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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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! 

Y-M-C-AAAAAA

ymca camp training 2013

JoTo got a job as a Y Camp Counselor baybeeee!!!

It took a couple hundred small miracles… but she did it!

And this weekend during many hours of camp training in all things crafty and inspiring she realized that she couldn’t have gotten any luckier.

Meet the family… the whole chanting screaming cheering stomping lot of ’em :) <3

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TO BE CONTINUED…

The night before GIRLS CAMP!!!

“Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end- the middle’s the most important. Think of… an Oreo cookie! Right now we are in the middle of our lives, and this is the time that matters most. We’ll get to camp tomorrow, and we’ll leave on Saturday. It’s up to YOU what you do with that creme filling.”

Words from a high-adventurer of a sister in the stake, witty and smelling of Hawaii and full of jokes as well as inquisitive wisdom. It was a great talk. Anyways, I’m leaving for camp in the morning. With my dear non-member friend K. who is absolutely stoked about spending a week in cabins in the Sierras overlooking a lake. Yes, a sparkly cold lake. Our volunteer cooks are also food gods. I have to go to my restful slumber party now (excitement will keep my eyes open anyway) but before I do, I want to wish you all a happy mid-summer, and a happy mid-life! Please, Enjoy the filling :)

(Via Sodahead)

Utah Trip… pronounced “Yewtah Chripp”

I’ve flown on a plane solo before.  The first time was out and back to Utah when I was twelve (unaccompanied minor), the second was home from Utah, and this time was out and back from Utah ONCE AGAIN. So many things rock out in Utah… including BYU’s Volleyball Camp. I flew out a few days prior to hang with my rock’n Aunt and Grandma, then to the other Grandparents briefly, and off to camp for the kernel of the trip. It was a marvelous trip.

Things I learned?

• One can have church on a mountain

• Water tastes twenty times better once you realize how good over hydration feels

• All dogs are puppies at heart

• “The Office” never gets old, as well as British “Who done it?” shows. (thank YOUU Netflix!)

• Little recycled clock-compass men are adorable

• Salt Lake isn’t that far from Provo

Saying “Goodbye” is hard

• The friendliest horses are males

• Mountain Air makes for a gorgeous sunset

• BYU is pretty quiet during the summer, until the camp kids come

• BYU truffles are the best in the world…. topping Lindor shockingly.

• Volleyball is nothing more than being uncomfortable in the squatting position, or awkwardly smacking a ball over a net. Tough stuff man.

• Guy coaches are an utter blast

• You don’t have to be some athletic god to play @ college level

• Missionaries love Hi-Chew

• A mob of hungry teenagers can be dangerous

• Seven Peaks is a rip-off ($10 for a plastic doughnut)

• The Cafe is not in the least

Saying “Goodbye” is hard

• Advil can prevent painful misery

• Ice Cream and twelve hours of sleep in a dark Utah basement is the best recovery

• “Crazy for You” is the all-time best American play the U.S. has ever seen. Go see it.

• Do all your wash before going home to make unpacking a synch

Saying “Goodbye” is hard

• Sometimes the best friends aren’t roommates, but strangers on plane next to you.

• Temple Run is depressing

• You haven’t felt statehood pride until you’ve flown over California as a Californian.

•  Saying “Hey guys I missed you!” is really fun.


Summertime Sludge

Boy am I knee-deep in it today. It’s a mental sludge, the kind that causes laziness and boredom. How again did I so look forward to these days when school was in? I almost miss the schedule. Dare I say it, I miss homework. It was something to do! Well I reactivated my Facebook today, and my Twitter… out of complete desperation.

Twitter SUCKS.

So you know what? Let’s not talk about little bluebirds, how about chickadees? As in Kids? Gosh I love kids. Yesterday I met a mom and future client along with her two cuties. We chatted and played peek-a-boo for an hour. They’re refreshing after being surrounded by chatty adults with all their philosophical worldliness. Kids are simple. Yes, no, up, down, happy, sad. Then on a roll, I walked down the street and helped a new neighbor and mom down the street with her baby girl. I told her my life story and she told me snippets of hers and it was a lovely afternoon. It was also a wake-up-call. Kids are the happiest people on earth. Everything’s simple and lovely but also full of adventure. Be a kid today guys :)

Popcorn and Lemonade

Summer days are supposed to be long and filled with antics. From pitching a half-empty bag of marshmallows  back-and-forth across the street to bringing up pillows to the roof to making an epic home video of cops and robbers utilizing all of your kid-neighbors. I’m exhausted. Also, Home Videos rock, so we made one. Two weeks until volleyball camp.

Idea for this home video came from two ten-year-olds. Nothing fancy, just a little imagination and iMovie. Expect more.