December 01, 2014

Playing With A Toy Camera For The First Time

So much nervous excitement.

I finally got around to assembling this gift I received on my birthday on one fine afternoon. I had to refer to both the instruction manual and an online Youtube video tutorial just to be safe. For some irrational reason I kept worrying that I would spoil the entire camera if I screwed one thing in too tight or pressed something into place too hard. It was a tedious process that took all of an hour or so to complete.

Then came the loading of the film. This being my first logo camera, I again relied heavily on the printed instructions to figure out how it all works.

It's going to be pretty interesting trying my hand at analog after being very accustomed to digital all this while. I have no clue how the next 36 exposures will go but all I know if that I have to make the shots count.

October 24, 2014

Why We Do Things Differently

We were brought up that way.

When we first donned our green uniforms, we took an oath. A pledge. A commitment. That we would do anything in our power to defend. This was the first of many promises we had to keep.

When we were given our arms, we swore to protect it with our life.

When we trained, we pushed ourselves to give nothing but our best.

When we marched, we went beyond our limits. To persevere and walk on like never before.

When we were cadets, we were shown what it meant to lead by example. In due time we were introduced to the mounting responsibilities we were to take on.

When we worked as a platoon, we left no man behind. We fought together side by side and took care of each other until the end.

When we tossed our caps into the sky, we began our rightful paths of leadership. We took our pledge and put on our ranks. The months of training led to this and we were now fully on our own.

When we were commissioned, we made things happen no matter the circumstances. We took initiative and always strived to lead, to excel and to overcome.

It was no longer about us but what we could do for the people under our charge. It became less of an exercise in making our lives more comfortable and pushing to do everything in our power to create positive experiences for the people we came into contact with.

That was the main driving force behind all the work we did. The sleepless nights, endless back and forth and countless obstacles were all worth it in the end. We came out stronger and more well-equipped to deal with what we previously could not phantom.

When we stepped out of that world, we realised things were perhaps much better before. We had to adjust and accommodate. Nonetheless, our instincts remained fully alive and kept us moving forward.

The two years of our lives changed us for the better. It is a chapter that has left an indelible mark on our being. Now everything we do comes with a higher purpose and focus. It is that internal drive that keeps us going when everything else seems to be falling apart. It is the true meaning of leadership that no rank can fully encapsulate. It is why we do things differently.

October 19, 2014

Now Is As Good A Time As Any

Coming to terms with never being fully ready.

This has been something on my mind over the past few weeks and has only become increasingly clear as deadlines are mounting. That is, we are never truly ready.

The context of group work is something not entirely foreign to me. Perhaps an absence from schoolwork for some time now has gotten the better of me but I've been reminded about all the perils of working in teams over the course of the past month. This is even more so because of the kinds of creative work involved in some projects.

There's always going to be too many cooks in the kitchen. The trouble then is to find solutions and not mere suggestions. At some point it becomes less of an exercise in being polite in order not to offend and more about just getting the job done when the deadline is looming overhead. So much back and forth can be done with endless time on our hands but that isn't the reality at hand.

With that I've found myself biting my lip on more than one occasion when things just don't go according to plan. I've learned well enough that this is to be expected and these are the moments where the true test of our character comes to the fore. I'd rather step forward and do something rather than wait for things to happen - this I find to be true.

Thankfully I've long moved past the idea of life being likened to a popularity contest and am comfortable with the fact that not everyone is like you and certainly not everyone is going to like you. Feathers are bound to get ruffled but that's just the natural way things work when people are grouped together.

As with any piece of work, there'll never be a point where you feel that it is fully ready. There will always be one more thing that could be done. The trick is to know when to put your foot down and tell yourself that no matter the existing circumstances, you are ready.
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that – that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.”  - Amy Poehler

October 11, 2014

Smells Like Team Spirit

A little group effort goes a long way.

It takes a while getting used to working in teams again. Especially where creative work is concerned. I'm relearning that it takes a lot of confidence to defend your artistic vision, but that should not come at the expense of oversight. At the end of the day everyone is working towards a common goal and that should be all that matters. All the minute matters pale in comparison to the big picture. Step back a little and it all makes sense.

September 29, 2014

Monkey Business In The Cinema Is No Joke

Turn down for what.

I've had a number of occasions where people commit big no-nos in the cinema while I'm watching a movie. Bringing a baby into an R-rated film, talking loudly on the phone, kicking the chair of the person in front of you. You name it I've experienced it.

In most screenings I've been to only one or two such offences would come to light. I never expected my viewing of The Equalizer to have every known possible offence be committed.

It was a nightmare.

The guy to the right at the end of my row picked up a phone call in the middle of a scene and only hung up after I shushed him twice. I was infuriated and frustrated that I lost track of Denzel's incredible action sequence.

Then the guy behind with restless foot syndrome repeatedly pushed my seat at regular intervals.

At one point someone from behind spoke aloud that "This guy is going to die next". The ones who give live commentary have a special place reserved for them in cinema hell.

Then another person behind sucked on his squeeze bottle producing the most grating noise known to man.

And the man right next to me on my left jabbed me with his elbows as he tried to take out his phone to check his notifications with his lit screen exploding against his face.

It was a terrifying experience.

And this begs the question the type of cinema goer that patrons the theatre on a Monday afternoon. I'll probably never know.