Have you ever wondered how movies are made? Or how a certain special effect is made? I've always been fascinated by it all. In recent years, I've attempted to make movies using iMovie, an app on your iPhone or Mac that helps you make movies. But I never had the resources, mainly money, time, people and location, necessary to really do well and learn more. So what I'm writing about today is how the RV trip has affected this passion.
Before we left, life was hectic, which affected the amount of time I spent on filming. Our house always had to be ready to show potential buyers, we had to pack, we were loading things in the RV, plus I was running track, attempting to finish school and then squeeze in some free time. Get the idea? Now let me tell you my current average day: Get schoolwork done. As you can imagine, I have significantly more time on my hands. Seeing as my hobby is movie making, I've really geared my free time focus towards that. This has really created an opportunity for me to brainstorm many more ideas and possibilities.
Another problem was money. When I was younger, I was really into Legos. All of my money was channeled to Legos. Everything was Legos, Legos, Legos. I never considered much else. Closer to the start of the trip, however, I started to branch out into film making. Thanks to birthday and Christmas money, I've been able to get some great costumes/props that are necessary for my filming.
People. You may be asking yourself "What do people have to do with anything?" Well, a movie is really hard to make with just one person. Have you ever stayed to watch the end of movie credits for a Marvel or Star Wars movie? There's thousands of people working on it! If that's not enough, here's two reasons relating to my movie making:
1- The camera will have to stay in one spot, because you're filming yourself.
2- It's hard to change your appearance to play another character when you have limited costumes.
See, in previous years, I'd film only myself, and that went alright. (NOT!) Now that Nate's old enough to follow directions and portray emotions (although there are some funny bloopers of him using the wrong facial expression), I can team up with him to make videos. This has helped tremendously, and I've loved working with him on these things during the trip.
The last obstacle is location. Back home, we lived in a suburban neighborhood. Not the ideal place to film anything except, well, suburban scenes. And my specialty is action/adventure. So most of my shots were of the character standing on grass, doing whatever the shot called for. This is NOT the way to make a decent movie, folks! On this trip, we've hit some amazing natural sets that I can't access back home, such as fields, deserts and mountains. I've been able to really get going on my filming, and have made some exciting progress.
Overall, this RV trip has given me some great things to think about, plus opened me up to some very neat experiences. For example, I was going with Nate to film a scene in a cave, and to get there, we had to climb down a pretty steep rock face, and I had to carry Nate across a creek (did I mention that the water was melted snow?). Then we did vice versa going back. We'd have never done that if we weren't going to film.
Sadly, we will be going back home in a few months, and I am preparing to jump back into the hectic lifestyle. I hope, however, that I will be able to take the "slowing down" skills that I learned on the trip back home with me. And I learned some pretty great movie making skills (editing, taking better shots, becoming a better actor) too, and I think that I'll take those with me as well. I've even come up with a studio name for my videos "919 Films".
I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I hope that you think about your hobbies differently too! Remember, you don't have to take extreme measures like we did by taking a year off to rethink your passions!
Our first stop in California was the Oceanside/San Diego area. It was a long stop, seeing as we stayed there for about a month. We had a lot to do there. First of all, we noticed a significant increase in the amount of trees. After having been in the desert for a while, we were glad to finally see some greenery.
The area we stayed in had a weekly Sunset Market, which we really enjoyed. There were at least 30 street food vendors, plus 20 (-ish) "other" vendors. We definitely would recommend the Sunset Market, and I would highly recommend getting a cannoli at the cannoli vendor. They provided exceptional service and incredible cannolis!
While we stayed in San Diego, we visited Legoland and Disneyland. Both of these were a first time for Nate, and I'd never been to Disneyland (Disney World is better). Nate really enjoyed it, and we really enjoyed watching him try each ride. We all had a good time. They're both great parks.
Another great experience we had while in Oceanside was going to the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument. Here we saw crabs and some small fish, plus a spectacular view of the ocean! We saw similar views when we went to Torrey Pines, where we hiked up a large hill to some viewing areas.
We have heard, as I'm sure have you, that the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are absolutely amazing, and I'm here to confirm that. The Atlanta Zoo is a great zoo, but the generally the animals don't move around much. At the San Diego Zoo, we saw monkeys swinging, rolling and climbing, giraffes walking around, a cheetah running down a 100 yard track, and many other animals actually doing things.
Another enjoyable activity that we did was to go to the Oceanside Pier. The Oceanside pier is a very long pier, and we tried to spot whales, since it was supposedly the season to see them. Sadly, we didn't spot any, but it was definitely fun trying to spot them.
In addition to all of these great activities, we visited the Fleet Museum in San Diego. This was a totally hands-on museum that all of us thoroughly enjoyed. We learned, in a fun way, about many things such as sound waves, gravity, seismic waves and more! We all learned some things.
We also visited Monument Mesa where we hiked, biked, and visited the border wall. See my last post for details.
Something that I wasn't expecting to see in California was sea lions. Nor was I thinking that we'd see tide pools. But we saw both in La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya). We really enjoyed seeing the sea lions bark and play in the water, and we also liked searching for creatures in the tide pools. This was a fun outing for sure.
During our time in San Diego, we got the chance to visit Ms. Simons, the Monts family, and the Sampat family on three separate outings. We really enjoyed even our quick meals with them.
All in all, San Diego is a great city. We definitely enjoyed a lot of things there, and I hope that if you ever go there that you'll look back at this post for ideas!
I'm going to cover a sensitive topic today, and I'm doing so because of an experience we had two weeks ago. This experience made me really think about a very real American issue: Border security.
As you may know, we were in San Diego a couple of weeks ago, and one of our days there was spent visiting Monument Mesa. Monument Mesa is the most southwestern part of the United States, and is one of the parts of the US/Mexico border that has a wall. We had to hike to the wall, and Nate was starting to tire, so my mom stayed back with him. My dad and I approached the wall. We hiked up a hill where we could see across into suburban Tijuana. Stopping here, we enjoyed the view of Mexico, the U.S., and the Pacific Ocean. During this time, I witnessed three Border Patrol officers who were leading four people into BP cars. It appeared to me that these people had probably attempted to illegally cross the border, but had been apprehended.
These happenings left me pondering an extremely complicated issue. Should we, as Americans, allow non U.S. citizens, to enter our country without being background checked? Who knows what (drugs, illegal weapons) or who (criminals) might come in to the U.S.? Also, by illegally coming in, they'll be skipping the line which is full of many people legally going through the immigration process may have been waiting for a decade or more.
But I haven't told you everything that we saw. 3 out of the 4 people that we had seen being led into the cars were in the same family: A mom and two kids. (I know this because I overheard a Border Patrol officer). It made me really wonder how desperate you'd have to be if you attempt to cross one of the most (if not the most) well protected borders in the world to get to a better lifestyle. Ninety-five percent or more of these people are merely trying to escape a difficult life from their home country. It's very difficult not to have your heart touched by these kinds of people and their situation.
So we are stuck with the decision: Should we allow refugees to illegally cross the border, should we build a wall, or should we change the immigration process so more immigrants can come in quickly and legally?