4. PERSONAL GOAL
1) setting a personally meaningful goal outside of his/her comfort zone (or something that would be a stretch to accomplish)
Being able to engage with the school community as a photographer and a videographer, has brought me a sense of personal accomplishment and boosted my motivation levels as an artist. Photography and videography is my hobby as well as my passion, I have had the opportunity to help the school’s communications department, and also other communal aspects of the school such as photographing and filming sports games, concerts, and other community events. Furthermore, I took this as an opportunity to begin experimenting with my freshly sparked passion.
Six months ago there was a spark inside me wanting to try filmmaking for the first time. My curiosity and rising passion for this artform was waiting to be put into action. Out of all the art forms I’ve explored in my artistic past, filmmaking was a first. While I nervously waited for the IB program to slowly begin taking over my life, I contemplated in my bed, in the train, in the bus, and especially in the shower. With no prior experience I was fearful, although I knew that there was only one way to learn: by experiencing it first hand. I challenged myself to direct, write, shoot, and edit, and convinced my friend to act the lead role. I aimed to enter the local student film festival in May. My worries were suddenly blown away by the exhilaration of my ambitions, channeling any negative stress into productive stress.
The planning process consisted of putting together a script, where I wrote out every detail that needed to be acknowledged in the making of this film. The script is linked here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hAztMThhMqr2WKmojFTswd1e4ep7Odh5lpixWn1rPTc/edit
For example, the locations, camera equipment, and audio information were put together in the following table:
The next step was making a legend for me and my actor to be able to read the script:Finally, came the screenplay:
As demonstrated, each scene was chronologically ordered and numbered. This made it easier to read. The short film was 12 scenes long in total, and a screenshot of the final two scenes are as following:
3) taking action to work towards achieving the goal
4:30 AM, I awaken to the sound of my piercing alarm, dragging my consciousness out of bed. The freshly orange sunlight penetrates the curtains, left open on purpose to wake us up at this early hour. This was no ordinary school morning. This was our fourth attempt at filming a sunrise scene for a short film project. In spite of lasting only a few seconds, this scene was arguably the hardest of all, both mentally and physically, although its significance to the story made it worth the effort.
We filmed weekend after weekend at his house, where the story took place. During spring break we traveled for shots we couldn’t get where we lived. We took advantage of time and kept going back to reshoot, for that ‘perfect’ shot. We learned from our mistakes and reflected after every session, but before we knew it, two months had blown right past. Hours and hours of work only added up to a minute in the final cut, and my friend and I began to feel exhausted and frustrated. Behind all the stress however was the true taste of filmmaking, so we persisted, working past midnight every session.
By May, the deadline was around the corner along with exams and we were still unfinished. Upon finishing scenes at the last minute, I finally submitted my piece in time. I brought my exam notes and studied while I attended the film festival, which took place on the weekend before exams. I felt crazy for spending a ridiculous amount of time on just a five-minute piece of film, but I realized that the hard times are what makes it worth in the end. All the stress built up inside me transformed into joy, pride, and relief. My risky venture resulted in four awards for excellence in editing, writing, photography, and production design.
4) reflecting on the process.
I walked out of the film festival with much more than just these awards. I learned what I love doing, what I want to strive and dream for in the future. I learned what makes filmmaking such a powerful art form. In such a highly collaborative field, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With great chemistry comes great power over the end product. I was grateful to have my partner who helped me throughout and to be able to have fun, learn about each other, and be productive simultaneously. I learned that with great freedom of time comes great responsibility of time. Especially for young students during our crucial years of education, many of us cannot help the tendency to leave important work to the last minute. We must not take time for granted, even when it feels like we have all the time in the world. I must admit I speak from personal experience, although this film project embedded the importance of planning into my head. Ironically, this was the message of my film – the consequences of procrastination.
The opportunity to pursue my passion and help the community at the same time has been a significant part of my high school career as an art student – the practice of photography has not only led me to discover a passion for filmmaking, but it has also opened up a new dream for the future. Of course, it is impossible to say what I will and will not become in the future. Nevertheless, having a passion and an area of interest that you’re willing to put more than just 100% of your time and effort into, is a priceless opportunity. My artistic goals of high school has allowed me to unveil the feeling of inspiration and aspiration, both values of which will continue to shape my future.