Saturday, February 23, 2008

Coming to a theater near you...well, maybe not.

As some of my readers who I'm personally acquainted with know, I and an awesome group of friends are putting the finishing touches on our first official film for the Christian Youth Film Festival. It has been, to say the least, an overwhelming and completely unanticipated process for all of us, but by the grace of God we've finally managed to brainstorm, write, cast, film, and edit the darn thing. That said, I think all of us have really learned a lot and been challenged to (as the message in our movie says) rely on God at all times for all things.

With so much time and effort invested into this movie, I figured it at least deserved some kind of special place on the internet. Thus, my blog will be serving as the official temporary website of Reliance and Revenge. It is a hilarious heist/action flick about a teenage guy named Logan who was humiliated by a girl (Ashely) in the past. In the film Logan tries to get revenge by recruiting an elite team of thieves and stealing something from her. I know, I know, kinda weird plot given the context and everything, but as the writer, what can I say? At least it's fairly original.

Anyhoo, the film will likely be featured in the aforementioned contest, which is happening next Sunday, March 2nd, at the Majestic Fox Theater in Bakersfield California. You can find more details through the link. I would love to post the film as soon as our editor (Thomas Harlander) is finished editing, but in order to be fair to everyone spending $10 on a ticket to see the film (along with the other top ten contestants), that will probably have to wait. Nevertheless, we will also be making a "Special Extended Friends and Family Edition" of the film which is basically the film how it's supposed to be. Unfortunately, the contest puts a ten minute limit on all of the films while ours was originally a solid fifteen minutes long. Guess I'll have to keep you posted on the status on that, be looking for a cast list and maybe even a poster or trailer in next couple days.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A little something to kick things off:

Okay, so this is pretty much the most prominent piece of writing I've produced (so far, at least, I've written two scripts and both will be performed soon). The piece here is actually a little article about inspiration and role it plays in writing. It was published in the Septermber-October California edition of NextStep Magazine. You can read the edited article here. The original (and I think better) version goes as follows:

"As a high school student headed for college, I’ve noticed that one of the most important academic skills one can possess is a talent for writing. No matter what major or profession you pursue in high school and college, sooner or later you are going to have to write. Therefore, I’d like to share and discuss a few writing tips that I’ve acquired thus far in high school, specifically those pertaining to essays. Ironically, I was sorely lacking in inspiration for this article until a few moments ago; therefore, I’ve decided to focus primarily on the concept and importance of inspiration.
Inspiration is a writer’s greatest asset. If I ever become famous as a writer (not likely) that will be the quote I’m known for because it really sums up my writing philosophy. If you don’t have inspiration or ideas, you’re not going anywhere. You absolutely need something to write about. It is extremely difficult to put something meaningful, ordered, logical, and well structured down on paper if you do not have a plan or an idea that you are comfortable with.
I can imagine your response: “Yeah Andrew, that’s nice, but where do you get this ‘inspiration’?” To be honest I cannot give you a hard and fast answer, no one can, but it really helps to find something you’re interested in. My best works have generally revolved around a topic I enjoy or are familiar with. For instance, I’ve written a personal narrative essay about my first time paintballing. I’ve also turned in essays referencing games like Warcraft III, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and Axis and Allies! Believe it or not, I received an “A” on every one of these assignments!
Papers are also a great field to express philosophical ideas. In fact, there is no better format to argue things such as one’s religious convictions. For example, I wrote about the depravity of man just last semester. Teachers often look primarily for the student’s views or interpretation and evidence to support them. If you write about something you’re passionate or knowledgeable about, it is that much easier to successfully argue your point.
Granted, you won’t always have this complete “freedom of topic”, and I admit that at times it can be very difficult to write essays when you are only given a few specific prompts. Do not let this hinder you, though, even if you are confined to a few or even one select topic, you can still have a little fun with your essay. I’ve mentioned Star Wars in an introduction to a biology essay about cloning, and just last spring, I quoted the lyrics from a Relient K song in a composition about The Scarlet Letter! If you are familiar with any of the band’s music, you know that Relient K is not exactly “formal essay” material. However, the lyrics fit perfectly with the point I was attempting to convey, so I used them. Again, I received a solid score on this paper as well!
My point is that it’s good to have a bit of fun with your writing, not that you should be constantly going on long expositions about Halo or quoting Jack Sparrow, but there is nothing wrong with using cool or fun subjects when appropriate. It is so much easier to be stimulated by something you like. Once again: inspiration is a writer’s greatest asset."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Welcome to my blog...

Greetings readers (if any),

You are about to enter the non-specific thought life of, well, let’s just say a “different” high schooler. I have no expectations of dramatically affecting the world in these writings, in fact, the only thing that I ultimately desire of these words is that they would somehow bring glory, praise, and recognition to God. Please note this is not intended to be a journal or regular diary; rather, I’m simply posting any observations, concepts, links, articles and so on that life brings my way. Some posts you may find completely expected and perfectly normal for a person my age, other topics will possibly surprise and maybe even challenge you. That said…enjoy!