Shooting Sri Lanka

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Letter S is for shooting in Sri Lanka — on a crappy cellphone.

A to Z entries:  My post for each letter of the alphabet will be anecdotes or musings based on an element from the previous letter’s post.  Names always changed, events always real.

 ~ Letter R was for Resignation, even though it was supposed to be about rhythmic order.  Still, putting chaos to order through the scrapped-together experience of…Sri Lanka. ~

Something different for you — as long as you know that you don’t get to associate the video at the bottom with any of my purported filmmaking endeavors! You see, I “shot” the meager footage on this phone, and it shook a hell of a lot in the process:


That is correct. Up until two months ago, that frayed relic with the missing letters was my trusty phone. And I was unashamed. But that’s for another post.

In October of 2012, that phone was just as crappy as it is in the above picture, and I was enrolled in a production class. At the same time, I booked a lead in a feature film for which I had to fly to Sri Lanka. But my hardass teacher, on whom I happened to have a giant crush, would not excuse my two measly absences for the duration. The only way to make up the classes was through an extra credit assignment. Well, I didn’t have the time. Already I had to shoot two “real” assignments on real cameras with real sets. And edit them. I could not possibly squeeze in a third by semester’s end.

So I had the brilliant idea of winging it in Sri Lanka on my joke of a phone, and figuring out later how to scrap something together. The video at the bottom is the result.

I never did receive the extra credit, based on the silly technicality that I turned in the video a month after class was already over.  I ended up with a B for my overall grade and was not happy with my teacher. The whole video was basically a weird love dedication to him. You’d think his apparent indifference would make my crush go away, but…

Fortunately, all of it took place over a year ago.

Why is it easy for me to admit these things for any eye to see? Maybe because it’s 3 a.m. and I had enough red wine to turn my tongue into a Chow’s. Or maybe, if you claim to be a dancing monkey, you may as well dance.

Chow Chow

Anyway, I don’t like to waste anything, so here it is, an S post for my brief experience as an Innocent Traveling Actress, or “Ita,” in Sri Lanka. It’s really a 9-minute scrapped-together shit show, but there are plenty of S’s right there and I still think I deserved a grade change. After all, I tell a whole story out of a lot of nothing.

And that should count for something.

~ Part of the A to Z Challenge ~
A post a day except Sunday for the month of April to cover topics beginning with each letter of the alphabet.

Cathartic Monkeyism returns in May.

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  1. Liked! But. Got a little motion-sickness. Errrr uh. Time to lie down.

  2. Paul · · Reply

    That was absolutely awesome GG. It’s the first time I’ve seen any of your film work and it was totally absorbing. Amazing. I did have to laugh at the opening, you were so sucking up to the prof it was hilarious. From your initial description, I expected some lack of continuity on the production, but it looked and flowed like it was planned and shot exactly as it turned out – it was seamless. I know very little about production, but I know what I like – when the production disappears behind the material – and that’s what happened here. And the material was fascinating. So many view points from tuk-tuk to ocean. Really catches and holds the interest. And, of course, the star of it all, the ITA, very beautiful and looking very professional. Love your fan – he looks like a keeper! And, if the guy suspended outside your window wasn’t window washing, just exactly what was he doing? Ha!

    Thanks so much for sharing some of your work GG, it was a long wait but it was more than worth it!

  3. Thanks for letting me visit Sri Lanka through your lens! It might be the only way most of your readers will experience the country. šŸ™‚

  4. Wonderful video, it gave a real sense of a feeling of the place, dotted with humour and your view of the world. The random driving at the end reminded me of traffic in Egypt. Definite thumbs up.

    PS: Love that phone, I hope you still have it, it has character.

  5. lrconsiderer · · Reply

    Fascinating. Now I know what my friend talks about – she has family there and I’ve never been able to picture it, quite. Now I can šŸ™‚

    Thank you.

  6. brooke212nyny · · Reply

    WOW! I LOVED this film, GG! I found it utterly enthralling! It was quite beautiful to my eyes, and it was also humorous at times.

  7. Brilliant! Bravo! Bravo!! My two favourite bits are that you gave us a second chance to pick up the cow and that Tuk Tuk dodge just before you got home. Your brain is as beautiful as your Iranian radiance.

  8. Melanie · · Reply

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  9. maurnas · · Reply

    I honestly cant stop laughing at that phone. It was obviously well loved and much used.

    1. Haha, it was one of those things!

  10. Quite incredible that you were able to take that footage with THAT phone. My family is from Sri Lanka. Your video definitely brought back some memories…

    And your teacher is a jerk for not giving you the A.

    1. So you were born there?

      1. No. Everyone else was; I was born in London. But we went back there shortly after I arrived.


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