Lack of Writing
Apologies to the very few that do read what I have to say but lately university is being hectic as stated before. Currently I’m doing an essay on Casablanca and how it conforms to the classical Hollywood style or at least arguing its case anyway. After that I have another essay about a horror film which I’ve yet to decide on and how that conforms to the norms of the genre. Currently trying to decide between Insidious, The Conjuring, Sinister and The House of the Devil. There are many more I’d love to write about too like Inside but there’s another essay where they might apply but same could be said for these. I’ve always been indecisive. Apparently a rambler too. This post is more apologising for the lack of content that will happen because of these essays, a short I’m trying to film and a screenplay that I’d like to attempt to write in time for the BlueCat screenplay competition - fat chance with completing it but as it’s NaNoWriMo too then why the hell not?
Regardless I’d just like to post to keep Blogger happy lest they complain about inactivity. There may be a few reviews soon just for the hell of it on here because the dates have passed to publish them elsewhere like my thoughts on Prisoners (spoiler: my favourite film of the year so far) and a few others of 2013 that I’ve missed out on but want to catch up and push my opinion on. There may also be a few features that I want to get my head around so stay with the week or two of low activity because then it may go chaotic again.
Thanks for letting me procrastinate.
Term Has Started and I’m Lazy
Before, there was a post about going back to university, now I’m back and have been for weeks. So far though, I’ve been a tad lazy when it comes to, umm, attendance. That’s the problem I’ve always struggled with anyway. I feel that - personally - I don’t learn much from attending lectures because it never sinks in or it’s too basic to have much value when it comes to doing essays. The reading involved is much more helpful, insightful and detailed because they can be. Lectures can’t really be that detailed because they don’t have enough time or it has to be broad to give more freedom when writing essays. I got called up for an attendance meeting that went fine and have since been attending but I’m tired of them - especially when you have to listen to some idiot waffle on about how he’s too good for our uni or how much he can quote Marc Cousins’s The Story of Film: An Odyssey. Instead I’d rather the freedom to learn myself rather than the obligation of attendance of lectures. University was sold as independent education with most reliance on yourself which is true so why can they not trust students to do the work themselves? After all, it’s them who suffer more than the university. It’s their money, their debt, their problem, their failure.
Beforehand I was excited to do my module Film Genre because it’s primarily horror based and I am so damn up for anything horror related lately it’s great. We’ve studied great films so far and to be honest had decent seminars that I don’t mind attending. It’s actually a shame they’re only an hour because at the 40 minute mark everyone starts discussing properly, they get interesting rather than irritating or silent and then the time runs out. That sucks. It’s rare that they’re actually good but the groups actually talk, they don’t just regurgitate information from the lecture the day before. Classical Hollywood Cinema was a module I was excited for too, to get a good knowledge of film history but the seminars are the most uncomfortable 50 minutes of my life. The room stays near silent, not a barely a word is ushered from anyone other than the tutor. It’s uncomfortable. No one learns anything. Time then feels like every second is a minute because of how excruciatingly painful that silence is. You can see the seminar tutor getting fed up and when anyone brings up a point, no one debates it, there’s just silence.
Now it’s time to start my essays, one of which is a textual analysis about any horror film I like. Decisions are too difficult. Time to write some shorts and make some since people want to (I’m looking at you Joel, if you’re reading this) and that will definitely be fun if I can get people to act (I’m looking at you Jack, if you’re reading this which you probably aren’t). Anyway, that’s enough of my rambling for now, it’s pointless and isn’t important but there we go. Just felt like writing something.
Back to University
On the 21st - probably - I’ll be heading back to university for my second year on my film course. Considering I’m already 21, I should have graduated already but, alas, mistakes result in delays. At first it was something I didn’t like, I let it bother me a lot but now I couldn’t care because what’s an extra two years in your entire life? It’s better now that I’m on the right course for me and worth the wasted time. It’s given me a direction, a goal, a target, that’s to get involved in the film industry as you might have guessed. What’s going to be good about returning is that I’m going to learn from my main mistake from last year: laziness. It was funny at the time, we laughed about how much of wastemen we were and we all got decent marks considering our lack of attendance and lack of work but I have a motivation to work. I’m doing a module on classic Hollywood cinema and horror films this semester then next year I’m doing contemporary Hollywood cinema (I get to study Fincher, it’s like a dream), contemporary art cinema and screenwriting. All of which I want to do, all of which I want to get a good mark in, all of which I will actually try for.
What I’m also excited for is when I go back I get to do make a short film that I’ve had in my head for at least 9 months now. It’s written down into a screenplay. I’ve tried writing others and started a few, jotted down ideas, gotten some plot outlines written. Hopefully we’ll shoot that as soon as possible so I can edit it and send it around to attempt to get it into film festivals. I know it’s hopeful but it’s how Máma got picked up from a short into a full length feature produced by Guillermo del Toro, worked with James Wan and Leigh Whannell when they made Saw. Then a couple of friends of mine have their own ideas so we can film those too and whatever else pops up in our heads. We even want to shoot an entire feature length film. That way, if it’s good, we can enter into festivals and again wish for the best. Worked for Christopher Nolan with Following, worked with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett with A Horrible Way to Die, worked with Jonathan Levine and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, worked with Gareth Edwards when he went and made Monsters. They all led somewhere and it was on a wing and a prayer that they were created. Perhaps we can be that lucky.
Got a house!
Finally, the Aberystwyth housing crisis is no longer a burden on my life… Until next year, maybe. Either way it’s going to be good as I’ll be doing a course I actually like and not living on the top floor of Alex halls with odd heating, a tiny kitchen and a hot ‘n’ cold shower. Plus the new Domino’s offer is banging so that’s lunch sorted for the next four days and that’s only four quid. Got an essay to finish off though and seminars I need to actually attend as well as write two articles, read my books and magazines, watch some shizz, go out and just generally do whatever, whenever. A lot to do but I don’t care because I’m actually looking forward to doing it. The weather is finally better too which means going for drives, chilling on the beach or on the promenade or whatever without fear of frost bite. Had a great few days at home too. :)
This is total shinfo so unlucky to whoever reads this crap as you won’t care but I feel AWEEESOMMMEEEE. This semester has easily bested the other one and it is easily the happiest I’ve been in ages. Things just get better and better at the moment.
Random catch-up but the past few weeks have been pretty awesome although my bank probably disagrees. Oh well, I don’t care, things are ausom reit nahhh [read in Cartman’s voice] and they’ll, hopefully, get even better. Sweeeeeeet! [Cartman’s voice again] Maybe my goal from Monday onwards should be to attend lectures/seminars since I’ve still yet to be to one and the semester started at least three weeks ago. We’ll see if I can get the motivation for that though, that’s a backseat in my opinion. Meeting on Tuesday to see if I can change to Film & TV so fingers crossed and that’ll definitely sweeten things up even further so I can stop worrying about my shit degree that I hate.
2012 proving to be not so shit after all. It’ll be hilarious that it built it up for the world to end… That’d be ironic… Or a happen-stance; if Alanis Morisette can’t tell the difference then neither will I. Pretty sure it’d be a happen-stance though.
When I came here I was looking forward to studying economics and finding out how the economy runs and how interesting it is and could be. One problem: it isn’t. In the early fortnight I had decided that I’d chosen the wrong course and I immediately regretted taking it but what else could I do? I just thought it was the whole adaptation to university life so I neglected and eventually rejected the idea of changing course until it finally got too annoying.
I had an essay to do on trade and comparative advantage. Something that’s easily summed up in a couple of paragraphs, wanted 1,500 words - it was shit. It made me realise that I have no interest at all in the course - with the exception of my ethics module - so I really should have changed. So begins my email spree where I emailed the English department and the film department because international politics was already full. No English A-level and too late to change to film means I can’t do either of the things that I’d probably enjoy. I’d definitely enjoy it more than what I do now.
It’s a shame because - thanks to a decision I made at sixteen years old - I may never do something I really enjoy for three years and possibly forever with my career. Too much pressure at a young age and the added pressure of doing everything in real time means that I can’t stay back ANOTHER year or that’s two years I’ve waited to go back into film. I have until September to decide if I want to change courses next year but that’ll leave me here for another year. If only life wasn’t so complicated and decisions weren’t so crucial at a stage of progression where you still haven’t fully developed all of your (dis)likes. Hopefully it’ll all turn out all right.
There we go, I finally uploaded photos of my room and all the shit I brought with me. Some information as some sort of “catch-up” thing: I’m on the top floor on the seafront but there’s a massive hill to campus which will either make me fit or murder me. Then there are my flat mates, I only have five when I’m supposed to have six because one came, stayed for one night and went home… I blame Jack. My flat mates are really nice so that’s awesome but Jack, if you’re reading this, you’re a dickhead. I do love the size of my room since it’s the biggest of the flat and I have a nice big bed so I’m loving my room really except the damp which I hope doesn’t get any worse. All in all, uni has been pretty good so far but I’m doubting my course so I might change course.
Tomorrow it finally starts and packing has been a pain so lugging it in to a flat - which could be very tiny - with no car park near could be a problem. I should be asleep as I’m up at half six to pack some MORE stuff, put it in the car and see some family before I leave. I’m starting to get nervous now because I probably won’t really make many friends since people don’t realise a lot of what I’m saying is a joke so that could backfire massively. At least I’ll have Haz, Billy and Ben though; for a while at least. Tomorrow is when becoming independent really starts happening and I learnt that today when I got a credit card, an overdraft and spent thirty minutes signing and reading the conditions of changing my bank account. Welcome to adult life: your best years are more than likely behind you.
To join the “finished forever” posts which seem to looping with people being smashed in the face with reality harder than Kim Kardashian when she got pounded by Ray J in a hotel. Or harder than when Chris Brown battered the shit out of Rihanna. Or harder than a crack addict when he realises he’s on the come down in the middle of the sea and can’t get more crack. Either of these abusive descriptions will do.
Either way, I’m finished forever and I’m glad. It’s a year later than normal students because I suffered from laziness, procrastination and rejection from the one true uni I wanted to go to out of my five choices. Ain’t dat about a biatch!? Anyway, a lot of people I knew finished last year and to put it lightly, fucked off and I haven’t heard from many since but such is life. We move on to progress and all that. I don’t regret this year because I’ve made great friends, realised my goals in life, had a year with great people and just generally enjoyed myself. Except chemistry but I only suffered six months of that.
I also found out some great news today. I contacted Aberystwyth university to find out whether the Welsh Baccalaureate counted towards the 260 UCAS points that I need to achieve to get in. I’ve found out that, if I pass it - which I have, then it does count. That means I only need 140 UCAS points to get in. I already have 60 from chemistry (E) and physics AS (also an E - yeah, I hated them) which leaves me with 80 UCAS points to achieve for entry. Except, I already have at least 80 UCAS points because I had a C last year in applied business and I’ve definitely bettered it to a B or possibly an A. Then there’s maths which I think I’m almost guaranteed at least a B in but we’ll wait and see on that one.
Oh, I also found out that I’ve apparently grown too. Maybe in six years, I’ll be average height! That’s wishful thinking though.
I was hit with some daunting news today, reiterated by my mother from my cousin. A little back story for those who don’t know even though I whinge about it enough. I’m applying to do economics in Aberystwyth university come September. I need two Bs and the Welsh baccalaureate. Before I can even think about the future, I should finish all of these off and indefinitely pass with flying colours; preferably with two As at least. But I started drifting from the present, to the future. A scary thought for a teenager.
She gave me the news that if I really want to get into investment banking or broking or whatever, I need to apply for internships as soon as possible. Preferably as I start university so I have the confirmed place to boast to employers. She knows a few people who did economics and are now doing banking and broking as a job. It’s something I’d like to do and I’m interested in doing. She informed my mum that she could get me application forms for internships in these companies. These companies are in London. To me, that’s beyond scary.
When you think about it, it’s an incredible opportunity which shouldn’t be ignored. I’m not going to ignore it either but I’m still frightened by the prospect. London? It’s the capital. The population is in excess, it’s hectic, it’s dangerous, it’s expensive and lonely. It’s a lonely place for someone like me to pack up and go to. Words can’t describe the fear. I panicked earlier, even though it’s at least three years away. A bit ridiculous when you think about it but I still can’t help worry about moving to London. I’d be leaving family and friends to start fresh in a brand new city which is full to the brim of talent. There’s competition in every aspect of London and that frightens someone so painfully average like me.
I’m getting ahead of myself, of course. These are all hypothetical. I need to actually get accepted to the internship, pass my degree (with 1:1 or 2:1 at least) and before that, get the grades now. That leads me to another frightening idea. What if I don’t get the grades? I know two Bs aren’t hard and they’re easily manageable but I’m a professional procrastinator. I ultimately suffer not from laziness but lethargy. I have desire, passion and interest but I lack the drive to achieve. I live in a sort of bubble where I think no harm can happen. I know this is false but I can’t help it.
Another decision today came rather suddenly but I’ve been thinking about it for the past few months. Aberystwyth has a north American exchange project. I want to apply for this but only one of the colleges actually interest me, the University of Pittsburgh. It’s the highest ranked out of the colleges and is the only one I’d be even remotely interested in going to. Now that’s a bold statement, I have to be accepted of course but London was daunting to me so what about America? An entirely different culture, society, country, continent and so on. If I can’t cope in London at the age of twenty-two, then what hope do I have in America at the age of twenty?
Time is precious. Growing up doesn’t mean being overly serious and failing to grow up doesn’t mean holding on to the joys of student life and irresponsibility. It simply means compromises. I have to make a few compromises. Things I’m scared of doing but oddly excited for as well. My plan is simple. I’m going to face the future and plan ahead. Goals cause motivation and now I have mine: University, American exchange, internship and career. It’s seemingly perfect but I have to work. My pledge is to start working on my coursework, revision, baccalaureate and even working on my personality and fitness (I’m pretty unhealthy at the moment). These changes are all easy to write but I plan on sticking to them. I don’t want to be left behind…not again.