Trần H. Trung
I am a magician specialize in filmmaking.
Film consist of both visual and audio. When the audiences are watching a film in theatre, they are immersed in the world that the filmmakers created. This is an illusion. In reality, they are seeing reflection of light from a projector and hearing sound from speakers.
Born in Sài Gòn, my parent had quite a laugh when I was in year one since I could switch between northen and southen accent at will. To this day some of my friends still freak out when I do switch even if they have hear both accents before.
Even though my familly ran a photographic developing bussiness at the time, I rather watch race bike on television than look at still images all over the house. One day, I saw a magic show on TV and get to go to the circus (can’t remember which was first but) I could not forget the feeling of wonder. Started at 13 years of age, since I could not control my own curiosity, I taught myself magic tricks. Right before that, my parents sent me to boarding school in UK. Because I am the only vietnamese speaking person, there was no way I could avoid learning english like I did with french and chinnese.
After 3 years of watching videos, reading books and staring at a tiny mirror in a pink frame, I signed up for a talent show at school with a friend named Bent Chant. It was a very long time ago so I can’t remember exactly what the show was but the feeling of anxious. I remember for my part, I had a pack of cards, a few cigarettes and a very “special” shoe. I remember Ben made a very big cigarette - diameter about 40cm. Fortunately, we had Nick Bourne support with live video (because my pack of card was too small), our dignity survived through the show.
I think after that night, the teachers tried to understand the reason I was smoking in school. A few days later, my name reappeared on every detention lists like nothing ever happened.
Shame that all this happened when smartphone with camera was very primitive. I only have a couple of pictures left from the charity trip that we visited Namibia before I finished school.
ii. Coming Home
Since I could then called myself “a magician”, I tried to get in touch with street artists everytime I went to London and learn more about the culture of the circus. Teachers in school even invited a real magician to do a show. Perhaps for me to have more experience as I recall. Honestly I really appreciate all their doing even though at the time I couldn’t figured who I could thank specifically. Anyhow, as I was in a piano class, I discovered there is a drum kit right next door.
The year was 2011, I arrived back in Việt Nam and decided that I was going to be a musician for the rest of my life. Obviously that did not turn out very sucessful because I am not introducing myself as a musician. At that time I didn’t know anyone in town. I just went to Đô-rê-mi - a music shop in front of where I used to go swimming to play the drum kit they have for demo without paying. The people passing by must have been really entertained as they can watch young men behind glassed window rocking out in a shop that was about 10 meter squared. Here are some footage that Rich, a friend of ours managed to record: Midnight Charlie
After a while, I asked Đôn, the owner of the shop if I could work there. Short time later the shop moved to a bigger vennue. It is here that I started to taught myself about recording and processing audio. Since friends or rather “customers” keep coming to the shop to jam, I use this opportunity to learn how to record a full band. Here are two of our countless jam sessions that lasted hours and hours: SaigonJam-1 and SaigonJam-2.
Close to a year with Đô-rê-mi, I resigned to open a practise studio to serve rock bands in Sài Gòn.
Ignoring the annoying the fact that I can’t really claim myself as a musician, I learned alot about music and audio, running a bussiness and made a lot of friends with very talented people. When I think back, I am always greatful to have gone through those days.
iii. More Classes
The failure of making it as a musician was marked by the fact I had to go to RMIT university. Here, I realised that my passion for magic was not short ended when I got to visit DigiPost - a post production company specialised in making TV commercials. I just could not believed that watching films all day could be considered as a proper job.
As I understand, DigiPost at the time had Rice which was a very small project - completely off topic compare to the real work of the company. Realising that this was a perfect opportunity for me to learn the ultimate trick that is leading all of society in this era of time, one day I bursted into Khoa’s office - Head lecturer of Digital Media Design apartment in RMIT and demanded him to figure a way for me to work at this place.
I did a ton when I was at Rice. I also learned a ton when I was at DigiPost. Those days of pouring efforts with colleagues was so exhaustive and fun. You can find out more about them at films section. After over a year with so much experience, the project Rice became an independent company. I realised that it was about time for me to change direction.
As of my knowledge, Ben no longer pursues the art of trickery. He has a familly now and has a real job that contribute much more to society. Nick also got married and recently published [Handsome (2021)] - a very meaningful documentary about his family, himself and his brother.
The COVID-19 plague began at the end of 2019. The world has changed completely on every aspects when everybody is in lockdown and have to restrict physical contacts. Could not leave the flat to avoid facing a blank page for the next film, I explored a little more about computer science and tech. I found GNU/Linux after having troubles with the old OS. That’s when the idea for this website came about.
Not willing to give it all up just yet, I am still learning to make films. Most of the time, I spend crafting screenplays. When not writting for humans, I script for the machine. Now, for some reason if you are still reading, and have a need for a solution involving this art of trickery, please do contact me with the info found here.