New Year’s resolutions give the illusion of safety. Make them once a year, and most will have been forgotten in the hustle and bustle of February. I never make new years resolutions anymore, among others because I have never kept a single one of them. The moment I knew that I wanted to make a film, I made micro-resolutions relentlessly, until Pai Kau was made.
There is something about the year-end buzz and reminiscing mode we get into, which makes us feel that we need to once and for all cement the awesome changes that we want to happen to us in the next year, by listing down these magnificent new year’s resolutions. Perhaps because the end of the year is always a time where pieces of unfinished projects and todo lists loom over us like big clouds, and we wished that we could have another week or two to finish them. That meet up with an old friend, that year-end trip to that exotic country, cleaning out the closet, etc., etc.
But let’s be honest: Aren’t these resolutions mostly recycled, unachieved business from the previous years?
The only new year’s resolution worth making is to continuously make micro-resolutions, realistic and achievable resolutions, multiple times throughout the year, for shorter periods. Why wait for a certain date to make all those resolutions? Isn’t it more effective and humanly possible to make them frequently throughout the year? Like doing 10 push-ups a day for a month. Eat a piece of fruit in the morning for a week. Forget about ‘losing 10 kg’ or ‘reading 50 books’. Make it about the process. Dump the-making-of new year’s resolutions for the only one that matters: mini habits.
Making a film was not a New Year’s resolution. It came as a result of regularly setting time aside to think about my acting career, watching films, and observing what I liked about them. The wish to make a film sneaked upon me during this process, until it doomed to me that yes, I have to and want to make a feature film.
Once I made up my mind, I made micro-resolutions relentlessly, until Pai Kau, the first feature film produced by myself, Tekun Ji, and Sidi Saleh, was made.
At the beginning of my journey, the concept of making a film was as unfamiliar to me as making a cheesecake. I had an idea of what the ingredients were, but didn’t know how to combine them. I didn’t know how the big the steps and how rocky the road towards getting a film made, would be. I just knew that at least for a month or two, all I had to do was mingle amongst and get to know a lot of filmmakers in my vicinity. I would follow events related to filmmaking and just be there, and listen, and observe. I would read blogs and articles on filmmaking, basically just breathing in anything related to movies.