Week 2 of Spotlight and today I want to introduce you to Shane. He is a wonderful man who has lived in various parts of the world and now finds himself settled in New Zealand.
As I have come to get to know Shane as a person and friend, I have learned of his many passions. These include: photography and story telling via writing, digital art and he is now trying his hand at animation. He participated in my challenges a few months ago and really blew them out of the water. I was surprised and impressed how much effort and imagination he put into the subjects I put forward. Shane’s other hobbies include reading, martial arts and video games.
The more I have got to know Shane the more I find we have a lot in common and for those things that differ, we have a positive understanding towards. The vibes I get from Shane are gentle and positive, even when he is not feeling great. Shane is simply a wonderful human being.
Without further ado, this week’s Spolight: CMDR Shane.
When I was a child, maybe 4 or 5, I remember going to an uncle’s house who had some of the latest movie watching gear of the time. Laser disc. God, I feel so damn old mentioning that. During that time, I had seen some TV shows with the favorite being Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Look, I was 5 alright? That was my favorite show. There was nothing else I wanted to be more then bullet proof. And to be able to fly. Upon going to this uncle’s house, I was exposed to my first action film ever. Terminator 2.
Explosions. Badassery. Motorcycles. Man, I had never wanted to be robot more then during that first time I had ever watched that movie. That movie became burned into my brain. I never got to watch the whole thin obviously. I was little, and I got to watch a 30 second clip of it and would try and have a reason to go into the living room more and more so that I could keep getting glimpses of it.
That is when it began. I began to see life as a giant movie. I didn’t know any better, or that it was all fake. I just thought we were able to see into the life of other people which was then recorded and shown to us. I didn’t know it was just another way of telling fake stories. I didn’t even know at the time that stories were fake. That some of the stories were just made up.
The day dreaming was spreading through me like a virus. I would dream about all the ways of how my life would go, what I would do and what I wanted to do as I got older. I wanted to save people. And fight bad robots. And blow up cars. And shoot the locks off chain linked fences so that I can ride through in badass style on my motorcycle.
The problem with this day dreaming? I did it in the style of cinema. Camera angles. 3rd person. I did it as if I was watching an alternate version of my life unfolding. I even did slow motion thinking that when you told stories, you could slow down time! Keep in mind, I’m still just a kid during this time and didn’t even know what I was doing with my mind! I did this all throughout my teenage years as well, and since it is such a huge part of me now, I do it all the time still.
Towards being 13 or 14 the day dreaming wasn’t enough. I needed more. I wanted new worlds and stories other people had to tell. I thought to myself, “Wonder what all this reading books for fun business is all about?”. Once I began reading, my imagination lit up like a flare. I had all this practice imagining places and things to do, and now I had someone, an author guiding my ability to create all these places, even if they were my own version.
Then came the Xbox with one of the first first-person-shooters I had ever played. Halo. The universe. The characters. The technology. The beautiful architecture and the places that I would have loved to have existed but didn’t! Oh, and let’s not forget that kickass soundtrack to everything that was already awesome! While Terminator 2 was the first science fiction movie I technically ever watched, that didn’t do anything for me, except taught me how to see my own life as an action movie. Halo opened me up to an entire universe of possibilities. It even got to the point where I hopped online and started looking for extra bits of content to consume to learn more about the back stories of each of the characters and how they even ended up in the UNSC in Halo. And then I learnt that there were novels which accompanied the game universe and went into more detail about the story itself.
Why did I just tell you about all of this? Because I needed you to understand why telling stories is so damn fused into my blood. Why I might not know the first thing about how to tell actual stories, literary devices or anything of the kind, but how I can tell that some things are going to induce the exact emotion I want, depending on how I talk about it, and I can portray that through my voice, or words, or images or videos. I can entertain just enough for a person experiencing my stories to just forget about the world even for but a moment.
I spent 30 years wasting my life trying to do things that was supposed to be realistic. Until I realise it was just the amount of push I needed to let go of everything I thought I was supposed to do, so that I can do the one thing I loved the most, and that was to take people to universes and have them experience things that they had never thought of before. I could tell them a story that would encourage them or make them believe. I could tell stories of valor. Or sacrifice. I could show people that there was another world to step into when our current reality was too much to handle and they needed a break. So, I guess those 30 years weren’t a waste after all was it?
My entire life has been day dreamed by myself as if it were a movie. Complete with b-roll and action sequences along with slow motion and emotional payoffs. Things don’t just explode for no reason, ya’ know?
Now, it’s my turn to create kickass stories and give people a new world to step into through my novels. To capture stories that unfold every day in the most creative of ways and show them to the world with my photography. To give those who need it, respite from this reality. To encourage people to be better then they were yesterday. And to show how all things come to eventually fall into place and that there is no use in trying to control everything. But most important of all, that it is okay to dream and go after it.
If you would like to learn more about Shane and his many talents, you can find him here: