Computers and Internet: Inspiring Us to Create
The Internet is sometimes criticized (usually by parents who think their kids need to be outdoors more often) as leading people to be sitting in front of their computers all day growing bulbous, lethargic and (depending on who you talk to) stupid. I think that the opposite can often be true. My friends and I have recently been inspired to new creative ventures through the time spent online.
I have long been a fan of movies, martial arts movies in particular. It has been said that they're kind of like the modern musical with finely choreographed dances (although in this case the 'dance' is a fight) showing fantastic physical ability, timing, and grace. Recently I have found that there are many online groups of people dedicated to making their own martial arts films. Most of these guys are really talented and I've seen film fight scenes that are better than the majority of the American made 'martial arts' movies. Where the commercial films focus on special effects, from wirework (attaching wires to an actor in order to allow them to do extraordinary feats) to computer rendered effects (sometimes even using a computer animated actor in fights as seen in 'The Matrix Reloaded'), these independent groups get out there and make impressive films through sheer physical exertion and amazing ability.
It's amazing what a bit (well, a lot really) of hard work can do for you. These independent action crews perform wall runs, flips, falls, tumbles, and flying kicks without the use of wires or special effects. There's no insurance to worry about or studios to get sued so they try some pretty incredible and dangerous things. My favorite stunt crews are 'The Stunt People' who can be visited at http://www.thestuntpeople.com, and Zero Gravity Stunts who have their homepage at http://www.zgstunts.com. There are also Jabronie Pictures (http://www.jabroniepictures.com) and VJ Films (some of whose videos can be found at http://www.my5minutes.com/thumbnails.php?album=1115) that are both worth a mention. These sites also provide many links to other similar websites, so your collection of independent short films can be built up to a fearsome size quite quickly.
So, I'll now get back to the original topic of this article, that being the Internet as a medium to inspire people to become active and creative. These films got me pretty excited. I'd never really thought about just trying to make my own short martial arts film. The world's largest short film festival held in Australia called 'Tropfest' provided a group of friends and I with a valid excuse to behave silly in front of a video camera. I'm not going to lie; the film we produced was relatively low quality. One of the fights we filmed was, well, not bad! There was a decent amount of good mixed in with the not so good, and I have great memories of spraying false blood out of a hose that was wound around a friend's chest all over my parent's house when simulating a gunshot. We had no flips and very few tumbles (I myself having the gymnastic ability of a dead walrus) but the point is we got in there and had a great time with an entertaining outcome. We have plans to make more movies and a few other film festivals on the horizon that we may enter. Maybe one day our films will be good?
The Internet has inspired us in other ways as well. In the past I ran a webcomic that unfortunately is now all but dead. However, it too was a lot of fun while it lasted. A friend of mine is currently setting up a web-based design company because he realized just how easy the Internet makes it to go into business for yourself, instead of working your way through university through a variety of often low paying and uninteresting casual job positions. I currently waste too much time playing other people's games so mynewest plan is to learn Flash and make my own online games.
So, while I'm trying to inject some form of gymnastic ability into my gargantuan frame as I attempt to make short films with a decent story, acting, camerawork and so on, why don't you find something that gets you excited and try it out for yourself? If someone like me can do it, then you can probably work it out with a just a little bit of effort. You may never be as good as the things that inspire you, but it's a lot of fun trying to emulate them or create your own. Another positive point to mention is that when you get stuck the Internet is full of tutorials written by those in the know to get you through your difficult spots. Even I can try and learn from Tricks Tutorials (http://www.trickstutorials.com). So, see the great possibilities in the Internet and go and have fun broadening your horizons!
Anamchara - Living An Essential Life
What is essential in your life? This question contains one of the most important words an question can address. This is the word "essence." To know your "essence" is to live the mystery of life rather than the illusion of "your life."
Those Who Sleep Get Sliced
Chang lived in Flushing, Queens. Every afternoon he rode the train into Manhattan to work in the post office. At the end of his shift he would ride the train back, at well after midnight.
Guard Your Heart
It was 1:30 A.M. on Friday, December 6, 1991. Patrolman Tommy Garrison of the Byhalia (Mississippi) City Police had pulled over a gray Monte Carlo for no tag on Highway 309. Garrison walked to the car where three men were waiting.
The Beauty of Life
"An unexamined life is not worth living."-- Socrates
Direct Answers - Column for the week of April 21, 2003
Fear, Faith, and Believing vs. Knowing
Fear is deeply rooted in uncertainty. Think about it; the only you've ever feared was the unknown. All fear and fears humans have experienced and continue to experience is rooted in uncertainty. A drive in an unfamiliar place can prompt fear, an unknown result, a stranger behind you, or a dark alley.
What Company Does Your Business Keep?
A man is known by the company he keeps. We have heard that phrase so many times. Our folks have cautioned us often with that in our silly childhood. Do we heed to that advice in our business? Where do you hang out? What is your business surrounded by?
Nuthin but Blue Skies
"Welcome to Canada," Ken shouted to me over the roar of the rain and thunder. A constant downpour kept the photography workshop indoors. We slipped out during a break in the clouds, but as soon as we set up our tripods, a thunderstorm swept in out of nowhere and sent us scurrying back down the mountain trail to our cars. Since I signed on for this tour of the Canadian Rockies, everything had gone right.
The Power of Notes
Notes are very powerful. They express your thanks, encouragement, sympathy, apology, congratulations, feelings, and requests to others.
Bus Driver By Day, Online Business Success By Night
Janine Wachowski, a long-time resident of South Elgin, Illinois, drives a school bus and is also a Powerseller at eBay (user id: the_w.a.s_ezone). In one year, her gross monthly sales went from $328 to over $45,000.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 19, 2003
Personal Philosophy is Like The Set of The Sail
We have all experienced the blowing winds of disappointment, despair and heartbreak. Why, then, would each of us, in our own individual ship of life, all beginning at the same point, with the same intended destination in mind, arrive at such different places at the end of the journey? Have we not all been blown by the winds of circumstances and buffeted by the turbulent storms of discontent?
The Essence Of Freedom
Life is too hard and too risky in the eyes of many. By contrast, others are such proponents of a virile existence, demanding great courage and giving great pride, that they are ready to leave the coziness of their home to scale Mount Everest and breast the elements for the sheer joy of conquering the summit. Whatever the perspective, the nature of things remains unchanged. There are rules, necessities and duties, and limits, possibilities and impossibilities. Until doom, one can accept them and make the best of them, much to one's pleasure and honor, or one can do the opposite and suffer the consequences. The choice between these two options is the very essence of freedom. Personally, I have no use for the second option: a self-inflicted misery that is without the slightest doubt a pitiable way of life.
Silence means no voice input of any sort. What happens when there is silence? We cannot hear anything from the outside, but the voices inside are what we hear pretty clearly. We can hear ourselves. We can loudly hear to what we think and how we think, if we do.
One Night Stand
Direct Answers - Column for the week of February 24, 2003
7 Keys for Joyful Living!
Here are some thoughts for finding and experiencing joy in your life. Ifthere were one thing I could wish upon my family, friends and the readers ofthis Ezine, it would be joy in everything they do!
The Theft of Fire
"Igne Natura Renovatur Integra" (By fire is nature renewed whole.) ?Alchemical maxim
A Life Touched
Direct Answers - Column for the week of February 17, 2003
What in the World are You Doing?
Here is the typical life ? typical, though not everybody does it this way. But for the most part, lives generally go something like this:
Things Happen Without Reason
Sometimes things happen in life for apparently no reason at all. You think that there isn't any reason for something to happen until after the fact when that something has changed your life or pointed you into a new direction.
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