Feminist Film Camp

A few weeks ago I sat down with my college counselor for about the fourth time and something weird happened. She looked me in the eye, and without hesitation or a shadow of doubt, said that she had a good idea about what she wanted me to do in college. As in major and minor. As in future. As in career. As in something nobody had ever had the want, need, or inclination to tell me. But she did. She and her decades (but she absolutley doesn’t look it) of experience in the service of young people and more specifically their academic preparedness for college. I trust her. And that’s why what she said blew my mind, because I believed her. Whereas before I had never believed that someone would sit me down and tell me what to do with my life. Not that it matters, but I’ll tell you because it’s cool.

 

“Film… with an undergrad in business just to be safe”

 

Film. Well that part wasn’t a shock, but at the same time it was. I love it, and the people I know and love know that I love it. But even many of them wouldn’t volunteer the idea to me, for reasons I can’t really guess because it’s my blind dream we’re talking about. But I can get a feel for people, and what they usually tell me without words is “Oof that’s gonna be rough” or “Aw cute, until she decides she doesn’t want to be poor”. But again, my blind dream. And my counselor’s more than just my counselor, she’s my guru. (Yes, that good) And so she knows that when a teenager has fostered a love for something, by paying attention in that class or taught themselves a skill and has just simply made that time to love that time with that thing, whatever it may be, it’s important to not just to encourage it but to support it. So shoutout to my college counselor. And shoutout again when I’m receiving that Oscar.

It’s taken me months to get the energy to post again. It’s draining, this writing thing. Thoughts to fingertips to keys. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s a tough hobby to keep consistent with. It can only really be done when it’s from your being, because math says you can only give what you have and much as I hate to admit it, math is usually right. Math won’t allow me to write about things I haven’t fostered a care for, because the words won’t be there. So giving more of what I have is probably what I’m going to work on, and finding what those things are too. It’s easier with pictures. Anyone with my snapchat or following my instagram could tell you that. Sydneyjoto is kind of a mess there.

WHICH leads me to my next trick topic.

Film camp. More specifically, Feminist Film Camp. It has a better and more official name, which I’m not sure if I can share so we’ll just call it the former. I found out about it several weeks too late and then there was nothing short of a miracle; somehow they let me in. They turned out to be fabulous people who were incredibly talented at each of their varying jobs within the film industry. We met and skyped with movie directors, editors, PR people and went through what must be the process of making a movie because we did. We made a movie and aired it at a real premiere in a theatre. It’s two weeks later and I’m still feeling butterflies from that one. In teams of five, we wrote, directed, acted, edited, and finally produced a piece all while learning from the professionals about ways to do the best visual, audio, and story work possible. Oh and storyboarding. Almost forgot that.

Here are some notes from lunchtime speakers I took in my nerdy film journal 

• It takes both brains & luck
• Have people back you up with a common goal, but never give up creative control, even if that means you have to turn down an offer from Disney. (They have a thing about that)
• The documentarian women making “Code” always just wanted to make a film.
• On choosing a topic for a documentary, “It has to be something really important and topical.”
• Show before you tell, or just show and hope that tells enough.
• Honestly, you have no idea how an audience will take a movie. You’re just feeding your home made food to the kids and hope they like it.
• A director is the one who carries the production with his or her drive alone. The director needs to be the most passionate, the story is their baby and they want to see it succeed.
• You need a team that fills the many gaps of what you can’t do, and in the end work to create something a thousand times better than what you could’ve come up with. Notice how as movies have improved over time, the credits roll longer and longer?
• Editors push the scene layer upon layer, they have artistic license and mad organization skills
• Both creative and technical people are necessary to making movies. You just have to learn how to speak the two different languages.
• Actresses with cool roles really are the role models for young girls. Thanks to CSI, the number of women entering college since 2000 under Crime Investigation or Criminal Justice has dramatically increased
• As women, we tend to doubt ourselves. More women will walk into a job interview thinking that they’re hardly qualified, whereas men typically think “it’s all good I got this”. Know that you have got this as much as the boys do.
• Code, the language of computer code will be more and more invaluable to you in the future. Learn it, and you will almost be guaranteed to use it someday and get paid for it.
• Light is everything. In animation it makes the world seem like a place you can actually go to and visit. It converts kids to Disneyisms and in live-action can make adults cry and laugh or scream sometimes more effectively than just acting.
• A documentary is a hell of a lot of work. But so is a live-action film. And animation. All need smart and creative people and all are necessary to help tell the stories that need to be told.
• When trying to sell your movie, smile. Give gifts. I have seen grown men in suits almost get in a fist fight over a ballpoint pen that said “Sundance”.  Also, the best parties don’t serve caviar they serve hot dogs. People are hungry!

And lastly, favorite quotes:

“Smile. Love the process, and if you don’t, go be a dental hygienist.”

&

“If you love it, you’ll find a way to do it.”

let me repeat that for the haters

If you love it, you’ll find a way to do it.

 

You’re darn straight.

Something else I really love, is finding flaws in society and coming up with my own dumb solutions to fixing them. So I found a way to do that at this camp, with my production team. My problem, my solution. Please pay no attention to the lead actress she’s no Jlaw, but I think the message is something to think about. If you know a teenager or anyone with a picture-posting problem, or anyone really, please feel free to share.

You can only give what you have right? Subtraction and addition? Well here’s a story I wrote about a girl with an Instagram problem, and how I think kids should start viewing the way they view the world, which is not on a phone screen.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFRjtwmjbY%5D

Thank you dear reader for doing what you do best here, and I wish you all a wonderful day/evening/morning/birthday/holiday/drive/whatever else awaits you.

All the best,

Sydney

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To Express Junior Year Thus-far

…in 34 Gifs. Ready, go.
Everyday in Trig-Precalc:
When the counselor took over 5th period to have the “Scary Junior Talk”:
When our Spanish teacher has random outbursts that are borderline socially unacceptable:
When I picked a song I really liked the night before to be my alarm in the morning and woke up hating it for waking me up. (If that makes sense) :
Seminary at exactly 6:22 am and teacher’s telling that cop story we’ve already heard twice:
Getting all the Physics homework right because it’s about gravity and gravity makes sense:
Me at to kid who went to Chipotle for lunch and isn’t sharinggg:
Seeing that kid walk by who you know is taking 5 AP’s and is captain of the Football team AND has a girlfriend:
The computer jocks in film who claim PC’s are superior to Macs:
That lovable weirdness that resides in all my friends:
When teachers don’t realize that together they’re giving us 7+ hours of homework per night. TALK TO EACH OTHER FOR CHEESE SAKES YOU ALL SHARE A BREAK ROOM DO YOU NOT?!
Every single single boy my age:
“So does anybody have any questions?”:
When parents say that these are the best days of our lives:
Having my dad as my APUSH teacher:
When sweater weather knocked on our door yesterday:
Trying to put kids to bed babysitting:
Turning on my phone to iOS7 after it downloaded all night:
Haring tiresome words like, “SAT”, “PSAT”, “ACT”, “College Visits”, “CCC”, “Letters of Rec”, “hashtag yolo swag”:
That time when I was walking back onto campus at the end of Friday tutorial with Starbucks in hand and saw the yard duty marching towards me shoulders hunched pink notepad in hand:
When film teacher asks who can storyboard:
Freshman. Just all the Freshman that are everywhere:
“Frieeeeend, can I have a nibble of that delicious-looking Luna bar? Pluheez?”:
“Hey Syd, how was school?”:
How the people who make those amazing vines circulating Facebook must feel:
The american educational system:
“Syd syd syd let us go say hi to cute boy over yonder”:
“Ooh I love the way ^^ooh I love the way you make me feel I love it I love it” 
Being a teenager having to cope with other teenagers
Friends and our addiction to snapchatting during lunch:
Seeing any sunset, puppy, puddle, or rainbow:
In summary of Junior year thus far:
as expressed in gifs :) Thank you Mr. Wilhite

Sandwich Summer Begins!!

I am now officially squished in the middle of high school. Great.

Here’s a drawing I made to model this idea, and to procrastinate this post.

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Last day of school with only a 6th and 7th period final left. (History and P.E.) SHOCKINGLY, both were much easier than we anticipated and I think it was because we had a little help from the test-taking gods.

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(I’m still wondering where they were hiding all year though…)

When we walked/drove away from school that day, Sandwich Summer began.

With two years done and two years to go, what glorious and wonderfully unrealistic goals should JoTo set to maintain a little bit of productivity?

This summer is already destined to be the bomb with THE NEW JOB , a couple of trips, and some new faces… but I feel a few solid goals should fill in the gaps nicely.

√ Make a dozen new friends.

… and NO they cannot be the kids at camp!

√ Write a movie script… or better yet, A NOVEL!

… about a little indian girl who’s mother owns an eclectic little post office in California. She loves Justin Beaver and watches Arthur while her mom runs the shop. Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 4.05.03 PM

√ See a concert.

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Really, my goal is to just look like this girl. Don’t care whose concert it is.

√ Finish APUSH homework before August.

My father is my teacher next year. Yup. Yes. No lie.

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√ Go running every day.

Yes mom, it will happen.

√ drive, Drive, DRIVE

And when it comes to mother and father putting restrictions on cars and curfews and such, take it away Sebastian.

 

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(yup that gif refuses to work, but you get it.)

Read about driving here.

And in closing, because my creative juices are running dry and I’ve got to get going to Youth Group,

Sandwich Summer is going to be delicious! 

Lessons in Chemistry

Beyond a curve, a roller coaster of learning this week has been… and it’s only wednesday!

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How interesting. I find a recurring theme amongst my troubles.

Chemistry. I’ve had crash-course sessions in both the tedious type you learn here in the jungle and the… uh… romantic type. Here goes.

My Chemistry teacher ran the Boston Marathon over spring break. So as you can imagine, our normally structured lesson plan disintegrated in a beaker of HCL as my teacher nursed her jet lag and told us what bomb shock feels like.

“Had I finished 5 minutes sooner…”

Our class was silent.

Catastrophes are reality shakers. How petty of me to worry about the dumb things I worry about like boys when I could have lost my teacher over a weekend. But it was worrying about the boy that brought on the second lesson in Chemistry, taught by both Ms. N and my mom.

Perfecting the art of dating people includes an extensive knowledge of Chemistry. The lovey-dovey kind you’re thinking of can be defined by Oxford as, “the complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people”. Yes. It’s so complex, math and actual chemistry can be used to demonstrate it.

(Sorry, analogy queen had to.)

Let’s say that people are substances. They are each completely unique containing varied traits, ingredients and polarities and as such obtain specific compatability levels when it comes to other substances.

Some substances work perfectly together and become one unit that can never be filtered or settled apart except “by evaporation do us part”.

Ex. Sugar Watervia tumblr

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Unfortunately, a more chronically common case would be substances that truly believe it’s going to work out but don’t. It’s nice, it’s prospects look positive, but something triggers a change in compatability. Separation occurs.

Ex. Chocolate Milkvia niydaily

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Some substances are good friends on the shelf, but would never choose to mix because  explosion would surely follow.

Ex.Baking Soda and Vinegar

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So the crux is thus: You gotta let people have their chemistry. You’ve got to value other people’s uniqueness, and when Johnny likes Sally more than you just try not to get too…

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-SJT

Like funny gifs and pictures of ice cream?! CHECK OUT MY TUMBLR.

A Pep Talk from an Awesome 8-year-old

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At 8:15 this morning it was still dark in my first-period  Chemistry class and there lay a bunch of sleepy sophomores drooling on their desks while visions of summertime danced in their heads. Ms. Marathon, our athletic and sunny teacher, decided we needed a pep talk to get us awake and motivated to finish out the week strong, as well as the rest of the year and frankly, the rest of high school. Well she found one, in the form of an adorable little boy on Youtube.

The Stupid Cup Song.

the cup song pitch perfect the cup game stupid hammer sydneyjoto

“The Cup Song” came from “The Cup Game”. Let’s make that crystal clear right now. “The Cup GAME” is basically a hand tap-dance or like a self-patty-cake done in sync with a table-full of others sitting in a circle passing along the cup. It’s been around since summer camps and family reunions were invented and if still you haven’t heard of it, some little girl you know under the age of 14 has. Duh, like… the Turner girls?

Once “The Cup Game” is mastered it becomes something one finds him or herself doing in public whenever they are blessed with an empty cup bestowed upon their table {or in many of my sad cases, what only seems to be an empty cup}. They are suddenly the star of a small-scale percussion show and surrounding tables applaud their performance when they finish. Go ahead, take a bow.

Well “The Cup SONG” was more recently made famous by the movie Pitch Perfect which came out earlier this year. In the movie, “The Cup Game” is put to cute lyrics by Actress and Singer Anna Kendrick and people all over the world have attempted to duplicate her fabulous results on YouTube calling it “The Cup Song”. It’s pretty incredible actually.

And then there’s me. Pitchy-Perfect-and-therefore-silent and frustrated mallet welding me.

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Have a fabulous weekend folks!

Shortest Horror Story- School Tomorrow

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Gosh it’s been a great break. Extremely long and full of good things like chocolate and fireplaces. Gorgeous memories with friends and family. It was all I could have asked for. Then suddenly, all the teens in America woke up this morning with the crappiest feeling.

School tomorrow.

ew, blech, i'm gonna barf, school tomorrow, pirates of the caribbean jack sparrow tongue blech

The wonderful amounts of sleep and food we’ve been getting are soon to be forgotten when we go back to the Zoo called High School. Remember? That awful place growing on mountains of books and crawling with fire-breathing teachers handing out assignment after assignment, not to mention the other kids battling for survival along with you.

Ice cream calms the nerves.

Ice Cream is a comfort... It really is
“Eating Ben and Jerry’s eternally gives me brain freeze!”

Here’s the ray of sunshine people. Nicki Phillipi, this neat chick-Vlogger who I follow on the Tube of  You, has some general tips on how to be happy. Something I feel like is important to remember when crawling back into the Jungle/Zoo.

The Gist of How to Be Happy

By Nikki Phillipi

• Exercise

• Eat right

• Take care of yourself (hygiene)

• Express yourself

• Maintain a clean and happy environment

• Let your blessings flow

• Love other people

• Keep growing

And a line that I especially like and that I’ve been thinking a lot about IS, “Don’t get sucked into your own vortex”

Seriously.

That’s positive social media right there guys.

So when life feels like a Jungle, remember how to be happy. It’s more than possible :)

(Inspirational picture of a Macaw)

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“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone” :)