Above: PGIA SAR 30K BLT. SAR [ Sarsential 1 ] : empty canvas [ route, terrain ].

"Barefeet keep me running. Shoes keep shoes running." Anonymous

"Peace is easily maintained;
Trouble is easily overcome before it starts.
The brittle is easily shattered;
The small is easily scattered.

Deal with it before it happens.
Set things in order before there is confusion."

Lao Tze


Above: PGIA SAR BL 30K. Sar [ epilogue ] : toolbox.

As shown in the previous contributions, individual SAR-trainings are united into a patchwork, or paradigm, that very much resembles the way dramatic screenplays and movies are constructed. Many of the films that I have seen (and liked), seem to be built from 14 equal parts, which are structred and united into four main portions (acts); preceded and topped off by (respectively) an introduction (prologue) and the conclusion (epilogue).

P - act 1- act 2.1 - act 2.2 - act 3 - E

____________  x _____________

1) In the prologue (1/14) the main problem is introduced: there is conflict on every level.

In his recent blog 'The secret to optimal performance', Coach Mark Divine delivers a great insight in the moment where the protagonist is propelled into action: "While flying into Baghdad International on a C-130 I was about as nervous as I have ever been. It’s not every day that you fly into a hot combat zone with a weapon you haven’t had time to prepare with. That really got my sweat pumps flowing. My stress levels were rising fast, and I wasn’t sure what to do. So I got out of my seat and began to do whatever pose came to my mind, focusing deeply on my breathing to calm myself down. [ … ] That moment was the first official Warrior Yoga training session."

2) Act 1 (2/14 - 4/14) focuses on the emotion, establishing the main context, time and lighting.

3) Act 2.1 (5 - 7) is about darkness, comfort-zone, obstacle, imprisonment, being locked up, visually it is about lenses.

4) Act 2.2 (8 - 10) is about character, the will, his feelings, also about key-light and camera-angle.

5) Act 3 (11 -13) is about fill lighting, about being part of the environment, about chemistry, about the look and feel, the unity of the elements  (light and shadow).

6) The epilogue (14/14) shows the resolved situation, the conclusion, the return to restored equilibrium.

X resembles the midpoint of the story. Which is a major turning point. Look at the great films: it usually resembles both a sacrifice and a birth that will lead up to a sound battle plan, needed to resolve the problems at hand. Take note of the midpoint of 'Seven Samurai' by director Akira Kurosawa for example. In that scene the village-elder is consulted at his home in the watermill. The Samurai squad leader reveals the strategy, while he carries a baby-child (new-life) on his lap, advising the villagers to abandon -- sacrifice -- the houses outside the village ring and focus all strength on protecting the area within the compound.

In SAR training the use of the storytelling-paradigm can not be separated from the application of PGIA [ Photo Generated Injury Analysis ]. The images shot right-after-finishing-training, visualise what can only be fully seen and understood trough the use of PGIA. Looking with an extra set of eyes; seeing what is visible from an external-perspective only. The stuff we are unable to see, experience, digest and strengthen our immune system with, ourselves -- however obvious to others! The proverbial log: "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?" What Mark Divine refers to as BOO, Background of Obviousness: belief systems and undercurrents in our subconscious that are so obvious that we don't notice them.

As is with motion-picture storytelling, images are used to tell the story and to make the audience aware ("The silent pictures were the purest form of cinema" - Alfred Hitchcock). The audience might see the monster approaching behind the protagonist, the main character himself may not be aware of its approach then and there and be conscious of its danger. He will though, some time later, when he finds himself in the middle of the problem, face to face with accute-danger, he is forced to get into action! As the Reverend Joshua Duncan Sloane-character says in the Sam Peckinpah movie 'The Ballad of Cable Hogue' (1970): "I see tragedy has already struck this cactus Eden".  

In real life the monsters approaching us can be as small as an insect (see 'prologue', upper-left-side-frame), or a vainly, too tightly knit trousers-band around the left-leg, pinching the bloodstream, some time later leading to Shin Splints:  (and using SAR to heal that).

Previous 13 trainings on row:


Act 1.1:

Act 1.2:

Act 1.3: 

Act 2.1.1:

Act 2.1.2:

Act 2.1.3:

Act 2.2.1:

Act 2.2.2:

Act 2.2.3:

Act 3.1:

Act 3.2:

Act 3.3:

See also (quoting director Akira Kurosawa):

About PGIA:

More about 'Seven Samurai' (1954):

'The secret to optimal performance':


Above: FP 30K SAR BLT. SAR training: confidence [ready to lead, ready to follow].

"Herrschen darf man nur wenn man dienen kann." - Rainer Werner Fassbinder

"When you let someone else handle a mission critical task, then you had better understand the ramifications of what happens if they mess up. It is certainly important to delegate and trust, but you must also have the wisdom to verify that the task they performed will lead to mission success. The only way that you can verify at that level is if you know how to do it perfectly yourself." - Mark Divine

Read more:

"The human spirit craves freedom to express itself and when that freedom is cut off externally, the spirit turns within to find it. But not many have learned how to turn within. [ Victor Frankl ] made a choice to not let his mind be captured by [...] dire circumstances and [...] brutal people [...]. This choice to turn for freedom within led to great liberation, and he felt free in spite of his physical incarceration. He then chose to deepen his spiritual strength by serving his fellow prisoners by teaching them to be truly free. Those who learn freedom at this level will never experience, nor tolerate, tyranny or loss of mental freedom again."

Mark Divine about Victor Frankl in his last 'Seal Fit Blog: Freedom':


Above: FP 30K SAR BLT. SAR [ act 3.3 ] : director. When you aim your camera at a subject, the results start to speak beyond words available at the time of the making! This is my experience both with motion-picture and still-photography. Related to SAR [ Strategic Alert Running ] , I find it helpful to use a camera to picture the result of a training. It shows aspects that you may need to become aware of, as part of working on improvement of technique and efficiency. I would call it Photo Generated Injury Analysis, or PGIA.


Above: FP30K SAR BLT. SAR [ act 3.1 ] : product, valuable-asset with a brand-tag on it, in a distributable-form -- " [ a ] contribution to world cuisine" ( from: "A fish called Wanda" ). 

[ Alex Simon: ] What should a director look for when hiring a cinematographer, and vice-versa, what should a cinematographer look for before working with a director?

[ Vittorio Storaro: ] I can't answer the first question, but I can the second one. From the first moment I meet a director, I try to express myself. You say 'yes' or 'no,' based on your feeling that this story and this director are going in the same direction that you are going. If you feel that, that you are attracted to the story and the director's vision, then you should do it. You have to have some common ground. If you feel comfortable with all these elements, then they're the right person. Sometimes you meet wonderful, gifted people, but for some reason you don't feel comfortable and you pass, you say 'no thank you,' because they were not going in the same direction you were going at that time. There is always something inside you that will push you in the right direction that you will discover through writing, or music, or performance, that will help you discover who you are and what your life is about. This will help you grow up, and help you learn about yourself. In turn you can give this gift to somebody else: your children, your students, your audience. You share this spirit. And in doing that you feel that you are part of the human journey.

Vittorio Storaro [ ... ] THe Hollywood Interview:

[ John Fauer: ] Vittorio Storaro, ASC, said that sometimes you just have to say no.

[ Gordon Willis: ] No is a very important word. Yes is not a good word all the time. It doesn’t get us more work. In fact, no gets us more work, because anything works while we’re shooting it. Nothing works in the screening room if it’s no good. What was said the day before is forgotten once everyone gets in the screening room. If we said no to something bad, and it turns out to be right in the screening room, the no said the day before is forgotten, but they’ll never forget about the yes if it’s no good.

Remembering Gordon Willis, ASC: