Life through a lens

colour lens sq

I have nothing to write this week, no wait, sorry, allow me to rephrase that I have nothing I want to write this week, well at least not right now that is. There is something bubbling away in the back of my mind that I want to write. I’ve written and rewritten it a hundred times in my head in every quiet moment or lull I rework it and rewrite it. Each one taking on a new perspective, a new aim, a new conclusion but all serving the same message. It is a sensitive subject and at that an important one. I question not only my ability to write it but also representing myself correctly within my musings. Right now I am struggling to picture it as a final piece. Mentally I am a very visual person even when it comes to the very literal black and white world of writing. Everything is pre-processed as a series of images, each post I make on here has been visualised. From the actual act of writing to the final typed product. These aren’t stock-still visual representations but in fact fully realised and moving images that revolve around inside my head. For lack of a better way of putting it I visualise my world, my life as if a series of carefully constructed and filmed vignettes.

If you have been following this blog since its inception, during my days as a film degree student or have read any one of my previous writings or may even know me personally than it is safe to say I have an infinity for film. Through heart and soul I am a slave to the silver screen, I am a love and adorer of the cinematic arts. I was raised on film, I made short animations in my room as a kid, I read, watch, breathe and live film. Throughout my formative years all I wanted to do was direct. When I ventured off to university to learn film thats all I had in my head and heart that I wanted to do. While my focuses have since shifted with me falling in love with the art of writing the desire to direct still burns with a shameless ferocity.

Being a child of film obviously impacted me in a major way, the greatest component being my personal and visual representation of the world around me. I would see life, moments, relationships, days out, bike rides, nighttime drives, daily chores, parties, events as if filtered through a prism of light onto celluloid. As if they had been shot by one of my heroes from the Coens to Anderson, Spielberg, Burton or Hill and Carpenter to Chbosky and Fincher. Everything inside of my head and what I perceived became filmic. As if I were constructing my own personal biopic. It was simply a natural instinct for me, it was never in the moment it was always the pre-visualisation of what was to come or a repeat of the dailies, everything was played or replayed with renewed lighting, moments became scripted, cameras dollied and craned. Imperfections, grain and scratches perforated the memories or the desires. Even now as I write this the light around me has darkened, a shaded lamp gives off a warm intoxicating tungsten light to my left, the walls are a dark red, the desk oaken and broad, a camera low, tilted upwards dollies in on me as I write, burning the midnight oil. In reality of course I am hunched awkwardly over my note book (where I draft every post), the room is overly bright in its fluorescent spotlighting, the desk cheap and white. It is only 9:30pm and come eleven I will take myself sensibly off to bed to read or watch something but in my minds eye I’m in Barton Fink or Trumbo or Perks right now.

I was always aware of how I saw and fantasied about everything but it wasn’t until my time at university on an alcohol fuelled evening, the kind where everyone is speaking so openly, so sensitively and so insightfully. The kind in which no question or perception is off the table, that I became aware of how ingrained the idea of film was in me as a person. I was sat with, amongst others, my two best friends and now surviving housemates when one half of them; Junes, well known for his tact, brashly turned to me and asked, “Why do live like you are in a film?”.  Or at least something to that effect for as strong as the memory is the exact wording is a little hazy. I was so taken aback by the inquisition not out of offence or anything but because someone had seen me and had seen what I believed to be my own private perception of the world. They had truly seen me maybe better even then I had. So taken aback was I that I believe I never actually answered the question.

I had a very insular childhood with my true friends not venturing much further than my two brothers. So it wasn’t until university that I started to surround myself with people that I could class as friends rather then acquaintances and for them to directly see my quirks and flaws and not to judge them and instead to be intrigued and interested by them was an incredible and new experience for me. It was my first grounding, my first acceptance of belonging in a way and my first acceptance of me being me. We are all different, we all have our quirks and our particulars, we all see the world one way and others another. It’s what fundamentally makes us human. These days I don’t picture the world as cinematically as I used to again I can’t give you an answer for that, I’m sure a psychologist can, but I’m not concerned with that. I still have my moments, I still plan things in my head as if it is a scene from a movie. It is still something that is very much a part of me. Some of us play out stories of strangers in our heads, some of us can’t even picture things inside of our heads but still have the most incredible imaginations, some of us see everything in numbers and or letters and then some of us see it as if celluloid filtered across a brilliant light. We all see and process everything differently, we all need to make sense of this world one way or another and we each have a way that is as unique to us as we are unique.

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