Behind The Scenes – CS/N on Pagbabago2013

I Said it before:

“But , like I always thought, we are good at what we do.I honestly believe we were the sensible coverage, opting to put substance first and foremost. Let the other networks cover the polls with fanfare and pomp. We did it with grit and grace.”

Looks to me I was right the first time. Big WOOT to the people of News5, specially those wonderfully aloof creatures of CS/News.

Thank you Social TV Awards for the recognition.

#whatsthepoint

A rare moment of non movement

This is a time when all the labor and toiling and drudgery and frustrations and milestones converge.  I wasn’t talking about the recent polls that up until now, has yet to finalize its tally.

Pagbabago 2013 is TV5’s election coverage. And most of the motion graphics you see on TV is from our motley crew of mean, creative machines.

I want to talk about the people behind the the screen – like the cameramen, the carpenters, the production assistants, technical directors, runners, coordinators, make up artists and everyone else that work in the background. Specially us, the graphics specialists. Working with talented people everyday seem to dampen the greatness and awesome experience, when all just seem to be just a normal thing.

Well, to us, it is normal.

What I mean is, you get to work, you see people you collaborate everyday, with different talents and skill, each an…

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Now,There’s A Challenge . . .

Second guessing yourself may slow down progress in any endeavour. But it’s a sure way to step back and look at the big picture, look for flaws in the design, or backtrack with the methods.

Oh, if only my co-workers and friends realize what a fraud I am when it comes to my skills. At least I admit that. No it’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing, but most of the time it’s all about teaching myself with the tools. My tenure with animation nearly drained me of creativity, the redundancy turned to complacency and in my mind, if I had not decided to do something different, I would have turned sour and dormant, a warrior that stuck to swords and shields while the world armed itself with smart guns and GPS.

Now, I see myself as an outsider, but I can’t help but be attached to my colleagues at work, in whatever job I have held in the past, and at present, as a graphic specialist (motion graphic artist, but it sounds way better). And most of the time, co-workers turn out to be good friends. We interact only at the studio, but they will never know how much I value the ribbing, taunts, masked insults  and overall camaraderie.

At some point we were just shooting the bull, in a manner of speaking when freelance jobs worked its way into the conversation (pun unintended) and I asked Conde and Mike if they could throw me some, you know, given the state of economy and all that. And what could have been a simple answer became a big challenge for me : improve the skills and get some raket (what we fondly call freelance jobs nowadays)

Now, an acquaintance might say “Sure.” and forget about it, but this challenge made the proposition more interesting. I’m not a wizard with Adobe After Effects . I’m still learning to use SketchUp. I know I could create stuff with Photoshop, and so much awesomeness with a pencil and paper – but, there’s a challenge.

Remember, I was talking about reinventing one’s self on the previous post?

Well, there you go, no better time than now.

 So I went to my usual web haunts – SFFF and MBFF and immediately looked for something I can use, and hopefully give something back. Something our local industry and government fail to comprehend – it’s called sharing.

My Ae skills are rudimentary, barely basic and utterly simplistic.

Now, there’s a challenge.

And lest I forget, this whole reinvention things has been brewing for weeks now, but it was Sally, that wonderful woman who seem to hit me silly and unawares every time, who finally convinced me to do something.

So I did.

But I take caution, and extreme care not to storm into this with eyes half closed. This is nothing like improving the way I prepare and cook lugaw by adding some mushroom bits or putting the onions first instead of the garlic. Instinct is good but we need methods. Lots of it.

These are rare times when I seem to come to a deadend, and a hand just snatched me up to go over the wall and continue walking. Friends do that. Good friends will even shove you and complain that you’re too slow.

I’m not. I’m just relishing the good feeling while enjoying the sights, is all.

You Shall Not Pass [or something to that effect]

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It was a joke, really, something I keep telling myself when I’m reminded of something that happened several weeks ago. And I laugh everytime.

The line was made famous by Tolkien, having been uttered by none other than Gandalf, that rowdy wizard, whose fondness for pipeweed and wine is as famous as his powers and cunning. But the title Wizard fits him perfectly, an honorific bestowed on individuals with the skill and knowledge, the decisive actions, and the pondering of the consequences.

Titles.

Everybody wants one.

That group of letters that you write in front, or in most cases, after your name. The words that fill one’s profile page on any social network accounts. The phrases we use to direct people to our achievements and milestones. The taglines we thought would make us look cool and worldly. Stuff that project an image of being larger than life.

Even with my own issues with authority, I do value and respect those that have earned these titles – Engineers, Doctors, Professors, Sempai – to name a few.

But there are people who flaunt their titles, even temporary ones, with too much fervor and arrogance, it feeds their ego and presumed worth to grow in preposterous proportions. Self love is one thing, but when it borders on Narcissism, it becomes a sort of masturbation,  and that all too familiar me-first mentality just makes me chuckle . One such person, after some heated exchanges, manage to squeeze in a line that I have heard several times before, in different instances –

Hanggang d’yan ka lang.

(That is all you will ever be.)

Should I have been offended? Absolutely not. I may have been furious before that, but when this person asked me to apologize, I nearly burst out with gratuitous gales of laughter. For it was only then that I realized I was dealing with another one of those who think themselves above everybody else, much like Saruman  forgetting that the real power lies within The Eye, and he is only in its employ. No better than the orc he kicked to get on with his assigned duties.

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What’s funny is that he almost took the stance of  the a wizard stopping  me, the Balrog in this story, from taking any step further, and with his own belief that I can be no more that what I am now.

Oh, I could have said something like ” I was here before you.” but that would come off as me being arrogant.  In movies , this is the time I could have mouthed off some really heavy, press worthy stuff I have done in the past. But it’s not  me. So I let it slide. He’s still young. He will have to deal with burnout and middle age in his own time. Let him have his Gandalf moment. I would like to be the wizard, but then I’d be much happier being Balrog, or Gene Simmons‘ Demon, or Ozzy for that matter.

And I’m laughing again.

Because, when someone tells me to go no further, that’s the time I leap ahead, grasp whatever handhold there is on the other side of the cliff and pull myself up. I am more of an Arakeen than Harkonnen. If Arrakis throws me sandstorms, I curl and wait it out. Not squeamish to get wet and wade in the flood. I have sustained bruises, burns and scabs from too many failures and setbacks, I have gotten the knack of standing up.

Time to reinvent myself again.