Wednesday, March 19, 2008

151. Blue Horizons Continued: "World's Easiest Catch: Zen of Rock Crab:" Turned in Final Project (mini DV and DVD) to Michael Hanrahan

I remember Friday morning at the UC Irvine lab. Friday. August 24, 2007. Matt Olzewski bid me farewell the evening before as I headed toward the 24/7 engineering computer lab for the final stretch. I had everything... finally. The narration, the music, the images. Now it's time to put it together. And suddenly all these fragments laying around, bit-by-bit, started to form a coherent piece. Basically a film is a time-dependent matrix of multiple brain-stimulation variables (mostly visual and acoustic), like a butterfly effect: the end result is a product of the initial premises. Very fractal like.
Before I move on, Dr. George Legrady (Media Arts Technology Department) asked me an interesting question. He asked about the classic chicken-or-the-egg syndrome in film: what came first? It is truly a tough question. This seven minute film ultimately represents 7 years of layers and layers of thinking and philosophy and writing and art... etc, but in a proximal level... first came filming (25 hours of tape), then when it came down to a week left, I decided on the narration, then I filmed ANY VISUAL GAPS that I did not film that was needed for the narration, then I did the MUSIC (composing, mastering, etcetera), then I had all the pieces, and I laid down the skeleton: the narration + the music. And then from my visual-right-brain memory, I went straight to the images my mind consistently flashed to, and then? The film became ONE PIECE. Whoa.
It was all a very interesting and "organic" process. It's a feedback of multiple layers of knowledge. One thing though that stands very true is that ONCE YOU HAVE THE NARRATION (and music, when appropriate), YOU HAVE THE FILM, it's just a matter of resurrecting all the other layers. I guess that's why films start with screenwriting. DUH. But for my mind to go through this process and realize it on its own, that is the most important thing. The first time doing anything is most difficult and I managed to pull it off.
Two things I remember that were accidentally good: (1) The music matched so well with the narration, it was UNCANNY amazingly n-sync. I hardly had to edit. I think something in my mind was subliminally just streamlined at that time. (2) The end of the film was unintentional, I plopped in by accident the whole piece of my munching on the rock crab cakes, AND THE MUSIC ENDED A DOZEN SECONDS BEFORE MY SARCASTIC COMMENT, "You know what. This is really good." And the timing was just so great, the speed, the climax, the build-up, the tension, and then? The comic release. Totally an accident. Oh my god. I was operating like I was being struck by lightning with the luck of my own creativity during those hours of Thursday and Friday night. Geez. I will never cram like that ever again (ya right).
Then from 9am to 12-noon I suffered because I was trying to burn a mini DV tape and DVD at UCI. I tried probably like 5-6 times, each with a failed attempt. Burning these tapes and DVDs are actually quite time consuming. I gave up in the end, and at this point in time it was legal to cuss "fxck it," and I had to leave. I drove up to UCSB. I was so tired driving. I also remember having a very heavy weight until a surprise call from Keith Boynton. He was really concerned and wanted to make sure I was all right--not to mention I owed him my famous camera D "Charlie." Keith said in a sensitive, soothing voice, "We were all wondering were you were! We are all concerned." I told Keith with renewed excitement, "I'm coming up! I have the camera! I'm off Lost Hills Road." (Ironically, Lost Hills Road off the 101 is were my cousin Mike and I had a birthday party photoshoot a few months back). I got off the freeway so I could talk to Keith. I continued, "I'm sorry I was gone. I had very high anxiety and I panicked and I couldn't function being around lots of people so I went to UC Irvine to work." Keith said, to my surprise, "I understand. My wife is like that sometimes. Sometimes you need your space." After the phone call, my pre-existing oppressive pressure in my heart lifted to some degree. It was nice that someone in the world (other than my parents and my sister and other immediate family) cared about me after all.
If people were really concerned about my well-being the last week, they would have called me. They would have even emailed me. The only people who contacted me were Dulce, Maria, and Keith. Did they really know I was at UC Irvine or not? Did they really think I was gone or not? It doesn't matter. The whole thing is stupid to think or fuss about in the end. This whole issue is now resolved. It is a result of miscommunication and misunderstanding, and lack of following through with certain protocols through the Disabilities Program on my behalf. In the end, everything is resolved... emotionally, logically. Administratively, the grade changes haven't been addressed yet through the Summer Sessions office. Then again, what is Administrative versus what is Logical are two entirely separate matters. I can attest to that since the day I set foot on the university.
All a person had to do was give me a gxdxm camera and a computer with final cut pro... and some peers to gripe to. And I hit the ground running.

No comments: