I want to write this down
That above is literally a quote from myself. The point of writing “this” down is so that I’m actually writing. It’s not for anything or anyone, it’s for myself.
What a chapter to finish. Moving away from home at 18 never did I think I’d be sitting in a free roadside (brand new leather might I add) couch in a house decorated by me (including StarWars every second wall hanging). When you’re accepted into university you kinda assume you do it so that you can get yourself together, I’m here to say it’s not together at the end, but that’s half the adventure. Think of it as a duck swimming in water, everything looks smooth sailing. Your marks flow, your network grows, but for this to happen your feet need to work the whole time paddling really fast under the water.
I build drones in my bedroom, I fly them and I want to change the world using them. I’m a design thinker and believe you can only really know your practise by doing it literally right in front of you. This all sounds fantastic and you’re probably thinking, that is all well and good now that I’ve taken the risk and it paid off, but I want to advocate its possible.
I’m a small country town kid. I had no idea what it was I was going to do after school, but knew two things. Firstly, that I wanted to help people. I didn’t think doctor, because I wasn’t good at biology, chemistry, advanced maths in the HSC. However, helping people whether it made life easier, safer and generally happier. Secondly, that a fortune teller once told my mother that I would help people, take that as you will (believer or not). That was my only criteria to move to university. So I sat the HSC with no real nerves because I had so many people say it’s not the be all end all, and I believed it. Strangely enough, as my peers freaked out and told me completely different answers to my own in most of the exams I sat, I was okay throughout. I didn’t assume anything, I didn’t expect anything.
To keep context, I passed my HSC at around a credit equivalent average but thought I wanted to be involved in filmmaking, the arts, theatre, photography…storytelling. I wanted to tell my story. What a blessed period of time we live in that we can access devices that capture moments that tell our story. I was accepted into university off an audition process for a performance degree. This was wonderful. I was physically and emotionally pushed in classes and unlocked a confidence I wouldn’t have known without it. When asked why I left, I simply detail that what I tried, and am doing now, I love more. I still go and watch my close friends shows in Sydney and have a close connection to theatre.
What a change. I want to blog about the specifics of what it is I’ve done with drones, but this is sparked by a major decision I’ve made. Throughout my 3 years in Communications and Media Studies at UOW, I’ve finished. Done. Now on the hunt for what it is I get to give back to the world. It comes back to the point about helping people. I want to help people with technology and honour a value of hard work. I am hands on and I want to build things over and over until it’s right. Anyone can do this. Look up what it is that grabs the attention, and understand it. Watch hours of tutorials on YouTube, again and again. Even if you don’t have the financial means to purchase the product, watch unboxings, read reviews, look up the instruction manuals online and read it. This is exactly what I did before I built my drone. I knew the thing inside and out before I even thought about purchasing the parts to build it. When I finally got in touch with the people that I needed to about funding, I was ready for any of their questions. Done to the last colour combination of propellor. My “thing” just happened to be drones. But it could be anything.
I haven’t covered a lot of what I was going to reading back over this, but perhaps it’ll give me something to do while I’ve managed to gain crutches. I want to open up a space for those to gain an insight into a university life, opportunity, hardship and triumph. To take a look into my mind while also getting it in writing. It is therapeutic for such an over-active mind like mine.
These were my notes from recently watching a video of Steve Jobs giving a speech at a graduation ceremony at Stanford in 2005. I started writing down the words that really resonated with me and stuck with me throughout the video and decided to create a short Lumen5 video for this. This platform allows me to reflect with a visual and audio assisted video that I’m able to then reflect myself as to why these particular parts of the speech are so powerful to me.
It is interesting when reflecting on words from others I’ve personally taken note to. I think theres a particular theme to my narrowing completion of higher studies, that the role of curiosity has played in my own personal development. The idea that my own trajectory isn’t going to be defined in a sense, by others saying yes or no, rather why or why not.
A lot of speculation is often applied to these kinds of motivational speeches and success stories, in the way that “perhaps if they didn’t get these opportunities or there fame wasn’t successful, would they still have that same mindset”. These criticisms are speaking to an attitude that if he (Steve Jobs) didn’t make the fortune from Apple and Pixar, he wouldn’t adopt the same mentality. I disagree with that, and instead turn it around and put myself in the drivers seat. Take an empathetic approach to the idea and use the success he has created for himself as motivation for me. If he can do it, why can’t I? This kind of thinking almost serves as personal motivation, and when asked to reel it back and be realistic about the future (suppose not everyone can be as lucky as Steve Jobs, and most entrepreneurial endeavours are impractical) I invite to read my previous blog on Luck.
I love the idea that we can use other success stories, motivational optimism and self direction to manipulate what we like. I have no doubt that if Apple or Pixar didn’t create the phenomena it has today, we would be all texting on our Uphones and using BananaBook Pro/Air’s instead, Steve never looked like giving up.
Neatly typed version of the scribble I noted down for the video.
Dropout – connecting the dots.
“I should be adopted by college graduates”
I have no idea how college was going to figure out my life.
Curiosity and Intuition was my best experience, fascination over helping with life application.
Looking backwards to connect the dots
Visions of the future vary
Love what I did, You have to find out what it is you love.
Can you wake up in the morning and honestly say you’re happy about what you’re going to do today
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.
- Who is your hero?
- Describe his/ her practice. What is the ‘shape’ of this practice?
Filmmaker – creative that started out making short videos that interested him using very simple and affordable equipment and software. Wrote and starred in his own tv show and sold it to HBO. He was involved in making/producing/editing some feature films, before returning to short videos through YouTube.
Internet stardom when he started ‘vlogging’ everyday and posting it to YouTube. This grew his YouTube channel and helped support his company ‘BEME’, which he runs as a technology based industry. Recently, he sold this to CNN and does work for them as well as continues his own channel posting videos of random events or topics close to him
- How is he/she situated in his/her field?
Casey Neistat is a well-regarded filmmaker and successful in that he produced content for some of the biggest names in tv such as HBO, as well as endorsements for NIKE, all whilst raising awareness and trending viral videos such as ‘Bike Lanes’. His field today, I would place him as an influential YouTuber. He has a very creditable subscription list and is able to collaborate with some ‘famous’ creatives. He became influential through his unique style and ability to continue to produce original content that was still in the style of a ‘vlog’ that encouraged his followers to pump out their stories. His interaction with the audience and perhaps his generosity have contributed to his influence as well. I think his ability to resonate as an ‘everyday’ guy and his inclusion of his interactions with others in his video is notable, in that he doesn’t edit out content such as fans coming to say hi to him. His key points that have also contributed to his success is his general personality, worldview, unparalleled motivation and even to some extent his recklessness.
- Are his/her influential in this field? How did they become influential?
- What is his/her contribution?
- Changed the way creatives are thought about in a mainstream society. YouTubers that create content up until recently weren’t considered careers or taken seriously by some members of society. He challenges this mindset saying that now there are so many ways to create something meaningful for the individual, and with platforms such as YouTube that allow sharing to be free, anyone with a story can potentially quit the day job. Seen here:
- What is his/her working methods?
- Casey for his vlogs, uses a range of filming devices and techniques to create montages and quick cuts that are a video diary entry into the day. Film ranges from footage with his SLR cameras, phone, drone and also found footage from the past. It’s this interaction between the tools he uses I think that’s unique and why he’s inspirational to me. The music is normally a “Brooklyn” styled theme with upbeat tempos for action filled content. He uses materialistic transitions and ways to explain his works. Normally with items very affordable and easy to find, like cardboard cut outs and permanent marker pen drawings. Hand-held devices and having himself as the subject for the narrative is something he’s mastered and made popular with gorilla type filming and shaky footage creating his aesthetic.
- Does he/she have any advice?
– “If you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re doing it wrong”
- Describe his/ her practice/ work.
– i believe Casey Neistat began his career with a hybrid mix of ‘gonzo journalism, guerilla filmmaking and cinema verite. He’s captured these elements working in a professional practise and then applied them to his daily vlogs. Cinema Verite often makes its way into the films or apart of the story, and Neistat takes this further by always showcasing his equipment and his work area giving them their own stigma in the videos he produces. Each of the devices he shoots with have it’s own character, his drones have a certain aesthetic or feeling behind them, to when he films on his iPhone that’s raw and seemingly unedited in the process.
– Casey neistat brought an element of his own craft and his professionalism to a sub genre in daily vlogging that was originally prompted at amateurs. Daily vlogs have become so popular due to their element of amateur that defines them “real”. Casey once said at an acceptance speech that “YouTubing or vlogging is the closest thing to or the evolution of reality tv.
- Find out more about them: What are his/ her skills started with? What may be some of their failures? What are some of the hurdles they overcame (or not)? How has he/ she contributed to his/ her field?
- How do you relate to this core value?
– His core value sits very similar to the right way to approach this class and definitely this degree. If more content creatives were to just start with whatever they could get their hands on at the time and post about what they’re passionate about then we’d start seeing the fears of work after study start to disappear. We’d start to build portfolios and this resonates with me, as I love to document new things and try new things and see where the creation leads to. My practise at the moment is that I want to work in a field using drone technology to encourage people to interact with them and push the boundaries of what kind of uses they hold, whether it be creative or assistance or even artistic. Some of the motivation he carries and advice he gives on cracking this field isn’t a guide that everyone should follow, it’s inspiration based on his experience. His core values are simple in that “getting the shot” is the most important part to tell a story. His viral sensations that escalated his career we both shot on devices he could afford at the time, a camcorder and a mobile phone.
Another value that I have that’s associated with a University level, is that my proof reading and my editing of text and ‘essays’ are very poor. I have tried to improve these but I’ve come to a mindset and it’s perhaps very basic but when I editing or proof read, I continuously change my mind and re-write sections in which the original/raw idea is lost and I’ve found often that this is the most valuable piece I had. So i’m more likely to suffer the poor result for grammer and punctuality and leave the interesting views or topics I’ve covered. I think this kind of subjective view means that I can empathise with alot of Casey’s world views and life advice. Perhaps something that draws me into his content.
- What are his/her working methods? How does he/she work? (e.g. Find out what his/her workplace/ workshop might look like. Does he/she work with other people? Who are the people she/he works with?)
– His studio is where he works the most that’s a building in New York City. It houses his famous office, as well as a team of employees for his company BEME. He works throughout the day and carries a variety of cameras to document this. As he works for himself, it allows him to showcase a 7-8min video of what he did that day, yet somehow he can make some of the more simple things we do everyday seem interesting, through a variety of camera angles and editing skill.