No one told me I had cancer

no one told me I had cancer

no one told me i had cancer

The first post I’ve published (June 2018) was about starting writing my first book. No one told me I had cancer will cover my whole cancer journey/struggle/story or however you may want to call it. I thought I will be almost done writing it by now but to be frank, I am only halfway through. I could come up with a lot of excuses for why I am not in the editing stage already but that would be just a waste of my time and also yours, the reader. So the reason for why I am even writing this post in the first place is for myself. Today I turned 28 and it made me think…

I’ve been following Gary Vaynerchuk for months and I realized that no matter how many inspirational or motivational videos or articles he creates, there’s never anything I could say back to start a debate if he would be in front of me. If you don’t know who he is “just google it”, as he loves to say, but he is not your usual motivational speaker – I can tell you that much. He’s the kind of guy that makes you think twice before spitting out all of your excuses for not achieving what you want in life. So, this morning while having my coffee I watched again several of his videos and I felt like he’s yelling at me for WANTING but NOT DOING…

What do I want?

Do I want to see my first book published and people buying it? Of course, I do! But I haven’t had the discipline of writing a single sentence in the last month …

No one told me I had cancer is supposed to inspire people no matter if they had cancer or not. I forgot to keep reminding myself of this single thing every day. I felt like it became a daily task (and basically – that’s what it is) and not my fun hour a day of planting a seed. Of course, things have happened and not every day I felt an uprising motivation for life but I always had one hour to kill and that’s what I did – killed it. I could have capitalized on that spare time and invest it in writing a thousand more words for my first book.

I did not know what this post will be about until I started writing it. Doing it I am basically just getting things out of my mind down on this digital piece of paper to remind myself why I wanted to write a book in the first place. Therefore, closing this article I am promising myself that I’m gonna’ get back in the game and finish the book sooner than the already postponed deadline that I’ve given myself.

 

 

 

Sell your stock footage with BlackBox

BlackBox is a platform you will immediately fall in love with!

Even though I started taking ShutterStock more seriously, I am a videographer by choice. I did some research on what are the best platforms to upload my residual footage (but still usable) laying on my several hard-drives. I found that BlackBox is a great tool!

When I am not involved in any freelance project I like to go out and shoot some clips that maybe other people could use in their projects. If you know a little bit about the stock footage industry you know that most of the other big stock photo platforms allow you to also sell your videos. So, why did I create an account on BlackBox? 

BlackBox

BlackBox is basically what the stock footage industry did not have until a couple of years ago. This platform lets you upload your clips, do your metadata and once you submit them, they publish to Shutterstock, AdobeStock, Pond5 and StoryBlocks. Basically, you only do the “ugly work” once and you don’t even need an account on those platforms. Anyone that is in this industry can immediately see the value in what BlackBox started doing.

If you are a newbie and BlackBox sounds like something you would like to be part of, once you create an account, make sure you join their facebook group. This group is one of the most supportive I’ve ever been a part of and there is no stupid question you can ask. Plus, even the founder (Pat McGowan) is super active on the group. It is in their interest to take the newbies to the next level so that the quality content uploaded on their platform increases.

I am sure you’ll have questions if this is even remotely interesting to you and you can have the answer to most of them here. My purpose with this post is to help other people that started their journey with stock footage.

I hope you found it useful and don’t hesitate to ask questions!

 

 

Shutterstock is great for passive income

shutterstock tool for passive income

Shutterstock is a great tool for creating a passive income. I recently wrote a short post about passive income where I touched on the idea of writing a book or two as a way of creating passive income. However, how many of you have ever considered that you could sell your photos? How about your videos? You might say you never thought of it because you are not a photographer or you are not good with a camera in your hand. However, you don’t need to be an expert to sell photos/videos on shutterstock.

How does Shutterstock work?

First, make sure you have a contributor account and then upload your work. Shutterstock gives you three ways to earn money on their platform:

Videos:

You can find out all about the technical specifications for uploading footage on Shutterstock. However, to sum it up, the video length should be between 5 and 60 seconds (really – no more or less) and you can basically upload any footage that you think might sell. Think about time-lapse, slow-motion artistic panning, it’s all up to your imagination. You’d be surprised how someone on the other side of the world will be happy to find your work to buy.

Photos:

All you need to know is that you photos format should be JPG and at least 4.0 megapixels. By now even your smartphone would be able to do that – 4K started to be the norm.

Illustrations or Vectors:

As long as you upload an ESP file not larger than 15MB or JPG with at least 4.0 megapixels you should be fine.

The type of work that sells on this platform is beyond what you might imagine. People need a various type of visual representations in their projects. This may range from textures of steel and wood, pictures of fruits or flowers and even abstract representations of colours.

I am relatively new to shutterstock and still am experimenting. You can see my own portfolio here.

 

Please let me know if you have any experience with Shutterstock!

Another freelance project ending great [website and video]

quadsat drone satcom

freelance project quadsat.comAnother freelance project ended great! A couple of weeks ago, I was offered a nice website + video & photo project. They are called QuadSAT and If you want to know more about the company you can check out their website. But, in short, these guys are taking drones use to a new level.

“Following the growth in the satellite industry, undoubtedly there is a need for innovative solutions that can provide cost-effective means to test, assist installations, reduce the work complexity, and furthermore enhance the control over the RF spectrum. QuadSAT is building towards that vision.” – says Andrian Buchi, one of the founders.

My job was to create a promotional video and redesign their website. I enjoyed every part of the process even though it got intense at times. Nonetheless, I later came to understand that so is the team I’ve worked with. Thus, another freelance project ending great.

The website:

I have years of experience with WordPress in general and have first written HTML and CSS code about 14-15 years ago. Thus, even though I am not a programmer per say, with the use of a couple of plugins (most importantly – Elementor) I managed to create a nice website. A few tweaks in the .css file and that was it. Feel free to check it out at www.quasat.com.

 The video:

The making of the video involved two filming days at the Hans Christian Andersen airport in Odense, Denmark. After a great post-production process and a few re-edits, we ended up with the video below. As I mentioned before, I use Final Cut Pro X on a regular basis, even though I also enjoy editing in Premiere Pro. It wouldn’t have made a difference on this specific project as there was no sort of animation or hard frames manipulation involved.

I’ll say it again – another freelance project ending great!

 

 

 

“Passive income” is intriguing! I want to know more.

passive income

I have started reading and watching videos on the internet about passive income. If you have no clue what this is you might say “I like active income”. I wouldn’t judge you, I would say the same. That is because you want to know exactly when you are getting your financial remuneration and most importantly, how much. However, passive income rewards your in the future for a long period of time (even for life in some examples) for something that you have created in the past. Basically, you make the work once and keep getting paid for it from that point on. The best examples are book writers, singers or any other person that gets royalties from their work.

I’ll give you a great example:

Let’s say you write a book. After you paid an editor to review it, you upload it on Amazon and publish it for sale for the following three distribution channels they provide for you:

PRINT – Amazon will print for you on demand whenever someone orders a printed version of your book. There are a lot of people that still prefer the smell of fresh cut paper in their hand.

KINDLE – You should know what an e-book is by now. Kindle is one of the most popular ways people consume digital books. Amazon lets you sell your book to users of Kindle and they could buy it right from their reading tablet.

AUDIO – You would be surprised to know how many people prefer to listen to someone reading the book for them. Of course, you will need to hire someone to read your book from start to finish and upload it on ACX – Amazon.

There you go! Now you have one product that doesn’t require any more work to be done and it is available on three different distribution channels while you don’t have to do anything for the sale process to actually go through. It couldn’t get better than this!

I will let you know how my experience with my future book “No one told me I had cancer” goes.

 

Another good example:

Let’s say you are an amateur photographer. You can make a passive income by uploading your photos to a platform like Shutterstock and make royalties every time someone buys your picture. I personally received from $0.30 to $1.88 per picture. If you are serious about it and upload a good amount of pictures, you could make a steady passive income.

You can visit my Shutterstock portfolio here.

 

 

Writing my book is so far, so good…

writing my book process

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m writing my book. It is actually my first book…

I think I have a story to tell from my cancer experience and that is the main reason I took this path. Yes, it was scary at first. I am not a writer, nor do I hold the best English grammar. However, we leave in 2018 and the process of writing and publishing a book has changed drastically over the years.

If you choose the “independent publishing” way, as I did, you will find there are multiple options to go with. I came to the conclusion that Amazon is the best place to do so. You only need to upload the pdf file of your book along with a cover and you sit back and take 70% of the revenue. There is no need for inventory, as Amazon will print for you on demand and you don’t have to worry about shipping either.

I try to write about 1000 words a day when I write on the book. My writing process is pretty random. I have previously outlined the content of the book and decided on some chapter titles to break down my work. I often find myself switching between chapters and adding several paragraphs to each until I reach my words goal for the day. It becomes sort of a puzzle that I need to put together (in my case, from memory). I don’t worry about spelling and grammar checks until I am done getting my ideas out of my head.

I’ll give you an example:

No one told me I had cancerWill have about ten chapters and am aiming for about 40.000 words.

I first split three main parts before starting writing the book:

  1. Little did I know…

  2. Now what?

  3. Fuck cancer!

After that, I came up with titles for shorter stories that chronologically fit in my already mapped out book. Therefore, part one has four chapters named:

  1. The flu…

  2. No surgery? Great!

  3. The worst was yet to come

  4. I have cancer

On a final note, I have several things, in the form of tips, I want to mention about writing a book nowadays:

  • Don’t worry about your language skills – If you will take your project seriously, you will hire an editor before publishing
  • If you want your book to sell you will have to do some marketing work once Amazon publishes your book.
  • Definitely consider using reedsy.com when you start your book. I am not a fan of word documents when it comes to something like this.

I will make more posts in the future about writing my book.

 

Online tools for beginner indie filmmakers

online tools for indie film-makers

I constantly am in a search for good online tools, no matter what I am trying to do. I am far from being an expert but I am a self-taught videographer who was lucky enough to stumble upon a bunch of great online resources I’ve decided to share for anyone that wants to start a career/hobby in this area. To some, they might seem obvious but I am aiming to set a “must” list of tools to have in your browser’s bookmark/ favourites.

This is a great tool for anyone that wants to learn the basics of photo/video manipulation but also advanced techniques. Of course, such a hobby/profession is costly but don’t let that stop you from acquiring other skills. Information is what matters first and that’s what this resource is giving you.

No Film School is the leading worldwide community of filmmakers, video producers, and independent creatives. No Film School is where filmmakers learn from each other — “no film school” required. – www.nofilmschool.com

 

Before you go out and spend money on audio files for your future video, make sure you first check Youtube’s audio library.

To save you some research time, this is the most important things you need to know when downloading audio files from this library.

There are three copyright policies visible in each of the song’s description. Here’s what each policy means:

  • Monetise: The copyright holder has chosen to monetise this music, so ads may appear on your video. In some cases, the copyright holder may elect to share some of that revenue with you. Even if this policy is applied, the video may not be available everywhere or on all devices.
  • Block worldwide: One or more copyright holders don’t allow the use of this music on YouTube. If you use this music, your video may be muted or may be entirely unavailable on YouTube.
  • Block in some countries: One or more copyright holders has restricted the countries in which this music is available on YouTube. If you use this music, your video won’t be viewable where the music is blocked on YouTube.

There are obviously other good sources and I encourage you to “google it”. Nonetheless, I strongly advise making YouTube’s audio library your number one way to go as a starting filmmaker.

The name is pretty suggestive.

This is a great tool for finding icons for your small animations. Besides the featured ones, there are many free to download in many file types used for further manipulation.

 

 

I’ve started video editing on an Acer laptop with windows on it. Even though I was first using Sony Vegas, I later moved to an OSX environment and started using Final Cut Pro X. There way too many websites that will help you get deeper into the pros and cons of using these software solutions. However, I honestly think that most of you will come down to these two options when it comes to video editing.

 

This one might seem a bit odd to you but, trust me, you’ll need something like this. WeTransfer lets you send a download link to someone for a file of up to two GB in size. This comes in handy when you need to show some draft work to a client or even someone overseas. You don’t need an account unless you want to transfer more than 2 GB at a time.

My cancer experience and three weird things about it

My experience with cancer had three weird things about it

My cancer experience had several weird things about it.

  • There were a couple of people really uninformed. They stayed too close to me they might get cancer as well.
  • I once heard somebody say behind my back “Hey man, look! He didn’t die yet!”
  • No one around me has pronounced the word cancer until I was more than halfway done with the treatment.

I will let the short video below to emphasize these three things from my cancer experience:

(the footage below is a rough cut from another video and at some point, I also briefly mentioned the book I am writing.)

How much more am I supposed to handle? – Erik Sturesson

how much more is enough?

I had the chance to meet Erik Sturesson (a fellow cancer patient) at the Youth Cancer Europe meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania. He was diagnosed at 15 and like many of us he had been on a rollercoaster ever since. Erik says on his website that he is often dealing with depression. Actually, it was because of it, he started writing his own blog. I didn’t have the chance to interact with him much in Vilnius but I told myself I will check out his blog once I got back to Denmark – and I did. I got to know his story a little better after reading through but haven’t been in touch since. However, I wrote to him on facebook letting him now I was about to create a blog post about him and he was totally cool about it.

The young Swede is true a fighter. While I do insist on checking out his website, I wanted you guys to read this paragraph written by Erik about a week ago.

Mum has cancer – againBefore moving on, I realise mum getting cancer isn’t primarily about me, but it affects me a lot nevertheless. (Me and my mum both got cancer within three months of each other in 2003.)

She’s helped me a lot during the years, chasing doctors, help with picking up medications, and so on. I wouldn’t be alive without her. Now however, not only will I have to watch my mother suffer from the treatment, but I will have to do that thinking that this burden suddenly fell on me, instead of focusing on my mother. There’s quite a conflict of emotions here. It’s making me feel like an ass.

And in the end as a lesson of the day for the readers I leave you with the following quote:

“When I hear somebody say – Life is hard! – I ask: Compared to what? – Sydney Harris

 

Youth Cancer Europe is a great idea and project

cancer survivors all over europe

Youth Cancer Europe is what cancer survivors and patients in Europe needed. I strongly advise you to check out their story.

The idea was born with Sarunas Narbutas, the president of the Lithuanian cancer society, a cancer survivor, and Shajjad and Katie Rizvi, founders of Little People, an award winning, Eastern European cancer charity. Together they created the Youth Cancer Europe foundation that incorporates youth cancer networks across Europe.

You can find out more by following their website. They have several projects ongoing and I haven’t seen such an organisation in Europe so far. Youth Cancer Europe is also formed out of cancer survivors from all over the continent that help realize various goals.

I had the privilige to become an ambassador of this european organisation. I have attended for the first time their international meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania – August 2017.

Bellow you can see a short interview I gave for YCE. You can hear me talking about cancer communication guidelines and my experience with it.

I am writing a book

I am writing my first book for about three weeks. It is almost half-way written and I will hopefully publish it in August or September this year.

I have my own history with cancer and I hope I will be able to share most of it. Hopefully, I will do that both through my new book and through this blog. I am confident I have a lot of stories to tell and hopefully will inspire some people.

I’ve looked into self-publishing with amazon.com through create space and ACX. What really got me started was this great online tool for writers called reedsy.com. It helps you keep your writing structured and you stay focused.

I’ll keep posting updates on the status of the book so you guys can be the first to know about it.