After all the footage is captured for a film/video project, the video editor holds the most powerful set of tools to set the tone, create interest, and to move the story forward in a logical format. Shot angles are chosen, bad shots are tossed or fixed, and the sequence of events are adjusted to retain viewer curiosity and build through the climax to conclusion.
I’ve found in working with editors that they bring their own sense of perspective to the table, and a director must acknowledge that. Read more…
Here are two great links for authors and screenplay writers to follow in creating meaningful stories. Each enforces itself with the visual as well, though in varying forms, so take your pick of preference:
Most people think of the bottom line when it comes down to purchasing new equipment, and cost is certainly a consideration. However, if cost is your only connection, you are likely a bit short-sighted. Trinity’s Media Department has been recommending the benefits of newer camera technology for years, noting greater creativity and enhanced connection of online & TV viewers to the captured shot. Obviously, this doesn’t pay the bills… Read more…
Just before summer started, I observed a boy of 8-9 years of age searching for a prize so energetically that I had to stop my typical hurried walk from my car to the office and watch.
The sun cast a yellow glow that day, and the shadows were long. There, on the edge of an empty parking lot, a young boy had removed himself from the passenger seat of his parent’s car and was stalking a small creature. His actions were nervous and full of life, extraneous, and swelling as he approached the tiny target. There was no little movement, for the rise of a leg also caused his head to bend back and his arms to fly outward. Steps progressed, and then, as he neared his target, he magically shrunk and was extremely still. Only two small hands protruded from what had become an orb, and these would joust forward, then halt and retreat, joust, then halt and retreat. This occurred several times. The boy’s head then turned toward the vehicle nervously, seeking maternal encouragement. A few words came from inside. Silent. Fidgety. Then, with all the speed he could muster, the boy struck – both hands straight down onto the dew-moistened earth, hands covering where his prize once rested. Silent. Still. Anticipation rose as our lad scooped his hands together, shot his torso from the ground, and looked for his new little captive.
Jumping up and down, running around the car, arms went every which way. How could he have missed? He must win, he must!
Just then, the target came back into view from several feet away, and the process was repeated. Big steps, small orb,… This time, as his hands struck and then rose from the earth the animal remained within a gentle grasp. The celebration started as the boy hurried with his prize to the driver’s side of the white auto. The door flung open and this wild creature became a member of the family, for it was about to make the journey in a plastic looking case. The boy’s fingers now free, he jumped and danced with arms flailing – the touchdown dance moved several times around the vehicle. Ecstatic! This continued for several minutes. Finally, our young man wiped his hands on his pant legs and jumped into the seat from where he started. The car started and continued its journey the rest of the way to school.
Funny thing, I saw this story happen nearly three months ago, and I thought I must write about it. As a director, it was a great observation of childhood behavior with strong motivation. Time passed and I forgot. This morning I was pleasantly surprised as the story repeated itself when I pulled my car to a stop about a 100 yards from the same boy, now a bit taller, on the edge of a distant parking lot.
I ran inside, and here I sit recollecting my thoughts. I couldn’t let the story pass me once again! Now you, as a reader, have been able to participate in this brief occurrence. At the same time, I also bring this story with a challenge… What prize are you seeking? I’m too old, or too busy, or ______ (fill in the blank)! It’s strange how we admire the energy of a child in a case such as the story above, but isn’t it so true that in our adult lives we seem to have given up living when we settle for merely existing at a level of mediocrity and not pursuing those things that God has built us to do? What’s the risk? What are the rewards? Is the journey worth it?
Personally, I don’t want to settle, and though it’s hard to keep from doing so because there are so many who have succumbed to “hum-drum,” I very much want to be alive – being willing to maybe look a little foolish with youthful enthusiasm as I seek for the prize and claim what’s in store. Don’t give up on your God-given dreams.
Every year, thousands head to Los Angeles, CA with the hopes of becoming icons for the film industry. Those that are in the mix will you tell you it’s certainly not as easy as one would think. Overnight success is a rarity, and very few find the gleaming lights of public notoriety and stardom. If one wants to navigate properly through the maze of connections he or she can find help from those who have already found some success in the business.
Enter, Hollywood Connect. Hollywood Connect (HC) exists to “[equip] creative artists and professionals to thrive personally and professionally in the arts, media, and entertainment industries” (HC website). HC hosted a well-attended Q&A with Mr. Mark Atteberry recently, and in this gathering, Shun Lee Fong led discussion and then fielded several questions from the audience to get Mark’s responses. I took notes feverishly and thought to share the wisdom – with Mark’s approval, of course. Read more…
I was fortunate to work with fellow creatives at Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida to create an eye-catching backdrop for a recent conference, specifically, handling the lighting aspect. Jonathan Malm (twitter: @jonathanmalm) posted a great article regarding the project on his website, Church Stage Design Ideas.
I ran across a great podcast/audio blog post on JohnAugust.com regarding cutting pages in the screenwriting process and thought to take notes on it for those who prefer the reader’s digest version.
Most screenwriters spend their days creating multiple pages, adding them up until they find out that they have so much more to tell beyond their typical/average 120 page (feature-length) allotment. Likewise, for television, guidelines are tighter, since time constraints for each episode are impassable. Obviously, the tempo is important, Read more…
It was an honor to work with a California team this year on the 168 Film Project as Executive Producer. Beyond this, I was able to fill in behind the scenes taking both photo an video, editing, and managing special FX. Here’s a brief overview of our week.
ARRIVAL: Producer Christopher Shawn Shaw met me at LAX, & from there we headed North to stay in Simi Valley, which would be our home base for 5 nights (until Tuesday morning). Prior to this point, Thor Ramsey and Torry Martin wrote our script and most legwork had been done on securing our locations and actors, etc.
DAY 1: Leaving about 7:30 am Friday, February 17, we headed to Redlands, CA, about a two-hour trek. Me, I always enjoy the mountains – a huge contrast from Florida – so the terrain helped the trip to go more quickly than I would have thought. At this point, I assumed an additional role for most of the production days – chauffeur to Mr. Shaw. This allowed him a little less stress as he thought through each shoot. As a producer, it’s critical to keep your director’s mind fresh.
Okay, first, watch “I Need a Car” and see the clip on facebook, then read how it was completed.
I usually don’t do stuff last minute, but it must have been fate that I was thinking about WJXT’s Morning Jam Contest when I was approached by a guy who asked me to help him win a car. Unfortunately, I only had two days to complete the project. GULP! So, I threw all caution to the wind and did a true “run-n-gun” production. Read more…
Production for me has moved from the basic run-and-gun video to full-scale crews and sizeable budgets. When the needs for productions grow, it gets difficult to call favors from your crew, and it seems that everyone wants their cut on the deal. As a producer, I need to keep this in mind, balancing the budget so that it works out favorably for both the client, talent, and crew. In doing this, everyone wins and relationship lines stay open – a huge goal for continued success in the filmmaker’s arena.
So, how can this be done? What are some elements to consider when you are needing to get deeper responses from prospective funding sources? Read more…