Phase Two: The Prep

This has been an eventful week. The things that I’ve been doing are working on getting the production company going with a meeting that happened yesterday. I also have done my first week of personal training, with four out of six days with over 10k steps so far. Plus I got cleared to return to full duty. So, allow me to break this up into organized sections, as I fill you in about the week.

The biggest part about my week is that I’ve been pushing myself more physically through my workouts, and my walking. Yes, I’ve been sore, yes it kind of sucked by the time that Thursday hit, and I wasn’t moving very well, and no, I don’t wanna quit. I’ve been physical with other things as well, as I helped some friends a little with a wind turnt horse corral. We moved a little bit, because it was going to take more people to get the whole thing done, but I helped as I could. The problem there is I never feel like I did enough.

The I did almost 11k steps today, and I was working on what is going to be our studio. The sweeping and tearing down of the walls so that we can fix the issues at hand and rebuild. I actually felt more accomplished, I just wish that I did more. I know that there wasn’t much more I could really do, but I have a work horse mentality when it comes to these things(I’m the same way when working on movies, and other projects as well).

Now we’ll carry on to the Luckey Bom Film part of the blog. I’ve been fortunate to be able to multi-task and set up the first production meeting of the year. So, the question is: How do we move forward? Well, we are going to be adding people to the team. Which means that the machine is getting bigger, and we need to learn to make the bigger machine run smoother.

So, this brings up another point: How do we make the machine run smoother? Well, with only one real project under our belt, we need to start bringing out more content. That was what the meeting was about yesterday- to start expanding the team, and start producing more content. We’re well on our way to getting the next project, which will be a short, started, and I look forward to getting the filming started. Filming shorts are going the way that we become a far more well oiled machine, and will be the best way to produce an amount of content at a rather quick pace, in comparison to a feature length film. This is a great way for the creative team to work on more things, and exercise the creative muscles.

While yesterday was Friday the thirteenth, it’s funny that most people seem to find it a day of bad luck. I find it a silly superstition, because the day’s always seemed to work opposite for me. I got married on a Friday the thirteenth, I got my real estate license on that day in 2005. The most recent being that I was called for a job interview that I had to turn down, because they weren’t willing to do a Skype interview, and the job was half way across the country.

I’m going to take that as a sign that things are really going to be taking off for what I’ve been working towards soon. I’ve been staying positive, and I’ve been trying not to waver from that positivity and patience, because I know the reward is going to pay-off in the end. This journey has been in the making for at least four years. Seven if I really think of when I was wanting to go into the career field that I was interested in, even before my meltdown.

Again, things are moving forward, and I can’t be more excited. I’ll be weighing in on Friday, as I’ll be at an event out of town next weekend, so there will be an update there. As always, this is the Director, and that’s a wrap!

4th Month Green Light.

So, today was a success at my four month check-up with the West Medical doctor. So, let’s get down to the status of were I’m at today. Keep in mind that I try to weigh in every two weeks besides the doctor’s visits, and since my last check up they say I’ve lost over nine pounds. The doctor was happy because I’m keeping consistent will my weight goals.

First, my weigh in was at 334 pounds exactly. That means I’ve lost 4.4 pounds since I weighed in during Wonder Con. That’s not bad since I seem to average between four and seven pounds every two weeks. I know that the weight is slowly starting to lose less and less, but if I keep up the work I’m doing, than I should be down at least a hundred pounds by my next weigh in, and so far, I’m probably the lowest weight that I’ve been in over ten years.

Another astonishing fact is the my BMI(Body Mass Index) is at 47.9. Before I started this whole thing, I was over a BMI of 61, and it’s noticeable by the clothing that I wear. Everything is just too big anymore, and I’ve had to get a size or two smaller. I’ve even dropped about ten pants sizes since December. I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would be able to drop more weight then my son is currently at.

This also brings me to the problem of me needing to buy a few uniforms at smaller sizes because, well, mine are just too big, and things are sliding off of my body. I’ve almost lost my pants several times, when walking or getting into a vehicle. I realize that I’ll have to bit the bullet on this one. Oh, well…

Today was a good day, as I made another purchase to help get my businesses pushed to the next level. It feels good to realize that I’ve taken my future serious. The things I want are set, and I’m doing everything I can to obtain them. It’s also great to have the direction that I need to get things accomplished.

The CK Project has already helped people start to make the change in their lives, and I hope that I’ll be able to use this experience to do motivational speaking engagements. It’s been a dream for years to get the message out on mental health and now physical health as well. I even plan on starting to work out with my son during the weekends. I think it might be good for him.

Well, I’m sure glad that the craziness from this weekend is over, and that I can finally relax, and enjoy being home for the next week. Next weekend is going to be handling things in town as we get ready to bring the production team together to discuss expansion(I know, I’ve mentioned it). I’ve got a great team with a chemistry that I look forward to infusing with more elements for a bigger reaction, and combination to get things done.

One more note, so The Geekultural Experience  is getting ready for it’s first broadcast tomorrow. We are going to be doing a show on Youtube that will be showing various comic shops and game stores that we’ve been too and recommend shopping at. I’ve already talked too a couple of owners in two different towns about this idea, and they are up for it. I can’t wait to introduce everyone to Otto, a game store owner in Bakersfield, and Roger, a comic book shop owner in Palmdale. These two are very good at their areas of expertise, and I’d be honored to help give them both more business if possible.

I wrote something on Facebook  last night, that I wanted to share. Think of it as a parting word for inspiration. Keep striving for growth. making the best version of yourself. That’s the best way to keep moving forward. I know that there are times that we feel a bit lost, shaken, self doubt…Remembering that we can always better ourselves, or strive to better ourselves gives us the chance to embrace the challenge to become something bigger than who we know ourselves to be. Some people thrive on competition, and who better than to compete with the one person who knows how to challenge us the most. The person who already knows all the tricks and dirty tactics that we would attempt to use to sabotage our success.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap!

Give Me That Boss Level XP

Let me start off by saying that today didn’t go quite like I expected it too. We were supposed to film backstage footage for the first flash back of Nash Gray, but illness has gone through a few of my cast members(and it was running so smoothly too). So, today caused a break in filming, and I’m okay with that because the next few weekends are going to be quite busy for me in other aspects besides school. Instead, it gave me some time to come to the studio and make plans for when we do next shoot(silver linings people), and it has given me sometime to actually sit down to work on my rough cut of the film(kind of useful, killing two birds with one stone). That’s when the concern started hitting me.

As I got what footage I have for the beginning, I discovered that right before I get to the first flash back, I’m already at the four minute mark. I’m concerned because there are things that I still need to film, and I only have fifteen minutes to tell my story. Do I go ahead and finish filming the scene I was supposed to film today? Or do I cut it all together? Truth of the matter, I’m not sure how I’m feeling about the pace of what I have so far as it is, and I’m sure I can shave things down to make it flow better, but what if I have to cut that bitch up a bit to make it flow better? I’m not even completely sure where to start looking to trim that fat.

The one thing I do know is that I really want to film everything and give the fifteen minutes to my project, and then go back for an extended cut that has everything in it. I know that I’m biased by saying that I love this project, and the characters are wonderful as well. The other problem that I face is that waiting on finishing my film is kind of cutting into my editing time, which I’m trying to think of ways to just edit what I have and fill in the gaps as I can, I might be able to solve that problem, and I do have an idea of what I need to do first.

Again I will say that this has been the most amazing experience ever, and I don’t think that I’m all that surprised that I ran into a snag towards the end of this project. Actually, I was kind of expecting this to happen somewhere, I just thought our last day of filming was going to be that day. I’m a creative problem solver, so I’m sure I’ll get a solution before the end of the weekend. I just sent a text out to help solve part of this issue.

I have however thought of another way to use my time…. I think that I’m going to go ahead and also work on said scripts that I’ve been working on the last couple of days, and use this time to relax a bit. It’s crazy that I’ve been running on full steam for so long that I’m not completely sure what to do, but I think playing video games and watching movies are part of that plan. Something might give me an inspiration, and I’m looking for that almost anywhere anymore. I went to my son’s awards assembly and here a name called. Arizona Smith, and I thought that it sounded like the wife of Indiana Jones. I’m not sure if I’m ready to write an adventure genre yet, but you never know.

While not filmmaking related, I do want to give a huge shout out to my wife, as we are celebrating our seventeenth year of our first date. She’s a better person than I, because I wouldn’t put up with the shit I do. I’m too ornery, and there’s been too many tears shed because I’ve done something stupid. Alas, I love you my wife, and as long as you continue to join me on this crazy ride, I’ll welcome the company. You’ve been with me through many ups and downs, and now you have a husband who’s been more driven to do things now, than ever. She supports me, and I try to support her as well, but I don’t think I’m nearly as good at it as she is.

Two months of school left and then into the great unknown. I have a few job prospects, and surprisingly is has nothing to do with the Hollywood Dream, not that I’m apposed to the idea, but I’m really liking being able to create my own content, or working with someone else on the creative process. I might still look for something to crew for on a big movie, I just don’t think I’m in a big rush for that. Right now, it’s all about taking it one step at a time, and I don’t want to get sloppy in my growth process.

Another thing going on is that we are going to be doing a change of venues for our studio, and that’s going to put us out of a studio for several months, but I do plan on still doing things, even if it has to be from the house itself. I’m sure things are going to be awesome afterward, because we’ll have more space to play in and it’s going to be built from the essential ground up. The beautiful part of that is that I get to say how it gets designed, and I look forward to adding studio lighting too it(even if it’s expensive, which it is). I guess that also means that I’ll have to become extremely proficient in green screen since that plan is to paint the walls that way. It’s both exciting, and going to be so much work, but the reward will be reaped once everything is done, and who ever said that if it was worth doing, that it would be easy. Not a cliche that I’ve heard. I know that hard work’s the only way things will work, and I’ve proven that I’m not afraid of it because I went to school with my fists swinging to get this done.

This looks like it’s going to be another wrap from me, the Director.

 

You Can’t Catch The Time That Flew

What a weekend this has been! I can’t believe that I’ve been going strong all weekend long. Friday, we filmed. Saturday, we did a Parade of 1000 Flags, and an event for the Relay for Life, with a car show, and fund raiser. I only stated part way because I was uploading the dailies from Friday(which means a timeline of all the footage filmed), and I tried to get my homework for the week down. Today, we filmed, and I’m uploading my dailies from today, as a matter of fact, they are encoding right now.

So, with that being said, there were lesson learned this weekend from the director/filmmakers point of view. One, maybe plan on being on site a couple hours early, because things can take longer than expected, when getting started. It felt like we were running behind schedule every shoot day that we had. I think we could have better planned it, and maybe with more people with a larger skill pool might be able to get everything done on set sooner.

Second thing learned- it doesn’t hurt to quadruple check-in and make sure everyone is on the same page(I hate when people flake out). I get that this being a non-paid gig, might turn people off from working, but if you say that you will, please be a person of your word. I’m trying to get to the point of actually making money while doing this, and being able to pay people to film my projects.

Third, plan on filming only a few scenes per day, I think that what I was doing and with all the shots and angles, I felt like I didn’t quite get everything filmed the way I wanted, but at least I do have some good choices to pick from. I had to drop part of the scene, but having extra batteries and memory cards will help with that. I think we over worked the machinery.

Fourth, I discovered that I don’t have time for unprofessionalism on my set, while I love who I work with, I’m too focused to have to deal with people goofing off during filming. I mean seriously, I’m trying to make a name for myself, and this is my calling card to get there. Help me get my calling card and I’ll be able to pay you.

Fifth, with this crew I’m working with, I have a few new people and it really is becoming a well oiled team. I’m glad to bring in the people that I have. My cinematographer has brought an experienced eye to the game, and it’s seemed to bring my game up a bit, and I’m proud of the way we work together. I think it took to first day to find our rhythm, but I think we’re on the verge of getting things done at a better pace.

The final thing I’m really discovering is that post production is going to be the saving grace, because we can fix our mistakes there. Also, my cinematographer has experience there and we’ll be able to have a productive work flow there. I can’t say that I’ve ever been this excited and nervous about doing a project in my life. It started to feel a bit overwhelming, but I’ve gained confidence in the process and the support that I have behind me.

As a side note, learning the financial part of getting this movie made is also a wondrous experience, and this is something that I can put in my hat for the next big project. This is the director, coming off of the first week of filming #NashGray, and that’s a wrap.

Did I lose To a Time Lord?

Man, I can’t believe that this months is already half over. I would ask the typical question on where did the time fly too, but I can already answer that: I’ve been busy. That’s the crazy part, is that I’ve been busy, and I’m truly enjoying it.  I’ve been helping out with our Geeks United Against Cancer, and helping fund raise. I’ve been overly busy here in the studio, and all I can think is- Damn, this is fun.

Nash Gray, my fictional friend, we have been through so much together and all I can say is that I’m finally glad that I got your story done(at least I hope so). I’ve spent so much time rewriting and revising this screenplay that I hope with the resources we have available, that I finally can put the words to rest. Evilly, I won’t reveal the final script until we have it casted fully, but I’m glad to find more ways to tell Nash’s story. It also helped that I got some advice about filming from a friend, who reminded me of those valuable lessons learned about a year or so ago. I have a fault of not putting enough action into the writing, but can fill out that dialogue all day long.

You know that feeling you get when you realize something big is going to occur? Like the butterflies or the wiggly feelings inside. I got those today, and I look and see that I’m down to my last three and a half months of school. It’s crazy that I started this journey almost three years ago, and my life has been accelerated ever since. I can’t believe that it’s been over four years since my meltdown at work. Yet, I’ve come so far, and I’ve changed, for the better(or at least I think so). I’ve taken on responsibilities that I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of. I’ve built a reliable team to help complete the work that I have to do. These people seem to enjoy the process, and it gives them opportunities to gain experience that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise. The biggest experience is mine, as I learn to be a leader, as I learn to organize my life and the work I plan on doing for the rest of my life.

Speaking of the rest of my life. I find it odd that things that I wanted to do as a high schooler, have come back around in some way for where I decided to head in life. When I was in high school, I wanted to own my own production company, but I wanted it to be a music producer, as music will always be my first love. I discovered drama way after, but I found that I love it just as much.

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned that Sin City(2005), changed my life. I think it was creatively the most stunning movie(or it just looked really cool)(damn my comic book geekiness). I want to make something that cool. I love to write, and it’s funny because I hated English in high school. Being creative or performing, those are my drugs, and I love how they make me feel.

Remember that in three and a half months, things will be changing greatly for me. This is the Director and that’s a wrap.

I’ll Pass On The Straight Jacket, Thank You

So, I just finished my last video before we go in to the Pre-production class, and now I’m four months from being over. The most current thing that I’ve been really trying is getting my post production skills going.  I’ve been watching videos about Photoshop, After Effects, and I’m just now trying to put them together by trying out some test footage. I got it to look like my son was controlling force lightning. I’m teaching him about camera and editing work, and I guess you can say that’s one of the ways we are bonding.

I would be lying if I said that I felt like I have this in the bag. Truth is, I’m scared shitless. There’s too much of the unknown ahead of me, but on the bright side is that the people I’ve asked to crew for me, and my actors so far, are people I know that I can count on. There has been a tremendous support for my endeavors, and I continue to build upon my network connections. It’s funny how you can make some friends over being geeky. It’s beautiful to be able to share a passion together and help each other be successful. I have some of the best people in my life because of that.

With that being said, I’m going to give a shout out to my crew; Ed, my friend and creative partner, this is your vision, and I’m glad that I could help bring the story to life. Sarah, my wife, you are the best support ever. Thanks for sticking by me through everything. Terry: you and I have been friends for so long, that you’ve always come to my aid in time of need. You’re family brother. Alisa, you’re eagerness to be of help and dedication is awesome, thanks for being a good dink. Rodney, you’ve worked for me as an actor, and we’ve acted together. I’m glad to bring you to the other side of the production team, I know you’re connections will help breathe life into the people you help cast. Mike, you’re the first friend that I ever made here, it’s funny that so many years later we would be going to school for the same thing. I look forward to working with you and have you on as an extra pair of eyes to get this done.

Celeste; while being the newest member of this crew, and one of the newest geeks, I welcome your insight on this process since you have some experience. Thank you for your willingness to help out. Now for my actors and SCA brethren, thank you, Dean and Curtis for being some of the feature players in my film. I look forward to seeing what it is that you bring to these characters, and I think that we’ll continue to have a good time, like always.

I’m looking forward to what creative things I have in the works to present unto everybody. If you haven’t subscribed to my stuff, please do, that’s the biggest way of showing me that you support this journey.  Thank you. This was just to be short and sweet. With that being said, this is the Director and that’s a wrap.

Last Five, Did I Just Bite Off to Much?

So, this is seriously crunch time in school.  I started looking at everything that has to be done for this class, and I’m a little more then intimidated.  There is so much to get done, even though I thought that we were going to ease into this, I’m a bit nervous, and my script is a bit more than I think most would plan theirs to be.  With that being said, I’m confident in the team that I have…just a bit anxious to know where this might go.

To start off, I didn’t think that what I wrote would be too hard to do, but I find that needing a number of extras, and locations might present a challenge.  Again, I’m sure the team can handle it, but I’m feeling out of sorts at the moment and not as confident in myself.  I just have to bring my A game when it comes down to what we are going to be doing.

I have a couple of things that are going for me: One, all other projects are pretty much on hold until we are done with Nash Gray’s story, and two I’m expanding the crew on this.  At this time, I do have three people that I’m adding to this project. I have a friend and fellow Los Angeles Film School  offering his help, so I’ll take him up on that offer as a second camera man.  I have a friend who is interested in film school and I’ll try and use him in a grip position.  Finally, I have someone who not only has worked with me on stage, but as worked for me in Appreciate What You Got. I’m thankful that he’s willing to help me as a casting agent.

Tonight is just a night for a short thought, and I’m prepping for one hell of a ride.  This is Chris, the Director, and that’s a wrap.

The Flow is in The Work

So this day turned out to be such a great day.  To start out the day, I took it off so that I could handle a bit of family business, which went fairly smooth.  I was glad because it was too hot for working out doors(which is a daily routine for me).  Since I did free up my day, I decided to reach out to my partner Ed, and see if he wanted to do some work together in the studio.  It was a good thing he happened to be in that day.

Today was the first official day of us working together on one of our projects, and it went really well. I showed Ed and Sarah(my wife) how to break down a script into a shot list, and so we broke down a few scenes for our reshoots on Appreciate What You Got, and that was fun to explain how the whole process works when dealing with the pre-production process.  I’m feeling inspired to keep going and we went on to discuss a bit more on the Nash Gray project.  I’ll work on that after I get the notes resent to me.

We also discussed some on the CK Project, and we decided that we’re going to start it out as a podcast, as well as recording it on video at the same time.  This is what this blog here has been about the CK Project, also the reason for the Chris Keeling Productions address on this blog.  It really is all-in-one with what I’m doing.  This weekend is when we will be hashing out a few details before we start our first broadcast, and hope to bring it out weekly. There is so much more to the content that this project is going to have, that I hope that I can find time for ever thing that I plan on doing between the three big projects.

I don’t know how much I can shameless plug the things I’m involved with but, Luckey Bom Films, is where the movies and entertainment aspect of my creative side comes in at. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpzpFCXIo1NAwJ_9kCxMHA is the link to my channel there.  Things will be popping up soon on this channel.  We are going to be wrapping up the reshoot soon, so that will be the second video on the channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/luckey97, this channel is my personal one, that I’m turning into the CK Project, this is my personal journey, and it it helps somebody with their struggles, then I’m doing what I set out to do in the first place.  It compliments well with this very blog page.

Now, the third big thing that I’m involved with is something that is local to my area, here in California,  and it’s called the Geeks of the IWV.  It was created from a tragic event, where my friends’s lost their son in an accident.  He was a great kid, who was a giant geek in his own right, and he left a void in so many lives.  I agreed as a way of helping them cope with that big hole left in their lives.  Never in my life did I think that this was going to change the way I do things.  I find a different kind of purpose in this group, and it feels good to share a passion in the geek culture.  We are doing things in the community, like a fund raiser called Relay for Life.  I never thought I would ever do anything like this, and yet it feels rewarding that I can help out and that our little group could make the difference.

I promise you that great things will be coming in the near future and I hope you take that chance to subscribe and support these various avenues that I’m taking.  There is so much to life for and I can’t wait for more adventures to start.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.

That Right Feeling

Let me start out with the introduction video was a challenge to get uploaded, and it took several days to finally upload: https://youtu.be/dGhRPhagcbs.  So, it was hard for me to actually do much online this week.  Yet, this week went extremely well and I’m glad that this is the biggest step in the right direction.

Today, there was a moment in the studio when I was by myself that I realized that I’ve finally arrived at where I was meant to be.  I truly felt that all was right in the world, and that my life was going in the right direction.  I feel awesome when in the zone, and Ed tends to bring more of the creativity out of me.  I admire his musical talent, and hope to get to that level at some point.  After the announcement of last weekend, I started another Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisKeelingProject/. This has been something that I’ve had in development since 2011, and now that I have a forum to present it, I find myself more excited that I can use my life experiences and try to motivate and help people.  Loneliness is something I want to help people deal with.

I don’t have classes for a week starting on Monday, and then it’s time for the crunch to get my student film completed, and this is the best learning experience for my team to experience a full production, most of the experience has been on me to do the different stages, and everyone has been on set when we filmed, but now is the chance to get my partner into the development stage.  I’ve found some other interest in what we’re doing and I will be getting involved with a few other projects in the near future.

Any way, that’s about all I have for this update, I’m going to enjoy Saturday night with a few friends, and get on finishing my homework tomorrow, so that I can get a better grade then I have now.  So this is the Director and that’s a wrap.

The Heat is On

Holy crap, this has been a crazy week.  I got ahead of my homework last Sunday, but haven’t gotten around to doing anymore of it yet.  It’s been a busy week, and hot doesn’t begin to describe the weather outside.  So, let me get to a wrap up about what’s been going on.

Monday was a day that got up to around 113 degrees outside.  After work we had to head down to the Los Angeles area for my second sleep study-this time with a CPAP machine(yay me!).  The hooked me up to a mask called a nostril pillow, which is the smallest, but it left my nostrils sore the next morning.  I don’t know if it’s improved my sleep any, but it’s made me more aware of my tossing and turning at night.  That was part of the reason I decided to do most of my homework on Father’s day, because I wasn’t going to be good for doing homework on my regular schedule.

When we got home Tuesday, I was feeling tired still, but my lungs felt full of air.  The best part was that I didn’t have to work that day in the heat.  Wednesday was a different story, it got up to like 114 or something crazy like that, but I survived it and made it through the rest of my week, but because of my early work days, and the heat, homework just wasn’t happening for me.  So, I’ve taken a couple of days off, not bad really, just wanted to have another weekend free.

Now we come to today, Friday, June 23, 2017.  I was the first up and I decided to get on my Xbox and play Mass Effect: Andromeda, I enjoyed it, but then I decided to play Injustice 2 for a while.  As it got around noon time I decided that I would do the homework thing, problem is my computer needs all these updates, and so  I’m here waiting for the programs that I need to use to update, but it give me sometime to sit in front of a fan, cooling down and blog to everyone who pays attention.

Tomorrow there are going to be some great announcements on the Luckey Bom Films side of things, so if you’re following the Facebook page, if not here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/Luckeybomfilms2/. We will be putting a special video up on our new YouTube page, and it’ll give you an idea of what’s going on.  We are going to be really getting started on what we love, and this is the beginning of why I’ve been going to school.  Don’t be surprised if we turn up the “heat” by announcing not only one, or two, but three separate huge projects that will keep us busy.  My job as a content provider is just starting and I have some great groups and projects that I’m tied too outside of the Luckey Bom Films studio.  So, until next time.(I need a signature motto)

A Step for Success.

I wasn’t confident at some point this week, and I started to doubt myself and my working with a great team, but alas, today showed that I’m going in the right direction.  I always found that I was my own worst enemy.  I doubt myself at times, but at least this time I over came it and presented my ideas for the project.  My clients liked what I had to present them, and I’m confident moving forward that my creative team can build something around the ideas presented.

I know the next thing I have to consider is how we want to structure the ideas and get a narration written for the project.  I’m also excited that they agreed to shooting on off hours so that I can have a bit more control over who appears on the camera.  That’s just another issue that I’m glad we can control.  I’ll have to assemble my team for this shoot, but I think that things will run smooth.

I’m loving the experience of trying something different than I’ve done, and I know that we’ll have to do a bit more research before finishing the treatment.  Just to make sure that we’ll have enough time before we decide to film.  I don’t think I can say that I’m excited enough times.

I’m trying to get my homework done before the weekend so that I can enjoy it fully, much like I did last weekend.  Father’s day is among us once again, and I can’t believe that I’ve had sixteen of these so far.  Time flies, and it’s incredible how much you realize this after parenthood.

I hope you have a good night, and find joy in the people around you.

Forward March

Wow! In seven months I get to call myself a graduate from Film School.  I will have my Bachelors of Science in Digital Filmmaking, and I’m about ready to have an office, since plans kind of fell through with the other place.  Life is good!  All I need now is a few more shots for my B-roll of my documentary, and it’s been suggested that I might consider applying for a Film Festival.  These are the moments that I love.  It seems like a validation of all my hard work, and I couldn’t be more excited on what the future has in store for me.

I have some friends, who are about to deal with the one year anniversary of their son’s tragic death… things have really changed in this past year.  I think I appreciate the people in my life more.  Even if we aren’t close, I seem to wish that they have safe travels and hope that they arrive back safely.  Life is too short to let negative things get in the way, and if there is anything I’ve learned, it’s too treat people better, because you never know how they may change your life.

We started this local Geek group called The Geeks of the IWV last August in response to the celebration of his life.  I thought it was a good way to help my friends mourn, and to help deal with their grief.  I never thought that this whole process would change me as well.  I feel that I’ve become a better person, a better friend, and more positive about life.  I love my kids so much more than I ever thought I did.  I love my wife more because she’s supported me.  My friends have also seen a difference in the way I handle things.  With this group, I’ve been able to network so much better than I ever thought possible.

I think tragedy can become triumph in the end.  The tragedy itself never goes away, and I in no means, say that to cheapen what’s happened, but I think it can lead to self discovery.  When I had my suicidal melt down and work, I needed help, and I was able to find that help through a professional.  The tragedy that hit me at the time was that friends, and family members had suffered suicide in their lives. Around that time, there were five people that I had heard committed the act.  I knew one of the people locally,  he was a hip=hop dance instructor  at the gym I was going too at the time.  When I found out what happened I became morose because I felt like if I had the chance to talk to him, he would have known that he wasn’t alone.  We connected over our fondness of hip-hop and talked about trying to choreograph some dance moves to a Michael Jackson song or two.  His death really impacted me.

Human connection is important.  I try to pay attention to what people wear when I see them at my job, and it often times leads to conversations, and friendships.  I’ve become acquainted with so many people by noticing the lanyard they wear around their necks.  If it’s a sports team, we’ll start talking about sports, and we talk about favorite players, and teams that we like.  The one that gets the most attention is when someone wears either comic book characters or video games.  Those usually spark the best conversations  and I’ve made a good set of friends because of it.  It’s funny what you can learn about someone if you pay attention to what they wear.

I had a conversation with my little brother today, and I think that I finally summed up my goals in life.  I told him that it’s hard work building an empire, and that’s what I feel like I’m doing.  I want to do movies, music, podcasting, and on top of all of that, I want to have the accessibility to show that I’m there to support those who can’t handle mental illness. Sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be any options than to end their lives.  All I can say to that is- I’m here, you’re not alone, I love you.  Don’t let the darkness be the answer, because there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.  I know that it doesn’t seem like it, or that the light is too far to see, but endure, fight through it…you’ll come out stronger in the end.

These are things that I’m more passionate about now.  I’m getting the tools to help lend a voice to the unanswered, and I plan on using it to help.  My creativity is there to help entertain and maybe even be thought provoking at times.  Life’s hard, and I’m the first to admit that I’ve wanted to quit.  I almost have, more times than I would care to admit.  My depression hit me hard because I felt like I was stuck in a spot that I wasn’t happy in.  I had set plans to leave everything behind because I couldn’t deal with being stuck.  Life was closing in around me.  Now I’m moving forward to a bright future.  I’m not stuck anymore, and the momentum is carrying me along a new path.  Somedays it moves very quickly, than other days, I wonder if I’m still moving, but forward is always ahead of me.

While I’m not going to mention names of my friends who lost their son,  I do want to leave a thought on the eve of the anniversary: I love you and your family.  My heart goes out to you in your time of suffering.  I’ve seen growth from both of you in this past year, and I think you’ll learn to manage with your loss better as time goes.  Your eldest left a giant hole in the lives of everyone who had the fortune of knowing him.  I wish that I could have known him better than the chance that I had.  By the time my family and I had entered into your lives the way we did, he had already became a working man who was busy with school and work.  The time I did share with him was great because we geeked out about the same things.  Just know that there isn’t a day that you two don’t cross my mind, and I’m always going to be here for you.