Thursday, September 25, 2008

My 6th Autumn Quarter at UW

Jesus Christ. I really can't believe that. Hahaha. Man I'm either REALLY dedicated or REALLY lame. More likely somewhere in-between. At any rate, an old year is over, a new one beginning. Now that the wheels are kind of spinning on my study of storytelling after last year's devotion to it, I'm embarking on a few things that are to varying degrees, beyond my comfort sphere.

Acting: I realized that the single most extensive component involved in filmaking that I hadn't yet studied was acting. I realized this as I tried to seriously pursue getting into the drama dept's directing program. Once it became a do-or-do-not situation, I was like, "Oh fuck, I don't know how to talk to an actor from a place of any experience or confidence at all." Some people don't need to embody every skill that falls within their sphere of influence, but I've always lived by the "lead from the front" creed. And this tends to prevent me from having confidence in situations in which I lack experience. Thankfully, I got into my back-up: acting. So far, I think it's going to be fun, exciting, challenging, and ultimately enlightening. The true super-curriculum challenge for me will be to use my experiences in the class to erect some sort of formalism for approaching the coaching and interpretation of a screenplay (or a play for that matter) with an actor. The paradox is that if I keep this thought too much to the fore of my mind, I'll fail to achieve any sort of real acting experience because I'll be constantly trying to refocus it into my super-objective (Bam! an acting term!), instead of being present and embodying the experience as it is.

The same is true of my other, much more intimidating pursuit: digital sound synthesis and design. I added the "design" component, because that makes me feel more interest in the course, than merely synthesis. On second thought, perhaps I ought to remove that and, in the spirit of the preceding graph, focus on appreciate and embodying the experience as is, instead of attempting to graft my presuppositions onto it. At any rate, my ultimate hope would be to complete my DIY filmmaking skill array, with this last, crucial and potentially crippling facet of audio-visual storytelling. I'll let that phrase perc for a beat. Oh yeah! AUDIO-visual storytelling. Whoops. I missed that memo initially I think. And many of my early experimental films suffered for it. In fact, I'm at the moment mired in an interminable post-production process on my short film from last spring. Visually its beautiful and makes kinetic and spatial sense, but has the pretenses of a narrative without the actual presentation of one. My last hopes for its clarity and salvation lie in some sort of audio narrative being formed to guide and reinforce the visuals that are already there. My super-objective with this year-long class is to acquire the skill-sets necessary to compose and communicate with a composer, ultimately for my films. But as in the prev graph, if I don't focus on being and embodying, I'll lack a true inner space of knowledge and experience to inform my intent. Not to mention that these sound classes are known for being fucking hard. Hard. And the last time I took a challenging class not directly related to filmmaking (or writing)...well, I didn't do so well. So to say I'm a bit nervous, would be an understatement. But I'm hoping to exorcise those demons here and not look back.

I am confident that given the proper attention to detail, the proper expenditure of effort, and the proper level of receptivity to a new experience, I can succeed and perhaps surprise more than just myself. I'd like to. I really would. I'd really like to not say goodbye to a 3.43 gpa that took 3 years and a helluva lot of 4-ohs to raise from a 2.75.

We all have lines that won't be crossed. Mine is to not give an inch in terms of the quality of my education in so far as I can control both my level of effort and the quality of my product.

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