Two weekends ago, on May 11 and 12 my short film, “Prayer and Justice” was shown at PowWow Theater here in Suzhou. (Keep reading this article, and you’ll find out when you can view it online). PowWow Theater was my first ever Film Festival. Even though I’ve never attended a film festival in my life, this one was quite special because it showcased a film that I had made myself in the previous months.
This year, I’ve decided to really grow as an individual. I want to blog more consistently, which I’ve been doing, and I have my sights now set on a long-term goal—a creative writing Master’s Program in Bogota, Colombia. After coming out of a serious relationship that ended in February, I am not taking more time for myself and focusing on my own priorities because I’ve realized that, in the end, whoever I eventually settle down with, we first need to be comfortable with ourselves if we ever wish to be comfortable with another person. Finding happiness, security and love; alone—is crucial to finding it together.
So, I’ve started this new thing now where I try to do something new every week. Two weekends ago, as I mentioned, I attended PowWow Theater, my first Film Festival. But, this idea of mine hasn’t been only for two weeks I’ve been trying to do this for the past few months now. So, what have I all accomplished in trying to do something new every week? Well, here’s a list:
- Salsa classes on Tuesdays and Thursday nights
- Adapt a short story into a screenplay
- Direct a movie
- Edit a movie
- Revamp a blog by one’s self
- Finish reading a new novel every month
- Watch a TV series in Spanish
- Read a short story in Spanish
- Pray consistently
- Write a Test-Prep Book
- Travel to a new city in China (Dongshan)
The production for this video has been paramount to my self-growth and has really taught me many things about myself. Many times, especially at the beginning, I wanted to throw in the towel because of how much work it was But, I stuck with it and it forced me to do some things on this list that I never would have done. For example, I acted like one of the people who scouted for film locations while the movie was being produced. It took me to Dongshan and allowed me to visit another city and see a wonderful building and scenery used in the last scenes of the movie. It allowed me to interact with new people and network. Also, in the creation of this video, I have learned more about video editing, sound editing, and music selection than I ever would care to know, but it was a good challenge for me. I stayed up many many hours editing the movie (sometimes a 50-second clip would take me 6 hours). And, having now put together and produced a movie, I am so much more grateful to those who spend their lives doing this in Hollywood so that we can be entertained for two to three hours.
This wasn’t my first time necessarily producing a video, I have created little music videos before, but this definitely was my first opportunity and creating a short feature film. Even better, through this activity, I am now able to use this short film as promotional material for a novella that I plan on releasing later this year. In fact, I had the idea for the film from the novella. The film, Prayer and Justice, is an adaptation of Part 1 of “The Founding of Gazo’s and Gracie’s” that I’m hoping to release sometime in September. It was a fantastic journey seeing my characters brought to life. Even though I am not the Steven Spielberg, I hope that you will enjoy the movie. I will be having a premier to the public on June 1st at 10:30 P.M. Beijing time.
With that being said, I am happy that I have completed it. Hearing the applause of the audience made it all worthwhile. Having my friends and colleagues come out and support me was simply fantastic. It made me go out and scout for locations to film. It helped my interpersonal communication with my actors. Creativity increased as I solved problems for how to show someone “walking on water.” These are the kind of challenges that would not have happened if I decided to not undertake the project; if I would have just quit.
It is this sense of accomplishment that I think is the most rewarding to us. In the past few months, like I mentioned previously, I have been on a journey of self-growth and discovery and it brings to mind a term that I learned about in education called: “the Zone of Proximal Development.” In next week’s blog post, I will be continuing this topic of self-growth and achievements and going through how we should all try to find our “Zone of Proximal Development” and be cognizant of where it is.
Next week, I’ll also update you on whether or not my movie brings home a “Suzhou Oscar” or not. This Friday, May 24, I will be attending my first ever “Movie Awards Ceremony” my new thing for the week. Also, once again, mark your calendars for 10:30 p.m. Beijing Time on June 1st (or whatever time zone you are in). I will be having my first ever “premiere party” and I would love for you to attend.
I encourage you to start trying new things as well. Don’t just live in a routine. Although routines are nice, try something with more spontaneity; as the saying goes, “You don’t know until you try.” Right? So what will you try out this week? What is something new that you have done recently? Leave a comment below!