Tuesday, 26 August 2014

AirNinja - Origins (Part 2)

So the stage is set, I know when my world changes (October 25th 2014). It is highly likely, virtually now written and agreed, that I exit full-time salaried employment on that date. Stand, blinking at the light from the big wide world.

A big wide world that is actually very local.

For any self-employment it's really important to deal with realities rather than the philosophies.

However, I'm a sucker for philosophies and design meaning, and dare I say, branding.

I need to start trading locally under a memorable name, but it has to be a name (a brand) that encapsulates what I am about, so that I am reminded every day what my mode of operation should be. A name can always be changed but it's tough to dick with an established brand down the road. Best get it as close to good as possible right at the beginning.

"Mike Ltd" just isn't going to cut it - although it does somewhat allude to sound recording (microphones) that is technical detail that supports the service, not the service mode.

One really important thing is that in a world of gadgets and gear, I wanted to minimise of the amount of crap I have to carry from job-to-job. Take it to the extreme. Travel light. In my 'barefoot' shoes.

I also have a love of creating Cinema Direct and the filmmakers who work in that genre and its offshoots, like Dogmé. Currently working on #frugalwave filmed entertainment titles is very rewarding both in personal and technical growth.

So. Really light and capable, remaining agile. No intimidating gear to lug about. What sums that all up succinctly?

You have no idea how many hours I mulled this over!

Then it struck me - sound is air molecules vibrating, and I have an emotional attachment to sound and music. Also, in terms of kit, right now I use a lot of Apple stuff - iPhone, MacBook Air ... wait ... there's that word again, 'air'. Part of my self employment is a focus on 'new wave' appliance computing such as Apple delivers with its devices.

Ninja - that's slightly more convoluted and based on my historical and cultural knowledge which is no doubt incorrect and mishmashed. However, I will expose my ignorance here:

If a ninja is invisible - and they are famous for not being seen, right? - then they are like air, too. Really, the ninja was only invisible because he would blend into society and use every day tools as weapons. Much like how proponents of Cinema Direct use every day common tools (consumer gear) to create their work. Not so hung up on an ideal, more concerned with getting a job done skillfully with whatever tools are on hand. This is where Japan and China mush into taoism; I'm out of my depth historically and culturally.

Early on in my life I identified with the I Ching (all thanks to Olly) partly because it was omitted from school's 'Religious Studies' and mostly because it is not a religion, it is a self-divination philosophy.

Circa 1993 is my first video recording (long since lost) where I used hexagram 57 as a 'logo'. I understood the hexagram to broadly mean 'persistent influence' at the time - I only had one I Ching book translation and the world wide web did not exist in the vernacular.

Hexagram 57 carried through right to my first adventures in running a Limited company in the UK. Back then persistence was a mantra for busting into the film industry, and influence was two way recognition - I am influenced and I am capable of influence.

Now seemed like a good time to dig it up and re-examine its meaning. Penetrating, wind. Air. Ninja. All seems to fit except airninja is only a part of the whole (of my mode of operation and business planning). The trigram, Xun, also it kind of looks like a stylised 'A'. It seems to be primarily associated with wind (air). So I will use the trigram as the basis for the 'logo'.

Though I'm least comfortable describing myself as any sort of ninja because I have zero claim on that heritage and am no martial artist, I do identify somewhat with the urban dictionary definition of ninja - or perhaps not. They have become a caricature but that does at least make a ninja slightly more endearing.

In short, I can live with the name airninja without cringing. These things matter to me.

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