Category Archives: Journal

Writing My First Short Film

Writing

 

I’ve been trying to write my first short screenplay as long as I’ve been wanting to shoot my first short film. I have  210, yes exactly that figure – ideas, premises, situations, “what if… ” scenarios, music that’ll be perfect for a particular scene, beginnings and endings, middles, and the like but not one whole.

Personally I don’t feel that constant urge to read or write or watch movies to develop the right material to work with. Even though I should feel it or force myself to feel it, I don’t most times. And that’s the truth.

Inspiration is for amateurs

I doubt that even the most successful writers in Hollywood get that burning desire every single day. Most write everyday because they have to meet deadlines. Or there’s no paycheck. And that’s understandable. But in saying that they have something I would buy with one of my testicles.

Bum adhesive.

Getting up and writing at a designated time, no matter what and not when I get inspired. Or waking up at 1am, best hour to catch witches and armed robbers, and get to writing. My day tends to be packed full with activity. If I’m not at work for the most part of the day, I’m at home watching TV and surfing the net for inspiration. Making time isn’t as easy as cutting out TV time because as a media person that’s how I stay abreast with the competition. And I sleep at 11pm everyday and that’s incredible rare, since most times my back hits the bed at around 1

I love reading but I’m not an avid reader

I have an 800 page ish book, Underworld by Don DeLillo , that I borrowed from the library about two months ago and I’m still stuck on page 2.  It’s not that the story isn’t interesting, well so far the first two pages have proved to be mellow, but if I wanted to be titillated  I would be reading hustler magazine or one of Dan Brown’s novels if I was feeling conspiratorial . I’m a fan of literary fiction even though I must confess that I don’t understand every single message or idea some writers try to communicate. Read Possession by AS Byatt and get back to me. But even with this book I was left with a profound appreciation for the English language and an even greater appreciation for the people who master it. Even though the language was elusive, confusing (even with a dictionary) and sleep inducing it left an impression on me afterwards.

And this segues very nicely into my struggles with my scripts. They say good writing comes from good reading. And since I haven’t been doing much of the latter, writing has slowly turned into a chore. I swear that sometimes I can hear the screams of my aborted script fetuses in my dreams and that disturbs me a lot.

Light at the end of the tunnel

I have been getting visions, and I don’t mean the ones induced by kush, and they’re good visions. I have an idea in mind that I see going through a beginning, middle and end in terms of structure without it or me falling apart.

I’m really hoping this confidence isn’t misplaced and I can finally see one script to term. (Forgive the broody metaphors btw lol)

_Steve  (@song_1985)

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Personal hygiene is VERY personal

 

cat_toilet

hy·giene/ˈhījēn/
Noun: Conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, esp. through cleanliness

The above definition is quite clear.Maintain good health or you’ll fall sick or worse, die. Personally I think I maintain the hygiene habits of a 20 something year old male bachelor. Basic, functional and non-lethal. Sadly, this isn’t something I can say about the standard of hygiene of others.

In public places of convenience built by the government (KVIPs as we in Ghana call them) and at work, you expect a certain standard of hygiene so you don’t fall sick after relieving your constipation. The situation in reality is far from the case. The public ‘shithouses’ I’ve been to maintain health standards not fit for the lowest of creatures walking the planet.

Not even Qaddafi.

The very few times I’ve had the displeasure of using these facilities in Accra, I nearly passed out from holding my breath too long. They smelled like rotten eggs + urine kept for weeks + vomit + cigarette smoke + shit. And for some strange reason, every occasion that I found myself using these places, I had to move from stall to stall because one diarrhea-stricken bastard decided to let it rip right on the floor. Or some other bastard who had kept his shit for a whole week and had finally decided to visit and ended up filling the bowl, with bubbling, foamy, shockingly disgusting shit. SHIT!.

As a result of these shocking experiences, I’ve come to expect little of people outside of my house when it comes to hygiene. Most people don’t give a fuck about their health and so one would be stupid to expect them to care about the health of others. At least when they leave their respective homes.

And this brings me to the reason I decided to blog about this issue at all. The temperament of the toilet at work. She has grown to develop very violent mood swings. At one time she would be so clean and smell so fresh it could pass for a residential toilet sprayed with the sparingly used the-rich-relative-is-visiting perfume.

At times like these, my piss and the occasional poop, ease out stress-free.

However, when she does get into her bad moods, my dear friends, it ain’t a pretty sight at all, even for the blind. With the help of a leaky wash bowl they can conspire to stink up the place, wet the floor so bad sometimes there is no leg room for the customary leg-spreading when urinating and when it gets really bad, no water to flush her shit because of low water pressure. Not her fault but this proves how poor a hostess she can be to us.

I hope you’ve followed my subtle attempt at humour till now.

This collective running away of taking responsibility to keep her clean when her mood sours, is a shame since it is hard to point fingers to any particular person. But this leaves me thinking about why others don’t put in the needed effort to keep the washroom clean when the rest are clearly doing so. And the painful thing is the faults of the minority are more obvious than that of the majority.

It is also very obvious that the unknown offenders’ hygiene standards, if they possess them at all, go south when they leave their homes. Way down south. Who is going to finger them out and confront them to stop soiling up a place of repose for some of us and even forbid them from using it so they learn the hard way? One day of having to run down the stairs to find a toilet because you were just about to ‘pop’ will teach anyone of them a lesson.

Embarrassing, these people aside, the cost implications here are evident. Water and chemicals are usually used in large quantities when the clean up finally starts. Office stress can also escalate when one has just been to toilet hell and back. I can verify this because of the strange coincidence between people having terrible moods and when our toilet’s not clean. And how does this affect us? Well performing at 80% instead of 90% will affect productivity in the long run.

hy·giene/ˈhījēn/
Noun: Conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, esp. through cleanliness

Remember this and abide by it.

D_

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Been Thinking ’bout…

Been thinking about…

  1. Multi-coloured socks that don’t match any colour on their owners
  2. Gregorian chants
  3. Cars painted black without air conditioning  in them with their owners fanning themselves with their palms.
  4. Being biased on purpose.
  5. Lack of a litigious spirit and mind set in Ghanaians, at least the ones that grew up here.
  6. One hit wonders in all artistic discipline.
  7. What God’s plans are for the human race. Just a second’s peek into his daily planner would do.
  8. Whether there was, is and ever will be a God with all the misery in this world.
  9. Why a supernatural being would create a human being then send him to earth to be tested by the pleasures of this world and when he fails he is then condemned to eternal damnation? How can this be true if He is supposed to be a  loving and caring supernatural being ?
  10. Organized religion being one big, gigantically-enormous and  ridiculously well-executed con!

[dUkE]

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Been Thinking ’bout…

Been thinking...

Been thinking about…

  1. Losing all inhibitions except the ones that keep you out of the crazy-house.
  2. Suffering fools when you could be killing them.
  3. Girls that come with instruction manuals.
  4. Where to find one. (refer to 3)
  5. Students who would remain terrible actors even after graduation.
  6. Bags with tricky contents in them.
  7. Tough chicks with a soft interior.
  8. Funny looking and sounding names.
  9. Chewing gum until it chews you.
  10. Pregnant women performing on stage (culprits are M.I.A and our very own Sherifa Gunu)

[dUkE]

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Been thinking ’bout…

Thinking...

These are a few of the things that keep my mind busy in my spare time or things that I noticed right when I had my trusty mini PAPERLINE EXECUTIVE SPIRAL NOTEBOOK at hand.

Been thinking ’bout…

  1.  Girls who walk around town with mean faces.
  2. Walking around town with a smile that would make one look weird and might even indicate a state of mental instability instead of bliss.
  3. Spectacled middle-income Ghanaians.
  4. For some reason I expect a red or green squiggly line to be correcting my grammar as I write on paper.
  5. Pretty boys who offset their pretty boy looks by growing a beard and hard-looking men who keep their faces clean-shaven so as not to frighten perhaps not because society demands it of them.
  6. Dirty-looking men walking around town in their work clothes.
  7. ‘S’s with and without tails.
  8. Sweet girls with sweeter curves.
  9. Peach-coloured skin women with fat titties.
  10. Girls that turn me on without permission.

[dUkE]

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Pidgeonholing African Music

African Vegetable players

One comment made by one ignorant critic in the article below really annoyed me. ‘African music should have at least one vegetable-based instrument in it’.

Fucking nonsense.

It’s like saying that white music should have at least one Male lead vocalist screaming like a bitch in it.

Absolute rubbish.

Let me throw this question out there since I suspect there might be more of such stupid comments flying around.

Is ‘white’ music the only music allowed to evolve through experimentation and fusion?

>>>>>>>>>>–READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE–<<<<<<<<<<

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Help me to speak (About Stuttering)

Lump in throat during a block

This is one subject that is close to my heart since I am a stutterer myself.

This video gives a very accurate glimpse into my daily experiences,frustrations and occasionally suicidal thoughts brought on by manic-depressive tendencies.

What gets to me personally is the fact that for years and years the only place I’ve been fluent is in my head. This is a problem since the majority of human communication- at least for now- takes place verbally. You can’t imagine the number of occasions I’ve seen golden opportunities to make new friends and business partners slip by because I couldn’t let my voice be heard, stand up for someone (since that’s the type of person that I am), say my name at times, or just plain speaking up.

One reason is the fear of mockery. It is the most powerful of all the fears a stutter faces I think. Don’t misunderstand me at all I have an overly developed sense of humour so I see the funny side to a lot of things but when you want to make a serious point whiles in a neutral state of emotion or angry, you want people to take you seriously. Very hard to do when you keep choking on vowels, consonants and tense up your body so hard to words out that you feel numb at the end of the exchange.

It is for this reason that I’ve led most of my life as a pseudo mute.

Getting help has been hard and slow but with age the stress that comes with talking fades a bit. It is not as severe as when I cried in J.S.S when I couldn’t answer a question I knew the answer to after raising my hand too eagerly.

This post is already too long since the documentary is about 47mins but since this is like a an ex-footballer talking about sports I had to kind of get into a bit of my life as well.


-DuKe-

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The 10 Worst Economies

In the world?  Are you serious?

This list, how ever reputable it is, is very suspicious with the shocking exclusion of North Korea ( a country with no formal trade agreement with any country on the planet). And notice how all except one of the countries listed are African countries? It is obvious that Nicaragua was the token equivalent of the black man in Hollywood movies, only this time it is in reverse so to speak.  I am not calling the magazine racist but actions speak louder than words.

Again, Ghana shouldn’t be on this list at all and should have placed last as a consolation instead of 9th. And also if Eritrea is on the list then so should Somalia and  Sudan .

After reading this tripe  my highly held regard of Forbes magazine has dropped a 100 notches on a scale of 101. Now I am beginning to question the validity of their “World’s Richest People” list. For all you know they’ve been omitting some Swedru billionaire’s name from the list so as to preserve some kind of prestige.

I couldn’t find the name of the writer of this  sensationalist piece of doodoo  on the website. Name hidden behind the company’s name for fear of some hate mail backlash directed to this writer from someone like me? hmm

I am personally  preparing a “The 10 Worst Magazines on the planet”, guess who’s at number 1.

_DuKe_

Thanks goes to Kobby Graham for sharing this story on Facebook.

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Weekly Resolution – Letting go

As a new feature on this blog I will be talking about things I think should be my weekly resolutions. Like most of you out there, I never stick to the customary New Year’s resolutions I make under emotional duress so I thought breaking it up into manageable weekly bits should be more doable.

Anyone ever heard of the word etiquette? Well I think most of us have in the sense of the informal one we acquired through experience (I am yet to meet anybody in this Twitter age that has gone through formal etiquette training unless they were seeking employment as butlers). We learn that for example , it is rude to stare at a lactating mother breastfeeding her baby even though you might be  gawking at her expensive-looking hairdo. Another would be that you are allowed a maximum of two puffs of smoke when a  lit cigarette is being passed around amongst friends.  And the third and most irritating of all is that you have to excuse yourself when you have certain company, to fart.

Most of us don’t do it so overtly as to excuse ourselves by actually saying you were going to let one out of the cage. A simple courtesy grin and a nod usually does it. I personally do this when around acquaintances and girlfriends but with long time friends we all just let it rip when the need arises.

This got me thinking about human suppression of  the body’s natural processes and how this might actually be affecting our collective health as a society. I can say personally that this also translates to the actual suppression of our innermost feelings and thoughts.You only have to look at our Ghanaian model of student-teacher relationship to see what I am talking about. Teacher belches years of  knowledge most of the time without wisdom out to student and student soaks it all up like a sponge. No questions asked. Teacher is God and Student is minion. It gets so bad that when  we are -now older students- actually allowed by society to contribute in class discussions and call the Lecturer to order when he errs we are left clueless as to what we are to say or do. So we just find ourselves  playing the role of  juvenile hecklers instead of that of the serious, but relaxed and curious student.

It is however far fetched to claim that flatulence suppression is responsible for creating  generations of hard-core followers and just a few leaders who challenge the status quo to make real changes happen. But I suspect it might be the seed that germinates into that thorny plant that is, Ghanaian apathy, lack of courage and acceptance of runty ambitions.

Meanwhile, my tiny squeaky-bum rebellion is well underway and I would entreat you to  join me in my struggle, one fart at a time.

RESOLUTION 1 – Not holding back physically and metaphorically

RESOLUTION 2 – Cutting down on milk.

-DuKe-

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Where have all the dead gone?

This is me thinking aloud.
Are all human beings made up of what the major religions call the body soul and spirit? Are some human beings more human than others because of their imperfections caused by say mutation, a freak accident in the arrangement of their genetic code? Do I have to treat tall people with the same respect, fear, love and hate as I would short people ( politically correct term is vertically challenged I believe) ?
Where do babies come from? I mean really come from. I dont mean the womb or from a man and a woman’s moment of intense sexual pleasure or bought from the babies’ factory down the road to the supermarket or from the hospital or delivered by storks in the dead of night like santaclaus.No.Where do they really come from? Anyone?
Where have all the dead people gone to? May be hiding under your mattress, or in that tiniest of spaces between your bathroom mirror and the wall supporting it, or remind you of their presence with an unexplained cold chill down your spine every now and then, or paying you a courtesy visit in your dream to see how quickly they’ve been forgotten? Or may be dead people are transformed into beings I call ‘body replacement characters’, replacing our old bodies with slightly bigger ones when we’re asleep? Where do we go when we sleep anyway?
-dUkE-
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