Give Me That Boss Level XP

Let me start off by saying that today didn’t go quite like I expected it too. We were supposed to film backstage footage for the first flash back of Nash Gray, but illness has gone through a few of my cast members(and it was running so smoothly too). So, today caused a break in filming, and I’m okay with that because the next few weekends are going to be quite busy for me in other aspects besides school. Instead, it gave me some time to come to the studio and make plans for when we do next shoot(silver linings people), and it has given me sometime to actually sit down to work on my rough cut of the film(kind of useful, killing two birds with one stone). That’s when the concern started hitting me.

As I got what footage I have for the beginning, I discovered that right before I get to the first flash back, I’m already at the four minute mark. I’m concerned because there are things that I still need to film, and I only have fifteen minutes to tell my story. Do I go ahead and finish filming the scene I was supposed to film today? Or do I cut it all together? Truth of the matter, I’m not sure how I’m feeling about the pace of what I have so far as it is, and I’m sure I can shave things down to make it flow better, but what if I have to cut that bitch up a bit to make it flow better? I’m not even completely sure where to start looking to trim that fat.

The one thing I do know is that I really want to film everything and give the fifteen minutes to my project, and then go back for an extended cut that has everything in it. I know that I’m biased by saying that I love this project, and the characters are wonderful as well. The other problem that I face is that waiting on finishing my film is kind of cutting into my editing time, which I’m trying to think of ways to just edit what I have and fill in the gaps as I can, I might be able to solve that problem, and I do have an idea of what I need to do first.

Again I will say that this has been the most amazing experience ever, and I don’t think that I’m all that surprised that I ran into a snag towards the end of this project. Actually, I was kind of expecting this to happen somewhere, I just thought our last day of filming was going to be that day. I’m a creative problem solver, so I’m sure I’ll get a solution before the end of the weekend. I just sent a text out to help solve part of this issue.

I have however thought of another way to use my time…. I think that I’m going to go ahead and also work on said scripts that I’ve been working on the last couple of days, and use this time to relax a bit. It’s crazy that I’ve been running on full steam for so long that I’m not completely sure what to do, but I think playing video games and watching movies are part of that plan. Something might give me an inspiration, and I’m looking for that almost anywhere anymore. I went to my son’s awards assembly and here a name called. Arizona Smith, and I thought that it sounded like the wife of Indiana Jones. I’m not sure if I’m ready to write an adventure genre yet, but you never know.

While not filmmaking related, I do want to give a huge shout out to my wife, as we are celebrating our seventeenth year of our first date. She’s a better person than I, because I wouldn’t put up with the shit I do. I’m too ornery, and there’s been too many tears shed because I’ve done something stupid. Alas, I love you my wife, and as long as you continue to join me on this crazy ride, I’ll welcome the company. You’ve been with me through many ups and downs, and now you have a husband who’s been more driven to do things now, than ever. She supports me, and I try to support her as well, but I don’t think I’m nearly as good at it as she is.

Two months of school left and then into the great unknown. I have a few job prospects, and surprisingly is has nothing to do with the Hollywood Dream, not that I’m apposed to the idea, but I’m really liking being able to create my own content, or working with someone else on the creative process. I might still look for something to crew for on a big movie, I just don’t think I’m in a big rush for that. Right now, it’s all about taking it one step at a time, and I don’t want to get sloppy in my growth process.

Another thing going on is that we are going to be doing a change of venues for our studio, and that’s going to put us out of a studio for several months, but I do plan on still doing things, even if it has to be from the house itself. I’m sure things are going to be awesome afterward, because we’ll have more space to play in and it’s going to be built from the essential ground up. The beautiful part of that is that I get to say how it gets designed, and I look forward to adding studio lighting too it(even if it’s expensive, which it is). I guess that also means that I’ll have to become extremely proficient in green screen since that plan is to paint the walls that way. It’s both exciting, and going to be so much work, but the reward will be reaped once everything is done, and who ever said that if it was worth doing, that it would be easy. Not a cliche that I’ve heard. I know that hard work’s the only way things will work, and I’ve proven that I’m not afraid of it because I went to school with my fists swinging to get this done.

This looks like it’s going to be another wrap from me, the Director.

 

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You Can’t Catch The Time That Flew

What a weekend this has been! I can’t believe that I’ve been going strong all weekend long. Friday, we filmed. Saturday, we did a Parade of 1000 Flags, and an event for the Relay for Life, with a car show, and fund raiser. I only stated part way because I was uploading the dailies from Friday(which means a timeline of all the footage filmed), and I tried to get my homework for the week down. Today, we filmed, and I’m uploading my dailies from today, as a matter of fact, they are encoding right now.

So, with that being said, there were lesson learned this weekend from the director/filmmakers point of view. One, maybe plan on being on site a couple hours early, because things can take longer than expected, when getting started. It felt like we were running behind schedule every shoot day that we had. I think we could have better planned it, and maybe with more people with a larger skill pool might be able to get everything done on set sooner.

Second thing learned- it doesn’t hurt to quadruple check-in and make sure everyone is on the same page(I hate when people flake out). I get that this being a non-paid gig, might turn people off from working, but if you say that you will, please be a person of your word. I’m trying to get to the point of actually making money while doing this, and being able to pay people to film my projects.

Third, plan on filming only a few scenes per day, I think that what I was doing and with all the shots and angles, I felt like I didn’t quite get everything filmed the way I wanted, but at least I do have some good choices to pick from. I had to drop part of the scene, but having extra batteries and memory cards will help with that. I think we over worked the machinery.

Fourth, I discovered that I don’t have time for unprofessionalism on my set, while I love who I work with, I’m too focused to have to deal with people goofing off during filming. I mean seriously, I’m trying to make a name for myself, and this is my calling card to get there. Help me get my calling card and I’ll be able to pay you.

Fifth, with this crew I’m working with, I have a few new people and it really is becoming a well oiled team. I’m glad to bring in the people that I have. My cinematographer has brought an experienced eye to the game, and it’s seemed to bring my game up a bit, and I’m proud of the way we work together. I think it took to first day to find our rhythm, but I think we’re on the verge of getting things done at a better pace.

The final thing I’m really discovering is that post production is going to be the saving grace, because we can fix our mistakes there. Also, my cinematographer has experience there and we’ll be able to have a productive work flow there. I can’t say that I’ve ever been this excited and nervous about doing a project in my life. It started to feel a bit overwhelming, but I’ve gained confidence in the process and the support that I have behind me.

As a side note, learning the financial part of getting this movie made is also a wondrous experience, and this is something that I can put in my hat for the next big project. This is the director, coming off of the first week of filming #NashGray, and that’s a wrap.

Aw Man, What Was I Thinking

I’m glad the I decided to start my own production company. I love being my own boss, but a the same time, I’m looking to go out there and work for other people. Especially since I want the experience so that I can become a better filmmaker in my own right. I’ve gotten the chance to pick with kinds of projects that I work on, and this has been the most fun experience that I’ve had as a professional. There are days though that seem like they might just be too much.

Because I decided to go on in this business venture, it’s not been the easiest of choices. Now as I come to the closing chapters of my schooling and getting that degree, I’ve come to the point where I need to start focusing on becoming a business person as well. There have been challenges in this aspect, and I’m contemplating decisions that I might not like making, but it comes with the territory.

The other part of this is the fact that “anything worth doing, is never easy”. What truth that quote holds. You try and do the right thing, say like adopt a child in need. That’s difficult in and of itself. Deciding on a major career change, is a challenge when you’ve been doing something for so long, that is all you feel you’re qualified for.  Being in love and making that work, is not always the easiest thing to do either. Yet, there are reason’s that drive us to do these things.

Weight loss surgery is something else I’ve decided on, because being a person who feels trapped in a body that I didn’t bargain for is how I feel. I can’t move as much as I like, I hate the way I look in pictures, and I don’t like that all the clothes I can wear are expensive as hell. I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror. So, I have a very negative look on my own self image, and I hide it with an over confident attitude. It’s worked for me so far, and I know that charisma is something I do have.

I also know that these decisions that I’v made in the last few years are going to put me in a financial spot that I’m going to have to overcome, but I have faith that I will, because that’s always been the story of my life. I’ve got to have that drive to keep going, because I’ve got responsibilities, and that drive is always good for the artist. Yes, it may mean that I have to put that much extra work to get there, but I’ll do what I must.

So, this is my determination: I’m going to lose the weight and change my life style to maintain the weight loss. I’m going to do everything in my power to become the best damn filmmaker that I can. I’ll go ahead and do what I can to learn from professionals and craft my trade of choice. I can’t just let the haters win, who said that I needed to get real and go get a “practical job”. I need to get that career that betters my station and ignore the comments of being a part of the “hamburger brothers”.

I’m going to do this so that I can show my kids that it’s not bad to want something and work hard for it. I’ve always been able to make friends, and have some of the best people believe in me, so I don’t want to disappoint them, and I want to show them my gratitude for being the supports they are. I want to be able to provide better for my family because we should have to feel trapped in a situation that needs growth. I want to let my loved one’s know that I do love them, and I want to be there for them. I want to feel like a better person than I sometimes do.

While there are good things, I know that I’ve had many negative people come into my life and plant those seeds of doubt. I’m here to send them all away because all they’ve ever done was motivate me even more. Drive me more, make me successful, that’s what I want. I do what I have to, in both survival, and supporting my family. I will prevail.

This is the director and that is a wrap. https://igg.me/at/ZmRcVWz8R24/x/17178142 Support this.

Dog Tired and No Bone To Show

My presence on here hasn’t been much this week. Why, do you ask? Work has been busy, and I live near Death Valley, so it’s pretty much Southern California’s version of hell.  I digress, the truth is, work presented physical challenges with doing my job and the heat, and yet here I am, getting used to working more than just my ten hours a day, by doing studio work for a least a couple of hours a night.  Thirteen hour days seem common for me anymore.  I find that the studio, even if I’m not filming, is my piece to be learning and creating. In the end, that is what makes me happy.

My excuse for not being in the studio for two days(which I know isn’t very long, okay?) is because my boss, at home, told me that I needed to take a couple of days off.  She’s kind of a nice boss, especially since she brings me food, and takes care of me. She said that I looked worn out, and I was, which makes me glad that I took the two days off from the studio, but at the same time, I feel guilty, like I should have been doing something constructive those days I was off.

I did get to finish watching the Rocky series with the kids, and I got to finally watch Creed, which was nice, but I feel like I need to keep going, all the time, and I shouldn’t stop. I’m too damn close to finishing school, I can’t afford to take a day off.  I hate how my mind does that too me at times.  I guess I’m conditioning myself for what is coming to my life when I finally get done with all this crazy work.

The funny part is that I find myself in a position that I’m learning the Creative Cloud apps by watching them on YouTube. I’m excited about learning what the after effects program has to offer, and I’m into learning the ways to do different special effects. As a matter of fact, I found inspiration to attempting writing my first effects heavy super hero movie. Yeah, I look forward to doing a bit of test footage to see if I can get this thing to work.  Time to put that green screen to work.

This blog seems to be a bit everywhere, but I think I’ve got my practical special effects person, in my youngest. She’s been making this slime, and enjoying the chemistry involved with it. So, I said why not try and make a few other things for me, like vomit, or blood, or whatever I might need for a project, I think she’s more down for that idea, then I might be comfortable with, but why the hell not. It’ll be interesting to see what she comes up with.

So, I’m going to end this with this here and say that I appreciate all the views and likes. My blogs get lit on Facebook a bit more, and the love and support is truly amazing. If you have something that you want me to blog about, send me a note, or if you want to discuss these subjects, please leave a comment, I will respond. This is the Director and that’s a wrap.

Finding Experience

About five years ago, I was invited to a local writers club meeting by my father’s co-worker.  It was a day during December and the club was having a guess speaker, Ted Lange(imdb.com). Ted’s most known for his character on The Love Boat(1977), as the friendly bartender Issac Washington, and I really paid attention to what he said.  He was funny and personable, but his message was that he became a writer to give himself work.  He said that it was hard for a black man to break into the business and that’s why he became a writer.

I took that to heart, and as I write this tonight, I keep thinking that everything that I’ve been doing for the last several months, and more so now since my last months classes, is that I’m creating that experience.  I’m starting to grasp the concept of marketing myself on social media,  I’m learning programs that I will need to have experience in to get jobs in the field that I want to get work in.  So, that’s my advice to anybody frustrated in searching for work, or getting experience.  It might take time, but find a way to do it yourself.  We live in  world that doesn’t want to give most people a hand, and that’s why reading books, researching, and doing are the keys to getting the success that you want.

I remember not that long ago, that was my thought process, “how am I going to get another job without the experience they’re looking for?”  It’s a scary thought, but as I’ve grown in knowledge and determination,  I’ve discovered that there are ways too find a way to learn those skills.  A good start is looking online for classes, or workshops for gaining that knowledge.  Another thing is too look at the local employment agency.  They should be able to point you in the right direction.

I’m adventuring into the world of owning my own business, and I’m blessed with the people who are involved with the process. They will keep me grounded, and we work well together.  The scary part is that I know that there will be failure along the way, but that’s the other way to gain experience.  As I’ve seen stated in books, magazines, and various other places, failure is a teacher, and if you keep failing, you learn how to not fail as bad.  It’s also a great way to teach you what works and doesn’t work.

The best thing to do is be cautious, but don’t be afraid to succeed, and don’t let failure stop you either.  We as people tend to be our own harshest critics, and in general, we also get in the way of our own success.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I messed up something because I got into my own head, and had self doubts.  That’s why we tend to sabotage ourselves.

The other thing I have to say about this is do what makes you happy.  As cliche as it is, there is a reason for that.  I listened to everybody else for so long and I was miserable for doing what I was “supposed” to do and it almost cost me my life.  Wouldn’t you rather feel happy about chasing your dreams then be stuck in the same spot in life?  Yes, I won’t lie, it would be much easier to just do what I love and not be concerned about anything else, but I have a family to provide for, but I was given the motivation to prepare for a different life when opportunity came and gave me the chance to go for something I had want to do for most of my adult life, and most of my life in some way that, evolved into wanting to make movies.  Remember that survival is the most necessary part, but going for the dream is important too.  While it might seem crazy, the skills that I’m learning in film school, are things that I can apply to the “safe” jobs as well.  So there is a back up plan in place, and it would still involve what I want to do in life.

I will leave a final note before this thought train leaves the station:  Be kind to each other, there are too many negative energies out there wanting to bring you down.  they want people to be down on their levels and can’t stand other people’s success.  Don’t add to that problem.  Try to be positive, and keep that mentality.  If you wake up and look in the mirror in the morning, tell yourself that you’ll have a good day.  Positive affirmations work far better than I ever thought, and it generally keeps me going in a positive direction.