Looking over my last few entries, I've gotten pretty deep and personal, so much so that it looks as though I live the depressed life of a repressed artist.
While that may or may not be true, there's actually a lot of great things going on in my life as well.
In regards to side jobs, I've had the privilege of working with the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation in capturing a presentation delivered by Dr. James L. Applegate with the Lumina Foundation. It's been a great experience and a very thought provoking project for me personally. Dr. Applegate's topic was the need for a great increase of college graduates annually between now and 2025 if the U.S. economy can hope to survive. One of his main points was that by not going to college in this present and coming age, you are effectively becoming part of the working poor, leaving the middle class, now more than ever.
It got me thinking, being one who didn't 'go on' past high school and instead pursued employment the first opportunity I got. I'm not saying I'd necessarily change anything, but I do wonder what life would look like if I'd been patient and instead went after further education. Nonetheless, I'm glad that my parents didn't push me to go to college, but instead let me choose my life for myself. (Of course, they gave much guidance and opinion, but respected my adulthood.) I intend to treat my now two and a half year old the same way when she's of age... but I am certainly going to archive this presentation for her viewing.
Another cool (and nerve-wracking) thing about this project is knowing that my work will be going to Idaho legislators as they determine their agendas for 2011. Pretty cool!
And, I suspect that, no matter what level of success I might find in independent filmmaking, I will eventually go after some kind of official degree, most likely through an online program, because I don't see life slowing down any time soon.
Hey, there's a nice segue.
Filmmaking wise, I've been working steadily on my screenplay for one of my films. I read a great book called "Save the Cat!" by Blake Snyder (RIP, 2009) that really helped me organize my thoughts for the story. I'm currently just passing page 30 of a 110 script, and hope to have a working draft by the end of February.
During this process, I've been trying really hard to avoid any and all Facebook postings (breaking my 'fast' a few times to post about Batman movie news -- c'mon, it's Batman!). It's really helped with keeping my focus on my writing. (FYI, this blog posts *automatically* to Facebook, so I didn't break the fast to post this blog!)
It's also helped with staying in the Bible. I've been utilizing Brian Hardin's Daily Audio Bible podcast while reading along on Bible Gateway with the time I used to spend on Facebook. I'm not so sure I'll be returning to my previous levels of interaction with Facebook anytime soon. To be honest, I have grown so very tired of arguing with people about what the Bible says! Which seems to be a natural pull for me. Either you believe it or you don't, and I've chosen (and choose daily) to believe it, so I'm giving it my time instead of those debates. Jesus is the only way.
Rachel and I have been facilitating/leading a discipleship group in our home since last September, and we are officially full! Last Tuesday we started going through Francis Chan's book 'Crazy Love', and had fourteen adults and nine kids!! We were packed, but God showed up in the cramped space!
I have to say, modern Christian books and philosophies generally repel me, because so often I find they only lean towards one side of the coin or the other. Either it's harsh doctrine or flimsy feelings. (That's why I generally just stick to the tried and true Scriptures.) I was wary that 'Crazy Love' would fall into the 'Nooma' category... (I love some of those videos, but some have raised serious concerns for me, like the one where Rob Bell basically says street preaching isn't what Jesus would do... which to that I say, "You're not Jesus." Anyway.)
It's been a great book thus far in which Francis Chan has, in just the introduction and first chapter, really challenged Rachel and I in our prayer life, and my personal perception of God. Crazy love man... That title really does sum up the book. Looking forward to chapter two, which Rachel and I will read tomorrow before our group on Tuesday.
Also, God told me during worship at my church today that I need to pursue getting a guitar. Currently we have no worship leader for our group, and I felt Him tell me today He wants me to freshen up on the strings and be prepared to be a worship leader in the future plans God has for us in terms of ministry. What better place to freshen up than at our current group? It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Last and definitely least in terms of real importance, I've been eyeing the RED Scarlet camera. Now, if you've followed me for a while, I know what you're thinking: "What about that DSLR 7D you have?" I love the thing to death. It is the perfect tool for what I do right now, short films for DVD and online (YouTube, Vimeo). And it'll have a long life with me, because it's an incredible stills camera. Any future posters for my movies you see out there will have been photographed with this bad boy.
But for the big screen (we're talking, theater sized big screen), it's a touch soft, and I'm hoping to get 'Morning Rain' and '3J18 (working title)' out there (at least have the option to take them all the way), so I'm going to need, for the films themselves, something with more resolution in video.
Enter the Scarlet. She's the cheapest of the RED family ($6,000) and shoots video at 3,000 pixels wide, with frame rates up to 120 frames per second. We're talking killer slow motion there when you slow the footage down to 24 frames per second (which is what movies are projected at). That's footage slowed down five times... Gorgeous.
I downloaded a second of footage from the working prototype (the prototype displayed here) and played with it in RED's free processing software... Wow. The 3,000 pixel wide image was gorgeous, artifact free and too big for my 27" iMac's screen at work! Crazy to think that that's going to be available for under $10,000. And that's really good, because I'm gonna need way more money for the car chase sequence I just wrote.
I'm very excited about what the future holds, in my faith, my family, and my films. Hopefully one of these movies will launch this year... but it's up to Him.