Tag Archives: development

The Lemon Association

Ass Sew See Asian

Imagine you are holding a lemon in your hand, you can see its bright yellow colour and feel its shiny, holey skin. Then you cut it in half and it bursts with juice. Finally, you pick one half and squeeze it. The fluid comes out of its flesh and the citric scent is extracted from its rind. While I am writing about this lemon, my mouth starts to water.

That was the exercise I had in a psychology session last week about how our experiences associated with our behaviours.

We always have a voice to stop or encourage us to take actions of something. Either an angel or a devil, it is the product of our minds. And it is so powerful that could become an enticement or an obstruction to our goals.

To me, making film is about making understanding to predominately improve myself and hopefully to make an impact to others. And it is more about the process that the result. And I am in the process of getting over those fears in my mind, which have been blocking my path to the destination.

This is where the EXiST campaign comes in place. I want to overcome the fears I have in terms of getting out there and realising the project. The most vicious product of my mind that stands between the human connection and I is the association of the threats I experienced in my childhood with how I perceive the world.

My own big brother who, today, would, be diagnosed as Narcissistic Personality Disorder abused me psychologically, sometimes, physically. And one of his best friends secretly had a sexual relationship with me. Living as victim of your own family had shaped perspective even though I managed to stand up for myself and moved on after the years of adolescence. I fought back against my brother and ended that casual affair I felt I was being taken advantage of.

My life turned upside down from a shy and reserved boy that was a target of bullying to energetic head of the cheerleaders in high school sport day that lived a double life with cool kids outside school and sneaked out at night for clubbing. Then I surprised everyone with the result that I got into one of the best universities in communication study in Thailand. I was very proud of the transition and the direction I paved it myself. However, I did not realise there was a sleeper deep down there.

That experience of being targeted by people around you was suppressed until I moved to Sydney. The first years of living in an estranging culture was a rough period. I was not able to create works because I could not use my writing skills and my visual expression was not rediscovered until later and it needed, still does, to be developed. The sense of worthlessness gradually grew on me as I tried to make a living in the overly expensive metro with the job I hated in hospitality.

At that point, the sleeper had been woken up and dominated my view that the world was not to be trusted. They would humiliate me like my brother had assaulted me, exploit me like his friend had molested me, and most of all, desert me like my parents had overlooked me. In the recent years, I blamed that on the people I loved and on myself like I had taken that on those people in my earlier life. It went down in the whirlpool of depression, anxiety, denial, irritation and recreational activities.

And that is the homework from the session—to identify those fears that stop me from making an attempt to promote the project and make it exist. It is a good exercise. It is not very easy to bare your soul to world but every time when the project gets a supporter, it is not just one little step closer to make the film EXiST for a good cause but it also makes me believe that those humiliation, exploitation and desertion are just the association of my mind produced from scraps of the past.

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Out of the Hole

I am still trying to squeeze what is inside me for the first draft of the final project script. The strategies have been applied but it is still being developed.

Looking at personal experience, it was very hard for me to revisit the lowest emotion. What I found that I felt so alone and fought it by myself. It overwhelmed me so that I could hardly write anything. It was to the point that I thought I chose the subject that was too close to myself.

Another approach was research. YouTube provided an invaluable source of mental illness, especially from the patients point of views. Watching people with these problems for hours was quite a daunting experience. I found beyondblue, DepressionCarer were very useful for my research.

What I am doing at the moment are:

  • The thoughts are organised by mindmapping technique.
  • The beginning and end, which are what I have in mind in the very first time, are put in Celtx.
  • The middle is the tough part for me but at least the structure has been laid down.
  • I take note of a random thought and a real life quote.
  • Some characters may to be added to build up a climax.

So far, this is a long process. And it is frightening too.

7 April 2009

Note: This is it! It is the last blog post on COFA blog I have on my own record. It is assumed that the next post there was the first draft of the script which I will not post it here, not in the near future anyway. However, I will post the process I can recall until it gets to the following semester when we, the Master of Digital Media, blogged about their project again.

Got Stuck

I have been thinking about my story for weeks but am stuck in the middle part of the story. Strategically, I need to answer these questions:

  • What is the story you are telling? It’s about depression. My partner was depressed and got out of it. But now I am suffering from it and slowly climbing out. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
  • What is the character that brings the story through? There are two main characters in this story: a depressed mother and her autistic son. I thought the mother would be the central character that was seen in the son’s eyes. On the other hand, it should be about the son who wants to help her. That is his hope that she will get out of the blues. He wants her to get to that light.
  • And who is the story for? I said it was for general audience. But on the second thought, it should be more specific. Depression is not an uncommon illness and yet to talk about. This story should speak to the people close to those who have the sunken feelings. They are the best cure even though it does not seem that way. You are the light even you don’t see it yourself.

The main conflict in this set up is the son senses his mothers misery but he feels useless to help her. He is afraid of losing her but she is slowly drifting away.

Although the son is set to be autistic, the plan is that he is off camera all the time until the last shot to reveal that he is the narrator of the film. His monologue portrays his feeling towards the situation not how could communicate to the mother. This is hopefully expected to get a punch.

It is clearer what is to be achieved after I write this blog. There are some strategies to get those juices out:

  • Personal experience I have to sit down somewhere and bring back those down emotions and examine how I coped with them.
  • Research I have read about autism and would like to get more depth in depression.
  • Metaphor Light has been mentioned a few times. It is what I can think of at the moment. There might be something less clich coming up.

Another issue I had was a technical one. I am a big fan of Celtx and have been using it for scriptwriting for sometime. Once I upgraded it to version 2.0, it froze. Celtx support forum suggested to clear cache. It took me many attempts to fix the problem. I downloaded from another source, deleted the old preference and re-installed the program. Now it seems to be working but still takes a while to load, though.

27 March 2009

The Magician

There are some questions to think about the script that we want to create for the final project:

  • What is the story you are telling? What is it inside you? It has to be an issue that you are passionate about.
  • What is the character that brings the story through? What is hope or fear that drives the story? Hope is the ultimate goal whereas fear is where you do not desire to face.
  • And who is the story for? Who are really the people we want to talk to? This will determine how we build the lead character that can relate to the audience.

The protagonist should be humanised and has the spark of life even though he/she is not a good guy. There has to be something that intrigues others. On the other hand, the antagonist bring changes to the story. Conflict is the central of the story. The antagonist is the person who gets in the way of hope or put fear in front of the protagonist. In the end, it comes the moment of catharsis. He/she is not the same person any more.

As a artist, we are the magician whose job is to guide the audience to inhabit the world we have created for them.

23 March 2009