TO FILM OR NOT TO FILM?

That is the real question.

I’m too furious to think straight so please endure this nonsensical babble until I can stop my fingers from searching up the nearest voodoo specialized shop within my vicinity and purchase a pack of 99 cent needles.

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I’m no maestro when it comes to delicacy in fact, I’m about as blunt as a 2B pencil after a student’s end year examinations. Still, I am not exaggerating when I say that the world has a grudge against me or something. I mean getting hit in the face three times in a row is bad enough but this just takes the cake.

Recently, I was participating in a film competition of some kind that runs across a few different schools throughout my country as the director of my film group. It would not be a lie to say that I was pretty much the Cinderella of my film group. You would think that the director would get the privilege to sit in a fancy ass chair and scream ‘CUT!’ or ‘ACTION!’ while sipping on a overpriced coffee, occasionally adjusting the beret on my head but NOo.

Me being the director meant that I had to hold responsibility for all the mishaps that happened in my group and when I say all…I mean ALL. I had to deal with odd jobs like replacing lazy crew members that slacked off due to ‘reasons’ and dealing with my demon instructor.

On the last week of my holidays when we were due to hand in our film, my editor ‘miraculously’ had her whole week booked up with leadership training camps and ironically, church camps. Maybe it was a calling from God that directing isn’t something for me.

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I had to scramble around after that because we were the only group missing the USB cable required to connect the camera to the laptop for the editing programme and unfortunately (Or should I say, fortunate is not something I am) the one USB cable has a specific plug in shape and that led to this scenario.

We had agreed to meet up at the library at 4 but then while I arrived on time, there was no one there. I was a nice person and waited…and waited…for 50 minutes. Keep in mind that this was the last day of holidays before school reopened. And somehow, some-freaking-how. I forgot how my editor looked like because Mr Jackass, my demonic instructor, had kept reshuffling our group and I didn’t know this girl.

Picture this. You’re standing outside a public library for 50 minutes and there’s like 4 girls waiting outside the library that look around the same age as you. You have no idea which one is your actual editor and they’ve been waiting there for as long as you have. You decide to circle around the library a few times both inside and out while waiting. Then you give up and go home.

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Then of freaking course, it turns out that your editor had been in the bathroom this ENTIRE time. I would not be anymore annoyed if it didn’t start raining the moment I decided to go back to the library to meet up with her. Oh and my other friend who also has the wire, the reason why I couldn’t meet up with her or see anyone was because on that ONE day.

The train broke down for an hour.

So you think this is just a small problem. PFTTTT. You’ve seen nothing yet…

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Side fact: After the meetup, my editor finds out that she has a gaming laptop that’s not even compatible with the editing programme so in the first place, she didn’t even need the wire.

Side slippery slide fact: Mr Kelvin, you the real MVP. I wish you were our instructor instead of Mr Jackass because unlike a certain someone, you know how to give critical feedback rather than just being a pretentious critic. Plus I swear I could hear the angelic chorus of heaven when you actually complimented an idea I pitched.

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Once school started, on the first week of school, I had to stay back from 3, straight after school, to 6, when my school closes just to assist my editor for 3 days in a row and during that time, I had lent my spare USB cable to the editor of my friend out of the good will of my heart. But I guess the world plans to crumble the tiny amount of kindness I have in my soul by making the editor A) Forget to return my USB cable, B) Forgot where she left my USB cable and C)Not a shit on where it is.

In fact, the damn cameraman had to be the one to tell me where my wire was and it was in the worst place imaginable. It was locked up in the computer lab’s private room in one out of 4 camera bags and she didn’t know which one it was in. Oh did I mention that my CCA only happens once a week so I could only get it back at the end of the next week.

Flash forward to the present.

I had caught a flu bug from my brother and was feeling utterly miserable not only because of my sickness but also because I had to do 3 projects in the span of a week and complete the never-ending stack of homework piling on my desk. So obviously, I was slacking off at home, watching the Summer 2017 release of anime which I’ll update later.

We had to have our principal’s approval of our films before it could be sent off and he is the most irresponsible, harsh and unkind principal I have ever seen. Let’s dub him, Mr..Pipi because his name is somewhat similar to a word that revolves around bathrooms. And whenever people see him, they would want him to ‘piss’ off anyways.

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Either way, I had disliked him since his appearance as the new principal because of his idiotic rules (Which I would get to in another post) and his judgement of students. Especially when it came down to our films which was due on Friday. We had scrambled to edit everything so we could hand it to him for reviewing on the week before but not only did he delay everything to the last day before the due date for the submission for the competition but also requested that we had to stay back on Thursday to ‘touch up’.

I get that a principal is busy and blah blah but we had rushed our butts off to edit this for him and yet he only tells us on the second last day that we had to ‘edit more’. Also, he had asked us to stay back but he, himself didn’t turn up or even set a proper time for us to edit for his approval. In the end, he never responded to my CCA’s teacher’s messages and we were all free from imprisonment…at least that was what I thought.

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Keeping in mind that I had been working on this film since early march for about 5 months straight, I was really proud of this little film I created not only because it was the first time I had stepped out of my comfort zone to become the leader of a group but also because I had put my blood (Literally. I broke my ankle), sweat (We had to camp out in the sun while traffic was running) and tears (I cried like a baby when I heard that we were finally finished) into this production and for an amateur, I thought it was pretty good.

“All is fair in war and love”

Or so they say. When I was absent for 2 days, I didn’t attend CCA and during my absence, Mr Pipi decided to take matters into his own hands and decide if our films were ‘good enough’ to represent our school. Being a humble, demure (snorts) girl, I was willing to accept whatever fate had in store for me.

What I didn’t expect was that even though the competition allowed 3 video entries from each school, only 2 films made it out alive from Mr Pipi’s scrutinized selections. One of them was my friend’s group which was a food docummentary that had been groomed and specially pampered by Mr Jackass to win and the other was my group which was a black and white film about cyber bullying.

Surprised? I was. Usually things don’t go my way unless I’m some kind of Shounen hero destined to save the world from the film freaks or something.

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I was ecstatic…until I realized that Mr Pipi had decided to change my film’s name. Yes, My DAMN film. I’m not a film buff or anything but I do have great pride in my products of artistry and no matter how shitty and low grade the products are, I still like them and so without my permission, he changes the name of my film which I had painstakingly done a lot of research to find.

Digital Desolation. Simple but catchy. The ‘Digital’ is a reference to the use of phones and cyber-bullying in the film while the ‘Desolation’ refers to loneliness, a desolated wasteland in a manner of speaking which fits the theme of alienation and ostracizing someone. Its even used in the Hobbits for crying out loud!

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Yet somehow, the ‘Desolation’ gets twisted to mean death. DEATH. And because our school’s a prim and proper tight arse, son of a bitch, we have to censor that word because its too ‘harsh’ like what the fuck. Death is a natural state of life, the opposite of life. Even if desolation means death, what is so bad about something we go though at the end of our life cycle. It’s not even a bad word, we even use it in science.

EDIT (8/20/17) : Actually I found out from my friend that the word he wanted to change was ‘demise’ rather than desolation but still, same premise. Another team was also disqualified because of ‘karma’ literally being the name and that we’re a christian school.

Here’s the irony, my film involves a suicide scene. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Whatever.

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After this film competition, we also have to participate in a school project that lasts until next year when we graduate. I was absent so I was randomly shoved into a group. Bad luck being on my side, I was the only one out of my group of friends to go into the group of OP bastards not that I hated them but I was the ‘second-rate scriptwriter’ as compared to my CCA’s president.

My producer was fought over because she had impressed the members of my CCA with how she fought for her group when in reality, I was the one who had the guts to write a angry/polite email to Mr Jackass and beg/threaten him into reviewing our script once more. There’s a lot of things people don’t realize happening behind the scenes whether it involves me having to wrestle rights to allow us to film at a location of scout out locations by climbing 20 flights of stairs.

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I wrote the original script and tried so hard to assist my ‘scriptwriter’ in re-tuning it but decided to do everything myself at the end while letting her steal my name. I had to deal with lazy cameraman/assistants that were more interested in playing games than checking angles and diva-like actors who complained for retakes.

I don’t mind if people take credit for the stuff I do but a little bit of appreciation won’t hurt anyone. For the film, I had taken up like 5 roles yet I was only credited as a dull, unimaginative, meek director. I had tried so hard for things to go my way but putting a smile on your face and shrugging it off never ends well.

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I don’t care if people label me as selfish or arrogant or rude but it would not be a lie to say that I had done more than others can even imagine. It’s just that they don’t notice it.

Someday, I would want to be able to interact more with others and actually be able to be credited for all the things I have done but life isn’t always fair. Its just to me, life is just really really really specially cruel. Like a kick in the balls.

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