Victory

#363

5.27.23

9:39p

Today I worked for 90 minutes straight on a documentary that’s been two+ years in the making. That was a huge victory for me. It’s taken forever to find motivation to finish. I have so many better things to do: a common lie in my head.

Soon this phrase will become cliche because of how true it is. Action first. Motivation second. Not the other way around.

I can finish this doc even as I add another doc onto my plate by just chipping away at it every single day.

Kiubon

Glory

#362

5.26.23

1:42p

Gimmie all the glory. I want people to know my name. I want to be cool, admired, liked, praised.

Following this 100k offer, I’ve done so much research on up and coming Asian filmmakers. I can be like them. But better. I didn’t go to a fancy film school. My family is poor. Watch me take this money, make a film that blows your brains out, then I’ll walk on stage with my carefully rehearsed speech to appear humble yet confident. Gimmie the glory.

And then I take a step back and realize, who actually cares? How many dumps do people actually give?

There’s one person I want to please with this film: my dad. If I fail at that, I will suffice for second place.

Maybe this stuff mentioned above will happen. None of it will matter. None of it will have a bearing on my eternity and my true worth. Because the only reason I’m making this film is because of my dad. Everything else gets in the way. I have to continually remind myself, glory is futile. Glory is ephemeral. Glory is dumb.

And when/if my dad finally tells me he loves me and is proud of me, I will accept it and celebrate. But it won’t complete me. Because my true worth is fixed on something greater, eternal, bigger than me.

And that’s where I must give all the glory.

Kiubon

Boy holding a plush snake in the Singapore zoo

#361

5.10.23

3:05p

There’s a boy at the Singapore zoo holding a plush snake his mom just bought for him. It was probably expensive. His mom probably didn’t want to buy it for him. She has bills to pay. But he looks kinda happy. He’s playing with the tail and head, feeding it into each other. But soon he’ll throw it in the corner of his room, replaced with some other toy. And he might dig it up years later, not remembering much about his time at the night Safari, but finding a solid emblem of yes his mother loved him when he was younger.

Kiubon

100k

#360

4.21.23

7:05p

Here’s what I would do if I got 100k to make a documentary about my dad:

I would immediately reach back out to my VA, scheduling a call to assign him lots of work. I would reach out to a new VA to take up the other half of my work.

I would put $50,000 into a high yield saving account to earn interest while I work on pre and post production.

I would ask my friend Hunter to be my producer.

I would storyboard, write a script, and preproduce as much as I can. I would ask my film mentors for help.

After shooting, I would spend $25,000 for coloring, sound mixing, sound designing, and editing. The rest of the $25,000 would be for marketing and distribution if needed.

Hopefully this film will do well in prestigious film festivals, garnering a name for myself and for the brand.

I would start a company (name already picked) focusing on small crew documentary filmmaking. Selling the films we make would be the main source of income. We wouldn’t get that much at first, so that’s why I have the full time job to fall back on, essentially making me passive income. I would start crews in strategic cities around the world to adopt the brand into their culture to make films. Bangalore, Paris, Rio, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Moscow, Mexio City, Atlanta, Tehran (of course this would take a long time). As the company scales and grows, more income will come in.

I could also make a company encouraging and empowering regular people to interview their loved ones. The company could be a nonprofit, it could train regular people on basic filmmaking skills, so they could interview the people in their family (like me interviewing my Dad for the feature above). All of these interviews can be compiled into another feature length doc or shown on this company’s platform. It would be boring to random lay people, but fascinating for the people who took the time to interview their loved ones and then everybody in that family and go there to watch. This could also be a podcast.

The company that grants me the $100k would help with accountability, networking, marketing and distribution, entrepreneur training, motivation, and having a platform to promote and publicize.

AI can be used for animation, helping animators with the heavy lifting for the documentaries. AR can be used for the documentary I shot in Europe (shifting with strangers).

Another route with the documentary company is, people can start up their own companies as long as they focus on story and character. And then they would be posted on their respected YT channels and then the big company would repost the really good ones. Just like TEDx and TED.

Kiubon

When you hate your job

#359

4.19.23

2:58p

Sometimes when I really don’t want to post on Social Media again for my job, I push away from my desk and slouch in my chair.

I feel like a piece of crap. Then I take a mental step back and think, wait this is my job. I get to post on social media. I get to travel to Japan and film camps. I get to invest in high schoolers.

My mom washed dishes till her hands were raw. My dad delivered Chinese newspapers. Now he delivers Chinese food. My mom works three jobs, still.

So yes this is my job. And I’m so lucky. So blessed. I have it so good. I’m in the 1%

Kiubon

Girl

#358

4.11.23

9:48p

For the first time in my life, I have multiple romantic interests. I don’t know how I feel about them. They’re cool. They’re pretty. Not sure if the vibes are there. Yeah maybe we could make it work. We could build a life together after getting to know each other. It would work practically.

But then I got a letter in the mail from somebody else. This is so impractical. This would never work. They’re so far away. They’re still in school! We don’t share the same faith. But I would drop everything to pursue this person. Fricking butterflies.

Shouldn’t the person you spend your life with be like that? Somebody who you wanna drop everything for. Why do we settle? Do we just get so lonely, we reach for the closest thing with skin? Do yourself a favor and your future kids a favor, don’t settle. Catch those butterflies.

Kiubon

Boy

#358

4.10.23

7:13p

There’s a boy wearing a Naruto headband waltzing around the subway. This will be the last year he does such a thing. He’s waiting for people to pass around him, so he has room to take a running start to see if he can touch the sign hanging from the ceiling. He swings his arms. He gets it. He doesn’t care what anybody is thinking. If I offered a Naruto headband to my friend just to wear for 5 minutes, they would deny it. 5 minutes! Who is going to remember you wearing a Naruto headband?? They care that much about worthless opinions. The boy on the cusp of growing up reminds me of the joys of childhood.

Kiubon

Some things you just can’t do

#357

4.1.23

10:52p

My host sister is throwing a party. I walked up to the front door, heard the music, laughter, talk about boys, you could hear lots of them. I didn’t dare go in.

There’s just some things you can’t do. You recognize you’re a scared little wuss, and say, “okay fear I’ll let you have this one.”

So you walk to the park and read on your phone for 45 minutes under the sprinkling rain and cold wind, only to walk right back up, hear them still partying, and walk back down.

But what if you recognized that fear anyways and opened the door? Waltzed right in, owned it, and said, “don’t let me stop the party. I’m just going to be in my room”, that wouldn’t be so hard, would it?

What if you rose to the occasion? Just like they do in the movies. Be brave anyways.

Wouldn’t you make yourself proud?

Kiubon

The best money you can spend

#356

My host dad’s flight to France got cancelled. He’s supposed to fly this weekend to visit his dad, The dad is probably not doing the best health wise.

There are lots of strikes in France, right now. Metros, planes, busses, trains, whatever. So they put him on the next flight.

It’ll be frustrating to navigate everything. But it”ll be the best money he spends.

My host dad lives in Hong Kong. That’s so far from France. What if his dad dies? It’ll be the best money he’s ever spent.

Kiubon

Grip

#355

3.27.23

3:05p

There’s a man gripping the overhead compartment on my flight. As if it’ll save him if the engine fails. His arm will ache soon, even though the flight is only an hour.

Sometimes in life we need to grip tightly. To feel in control. Other times in life we realize when we relax, the flight’s much smoother. What’s better when you grip tightly? What’s worse when you grip tightly?

Kiubon