According to Legend

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
via
Panic Guy Productions

35 comments:

  1. This is absolutely wonderful and so kind of you, Magaly! Thank you SO much! ❤ And James thanks you too! ❤

    “You meant ‘well enough’, douchebag.” This made me smile. My teenage dreams were discouraged too, so I can totally relate to what you experienced, and I love that the nurturing of goals is a theme of this post.

    Ajith is such an impressive boy, isn't he?! :)

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    1. Thank you both, for letting me share my thoughts on it. In this times of negative darkness, something bright and promising puts a smile on everyone's face. ♥

      And yes, Ajith is impressive indeed. There is something about him, an energy, that makes you want to smile a lot, ;-)

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  2. Ah, the number of things I wish I had told detractors in the past! But as they say, living well is the best revenge! I bet that man would be pissed at what a wonderful poet you are and all the people you inspire!

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    1. "...living well is the best revenge!" I totally love that.

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  3. It's awesome to see a young person excited enough about their passion to create something grand. Best of luck to James!

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    1. It gives hope for the future and it leaves glad to be around to see it, doesn't it?

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  4. Some people revel in the squashing of dreams, I think, mayhap because their very own have been destroyed. This young man is talented and lucky to have people holding him up to reach his dreams! Good luck, James! Thanks for sharing, Magaly!

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    1. One has to wonder what goes through their heads while they trample on things that should never be touched with a negative thought...

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  5. Completely smitten by this young man's passion for finding his niche in film. Follow your dreams James.
    Encouragement and opportunity are the stuff of real world magic. Both are so lacking in small minds of many people. It takes a mighty human to encourage others. We should all aspire to being mightier.

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    1. Yes! on all counts, my beloved Oma! ♥

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  6. I am so often blown away by the talent and passion that young people display. Those who despair for "kids today" need clearer glasses! Way to go, James!

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    1. They are definitely not looking hard enough. Too bad...

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  7. Documentaries are my favorite film genre. I am delighted to see this talented young person pursue his dreams in the field.

    ^5, James!

    Magaly - you didn't turn out so badly, yourself :)

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  8. How very sweet! James reminds me of my dear brother, who has been off living in the big city for the past 6 years. After working a couple of retail jobs for a few years after getting his film degree, he finally got a job at a production company and we are sooo proud of him! It just makes my heart happy to know how happy he is! It does pay to say "watch me" and prove the doubters wrong!

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    1. There is power in digging in one's heels and saying, "You think you can't, 'watch me' prove you wrong on all counts."

      I'm so glad for your brother. ;-)

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  9. James has done a great job, love this slice of life withe real Aussies, stuff that 'Legends' are made of, right done to the bloopers, and isn't the 'rival' story cool :) Emma must be proud! Trinity my youngest just finished Year 12 and has applied to do Social Work over film and art as she has told me she wants to help people, I put up quite a case for art helping people and film exposing injustices so she could combine her creative talent with social work, she is quite shy so I think one on one rather than working with groups may appeal. She did 2 short films this year and one got picked for a Local festival (entered by her teacher not her) Fraser (and a family friend) are in one, Memphis (& Big F) the other, I got to do makeup! Lot's of fun, maybe that's why I want her to choose film? BUT... Like your story here Magaly, very aware to support rather than discourage our youth (or anyone actually) people need passion, need to follow their dreams, you not being a journalist did not stop your drive to write (thank goodness) and I sense James may have a great career in film, love that easy documentry style he evoked to have the viewer really interested in the past and people that make up 'Legends', well done and so pleased you shared :)

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    1. Wow, I should have checked for typos before I posted LOL, HOPEFULLY you can translate to English ;)

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    2. James won an award, too. I can't remember which (Emma, help!). I would love to watch the films Memphis created. And your make up, of course. :-D

      Do not stop posting without checking your spelling. I would hate to do it all alone!

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    3. James was a finalist in a local film festival just like Trinity, Magaly! How cool that both of our kids had films chosen at opposite ends of the country, Shelle! :D I bet Trinity will be a wonderful social worker though! James is shy too, so that's a niggling worry I have about the film and television industries, but then I think about someone like Tim Burton, who was shy (and socially awkward), and look at him now! :)

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    4. Thank you for clarifying. I wasn't sure.

      Art is a wondrous thing... It allows us to be extroverts and introverts at the same time. For we can build worlds that show many places in our hearts and soul, while keeping those we don't want to share deep within ourselves... watching.

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    5. Sooo, isn't funny when we find out our children have overlapping interests as well as us!!!! Magaly write a movie & Emma & I will get James & Trinity onto it :) I'll do makeup VERY cheaply, Emma, thinking you could be stylist/props (you have a great talent for that), mm Memphis if not on a dig could act & Big F is always available between surfs, LET'S DO IT :D other family members/friends/fellow bloggers can sign on too :) BTW Emma, so true shouldn't matter about intro/extro-vert & Tim Burton & David Lynch are Trin's favs (does James have fav's?), & Magaly, you are a world builder exposing just enough to keep all wanting to keep peeking in ;) I'll try to get a link or post Trin's shorties in my blog ;)

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    6. Ha! Brilliant! Forget Hollywood and Bollywood... we've got our own Bloggywood!

      James had no choice but to love Tim Burton. Anything else would be sacrilege in my household. ;D I don't think he's ever seen any David Lynch, but it's a funny coincidence that you mention him because my husband Danny was only telling James all about 'Twin Peaks' yesterday.

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    7. I'd love to see Trinity's films if you post a link! So would James. :)

      James also filmed and edited this bit of silliness for me for Halloween 2013:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQNIgAfPNmg

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    8. I just re-watched the video and love it all over again!

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  10. This was great! Congrats James! The interviews and cutaways were very smooth, and I enjoyed watching the plays. And that poor kid at the end - ouch - but I laughed!

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    1. The editing was one of the bits I found most interesting. James has a very kin eye. And such an ease when narrating. I laughed at the end, too. I'm sure he is fine.

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  11. Thank you so much to everyone for your sweet and encouraging comments. James has been blushing and beaming as he read them all! ♥ And thank you again, Magaly! ♥

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    1. You tell James to get used to the blushing and beaming. If he keeps at it, there will be a lot this in the future. ♥

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  12. I have no patience for dicky jerks!
    I have always pictured you with a strong but warm Northern American accent (even when you told me this was not entirely the case) and I still struggle to imagine your Dominican accent.

    Thank you for your encouraging words, and for welcoming me back to Blogland!

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    1. At that time, I had been in the US for less than a year. I didn't know enough English to communicate properly. But to this idiot, the fact that I didn't knew "his language" translated to me being dumb. Mind you, I was taking advance math, sciences and literature courses in my own language. Anyway, things turned out well. I was him after I got my second degree in college. Can you believe that the bastard actually said, "I always knew you'd do great things."? I wanted to smack him in his lying mouth. But he wasn't worth the trouble.

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  13. You reviewed the hell out of that didn't you Miss SmartIe Pants! I too enjoyed this budding film makers
    doc. and movies are a passion , I found this shot, lite and executed beautifully! Now I what to see
    His unbridled film work! Yes, I'm a subscriber and I will be watching ! xo
    Emma! Better get a runway ready gown JUST IN CASE!

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    1. There is no "just in case" here. ;-D

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  14. Yeh James ;o) Yeh Emma ;o) So happy for the both of them ;o) Emma must be so proud ;o) Hugs ;o)

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