Every once in a while, we meet someone who brings out the parts of ourselves that we didn’t know existed, the latent talents, energies, emotions we’ve never experienced before… And when it happens, that’s constituent of what it means to say that the value of love is to inspire you.

It was just another ordinary day for lunch, and in the midst of the “clinking” and “clanking” of cutlery against plates and everyday people going about their routine business, I was passionately persuading a friend to make a move on this girl that he’s been crushing on for years. The analysis was simple enough, one could easily draw a decision tree and/or payoff matrix and put their foot down that the best thing to do is to confess. If she says “yes”, yay. If she says “no”, try harder or shout: Next! A quick survey of psychological literature and all that human wisdom distilled through the ages would all come down to this: If you want something in life, go get it. (The Pursuit of Happyness, Into The Wild, etc.)

Why do we hold ourselves back so much? Modern society is peculiar in that it has made us that much “closer” through ICT innovations, but at the same time we’re that much more disconnected from the things that truly matter in life. I relish instigating people to push their boundaries because when they’re out of familiar turf, that’s where all the magic happens. :)

Our first public release would be the second video that I’ve worked on together with DJ, and a huge improvement from the first one because I had mastered more tricks on Vega Pro meanwhile. Its execution is a thoroughly straightforward affair:

1) Storyboard and draw a draft. Tease out 6-8 key frames to go into the video. Extract the specifics that would lend it reality and particularly, the emotional dimensions for credibility. End this step by finding a coherent thread to string all these moments together.

If it sounds very technical, this is actually my favourite part of the work. It’s basically very psychoanalytic. My job in this being prompting the dude for “how he felt” which (am I surprised?) proved to be most difficult, so then I’d have to put on my storyteller’s cap to dramatise things up.

2) Video the actual work where the artist draws away. This is where we improved tremendously from the first because I had my tripod set up the second time, just shooting over the entire “canvas”. Subsequently, when editing I’ll just need to incur the extra work of panning and zooming the camera view on Vega Pro.

3) Edit away.

What I would do is basically think about how I want the video to look like, next search YouTube for the relevant tutorials, then apply. The most important thing to do in this step is simply managing the various trade-offs involved between energy and time taken, and how great/complicated you want the final effects to look like because you have to note the diminishing marginal returns of extra time invested in learning new tricks.

Vega Pro sure looked daunting, and I had zero video editing experience. But that’s the thing about computers – They’re entirely logical. Get the steps right, and you’re bound to end up with what you want, no magic required.

All of the above can be done in a day, with human talent and creativity being the limiting factor on how long the entire process would take. Tasks such as rendering are fixed costs in terms of just letting the machine run and do its job… So a breakdown would look something like this:

Storyboarding 1 hour, drawing and filming another 1 hour, learning on-the-job and editing 6-8 hours, rendering 1-2 hours, uploading 1 hour. Piecing the story together is really fun, and editing is a BITCH on PMS mode whose heels just broke.

It all started with the 27th of January. I can’t decide if it was the angle by which light was cascading down the pavements that day, or the way it suddenly rained on such warm heat, but the idea of storytelling, narrating, confessing, however you like to call it – flashed upon my mind. And me being me – the economics major ever anal about efficiency and getting things done once I enter the right zone, I set myself up for work immediately.

So here we are.

Reciprocation aside, as someone with a terrible memory and very anxious about making the most out of my only time on earth, I find joy in cathartic creations such as these. Its value being an emotional outlet where I may deal constructively and productively with my feelings. There are people in the world who go into reclusion and/or hibernation when feeling not-too-hot. I typically set myself a time limit for inactivity and then go partying/enter into a frenzy of distractions. Afterall, my inner economist does not tolerate waste easily.

Personally, I am utterly pleased with how 2012’s been unfolding thus far. And I’m just glad that 1000% exists.

That would be all.


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