Filmmaker's Journey :: Life After My First Short Film
I wanted to take a moment to share with you a short story. So, wayy back when my buddy Ben told me I needed to have a blog for the movie 'Dada Ji', I really did scratch my head and wonder who would read it. But given the fact that Ben is totally hip & in the know about stuff like this, I decided to give it a shot.
It felt a little strange at first...who was I writing to? Who was reading this? Anyone? Mom? To be honest, I didn't even think Ben was reading (LOL, yeah right, Ben reads this, don't you Ben? Uh, Ben??)
Anyway, after writing my 6th blog entry, someone wrote in!! A mysterious person who shared only good vibes & encouraging words, left no name but instead signed off with a smiley face.
I don't know who smiley face is...or Smiley, as I'm now referring to this person, (unless otherwise instructed), but I know one thing, Smiley always has good things to say to me. Smiley tells me things like, "Follow your heart" and " I hope you keep inspiring young generation", and you know what, it really encourages me.
I won't lie, we all get down on ourselves sometimes..."Is my project good enough? Did I do my best? What can be better?" etc, and while that critical voice does have a purpose, sometimes it feels good not to listen to it. Sometimes, it's better to listen to the voice that says, "Dadaji, is amazingly lovely! it did bring tears and smile..a very good message! And a very loving film." That is Smiley's voice.
So I encourage you, as much as you can, listen to the Smiley's of the world. They are the ones with a positive light, an encouraging voice to keep you going.
And one more thing...don't just listen to the Smileys of the world...be a Smiley in this world. Give encouragement where you can, let someone know that you believe in them when you can. After all, you're not the only one out there trying to pursue a dream right?
Thank you Smiley for taking time out of your day to share encouraging words with me, it really does mean a lot.
Sooo, it's been a long time since my last entry...months even! Sorry for that, I really should be better about blogging but now's no time to get down on myself, so I won't :) Especially because I have some really exciting news to share!!
So for those of you who've been wanting to see the movie 'Dada Ji' but too scared to buy the DVD (you know who you are ;), we decided to put the film up on Youtube - for FREE! All you have to do, is click this little piece of text below, or copy and paste it into your browser:
In a few days we'll be putting the word out to the masses, but I wanted to let you know first - simply because you're taking the time out to read my blog...and because of that, well, you should know first!
Oh, and yes, we'll still be offering the DVD with bonus features for those of you who want a more tangible experience :) Meanwhile, though, please do enjoy the freebie online, and just so you don't have to scroll up...here it is again:
Click, watch, enjoy!
When you're in film school, they say that making short films is just a calling card into the industry. There aren't too many short film distribution companies out there, so beyond practicing your skills as a filmmaker and trying to make feature films, there isn't much more of a purpose.
I beg to differ.
Tonight, I met a group of about 8 kids, let's see if I can name them all...Natalee, Roman, Leo, Simon, Shane, Rachel, Chelsea, Jose, and Becky...okay, 9 kids, through a group called Venice Arts, based in West LA. For months, I've been in touch with Cathy, the coordinator for Venice Arts, to coordinate a screening of 'Dada Ji' for the kids.
Just like the previous event with LA After-School All-Stars, we started by tossing a little foam ball around and asking everyone what their dream was. This group was a little different - the kids were between 10-13 years old, and they meet on a weekly basis for a class called "My Life As a Movie." So they're already learning about filmmaking, using tools like IMovie, Flip Cameras, and Photoshop. That puts them wayyy ahead of the game :)
Like last time we watched the movie, and then they had some great questions...what inspired the story, how did we create a family atmosphere on set, oh, and they were very taken with Mr. Kumar Pallana, the lead actor. We also watched Kumar's Magic Show (it's on the bonus features of the DVD). At the end, everyone got their own copy of the DVD, and they asked me to sign them :)
The kids were very gracious in allowing me to come & giving 'Dada Ji' their full attention. For me, tonight was inspiring...I felt blessed when I was able to make 'Dada Ji' and I feel blessed to be able to share the movie. There's definitely a bigger purpose behind making 'Dada Ji'...and I'm realizing that every time we screen it!
Hi hello again!!
So it's been a few days since the last entry, sorry for the delay but a lot has been going on. Among it all, I want to let you know that we are hosting our 2nd event as a part of 'Bringing Cinema 2 Kids'!! It's through a great organization called Venice Arts! The screening is tomorrow evening, and once again, we'll be giving away copies of 'Dada Ji' to each one of the kids.
It's supposed to be a younger age group, can't wait!!
PS - Due to our team's schedules, this is going to be possibly the last event we do for 2010, we have one more tentative one that may come up quickly, but that's not confirmed yet. Either way, you haven't seen the last of BC2K, don't worry :) Will let you know how it goes tomorrow!
Tonight was the first event we've done as part of Bringing Cinema 2 Kids...and I'm happy to say it went really well. The event was at Gertz High School, which is a public charter school that aims to provide opportunities to inner city kids to prepare the students for success on the college level.
I arrived with my friend Sam who came along to take pictures & video (we'll be posting soon) and to support the event. We were met by Lex, who is the site coordinator for LA Allstars...(let me take a second to explain this better...LA Allstars is an organization that partners with local schools to provide after school programs in different areas...sports, health, fitness, arts, etc. We contacted them first and they helped us get a screening of 'Dada Ji' together at Gertz). Hope that makes sense...anyway, so Lex was the site coordinator at this school.
She took us to the classroom, where there were about 40-50 high school kids (great turnout), curious as to what we were doing there. Before we screened the movie, I introduced myself and then got everyone talking about what their "dream" in life was....
Someone said basketball player, someone said football player, someone else said pilot, somebody else said his dream was to make enough money so his parents could retire, someone else said broadcast journalist, someone else said actress...and someone said they didn't know.
And I said that's okay. I didn't know either when I was in high school. But it wasn't about not knowing, it was about being too afraid to have a dream. Like, I would imagine in my mind I want to do something, and the next thought is, "But what if I can't do that?" And every single person in the world has a voice in their head that says that to them. BUT, the people who overcome it, learn to think, "But what if I can?"
And if you learn to think that way, it's the only way you ever will achieve that which you want.
So then we screened 'Dada Ji'. That was my favorite part. During the movie, as a group, the kids would laugh at certain comedic points, and soak in the dramatic points. For a filmmaker, there is no better compliment than to watch your movie in a room full of people that like it :)
At the end of the screening after the credits rolled & lights came up, we did a brief Q&A, passed everyone a copy of the 'Dada Ji' DVD, and before they left, the students put their hands in the air and were snapping their fingers. And, as Lex put it, that means "they're giving you props."
So, Lex, Fred, Froggy, Fluffy, Bones, Xynthia with an X, Shadow, and everyone that was at the screening today, I give you snaps right back. Thanks for letting me come to your school & share 'Dada Ji' with you today, ...may you always believe in the possibilities of "what if I can...."