Trailer of the Week

Release Date: 12/18

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week 4 of Productions

This past week has been extremely hectic like the rest, but after it was over, I had a major sigh of relief and actually had time to relax and catch up on some much needed sleep. On monday, I finished shooting the apartment scenes in the Rose. This shoot actually went extremely smooth and we got out of there relatively early. We would've gotten out earlier if the ruger was delivered on time and if Keetin didn't forget her belt. But nonetheless, it went smoothly for the shooting. I looked over and captured the majority of the footage and it looks good. Only one more scene to go on this project and then its a wrap... at least production that is.

Wednesday we got together and started shooting the Watch (name to be changed later). Again, this shoot went extremely smooth. This was probably the most smooth shoot that I've had out of all of the shoots. I really enjoyed doing this project because we were flying through the shots and getting some really really nice jib shots. Also, we got extremely lucky with the weather (a nice cloudy day so we didnt have to deal with sun and continuity) and people in the park. We happen to have a random person walking their dog that we asked to film and people playing frisbee. So, overall the shoot went smooth and lucky. You cant really ask for much more.

On thurs, we met for The Pen. Sarah is doing a great job in producing the project. Everything is getting secured. Morgan is doing great directing so far, with coming up with a shot list. We are going to meet before the shoot to discuss the shots in more detail.

Lastly, I had a 13 hour shoot for a commercial that was extremely grueling but GREAT experience. All of the footage came out really nice and each shot was composed really well with blocking and lighting. So overall, it was a busy week, but in the end very worth it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 3 of Productions

Another week passes by and more and more stress keeps building, but in the end its worth it. Along with trying to finish the Rose, I was doing audio for another project, "Rabid." We shot on Tuesday night and it went pretty well. I had to go late and leave early, but did as much as I could. On wednesday, we had a 7AM crew call, which was brutal, especially working until 2:30 and going to sleep at 3. However, the shoot went really well and the crew and cast were kept happy with donuts, bagels, and coffee. Furthermore, the last shoot which was scheduled for thursday got cancelled due to power outage at the location, but rescheduled for saturday. Again, the shoot went extremely smoothly and every that needed to get done, got done.

As for the Rose, I began capturing and editing on monday. Since then, I have completed the beginning two scenes, edited and done with the exception of fine tuning the isolated red look. However, everything looks really good. Some of the rest of the film is edited like the montage and flashback and final scene. Furthermore, I had to reshoot the Grazie bar scene on Tuesday because of audio failure like I stated before, but it went really smoothly since it was only a couple of dialogue scenes. Overall, the project is almost done, but we have another shoot on Monday to hopefully finish the apartment scenes. Also, we need to do voice overs.

Now that production and post production have been talked about, I've had to preproduce for like a billion other projects, really only 5, but its extremely stressful. Jake and I have been meeting almost every day to discuss the majority of the projects. We pitched 2 Juliets (a working title), but in essence its an all girl mafia lesbian love story. We are both SUPER excited for this project and banged out a treatment on Tuesday in which we pitched on wednesday and every one was excited for. Jim talked about combining the class into one big group for the project. Furthermore, we have secured a couple of locations and are in the process of getting actors. We want to build a dolly for the project, which is definitely possible after looking at plans online. We want to make this project as great as possible and professional looking.

Other than 2 Juliets, we came up with a shot list for The Watch which is shooting this week. Also, we came up with 2 potential story ideas for the week after: a story about the life of a pen (based on a concept by Jim) and the portrayal of chess as a metaphor for life. After discussing it with Jake and Sarah we've decided to go with the chess short. Other than these projects, Jake and I are working on a commercial for the Doritos competition and a project for a photographer in town. Long story short, these next couple weeks are going to be insane, but in the end it'll be worth it. Thats all I got for now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Audio Fail

So revieweing the footage today, I discovered that there is no audio for the entire bar scene. What this means is either we have to reshoot the dialogue scenes, or record voice overs in post. What an annoyance. This adds to the huge pile of stress of this project and classes and everything. But on a lighter note, the footage looks really good. The shots look really amazing with the lighting and composition.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Week 2 of Productions

WOW! I am exhausted. We have had 2 days of shooting for The Rose and it has been grueling. Yesterday, we shot at Grazie for the bar scenes. First off, Grazie has been so incredible throughout the entire process. They are extremely kind and very welcoming to us. They let us use all of the bar and any objects that we needed. Also, the woman who was in charge stayed until the end of our shoot, we were there until 1 AM. She was awesome. But... it was extremely frustrating of a shoot. We definitely should have been out of there 2 hours before we did. First off, my actor never showed. I don't know what happened, but he never showed. We waited for an hour, but thankfully we were waiting for some jack asses at the bar to leave. The restaurant closed at 10 but people were staying there until 11. So we couldn't get moving until then. So, I have an entire room full of actors, extras, and crew waiting and getting impatient. But, although people were on edge, people were still very accepting to the fact that we had no control over the problem. Overall, the process of the shoot went extremely well though. Once we got going, we got our shots and finished ASAP. We ended up with some really awesome shots. Also, I am actually happy that Phil never showed, because Drew, the person that filled in for him, is doing an amazing job. Through the 2 shoots that we've had, he has been spectacular. He is a born natural. Not to mention Keetin, our seductress, is doing a phenomenal job as well. I am extremely pleased with how my talent is performing.

Today, the 2nd day of shooting has been extremely taxing. We started setting up the studio at 2:30, when class ended. We got the studio set by 3:30 and were ready to shoot. All of the scene went smoothly. The first shot that we did took 20 min and about 20 different takes. We had a huge jib, a lighter that didnt work, and matches that wouldnt light. The combination of all of those, results in disaster! But, we got the shot that we wanted. After using 20 min of time, we needed to fly by with the rest of the shoot, and we did. The real tough part of today was shooting at Sarah's apartment. We had a bunch of complex set ups that needed to be figured out because of placements of lights, and camera movements, and blocking, and everything. The first shot took extremely long because of a small space and lighting issues. Also, we ran out of time to shoot at the location, so we only got about 50% of the things that we needed to get done. However, because we took our time on the lighting and everything, the shots should look pretty amazing. Some of the highlights of the shoot was using chromakey green (green screen green) liquid, putting a light above a fan to get the blades' shadows, having a real ruger (modeled after a luger) on set, seeing Ben have to climb up and down a 8 or 9 foot ledge to set up lights, and other things.

Like I said before, I am very pleased and happy with how my crew is performing. They are putting up with my snippiness and aggravation when things are taking longer than expected. And although everyone is on edge, there haven't been any fights. Lastly, Carrie was a great PA with driving around to all corners of Bloomington picking up last minute props that we needed or forgot or returning to the lab to check out more equipment, and did anything that we asked. Jacob is doing a SPECTACULAR job running the camera. The shots are exactly what I envisioned and he couldnt be doing a better job. Plus he's dealing with me the most when I get aggravated. Ben is a great gaffer. He has a good eye at what I want and when I tell him to do something, he gets it done and the way that I want it. I would name off everyone in my crew and say how great they are but you get the jist of it. They are doing a great job. But after shooting from 2:30-12:30, I must retire from the computer and go to sleep. I am extremely excited for the film and if you are reading this, you should be too.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 1 of Productions

So, I am nearing the end of the first week of production and its been a crazy one. I'm working on the pre production of my own project, The Rose, while working on the actual production of Happy Dance this week. It is definitely hectic trying to schedule time to do all of this, but I made it through the week. Furthermore, I have to do the majority of my producer's job such as contacting and getting actors, scouting and finding locations, and keeping the crew in the know. Juggling all of these acts is tough, but I got all of it done. The production of Happy Dance went pretty smooth. As a PA, I don't really do much. I got some real life experience though: I got coffee and picked up pizza. Overall, not that tough of a job. The real work this past week has been getting everything together for The Rose. We're shooting the bar scene at Grazie, office scene in the studio, Apartment scene in Sarah's apartment and other various locations. I met with Jacob to discuss a shot list for the film and we came up with a bunch of interesting and cool shots. I'm EXTREMELY excited to do this project.

For all of you that don't know the premise of the project, here it is. It is a private eye film shot in a film noir style. However, the catch is rather than the P.I narrating the story, the blonde bomb shell seductress tells the story. You go through her psychotic and deranged mind throughout the film with her dialogue, VOs and actions.

All in all, the work it tough, but this weeks work is going to be tougher. I have to juggle working late nights at my job, shooting 4 long shoots for the film, meet a client for an outside project, leave Friday for Wisconsin for a tournament, and not to mention at midterm on tuesday. FUN FUN FUN...

T436 Blog

Hey Everyone,

Haven't posted in a while and i'm sure theres pretty much noone realy checking the blog, but I'm back because of class mainly, but hopefully this will keep me posting for a while. It is a lot harder to keep a blog going than it looks. But oh well. I will be bloggin at least weekly about my adventures throughout the class. The class is TEL T436: Advanced Production - Cinematography. Pretty much, we're learning how to make our films look more cinematic and film looking. We're doing a project a week for 6 weeks. Its extremely hectic, but hey... a little hard work never killed anyone. So... I'll keep you posted on my whereabouts throughout the weeks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wasted: Write Up

**This post should have been up much sooner, but I started it one day and never finished it until now**

Wasted is finally done after a week full of production and work. The finishing of Wasted signifies the end of my class. It really is a great feeling to be done of all projects and stress for a while. Although I haven't posted it on youtube yet, it will be up hopefully by tomorrow. I'm just trying to compress is to a decent size where the quality isn't hindered too much. Now on to my write up:

Wasted was a great project to work on. The idea for it is kind of based on a personal story, yes a little scary but not to the degree that Justin in the film went through. If you want to hear more about my story, come ask me sometime, I will just leave it at that. I was eagerly waiting to do this project from the start. It all started with an idea when I was sleeping. I woke up and thought, what if I made a film that had someone dreaming really boring things like waking up everyday and going to work, but his real life was insane and crazy. This then evolved to the addition of drugs into the mix. I then had to refine this idea with how I was going to tell the story. While in the car ride up to Chicago, Jesse and I discussed possibilities to how the story would be told and what would be seen. The bouncing back and forth from flashback to reality was the best idea we came up with.

Now, as for production... this was one HELL of a production considering the time I had to do it and the amount of work I needed to do. First off, I just got finished with Doors of Life on Monday the 8th and the project was due Wednesday the 17th. Although this may not look like a short period of time, I had to attend Poultry Days (an ultimate tournament) that weekend before it was due, so I was out of commission for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But, during the production of Doors of Life, I had to write the script the week. So, immediately after, I have to scramble for actors and props and EVERYTHING! The child actor was the toughest person to find. I asked every person in Bloomington that I knew to ask their cousins, nephews, and just anyone if they knew a kid. Also, I didn't have a main actor until that Monday night. I convinced Luke to do it, even though he was helping my friend Alex to act in his project. Soooooo, on Tuesday the 9th, I had to start shooting a couple of scenes: The child flashback and teenager flashback. Thankfully, the teenagers that I used knew of a kid that was willing to do it, which was AWESOME. Everything during that shoot went really well, except that I forgot the shotgun mic and boom pole at the lab when I checked everything out. I go home, upload all of the footage and edit it until 4AM. This is when I decided that I wanted to have the film grainy look for the flashbacks and looked up a tutorial to do it. Here is what I used:

Creating that Old Film Look with Final Cut Studio 2

This article was EXTREMELY helpful and would recommend it to anyone that is wanting to do that look.

Next day, Wednesday the 10th. Another Party Scene... These are the scariest things to do when NOONE you know is in town. I contact people saying: Party scene, 10PM, then party afterwards. A total of 10 people showed up after calling people at 10PM. So, we don't shoot until 11-11:30ish. However, all of the shots went really fast and smoothly. The toughest part was trying to make the party seem like it was a party with 10 people. I think that it turned out pretty well considering the circumstances. So, another night up until 3AM editing.

Next day, Thursday the 11th. I scramble to get as many colorful things in my room such as the mushroom tapestry, all of the weird orange stuff I own (which if you know me is A LOT), the blue sequin jacket I wore for Halloween, etc. I had to shoot 5 scenes after 6:00 because thats when Luke got out of work. I told him that it would be around 3 hours to do. Boy was I wrong. It took a total of 5 hours shooting time with a 1 hour break for food. Again, this shoot went extremely smooth. No forgetting of the audio equipment. The toughest thing about these scenes was rearranging EVERY scene to look different. Thankfully the lighting helped with this. Also, doing this really helped me learn lighting scenes. Also, because of the little time I had to plan things out, I was thinking of shots on the fly. But oh well. I would just like to thank Luke at this time for putting on a GREAT show at the end of the movie with how CREEPY he was. Nick (the bunny) and I were amazed at how freaking CRAZY he looked and sounded. Yes, I go home, upload all 5 scenes and edit until 5AM.

Friday the 12th. This is when I went into the lab and recorded all of the Bunny voices for the movie. This was pretty fun considering I was in the lab by myself and tweaking all of the sounds.

So the weekend comes and nothing happens for the movie. But I have 8/10 of the movie done because of all of the work I put into the movie the previous week.

Monday the 15th. This day is the last day of shooting (or so I think). Because I was splitting my actor with Alex, I only had Luke from 3-6 because Luke had work at 6. I thought that this would be plenty of time, but I thought wrong. I was rushing around to 5 different locations for the graduation and tripping flashbacks. We went to a middle school, my house for 2 scenes, the arboretum, and a parking garage. Because I rushed through all of these scenes, I forgot that Luke had to change clothes for when he is on the phone because its supposed to be time passed, or else it would seem like he called Krysta right after the trip. Despite this, I edit again to 5AM. But I think the movie is completely done.

Tuesday the 16th. I bring my project into class and show Jim, my professor. He is blown away but has some very insightful comments. First, he suggests that the pacing in the graduation and party scenes were a little long. Second, the flashbacks should be gritty looking like in Saw. Third, he said the same thing that I was thinking with the phone call scene and that it seemed too soon that this would happen. Sooooo, although Jim said that it would be fine if I left that scene the way it was and after telling Luke that he was done, I decided to ask him to shoot the scene over. This was for the best though. It really does make much more sense this way. So, another night up until 4AM, but the project was finally done and looks AMAZING.

The last thing that I want to talk about is the audio in the movie. Without the audio, the movie would not nearly be as good as it is. I found music at and sound effects from the network library at the lab as well as These sites are AMAZING for anyone looking for sounds and music. Editing the sound was just as time consuming as editing the video, but the overall mood and feel of the movie is set with the music and sounds.

Overall, despite the hours that I put into this project and my blood and sweat, the project turned out AMAZING and I couldn't have done anything better. I hope you all enjoyed this video as much as I have.

Lastly, if you can, try and spot the subliminal bunnies in each flashback scene. :) Also, try and find the two shadows that are in the film that arent supposed to be. (Hint: one is a boom mic and the other is a camera shadow)

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Wu-Vie: Wasted

Here it is, the long awaited and highly anticipated... Wasted. A write up will be written soon, but I've just been enjoying doing nothing and I'm going to go see phish tonight. See ya.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie Review: Bubba Ho-Tep

Where do I start with this movie? Here's the IMDb page for all of you that haven't heard of this movie, which is probably most of you... Bubba Ho-Tep

Ok, to start off the premise of this movie is ridiculous and awesome. On the back of the cover it states:

Mud Creek, Texas, is about to get all shook up. When mysterious deaths plage the Shady Rest retirement home, its up to an again, cantankerous "Elvis" (Bruce Cambell) and a decrepit - and black - "JFK" (Ossie Davis) to defeat a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy with a penchant for sucking human sould! Can the King show the world that he can still take care of business?

Elvis? Black JFK? Egyptian mummies? I'm in. My friend Max Ellis was the one that borrowed the movie from the DePaul library and told me about it and that I HAVE to see it. After talking to him, I was weary of whether this movie was just a joke or actually a legit movie. However, after seeing the movie, I can definitely say that this movie is LEGIT! Although the story line is completely ridiculous, it makes sense when you watch it. They tell the story in a way that makes it comedic but dramatic at the same time. Furthermore, the production quality of this movie is phenomenal. I was expecting for some low-budget production that looked faulty and non-professional, but to my surprise it was the complete opposite. Also, the movie was made in a span of 5 week, which makes the film that much more amazing. For the production team to put together this film just blows my mind. Overall, I would suggest this movie to anyone that wants to have a good laugh and good movie when they have time. I would give this movie 4/5 Wu-Hawks

Wasted: Update

So, it turns out that I am not done with the production. I showed the project to my professor who really liked it and said it was a solid project and could've been turned in the way it was. But, he gave me a couple of suggestions that would make it better, so I changed a bunch of stuff from my original edit. Also, I am shooting a scene over to make the story make more sense. The edit will be done by tonight and handed in and shown in class tomorrow. Then, it will be on youtube. Keep checking back for updates.

Wasted: Finally Done

Its currently 3 AM and although it has been a LONG and STRENUOUS ride, it is finally done... well... most likely. haha. Unless I decide to make some minor changes, it is done. I will post a write up about this soon. I REALLY like the way that this one turned out. Another Wu-Vie added to the collection.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wasted: Production Day 1

Day 1 of Wasted began today. This is the last project and hopefully I can keep my engine going and bang out another good production. Today I worked with kids for the first time since the Wild Child. If you remember, which you probably don't because I didnt have a blog then, but that production was TERRIBLE! We hired a child actor that apparently had previous experience acting, but he was extremely timid and wouldn't be a "wild child." But anyway, this kid was extremely happy to be in the project and was very fun to work with. He was extremely happy the whole time and was eager to do what I asked him and always asked, "now?" Other than that, I had to film another cheesy love scene. Overall, the day went extremely smooth with about 2 hours of filming. Although I forgot to pick up the boom pole and shotgun mic when I checked out equipment. Also, Jessica Porter is a great person to work with and has very good acting skills as a mother. So, keep coming back and stay tuned for this project.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Next Production: Wasted

Here's a synopsis of my next project, Wasted:

Perception of the world and reality vary from person to person. However, with the addition of hallucinogenic drugs thrown into the mix, normal perception of the world is drastically altered with unlocked images that change one’s views and mentality for a duration of time. These drug induced hallucinations make you see, hear, feel, and perceive the world in a mind-altering way that cannot be experienced any other way.

Although these experiences can be positive and make you feel a sensation of ecstasy that runs through your blood, the mind can break you within minutes, even seconds. With a mere thought that triggers a bad memory or idea, the drugs can turn for the worst and that feeling of bliss and serenity that was once felt is quickly replaced by fear and seclusion. While one is in this state of mind, the drugs control you, and make you virtually helpless to the effects of the drug.

This is the story of a man that has been permanently affected by the effects of excessive hallucinogenic drug use. Consequently, his brain is damaged so severely that he lives in a world of chaos and isolation, in which the only way for him to escape into lost memories is the use of more hallucinogenic drugs.

In telling this story, the video will warn viewers of the frailty of life and how weak the mind really is.

Doors of Life: Write Up

Ahhhhhhhhh. Thats a breath of fresh air. After finishing this project, I really had to do one of those. The planning and production of this project was soooooo immense. This project started a couple of weeks ago when I had to hand in a proposal for a drama/storytelling project. So, the night before I had to drive up to Chicago for Machine tryouts, I woke up out of my sleep and wrote down on a piece of paper, doors of fantasies. This was the original idea, just one thought that a hallway of doors that led you to your fantasies. But on the car ride up to Chicago, Jesse and I had a long discussion on the upcoming films that I was going to do, which included Weightless, Doors of Life, and my last project that I have to shoot this week Wasted. Although we didn't talk as much about Doors of Life, we decided that we had to change fantasies to just real life situations. So, on this car ride, I wrote up a pretty complete treatment of the project. Here's the treatment:

Overview and Treatment:
Have you ever wondered what could have been if you decided to do something different? This story tells of the possibilities that could have been if you chose a different path in life. The main value and lesson that will be learned through the film is the immensity of your decision-making. Your life could change drastically with only one decision. Furthermore, it gives you a glimpse of what dedication and hard work can do for you in the long run.

The story begins with a man that has wasted his life away by lying on the couch, smoking weed, and watching TV all day. He looks extremely depressed and has no motivation to do anything. He goes to a door in his house as if it was a normal day, but gets sucked into an alternate dimension.

The alternate dimension consists of a hallway with many doors on the left and right and an exit door at the end of the hall. A man appears in the hallway at the other end and starts walking towards the protagonist. The protagonist asks, “Where am I?” The man looks at him with a grin on his face and explains that he is in the hallway to the doors of life. He explains to the protagonist that each door reveals the other direction that he could have taken if he decided differently. Furthermore, he tells the protagonist that if at any time he wants to leave, just walk down to the door that says exit. The man walks away as the protagonist is yelling questions at him.

The protagonist is left alone in the empty, deserted hallway. Nothing can be heard except for the ambience. He starts walking towards the exit, but is intrigued by the label on the first door: weed. He looks back and forth at the door and the exit, but decides to go into the door labeled weed. This transports the protagonist to a flashback of his first time being passed a joint/bowl. He is hesitating and the crowd that he is with is peer pressuring him to do it. After a moment of deliberation, he decides to just pass the joint. The crowd sighs and is unsatisfied. He decides to leave the party and go home. He is in a college dorm and decides to hit the books and start studying. A mini montage of him studying and saying no to going out and drinking and him graduating occurs. Cut to the protagonist coming out of the “weed” door.

The protagonist is extremely intrigued by the doors now and starts walking down the hall looking for more interesting doors. He finds one that says, “_____.” This door ends in the protagonist dying some way.

The protagonist comes out of the door and is frantically looking for another door because he is so frightened of what happened in the last door. He finds peace in a door that is labeled, “love.” The scene cuts to him and his girlfriend in college. They are talking about the plans for the future and what the next step is for them. The protagonist is talking about dropping out because he can’t handle the pressures and intensity of college. But his girlfriend is telling him to stay and she’ll help him along the way. He keeps disagreeing with her. But his girlfriend keeps insisting and starts talking about how they can both graduate together and move out to New York City and start a life together. The protagonist is extremely angry, but can see the purity that is in the girlfriend’s eye. He can see that she really means it and that she may actually be able to help him. Cut to a montage of the relationship getting closer and tighter. Also, the two graduate and leave for NYC.

The protagonist comes out of the door and is depressed because this has to end because he is at the end of the hallway. The only door left is the exit door. He reluctantly goes through the door and ends up in a nice apartment, where everything is different. A voice from the other room calls for him. He looks around and goes towards the voice. The voice is the girlfriend of the last door. She asks him, “What’s wrong?” because he is obviously crying and was in pain. The protagonist replies, “Nothing, everything is perfect.”

Well, the story was pretty thought out, but things needed to be changed and decided on. So, in class we had to pitch our ideas to the class and the top 4 would get chosen. And as you know, mine was chosen. I don't actually remember when the birth scene was decided or thought up, but I do remember that this would be amazing if we could pull it off. So, when writing the script with my partners, we decided that this would have to be the first door that he enters, which opened up a dilemma for us. We have the drug scene which ends up with him passing and becoming successful and the love scene which has him becoming successful. So, because I thought that it made more sense that we had at least one of the doors end with him failing and dying, we made that the drugs door.

OK, so thats everything that happened before we had to gather anything together. After my project was chosen and the script was written, I had to figure out the 10+ locations that we needed to shoot at, the complete prop list, a cast of at least 2 major characters and 9 smaller roles, and a shooting schedule. Like the other projects in this class, we have a week to do everything. Gathering all of the props took 3 hours and looking for a hallway that was suitable for our needs took about 3 hours too. As for actual production, we shot around 3 hours on wed, 3 hours on thurs, and 3 hours on fri. The best parts about the shoots were as follows:

1. We went to the psychology building and broke down this entire hallway. There were about 15 posters on the walls, 10 chairs in the hallway, and trashcans in the hallway.
2. There were only 2 doors that were open and unlocked in the hallway and only one end of the hallway with a door. We had to manage to keep continuity the entire time while shooting the ends of the hallways from the same side. Also, figuring out which way Frank would go in and come out of each door because the 2 doors that were open were on the same side. Lastly, we had to have Frank and another person in the room that he walked into so the door wouldn't lock.
3. I got to longboard with a steadycam down the hall.
4. For the apartment scene, Jesse had to smoke a bong for the first scene. So, because we are so smart, we decided to do this scene first. When the most important scene comes up where he finally sees Jenna in the apartment and realizes his life has completely changed, he comes in with a HUGE grin on his face after we told him he has to be confused at first and then extremely happy when he sees her. (probably my favorite memory of the entire shoot)
5. The party scene was a fun set up and my first time shooting a complete scene in POV. Thankfully, I could direct people while doing it, since we didnt use the sound.
6. The Birth scene... many of you are probably wondering how we did this. So, here's how we did it: There was a coffee table that Jess laid down on. The camera was set up behind her and a a little higher than her so we couldn't see her. Then we placed a construction garbage bag where her vagina would be with two people on the sides pulling it and stretching it out. The doctor was placed behind the garbage bag. We set up a white sheet behind the doctor and shined a light on it to keep the background completely white. So, as this is all happening, I zoom into the hole. Lastly, the audio was all done in post-production. And there you have it... Birth.

Finally, the editing process was actually extremely long for this project. I probably edited about 20 hours over the weekend. But, all of this hard work and stressing was WELL WORTH IT! I am EXTREMELY happy with the way that this project turned out. I hope all of you enjoyed it too.

And... That's a Wrap!

Tattoo Artist: Colin McClain Write Up

Overall, this project went pretty smoothly through production and post-production. However, it was during pre-production where it fell apart. I never would have thought that getting an interview story would be so hard in the planning stages. But things happen that you never expect. So, my original plan was to go to the WonderLab and interview a person over there in a high position and talk about the history, exhibits, children dynamic, learning, and things of those nature. However, after e-mailing the advertising manager, I get an e-mail back saying I have to go by their guidelines because they are a small company and that the only way that they'll do business is if they can use it in the future. OK, sure that's fine. But they wanted us to shoot 4 hours on tues, 2 hours on wed, and 2 hours on friday for like a 2-3 min feature. Totally ridiculous. Sooooo, after all of this, I have no idea what I'm going to do. Thankfully, I was going over to Luke and Lauren's place (the artist of Weightless) to show them the music video for Weightless. They came up with the genius idea of doing an interview with Colin McClain. So, I contact him and get a response to come in and talk about when we can do it. We set up appointments for the weekend, BUT... he never shows. So, the project is due tuesday and we have NOTHING! We end up having to shoot an interview and b-roll all on monday and edit it all on monday and tuesday morning. Although it was stressful getting all of this together, all in all, I am happy with the way that the project turned out and my professor says that the video is ready for broadcast. After this project and other projects in the past, I feel that if you put your mind to something, it'll work out in the end.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Doors of Life and Tattoo Artist: Colin McClain

I'm finally back and able to post again. I've been busy as hell working on my newest project, Doors of Life. I would've posted earlier about the Tattoo Artist: Colin McClain much sooner than this, but my life was taken over by this last production. Seriously, taking T351 this intensive summer session I has kicked my ass. I've done at least one major project a week with smaller projects thrown in. Even though it really is tough and there's always a project, script, proposal, or something due, its keeping me busy and making me better. So, here they are...

Doors of Life:

Tattoo Artist: Colin McClain:

I will post tomorrow about both projects with the fun and bad times of both. And let me tell you... there were definitely happy and terrible times with both projects.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Doors of Life: Production Day 1

So, pre-production is over. I went around to more places today than I did for Weightless. However, I did have 2 people with me this time so it was a little funner. I went to 2 costume shops, Telecom building, Target, 4 Jewelery stores, Good Will, Hardware store, MAC, Psych Building, etc. I probably went to some other places too, but can't remember. But again, pre-production is a bitch and I hate it so much. Also, I sat down and wrote down every location, prop, character, and costume that I needed. Very annoying. But whatever, procution started around 8 and ended at 11. The production went pretty smoothly. We filmed in a hallway in the psych building that ended up being PERFECT. However, there was only one end of the hallway with a door, so we had to pretend that there were 2 sides by shooting from different angles and stuff. It was more complicated than it should have been and very taxing on the brain. But, I'm pretty sure all the stuff worked out and the continuity should be fine. Also, a janitor came by and almost kicked us out, but let us stay for another 30 min. We were extremely rushed, but hopefully everything came out well. Also, there was only one unlocked door so, we used that for every door that he went in. Again, very annoying and more complex than it should have been. But, we made it work. I'm attempting to capture all the footage now, but I keep getting error messages, so its extremely frustrating. Day 2 tomorrow, and A LOT more filming tomorrow. Tune in later for more updates.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Production: Getting Inked

Today I went out and shot an Interview/Feature story on Colin McClain, a local tattoo artist that works at Skinquake on 6th and Walnut. This was a very cool experience in which I learned a lot more about tattoos and the business in general. The production went smooth today, but we're very tight on time because we had scheduled interviews this past weekend but he didn't show up, which REALLY sucked. But all in all, the interview came out really well and the B-roll that we came up with looks really good with some very interesting shots. Now, we must move on to post-production, which shouldn't be too tough. Check back tomorrow as this Wuvie should be posted.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Drag Me to Hell: Tomatometer

Although I have not gone out to see this movie yet, on, where they take critics from all around the country and give a percentage of how many of them rate a movie as good or bad, Drag Me to Hell is given a 94% with 134 positive reviews and only 9 negative reviews. I thought that this movie had no chance and was going to be terrible, based on the trailers and the overall premise of the movie. However, with this many critics rating it as positive, this has given me the incentive to actually go out and pay $10 to see this movie. Furthermore, with director Sam Raimi at the helm, I should've thought again considering he has done good work in the past such as the Spiderman trilogy and For Love of the Game. With how high the price is of tickets nowadays, you really have to pick and choose which movies to go out and see. So, I would say, based on the tomatometer go out and see this movie. I'll post a review once I see the movie. Also, I'll be posting a top 5 movies to see this summer.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pre-Production: Doors of Life

So, my next up and coming short film production is called Doors of Life. It's a project for T351, the drama/storytelling project. The film is about a man named Frank that is a lazy and unmotivated man. He gets thrown into an alternate universe of a hallway of doors. A god-like man in a suit walks towards him and tells him that these doors are the paths that he could have taken. He ends up going into a number of these doors. Tune in later to see what happens.

My partner and I started writing the script today and it sounds like its going to turn out really good. We have some good ideas of interesting shots that we want, as well as the overall feel of the film. However, there are a lot of things that have to be thought out still. We may need some music, so if anyone composes music and can do it fast, then let me know. I'll tell you what we're looking for. Also, we're going to need some sound effects, so if anyone can help us with that, that would be great. More updates to come...

Scheduled release date: 6/9

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Here's a brand new video of mine. I made this for my T351 class for the art project. Pretty much the guidelines were... there weren't any. So, I decided to do a music video. The song is by a friend of mine who is the husband of the person that does my roommate's dreads (yeah, weird connection). His name is Luke Jones and is a professional musician. Check out his music over at his myspace... Dreamers of the Ghetto and Luke Jones Music.

The music video took roughly 8-9 hours to shoot and another 8-9 hours to edit. Overall the shoot went really well except for the first thing that happens on the set... Jesse breaks one of the props before we even had anything set up, but thankfully we fixed it and it looked fine. All in all I'm extremely happy with the way that the project turned out and I think that people are enjoying the video.

What I loved about this project is the different ideas that were put into the video. It all branched from the one idea of peoples' reasons for getting up in the morning. From here ideas were exploding through our minds of different shots and storylines to be used. One of my favorite shots is the close up (CU) of the face then the zoom out revealing the pillow falling and the main character is actually standing. This idea was thought of by Luke and further developed before we started shooting. I came up with the idea to go backwards instead of forwards because it gives the shot a different look and feel. This was also one of the hardest shots to get because of the complex blocking and camera movements. Because this shot ended up in reverse in the end, we had to shoot the shot backwards. We started with where Jesse was going to end up and then he would walk to the pillow. While this blocking is occuring, I'm controlling the camera where I have to pan and follow while zoom into his face. Furthermore, there is another person holding the pillow, getting ready to lift it up so it rests behind Jesse's head, while trying not to get in the shot. For each of the times that this type of shot happens, we had to shot about 7-10 takes.

Another shot that I LOVED was the final shot with Molly, the girlfriend, in the doorway surrounded by a white glow. I envisioned this ending from the start. But figuring out how to do it was the hard part. But, with a little thinking, it was actually quite simple. We set up a white sheet behind Molly (one end attached to a ceiling fan and someone holding the other end). Then we shined two omni lights onto the sheet. With the background fully lit, I opened the iris all the way to let in the most light possible. This allowed me to get the background to be all white and still have Molly lit and in focus.

Other than the production itself, pre-production was a MAJOR PAIN IN THE ASS!! I spent 6 hours running around Bloomington trying to gather props and scope locations. I went to Kroger, Bloomington Cat Vet, Chase Bank, IU Credit Union, Target, Telecom Building, Avatar's house, and some other places. The syringe and prop money were the toughest of all of the props to get a hold of. Thankfully the Bloomington Cat Vet supplied the syringe without a needle. So I mocked up a face syringe with plugging gum in the hole and sticking a paper clip into it so Jesse could actually put it against his skin without hurting himself. As for the prop money, let me just say... it is a lot harder to find prop money than you would think. Because I dont have hundreds of dollars just lying around in my bank account, another solution was needed. The first thought that came through my mind was, "Oh, I'll just print off a bunch of bills after scanning them into the computer." Yeah... this was another bump in the road. Apparently in Photoshop, you cant print off copied money because an error message comes up saying something like, your printer does not have authorization to print this. Seriously, this is crazy, but understandable. I wont say how I ended up doing it, because I might get arrested or something. Haha.

But with all projects, no matter how much shit happens, it's always worth it in the end to see a finished product the way that you imagined it.

Lastly, I have trouble knowing if people understand what the story is about or if it was clearly conveyed, so if you have any comments, please leave them here or message me sometime.

If you were wondering, the equipment that I used for the project was the Sony HVR-Z7U. This camera is GORGEOUS and is roughly $5000. I'll probably do a review of some sort of my reactions to the camera later on, so stay tuned.

Hope you all enjoy the video!!!

New Blog

So, I'm going to try this again. I've found that blogging is really hard to get started and keep up with and I've failed 2 times now. But, PERSISTENCE is KEY. So, if anyone reading this is interested with what I'm doing with my life, mainly in film and videos, then keep up with my blog. I'll also be posting about equipment, short films, reviews, top lists, movie news, etc. I'm going to attempt to post close to daily, but we'll see how that ends up going. Hope you all enjoy.