Very few people who knew me growing up knew of my passion for film. I had passion for storytelling, and I had such vivid stories whirling inside my head that writing it down just wasn’t enough, I had to show it (not to mention I didn’t have the patience to write down everything in my head). That is also how I discovered that I was a visual learner, which helped me when I began my sports career, specifically track and field.
In my previous post, I mentioned that when I was playing with a friend he expressed how weird he thought it when I hummed my own soundtrack and used my eye as a camera. That moment traumatized to the point where I decided I wanted to fit in more than stand out. What better way to fit in than to play sports, right? So, I began my facade as an athlete. I dedicated my time to it, and became quite skilled. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, the medals, other awards and records will do that for me. The point is that through my dedication to track, more specifically the long and triple jump, I learned how to be patient, focus and adapt. Through my loses I learned humility and motivation; through my wins I learned the reward of hard work and how important failure is for growth. Another thing I learned was how to direct.
My coaches, whom I hope don’t mind me dropping their names, Tim Severa, Bryan Stith, Wendell Lawrence, and Rohan Walker all taught me how to plan, direct, execute, communicate, and work together. Let’s pretend I am a movie, instead of an athlete. For my specific events (let’s say long/triple jump are equivalent to an action film with heart), Tim didn’t really spend a lot of time with me. His role was that of a producer (I hope everyone can get the references I’m making with this). He made sure I had the right director. In this case, I had two directors: Bryan and Wendell. Bryan was great at pre-production work, he made sure I did my lifting and planned my off-season training. When it came time for principle photography Bryan, Wendell and Rohan teamed up. Bryan and Wendell were co-directors and Rohan was the 2nd Unit director.
Therefore, Bryan and Wendell spent the most time working with me, taking me through rehearsal after rehearsal (practice); Rohan would work on the side shots, which are just as important, such as speed/strength training. All this would culminate to finally shooting the scene (competition). After each scene was shot, the dailies would be rushed to the editing room. Here is where the directors would also act as the editors, and they would plan both the reshoots and the next scene. The season would end with the big championship, or, in movie terms, the big premiere. This is where the film is finished shooting, edited together, and the final cut is about to show itself (himself) to the world.
The only words I can really use to express my love and gratitude for these men and all they had taught me are, “Thanks for showing me the way.”
I’m hoping you can see how this is connected to my now not-so-secret passion. It took me 28 years to finally say, “to hell with all of you! If you don’t like who I am and what I love, then stay the fuck out of my life. However, if you’re willing to stick with me, you’re in for a treat!” So, I’ve finally done it. I picked up a camera, and with nothing but a camera and some editing software I set out to become a filmmaker.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have already created my first film. I didn’t know how the camera worked, or how best to light my scenes. I had nothing but a camera and tripod, but I did it. I’ll tell you all about the behind-the-scenes of that one later. There’s another big project I have in the works as well. My first full-feature length. Again, that is for another time.