Saturday, 21 August 2010

Looking back

The 5th IYMS is over.

It all worked out in the end. In the words of the great master Vid: it doesn’t matter how we got there, we got there in the end. My group struggled, fought and battled our way through and managed to have a finished product in the end. Though, I am usually one of those who think the journey is more important than the end, in this case, I couldn’t wait to get there! All in all, I am pleased with what we delivered. All though the story we had in mind had a different ending, due to time constraints, we chose for this one. And it is a good alternative. Please give a big round of applause to Boca for his drawings on the first day, Vid for his drawings every day, and Nikola for the post production! I wanted these guys to be on the credit list, but unfortunately post production told me they had no time to fix it. Just know that I really appreciate your contribution – we couldn’t have done it without y’all :)

The other PSAs looked really good! What a great job they all did. Here is my rundown on the other 6:

Discrimination: loved the concept. Simple idea, but tells the story effectively. Great acting (didn’t know Diego could give such nasty looks ;) ) And boys, it looked like you had a hard time keeping up with Miomir ;)

Environment: wow, what a smooth animation that was, nothing compared to Democracy, but then again, with such a stellar team behind it, I didn’t expect anything less. Love the message and great sound effects by the way, Lael, didn’t know you could make such a convincing girl ;)

Health: loved the over-the-top, cheesyness of it all. If you’re going to make a comedy out of it, then go all the way, like the Health group did! It was definitely the most amusing one. The message was very clear and the actors: kudos guys – great job!

Poverty: loved the intercutting between the rich and the poor guy, very nicely done. The contrast – between the bright supermarket lights and the dark parking lot, big-ish guy (sorry) and skinny Vid, speed of walking from both guys etc – it was speaking volumes. The music really fitted the message as well. Great job Poverty – one of my favourites!

Violence: great soundtrack, message and acting. Vid, seriously dude, you should maybe rethink your career ambitions. Acting seems to come so easily and naturally to you. If you are one of the lucky ones who have seen some of the footage that wasn’t used – hilarious! Lea, the dog, really steals the show in those :) All in all, this PSA looked really slick, it was a complete package, from start to end with the animation, sound and credits. Definitely another one of my favourites :)

Youth: kudos to the post production team – the special effects in the dream scenes looked really amazing. It was nicely shot, so well done Youth!

And last but not least, here’s a shout out to the Documentary team: awesome job guys (and girls ;) ) Loved how you put everything together in the end. The flow and the soundtrack made the whole thing look really smooth.

So, that’s it for the 5th Summit. I enjoyed being part of it. I am pleased with my contribution and proud of the final product. It will be hard for the 6th Summit participants to top our PSAs – but I have no doubt they will.

PS. I will add the link to the documentary and PSAs as soon as it is available online.

Boys will be boys

The weather is hot and sticky. The work rooms are noisy and messy. I am frustrated and at the verge of having a nervous breakdown. This can only mean one thing: the IYMS is in full swing.

You see, I am ‘in charge’ of a group of 3 boys. Now, I do love kids (as you may have read in previous posts) and I love these kids, but boy what I would do to get rid of these bunch of ****s (I couldn’t come up with an appropriate word to describe them, so it’s up to your imagination how you finish those 4*) ;)

Boys being boys, they need supervision. I wish I could just leave them for two minutes to continue to work on the PSA, but unfortunately, when I leave the room, they think that’s a sign for Facebook or do whatever it is that boys do these days. They depend on me, which is a shame, because I know they can do it. What’s more, it is their voice that should be heard, their message that needs to be seen, not mine. With some (huge) amount of luck, we might just start animating tomorrow and who knows – we might even have a finished product by the end of the Summit. The quality and standard of that product though…well, let’s just say I’ll be more than pleased if these bunch of boys can come up with something that animates. And God, could I use some animation right now ;)

Keep your fingers crossed for the Democracy team :)

Monday, 9 August 2010

Final Catalog for the IYMS

Have a look at the final catalog that Vid and I designed for the IYMS which is starting in a few days...

Livin' On Tara

(These are the lyrics Sabina and I wrote to the tune of Jon Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer, while we were on Tara. We planned to record it and make a music video. Unfortunately, circumstances prevented us from finishing the work. If we ever decide to finish it, you'll be the first to know :))

Friday at 6 we got on the bus
We had the whole day
To eat and play, it's tough...
So tough...

Then everyone gathered around
Thinking about a plan
What to script and film, for peace...
Oh peace...

We've got to hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
We got each other and that's a lot
For peace we'll give it a shot!

Oh, we're half way there
Oh oh, livin' on Tara
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Oh oh, livin' on Tara

The Greeks had an early start
The Iranians worked so hard
The Austrians looked the part, so smart
Oh so smart...

The Serbs were nice enough to open their arms
They invited us here, and someone promised
There's much music
But no sleep...

We've got to hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
We got each other and that's a lot
For peace we'll give it a shot!

Oh, we're half way there
Oh oh, livin' on Tara
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Oh oh, livin' on Tara

We gotta hold on ready or not
We live for the peace when it's all that we've got

Oh, we're half way there
Oh oh, livin' on Tara
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Oh oh, livin' on Tara

I left my heart in Tara Mountain...

I just came back from Tara. Spent ten days on a mountain with hundreds of kids (and even that was not enough)…

And I enjoyed every single minute I spent with those kids.

At times I did feel like a circus attraction, but I totally understand that for most kids I was the first Dutch person they had ever seen in their young lives. So, it wasn’t uncommon that whenever I stepped out of the door, I was surrounded and followed (one little fella even dared to follow me all the way into the toilet – don’t know what he was expecting to find/see there) by kids. Most of them were just curious, perhaps even flabbergasted by this strange looking creature (me). They didn’t get further than "Hello", but there were a few who were really fascinated and they tried to strike up a conversation.

The first little fella that approached me was Marko (a 13 year old – though he kept convincing himself that he was already 14 – he was born in '97 – call me crazy, but I think that makes him 13). Anyways, Sabina and I were sitting at the Windmill (one of our spots on Tara) and were chatting away, when Marko approached curiously and started to talk to us, in Serbian of course. I could get some of what he said, but the rest…that's what Vid is for! Marko was always ready to introduce me to his friends and explain to them that my knowledge of Serbian is limited. He was my personal little bodyguard.

Then there was Nebosja, 14, and he spoke fluent English. I was really impressed with his language skills and that of a lot of other youngsters that I met. I couldn’t speak English when I was their age, so I am really really impressed. Nebosja was a determined little fella, always waiting and ready to strike up a conversation. He wants to be an English teacher when he grows up. He was my personal little translator (and stalker).

Milos was another great 14 year old. Didn’t speak English, but always ready for a talk. I remember one of our conversations, where Sabina and I literally had to use our hands and feet to understand eachother. He was an orphan and currently waiting to be adopted. He was a really well-behaved little fella, with a love for cats and dogs. He helped me save the 3 little puppies that Sabina and I found somewhere in the bushes. He also enjoyed playing football. His big dream was to become a bus driver. He was my personal little hero.

Super sweet and very mature for her age Milica (12) kept making me little artistic thingies and drawings. She was my personal little fan.

Another very cute little boy was Aleks who joined his brother who was in the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. He was only 11, but his English was perfect. Amazing! He made friends quickly with the rest of the MEC youngsters. He was my personal little cutie pie (if he was up for adoption, I would have adopted him immediately ;))

Every time I saw these little kids outside my building or running around the camp they greeted me – it was so cute and I will never forgot how welcome they made me feel. This is what I will be taking back with me from Tara.

The kids! They totally stole my heart.
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