Category: Film
Musing on Love

Over the weekend I finally got a good chunk of silent time to sit with the story of Boy Chases Girl.

The story, for the most part, has lived in note books and parts of it in script format for a while now. But over the weekend I wanted to map the inner emotional sub-text to physical actions as a test of the functionality of the story.

This of course always leads to changes and that is a good thing. Indeed it is the purpose of the exercise! Cause and effect are as much a part of storytelling as they are in so called real life!

I started Friday night:

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And this is where I ended on Sunday afternoon:

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This is essentially an old-school mind map.

As you will see there are five main acts to this story. You can see these by the five sticky notes off to the left of the pic.

The blue and pink notes are the emotional beats, while the yellow sticky notes underneath these are their corresponding physical actions.

I love this part of writing as it’s a chance to let the imagination run free. Just let it roam wherever it may but without letting the mind fall into vague sleepiness. Kind of like some forms of meditation really.

I also thought I would share part of a document I sent through to a producer about the project recently. Enjoy!!

Boy Chases Girl by Clarke Scott

THE PREMISE

Boy Chases Girl is a story about the development of LOVE. Not what we normally think love to be but rather the love to which the ancient Greek philosophers referred to as agape.

Spontaneous and unmotivated, agape is love grounded in the aspiration that another be well and happy. This kind of love is not motivated by one’s own aspirations or even preference for a particular outcome. It is unconditional in the purest sense. Indeed this kind of love is the love spoken of by Buddhists and called mettá or maitrí in Sanskrit. The etymology of the term mettá is often rendered as loving-kindness and I think this captures well the intent behind love in this purest sense of agape. For both are fundamentally a deep sense of caring—a strong yet gentle impulse to care.

To care and to be care about, this is the foundation of all romantic love. Yet this mutual and very symbiotic kind of love is hard won. It is hard won because while the genesis of love may be pure, as the years go by love can become mixed with resentment born of power-games, of pain from the things left unsaid, and even just plain old boredom. Love surely is a battlefield as Pat Benatar once remarked.

When things are going well in life there is a sense of what Aristotle called, eudaimonia. Often translated into happiness, eudaimonia is perhaps better thought of as well-being. It is a well-being that comes from within. It is what we bring to the world, not what we get from it that distinguishes eudaimonia from stimuli driven pleasure. When we bring this sense of well-being to close relationships then these relationships bring joy.

However I believe that when things are going wrong in relationships and arguments become the special of the day, we are actually fighting with ourselves—with our own fears and doubts. When fear of abandonment manifests into an argument over how much flirting is too much flirting, what is the real issue here? These themes are dealt with directly in chapter 3. Suffice it to say, it is only through the transformation of love from one based on the physical to one based on the mental that relationships survive longer term. And similarly it is only once the physical has become mental that the ego can be slain—the basis for unconditional love.

Ron Howard once said that film narrative is about mapping basic human emotions to interesting actions. And Kazan before him famously told us that we are trying to make the psychological, physical. In this regard, Boy Chases Girl is a map of sorts— the cartography of love if you like. It maps an argument (in the philosophical sense) for the potential to develop love in this purest sense. It argues that agape or mettá is both real and possible—even if only after a lifetime of struggle. Indeed perhaps only after a lifetime of struggle.

THE ARCHITECTURE

Boy Chases Girl has five distinct acts or chapters. Each chapter follows a boy and a girl at various ages as they deal with life, themselves, and each other. Each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of the development of love. From that initial spark in a young boy through to love beyond ego, Boy Chases Girl is a love story about love itself. It is a drama about human potential—the potential to love and to be loved.

1. The birth of love (10 year olds)

2. The exploration of love (20 yr)

3. The transformation of love (40 yr)

4. The maturing of love (60 yr)

5. The transcendence of love (80 yr)

Each chapter is roughly 15-20 minutes in length and could be shot as five short films.

Given the large chumps of time between each chapter we do not have to be too concerned about finding actors that look the same over the course of the five chapters. This will allow us to find the right boy and the right girl for each chapter, and to make certain the two are thoroughly engaging together.

The camera work, too, is a representation of some aspect of each chapter. For instance, wider lenses and flowing camera moves represent childhood in chapter one—the world just looks much bigger when you’re ten. A hand-held camera lets you live the chaos of life when you are in your twenties, while a conscious-camera esthetic provides a foreboding that helps represent resentment and boredom that can build in relationships over time.

Talking about time: the transitions between chapters occur as camera moves rather than cuts. For instance, as we move from chapters one to two there is a very slow, sweeping, and continuous 360-degree pan. Starting on the girl the camera begins to move as the boy runs away after a failed first kiss initiated by the girl, and then back to the same position only ten years later to find a beautiful young woman standing there. Who then calls out to camera right—the same direction as the previous boy ran off. Then walks towards this person. The camera is now hand-held and swings round to find the young woman walking down an inner city laneway after a young man…as we follow her…we are into chapter two.

This slow moving 360-degree pan should make us feel the way life can feel to young people. Slow! Yet it is not boring as the sound design carries the narrative elements that will engage. For instance, as the boy runs off we hear this and yet the camera moves painfully slow to catch up to him. Are we there yet? Are we there yet?! The audience feels this wait as young people feel the wait of growing up. As it reaches the boy (at 180-degrees) the camera does not stop as you might expect. Rather it continues on at the same pace and in the same direction as before. Just like life.

The transition between chapters two and three is perhaps even more philosophically and viscerally arresting (at least the image in my mind is!), and a key vision that represents the years between ages 20 to 40.

What we see in the final scene of chapter two (the exploration of love) is a love scene where in the end and only after some heavy petting the girl is placed willingly on her hands and knees as the boy enters her. They begin to make love. It is the culmination of their “exploration.” It is beautiful. Gentle. Not at all demeaning—although it should be very provocative.

Then the transition: bedroom at night. Poorly lit. We are side on to the camera. A 50mm lens close to the action means we only see parts of bodies as they sway rhythmically in the frame from left to right. Then in one continuous shot we track slowly down his body. At first we see his chest moving in and out of frame. We continue to move slowly down his body pass his stomach, then hips, and then begin to move along her body. Slowly slowly the camera creeps along as she moves back and forth in frame. We are close enough that we cannot make out her entire body and as we continue towards her upper area we begin to make out the shape of a breast. Then, as we reach her head, the camera stops to reveal the face of a 40 year old woman. She looks bored. Going through the motions. Suddenly we hear the sound of a baby crying in another room. She stops abruptly. Almost relieved. She gets up from the bed and puts a dressing gown on then quickly walks off camera to attend to the baby. The camera does not move. Then after a beat a 40 year old man flops down headfirst into frame. He rolls onto his back. He is confused and slightly annoyed at what just happened! …and we are into chapter three.

The other transitions are similar but for the sake of brevity I have left them out here. I believe this gives a good sense of the vision and the themes I want to explore in this piece.

More to come…


Anthony Minghella on Morality in Cinema

When I heard Anthony Minghella had passed away I shed a tear. Quite literally! For I knew the world, and in particular the world of cinema, was poorer for it!

As evidence of this I present to you a lecture given by Minghella only days after winning the academy award for The English Patient.

I believe in what he says. Indeed I think you should too. As he remarks at minute 33:00 it is through cinema that we come extend our experience of life. To understand what it is to love form a frame of reference outside of our own.

I’ve said similar in the past but never so beautifully!

So go ahead and listen from 33_00 for a minute or so then continue to read.

Now you may wonder why we need to experience these things. For instance, Minghella claims that through our shift of perspective afforded by the lens we are able to experience what it is like to love and to be loved. Ok. Get that. But he claims claims that we can experienced what it is like to kill and to be killed! And this is a good thing?!? Really!!

Is Minghella suggesting that screen violence has moral utility? Yes he is. As long as it does not generalise and or diminish what it means to be human. This is an important distinction.

Look at it this way, all racism, agism, sexism, all fascism, indeed all hatred, is born of a mind that cannot understand another’s lived experienced.

This is why cinema is important. It is important because it gives someone a chance to do so. A chance to live as if of another sex, another age, another color, and to experience life from that perspective.

In short cinema is an empathy-machine and for this reason he is correct but it is a fine edge between this, stupid filmmaking.

Unfortunately, I suspect, audiences that are in most need of this shift of perspective are the very same ones who will miss the point altogether.

Now if you can go back and listen to the Minghella lecture form the beginning.

 


In the End All We Have is Love

As you go through life some begin to realize that, in the end, whether you like it or not, we lose everything—money. health. status. friends. While for others this fact is lost of them and as a result they can spend the time they have left wondering why! Even bitter at the lost. This is not a judgement but rather an observation.

 

Still it seems to me that what life cannot take form us is our ability to care—to love. And when I say love, I mean it in the Buddhist sense, which of course, has little to do with anything that happens between the sheets!

 

While Lennon may have been correct with his well known, “All you need is Love”, statement this to me has always seemed glib at best…if not just hippy tripe!.

 

Either way it was without doubt the soundbite of the 70’s (or was it the 80’s?) that continues to water-down the truth of the statement and that is a shame really!

 

I think this attitude might be linked, somehow, to a general view about about or what one should do with their life.

 

There will be the people that watch, for instance, the video of Steve Jobs from the last post and nod in approve at the beginning of the speech where he outlines an a-typical life but then disapprove when he goes on the say that this is a rather shallow interpretation of a life well lived!

 

Or as one person close to me did recently…nod and smile in agreement that quickly changed to stoney-faced silent as it dawned upon them why I found this interesting! All you need is Love!!

 

This lead me to think about what is it that makes people believe certain things. Why is it that for some people digging pass the veil of the ordinary, the mundane, is so so natural and yet for others is to frightening beyond belief?!?

 

I do not know yet, but, what I do know is that it pays to dig—if only as a functional mechanism against the wounds of life. Know thyself as the Greeks were found of saying!

 

For the timid, however, it is clear that life turns difficult as they age because they value everything that is easily lost and do not understand that it was ALWAYS going to be “lost” in the end. Really…really…sad!

 

Therefore cherish your ability to care! It maybe all you have left in the end.

 

There are plenty of templates for a life well lived but you have to be brave enough to live them! And the good news is, it is never too late.

 

May all beings…those close and those far….have only happiness and its causes.

 


 


Late Bloomers

As I was waiting for a ride to the family Christmas dinner I sat down to watch a little something and came across this—an interview with Writer/Director David O. Russell—The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle.

Interesting. Inspiring.

In this video Russell mentions he is ten years behind his age in terms of maturity. I do not believe he means to say he is immature, but rather that he is a late bloomer insofar as working out what it is that he is “supposed” to be doing. To this I can relate!


A Year of Light and Shade

Although I continue to tell myself I enjoy sharing I seemed to have gone almost ten months without updating the blog. Shame on me!

Despite that I continue to tell myself I will write more even if I have failed to do so this year. I fail more than I like to really.

This time last year I will still a Buddhist monk when I wrote this piece about Christmas.

Buddhist Prayer Wheel

Buddhist Prayer Wheel

 

Since then my life has, you could say without exaggeration, changed. It has changed for the better even if it has been quite bumpy along the way.

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13th Beach Road sunset taken Christmas 2012

I moved out of the monastery I was living in while trying to complete my PhD.

Buddhist Stupa

I said goodbye to a part of my life I never thought I would but, I have always been the kind of person to move forward without regret. I do believe it important to always move forward with one eye on where you come!

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Leaving the monastery early 2013

I had no idea what I was going to do now that I was no longer a monk but I had confidence that the life I was living was limiting me from something else.

So I moved back to my parents place to restock before moving forward again.

My mum/mom makes great pumpkin soup the best in the world I tells ya!

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Mum’s pumpkin soup with smiley face to make me feel better!

While at mum’s my sister and her family visited. We eat food, spent time as a family, and I made a short film with my six year old nephew called “The Magic Spanner.”

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The Magic Spanner

It was during this time that I meet with one of my father friends and business partners. I had an idea that would allow my to continue to develop as a filmmaker while owning a living. And I thought it a good idea too.

So I arranged a meeting over coffee.

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Meeting over coffee

 

My dad’s friend is a very successful business person and so I thought that he might be good to pass the idea across. Perhaps he will have something to add. Something that I have not thought about, or perhaps he will tell me it won’t work for this or that reason. Either way I felt it a good thing to so despite the possibility of my future been crushed before it was even going.

But the meeting went well. And about 1/2 way through he stopped me and said that he needed me, he needed this idea executed for one of business.

So he asked me to put together a proposal outlining exactly what I saw I could do for this business, how this would actual benefit the business, and of course the cost.

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Off to Sydney

 

Suffice it to say, the proposal was well accepted and I was soon off to shoot the first of a series of spots for his sister company in Sydney.

 

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Sydney airport 2013

 

Landing in Sydney I spent the day on a recce! My favorite part of shooting I think.

 

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Sydney Recce

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Icebergs Bondi beach

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Shoot day. What a sight!

After the shoot it was back to Melbourne to try and organize my life again. For now that I had arranged a source of income and in a direction I was happy to move in, it was now time to find my own place.

It had been almost twenty years since I’ve living by myself. See I was always in Buddhist monasteries or centres or overseas study, or whatever. This was the first time I would have my “own” place!

So I looked until I found a place near enough to the city that I could get to and from without too much trouble or need of a car (still not enough money to get one to be honest) and I would simply hire a bomb when I needed to drive somewhere.

So I packed my bags again! Putting everything into a truck and moved into a one bedroom place in a funky outer-city suburb.

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Driving truck to my new home

I needed a truck this time as I bought some white goods for the new place.

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Views of the city

The views of the city from my place are quite speecy! And I set myself for a a lot of work coming my way! Something I was really looking forward to I must say.

I bought some new gear—lenses, camera, and viewfinder.

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New gear is always fun

 

And continued to wait for work to come in.

Yet nothing came.

 

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No wind; no movement.

 

Like a windmill standing motionless this went on for sometime. But that is how things go I’ve found. Patience. I kept telling myself. Patience!

Luckily I was on a retainer and therefore cash was not an issue. Still I’d rather be doing something.

Then finally, as the year rounded out,  I was busier than I could handle. Almost!

In the past six or so week we have put together, shot, and edited several episodes for an upcoming branded documentary. I have created a social-media campaign to help promote the series once it goes live, and I have built a website for the campaign to provide more information for the business, and because of this I got to travel and visit places I have never been again.

 

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Off to the Goldcost Queensland. Looks like to is going to be a dumpy ride!

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Fun in the sun

 

And then back to Sydney for a different shoot—all in the matter of ten days!

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Client arranged the ticket at the wrong airport.

 

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If only I could say I had em eating out of my hands more often 😉

 

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Newtown, NSW – December 2013

Off for a quick bite to eat and a beer.

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Clients. Talent. Crew. Fun!

 

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Heading back home.

My year. A year of contrast. Of light and shade.

My year. A year of contrast. Of light and shade.

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Sunset from my balcony

 

And so that was my 2013. It was a terrific year of challenge and transformation.

A year of contrasts. A year of light and shade—of dumps and of grins.

A year where the light and shade mattered because of the dumps and grins.

2013, you were an experience!

 


Live Life at Eleven

While working on the outline for a “secret project” I wrote a note to myself that will represent a series of events spanning several days with the simple title— “Life is a Series of Moments — Make Em Count!”

(update: the “secret project” is Medals for the Intrepid.)

 

This got me thinking…life REALLY IS JUST A SERIES OF MOMENTS.

 

These moments are things that no one can take from you.

 

How you choose to spend these moments, therefore, is your choice—your decision.

 

Do not turn the TV on simply to fill the space with noise.

 

Do not find something to do just to be active.

 

Do use technology to engage, inform, and educate.

 

Do be as active as possible to engage, inform, and educate.

 

These are your moments. And these moments ARE your life.

 

You can spend them goofing off. Distracted. Asleep! Ignorant!!

 

Or you can choose to live life at eleven. Eyes wide open, fully engaged, ready to help—completely clear in body, speech and mind.

 

The decision is yours. Blue pill; Red pill. Which one will you take?

 

And don’t think this is not the most important decision of your life for there ain’t no re-runs in this cinema.

 

So make em count!

 


 


The Digital Storyteller – Opening Scene

Recently I had a twitter conversation with the legendary film producer Ted Hope. This short conversation validated a few things I’ve been thinking about in relation to the digital space, it’s impact of filmmaking, and how I, as a filmmaker, can take advantage of the quickly changing landscape in order to get my stories out.

Enter the digital storyteller.

What is a digital storyteller?

A digital storyteller (as I define it) is someone who not only leverages the internet as a delivery service but, embraces the medium as a method of communication, and importantly, as a means of engaging their core audience.

Stories that don’t engage, fail. Storytellers that do the same are likely to fail too.

Parts of this methods are not new. Ed Burns, for instance, was the first writer/director to release a feature exclusively on digital with Purple Violets.

Burns has gone on to release Nice Boy Johnny, and Newly Weds both digital only.

This model is straightforward: Write. Shoot. Release digitally. Engage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GViJv2MZgX8

As an aside, I think Nice Boy Johnny is his best work. Do yourself a favor and go rent it in iTunes.

However, this is just the beginning of the digital storytelling revolution my friends.

Now, I want you to think about your favorite movie of all time, and I want you to remember what it was like when you first show it. How did it make you feel?

Now imagine being able to connect with the writer/director in a meaningful way.

Imagine an iPad or iPhone app that would allow you to get backstory of said movie. Backstory that was never intended to be seen on the larger screen but very much apart of the writers process. This could potentially be release as additional content for those who want to connect more deeply.

Moreover, imagine the various threads of a story went somewhere. Imagine one of these side story or event within your favorite movie became a new story delivered as a web-series!

Now you’re thinking…yeah great…more dribble to digest!

But what if this multi-platform storytelling approach could include educational elements? What if, a story of a dysfunctional family had meaningful content beyond the mere? Little Miss Sunshine. Nietzsche. Anyone?

Can you dig it! Can you dig it! (10 point for anyone who can tell me what movies that lines comes from (…think…late 70’s movie set in NYC).

Hmmm…let us think about this together. What could be of both interest and benefit to someone who wants to go beyond the 90 mintue story? How about the screenplay? What about the research notes on depression that one might write as a story develops?

What about an eBook for the iPad that follows the main thread of the movie but with embeds online resources, podcasts, and other such educational material like TED talks? So that as someone reads about character X and their fight against Y there is material that they can investigate at their own pace.

Ok, now we’re cookin!

See, the story presented in the 90 minutes of a movie are not where any story begins, nor ends.

As a digital storyteller we now have the scope to go deeper. To tell a story that both satisfies and educates.

This excites me as it allows us to stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, benefit from this, and benefit others.

CAN YOU DIG IT!


First Update for 2012

It’s three months in to 2012 and this is the first update to the blog. Dang…time sure can get away you if your not careful.

In fact it has been longer than this since the last update I wrote was posted just before leaving for Thailand.

I was to be there for a month; stayed for two. But I won’t bore you with the details of the Thailand shoot other than to say the people were friendly, the food delicious, and did I say the people were friendly? Anyhoo, here is some of what I shot while there: http://vimo.com/36377195

Since getting back to Australia however, I’ve had a little purification to get through. That seems to be done now, and I finally have a home. I’m now in a better place and feel ready to begin writing again. Yay!

In recent news, I started a new job as a full-time editor for a small film & TV production company here in Melbourne. Started last week in fact. It’s nothing too flash but, we do have a 30 minute TV special coming up over Easter for a local commercial network station. What’s more the company director is interested in producing some of my short films. Hopefully I’ll have something to show you by the end of the year!? But given the nature of the film & TV industry I probably shouldn’t count on it. Not until I see him schedule time for them at least. Until then I’m happy to learn, and earn a little coin.

As you might imagine the short films I would like to have produced have, at the core, themes of compassion and human potential.

One story I have been musing on lately is a short film examining the impact of Alzheimers called Remembering Me.

As you might know, Alzheimers is a hidden problem that slides up on people as they age. The problem is often hidden by the natural aging process because it is simply a fact that as people age, memory muscles fade. Those  that  suffer are often unaware, and of course, if they are aware they are often reluctant to hear anything about the subject. But I have a theory…as you do.

See, I think that if we had compassion for the person we will become we might be more open to discuss such issues now. Having compassion for the person you will become will also help you lead a better life. This is a good thing, obviously but, how does one tell this story without words?

Here’s an outline:

We open with a overhead shot of an elderly man lying awake in bed. It’s 4.30 in the morning. He cannot sleep.  He leans over to look at the clock on his bedside table. Next to the clock is a family portrait—wife and adult daughter—taken at the family beach house. He then rolls on his side to sit on the edge of the bed.

He slips his feet into tarten slippers and walks to the bathroom. After a quick bathroom break we see him dressing in his business attire. A shirt. A tie. A jacket. A name tag. He’s dressing for work.

The old man then walks out of the ensuite and into the lounge. Passing the coffee table he bends to pick up his car keys.

CUTTO:

The garage where we find the old man sitting in the drivers seat. Hand on the wheel. The keys are still in his hands as he stares out the windscreen with a puzzled look as if he is unsure what to do. After a short pause he places the keys in the keyhole and turns.

CUTTO:

The old man driving to down a main road. The streets a empty.

From his point of view we see him driving towards a red light. He’s not breaking. As he gets closer the light turns green. He brakes. Even though the streets a empty a car speeds pass tooting his horn.

The door open and the old man steps out of the car. From a long shot way behind the car we see the old man stepping out onto the road and isn’t wearing pants.

He walks into the intersection.

With a tight shot on the old man face we see car lights coming in from the side. Horn sounds. Tires Squeal. He turns to car the lights…THUD! FADE TO BLACK.

CUTTO:

An overhead shot of a young man unable to sleep. He rolls over to look at the time. It’s 4.30 am. In the background we see a photo portrait of his young family—wife and young daughter—taken at their newly purchased beach house.

FADE TO BLACK

End Title: “May all beings be free from suffering and its causes.”

 


A Life—A Journey

Today we have a lesson in history. Or perhaps I should say some personal history that contains a lesson. As I am naturally loquacious however I will give away the ending upfront just in case you miss it embedded in my rambling.

Ok, here it is: be true to yourself. I know, I know…it’s cliche to even point out that it’s a cliche. So, perhaps a smarter way of saying this is, know who you are, know what you do best, and then do that!

I have made this point previously—most recently in the article the impact positive childhood memories can have on adulthood. I wrote that article as we often focus on the impact of bad memories, and I wanted to suggest that it might in fact be more effective for personal transformation to focus on the good memories, or at least point out the profound impact good memories can have on us in ways that we do not always recognise.

But what does it mean to “know who you are, know what you do best and then do that?”

I will explain this via my own experience. So, a little of the backstory to kick us off.

As many of you know before my Buddhist journey I was studying improvisational music at the Victorian College of the Arts here in Melbourne, Australia. In fact, when I first met the man who was to become my mentor—the Tibetan lama Geshe Loden—I was in the planning phase of  a performance piece that would combine music, dance and moving images—this would have been June/July 1995. The work itself was to be an hour long live performance that told the story of the migration of a pod of whales (without there being images of whales as this would be too obvious, I recall thinking).

Although I was studying music at the time (now that I think about it), even back then I was interested in telling stories with an empathetic theme. For I also remember that the sounds of the whales (to be played by different wind instruments) were really a metaphor for the cry of suffering. I imagined those deep sounds that whales make represented the collective groan of all beings. This all sounds rather pretentious now but back in the day I thought it was quite interesting.

I still remember the idea behind the combination of music, dance and images was to immerse the audience in the storytelling as much as possible but to leave enough space for an individual audience member to think for themselves (are you seeing a theme here?). By having the music minimalist in tone and the dance slow and smooth I felt this was possible. Suffice it to say, it was never performed (however, some kind of multi-media live thing is still something I would like to do someday).

Then in the first six months of my arts degree that I left the VCA and found myself in my own immersive experience—Buddhism (the exact details surrounding how I went from the VCA to living in a Buddhist monastery are book length, not blog length…so I apologize for the jump-cut here). I slept, ate, and dreamt about it. I read everything I could get my hands on and wasn’t all that happy when my teacher—Geshe Loden—had me learning about computers, working, and pulling weeds from the garden rather than what I wanted to do, which was to study Buddhist philosophy and integrate what I had learnt with meditation. It went like this for the next 13 years—wanting to do one thing and being told to do another.

However by 2007, and because of my love of philosophy I thought it might be a good idea to get a job in a university teaching. I felt that I could combine my vocation with employment. While I won’t go into the details of how this all took place again, it’s book length, not blog length, I have found academic philosophy far too dry and by early 2011 I was totally spent, totally burnt out! I think this is in part due to the fact that I am not a natural academic, and the nature of post-grad work in Australia at this time.

To be sure, I love philosophy. I love the process of thinking deeply about a topic or issue and how this relates to life. Perhaps this is the key to the level of burnout occurring in the post-grad community? That is, because academic philosophy tends to be disconnected from a framework that allows for the integration of that knowledge into daily life it is only those that are inclined to a professional academic lifestyle that tend to make it through the programme (perhaps that is the way it should be?).

So, philosophy as a profession?…not for me.

However, it does not follow from this that academia has something inherently wrong with it. No! It was just wrong for me. Moreover, there is a need for people to go and get Ph.D’s and help others by writing academic books, doing research and so on. Just look at the wonderful things that someone like Prof. Robert Thurman has been able to accomplish from within the Academy! Truly wonderful. Inspiring. But it is not a place that works for everyone and I found this out only after giving it a shot. This last point is important so I will repeat it.

Finding out what comes natural is often a case of finding out what does not come naturally, and this will only become clear when you go out and experience life. I do not mean some kind of hedonistic voyage into the unknown; I mean from within the worldview of transforming your mind and helping others whenever possible—everything from simply being a good friend, through to helping homeless people—find out what works for you by trying different things. Go out and experience different things. If you always wanted to do something, what’s stopping you?

This is what I meant by, know who you are, know what you do best and then do that! Of course, my Ph.D is not completely dead, and I will continue to write about philosophy and leverage the research methods I have learnt over the past three or four years to ground the stuff I make into the future. Its just that getting a job in a university is not the best way forward for me. This is the lesson I learnt.

So as I sit here writing this today I feel like I have come full-circle back to where I was circa-1995. But with a great deal more knowledge than the silly young boy pretending to make “art” and thinking he was sooo important!

I will finish this article off with a question. If you could time-lapse your life what story would it tell?

A Life — A Journey

A Life — A Journey from Clarke Scott on Vimeo.

Make certain you use every moment of your life to benefit yourself and others. It might take out half a life time to know what it is that you should be doing. That’s fine. It’s all part of the process. But whatever happens, do not sit around thinking you should go and do something and yet not!

Find out what make you tick well, and do that . For there would be nothing more wonderful than to look back on your life and know that you have done everything you could to be of benefit to yourself and others. That’s a life well lived.


How Can I Make You Remember Me?

As a fan of the band Hammock and having recently purchased several albums I wanted to shoot something for one of their amazing soulful numbers. I chose, “How Can I Make You Remember Me?” from the album, “Chasing After Shadows…Living with Ghosts.” See here: hammockmusic.com/​chasing

 

The piece came about because I was heading into town (Melbourne, Australia) and had to take public transport for a meeting. So I took my 60d and a lens—my 50mm 1,4 just in case something came up.

 

As I took the train to the meeting I listening to Hammock on my iPhone, and shooting whatever looked interesting as I went. There was no time to stop and think about each shot—just point and shoot. I hope you like the results?

 

 

I was planning to make this a narrative piece. I wanted to write something as a V.O., (voice over) and create something entirely different than what it ended up being. This would basically make the music a soundtrack to my piece. Moreover, I think Hammocks music has a narrative feel and so then it accrued to me that if I were to add dialogue this might change the intended meaning of the song. Or at least place a particular narrative into the head of the viewer/listener. So I refrain…for now.