Olia Zinchenko, 17, Melitopol

I was sitting behind my computer and editing my new project video, as usual. Even though it was the first day of December, I was wearing a T-shirt because it was warm indoors. In fact, I have always perceived December as an Autumn month rather than winter.Technically, if grouped according to weather, January, February and March should be winter months. In my world, December is still Fall.

At that thought I smiled, knowing that in my favourite Ukrainian city it was probably even warmer. The hazy, dusty city of tree-lined streets and iron lamp posts – it was there that I felt most at home, throughout entire country. Southern Ukraine,with 300 sunny days a year. I love the sun, the sea, the vintage vibe. When I visit it, it finally feels like my life is finally starting to make sense.

Big cities inspire me. And from previous experience, inspiration goes a long way. So I have always wanted to move there for permanent residence after graduation. At times, like now, I wondered whether I really deserved living there. So many people have implied lately that all I am capable of staying in my hometown and studying there. However, I have come to realize that what people say does not have the tendency of coming true. I was now skeptic of their subjective judgement, listening to nobody but myself.

Today I understood that this winter I have many plans. I want to win an upcoming January competition as well as the most important one in March (which, as stated before, is winter. Spring starts in April, obviously).

I have also made a decision to consistently film and edit videos and upload them to YouTube. But to focus on the cinematography rather than just the content. I have always loved film-making. It has been my hobby for a solid 5 years now. At times I think it is peculiar in a way that even though I am an ultimate perfectionist, I love cinematography disregarding the fact that I am not the best at it. It is not hard to like my English studies because I am good at them. As my gymnastics coach said, it’s easy to be graceful when you think no one can touch you.

In fact, there is a solid chance that if my university application is accepted, I will no longer have the opportunity to film videos. Mostly because I will be living in a dorm room with possibly the worst of roommates. By this time, self-destructive thoughts were starting to dominate my mind. But then I remembered something I was told a while back. You don’t just give up something you love, you find a way to keep doing it. So, I will find a way to make it work regardless.

I sighed. I had already re-rendered my video for the fifth time, and it seems like I today was content with the outcome. The footage came out particularly good this time, mainly because I was filming during what is referred to as the “Golden Hour”, or as interpreted by me, the Magical Hour. This effect is achieved by filming an hour right before sunset (or right after sunrise) when shadows are softened and everything looks sunlit. So, basically, I think I am finally starting to make progress in the world of film-making and editing. And there are still so many miles to go…


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