Inle Lake, Myanmar

Areas where people live on the water fascinate me. Other than some general research, I didn't really know what to expect from Inle Lake. I knew that we would have to hire a tour guide for the day to take us around, and they have specific spots where they take tourists. Myanmar is in this stage where these destinations are becoming more touristy, but it's still a very raw and for the most part, untouched. There aren't an people trying to sell selfie sticks, there aren't any kiosks selling trinkets or hot dog food stands. It's a UNESCO site, but tour companies haven't taken over yet. Reservations aren't a thing yet, so In the early morning, we showed up at the dock, found a guy to be our guide, paid him $20 cash and he took us around for the day.

I knew I wanted to do short little interviews with the people we visited along the way since we had our translator with us for this trip. I was genuinely interested in knowing if these people liked the tourists (like me) and weather it was benefiting their lives. I love to travel, see new places and see how different people live. But I always feel a little bit of guilt, like I'm kind of a visual burden for the locals and maybe disrupting their quality of life. I felt like this was the perfect context to ask these questions and make a video about it.

I was in awe of this place and the community this culture built on stilts. I was amazed to see electrical poles, post office, construction, etc. It's definitely a hidden gem of the world, and I highly recommend visiting.  

Three Hours to School

I wanted to explore the idea of the journey being the inspiration, not necessarily the destination. 

In the city center of Yangon, motorbikes are banned. In Dala, a massive impoverished township, people are too poor to own cars, and even if they did, the streets are not wide enough to drive or park them. For anyone that's been to SE Asia, you know that motorbikes are the main mode of transportation for the working class. The only public transportation that goes from one side to the other is the Ferry. Not being able to easily get into the city center, where all the opportunities are, makes it particularly challenging to better one-self.

For this video production, we had a very small crew. Myself, Dan, my field producer, Ansley, and a translator. We found Ye Wint Aung, a university student that takes 5 modes of transportation to the university for his education in language and poetry. I wanted to explore his mindset and experience of this, so we woke up at 4, got to his place, and did the commute with him. In the edit, I wanted the mood of this arduous commute conveyed as well as glimpses of inspiration and how this experience is shaping him in his formative years. If he is putting this much effort into his education, just think of what he will do with his life! 

2017 Reel

This is an important year for me. It's the year that my fear of failure isn't as strong as my fear of never trying in the first place. There really isn't an equivalent phrase for women, but essentially I am "manning up." I'm manning up and learning the skills that I've been telling myself I need to learn for the past three years. I'm learning how to edit and I'm learning about audio for interviews, etc. I'm manning up and trying not to be intimidated by these things I know little about. I'm doing my best to not make excuses anymore. Earlier in the year, I got a new computer with specs specifically for editing video and that's made a world of a difference. I've had the idea for this edit since 2014, and at the time, I had no clue how to execute it. So this year, I finally made it happen. 

I was listening to the Onion Book of Known Knowledge while driving my car on the move out to California late 2013. I was driving my car alone, and sometimes with long stretches of silence. At this point, I only have photos to trigger the memories because I can't remember all of it. If you've moved across the country to a massive city, no family, one friend, no connections, no job, no client base, no apartment, and not even really knowing what the place looks like, then you can relate. :) I took a blind leap of faith and have been reminded of my mortality ever since. My curiosity for all things bigger and unknown had skyrocketed. I no longer cared what had already been proven, all I cared about was what had yet to be proven -- for myself and in general. 

The constant tango of beauty and sadness keeps me intrigued mystified by this world. I'm always searching for truth and those slivers of moments that make up the collection of our life's memories. That's really what this reel is suppose to represent; all those moments on jobs when the talent became actual people and had a moment when they forgot about the camera and were connecting with their surroundings and connecting with me.  I gathered a lot of this footage with Dan, my video partner over the past three years. All this footage is from jobs that we've shot together and my own personal travels. 

This is the first major concept I edited all on my own, and I think my 2014 self would approve. :) Thanks to Sarah Vandekamp for doing the narration and voiceover.