Friday, November 11, 2011

Squirrel Attacks Another Squirrel

This is just a quick little video I thought I'd share today, nothing special. This clip is part of a larger video we did called "The Chips," which essentially was where we filmed me eating chips at various locations on campus, set to music. I just thought this was funny enough that it warranted its own video. Eventually I'll get around to posting "The Chips," but for now, enjoy one squirrel attacking another squirrel!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Moving On" - Michael Giacchino

Holy crap. I could spend hours and hours writing about the show LOST. I watched every episode when it aired since its beginning in 2004. I spent countless hours online at other blogs devoted to the show, and I have since watched every episode about five times.

But I'm not writing this to talk about LOST, specifically. Instead I wanted to point you to a specific piece of music from the show. In fact, this piece is taken from the last few minutes of the show, and it gives me chills every time I hear it. Michael Giacchino, the composer, is a genius, and you don't need to be a fan of the show to appreciate this music. There is so much emotion poured into the music itself.

Anyways, I really wanted to share this track with you, so I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WAKE UP! - 8tracks playlist

Just thought I'd share with you the playlist I made to help me wake up in the morning. I shuffle the order every morning so it doesn't get old too fast, and so far it's really helped me get ready for the day.

I have a couple other mixes on 8tracks, in case you wanted to check them out. I may embed a couple of them here in a blog post every now and then as well.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Dumb Luck"

It was my entire life for over a third of my junior year. I eat, slept, and breathed "Dumb Luck," and as a result I'm very proud of it. Yes, I tend to see imperfections rather than focusing on the pluses when I re-watch my films, but what I realize is how much effort I put into Dumb Luck, and how that effort translated into a successful 30 minute short film, the longest film I have ever completed.

It started with the idea that I wanted to do a project for Video Production that would take up the whole third trimester of my junior year. I wanted to make one collective project, instead of a series of smaller projects, as had been the precedent set previously. So I discussed it with Mrs. St. Clair, got the okay, and began to come up with a story.

As I've mentioned a number of times previously, I believe Mike and I were a decent team, and we had already done the "Linden Eagle News Gone Wrong" video, so I began with the thought that it would be the two of us in the lead role. I in particular wanted a large role for myself because up to that point I had done relatively little acting in my videos, despite acting being an interest of mine. I wanted to get a chance to be a main part of a larger project.

Instead of putting the two of us at odds, however, I decided that Mike and I would be working together to reach a goal. I had to be reasonable and choose something that we could feasibly film, and I decided that we would be trying to catch a robber. The comedy would come from the idea that we were "secret agents," and that catching the robber was an important mission of ours.

I wrote the actual script in just a day or two, and then revised it only a little, before it was ready to go. I showed it to St. Clair, and she said that I would need to get approval from the principal. So I sent him the script too.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Incorporating Structure Into Your Life

The past few weeks have been pretty brutal on me. Exams, papers and a lack of both studying and sleep put a huge toll on me physically and mentally, and I'm finally feeling like I'm back on track and in control of what I'm doing.

See, I did a pretty big over-haul today. First I made a list of homework that had to be done this week, and I resolved to actually do the homework even if it was only reading an article or chapter from the textbook (which I have learned the hard way is very important to do). Once I finished the homework list I added to it things that I wanted to make time for this week, such as TV shows, soccer games, and birthday dinners. I figured out which days this week I should be doing each thing in order to keep stress levels down and to stay on top of my course work. Then I added other non-priority items to the list that I wanted to do this week but could wait on, such as reading a few leisure books, exercising (and as I write this I realize I may need to move exercising into the priority column), movie watching, and, unfortunately, this blog.

As much as I'd love to be able to put a ton of effort into this blog, I'm realizing now that on my list, it's a pretty low priority. However, another thing I'm realizing is that as long as I manage my time wisely, I should still have plenty of time for adding in some of my non-priority items. It's just a matter of figuring out how much time I have for everything. I believe they call this time management, and it's definitely a useful skill to master.

Lastly, I added a column of things that I had coming up or things I wanted to do in the near future, such as school projects, papers, exams, and other things such as selling my football ticket for Thanksgiving Break (Cancun, here I come!).

Then here's the real kicker: I'm sticking to it. Of course, it hasn't yet been a day but I'm confident in my ability to stick to something once I set my mind to it. And the fact that my performance in school could be better is a pretty big motivator.

Other things I have done or will be doing to help myself be healthier physically and mentally are watching my diet and incorporating more vitamins and water into it and establishing better sleep habits, which for me involves two things I have trouble with: falling asleep and waking up.

I have trouble falling asleep because I tend to start thinking about everything before bed. This is no exaggeration. I will literally jump from topic to topic for sometimes hours, all the while becoming more and more frustrated with myself for not being able to stop thinking. There are a couple remedies I'm going to try, like taking melatonin before laying down and not over-stimulating my brain before sleep. There are different methods for everyone but I tend to find that TV and music nurtures my thinking habits instead of squashing them.

When I started to think about what I could possibly write about today, I realized that what I had done was develop a structure, a plan, and to set goals to accomplish, and this can be incorporated into your creative endeavors. The world is naturally chaotic, but many people, myself included, find that they are more productive when there is some sort of structure to what they are doing. Maybe there's a deadline, maybe it's a roadmap or an outline, or maybe it's just a to-do list. But it never hurts to be prepared, and establishing structure in your life only prepares you for what you want to accomplish in your life. So I encourage you to think about what you want from life or from your creative project and come up with a plan that suits your goals. It can only help you.

I plan to discuss this concept of "planning" more thoroughly tomorrow when I talk about my short film, "Dumb Luck." So check back in for more updates, and thanks for reading this whole thing! (It's a bit on the longer side, but I had a lot to say). Adios!