Dear Photography, we are almost there

A little closer now

Dear photography, it’s been exactly one month, six days, 7 hours, and 10 minutes since our last conversation. At the time, New York was completely shut down with only “essential workers” permitted to keep working despite the daily increase in COVID-19 cases. It was a crazy period indeed as uncertainties of the future left the big apple and the rest of the world depressed and in disarray.

I honestly cannot explain the reason for my long silence. It wasn’t that I was too busy or too depressed to reach out. As I said, I honestly do not know why I have been silent. Perhaps, it’s just been sheer laziness or procrastination that had truly stolen my time. Speaking of COVID-19 related issues, let me give a little update on the current COVID-19 situation in New York before moving to the matter of the day.

Amidst calls by experts for government to exercise extreme caution in its move to re-open the economy, some states have embarked on a 3 phased process to lift the lock-down directive. As of May 15, cities, and counties in New York that have met all 7 of Governor Cuomo’s outlined criteria, have already begun phase one of the re-opening processes and are set to proceed to the next phase if the number of new cases does not spike.

New York City, however, remains under lockdown until the first or second week of June as it has only met 4 of the 7 markers required to begin phase 1 of the re-opening process. Hopefully, whatever is deficient in the remaining 3 unmet markers would improve soon so the city that doesn’t sleep can finally start waking up from its forced slumber.

So that is the latest on New York COVID-19 pandemic. With that out of the way, let’s move on to the matter for the day.

Last I spoke to you about how we met, I had hinted of a possibility that our paths may not have crossed had I decided to become a broadcaster. I had been so obsessed with the idea of pursuing a broadcast career that I had no intention of dabbling in still photography let alone pursue a career in it. If you do not remember the details of that conversation, you can refer to the “dear-photography-had-i-become-a-broadcaster” letter I sent you.

After picking up basic video shooting and other production knowledge at GIJ TV, Mr. Gerald Annan-Forson offered to give free video editing training to any of us that would be interested. So that vacation, along with a few other students (Akiboat included) who volunteered at GIJ TV, we agreed to meet Mr. Annan-Forson on campus for the video editing training.

To practice what we were being taught, Joshua Humphrey, one of the trainees, put together a story and we decided to shoot our own ‘movie’. We honestly did not have a title for it. It was during editing that we realized we needed to come up with a title and we settled on “could this be love”.

It was after that day that I began to greatly appreciate creatives in the movie industry. Aside from the fact that we had no idea the genre that our finished project would fit into, the realities of our amateur production skill and knowledge were too evident.

For starters, I was not only the designated editor for the project but I was also a cameraman, an actor, and a director as well. As much fun as it was to play these multi roles during production when it was time to edit, I realized we had committed too many unpardonable blunders.

For example, because we did not monitor our audios while shooting, we did not know that a greater part of the recorded footage was without audio. When I realized this blunder while editing, the only solution that came to mind was to record the missing dialogues in the studio and sync them to the video. It was at this point that we realized we had not scripted the dialogues either and as such recording the dialogues in the studio was a near-impossible feat since there were no scripted dialogues to use as a reference. Long story short, the finished video was heavily laden with errors and issues that screamed ‘amateur production’.

Dear photography, despite the blunders, I greatly revered the video as it was my first major project as an editor and cameraman. The ‘movie’ had ended up airing on GIJ TV (not surprising since we the crew manned the affairs of the station) and had received a few remarks from some students as well as lecturers.
As to whether those remarks were favorable or not, I honestly do not remember. Besides, I doubt bad remarks would have bothered me anyway because I was proud of the dedication and commitment we had put into the project.

I was so proud of my achievement that I kept a copy of the video as it was indeed ‘my first movie. I think I still have it in my archives, somewhere. This, with no shroud of doubt, marked the beginning of my career in becoming a full-time filmmaker; a career I have passionately pursued ever since that day.

It also marked the turning point that placed me on the path of finally encountering you, photography. Not to make this conversation any longer than it already is, I will reserve the continuing story for our next discourse.

Till then, thank you for always granting me the audience and keep inspiring me.