Wrapping it up

We are already at the end of 2021. I can’t believe how quick this year went by. I know this is what we usually say at the end of a year but man, 2021 alone feels like a decade worth of stress, thinking, pivoting and rebuilding. A lot has happened but I still think we are transitioning into another year of massive disruptions.

You probably noticed how fuel prices and everyday goods are going up. And this trend is only going to continue in 2022. More and more jobs are opening up as employers are having a hard time trying to find eligible workers to run daily operations. Going to the pub and dining in a restaurant is not as flexible and even you do get a table, you need to leave after a certain time. I am not a huge pub lover but having to time your drinks feels like I am at work on Monday morning so I rather have a beer in my backyard and chill.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry talk about Bitcoin and how to invest in crypto.

Times are definitely changing.

I have to say, crypto or Web 3.0 is something that I am very optimistic about. If you don’t know anything about cryptocurrencies and blockchain this might sound like a scam (Every disruptive technology did sound like a scam at first). But I strongly believe this innovation is going to open up huge possibilities for a massive number of people. Especially people who were massively disadvantaged in the social media era. Let me put my hand up and say I am one of those people.

As some of you know, I was lucky enough to build a substantial audience on social media but the financial gain was next to zero. For years I was experimenting with different business models and revenue opportunities but that only ended up in burnout, confusion and “more” stress. Creators are the next philosophers in our society and in my opinion the current creator economy is only there to favour the owners of the platform. However blockchain-enabled creator economy is going to change that. Not only that true fans like “you” can financially benefit from interacting with the content you love. Imagine yourself getting paid just to read this email? I know it sounds crazy but if you simply do a Google search on “Web 3.0 creator economy” you will see what I mean.

Okay, enough of freaky crystal ball shit.

So I’ve just finished filming Lakstralia episode 10. Just 3 more episodes to go. So looks like I should be able to release this series in March 2022. I know – it’s pretty exciting. 

Below is a screenshot of Episode 11 Adobe premiere work file.

Lakstralia, Episode 11 – Screenshot from Adobe Premiere project file

As always thank you so much for your support. I hope you have a socially not so distanced Christmas and a crypto new year!

I had enough

Yes, you heard me.

I had enough of this virus, lockdowns and constantly getting my plans cancelled. I am taking things under my control.

If you have been following my blog then you must know about my upcoming show “Lakstralia”. In case you missed it, a quick plot summary is below.

Two young fishermen set out on an adventure looking for new land. They ended up in an unknown country called “Lakstralia”, inhabited by an unusual race of people.

This is an episode-based YouTube (Or Vimeo – I am not sure yet) series expected to go live in early 2022. It has 13 episodes and 7 new actors. Well, it supposes to have 7 new actors. Unfortunately, COVID is here to stay and looking at current vaccination rates in Australia I don’t think I am allowed to have anyone in the studio (When I say studio, I mean my lounge room. It sounds way better when I say studio) for a while so after many days of head-scratching and foot thumping – I made an executive decision.

Ocean Knighter_Adobe premier screen shot
Lakstralia Episode 3 – In Adobe Premeire

I had enough and I am doing it myself!

Yep, I am going to play all the characters (thirteen or so) and I am going to get it done. Full stop.

I’ve completed two episodes and currently editing the third episode. This project is not going to look like how I originally planned but hey! I need to work with what I’ve got. Shout out to Janaki and Yosh from Queensland for doing their part remotely. (I will introduce them in another mail).

Anyway, it feels great working in the studio again. This entire series is getting filmed in front of a green screen (Another COVID inspired decision) so it is taking a bit of MacBook juice and more head-scratching. It is challenging but I am learning new tricks and so far it’s working well.

Ocean Knighter Studio 2021

Also more non-trivial news. I moved to a new house. A very quiet neighbourhood. Our neighbour “Colin” said he will continue to look after garden paths on the side of our house even though he’s not supposed to.

What a legend!

There’s a massive oval just a hop, skip & jump away from my place. It has a pull-up bar and a dip bar. It’s reasonably quiet and has enough trees. Everything a YouTuber needs. (If you are not sure about how a pull-up bar and trees connected to YouTube, let me explain that for you in another email soon)

Until then take it easy.

The world might be falling apart but we still have some control over things. Our “minds” and creativity for instance. We can stress about things we can fix. There is no point yelling at things that are not in our control.

Stay safe.

A new (old) hobby

I picked up a new hobby.

Well, it’s not new. it’s an old hobby that I always was passionate about but I don’t think I ever explored it deep enough.

If you know me long enough, you know that I like to draw. I loved drawing and painting since I was a kid. I studied “art” in high school and even went to a paid class after school, in town. Which was the only class I was looking forward to attending.

My art teacher was an old retired man. He had a deep voice. His face looked unusual with his long pointy nose and flat hair. He had strange ways of teaching. He turned his garage into a classroom and this where he did most of the teaching. One day he asked us to pick a leaf from his backyard and make a sketch. Another time he made one of the students sit on a bench and asked the rest to draw. He had a massive backyard filled with all sorts of trees and plants. His house was next to the railway and we would always see trains go past. Unlike in school or other classes we were permitted to stare at the train. As you can imagine I purposely sat at the last raw and thoroughly enjoyed looking at his beautiful garden and passing trains. I can’t remember him being a very strict teacher but he was pretty straight when it came to tuition fees.

My art starting to look good after a few months. I remember some of my schoolmates commenting on my new painting style. This is the only thing I was good at in school and I must say I was pretty happy with my progress.

Then one day I stopped going to the art class. I can’t remember what happened but I must have decided – that’s enough.

Years went passed. I left my country. Got myself a job in a kitchen. More than a decade passed and now I work as a marketing manager working 9 to 5. I somehow forgot about my art teacher, his beautiful garden and passing trains until recently. I thought about my early childhood years and my deep love for drawing. I thought I should explore my old hobby again. So as one would do, I bought myself a new iPad (Yes, the one with the Apple pencil!), a skillshare subscription so I can learn “How to draw”.

As I go through lessons, what occurred to me is – how systematic drawing is. How everything can be distilled into basic shapes and forms. I thought about my life in general. I looked at everything I am made of. My job, my workout routine, my relationships and my thoughts about the world. How everything looks complex on the surface but deep inside how it is made out of basic human needs.

Such as the innocent desire to be heard, understood and loved for who I am! Everything else is just a cherry on the cake. As long as I don’t honour my inner voice and identify my basic shapes I don’t think I can ever become the beautiful painting I dreamt of becoming when I was a kid.

So I decided to take a step back and explore myself!

Wherever you are I hope you are doing well and maybe take a moment or two to re-discover yourself and think about your purpose in this world.

How to draw a human face. Ocean Knighter artwork
The human head can be divided into 3 parts. The first part is the forehead. The second part fits inside the brow line and tip of the nose. Thrid part fits between nose and chin.

I am currently moving so haven’t done any filming for Lakstralia in a while. I will give you an update as soon as I am settled in my new place.

Lockdown and soul searching

Melbourne is going through its 4th lockdown. I had my first holiday planned for this year only to see it cancelled. No more bike rides and no more beers at the pub. To make things even worse – we are going to approach the worse part of winter. Why Melbourne? The rest of Australia is pretty much returning to its “normal” lifestyle and while Melbournians are stuck at home. Anyway, I don’t have much to complain about. Nothing of my life has been affected – really. I work from home. I don’t like talking to people so I should be glad. However, I must say, I am annoyed. Not sure if it’s the lockdown, the cold weather outside or a combination of both.

I had to postpone some of the shooting due to lockdown, as you can imagine which I am not happy about. Anyway, I took on one of my old habits just to keep myself busy which is starting to profoundly help to explore my inner self.

From a young age, I have been always fascinated with drawing, painting and storytelling. I’ve experimented with various mediums and watercolour thus far is the most amusing medium to work with. I thought about this for months, trying to understand why I like it. After more than a year in lockdown and close to a hundred paintings, I am beginning to realise that I like watercolour for the same reasons I hate it. “It’s unpredictability”.

In almost all traditional art media, you can cover your mistakes. You can wipe and start over. Not with watercolours. Once you put a layer down, it can not be changed. Every layer you put on top is transparent and therefore the result is a combination of all your “mistakes”. You can be frustrated about it or you can accept for what it is and move on. Sounds a bit familiar, isn’t it? Aren’t we all working on this artwork called “life” with various decisions, plans and goals only to realise what is done can not be changed? Each of these decisions made who we are and each action, struggle, failure and pain made who we are today.

If you haven’t painted with watercolour I encourage you to take up a brush and experiment. You don’t have to be an artist. You are already a one.

Ocean Knighter, water colour painting - Reflection
Refection – Watercolour on Paper

Wherever you are, I hope you are well. Don’t let the rain outside wet your positivity. Find something you love. Spend time with people you admire. One day, not too long from now the sun will rise back.

Learning storyboards

It’s bloody freezing!

Days are getting shorter and darker. Winter is already here. If you are in Melbourne, you must have felt it this week. Apparently, it’s going to get worse next week. Anyway, I hope you rugged up and have a nice warm bed to sleep in.

So you must be wondering what’s new.

Well, I’ve been working on storyboards for Lakstralia. It occurred to me I should have all shots figured before shooting otherwise, I will be wasting too much time when I am filming with other people. Currently, Lakstralia has 7 other actors, a music dude and an animation dude. Massive crew! I know. This is the first episode based series I am making of this magnitude. So I need to get some organisation happening. Anyway, I’ve already done 10 storyboards. Just need to do 3 more. Then I can start filming. Pretty exciting stuff. Storyboarding is a fun step in the production process but I have to say – I am not a fan.

I have to figure out what direction a certain character is facing and therefore the 3d layout of the whole scene. This is especially challenging in this series because everything gets filmed in front of a green screen. A lot of flipping, mirror effects and neck bending. After 10 storyboards I think I sort of figured out my system now. With a bit of help from photoshop, I can draw a map which I can then use to draw slides. This is extremely helpful when filming. I don’t have anyone helping me in the filming stage so having a map makes everything a little easy.

Lakstralia storyboard - Ocean Knighter
Episode 2 – Storyboard

So far everything is going well. It is a little slow. Well very slow! I am working full time and I work on this project at nights and at weekends. So forgive me if I am a little late. I will try and send these updates every 3 weeks or so you know what’s going on.

Like always thanks for the support!

Lakstralia - Scripts done. Ocean Knighter
All scripts are done 🙂