Exactly ten weeks ago, Adam Westbrook sent a newsletter titled Practicing Scales where he was questioning how can we, filmmakers hone our skill when we spent most of our time not on set and not directing. This wasn't a rhetorical question, Adam did offer some possible exercised he tried himself. One of them was initially suggested by Emma Coats, whom you might remember for the Pixar 22 storytelling rules, 6 years ago. The exercise consists in creating a thumbnail for each shot in a feature film. This forces you to look and take stock of the many choices that go throughout a seemingly simple image, from framing to lighting to length on the timeline. It took me 10 weeks to finally give it a go but I'm in the midst of storyboarding-ishing the first episode of Fleabag. I've been loving it. A massive thanks for Emma and Adam for their generosity. If you want to hone your skills, do it.
This compilation of rejection letters to famous writers (J.K.Rowling, Ursula LeGuin, Sylvia Plath, Jack London, Georges Orwell, Proust etc.) reminded me that the only way to never get rejected is to stop asking. If you don't know if you're asking enough, or at all, try the YES/NO/ASK tracker for a week, which, I just realized as I link to it, I came up with almost exactly a year ago. Ha, time...
Relearning to listen is something I've been slowly waking up to. Did you know that we could hear the Earth spinning? I didn't. And the first time I heard someone say that, I laughed. Now I'm just patiently following the path that will lead me to this level of connection with my planet. If this paragraph talks to you, maybe you're already feeling the call from Earth. I was born in a city and never lived close to Nature and yet, yet, something has fired up my ancestors DNA in the past few years and each day that goes by makes it harder for me to ignore the level of absurdity we've created with our roads and buildings and pollution noise. (I'm not going to get into smell) If you don't think I'm crazy at this point, I invite you to discover this precious podcast series: Sound Escape. You'll find out about the fascinating story of acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, who's spent decades recording the most magnificent sounds produced by our planet. And then you'll hear them. If you can't feel the wind on your skin, you can start with hearing it.
There's a book that many people I follow have been recommended Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. The list of books I need to read is long so I did the next best thing: I found presentation by Walker about the topic: this video will tell you why it's important to sleep in 14 minutes, and this one how to improve your sleep in 8 minutes. I learned many things, including that shift works (works where you follow changing shift time) are considered a probable carcinogen, meaning that these jobs are likely to induce cancer because of the sleep disruption. Fun times!
I didn't mean to end on a low note. At the same time, and very ironically, I only managed to sleep 3h last night, 3h that were frequently interrupted with attempts to kill mutant mosquitoes that never die and seem to get bigger each day. So I blame my sleep deprivation brain for this tragic ending.
And that's it for today! I wish you a glorious and lovely week, don't forget to sleep.
With creative love,
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