Project:Give it Time Shot: November 2007 Location: University of Regina - College West Revisited: March 2009
Upon returning to the University of Regina, I took it upon myself to revisit a number of locations that I shot various projects and short films. Give it Time was one of the shorts I made at the end of 2007 for the Sasktel Cell-ebrities contest. Not much has changed since I was last there. The same desk and chairs remain, and it's not hard to imagine 'Keep the idiot to a minimum' scribbled on the chalkboard. Admittedly, it was still fun returning to College West and seeing the student lounge where I shot some of my own film history. The original 2007 short can be seen below.
Story: It had been just a couple weeks since turning 21 in April 2005, that on a whim I ended up going to Las Vegas for the first time. We stayed at Circus Circus, one of the cheapest big hotels on the strip, and it was there that I found a penny squishing machine with a variety of 'lucky' pennies. The one above is obviously what I chose, and I used it continually throughout that trip. Holding it at the roulette tables, at the slots, wherever we went I had it on me - and low and behold, it actually seemed to work!
It proved its value again in 2008 when I went back, this time with a bit more money. I put the penny safely in my wallet, and although I didn't show it off as much as I did the first time, it seemed to be working quietly in the background. I didn't have to withdraw any more money than what I came with, and I had a few streaks over the vacation. Was it the penny? Who knows. It feels good to win regardless, and a good luck charm certainly didn't hurt anything.
Regina, Saskatchewan hasn't changed. The city where I went to university and left last year after deciding I didn't want to finish school is very much the same place I moved away from. What would really change that much anyway, right? I went to the university - yup, this is still the same. I went downtown - the same. Even the Denny's we used to go after drinking - same.
I obviously feel very different than the tired and stuck student I saw myself as at this time last year. After working to pay down my debt, getting paid to actually edit and shoot, and finding new passion in my personal productions, there was a part of me that believed returning to Regina was going to feel epic. The spring air, the lighting, all practically the same as when I packed up the Buick and headed home. What I saw instead was the reason I left. Aside from my good friends, Regina had no more relevance to what I wanted to do now, than it did in March of 2008.
Me next to the Regina sign on one of my final nights there.
Without effort things fell right back into place. Strolling through the uni hallways with Tyler felt like any other day I was there, and if I wasn't so focused on finding meaning I probably would've accidentally tried to get into my old dorm. Another year older, a bit more confident, and still as uncertain about the reality of my choices. Leaving school isn't a regret, but a reminder of a different path that I clearly saw and at the last minute decided not to take.
Somehow, thinking about my own potential has only become more exciting.
The weekend was significant for another reason. It was around this time last year, that chatting with my friends Dave and Tyler, we recorded ourselves talking about our favourite film school experiences and memories. I had already clearly stated my plans not to return, but the recording proved just how meaningful the whole journey had been. It was the kind of conversation we'd had hundreds of times, but on the cusp of breaking away from years of formal education, it felt more significant.
I used a few moments from the footage in a preview I edited for this blog:
I don't suppose Regina will ever really be as different or as personally revealing as my imagination says it should be. Instead, it'll always remind me of change and the choices that ultimately resulted in the path I'm on. A living scrapbook that I was a part of for a few years. As long as friends are there, I'll go back. They were always the best part of the experience anyway, and as I'm sure most would agree, they're the best connection we have to where we've been, what we've done, and where we want to go.