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In the Midnight Hour

The last assignments of the semester are about to be handed out, but before we prepare for the biggest tests we’ve faced to date, it’s time to look back at the last two weeks, and see how creative we really are. In the last fortnight alone, I created sidewalk crack art; made a selfie using an unused filter; read one of my favorite works of fan fiction; wrote a six-line poem about the universal search for purpose in life; drew my host character; made two “Five-Second Movies” for the price of one; merged classical music with modern music videos; celebrated an anime character’s in-canon birthday; manipulated a photo of Virginia in winter; crossed a bridge over troubled water; took a midnight ride to class; created a “grook” about risks and rewards; managed to single out all the dramatic entrances from the middle episodes of Darkwing Duck; and split myself in two to bring you the first episode of the “Five-Word Book Club.” Also, this happened.

My favorite tasks were the video assignments, as I really got to enjoy creating my own short films, and seeing what works, and when; the fact that some of the tricks I pulled off worked as naturally as they did was a highlight of my brief run with editing, as the stories I told showcased just how over-the-top, yet eloquent, the world around us is. It was also a bit of therapy for someone like me, who tends to overcomplicate every single thing he so much as attempts to do, to the point of almost never thinking he should step back and read the instruction manual. Even now, I jump to conclusions without thinking everything through, and it isn’t until after the damage’s supposed to be done that I realize exactly how harmless the actual challenge was. Everything just tends to work out for the best for me, despite my inner demons, and in all seriousness, these last two weeks were a prime example why nothing’s always what they seem.

The lesson I learned revolves around patience and self-control. Even when things don’t go your way, be it scheduling conflicts or just the general indecision synonymous with the pre-production phase of filmmaking, taking the opportunity to think things out can clear your mind of any confusion and help you get whatever your intended message is out to the masses in a more effective manner. The big project that we had these last two weeks, a “split-screen” challenge where I had to make it look like I was having a conversation with myself, was a key example of this; my entry’s subject was the “Five-Word Book Club,” inspired by the “Five-Second Movies” I worked on earlier in the grading period. I had originally planned to turn it all in as an Audio Assignment of its very own, but if I have to be honest here, I think that this is a far more interesting test-run of the piece.

Overall, this was the greatest amount of effort I put into a grading period in quite some time, and I certainly won’t forget anything I’ve learned from this experience. However, the action isn’t going to stop any time soon, as we still have three more weeks of classes, grand finales included, before we can close up shop for DS106 in 2015. Check back again next week, when the final countdown begins, and all things must come to their end.

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