So it’s all over. We completed the FFS on Saturday, and everyone has gone home, is on their way home, having a couple days break, or just sleeping. Possibly a multitude of those actually….
Right now the big question is; “how did it go?” I was good. It was great. It was worthwhile. Right now I’m not quite sure how to answer. Hence the blog post, so that I don’t forget what happened, so I don’t forget what I learnt. To that end, I’m estimating that this post will be fairly long, both for my own sake, and for others.
I think to help separate my thoughts I will split the course into it’s two phases, the lecture phase, and the production phase.
So the lecture phase was quite an expedition in patience, as well as humility. We spent three weeks essentially taking the production phase to pieces and having lectures on the various roles that people play on the set, and the process was saturated with insights by the various lecturers on “what happens whilst there” regardless of whether it was applicable with the current focus. For instance, Jason taught us on various camera work, but also gave insights on cinematography, what is expected of the cinematographer on set, what problems often come up, and how he usually overcame them. Not the most articulate of overviews, but I think you get the idea. The whole phase was amazing thought, I got to meet a lot of new friends, and was amazed with their stories, with their goals in life. Being able to work with such individuals was what made the difference between a good school, and an enjoyable one. Without those who came, the school would never have gone as well as it had. Both students and staff made a completely new school seem as if it had been done plenty of times over.
The lecture phase was also a time in which I was able to put down various responsibilities I had picked up, and focus on learning, focus on gaining new skills, new insights. It turns out I didn’t really like that. At all. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed being back in a setting where I was able to develop new skills, what I didn’t so much like was giving up the kind of work I was doing, exiting the various routines that I had finally managed to sort out (every four days is new bread, every five is milk, and every week and a half is eggs, once a week washing etc.), and putting myself back into a situation where most of my day was planned for me. I realise that this is simply a pride issue. But I certainly had trouble getting back into that. I had taken on things whilst working, small things, and I didn’t like letting those go. I like working, I like being productive, regardless of what it is, I enjoy the work that God has given me, I enjoy where I work, who I work with, I am blessed to be able to serve in the way I am. And giving that up was quite difficult I found, well at least harder than I anticipated.
Going into Production phase then, though, was quite a relief. It was amazing. Broadly speaking Create creates audio-visual media for those who have never heard a clear Gospel. The backbone of this, historically, was in the creation of films. Lately, those films have been specifically geared towards the completion of the 20/20 Vision. To date though, I had never actually been on a film set, or been involved in the process of creating a film. So to be able to finally set my teeth into such a mission was great, what made it even sweeter was that it was in Thailand, and for a 20/20 people group. As I have said at some other point, it was a privilege to be able to create for Thailand, the country that I’ve been able to call home this year. The process went really well. The first week I was able to sit in with Barry and look at the media workflow,what happens to the recorded media, where does it get stored, where is it backed-up, how to create a process that is easy to replicate, and easy to then find the media after the shoot etc. This part of the outreach was cut short because I had to pop over to Malaysia to renew my VISA. I won’t go into that event, it’s worth an entire post by itself, which you can find here: Easter Bunnies, Marshmallow Castles, a Grumpy Woman and her Angry Man Guard, and my Visa.
Needless to say, I got my VISA, and I got back into Thailand, just. The second week I was Assistant Director, and I was lucky enough to be able to fulfil that role under two directors, both Steve Stuart, as well as Jason DeFord. That was amazing to be able to watch the whole filming process from there, and I certainly did learn a lot. One of my primary goals was completed during this time, namely, “Am I able to work well under Create, creating films in this case, and is it a mission that I not only support, but I actually, at the end of the day, enjoy.” By enjoy I really mean that, is it something that brings me joy, or am I doing it simply as a pride thing? The answer to that I can now say, it seems, is that I do, which is wonderful, if not all that surprising. Those here have always said that it’s being on the shoot that really shows you if this is your “thing” and so I was always weary of whether I would like it or not. Thankfully it was great, and I can certainly see myself doing more in the future.
Which segways quite well, if I do say so myself, into “what happens next?” which is a question that comes up all too often. I have no idea yet, which is pretty much the constant answer. I’m not sure yet if I’m coming back here, post-Christmas. I will hopefully be spending some time in prayer and council regarding that, and we will see. And I mean that, I aim to keep people who desire to be in the know, in the know, so when I know, you will too. What I can tell you is that there are projects planned for the next couple of months. I will be going back to NZ at the start of December, and there is plenty to keep me busy till then. But alas that will be another update at a later time when more information can be given.
You can find more pictures, with more to come here: FFS Photos. Go ahead and have a squiz, it shows some of the places I was lucky enough to see. And if you feel led to support me in my ministry check out this page on donating.
Thank you again for all those that supported me through prayer during these past six weeks, it certainly helped, especially on a certain Thai-Malay border….. And thank you also to those who supported me financially, thank you for your obedience towards God. Thank you for coming on this journey with me, it is for His glory and His honour.
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