Make Lists to Achieve Your Goals

Photo by Holden Baxter on Unsplash

I’m a filmmaker that specializes in sound. With each passing day, I’m moving closer and closer to my goal of writing and directing documentary films. How does one become a documentary filmmaker? They take the Werner Herzog Masterclass and follow his advice. 

“Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read…if you don’t read, you will never be a filmmaker.”
― Werner Herzog

Daily I have a rigorous reading routine. Most of my books line the shelves of every vertical surface in my home. Begging to be opened and absorbed. To optimize my time, I listen to audiobooks. My local public library offers up to five free audiobooks per month and I take advantage of Audible’s five-dollar book deals and purchasing credits in bulk. 

I’ve slowly yet steadily increased the intensity of my audible reading goals by gradually increasing the playback speed. Currently I “read” or listen to books at double the speed. Occasionally I’ll miss a word or passage and I’ll rewind fifteen seconds and relisten. Point is I read a lot of books.

Reading is a neverending lifelong process. If you are a reader, you’ll never ever finish. 

For the most part, I only read non-fiction. Life is too short and interesting to waste time with fiction. Memoirs, self-development, philosophy, and nature are some of my favorite categories. 

So this is an article on lists. Why are you talking about books?

Possibly because I’m self-diagnosed with ADHD. Or possibly because my interests are vast. Or possibly because I suffer from CRS (Can’t Remember Shit), I make lists. Lists of every book I read. Lists of books I never finished. Amazon hosts lists of books I want. 

How does a self-diagnosed weirdo keep track of where he has been and where he is going? You guessed it. I make a damn list.

What are your goals? Do you know how to get there? If you are feeling stuck, lacking in ambition to reach your dreams and goals, make lists. The list can be incremental steps to the final goal.

Want to travel to Patagonia? Make a damn list. Make a huge list that feels overwhelming with detail. Let the anxiety build and then work to strike out just one item on the list. Found your passport? Check it off. Researched flights? Check that shit off. Ordered plane tickets, found someone to care for your orchids? Check. And on and on.

What does a pseudo-documentary filmmaker suffering from self-diagnosed ADHD, turned writer, turned self-help guide, turned philosopher know about the subject? I know how to make a list. And more importantly, I know how to take incremental steps to check items off and make progress. One step at a time.

Stop Sharpening Your Pencil

I once worked with an architect. We will call him The Ostrich. Why The Ostrich? Because he spends most of his day doing two things. Sharpening pencils and shoving his head in the sand. Stressed and anxious about his workload, he would wander around the office, sharpening pencils, grabbing clean writing pads, wiping down his desk, filling his water bottle. I’d say “dude, I wrote my task list, stared blankly at the page, found the easiest task, finished it, and crossed that shit off. And you, you are making sawdust.”

He couldn’t make a list. The idea of the list overwhelmed him. WTF? Isn’t the idea of life the journey and not the destination? Do I only want to read one more book? Write one more article? Make only one film. Hell no. Every day I’ll keep adding to my lists. I make lists of my tasks, and lists of my accomplishments. 

Far ahead in the distance is a sandy mountain. The sun is shining brightly. Will I ever get to the top? Possibly not. However, look at each footprint in the sand as a goal on your list. Take one step, now another. Give it a week, a month, a year. Now look back at that list like footprints in the sand. Do you see have far you’ve come? Now keep going.

My advice Make a damn list.

The Sounds and Excitement of a Cinematic Release

Michael Bays 6 Underground Theatrical Screening 

Photo by Michael Competielle

Nothing says Cinema like the cinematic release of an action film. And nothing is cooler than a movie premiere where the celebrated Michael Bay introduces the film along with its brilliant cast including fan-favorite Ryan Reynolds.

Last evening New York Cities performing arts venue The Shed hosted the Theatrical premiere for one of the years most celebrated films Netflix’s 6 Underground. This $150 Million dollar film written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick which was directed by the master of blowing shit up Michael Bay was everything you would expect from this celebrated brilliant creative team. 

Filmed in Florence, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, and LA this film focuses on a group of 6 vigilantes who faked their own deaths to rid the world of notorious criminals. Fast cars, guns, and explosives permeated the scenes which included over 2,000 action stunts. 

The pulsating sounds of revving car engines, screeching tires and gunfire nearly blasted you out of the theater seating. Hard rocking music with cinematic pounding drums built the scenes into a cacophony of presence while the special effects emphasized the blood and guts of the brilliantly choreographed scenes. 

The outstanding lighting and camerawork developed scenes of ominous grit while the aerial shots established the film’s dynamical diverse landscapes. Our characters were developed throughout the film without using their real names or identities to avoid the vigilantes from becoming to close or empathetic.

The tension was constantly built as the vigilantes brushed with death and had numerous close calls. Almost every second of the film was riddled with humor and destruction while the storyline flowed with constant excitement.

With awards season around the corner, films that are eligible to be nominated for Best Feature Film for prestigious industry awards are required to have a theatrical release. While there certainly isn’t anything wrong with streaming new content on Netflix, some films just need to be seen and more importantly heard in a calibrated theater setting.

With high movie overhead and struggles to remain profitable, it takes the right type of film and directing to warrant the need for viewing a film in its proper environment. It’s doubtful most people will be able to enjoy this film’s use of color space and dynamic soundscape which left this viewer immersed in a moment of sheer brilliance.