In fall 2011, I started on pre-production for the YMAA Andover video projects. We were planning to make 3 videos: a long one about both the martial arts and fitness center programs, a short martial arts video, and a short fitness center video. It was the first time I ever worked on a script and shot ideas. While it was challenging, it was also fun to explain what we do. We started filming in February 2012, when Jon and Javi visited. It was my first time in front of the camera and while it was uncomfortable, I sucked it up. Thank you to the other students for being good sports and doing something they normally wouldn’t do.
Fast forward to summer 2012. As mentioned in The Plan, one of the ways of spreading the word about martial arts and my 5YP plans was to make a video. I started on the script and asked around for anyone who knew anyone who could help.
My friend Aaron hooked me up with Andy Kwok. It was fate. Not only was he willing to use his talents to shoot and edit my video, but he was also very involved in the whole process and he made it fun and easy(ish). The hardest part was the interview, and I’ll get to that later.
|Aaron Hwang Photography|
In October 2012, we had the first day of shooting and my friends Aaron and Meng, and Andy’s wife were there to help. As Andy unloaded his equipment and carted it inside the school, I thought, “What am I getting myself into? I’m not ready, I need more practice. Do I really want to show everyone how bad I look?”
It would’ve been easier to pretend I was someone else, but this was me, and I was nervous and it showed. I had to write a script to make sure I included everything. But sometimes when you go by a script, it’s tough to sound natural and sincere.
|Setting up for the interview|
It’s also really hard for me to watch myself on video. All I see are my mistakes. It took a few days before I was mentally prepared to watch the first cut. Thankfully, Andy was able to make my forms look better than they feel. We decided to rewrite the script and reshoot the interview scenes and make things better.
I want to get used to being filmed. There’s pressure to perform well, especially if you want to be taken seriously as a martial arts teacher. The thing to remember is that each video captures one point in your training. There will always be people who will judge you on a 2 minute imperfect performance. As long as I work to fix my mistakes, that’s all that matters.