Change of Thinking

I’ve been doing some reading over the last couple of nights in the hunt for a means to generally advance further in life. Some people might think that I need to turn to my faith for my answers. I’ve been away from it for so long that I truly feel like an imposter. However, I think I may have found some solutions.

In short, I’ve been thinking wrong.

We tend to create the world that we want. If all a person thinks about money, that’s the only thing they’ll see. It’s much like once you buy a new car or something, you suddenly find that same car everywhere. What I’ve been focusing on is essentially not screwing up. The only thing I’ve been thinking about on a day to day basis for the last couple weeks is not failing and not going broke. The only thoughts in my head are about failure and going broke, so the only thing I see is failure and lack of funds. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Tomorrow I’m going to write a plan and then immediately start working it. No excuses.

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On Being an Introvert

Earlier today I rather glibly posted on my Google+, Twitter & Facebook feeds the following: “Being an introvert is easy.” One of my FB (and real-life) friends replied, essentially conflating introversion with “social laziness.”

My first reaction was defensive, yet I can understand why some people would think that’s what introverts are like. So I thought it would be instructive, if not cathartic, to explain what I meant and, perhaps, defend my social orientation.

So what is it like being an introvert? I think what defines me most is contradiction.

As we are social creatures, having some form of interaction is essential to our survival–otherwise, we’d just reproduce asexually. I understand this and rail against becoming solitary as much as possible. I see the psychological benefits of being sociable, and, conversely, the psychological deficits of remaining solitary. Yet my default state, the set point of my social interaction, is introversion.

So what did I mean by saying introversion is easy? Simply put, it’s much easier to say or do nothing–to cocoon, turtle up, hide–than it is to actually do something. I understand that in order to succeed in life–be it professionally, emotionally, psychologically, or in whatever field–one must enact some change in the world. Thermodynamics says that entropy is inevitable. But this knowledge is contradicted, again, by my default state.

I’m still thinking about this idea–about how my introversion not only defines me but also defines my limitations. It’s a part of me whether I like it or not at this point. And change, as we all know, is hard.

This requires some work.

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Late night shenanigans

I’m sitting here with seven other guys, knee-deep in pen-and-paper roleplaying. I say pen-and-paper, but it’s more like laptop roleplaying as there’s five laptops in use. They’re in the middle of a combat, so dice are getting rolled and terms are flying like crazy.

This particular group has been meeting roughly every other Friday night for literally years. In that time, five of us have gotten married, one has moved to St. Louis and back, and the game has moved from one house to another. It’s been something to look forward to–a chance to be in a social environment, which given the rather solitary life I’m living right now is more than necessary. It’s rather ironic that this week I’ve basically made sure a chair hasn’t flown anywhere–in short, I haven’t done any roleplaying at all. In one sense, I mind a lot: in another sense, I don’t mind much. It’s rather interesting.

This week my day job furloughed me, so I’m back on the prowl. Because of things which are coming down the pipe, I plan to stick with contract work for now. It’s going to be tough, but I’m pretty certain I can make it.

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Slow Progress

I had a good conversation with my mother this morning, in essence laying out some of my mental problems and outlining what I’m thinking of doing about them. It was nicely refreshing to unload some of the baggage I’ve been hanging onto for far, far too long. Hanging onto things is something I do a lot of, and it’s something I need to outgrow or learn better ways to handle.

English is hard sometimes. I sit here thinking I can form a coherent sentence, then I read what I just typed and realize there’s 13 better ways to say the same thing. My impatience for output can be–no, it is–the death of my accurate expression of thought. In the realm of film audio, especially film composing, speed and quality are two qualities which are golden to have. I’ve got that, but it doesn’t really bode well when you’re trying to emote something in an inherently emotionless medium such as words, which are concrete by definition thereby making them grossly inadequate when it comes to expressing abstract thoughts.

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Redo

It’s time for me to make some wholesale changes, in my digital life and in my physical life. Effective immediately:

  • This is now a personal blog.
  • All business-related (i.e. audio post-production) information will be available at http://www.odiopost.com

I have a problem with Pride. As in, I have way too much. I consider myself fairly independent, yet that thinking is probably nothing more than self delusion. In fact, I’m pretty certain that I’ve been lying to myself for far too long. My current emotional/mental state, to be blunt, is not that good right now. I have, if you will, hit bottom, and I’ve realized/decided that pretending to be something (strong, stable, OK) which I’m clearly not is too destructive to my world to continue.

I need to actually let people into my life–something I haven’t done for a long time. It’s going to be hard and I know that I’ll fail, both at good times and bad. But it’s worth it.

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Change Afoot

15 is a difficult movie to watch. There’s no blood per se, but the violence in it is unflinching and raw. But, as Jason, the writer-director-star said, it’s got that certain something (je ne sais qua!) that makes for a very memorable film. I told him when I got the film that I would be able to finish in about a week. Lo and behold, I followed through. From the sounds of things, Jason and Tim, the executive producer, is pleased with the work that I did and may have be on board for future projects. That, folks, is a good thing–and it’s how industry connections are made and/or solidified.

The show themes for the two new Escapist shows went the way things tend to go with me. The first one I nailed out of the gate: right on target. The second show I followed the producer’s lead, who then came back with comments. After two more rounds of back and forth, we mutually decided to scrap those thoughts and I started all over. That’s all it took for me to get the right track produced. Total time on these two? About two hours.

I work quickly, which in the entertainment industry is essential if not unheard of.

I’m getting more film post production gigs, so I’ve decided to split that side off to another Web site. I’ve already got the domain name but I don’t have anything built yet. It’ll be for marketing and demonstration purposes, naturally. That and I think the name is cool.

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More Work

Wow, it’s been too long since I’ve written here. A lot of things have changed in the interim, but the work goes on. To wit:

1) I’ve found a new film audio project (http://www.15thefilm.com) thanks to the wonders of a Craigslist posting. It’s a simple bit of audio cleanup and getting some source audio levels back in balance. Gravestone Entertainment is a six-year-old production company which, thanks to a spectacular reception at Crypticon Seattle to the film, is getting a lot of traffic from some established studios. This gig is an audition of sorts–if I work out well they may elect to have me be their post audio guy for their upcoming features. That would be awesome.

2) I have a friend who has asked me to write intro/outro music for two new Web video series he’s producing. It’s a pay-by-impression model, so when the episodes drop I’ll be sure to post the link(s) here.

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Persephone Post Gameplan

I start post audio on A Tale of Persephone, a modern-day retelling of Persephone, in the next day or so. The hard drive with the project data should be arriving today, after which comes the fun part of getting everything into Pro Tools. There’s a reason that Pro Tools is one of the industry leaders in post audio: it’s just that good.

Assuming a 70 minute length, in order to meet the deadline I’ll need to sweeten and mix 3:30 per day. That’s calendar day, not work day. I foresee a lot of long days. I remember spending a couple days on Spidertron‘s opening sequence alone. Luckily there aren’t too many strange audio effects that need to happen, just a lot of Foley.

Luckily I’m not flying into this project blind as I’ve done post before, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises, nor many instances of me screwing up and needing to start all over.

As I wait, time to spot the next project…

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Three Days

In three days the year will be over. Three days.

This was both a good year and a not-so-good year:

  • Good: I invested in my toolset, greatly extending my technological capabilities far beyond my creative capabilities
  • Not so good: That was only possible because of a death in the family
  • Good: I attended a music conference in Los Angeles (TAXI Road Rally) where I learned exactly what I need to know in order to succeed in one facet of the music industry
  • Not so good: I then promptly went back to my normal routine when I returned
  • Good: I finished work with current clients and worked with a new client, Mercy Corps
  • Not so good: I did not put my name and skills further out there and shill my wares

The other parts of my life are like my professional one–very much a mixed bag. I was able to get my financial house in order at the start, yet didn’t find steady paid work. Granted, most of that inability to find was due to the fact that I really didn’t look. I thought I’d learned my lesson in 2005 when not finding paid work soon enough essentially cost me the rest of my formal education–obviously not.

Like a lot of people, I’m planning on making changes next year, some small, others not so small. For starters I need to make more, be it money or creative output. Sometimes that creative output will be nothing more than a short post here, at other times it’ll be a bit of music. Regardless, that’s one plan. Also I need to get the house in order. I’ve heard it said that a persons external experience can mirror their internal one. I’ve got a lot of baggage lying around me, most of which needs to be put away somewhere, and some of it probably needs to get out of my life. I don’t know whether that applies more to internal baggage or external. It will take some time, though. It took a long while to build, it’ll take some to remove.

Once I get things lined up, who knows what I’ll be capable of? We’ll find out…

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TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day 2: Imagine

One thing I need to keep in mind is that these people, some of whom have been extremely successful, started from nowhere. This was brought to mind by the first panel this morning, featuring nine TAXI members who’ve had business success. Each one was different, yet each one had a common thread: dedication, work, discipline, and patience. Those are key factors.

What I’ve gained here is crucial. I know now where the bar is at. I know where I need to get to, which is 1000% easier than flying blind. It’s going to take some time for me to get there, but I know from seeing people–average, everyday people–who are there that it is possible. Through the combination of those four factors above, plus a healthy dose of faith to keep me going, it will happen.

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