Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waking Up

I feel that this post is necessary as a life update and informative message. About 2 months ago I decided what I want to do with my life. Well, at least what I think I want to do. I've experienced enough of life's fastballs over the past 5 years that I now know to hope for the best but at the same time to expect the bizarre. I want to make movies. Most of you who know me who are reading this are probably saying, "Wait, what?" It's okay, I'm used to it at this point. I think the only people who have given me positive feedback on this one so far are my family and my artsy friends. I'm not disturbed by this, however, because I feel so strongly about this declaration. I should clarify a little bit. I don't know quite yet in what capacity I would like to make movies. There are many faces of film-making and each has its own gems and treasures. First there is screenwriting. I believe that I could find my place in this domain because I love writing. I feel that there is no forum and no language that I can express myself in as well as on a piece of paper (or in this case, a digital piece of paper). When I was young I went to a speech therapist and was diagnosed with Dysarthria -- basically, I slurred my words a lot of the time when I would speak. People have commented throughout my life that sometimes I jumble my words or that I do not speak clearly. I don't think that's per say from any neural defects or speech impediments as may be implied through Dysarthria; rather, I put a lot of thought into my words. I always have and hopefully I always will. Sometimes when I start an idea, I may find it necessary to attach a supporting clause or a contributing side-thought. This makes my speech pattern unstable to a degree, whereas on paper my notions and diction flow more smoothly. Because of my somewhat OCD-like speech patterns I am most passionate about screenwriting. Writing is extraordinarily important to me and if others get a kick out of it as well -- fantastic. Part of being a good writer is also having something interesting to write about. As a 14-year-old my background probably wasn't too interesting. I was born and raised in a comfortable, loving home and went to great schools all my life. I played soccer, tennis, track, was good at Math and English, took AP courses, had girlfriends here and there, and took the SAT Prep Course which bumped my score up 250 points. While foreigners may love this story since it's something they see in the media about America constantly in their countries, to us (Americans) it's fairly ordinary. Promising, but ordinary. At 18 I split from the herd and became different. I guess shooting guns and crawling on thorns in the desert was the polar opposite of keg-stands at Jewish Frat parties. My life in the middle east has given me a different pair of glasses through which I see the world and I believe I have more to share as a result. Directing is another aspect of film-making that interests me. The director ultimately has the last say on a lot of things during film production -- actors, set, music, etc. While the story is oftentimes already there, it is the director that envisions the magic on screen and tries to, as accurately as possible, transfer it from paper to reality. I think directing pulls me for 2 reasons. One, I'm good with getting the best out of people. I discovered this while I was a commander in basic training. Yelling is rarely a good option. If somebody is way out of line then, by all means, ream him a new one. Outside of instances like this, however, it is better to let your subtleties speak. If you are encouraging toward your charges oftentimes they will respect you more than if you are abusive. This means that if they upset you and you inform them of their let-down, they will be motivated to do better not by screaming and fear but rather by their need to be viewed as "outstanding" in the eyes of the commander. The second reason directing interests me is because of the mastery required in all of the film-making disciplines and not just in directing. The director is "the" head honcho on-set and is the final say on almost everything. It's like being the conductor of a huge, technology and theater-oriented symphony. I'm not exactly sure about what I can do with my interest in music but I'm sure it can fit somewhere in the mix. I have always been a big music enthusiast since a very young age. I started taking piano lessons as soon as I was out of diapers (which in my case wasn't until I was 4...I was the third child, I could take my time). The blending of music and film has always caught my eye (and ear). The best shows on television and films in history typically have a fantastic score and soundtrack. I think a modern-day movie without music of any sort would be too boring. People don't want to go to the movies to watch their lives on screens. They want to be inspired...even if real life doesn't have a soundtrack. As I said earlier, I've changed a lot over the past 5 years. My adopted brother Dudi told me something smart before I had my Gibush (tryout) for special forces nearly 4 years ago. He drew a simple diagram of a man running toward a finish line. He said that if the man only looks at the finish line while running then he will surely trip on an obstacle. However, if he only looks at the obstacles, he won't know in which direction he's heading. It's simple enough but it's implications are concise and deep. Don't be too much of an idealist but don't be too much of a pragmatist either. Try to get by somewhere in the middle. I know that shit will hit the fan many times before I grow up (if that ever happens). I'm prepared for that. I want that to happen. So far, the worst things that have happened to me in my life have turned out to be fantastic catalysts for change. One thing that I do know is that this is the first time that I actually feel truly passionate about anything. I found that during my 30 months in the army it was best to think as little as possible and to smoke as many cigarettes as possible. It feels good to finally be interested in something again other than how to not get caught lighting
a Camel on guard duty.

No comments: