Diamonds are a Marc’s Best Friend
Pressure makes diamonds. Classic proverb. I don’t know anything about the diamond-making process, but based on the saying I can’t imagine all diamonds are too pretty. At least that’s how some of my diamonds have turned out so far during these first three weeks at SCA.
The pressure of one-day briefs is something I haven’t felt in an academic setting thus far. On our first day of class we were given roughly four hours to write and record a song based on what we had learned during Marc’s orientation lecture. Last week we were given a similar timeframe to make a silent film. And just this past Friday we had to make a TikTok video while the clock tick-tocked.
The minute these briefs are assigned, you enter into an almost trance-like state. Your entire being needs to be focused on the task at hand. Every minute counts. Hell, every second. As soon as you meet with your group to discuss strategy, everyone is aware that the sooner you can settle on an idea, the more time you have to execute it. The more time you waver, the more stressful the execution will be.
Under this pressure, it can be difficult to look at your ideas in a different light. During projects in which you have more time, you might sleep on it and realize that it is a horrendous idea and why would you have ever considered doing that Charlie??? But on these one-day briefs you have to be in Go Mode.
Though I still love them (like you love your grotesque baby or your french bulldog), I think some of my uglier diamonds have been a result of overly-ambitious ideas. For our silent film, we attempted to make a sympathetic character out of a carrot in a produce stand. My ambitious ass wanted to accomplish this without drawing faces on the carrot, instead trying to do it through camera angles and music alone. This is by no means an impossible task, it just requires proper planning and storyboarding. But given the one-day brief pressure, you can only allot so much time to mapping out your video before you then go out to shoot and edit it.
I had a similar feeling this past Friday after showing our TikTok video. We decided to make an extremely TikTok-style comedic sketch. We were a group of quite TikTok-savvy individuals, and we envisioned our video in the same vein as ones that we frequently see on the app. The idea revolved around me playing five different characters, in five different shots, and a lot of editing between them. In the flurry of the ideation process, we weren’t able to take a step back and consider two crucial factors:
1) the time it would take to film and properly edit together; and 2) I can’t act for shit (kind of an important element in sketch comedy). The result wasn’t horrendous by any means, but in my opinion it failed to reach the potential of the idea.
I don’t mean for this to be a negative article. My short time at SCA has revealed a motivation within myself that I previously didn’t know existed. Being hard on myself about my ugly diamonds is only because I want everything I make here to be to the best of my abilities. These one day briefs are just part of a grander process. The pressurized process of making each of us a diamond of our own.