I went on a strange adventure on Monday. Our old Documentary tutor emails us once in awhile to ask if we want to join him on his little projects. I usually try to go to all of them because it’s really great for experience. I rarely get to touch the camera nowadays so these little projects are a breath of fresh air.
Twenty years ago, my tutor and his friends dug up the Stalin statue and made a film about it. Recently, the statue has been dug up again but the head is missing and TV channels from various countries are scrambling to interview him. On Monday we filmed him being interviewed by the Russian team. We went to the spot where he dug up the statue all those years ago and ended up getting lost for awhile. It was fun. I got a few mysterious itchy patches because nature hates me as usual.
Also, before that, he asked if we wanted to film his friends performing for Radio Eins, a very big radio station in Berlin. Of course I accepted. We also got to meet Knut Elstermann, one of the top film journalists in Germany. He was really nice and he really enjoys Canadian films so we were able to have a decent conversation. I was not awkward this time! Well… not as awkward as usual.
We also had a two day intensive Production workshop with Sol Bondy recently. I already knew that making money in this business would be near impossible but seeing all the numbers was really soul crushing. He also told us about a Polish film festival which is THE festival for cinematographers so we went to beg our school Directors to find a way to let us go. It’s probably too late to apply to go but I am really reallllly hoping.
I recently wrote something just because I felt like it and it was so refreshing. However, I just realized that it did not save… FML.
Anyways, so many things to do!
I’ve had this headache for about a week now. I’ve had periods of dizziness as well. I really need to make time to take care of myself more.
We’re in our final days of writing the scripts. Our showrunner seems to be a nymphomaniac since he keeps trying to push for more sexual things. Our first episode seems really crass and we were told that by actresses who read it. Our fourth writer, due to various reasons, was kicked off the writing team and so I was given the task of writing a new script. I was not very happy about it. Not to mention, he is being extremely childish so I had to be dragged into school today (when I should be writing his script) to be in the indiegogo campaign. It was just not a good day today. The school Directors will be having a long talk with us tomorrow to implement some much needed changes. It’s fucking ridiculous that there’s a solid team dumped with everything whereas everyone else doesn’t show up or pull their weight. It’s frustrating as hell. I can’t wait for Wednesday to lock all the scripts. I want to be done with this part and have a little break before diving into Directing. I can’t even bring myself to watch a movie or read a book because I can’t relax enough to enjoy them.
There’s a few projects that I really want to get started on. Hopefully I will have some time to figure them out after Wednesday. I would like to start blogging about films I’ve seen again and adding in some of the sections that I’ve always wanted to add.
I would also like to continue drawing since I made such huge progress during those two drawing lessons. I might start the advanced level soon but it will have to depend on how our schedule for school looks like in the upcoming weeks. I would also like to take some of her painting classes because I really want to learn to paint. I would like to start writing again just for the hell of it. Not because I have to. I want to be able to collect my thoughts into words. I want to start a youtube channel of covers with my roommate playing piano. I want to turn my ideas into films. I want so many things.
I want to see more things. I want a job.
We lost our dreams. By dreams, I mean the Dream part of our Dream Therapy TV series. Instead, it will be 5 episodes of straight talking. I should have expected this when they implemented him as our show-runner. There’s way too much contradiction happening during the brainstorming sessions with him. I’m just going to write exactly what he wants and wash my hands off of this. I hope he won’t be in charge of the Directing aspect as well… If they didn’t want us to have free reign over our TV series, they should have told us from the beginning and saved us all this heartache and stress. It would also be cool if he didn’t speak to us as if we are brain damaged though or assume that we don’t watch films or read books during our own time.
I’m also a bit frustrated with the way this blog is going. I started it with so many ideas and with better intentions. Instead, it has become a rant blog. Don’t get me wrong, I am really enjoying my life right now. However, my daily life has settled into a sort of crazy routine which is very dull to write about. I need to start making time for things that will benefit me since I’ve been neglecting a lot of things. Hopefully once I get those figured out, the blog will follow in the same direction.
I am so tired. We’re currently in the pre-production period of our TV series with the working title: Dream Therapy. The writers (I am one of them) are currently having the time of their lives trying to write the episodes and figure out the details. The main problem is that we have 5 episodes of 5 minutes each which is extremely limiting for the idea that we all agreed on. Not to mention, we have another writer thrown at us who was not there for any of the brainstorming, pitching and choosing of the topic. He doesn’t like the idea at all and doesn’t want to be there either so it’s becoming a struggle. Not to mention, our show-runner is quite condescending and basically think we’re stupid and assumes way too many things without listening to our ideas properly.
We, the three main writers have been going out to brainstorm ideas and talk out episodes the past few days after class but our fourth writer has not joined us so we have no idea how this will work out…
Our story was actually chosen by the tutors because of the unique concept of there being a dream therapist and her encounters with her strange patients through their dreams. However, our show-runner and our fourth writer want to remove the whole dream aspect which would make it like any other therapy show, such as Web Therapy. We shall see what happens since we need to have a rough outline of all the episodes by Monday. Hopefully we will still be able to make a great final product!
It’s really rough trying to brainstorm in a classroom that has no A/C or ventilation. We have to keep the windows closed because it’s too loud and we can’t hear anything. I always have to sit on the floor in the middle of the hallways during our breaks because I can’t take it.
I’ve been partying a lot recently which I don’t know if it’s good or bad (By a lot.. I mean 1-2 times a week compared to my 1-2 times a month before). My alcohol tolerance has reached new levels and it worries me. Apparently my body is also resistant to other things so I guess that is good? I’m struggling with trying to accept this side of me. I feel like people that I know back home will judge me for it. Some friends here judge me for specific decisions I have made and it makes me want to withdraw more. I don’t know how to handle my conflicting self confidence. Sometimes I’m okay with myself and then other times it drops to dangerously low levels.
I need a jobbbbbb… I neeeed money. There’s so many things I want to do and try but I need money for that. *Sigh* I think it’s also not good that I have so many interests because I never have time to do anything. I miss having the time to sit down and enjoy a good book. However, things will calm down a bit for me in a couple of weeks since the writing will be done and the rest of the team will be scrambling. Or maybe not since I will be directing an episode and there will be a lot of planning for that as well.
I’ve been neglecting my health and it’s starting to haunt me. I keep having random allergic reactions but I don’t know to what. It’s getting more and more serious each time. My roommate’s mother prescribed some natural medications for me which I should look into soon. I’m really bad at juggling health, school and my social life. I think in the end I will have to choose one and it would definitely be film. It is really really hard to be healthy when your schedule gets so unpredictable. We’re starting to discover that it’s a 24/7 kind of job. I hope I can keep my social life for now though because I might go insane…
Also, some friends have mine are thinking of starting a climbing group so I’m excited to try that out (especially since I’m afraid of heights).
I can’t believe I’m almost done my first year of film school. Time passed so fast.
I’m currently on a one week break since we finished our documentary module. My documentary went better than I expected (I was starting to despair a bit). It was received well at the screening and that made me feel relieved because it was under the time limit. I still need to fix up the sound a bit more and then I can finally hand it in.
I edited my short film again because I was still unhappy with it and the music thing didn’t seem to work out. In the end, I put in music that I found from a free music website. I still have to keep working on the sound design since some of the dialogue levels are strange. I’m also a bit unhappy with the edit of one scene so I will keep working on that. I’m hoping to add in an extra scene for the title once I get around to filming it.
In the meantime, I spent the first half of my break filming in the worst location on the hottest weekend of the year for a non-competitive film festival. We got all the shots we needed but I never want to film there again. First of all, it was one of the busiest places in Berlin and second of all, it was party central. People there are complete assholes and I was really worried about our equipment (or rather, equipment from my school). Not to mention, we were shooting illegally and got kicked out several times haha.
We also all had cameos in the short. I saw the current edit and it turned out better than I expected (I didn’t have good expectations to be honest). Even the sound was okay and no one listened to me (guess who was sound again..)
So that has been my life lately. Working hard, playing hard (been playing too hard recently though.. new classmates like to party too much haha) and napping hard. I might post up some of my shorts eventually… when I work up the courage. I don’t know about showing my things to the public yet haha..
I need to spend more time writing.
I’m back from Upper Austria! Well, I’ve been back since Friday but who’s keeping track anyways? I had a really great time as usual even though the weather was very confusing. First off, I would like to comment on the kindness and warm hospitality of farmers in Upper Austria. Or rather, the ones I met. Reinhard’s documentary was about a local hunter who was a really nice man. It was fun following him around and seeing his normal daily routine. We had to wake up at 3:45am the first day to film him because he started his day at 4:30am. I didn’t get to see him kill and gut a deer because there wasn’t enough room for me which was totally fine by me. However, because I wasn’t there, there wasn’t sound so we had to film him shooting his rifle again. I had to stand right next to him so my ears rang for a very long time.
When it was finally my turn to shoot mine, I was already super pumped. I was extremely lucky with mine. The beekeeper’s wife’s brother works for a government funded breeding centre for queen bees. It is located in a super secret location and only opens twice a year for people to come to fertilize their queen bees or to buy queen bees and you need connections to get in. We managed to get in and were able to get some statements from him and shots of the process. On top of that, my beekeeper was in the process of dividing his hives to create three new hives as well as collecting the honey (which he does every 6 months) so I was able to film all of that as well. Him and his family were so warm and wonderful, I was very touched. They even gave me a jar of the honey they prepared that day!
I’ve never been so up-close and personal with such a large amount of bees before. It was a really interesting experience and if I had the land and money, I would love to bee-keep as a hobby. I learned a lot about bees and beekeeping so that was really nice. The beekeeper said that he has a desire for me to bee-keep and that he wants to be my mentor. I would love that! For now, I hope that I am able to create a good film out of the material that I shot. I would love to be able to enter it into competitions to spread awareness. I urge everyone to look into the dying bee problem as it will affect us heavily in the future. Without bees, we would not survive for more than four years.
Let that sink in.
I’m currently in the process of finding a good bee charity to donate to. Let’s save the bees!
I’ve neglected this blog again. I shall do a quick update of what I’ve been up to before heading towards my main points!
- Finished filming with the second years on their feature film. It was a very interesting experience. The wrap party was also fun.
- I’m trying to become a little bit more social. Baby steps.
- Partook in the Holi festival which was really fun. I walked into a parked car later that night and managed to get a big shiny bruise on my knee.
- We switched groups in school again. These groups are now permanent and I am now in the two year group :)
- We have two new students in our course.
- People don’t believe in A/C here.
- Allergies are fucking hell.
- Enjoyed the annual Festival of Culture.
- Had a wonderful vacation to Budapest and Vienna with my roommate. We hit a ton of hotspots in 4 days.
- The Arctic Monkeys concert had too many openings bands and lasted way too long because of it (4:30pm-10:45pm).
We are currently doing a documentary module. We didn’t have a lot of time to plan so I was very unenthusiastic about it. I had NO ideas whatsoever until in a moment of frustration over my allergies, I realized I should talk about bees. Yes, bees. I’m actually really excited for it right now! I was asked by Reinhard if I would be willing to fly to Austria this weekend to help with sound on his documentary because no one in his class had time. Luckily I have time so I agreed. He then told me that he knows many beekeepers in his area so I should extend my trip and do my documentary there. I will be there for a whole week this time! I’m really excited to work on both documentaries!
I will also be participating in an event called the Landscape Festival. It will take place over two weeks (one of the weeks is our next holiday) and we will be paired with random people to write, direct, film and edit a film in two weeks. I’m nervous and excited but I think it’s good to start stepping out of my comfort zone. There’s also 3 film contests that I will be working on with some friends.
I’ve been feeling extremely restless lately. I want to do so many things but I have no time or money. I really should work on losing some weight. I’ve lost some because I don’t have much of an appetite nowadays due to the heat but I think that is not a good way to go about it. Either way, I need to start stepping up and getting things done because people are starting to acknowledge my hard work and I need to take that as a cue to work even harder.