A Risk I’m Willing to Take (2014) by Kristiana Purnama Sari

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The princess runs away, fast as her feet can take her. Chasing her closely behind, a giant thumps his feet with a booming voice preceding his every step as he tries to catch her. Their distance keeps on narrowing, so the princess opens the bag she’s holding and throws a handful of salt at the giant. Soon, a deep blue sea separates the two. Beyond the sound of crashing waves, a familiar voice calls my name.

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I lifted my head from the book. The voice turned out to be my primary school teacher’s, and I spent the rest of that period standing in front of the classroom.

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If I could only choose one word to describe my childhood, I wouldn’t even have to think: fantasy. My kindergarten teachers would complain that I did not pay enough attention in class. I spent almost every waking moment in the world of words – where letters build the bricks of the castle and imagination breathes life into the people trapped inside the books.

But I couldn’t help it. The ordinary world was just too dull and paled in comparison with what my brain thought it could be.

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By the end of my junior high school, I started to feel restless. I felt that something was missing, something that even a full mark can’t replace. But I shushed it away and tried focusing on my exams instead.

It was not until the eleventh grade I finally realized what the itch was. School alone just wasn’t enough. What would be the best possible result after I study day and night? I’d ace all my exams. But after I got stellar marks, then what? Sure, it’d come in handy when applying to universities, but what would make me stand out among hundreds of stellar-marked students from other high schools?

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One day, it suddenly hit me. Apparently, what I wanted to do had been staring me in the face the whole time: film.

Today, I am no longer the kid whom buries her head in books and daydreams the whole time. But I never really left my childhood’s imaginary world. That’s why, naturally, film draws my attention. That’s also why I decided to join my high school’s Cinematography Club.

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In Cinematography Club, I learn that making film is anything but glamorous. Making film is a labor. A single thirty-seconds take can take hours to complete. There are too many parties involved: the actors, the director, the cameramen, and the producer to mention a few. For example, a mistake made solely by the actor will result in the whole film crew having to reshoot the scene all over again.

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As tiring and exhausting it is, that’s part of what makes film special. It’s a communal activity that puts people from different backgrounds together – nobody can make a film by himself or herself.

But the main reason why I want to go into film is because I’m forever indebted to film. Film has helped me through my ups and downs in life; it gives me strength and inspiration when I felt like giving up. After experiencing the power of film by myself, I found my dream. I want to make films that can open up new perspectives and give people strength, just like how film gives strength to me.

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Majoring in Bachelor of Arts will give me the chance to explore cinematography in depth – a chance that no other major can offer. By digging deeper into the world of filmmaking, I hope I can expand my knowledge and expertise and as a result, be able to make engaging and meaningful films. I know that the road ahead would be rough and unfamiliar. Working in the film industry also doesn’t offer much in terms of personal finance and job security, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

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Kristiana is marked below

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