We have tried all forms of entertainment. Why not try this too?
To the explorers:
Each time you are self-aware of what you are doing for a living, you realize that you are on the lookout for the next true revolutionary thought, idea, so that you can sell them on platforms such as these and earn your money or things that humans are built to earn.
This way, you may flatter yourself by seeing yourself as a ‘natural-being’ because you are like a tiger or an eagle, or a pigeon or a sparrow:
Constantly on the lookout for the next meal.
This also means, you are not like a domesticated animal in that you are not fed based on your service to others.
But there’s a major difference between you and them (nature’s foragers), in that, what you are after is not the meal itself. In fact, if you are not after viral-content but are rather after some true thought, idea, then what you have collected could be the most worthless thing for any creature. Worse, it could be worthless for you in terms of its value in the marketplace. Take the idea that I have built this particular story upon for instance: I cannot guarantee that this will be read or listened-to by people such that my views and reading time go up. In fact, my experiences have time and again shown me this outcome in the form of proverbial slaps!
On a personal level, this hardly matters for me, because I would have already gathered my share of true experience and knowledge from the exploration and the writing. But, such ‘true’ experience and knowledge aren’t foods, clothes, houses, etc. in that they can’t be eaten, worn and they won’t save me from the winter cold. Which means it matters a lot from a professional level.
What am I trying to take-away from all this? What am I trying to say?
This life of an online creator is amazing. It is amazing in that it allows one to go wherever one wants in search of whatever thoughts, ideas, ‘truths’, stories one wants to discover. But it comes at a bargain. There has to be a certain ‘smartness’ if one wants to take it out of personal use and earn ‘valuable’ things from it.
The ‘smartness’ required is of productive-story-selection.
You have to be able to winnow:
You have to be able to carefully select (productive) publish-worthy true thoughts, ideas, stories from the mass of all conceived thoughts, ideas and stories.
You are like a forager but a forager who can’t directly consume the thing discovered. A forager who has to winnow the thing discovered and distinguish between things suitable for personal use and professional one. A forager who has to then come into the marketplace and then try to sell the thing discovered.
As a creator, you are like a beast but a beast that hunts for thoughts, ideas, and stories. A beast that then filters the things hunted and comes to the marketplace trying to sell whatever seems fit for selling (from the perspective of the beast.)
Q: But what about all those who teach you to express everything without winnowing?
A: My life experiences have taught me that people in general do not care about you, let alone your thoughts, ideas and creations.
But there is nothing unethical with this, is there? In fact, everything is natural about it. Most hunting animals do know whom they want to prey upon. And the reason they prey is for their survival. You have all the right to winnow sellable thoughts, ideas.
Most fascinating thing is that there’s even something called surplus killing where certain animals at certain times kill just for fun. Which should give you further inspiration and reasons for winnowing. Seek all forms of true thoughts, ideas, stories; sell those that can feed you and use the remaining for your personal use.
Q: Which type of creator are you?
(We are not considering killing for self-defence and all that)
A Human-Creator: A human-creator is a creator who tries to feed-off almost every type of thought and idea. This type of creator is experimentative. Of course, some will be successful and some won’t, but like a true human, such a creator wants everything and keeps an eye on everything too. They will use the useful and keep the rest for potential future use. Force marketeers too fall into this category.
A Crow-Creator: A crow-creator is a creator who creates part-time: Like crows foraging. If there’s an easy meal to be had somewhere they will eat there. But if there isn’t any, they will be out there trying everything. Just as human-creators, they will try and taste everything. For them, it’s just about the earning.
Scavenger-Creator: A creator can also be a scavenger. I have seen a lot of those and I fear I will become one. A scavenger-creator lives-off dead or second-/third hand things: Thoughts, ideas, stories, knowledge that others have conceived. The scavenger-creator takes others’ works and re-interprets them for the consumption of the mass-public. You can find a lot of those in the form of informative YouTube channels with millions of subscribers.
Eagle-Creator: This type of creator knows what he/she is supposed to create and sell. They are precise and meticulous. Niche creators you can call them. You don’t see them experimenting much.
What about the winnowing creator?
A type of creator who has a niche. This is because I have used the word ‘true’ up there. Which means, this type of creator cannot settle with publishing everything. The search for the true makes them like eagle-creators. But the search for truth in everything makes them human-like.
They look half eagle, half humans:
Before getting into why books should be read books in hardcopies, let me give some background.
This mind of ours is a weird thing of which we still have a lot to decode. When you think you have unearthed its mechanisms, it surprises you with something else. I mean, look at it, all I had done was sleep with a book in my bed last night and this is what I thought I this morning:
Hardcopy books are something you feel. The smell, the weight, the cover, the design, the font — it all adds up to the overall experience of reading a book.
In many ways, they are like wine. You don’t say this wine gives me this amount of buzz so I better drink this amount of whiskey. You don’t say it. It doesn’t work that way. Wines have their own essence and it is not just about the alcohol.
Similar are hardcopy books: You don’t say this book gives me this information so I better watch a video on YouTube or listen to an audiobook. You shouldn’t say it. It shouldn’t work that way. hardcopy books have their own essence and it’s not just about the content within it.
In fact, we humans don’t work that way. We aren’t utilitarian. We want beauty. We imagine. We philosophize. We want love. We want to feel. If we were only utilitarian, you wouldn’t have this thing called computer in your hand right now. So stop bothering hardcopy books and go enjoy your shorts!
When it comes to earning a living or fulfilling our wants in life, it is tempting to settle at one profession and define ourselves forever with that.
I am not sure if it is just because we have all been educated that way:
Specialize in one thing!
But there is a different joy as well as there are both challenges and opportunities in working on multiple projects and fields:
Freely jumping/roaming around, experimenting, knocking doors, learning-losing, adapting! Not shackled by specializations or stereotypes.
Free and diverse.
LONG LIVE Free working!
I absolutely hate these kinds of writings:
Who the hell do I think I am to be writing about methods of my movie watching!
Am I a producer? No. Am I a director/editor? No. Am I a professional screenwriter or any other movie business professional? No. Am I an actor? No. Am I a critic? No.
Then why should you care about my methods of movie watching?
Let me modify one Rousseau from the 18th century:
I am not a — producer, director, editor, screenwriter, actor or critic. I am none. This is why I make this kind of list. If I was either of them, I would be too busy making movies, not these stupid how’s.
Okay with that aside, let’s begin.
What I mean to do here actually is share a formula of movie watching that I had devised a while back for my personal convenience. This formula has really helped me interpret and understand movies in context, their meanings and purposes — without which my movie watching would have otherwise slipped by as a mere one/two/three-hour pasttime-entertainment.
This formula contains multiple components and each have distinct parameters which add up for overall movie-quality.
I am sharing this for two reasons, firstly, so that it may be useful for someone and secondly, so that I may be suggested and critiqued in this so I can improve on it, hence, improving my movie watching experiences.
Before sharing the formula and briefly discussing the components, I would like to define movies in this context as:
It must be clear that documentaries don’t have anything to do here. But there is a problem, what about theatres and shows like WWE which has both live and TV audiences. For convenience sake, let’s include them as well!
But the main focus is on those 90+ minutes things which we all call — movies.
And there are no equipment and temporal boundaries. A fictional short shot with a cheap phone by a Nepali kid is as good as one by Christopher Nolan.
Yes, it’s an acronym.
Each alphabet stands for one component and I mark them on the scale of 10. That is the parameter. Now let me describe the components one by one.
Technically, aesthetics is a philosophical study and examination of beauty and taste. But how I try to use it in movie-watching is by studying, examining and marking the ‘beautiful’ in a movie as per my taste. I don’t try to use ‘schools’ derived standards of beauty.
What I find beautiful is based on:
I think all these are self-explanatory.
I try to look at all these sub-components and then try to mark the overall aesthetics on the scale of 10, with 10 being the best and 0 being the worst.
Luc Besson’s Le Grand Bleu is a 10/10 for me.
I don’t remember giving zero to any. But few Nepali movies must have gotten a 1.
While I prefer realism in movies, it is not at all necessary for all movies to be realistic. Yet it is difficult to define realism.
Which one would be more realistic: A movie based on a fantasy setting like say, Star Wars which manages to talk about human social issues and realpolitik or some types of Bollywood movies which deal with real life settings but go so astray from life that it has no resemblance with any part of our lives at all.
So, how I try to determine the Reality factor is by checking whether the movie has managed to show any kind of truth or not, by dealing with important subjects of our lives. Irrespective of the settings and characters. Star Wars gets higher point than this:
Gunda (1998) Full Hindi Movie | Mithun Chakraborty, Mukesh Rishi, Shakti Kapoor, Mohan Joshi — YouTube
I do think that the purpose of movies is to illustrate or show either the realities of life or the world. That is why I tend to mark movies with wisdom – highly. Whether it teaches me something important about our lives and the world or not, whether it challenges my opinions and perspectives or not – is what I try to determine.
Here too I try to look at all these sub-components and then try to mark the overall reality factor on the scale of 10, with 10 being the best and 0 being the worst.
Abbas Kiarostami’s The Taste of Cherry is a 10/10 for me,
The Bollywood movie mentioned above gets zero.
Feelings imply the ability of the movie to generate/trigger feelings and emotions in me. While a lot of movies intend to provide some kind of feeling but fail due to various factors, the ability of a movie — through its various players — to do things to me, is how I judge.
I have been using an ancient Hindustani theatre-use-evaluation method for the judgement of feelings. It is called Navarasa, or nine feelings to be played with by contents.
Those nine entities are:
I do not have a preference for this or that feeling. If a movie manages to hit me hard, I don’t care where I have been hit.
Let me provide my 10/10 movies for each (respective to the list above):
Mute (2018), Borat, (not being able to think of one), Where is my friend’s house?, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Moon/Climax (2018), One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 2001:A Space Odyssey, Stalker (Tarkovsky).
Because entertainment and fun are very very subjective and relative things, I have put my own margin into them. Plot-flow and performance have a great hand in this.
However, there is a limit as to how extreme one movie can go. Too much don’t-cares for the sake of making it artsy won’t do for me. Neither will mundane-repetitive-formulaic stuff nor pure comedy. I do have a guilty inclination — I find suspense/mystery pretty amusing.
The experience for me has to be tolerable. While a movie may have boring parts, every other factor mentioned here should work towards keeping me hooked. If it doesn’t manage to do it. It gets a low point on my scale.
Death at a Funeral (2007) is 10/10 for me, while any Bollywood blockbuster with a megastar is a 0.
This particular judgement of heroism differs from the one included in feelings. The heroism feeling mentioned under feelings is one where I appreciate the thought/deeds of character(s) in adverse situations. The toughness, the grit, the suffering, the act, etc.
But this heroism applies to movies where too much emphasis is provided to a character(s), such that they eclipse the story. In other words, heroism is where the actor or the character becomes more important than the movie and its story.
This is why it’s marking is done in reverse order. 0 is for movies with too much heroism such as Hollywood superhero flicks or Bollywood megastar ones. 10 is where the characters behave as characters and fit in perfectly with the story like in Rashomon.
This is where I look at the various technical aspects of movies which equally contribute to the overall performance and experience.
I have managed to find following important aspects:
Here, the soundtrack differs from the ones in aesthetics in that this is whether or not the sound fits in with the cinema. Vangelis’ work in Blade Runner is absolutely beautiful, I do not find it apt in the movie. I felt Vangelis was more powerful than the narrative. So, it will get a high point in aesthetics but will not here.
All Coen Brother movies are 10/10 for me in terms of technicality.
So, this is how I watch my movies. I observe, analyze, mark and then add all of them up.
It may be a tedious, boring and inappropriate way for a proper experience but I found that it was the only way I could give context to my movie watching and make them relevant.
As mentioned earlier, I wrote this so that I could share the way I do it and also so that I could learn about my correctness and absurdities.
If I am to recall the moments from my childhood when I have felt the strongest in a joyful way Absorbing Stories would surely occupy a lot of headspace!
The stories I read of Sindbad, Gulliver, Panchatantra, or the Arabian Nights gave me some of the most intense and wonderful feelings. I immersed myself in the character, time and the environment of the story with a sense of both nervousness and excitement. The warm feeling inside my chest boiled and tried to explode from the limitations of my physical body. It’s inability to do so being the only thing to remind me that my existence belonged here in this world in this country called Nepal and in this family called…
There were sports, TV cartoons and movies. While I didn’t find them as immersive as reading, they were deeply influential. I played a few video games but wasn’t too fond of them.
I wasn’t a social guy and I do not have fond memories with friends. Yes, there are moments with family that are special but let’s not talk about it here. What I want to discuss here is stories.
As time has passed, I have tried to understand why stories did to me what they did. I have tried to understand the feeling that arises when I am about to dive into one. The understanding process hasn’t been easy. But what I have come to realize lately is — this is a special subject for not just me but for a lot of people.
There are a lot of theories and a lot of interpretations. I don’t want to get into all that too. What I want to do, however, is share how I currently interpret the feeling generated both from the stories and the nature of stories. This interpretation is neither academic nor professional. It is about the reasons they make you feel that way and is simple:
Yes, Stories are a form of travel. A psychological, spiritual, philosophical travel. This is what makes it special.
Not getting into the practical implications, I see three different types of travels we participate in during our immersing in the stories:
These three factors are together responsible for creating that feeling.
This escape from the identity shackle is what most spirituality is about too!
But I have a question:
Does a person who absolutely loves his/her place, time and personality feel this way with stories too?
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Written words are static in nature. Other forms of expression which rely on words such as speech are dynamic.
Written words remain static unless mobilized — which equips the recipient with control over the thoughts and ideas expressed.
This control is crucial because it gives time: A valuable entity.
This available time can be used to imagine, ponder, scrutinize, and eventually decide! This available time can also mean freedom — from haste, from manipulation. Freedom to imagine, contemplate, scrutinize what you like when you like!
You can pause and zoom on a single word for eons and not proceed without having extracted all the necessary juice out of it.
This observation made me derive a quote:
Written words are static content for dynamic minds while other forms which rely on words are dynamic content for static minds.
I have experience of fighting alone in the Content Industry. Over the years, I have worked on Books, Music, Documentaries, Animations, YouTube comedies and even some Digital Marketing.
You can ask me anything you want on the COMMENT SECTION BELOW. Go ahead. I DON’T JUDGE.
(You can also bring up Mind, Life and World related subjects. I will be more than happy to discuss)