also sending links to the short so that people can tell me what they think. Here’s the link if you haven’t seen it: https://youtu.be/NrxkWYUDnD4. Enjoy, and leave a note. I take all comments into consideration. I know growth comes from criticism if people are willing to accept it. That was something my drama teacher always loved about me, was that I looked at it as a tool for improvement, and right now, I’m still a toddler in this filmmaking thing.