Click! Ever since someone out there suggested adding a camera feature to phones, I found myself clicking, recording, instagraming almost everything that my eyes considered remotely interesting. A weird cloud formation, a cat sleeping by the sidewalk or a stranger checking his phone, be sure to hear a 'click' from my camera so I can save it to watch for later. I know this isn't anything new, I know that most of us do it. What's a memory if it can't be shared? I won't just stop at pictures, I'll want videos as well, hoping that one of them becomes a YouTube sensation, gathering millions of likes from around the world.
Our eyes are our own camera, recording every moment as the reel in our head plays on endlessly. I take it upon myself to capture the right moments on the physical camera for that re-assurance that it actually happened. Or maybe I'm just too lazy to remember. With over thousands of snaps and videos stored on my laptop, the cloud, my phone, i began to feel restless. I found myself in a room of realization, that I'm probably going to die taking this collection with me, and no one will ever know about those amazing moments I captured. There HAD to be an answer to addressing this. Looking at the media on my phone, I found a pattern of all the things I've been doing over the past year. Almost every picture had either of the following:
1) A happy group showing off their Colgate white smiles
2) Someone holding a glass of beer or wine in hand, showing an intense pout to the camera,
3) Random pictures of my own family: me, my wife and my dog
4) Offbeat pictures of food, things, places- I instagram the shit.
Wait... that's it?? All those thousand pictures can be categorized into one of these groups?
So much for my 'spectacular collection'. I wonder who'd want to watch all this even if they had access to these folders. All those tiny shreds of videos that were scattered memories, needed a stream to flow into. Why not use them as part of a better, bigger story for others to watch? Just a few seconds from each video were entertaining enough, so let's only use those. Don't get me wrong, watching pictures and videos in singularity have a separate charm, but this is a fast unforgiving world we live in. Gone are the days of sitting by your grandma flipping through those laminated glossy pictures. So I thought this through and picked up a topic I wanted to cover: Our recent Bali trip.
With over 450 pictures, and 70 videos, I transferred all of them to the iPad. There's an app called iMovie that seamlessly allows you to select, cut, paste and trim videos with zero lag. You can also insert your favorite pictures into your movie. Now from those seventy odd videos, only a few seconds of each of them were entertaining.. iMovie lets you select all the portions of the videos that you want to add by simply dragging your finger along the interesting bit. Cut, paste and you're done! Once the movie's made, a very integral cherry on the topping is the background score to keep your audience engaged while they're watching. Not just a random score, but something that sets the underlying tone of the movie and keeps a tempo suitable to the content.
In my Bali video, the song i chose was something that I heard in Bali and NO one, not even Shazam could help me find the name to that song. All i had was that few seconds in a video that played the song while we were getting off the boat. After six long months of hopelessly whistling the tune, i tried my luck again by connecting my speakers to the phone, and played the video again, volume in full blast, Shazaming it, only this time- the name popped right up!
You can imagine my excitement after I found the glue that would now hold the movie together.
Enough rambling by me, I hope the video speaks more while you're watching :)
Do let me know if you liked it? I'll be glad to help out if you like what you saw and want one for yourself too :)
On a lazy Sunday morning you'd find me watching random TV. This time, Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief was on, Percy Jackson and his two friends are on this elaborate quest of saving the World by slaying one evil monster after the other. Midway during their adventurous journey, they wind up inside a colorful Casino in Vegas called 'The Lotus'. A few good looking cocktail waitresses offer them a few cookies that look like flowers. Really, really delicious cookies. On their first bite, they fall in love with these flower looking trinkets, and slowly - after every bite, they start falling in love with the Casino, the lights, the music.. forgetting why they're even there. They try telling themselves they can stay there longer, maybe just a few hours more, or maybe a day..? Beautiful lights, colors, music, food.. What more could they want? Everything made perfect sense, until that point when Percy Jackson realizes that the cookies that are so desirable, yet so easily available- are drugged, putting him and his friends in a state of a trance. He remembers his quest and wakes out of this alluring Lotus trap. He gathers all his will power to resist the temptation of staying there any longer, refuses any more cookies from those beautiful waitresses and escapes just in time to continue his quest that he originally set out for. Five days, that's how long they were stuck there. When they first walked in, so innocently agreed to staying at the Lotus for only a few hours.. and who would've thought that this harmless little place would consume them for that long. This story also reminded me of that little bit in Life of Pi where Pi discovers this little haven of an island where he found endless supply of food and clean water. But somehow, he finds himself to realize that he will only be trapped there forever, and eventually leaves the Island with Richard Parker, the Tiger.
That got me thinking about where I am right now. In my home, within the comfort of my couch, watching TV, surfing facebook and with a cup of hot tea by my side.. Am I also caught up in this Lotus trap? A place where everything seems perfect, yet standstill. Looking around, am I slowly being fed to this pretty world that I choose to call home? Is there some greater quest out there that is beckoning? Even if there is, should I even care? Knowing that I'm not alone in this Lotus Trap, and in the company of people I love being with, is comforting. But as much as I keep convincing myself that this is home, I'll also have to accept that there's nowhere going from here.
So why did Pi even leave that island? What if Percy Jackson had never snapped out of the trance? So what if him and his friends never left that place? I struggle to fathom why do people sometimes do what they do, only for a greater cause. We are no superheroes, and its up to us how we live our life. Why is it that most stories and movies which end happily always relate to the hero's quest being completed. You'd never see an ending where Percy Jackson would decide with his friends "F*** this quest, let's all stay here and be happy for ever!" What if Pi also decided to stay on the Island with Richard Parker, and gotten fat and old there. That wouldn't have been a solid movie ending for sure. It's all these movies that make everything sound like there's a greater cause out there that we must all go find and conquer.
Where do you stand in all this with your thoughts? Are you that person who lives everyday for a greater cause? Or do you even believe that there exists one?