When I was a teenager and completely in love with history, journalism and law, I told a person I admired that I wanted to go to college to become an investigative reporter. He said that my “English was too poor” and I was almost seventeen, so he doubted I would ever speak or write the language “good enough” to do that kind of work.
Later, I wished I had known the English words to tell him, “You meant ‘well enough’, douchebag.” But I digress… tangents and I have always liked each other too much. That man’s comment stayed with me for a very long time. It might have even pushed me to study harder—I’m a witchy Aries woman, aren’t I? A person tells me I can’t do something, and I’ll find 13 different ways to accomplish whatever she or he says I could never do.
The exchange had another effect. It helped me open my eyes and heart wider in the direction of other people’s goals and dreams; particularly in the case of young adults shaping their future. The latter is why I’m sharing my thoughts on According to Legend: A Documentary Short Film, by James Yardis. I don’t know much about film, when it comes to technicalities. But I know about storytelling, about the importance of engaging one’s audience; and as a watcher of movies, I know about delighting in natural flow.
James’ narration is fantastic. So is his editing—I love that I never hear the questions, but the structuring of the information allows me to deduce exactly what James asked his interviewees. He selected a small sample of tennis coaches and players, and his approach made me care about their club and other bits of their lives. Their backgrounds, for instance, are short anecdotes that nudged my Muse into creating mode.
Ajith Doddi, a junior player, speaks of observing his father’s tennis experience before the family got to Australia. I found myself wanting to create a tale around how the setting, availability of equipment and everything else differed from the country Ajith came from to the one he now calls home. There is also something especially appealing about that boy’s presence.
Nathan Bullen is another junior player who caught my eye. I think he would make a rather interesting character. His tale would not be anything like Ajith’s, though. He would probably appear in a world where other characters use sarcasm (and a lot of glaring) as a defense mechanism… When you meet dearest Nathan, you’ll see what I mean.
After I watched the film—twice—I contacted James, through his mother. I wanted to know his age and more about his interest in filmmaking. He told me, “I am 17 and next year I go into Year 12, which is the final year of high school in Australia. I first became interested in filmmaking when I started Media Studies at school 2 years ago. We had to make a music video and my group made a film about bullying using the ‘Mirror’ song by Lil Wayne and Bruno Mars. I’ve loved filmmaking since then and Media Studies is my favourite subject.”
James plans “to pursue filmmaking in university.” He also wants “to study as many aspects of filmmaking as possible,” in order to figure out what he would “like to focus on. I particularly enjoy cinematography and editing,” he said.
Finally, I thought it would be interesting to know what movie he liked most. James said, “Honestly, I don’t have one favourite. I watch lots of movies, but I particularly enjoy the superhero genre, including Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and some of the Marvel movies. My dad is a big Batman fan, so Batman and superheroes have always been in my life. Panic Guy Productions, which is the name I use for my films, was inspired by an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, called ‘The Worry Men’.”
James is the son of our own Emma, from Little Gothic Horrors. My friend has a lot to be proud of, and so does her child.
I hope you enjoy According to Legend, my Wicked Luvs. May we never forget to always take the time to tell blooming minds just how bright their glow shines on the world. They might roll their eyes at our old words, but their young hearts will understand our intent
image and video
viaPanic Guy Productions