Let's go back to 2019 when a certain lady still resides in Melbourne. By that I meant, one of the ladies in the project is no longer living in Melbourne at the moment, Papanin Kasettratat ( Tay for short). I got the chance to know her from Nita (Wir), and they do music together. Nita loves to perform and make music videos on her social media platform. They are quite active in the Thai Community here in Melbourne, but they are also quite social in performing outside that community.
One day Nita was expressing that she wants to do a music video with me, all she knows that she wants to be on a rooftop/ high building. Apart from that, Nita lets me jump in with creative thoughts as well. So it all started in knowing what songs they're going to do. I love musicians. I think being able to express your emotions/thoughts through a melody and words is quite an incredible skill to have.
For this shoot, I only did had a day shoot because of the budget, location and light. Although it all sounds like limitations, it was a fun project all in. Before actually doing the shoot, I always try to find a time to get acquainted with the space that I'll be filming. I'm not the type of person that can just go on a whim when it comes to working. I used to do it when I was in my early 20s, but as I age to my late 30s I love planning and structure more and more.
I was lucky enough for this project I had a helping hand from my friend Dona, and she was my production assistant for the project. It would be great if I could have a stand-in on every location I intended to use beforehand. To have a visual of how much space I actually need in the frame and how it will look like (with a certain wardrobe/quantity of subject in the frame/ambience). Sometimes if I don't have much time planning, I would opt with places that I go often.
The first video I filmed was for their " Make You Feel My Love " cover. I want to capture some high rise buildings in the background, to show the feeling of being in the city. The song reminds me of the youth (I sound so old, lol) and passionately loving someone. And living in the city reminds me of someone who has that passion. And we want to have the live music approach without being too raw.
You can watch the video here:
We decided to add some string lights to create a mood. As the filming sets at a later day, it was perfect actually. We had a few takes, and I think It came out nicely. Had some glitching on the audio playback during filming, but nothing too stressful. Nita and Tay are also fun people to work with, so it felt like a breeze that day.
This is the end result:
Would there be any other aspects that you might want to know when it involves this type of projects? I love doing this type of journaling, so I can look back on what I've done.
I hope that was entertaining enough to read.
Take care peeps!
Tay (Papanin Kasettratat )
I am quite excited to share this project finally to the public. Let's begin on how it began. One day Sandra ( the artist who is also my good friend) shared the idea of making her own creation to the public. As a good hype-girlfriend we must motivate and support our girl with encouraging words as always right? Anyone who knows Sandra Githinji, you would know her aesthetics and would trust her opinion in design. Surely, when she share with me that her upcoming personal project would be a vase instantly itch my curiosity.
Many updates later, Sandra reached out to me and said "Omg Amanda I'm gonna do a Kickstarter for it. Are you open to do photography for it?" Sparks flew and we both are so giddy with the project. Often times, when I know my client well, it gives a better start for the project and a better flow of conversation. So this is how the collaboration started, the Bloom Kickstarter Project.
The funny thing of the beginning of this project, we were aiming for a short window of submission. Officially we started the project on the 19th of November 2020, and the actual filming happened on the 22nd of November 2020. Oh yes, she end up wanting to do photography and video production for this project. Sandra wants Bloom's Kickstarter page to be launched on the 26th of December 2020. With limited time of sort, I like to plan myself as best as I can and if I can be in control of as much things as I can that would be ideal. Well, this is reality so it wasn't that ideal as you can suspect. But it wasn't the worst experience as well. I have my share in the past, thank you very much.
We started with having a moodboard for the production, sharing keywords of the project's understanding, also having some good references (eg. images, videos, audios, etc) to go to. From the colour scheme, the texture of the background, the mood that we want to portray. It helps a lot for me to be more productive and work efficiently when a client really knows their product. In this case, Sandra does. Our moodboard looks like this:
After sharing the moodboard and a handful of youtube videos, we got started on prepping for the filming day. Because it is a the first creative child for Sandra, she is basically almost a one man show. I took care whatever that has to do with equipment needs and editing assets, as for Sandra she took care of the rest. We both are very much a passionate lady-peneur. We now come to the filming day; it was fun and productive. All in all, the day went smoothly and everyone gave their 100% and more.
Only on the day I shot the production, I got to see Nandi's prototype in real life. Instantly I told Sandy, I wish it could be bigger so we can enjoy all the details in its glory. She showed me her process in designing it and how she wants it to be when it is available for people to buy. I enjoy the story, I love the journey. I always love her work with living spaces but this is the first for a lifestyle accessory.
After the filming is done, I went about on editing. At first we were going with an existing sample music that I have. It was spot on to our reference, but when Chacha (the music producer for this project) offers his service in providing an original surely Sandy couldn't resists. I must say getting the music right was taking the most time. It is very expected, especially when it's an original piece. With the limited tool and people that is in the project, I think we came up with the best approach and output. Personally I do love the music that we have, because it enhance the story that Bloom has. It emote more of what this project means to Sandy.
If you would like to be a part of Bloom's journey, you can support her through these links:
We end up launching Bloom Kickstarter on Valentine's day, 14th of February 2021. The wait was worth it!
I love sharing this journey here. I think I will make more in regards to my past and future projects. I want to share more on what worked/didn't worked for certain projects.
For people close to me, I might sound like a broken record on how therapy and self-actualization can help one's mental state tremendously. No means of me being an expert or free from the cluttered mind. I think it is a daily exercise for me to find a balance of stress and peace.
Recently there was a personal matter that someone close in my life that was happening but it affects my emotional state so much. I went through a deep emotional breakdown. Didn't know if the outcome will be bad if I would be able to handle it. I was trying to give myself other things to think off so I can escape from the heavyweight of thinking about it. Try to focus on the movie I was watching, It didn't work. Thank God the matter ended in a good note. But that experience comes with many notes and good learning experience. I feel I'm such an empath and I need to compartmentalize my emotions and thoughts better. Knowing myself (physically and emotionally) better when it's trying to give me those alarms. The blood rush, hard to swallow or breath, constantly checking my phone. I need to distant myself better with all the triggers, even though it is hard.
I'm sure I am not the only one who is going through this. But I'm alone on being responsible for my own happiness and ownership of my liveliness. For someone with many mental struggles, it is easier said than done to have a balance on stress and peace. It doesn't mean it's impossible though. Writing this down helps me recognize myself even more. A learning thesis if you will. If therapists sound daunting for you, maybe journaling is a great start for you.
There are many ways for you to start. It can be really simple, can be really artistic or it can be in the form of audio if you will. I'm not a good journalist (see what I did there... ) to say nonetheless. I have my moods, my excuses and lack of discipline in doing it. But when I remember how it felt to do it in a systematic way, it felt so good.. I crave that feeling even more.
How I do my journal:
- I do it after I have my breakfast or morning beverages ( water / coffee / tea / smoothies ) or on a really bad day after my meditation.
- I start with putting down whatever that is in my head; good, bad, about my dreams, about things that happened before I went to sleep... etc
- try to end with a good note of what has happened.
- writing down my gratitude list ( people in my life, my breakfast, a song, anything that makes you happy ) mostly it's in the most simple way/form.
Again journaling can be in many forms, just the routine of it can really help you understand yourself better.
I've been with a few therapists. Some I'm so grateful to have ever met and one who is really not worth to mention and great learning experience. They are just human beings after all, with flaws and all; so you can only hope that you can find the one that can help you to understand and manage yourself better. What I'm looking for in a therapist:
- A voice (a literal sound of their voice) that is calming.
- They are known to handle with similar trauma/condition that I might have.
- That has challenging questions in the sessions that can trigger my emotions and how then they can help me making me calm myself down.
- Giving me some exercises for me to do that I can implement to my life.
So far that is what I see in a therapist and being in therapy. The ability to express my frustration in a safe space and have another person to converse that is not related to my frustration in anyways. There are many on the phone sessions at this moment because of the lockdowns & quarantine that are happening in many countries. Also during this time, if you haven't got yourself health insurance, please do so. It can be one of the best gifts you give yourself. You will never know when you might need it.
COMMUNICATE / SHARE
I know for someone with a heavy mind, saying this verbally can be an impossible thing to do. It can feel like a really hard thing to actually do. Most of the time for me, just sharing it with one or two people it can give me a sense of relieve. It can give a different perspective. Just maybe there are many other ways to see the matter, maybe it is not as jumbled up as our mind made it up to be. Or maybe if it's really that bad, they can help you, maybe helping how to sort it through, sharing the burden of knowing it or maybe they went through the same thing and overcame it. I don't know anyone that can read minds, so if you want people to understand what you are feeling or going through, practice to communicate better is a great way to do it.
There are many ways to learn how to better communicating. One of the ways that I learn about communication in an intimate setting or with people who are close to you is by listening to Esther Perel's podcast. It is her sessions on different couples/people with different problems that they need to address. I knew about her through my sister first and then I just learned that my hubs and his guy friends actually listen to her as well. I find that as a comforting thing to know, that even my husband is interested in knowing how therapy can be like and the impact or reaction to it.
All of this can cost almost to $0. It is within your control how much you are willing or able to invest in these media of self-care. I would say start kind to yourself, be true to what you want and need and then you can venture and splurge on it if you can truly feel that you reap many benefits from it. For me, so far these things I want to keep and hold on. People can come and go in life, but if you can hold on to some things; these are definitely it. If you are interested in more what I say on this self-care journey you may see it on my video down below:
If you have any other good suggestions of audiobook/podcasts that I should check out let me know. And I hope this helps you and make you feel better.