Sunday, September 6, 2009

Enthusiastically and Regretfully

I inform you that I have switched to Wordpress. I hope to maintain a more constant blog at the following link:

I do hope that you will join me way over there.

Hopefully this will be my last post on this blog.

Love to all.
~ Devin

Friday, July 31, 2009

My Knee

This is what I did to my knee:

I was playing paintball. It was the beginning of the second round. I ran and skid on my knees to get low behind a pile of logs. My right knee (re: the picture up above) made contact with a very long and sharp rock. I laid on my back with my knees up in front of my, right next to the bunker, so as to allow my to stay low, out of the line of fire, and be able to lean left and right to see around the logs. Of course I felt the effect of the knee-rock collision, but I didn't see the damage, so I kept playing. I ran out of paintballs after about 7 or 8 minutes, so I stuck my head out to get hit by a paintball. As I stood up to walk off the field, I felt a rush of wetness drench my right leg from the knee down. I kept walking to at least get out of the line of fire before checking my wound. As I approached the young-lady ref guarding the field's exit, I opened up the rip in my right pant-leg. What I saw shocked the young lady as much as it shocked me. Since some of the refs were First Aid certified, they took care of me while they called for help on the radios. I laid down and had one of the refs grab something to rap my knee. Within about 10 minutes there were a couple nurses and several other First Aid people to help me. One of the main nurses who took care of me, Sandy, rinsed my knee with some sort of liquid. That hurt like hell. Thanks to my buddy Pablo, I had a hand to hold throughout the whole process. Next thing I know, I'm airlifted on a stretcher, watching streams of sunlight seep through the branches or trees passing over head. Or, in my case, in front of my face.
(To be continued. Maybe.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Exactly 2 Months

Filming for the last project was stressful, as usual. I found that most of us wanted the process to end as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Week 10: (June 8-13)

We had a guest speaker named Callan White. She is a very talented actress, and has a huge heart for teaching. This whole week of classes was... a relief. A breath of fresh air. Rejuvenating. For the first time in several years, I was on the receiving end of acting instruction. We learned breathing techniques as well as acting methods, and just had a dandy ol’ time.

Week 11: (June 15-19)

A film producer, Mike Leahy, was our speaker. For half of every class we would watch an episode of the TV show Project Greenlight 3. Mike was actually on the TV show as one of the producers responsible for making the film that the lucky-chosen Director and Writers created. I would highly encourage Youtube-ing Project Greenlight 3 and watching as much as you possibly can. It is VERY entertaining, as well as insightful. Apparently it’s a great peak into what the “film industry” is like.

June 20:

All the sweat and loss of sleep during the weeks of filming paid off in a glorious way. We had our film premier, and it was beautiful. Taylor Collins (a student of the School of Acting for the Screen, and a good friend) and I were co-MC’s for the night. It felt good to hold a mic again. Feels like it had been too long.

June 22:

“Wendell Moon Day”

Yes. Officially.

June 25:

2009 School of Digital Filmmaking Officially ended.

June 28 – July 1:

I took a friend of mine (from the film school) with me to Kaua’i. The actual beauty that I experienced in my three days on that island will only ever be truly understood by me. Neither photos nor words will suffice. Which is good… because I don’t have many photos, and my verbosity is eluding me.

While we were on the island, we staying with the gracious family of a good friend of mine. The friend who I know wasn’t actually on the Islands at the time, and I had never met his family before I landed on the island, but it all worked out more than perfectly.

One of the highlights of my time on the island turned out to be one of the highlights of my life. Sean (my buddy I brought with me) and I camped out on the beach, far from civilization, with mountains right behind us, and a long stretch of sand in front of us, ending in the ocean, which ends in the horizon. I climbed the mountain in flip-flops (dumb idea), Sean fished (and failed), philosophized (and succeeded), swam, made a fire, lounged around, nibbled on snacks, and eventually fell asleep.

July 1:

Fly home.

July 2:

Arrive at home (It was a long flight). Home for 18 hours, including sleep.

July 3:

Had 1 hour to re-pack for what I thought was only a week or so, but ended up being three weeks.

Dad and I drove to a place in far-East Tennessee called Doe River Gorge (DRG) where I helped with a hybrid program of DRG and the Institute for Cultural Communicators (ICC)

After that, I stayed at DRG to help with their normal camp program.

July 22:

Filleted my knee. I’ll post pictures soon. Long-story short is this…

Paintball. Rock. Knee. 39 visible stitches. More stitched beneath the flesh. No bone or tendon injury (thanks God!)

July 24:

Went home to recover from knee injury.

The 2009 Communicators For Christ intern team is here preparing for the ’09 camps and tour.

And we can’t forget the prep-team

July 28:

I was awoken by the most joyful noise in the world: the laughter of young people. They were running in the rain—singing, dancing, playing games. I just watched, admiring God’s creations.

Still can’t bend my knee. But I can walk on it!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Update: April 13-March 30

"Maybe it's better not to be the best. Then you can lose and it's ok." ~ Movie: Searching for Bobby Fischer

I apologize for not updating you all in... a long time. To say the least, I have been extremely busy. But enough of excuses. Allow me to expound upon said busyness:

Week 2 (April 13-17) Technical elements of film. Lighting, camera operation, tri-pod, etc.

Week 3 (April 20-24) Screen writing. We had a speaker named Kevin Miller (screenwriter for Expelled). He was positively fantastic. The methods and ideologies of storytelling were eye-opening, to say the least. If you're at all interested in what he taught on, contact me. I have easily 10 pages of notes.

Week 4 (April 27-March 1) Visual language. Our school leader, Willy, helped us with composition and how to more accurately capture on film (or tape) what we wish to communicate.

Week 5 (March 4-8) Editing. We had a couple days of brief teaching on how to edit our films.

Week 6 (March 11-15) Production. I took away a lot of good stuff about what it takes to make a movie happen. Since producing is one of my passions, I ate up this teaching.

Shooting week (March 16-24) Filming for nine straight days. These are about the most intense days of my life. We have 14 students in our Film school (excluding the 4 actors in the school of acting that runs along side our filmmaking school). We all have our own scripts that we have been working on for weeks, and all of us were split into 3 groups--two groups of 5 and one group of 4. I was in the group of 4. Also in my group was Urban, a 40-something year old from Sweden, Jon, someone my age from southern Indiana, and Meijer, also about my age from South Africa. Each of our groups had these nine days to divide between us to take turns directing our short films. The others in our groups (in my case, the other three) became the other crew (e.g., Grip/gaffer, Director of Photography, and Sound. And we also had to share about 15 other roles that in a "big budget movie" would have been delegated to numerous other people).
If you want to know more about my film, feel free to ask.

Week 9 (March 24-now) Post-production. We're starting to edit our films. By Tuesday (June 2) we have to have the first draft of our movies edited (AKA "Editor's Cut") We also had David Cunningham speak with our class. He is the son of Lauren Cunningham (the founder of YWAM) and is a well-established filmmaker/director (To End All Wars, Little House On The Prairie, Path To 9/11, The Seeker).

Next... We also all had the opportunity to pitch a new film idea for the last projects. This time, the students and staff would all vote on the top 3 of the proposed film ideas. We had about 9 pitches out of the 14 of us. My script didn't get picked as one of the top three. Instead, I ended up on the 5-man crew for a comedic musical about a corpse-abusing mortician. I'm in charge of the whole art department, and I'm a grip. Get that. Hah. I love it.

Thursday, May 28, at 11:24PM, a man named Brad came and sat next to me and a friend of mine. Brad is schizophrenic. Majorly. I wish I could have recorded his dialogues with himself.

'Til next time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Update from Kona #2

Our first week of classes (April 6-10) was mostly on character, values, etc. We had a speaker named Mark James who is a musician and worship leader from England. His most famous song in Christiandom is called “Surrender”. He also has a band called Verra Cruz. You should check them out. Under the name Verra Cruz, they are making it big in the "secular music" industry. Nevertheless, he was a great example of a strong believer whose passion is to be a great artist in an industry that is dark and despairing. He has had many successes, many failures, many ups and downs, but in the end he still knows that he is where he needs to be, and loves it.

Our second week of classes (April 13-17) was on the basic technical elements of filmmaking—Camera, sound, dolly/jip/glidecam, composition, etc.

This week’s classes (April 20-24) are on Screenwriting. Our speaker is Kevin Miller, the screenwriter for Expelled, and other films. Just today (the 20th) we were given several assignments that will help us get in the habit of quickly devising creative stories from news headlines. I did mine on the following headline: “A film recently opened in Cairo has revived a controversy about the depiction of Coptics in Egyptian drama.” Being that I spent two and a half months in Cairo for my DTS outreach this headline caught my attention. If something cool comes out of it, I’ll be sure to post it for all to see =)

More to come...

Ask me any questions about anything that you'd like to hear about!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Update from Kona, #1

The Island:

Though I haven’t had much opportunity to explore, there’s plenty to see and experience from our near beach-front campus, built on the side of a semi-active volcano. We’ve visited a couple of beaches. One is named “Magic Sands” (for apparent reasons). The tide literally steals away the sands from the beach for a few months a year. During my time at this beach I planned on finishing a project that I was assigned. That is, our class was supposed to pick a random stranger who catches our interest and write a short background story on them. On the Magic Sands beach, an old, bearded man caught my attention. Without even thinking of the project I planned on completing, I stereotyped him as a Priest—hens the story I wrote about him. It’s a simple story. It wasn’t meant to be an eloquent work of verbose prose. Nevertheless, here it is:


He’s swimming in the ocean, bodysurfing the small, shore-breaking waves just like the rest of the tourists and locals.

* * * * *

At nine years of age, John Calvin lost his father due to gang-wars in Mexico City where his family was stationed as missionaries. Originally, They came from Chicago. They were used to a rough city-life, but nothing like this.

* * * * *

Often, the Priest would stand erect, in the shallows of the water, peacefully accepting the blows from the small waves.

* * * * *

Due to his father’s sudden, violent death, John Calvin’s mother placed him in a monastery. She was always religious, and upon this unexpected, brutal loss of the father-figure, she decided her son would live a life of peace, far from violence.

* * * * *

He made his way out of the water, and up the beach, to the place where his clothes lie. He removes his black head-covering, then makes his way to the public showers where he rinses off the salt-water. He returns to his clothes as he rings out his long, grey beard.

* * * * *

They decided to move to a more peaceful area. Soon after their father’s memorial service, they caught a flight out to Paris, where Mrs. Anderson enlisted her son in the best, most strict, catholic boys-school. The boy eventually became an orthodox priest, and lived a life of solitude in a small monastery in the French mountains on the Mediterranean Sea.

* * * * *

The Priest wrapped his towel around his waist, Buttoned up his Hawaiian shirt, placed his baseball cap on his head, fixed his sunglasses on his ears, picked up his belongings and walked his way to the street.

* * * * *

After 50 years of isolation, John Calvin wanted to escape. He never fit in where he was. Even his name would cause heated discussions amongst his Brothers at the monastery. For this reason, he never went by his middle name. Just “John.” John finally had an opportunity to make his escape. His monastery was bought out from under them due to Beaurocracy amongst the higher elders in the Church. It was always John’s dream to visit Hawaii, so that’s what he did.

* * * * *

The Priest’s time was finished. He was returning to his hotel to pack his things and leave. Where to? God knows.


[The word traditionally used at the conclusion of an Italian film—Literally, “End”]

The Island: Continued

There’s another beach nearer to campus. It’s like Magic Sands, yet smaller an d less populated. Most beaches on this side of the Bid Island are volcanic rock, so running barefoot in the water can hurt.

Just a couple of days ago, I visited our local beach for some time with my Creator. I was quickly distracted (big surprise) by something in the water. Turned out to be a large sea turtle. In fact, there were several sea turtles moseying about in the shallow ocean tide. They were just lying there, inches from me.



My schedule looks something like this: Breakfast from 6:30am to 7:15am during the weekdays; 8:15am = Campus Worship (Mon.), Class Intercession/prayer (Tue.), Class Devotional (Wed.), Class Film Discussion (Thu.), Class Worship (Fri.); Weekdays classes = 9:15am to 10:30am, 10:45am to 12pm and 1pm ‘til whenever our projects are finished; dinner = typically 5pm; Mondays and Wednesdays are optional Ultimate Frisbee days, at 4:30pm =]; Thursday nights = campus general assembly where we have worship and a guest speaker, and sometimes other stuff. Weekends, most of my classmates and I work in the kitchen for our "work duty" (it's something everyone does, and varies between individuals and schools). I set up and serve breakfast from 6am-9:30am and dinner from 3:30pm-9:30pm.

More to come tomorrow when I have more internet access! (Internet cuts out at 11pm on campus... which is now.)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Brief 6-month recap.

Sept. 25, '08: I was on a plane to Lausanne, Switzerland, for a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). I was there for three months. As part of my discipleship, I went on an outreach.

Dec. 16, '08: Flew from Switzerland to Cairo, Egypt. Here I ministered to the Egyptian people for two and a half months. I would be entirely misrepresenting my experience if I didn't mention also that I was ministered to just as much as--or more than--I ministered.

Feb. 27, '09: Returned to Switzerland. Had the most inspiring, energizing and passionate reunion with beloved friends. For the next week, we de-briefed the outreach experience and prepped to return to our designated homes/next-steps.

Mar. 6, '09: Set foot on U.S. soil. And since my arrival, I feel as though I've been going none-stop to make my next steps happen.

Mar. 30, '09: I'm a day away from my flight to Kona, Hawaii, where I'll be studying at YWAM's University of the Nations (UofN), in the School of Digital Film-Making (SDFM). I was just notified of my acceptance a couple days ago. I've been working on fundraising ever since I returned home over three weeks ago, as well as going through the pre-requisite homework for the school for just over a week.

I want to give a special thank-you to all of you who have been supporting me with your prayers and/or finances: I couldn't have done this without you! Your prayers are heard, and they do not go unappreciated!

I plan to continue updating all of you mainly on this blog. My wish is to stay in contact with everyone as much as is humanly possible, but I'm going to need all of your help to achieve that! Please, nag me for updates 'til it happens! I will appreciate this very much =)

I love you all!

Quote to ponder: "Nothing worth knowing can be understood with the brain" ~ Woody Allen