Look Out and Up

Words of Wisdom • Casey Neistat

I found this video which was created by the team at JacksGap a while back.  The video features the now famous filmmaker and now YouTuber, Casey Neistat.  Those of us who are familiar with the arts know the importance of story telling and how a single moment can explain an entire plot line.  Casey explains the importance of reaching an audience and telling theses stories in a meaningful way.  He is a prime example of how hard work and true drive push us forward and make a difference.  He closes the video by telling the audience that money should never have a role in a young creatives drive.  Us as humans almost always associate money with hard work but Casey pushes that we should rather associate hard work with our passion.

When it comes to the core motivation or the reason I got into it, it’s because I feel when I make a movie or I tell a story, I’m communicating something that’s important to me in a way that it can reach more people, In a way it can reach people beyond just myself.

I come from a pretty simple background. My dad was a restaurant supply salesman and, I left home when I was really young, so I was pretty poor. I had my son when I was sixteen and I washed dishes for a living. It wasn’t until I was eighteen years old that I decided that I wanted to make movies. I was washing dishes to pay for the computer that I could edit on. I was an assistant. I used to clean out kitty litter boxes for my boss, so I could get a paycheck, take that money, buy cameras, and make movies. I always made a living so I could make movies. I never made movies to try to make a living and I think that a big mistake that a lot of newcomers do is they focus on “how can my passion pay me” and I think that’s a terrible place to start.

If the reason why you are doing anything creative is to make a living then you’re doing it wrong.
You get into it because it’s a true passion, it’s something you really believe in. Or don’t get into it at all.


The Dream of Life • Alan Watts

I recently came across this audio snippet of  Alan Watts which I have transcribed below.  Allan describes our everyday lives as adventures which they truly are.  He shows the importance of our bad moments and unexpected moments.  He helps listeners understand that without these unexpected moments life would be boring.  Watts is telling us that control would lead to the end adventure and ultimate happiness.  With all of the options we have, life is what we make it.

If you awaken from this illusion and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death (or shall I say death implies life?), you can feel yourself – not as a stranger in the world, not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke – but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

I am not trying to sell you on this idea in the sense of converting you to it, I want you to play with it. I want you to think of its possibilities, I am not trying to prove it. I am just putting it forward as a possibility of life to think about. So then, let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and that you could for example have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have.

And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure during your sleep. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each you would say “Well that was pretty great”. But now let’s have a surprise, let’s have a dream which isn’t under control, where something is gonna happen to me that I don’t know what it’s gonna be.

And you would dig that and would come out of that and you would say “Wow that was a close shave, wasn’t it?”. Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further- and further-out gambles what you would dream. And finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.

That would be within the infinite multiplicity of choices you would have. Of playing that you weren’t god, because the whole nature of the godhead, according to this idea, is to play that he is not. So in this idea then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality, not god in a politically kingly sense, but god in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you are all that, only you are pretending you are not.

Look Out and Up

Be Wild • Sam Kolder

A transcript of Sam Kolder’s voiceover from his short film Hawaii v2.0 – Be Wild.

We’re just a bunch of kids that don’t know what we’re doing.

That’s what our parents say.

I know what I am doing.

I’m living life how I am suppose to.

Don’t get trapped by the nine to five.

Be different, be wild!

Look Out and Up

Beauty of this World • Ben Brown

A transcript of Ben Brown’s voiceover from his “Visual Vibes” short film which was shot while on an expedition in the arctic .

How do I describe a moment so powerful that it will change you forever?

A journey so compelling that you will never be the same.

The further I am from home, the more I learn about myself.

And as I encounter the seemly endless beauty of this world I realize that this life is the greatest gift I could ever receive.

And that alone fills me with more love than I know what to do with.

And that moment will live with you forever.

Look Out and Up

Look Around You • Ben Brown

A transcript of Ben Brown’s voiceover from his 360° short film Look Around You.

Look around you. What do you see in this world we live in?

I see humans, I see people, I see lives.  Journeys not so different from yours and mine.

Look around you.

On the immediate inspection, we form our opinions, hard-wired conclusions based on how people look, but the cover is not always the way you judge a book.

Look around you.

Comparing humans to other humans is big business.  Recognize when it’s toxic and stand against it.

Negative stereotypes cloud our thoughts and our vision.  Preconceived ideas limiting the final decision.  The same guy you are quick to call a thug may be even quicker to show you nothing but love.

So don’t default to fear, don’t take a step back.  All humans are amazing, let’s just celebrate that.

In this circle we call life, sometimes it takes us a 360 turn to see there is no difference between you and your neighbor.

Because people may not look or speak like you, it doesn’t mean they don’t  think or feel like you.

Whether they are rich, poor, black, white, gay, or straight, we are all equal even though we may not be exactly the same.

We live in a world where love can mean more than status or fame.  Open your eyes and take a closer look at your surroundings.

The homeless man may not have a penny to his name, but his soul may be made of our gold.  Always asking for change but now it is us to be the change.

We are the love generation.

We share our message with creativity and passion, shining light to the darkness like its going out of fashion.  We move and shake with great strength together, forming the brightest of rainbows from stormy weather.

But don’t get it twisted we are not here to play, change comes from action every single day.  Take ownership of your impact on humans you meet, be the light in the dark seven days a week.