A few years ago, when I was in the screenwriting MFA program at Hollins, I wrote a lot. I was really bad at the beginning, but just like most things, practice helped. By the time I graduated, my thesis screenplay actually did well in screenwriting competitions and film festivals. Instead of moving to Hollywood to try to make it as a screenwriter, I decided to become an academic librarian. The job is very satisfying but gradually the creative writing slowed down. I am writing mostly academic articles now.
I miss doing creative work, and that’s why there is an entire category on my 45 things list devoted to it:
Goal #32 Publish a short story
Goal #33 Write a screenplay
Goal #34 Create a photo-essay
Goal #35 Write a book
I have some ideas for the short story and the book. I am still thinking about the screenplay idea. The key is to make it a habit to write regularly.
For Goal #34: Create a photo-essay, I thought about doing a series of food related photographs. But then I saw this video on Ted Talk by Cesar Kuriyama and it inspired me to do something very different for this goal.
I love this idea! I know I don’t remember every day. Recording 1 second of video each day would basically be my video diary. A positive side effect of this exercise is it would force me to do at least one interesting thing each day. I’d hate to record clips after clips of me sitting on the couch watching tv alone!
The technicality here is whether video could be considered a form of photo-essay. I say it is, as it is just a series of many many photos, a motion picture if you will. 🙂 Besides, it’s my own list, I can do whatever, really. So I have decided to record one second every day until, well, I have had enough of it. From what I have seen on youtube or vimeo, the interesting ones, the ones that tells us something about the author, are at least one year long (365 seconds, or a little over 6 mins). So for this goal, I am shooting for at least one year of footage.
Another thing I notice is, some video are trying very hard to be”artsy”, with a soundtrack, and perfectly composed shots. I actually don’t like them as much as the shaky iphone cam videos with original sounds that document the everyday life ones. It is the rawness that captures me. Each of those shots tell me much more than the overly polished music video-esque ones. So, my plan is to shoot in a very candid, raw mannere with just my iphone, from a 1st person perspective.
Here are some of the interesting “a moment a day” videos that are inspiring me for my goal #34: