Well….

So, I’m two days out from being done with school. I’ve spent my time watching movies that I’ve been trying to catch up on. That’s not the only thing that I’ve been doing, I’ve been working on editing, and getting things done so that I have more opportunities to gain exposure through the various social medias. Life is moving forward. I’m also getting online to search for jobs that will work with my newly gained degree.

The biggest thing that I’m having to do is divide my personal stuff from my “brand” stuff. I’m good with that as I can keep things separate and I think that will help me concentrate more on what I’m doing. I was heading this direction for the last several months as it was, now I just have more reason to do so. Prepare for more changes to come up in the next several months as I’m getting things together so that we can move forward at a faster pace, we just have to do some prepping behind the scenes first.

I’m still discovering that I’m finding enjoyment as an editor, but it won’t ever take my love as a writer and director. I’m learning to master the programs that I’ll be using from this moment on. Adobe is a great program for that.

Currently, I’m still deciding ideas that I want to get working on within the next year, as I do know that currently I’m working on two documentaries at the same time. Now’s just the time to get the treatments out before I officially start filming. My team is eager to get the ball rolling on things as well. I love the people that I’ve been working with and have added over the last several months. We are going to kick some ass.

Any way, it’s late and I’m about to go to bed. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

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Boom! And It’s Done.

I did it! A whole three years and now I’m done with school. Thank you to Los Angeles Film School for giving me the opportunity for getting my Bachelors of Science in Digital Filmmaking. This is one of the biggest accomplishments that I’ve ever achieved. The future is ahead and I’m ready to take it with “Maximum Effort”.

For the last several months, I was in a mode of panic. I was always busy trying to get things done for a deadline, and the few moments that I actually got a break, I was relieved, but it was temporary. Now, I’m fooling myself into thinking that I’m gonna be free, but it’s a lie as I’ve already been working on getting things done for Luckey Bom Films. That’s not to be outdone by the fact that The Ck Project is going to be taking off. Plus, Geeks of the IWV: Presents Geeks on Geeks is about ready to have content coming out. God Damn, I am going to be busy.

With that being said, I’m at a point where life is moving at a quick pace, as I’m going to be going through weight loss surgery, and getting the Gastric Sleeve, which is something that I’ll be documenting. That, plus the fact that I’ve been working with someone to do another documentary, that’s going to be inspirational.

March sixteenth is the day that I walk down the isle, and I’m going to be at least one hundred pounds lighter, and that’s exciting. I mentioned that life is moving at a fast pace, and I’ve never been more excited. Now that I have a degree, it’s time for me to get a better paying job and live out my dreams.

I want to thank everyone who’s been supporting me, whether it’s been on the blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Your love and support has been greatly appreciated, especially in times when I felt like giving up. So, for the final time as a student, this is the director and that’s a wrap.

Could You Speak Up, You’re Being Too Loud.

This has been a hectic few months, I for one have been totally focused on school, and not much of anything else. At least I wrote a little something last month. Not only have I been busy with school, but I’ve been trying to get myself to relax a bit since my anxiety about getting everything done has been high.

The big one- Nash Gray has a fully edited version that has been complete. I turned it into the teacher, and I seemed to have done very well on it. This version isn’t going to be seen by too many people as I want to have a final go with the whole film to tighten up some scenes, and come out with the best version of this film. There are so many people that I want to thank for this deal. First and foremost, my wife Sarah. She’s been through this whole adventure with me, beginning three years ago when I took the step forward and go back to school. For this project, she was the assistant that I needed when I needed her.

I want to thank Ed Smith, my friend and creative partner. He gave me his ideas and we worked on them until we could come up with a story that would work for our first time doing a movie together. Ed was reluctant about playing the musical persona that has been his for over twenty years and I think he did well, and I was more than happy to bring life to the rest of his band.

Not too be out done, Celeste Joy Greer, my cinematographer. Her experience and guidance has helped me develop my “camera eye” and I’ve become a better filmmaker because of her. A thousand thank you’s would never be enough to show the gratitude I have, and I can’t wait until we get started on the next big thing.

Also, big thanks go out to Alisa Wiggin for coming in and doing makeup. It was a joy to have you do something you love for me. Kurt Mitchell, thanks for stepping in and doing sound, I appreciate that we could work together again, you are now and will always be a good friend to me. Also to Terry Bays, thank you for everything you’ve ever done when I’ve asked, you stepped up when I needed you, but my concern is with your health brother, and that’s why I had you take a step back. You’re family and we love you. I need you around for plenty of other things. A final crew thanks goes out to my friend Rodney Connors; we’ve acted together, you’ve acted for me, but I appreciate that you helped my cast this thing, and found our counter to Nash in Celese.

Now onto the cast, Ed seeing you come out and perform was awesome, glad you got the bug now. Curtis Koller, you had the chance to play Benny Kelley, and that wasn’t an easy task to play the tragic character of this movie. You stepped up not only as acting, but crewed as well, and I appreciate you being a part of this team. Dean, you playing Jake is against character for you, and while it started out rough, you really found yourself in this character and I’m glad that you enjoyed doing the work as well. Freddy Ferris Jr., it was nice to add a new face to the people I’ve been lucky enough to work with and I’m glad that you were apart of this process. You really dedicated to the role of Andy King, and I am glad to call you friend.

For the females of this film. Celese Sanders, you who lead the charge of female bad ass. Thanks for coming in and putting up with the hot room and warm weather. It was fun, and I also count myself to have made a friend out of you. Britney Brown, the one person that I wrote a role specifically for. Thank you for bringing your A game the entire time, even at the casting call. You’re talented and I look forward to seeing what you do in the future, if I find myself writing a character that needs your talent, I’m gonna get a hold of you. Finally, Amber Still, my stage wife, and friend. Thank you! I love your talent, and hope that we’ll find a chance to work together again as well.

For the final thank you…..To every single teacher that I’ve had put input into this Capstone project, you’re advice and guidance helped me, and I think I got a decent first film out of this. I know that the way I went with this project was a bit ambitious, but it was well worth the story to have been told in the end.

Not to forget the friends and family who said yes to allowing us to film at your places. Thank you for letting us film there, and I’m glad you all didn’t feel too put out by this filmmaker. Plus the owner and operator of KSSI radio on 102.1fm, thanks for doing the narration for me Jon. You are awesome and I’ll always support your radio station.

I’m gonna leave the thank you’s here for now, and call it a wrap, but I’m gonna put something out soon to explain more on where I’ve been, and what the future holds.

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.

 

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.

Did I lose To a Time Lord?

Man, I can’t believe that this months is already half over. I would ask the typical question on where did the time fly too, but I can already answer that: I’ve been busy. That’s the crazy part, is that I’ve been busy, and I’m truly enjoying it.  I’ve been helping out with our Geeks United Against Cancer, and helping fund raise. I’ve been overly busy here in the studio, and all I can think is- Damn, this is fun.

Nash Gray, my fictional friend, we have been through so much together and all I can say is that I’m finally glad that I got your story done(at least I hope so). I’ve spent so much time rewriting and revising this screenplay that I hope with the resources we have available, that I finally can put the words to rest. Evilly, I won’t reveal the final script until we have it casted fully, but I’m glad to find more ways to tell Nash’s story. It also helped that I got some advice about filming from a friend, who reminded me of those valuable lessons learned about a year or so ago. I have a fault of not putting enough action into the writing, but can fill out that dialogue all day long.

You know that feeling you get when you realize something big is going to occur? Like the butterflies or the wiggly feelings inside. I got those today, and I look and see that I’m down to my last three and a half months of school. It’s crazy that I started this journey almost three years ago, and my life has been accelerated ever since. I can’t believe that it’s been over four years since my meltdown at work. Yet, I’ve come so far, and I’ve changed, for the better(or at least I think so). I’ve taken on responsibilities that I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of. I’ve built a reliable team to help complete the work that I have to do. These people seem to enjoy the process, and it gives them opportunities to gain experience that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise. The biggest experience is mine, as I learn to be a leader, as I learn to organize my life and the work I plan on doing for the rest of my life.

Speaking of the rest of my life. I find it odd that things that I wanted to do as a high schooler, have come back around in some way for where I decided to head in life. When I was in high school, I wanted to own my own production company, but I wanted it to be a music producer, as music will always be my first love. I discovered drama way after, but I found that I love it just as much.

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned that Sin City(2005), changed my life. I think it was creatively the most stunning movie(or it just looked really cool)(damn my comic book geekiness). I want to make something that cool. I love to write, and it’s funny because I hated English in high school. Being creative or performing, those are my drugs, and I love how they make me feel.

Remember that in three and a half months, things will be changing greatly for me. This is the Director and that’s a wrap.

Pump Up The Jam on My Toast!

God, that work flow is going so smoothly today. So, while I was working on homework, I was thinking about working with one of my actors yesterday. So he could start to get a feel for the character that he will be playing, and the kind of motivation that I’m looking for in his performance. I even got Ed to come in a read his part of Nash to see how they sounded together. Sarah was there to read the other parts so I could get the feel of the read. I’m so glad to have a great team to help out for sure.

As my actor Curtis was hanging out for several hours with me, I decided to show him some of my older work…. boy have I come a long way from the beginning. I’m really getting better at being a visual storyteller for sure.

I get to doing my homework and I started thinking about the Appreciate What You’ve Got reshoots, and I decided that I’m going to just reshoot the whole thing and this time get the original vision that I had intended(as I write this, I’m shaking, not sure of excitement, or the fact that I haven’t eaten in several hours). I also know that because of the experience of location scouting this week, I’m going to have to make some revisions for Nash Gray, but I think the story will be better for it as those alterations will be put in. Hell, I’m excited as well as hungry, so I’m going with it.

I’m pumped and my fingers are going constantly without really stopping. I started an account with Indiegogo so that we can start crowdfunding our projects, which in turn help make them better. I’ve reshaped the first script and sent it off, and I’m waiting on my food. My weekend disappeared. We had a yard sale for Relay for Life for our Geeks United Against Cancer, so Friday and Saturday hours were from  6am -11pm both days and I have no regrets, but I wish I had that time to breathe, because Monday is coming up on us way too soon.

Did I tell you that I’m loving what I’m doing? I’m pretty sure I’ve said it at least once or twice somewhere. Anyway, that’s a quick thought on how this weekend’s going as I’m trying to work on more location scouting this week, and we have a casting call coming up next weekend. Hit me up on one of my various pages and ask me where to go, so that I can point you in the right direction.  This is the Director and that’s a wrap!