It’s That Time Again: Goals for the New Year


If the news is any indication, this was a horrible year. We know better than that, right? Why? Because we know the news only covers the worst, most heinous, most shocking stories that are most likely to cause either rage, fear, or disgust.

Some truly ‘game-changing’, positive things did happen in 2015. And, we heard about it on social media. The moral of the story: there’s mainstream media and there’s social media. Guess which one is (currently) a forum for regular, non-corporate people like us?

So, my main resolution for 2016: set the narrative.

In 2014 (which seems like such a long time ago) I made a few film resolutions. Some were stretch goals, some I actually met.

I didn’t post any resolutions for 2015, although I had a few: spend lots of time with my family, finish my unedited short films, finish a screenplay. The latter two didn’t pan out.

So, in addition to the general resolution, here are a few specific goals I’m setting for 2016, in order to focus on the positive and rally my social network base, as it were.

Personal goals

  • Spend lots of time with my family.
  • Devote more time to friends.
  • Continue donating funds to social justice organizations and causes.
  • Exercise regularly and get sick less (to fend off depression and maintain optimal energy and health).

Creative goals

  • Finish editing my short films, and don’t shoot any new ones until I do.
  • Continue focusing on characters we don’t often hear or see.
  • Upload the rest of my films to this blog, regardless of the exact backward-chronological order.
  • Complete a draft of a solo performance.
  • Raise funds and start principal photography for a documentary on resilience.

It’s been about 20 years since I’ve performed on a stage in a dramatic context (I count film festival Q&A’s as “performing on a stage,” minus the dramatic context). The culminating moment of those experiences was a 20-minute show at the former Josie’s Cabaret and Juice Joint that was curated by Justin Chin; something else I did shortly after that involved acting as my older brother and I freaked out. Thus the last time on a stage.

The creative force is strong with this one. Try as I might, I can’t take much time off from creative pursuits before being called yet again—despite my best judgment and waning energy—to spend lots of time and anguish on the written, filmed, and/or performed word.

Creativity, madness—same difference.

Here’s looking at a 2016 filled with positivity, redefining the narrative, and electing a president who won’t take us back to feudal Europe. Fingers crossed!


Cinemulatto’s 2014 Film Resolutions

Cinemulatto has so many things that can potentially delay writing, reading, watching movies, and making movies: a day job, a partner, a teenager, a toddler. My loved ones aren’t “obstacles” because, well, they’re my loved ones. Still, having a full life takes work. Oh, and throw in the aging process. I just celebrated another birthday on December 30th. Contrary to personal belief, I’m not getting any younger. Energy often has to be finagled.

That said, I still hope to use every morning, lunch, and evening hour possible to meet a few film goals in 2014.

  1. Write and produce six original shorts around a theme. I’m almost done editing six shorts I shot on my DVX100B during 2010-2013, and I promised myself I’d be completely done before embarking on new projects on my Canon 7D. I figure I’m done enough. At the time of his passing in 1996, Krzysztof Kieślowski was working on a trilogy of feature scripts inspired by The Divine Comedy, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. My 2014 shorts will explore death and how people deal with it, whether it’s their own death or someone else’s. Hopefully not all of these will be big downers.
  2. Complete five feature scripts (four rewrites and one new one). I also have a few script drafts lying around, one completed as long ago as 2005. Time to dust ’em all off and make ’em strong! With any luck, I’ve gained some insight and additional skills over the last 8 years. The genres range from comedy to drama to crime thriller to musical comedy, so the process should be mostly a blast.
  3. Find a mentor. I have a few leads up my sleeve. Preferably, I’d love someone who’s been in the industry for decades and has had varying levels of success, and I know this will probably mean old white guy. I’m surrounded by a community of creative people who are very similar to me, so I’m looking forward to working with someone who, on the surface, I may not necessarily have a lot in common with. Building bridges, digging deep, learning new things!
  4. Hold four “movie retreats”. Take one day off work per quarter and devote it solely to watching whatever’s next on either my Netflix or general movie list. Turn off my phone. Take food and bathroom breaks as necessary.
  5. Get out more. Not only leave the house, but leave it after 7 PM and actually go out and meet people! My networking skills are rusty. Despite being forever the introvert, I can’t keep learning about myself and the movie world around me if I become a full-time recluse.

What are your film goals for 2014?