The Snow is Piling up

Feeling comfortable is a bad thing.

I don’t mean lying on the couch and eating your favourite comfort food, of course- relaxation is important sometimes. I’m talking about work. Ambition is often counteracted by the feeling of comfort. When this occurs, progress and growth slowly halts to a stagnancy. Even if you’re at the peak of what you do, there’s always something more.

Now, I’m most certainly not at the peak of what I do, but at this very moment nearing the end of the semester, I’m feeling comfortable with the amount of work I’ve completed. To the contrary of my statement above, this isn’t inherently a bad thing- only if I decide to keep working.

With winter break coming in no less than a week, there’s much to be done aside from eating turkey at family gatherings; I’m embarking on creating my own three course video meal, beginning with collaborating on a dance video with classmate Adam. This particular video will be shot in an afternoon or two, but only if the weather permits- and it seems the snow doesn’t want to slow down. Second to make is a music video for classmate Victoria. The lyrics of her song ‘Alice Cooperman’ relies heavily on the set of a bus. Winnipeg transit doesn’t exactly like when people don’t have insurance (especially highschool students), so we’re going to have to get creative on what to do. Third to conclude the meal is a small short-film project I’m working on with classmate Emily. With my experience from creating videos last year, the pre-production is easy, except finding actors. Once this key piece is completed, the actual creation of the video should be a smooth process.

Now, I may be looking forward to lying on the couch and eating, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working.

 

Things are wrapping up. Only another blog to go,

Trent

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KEEP ON TASK

Five months is a long stretch of time, but it seems like at every glance of a calendar, another month falls forward unto another. I’m fearful sometimes of the irreplaceable moments of the past, but the most reasonable consultation is to continue onwards to the future- with a plan, of course.

Much to the stark contrast of my previous blog nearly a month ago, I have the remaining duration of my semester chiseled out to a satisfactory stature. If all goes according to my timeline, I should have 3 projects finished right now (which I do), and 2 more before the finish line, with a few extra projects sprinkled in during the winter break. But Trent, you think, how do you plan to stick to schedule? You may catch yourself wondering this (no you’re not), so let me explain. There are a few very secret methods I use to (try) and eliminate (my crippling) procrastination and increase (my amazing) organization.

Scheduling is something I’m good at- not to start an exhausting mental fluffling my ego already. I use it so effectively, it has turned into procrastination method. I’d almost state it’s counter-productive. But, if used in combination with other organizational tools, scheduling is amazing.

Delegating tasks is always a feasible option when scheduling a project of any scale. If you’re working with collaborators, it helps to keep everyone on track and with a sense of purpose on what they’re supposed to be contributing towards. In an individual’s case, delegating tasks aids in dividing the task into more visual and manageable chunks in which helps with my next tool; prioritisation. Once you have all your tasks sorted, you can then rank them in a hierarchy of importance based on a variety of ideas such as, necessary time needing to be dedicated, money, supplies, etc,.

With time falling faster than the snow outside, I need to utilize these tools more now than ever before to finish this semester with a bang.

 

Until next time,

Trent

 

 

 

Conflict, Conflict, Resolution

As the semester progresses, it’s once again time for the class to sit down and bear another dreaded project conference.

Now, they’re actually not that dreadful. The conference this time around was simply a progress update for the teachers to see where we’re at in our project, roughly a couple of weeks after completing all of our scheduling and organizational documents for the semester. A simple conference, right?

A Propel semester without a philosophical talk about personal flaws, life, and debatable work ethic, wouldn’t be much of one at all (at least not for me). I tried to avoid it, but it just occurred naturally, and without forewarning.

It started with Mr. Hansen and I creating a Gantt chart (an organizational timeline document) in his office, because of the fact that I’d be using another program, named Asana, previously. Him and I both have strong opinions without a doubt, and I eventually conceded on using the Gantt chart after a minor debate.

After completing the chart, we glimpsed into the overview on my projects timelines. What we found was a cliff- or a grey area you could call it. A place where there was no real groundwork set down for future projects. So, the next question posed was to figure out what I’ll be doing for the rest of the semester.

I had multiple realistic suggestions, but the problem was none of them had any planned beginnings yet, meaning I couldn’t place them on my projects timeline with certainty. This is where my main problem stemmed from last semester. I had too many hypothetical situations, worked on too many projects at once, and eventually didn’t complete as many projects as wanted because of that.

As said previously, I just need to narrow down on a few projects. Hopefully by the next conference, I’ll have something in mind.

 

To my nine viewers from Germany,

Trent

 

 

Ask the Question

If you’ve ever asked yourself if you’re passionate about what you’re working on, are you really passionate about it?

I’m sure this question can be interrupted in as many ways as there are people considering it, but I personally believe it to be an ambiguous statement, even though it could definitely be seen as a black or white answer by the majority.

I’ve always been entangled in a love-hate relationship with film-making and videography. It’s something that’s stuck with me throughout my life, and I know for a fact it’s largely what people associate me with when they hear my name. I’m the ‘Indie film kid’.

However, life always seems to blindside me with how suddenly it passes. Not less than a year away from being an adult, and there are a lot of unanswered questions obstructing the road that me and my peers face; What are you going to be when you’re older? Do you want to do something you love, or will you be stuck with something boring for the rest of your life? Money? Happiness? Job stability?

There’s no doubt in my mind that film-making is something I’m going to pursue until the end. It’s something I’d be willing to sleep in my car for if it really comes to that, but that leads us back to the original question. With what I just said, it should seem obvious I’m passionate about film-making.

In the previous weeks, the grade 12’s, including myself, read an excerpt from a book named ‘The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck’- a fitting name for what the text presented. In short-form, the excerpt inquired, “Are you in love with the process of working, or only the finished product?”. The writer Mark Manson essentially asks if you’ll embrace and persevere through all the negative situations that comes along with your passion, or if you’re only in it for what positives will come with the end goal; money, fame, etc.

After plenty of reflection, I’ve come to the semi-concrete conclusion that even if I may not have creative control or inspiration in what I’m making, if I decide for this to be my career, that’s simply apart of the job. Learn to improve my motivation, and convert it into dedication. With the video industry emerging stronger than ever, there’s always someone else that will gladly take my spot if I’m not there.

If I keep working when someone else falters, I’m one step closer to achieving the end goal- while still loving the process.

 

Until next time,

Trent

Settled In

It feels pretty natural coming back to the routine of Propel.

Since the class has settled into the open schedule, our teachers have tasked us all to complete a ‘POC’, short for ‘Proof of Concept’. A POC is essentially a mini-project that’s a small sample of your abilities in the area of interest for your future project. For example, I had to create a short video last semester to display that I was capable of framing, lighting, camera movement, audio, etc; but because I’m back doing promotional videography and film-making again, the teachers already know I can do all of these.

I’m supposed to talk about the challenges and successes I’ve faced while working my POC, but I truthfully didn’t run into much of either. My POC was mixed together with my ‘CEW’, short for ‘Current Event Wednesday’ presentation. I was tasked with finding a piece of media, extracting a relevant message that correlates with a current issue in the world, and present it to my class in a 10 minute time-frame.

I chose a short film from Vimeo named ‘Sala: A Short Odyssey’. It’s a fantastic video and I’d advise watching it, but without delving into too much detail, I thought my presentation went over quite well. But that’s not the best part- Because my POC was finished so early, that directly means I can begin project work nearly a week in advance, and so far the schedule is looking pretty open. I’ve got some good ideas in mind, I just have to stop planning and put them into action.

I suppose we’ll have to see how that turns out… in the next blog.

 

Stay tuned my zero viewer demographic,

Trent

Back to Back

Returning back to Propel for the first semester was an arrangement I never foresaw.

When I walked into Nelson Mac for the purpose of scheduling classes, I told the teachers I wouldn’t make my reappearance until the second semester. They suggested I should stay for the first day, and perhaps make my decision once I returned home. Besides, I didn’t have anything scheduled for the afternoon, and classes at Glenlawn started the next day- so why not.

I have always had trouble dealing with indecision and decision making. This has been mentioned before, and it has been something I’ve consistently worked towards, no matter the situation. Even if someone asks ‘where should we eat?’ or ‘should we do action a or b?’, I try my hardest to produce a clear-cut answer within a reasonable amount of time.

Joining Propel was a decision that held some weight to it, and I only had 15 hours to decide. Weighing the pros and cons, seeing who was doing what projects in the class, and running with my gut judgement, I decided it was time to return for a back to back semester.

The first couple of weeks haven’t really contained anything new per say, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Since I have an outline of the program from start to finish already, I’ve got plenty of time to mull over project ideas and perhaps see if any of the new students are in my field for collaboration.

Aside from learning to be decisive, I also thought it’d be beneficial to be more extroverted when it comes to meeting the new students. Perhaps make them feel more apart of the program right off the bat. Along with myself trying this, the teachers were very adamant as well.

The first community exercise they threw us into was splitting the class into groups of five and seeing who could build the tallest structure in 18 minutes out of 20 spaghetti strands, masking tape, string, and a full marshmallow placed precariously on the top. There were some interesting studies and TedTalks behind the experiment, but it was mainly to showcase the importance of teamwork, collaboration, communication, and punctuality, to the class.

The second community exercise was being brought to the infamous escape rooms of Winnipeg. My group was tasked with the robbing a bank. We went in with high expectations, and lost spectacularly eighty percent through the various puzzles. I’m always a fan of winning, but it was still an entertaining time regardless. Aside from the event being another icebreaker, it was also there to reinforce the aforementioned ideals, in a more pressuring, and I’d suggest, a more fun situation.

With these amusing events in the past, this returns us back to the present. Project planning stages are already in effect, now earlier than ever before. I’d been planning on giving you an insight into what’s going on in this blog, but I believe that surprises are best left just that. The thing I can assure you now is, alongside my personal brand flourishing, the end products I leave with will be my finest work to date.

Be sure to stay tuned. More blogs on the way.

 

Until next time,

Trent