Live and learn?

Recently on Instagram I saw a celebrity do this challenge called The Choco Challenge. You order this chocolate, containing the top 12 hottest peppers. This includes the Grim Reaper Pepper, which is currently the hottest pepper in the world since 2013. It is a cross between the Ghost pepper and red habanero. When it comes to spicy foods/sweets it’s a no for me. I can’t even eat a Hot Cheeto without my eyes watering and complaining about how spicy it is for the next 5 minutes. I decided to buy one box, thinking it would come with multiple of these chocolates and I would try it with my sister. She also does not like spicy foods, but can tolerate it more than me. It was a spur of the moment decision to do this, for no reason at all. It also donates 50 meals to Feeding America per box. I thought, why not? It’s for a good cause. When the box arrived it contained 1 chocolate square.. may I add, I paid $20 for this, thinking it must come with more than 1. It did not. Being a wimp and also just having a bit of an older sibling mean streak I decided to make my sister try it by herself, since there was only one. I told her it was hot and I saw people trying it online, but they seemed to be overreacting in my opinion. When she ate it at first we were laughing and she of course started to tear up saying how spicy it was. The situation escalated as we went downstairs and she began to drink multiple glasses of milk and say it burned very badly in her throat, her nose and face overall. I was still laughing thinking we were laughing together at the situation, but then I came to realize she actually was in pain. My dad came home and was angry with me, wondering why I would make her eat this, seeing how badly she was reacting to it. However, I thought it was harmless, considering it was just spicy. What could go wrong? Come to find out my sister is allergic to all types of nuts and this chocolate contained traces of multiple nuts and her throat was burning because she was having a severe allergic reaction. In conclusion, she now has an EpiPen. Moral of the story: Don’t do challenges you see on the internet… or I guess in this case, don’t make other people do them because you thought it was dumb in the first place.

Also.. I’m guessing she won’t be excited if she gets picked as one of the 5 winners to win a years supply of hot sauce.

Meet the Robinsons is underrated.

***SPOILERS***

 

Disney’s animated film Meet the Robinsons was released in 2007. I was in fourth grade and my sister was in kindergarten. I remember seeing this in the movie theater with her and loving it. At the time we were naive and while we still enjoyed it, we did not understand all the deeper meanings behind the character’s and the plot. 

If you have not seen or heard about this film, the storyline is about a 12-year-old orphan boy named Lewis who is an aspiring inventor. He has been rejected by many potential families. The technology he creates fails time after time and he starts to give up on his latest invention, which ends up being stolen by the someone called, Bowler Hat Guy. Then, a time-traveler boy named Wilbur shows up one day and takes Lewis away to the future. There he spends a day with Wilbur’s eccentric family and discovers something about his life. 

The love my sister and I have for this movie grew as we continued to rewatch it and learn more. As we became older we recognized the lessons, analyzed the characters and were able to connect the movie to our lives, building an emotional connection to the film. This is something I’ve noticed when I go back and rewatch many of my childhood favorites. As kids, the movies were enjoyable, but now I get more out of them as a young adult. I find it amazing when watching children movies and seeing how the writers designed the plot to reach audiences of all ages. Everyone is able to get something out of it. Not all movies are like this, which is fine, but I find it incredibly creative to figure out a way for someone at age 5 to enjoy a movie just as much as someone at age 25. 

My favorite part of Meet the Robinsons is definitely the closing scene, partly because of the song choice. The song used is, Little Wonders by Rob Thomas. The lyrics are very fitting for the theme and lesson and complete the movie nicely. It definitely makes me tear up when watching. The song elevates the emotional impact of the ending, and ties together the overall powerful meaning of the movie. 

As far as the rest of the film, Lewis, the main character, goes through a rollercoaster of finding himself and learning about major life lessons. Considering his age, failure is expected. However, Lewis is presented as very intelligent and obsessive about his work, easily getting frustrated when things go wrong. Early on in the film you begin to notice his confidence issues as he starts to doubt his skills. His self-esteem problems also derive from the repeating rejections by families at the orphanage. They are often taken aback by his energy demonstrated through his exquisite inventions. When Wilbur shows up he tries to convince Lewis not give up, because he knows the consequences of his future. During this time Lewis is more concerned with using the time machine Wilbur came in to go to the past to find his birth mother. The Bowler Hat Guy, who stole his recent invention that went wrong, tempts Lewis into helping him in trade for taking him to meet his birth mother. Lewis ends up betrayed, and near the end, before going back to the present, Wilbur decides to take Lewis back to when his birth mother left him on the orphanage doorstep. This was another impactful scene to me, because Lewis walks up behind his mother to reach out to her and then stops. He realizes that if he does this, his future will change. He then is faced with the difficult decision of what is more important to him, fixing the past or moving on? You later find out that Wilbur is Lewis’ son and the family he met traveling to the future is his family in the future. I also thought it was touching to see Wilbur sacrificing his existence to give Lewis the happiness he thought he wanted. If Lewis would have met his mother, he would have a different life and Wilbur and the rest of his future family would not exist. 

Meet the Robinsons does an excellent job letting it be known that failure is a learning experience and that moving forward from someone or something is not always an easy choice. What I did not grasp from the movie as a child is, figuring out who and what is meant to stay in the past and what is meant to be given another chance. That said, one point in the movie I disagree with is that there are multiple instances where mistakes are able to be fixed. Sometimes relationships and situations cannot be fixed and we are not able to go back in the past to do that, nor into the future to see these mistakes so we can prevent them. We have to live with the consequences sometimes. Lewis learns from his future family to accept failure and take a step towards better things to come in his future. This hits him when visiting his mother and realizing he already has a family in the future that loves him and he becomes a great inventor. 

Applying this movie to my life right now, being in college is stressful (an understatement) and at times it is hard to keep the end in sight and feel in control of everything. Movies like these are like a breather and remind me of simple life lessons, such as not giving up. It is okay to be bothered by a bad exam grade or worry about how my GPA will be affected by a final, but the important thing is to not let these things bother me for too long. Those feelings are temporary and I can’t dwell on what has already been done.

All I can do is: Keep Moving Forward.

There’s Got to Be a Reason We’re All Here

There are so many ways to categorize and define one person’s personality. From Myers-Briggs tests to Enneagram numbers or full zodiac chart readings and niche Buzzfeed quizzes, enough pieces of input into a computer will make a way to eventually resonate with us. But, beyond data, I’ve recently been thinking about a belief in intuition, especially within the innocence of childhood, that may point us in the way we’re meant to go.

My dad loves to tell these stories about how my sisters and I found our paths before we knew much else about life. If you got him started, he’d talk about how my eldest sister, Mia, made a 3D pair of baby shoes out of construction paper when she became a big sister at age 4. She carried this creativity into her adulthood and she is now a visual artist and graphic designer. My dad would also gladly boast about how my sister, Micah, had a reputation for challenging the intellect (and patience) of her teachers. Karmically, she is now a teacher herself, and challenges standards of prejudice and injustice within the education system every day. When it comes to my story, my dad eagerly tells stories about how I used to hoard cardboard boxes. On the surface (or even if my childhood attachment issues were factored in), it may sound a bit odd that my parents would buy me a toy and I preferred the shipping packaging. But, in the recent unpacking (no pun intended) of memories surrounding these reiterations of my own life led to the breakthrough in which I realized that I was building worlds at my own pace and in my own space. Every box became a spaceship or a superhero hideout or whatever I wanted it to be. And while they were marked up with crayons or colored pencils, they were the building blocks of telling stories in my own way.

Of course, other markers led me to have a passion for storytelling. My earliest memory is being sat at the end of my parent’s bed at age 2 and watching West Side Story for the first time. And when I was 8, I won a competition and won a DVD player and spent a year watching Under the Tuscan Sun and the 1994 version of Little Women every week.

There were detours as well. I was convinced that I would be a marine biologist at age 13, I was a part of my middle school’s rock band, and while I was enrolled at a performing arts high school for musical theatre, I spent my summers at a science camp. I’m sure if I thought hard enough about any of these experiences, there would be a glimmer of film and television’s impact on these moments in my life.

Nonetheless, as deliberate writing goes, nothing makes it onto the page without reason, and I like to think the same about life. Not only because there is joy in figuring out a puzzle, but also because pessimism would eat me alive. Whether it be fate or chance or an Aquarius Moon with a Libra 5th House ruler, something pointed me to a passion that is right.

I would love to hear from you, whoever you may be in this void, on why you think you happened to stumble or strut onto this path, if even for a moment.

Frontier Fiesta-ing

Disclaimer: Please do not ask what’s happening… I don’t even know what’s happening.

Ok, just kidding, I know what we are doing this year and its been a wild ride. As a student and a student leader since sophomore year, there has been a lot of event planning in my noggin as well as keeping up with two degrees at the same time. Once I finally got used to time management and how to coordinate everything… boom, pandemic. A few months into virtual events and figuring out how to shift into this new life, I get the honor to be the Chair for Frontier Fiesta. Now, this comes with a lot of responsibility and lots of thinking as to… how. Especially in the midst of a pandemic and now all eyes feel like they are on you.

We have a lot in store for everyone, and I hope all our rough drafts and finalizations are still fun and exciting for all. The last day is my personal favorite… I really cannot wait for the reveal and to fully explain what we have been encountering since July.

 

Am I scared? Oh yes. Am I proud of this team? Absolutely.

Workflow 36 Frames – Operator

 

Hey there, void.

 

It’s ya boy.

 

Al.

 

I don’t normally like to show what I am working on until it is finished, but I need to build some kind of presence online so here it is. A telephone.

 

Yep that’s it. You can hit the back button. That’s all there is.

 

Well there is a bit more. When I was a kid, I was an only child and my mother worked three different jobs all at different shifts of the day so my day consisted of me finding away to keep entertained. I did so through movies and Cartoons. I always liked the title frames of an old Cartoonnetwork show by the name of Ed, Edd, & Eddy. They always had some sort of “Ed” pun but it gave you a general idea of the episode you were about to use to vaporize some brain-cells with.

So what’s the point? Point is that stuck with me. When I go out to shoot I will take stills at different angles and play with a title card on them to see how they feel. I want to see which one sets the mood and tone for whatever I am trying to show. In this case we are using my old replica pay phone. The song Operator is a song about loss. This guy’s love left him for his best friend and moved to L.A. and the whole time the main character is trying to get the number so he can call and tell them that it doesn’t phase him. He becomes dependant on this Operator or in this case of my project, this phone. This phone is his coping mechanism with the loss, but I didn’t  want the shot to look sad, because the song has a more up beat tempo compared to some of Jim Croce’s other songs with similar subject matter for example “Time in a bottle”, “Lover’s Cross”, and “These Dreams”. But I knew I wanted the Telephone to be the main character of the piece.

 

I wanted a worms-eye view of the zero key because I wanted to play with the reverse shot of our Sad-lad to be looking up with that look of “Well here we are again”
This one feels too generic in my eyes, but it still felt pretty Okay.

The Hallucination of Memories

I mentioned on my previous blog (you should read it first and comeback)  I was going to experiment with going to a location and playing music that does not belong in that environment. Well, I finally escaped the four white walls of my room and visited The Museums of Fine Arts, Houston. It has been over a year since I visit the museum and let me tell you it has expanded massively. If I’m not mistaken MFAH is the fourth- largest museum in the country. Time flew by quickly while listening to music and I walked my 10,000 steps that day. Maybe it was not a good decision to work out on my legs that day before.

Two weeks have passed since my visit from the Museum and something interesting happened. While looking over the pictures I took certain art pieces I remembered the melody of the song I was listening to. I ask myself why do I remember the melody is it because of the song or the impressions the art piece gave. It can also be a combination of both but is hard to ponder over memories. Memories are a delicate topic to reflect over because memories change over time or are rather manipulated.

Either way, it was nice to change the scenery, it was a good opportunity to get inspired for upcoming projects. At the same time admired different mediums of arts.

Song recommendation for the week: Whereabouts – Stevie Wonder

Tired & Hopeful

As a Senior (I think) in college, there starts to be that impending doom of what lies beyond graduation. Some people may have it all figured out already, like my STEM sister, but then there is me. I have been bouncing around career ideas for as long as I can remember. If anyone knows me, I am a planner. And if I don’t have a plan- then the Great Freakout will happen and I start to question life and what I have to offer it.

It’s a fact, though, that I wanted to be in the entertainment industry ever since I was a kid. Like many of us, I wanted to be an actress. Then a director, then a producer, then a creative director. Now that graduation is this year and my mom keeps asking or any updates and even the slightest bit of hope that I have SOMETHING figured out, my guess is as good as hers. I have some sense of direction, right now its Movie Marketing, but knowing me I will change again in a few months.

As a double major in Business and Film, I am in two very competitive fields. With that being said, I know I need to get my foot in the door and start looking for more internships.

Earlier this year, I sat myself down and applied. I applied like crazy and to any and everything I even somewhat thought I was qualified for. Sure enough I got some calls back and am waiting to hear back from NBCUniversal as well as Paramount Pictures. Pray for me, it was hard for me to get everything right and submitted in time and the positions that have reached out are right in the field I want to be in: entertainment AND marketing.

I really hope this leads me somewhere. Though I am a planner, I somehow want this part of my life to not be planned and unfold itself as it comes. If you are reading, I will keep you updated. But for now, I am tired and hopeful.

Some Thought

Hi, 4381 Productions! How are you guys doing after the Snowstorm? Anyway, I hope everyone are doing well and be safe!

I don’t know but I just feel like I have a deep mood today. I have been laying on bed and thinking a lot of about the future. It was scary when you thought about “the future. Young people do not fear out of love, fear running out of money, do not fear losing love, fear of unemployment.

If asked, what is my biggest fear in my youth, I will definitely answer unemployment. Many of you still think that falling in love is the saddest, the most frightening thing. However, when you are unemployed, your family won’t or won’t able to help you anymore, after that you will understand what suffering and fear is.

Moreover, of course everyone thinks that love is beautiful, very beautiful, but no one lives off love. And more importantly, love can always be, 30 years old, 40 years old you can still love. But a career can only build from the 20s, from the days you are young, still healthy.

What’s too much is never good, in my opinion the balance is the best. Love just enough, not compassionate, live and die for love. People also do not judge you better when you love to the fullest like that, otherwise they despise you for not controlling your life. Without love for a few years, no one will die.But try not having money for a week; you will understand the young saying, do not be afraid of falling in love, fear unemployment! 

Strange Days

I have been absent online during this time of crisis in the world of 4381 Productions. The offices have been vacant and extremely cold these last several days. I am hoping people read Parry’s post on staying warm before all the lights went out.

The main office of 4381 is located in the wonderfully warm world of Texas. Cold is generally not our concern. Most of the northern part of the world might be wondering why this winter storm has hit us so hard. The majority of people have electric based heating. Even if you have a gas furnace, the temperature controls are electric. Most people have electric ovens and stoves. No electricity and you’ve lost all heat sources for most people around here.

I know that I am extremely worried for everyone at the office as well as everyone in Texas, everyone except Bill Magness and the “fine folks” on the board of ERCOT. Of course, a lot of those folks aren’t actually living here. I do not want to spend precious time on someone who will hopefully be out of a job and possibly in jail in the coming weeks.

Everyone, stay safe, stay warm and stay focused on those things that are most important to you.