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.

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!

I’ll Pass On The Straight Jacket, Thank You

So, I just finished my last video before we go in to the Pre-production class, and now I’m four months from being over. The most current thing that I’ve been really trying is getting my post production skills going.  I’ve been watching videos about Photoshop, After Effects, and I’m just now trying to put them together by trying out some test footage. I got it to look like my son was controlling force lightning. I’m teaching him about camera and editing work, and I guess you can say that’s one of the ways we are bonding.

I would be lying if I said that I felt like I have this in the bag. Truth is, I’m scared shitless. There’s too much of the unknown ahead of me, but on the bright side is that the people I’ve asked to crew for me, and my actors so far, are people I know that I can count on. There has been a tremendous support for my endeavors, and I continue to build upon my network connections. It’s funny how you can make some friends over being geeky. It’s beautiful to be able to share a passion together and help each other be successful. I have some of the best people in my life because of that.

With that being said, I’m going to give a shout out to my crew; Ed, my friend and creative partner, this is your vision, and I’m glad that I could help bring the story to life. Sarah, my wife, you are the best support ever. Thanks for sticking by me through everything. Terry: you and I have been friends for so long, that you’ve always come to my aid in time of need. You’re family brother. Alisa, you’re eagerness to be of help and dedication is awesome, thanks for being a good dink. Rodney, you’ve worked for me as an actor, and we’ve acted together. I’m glad to bring you to the other side of the production team, I know you’re connections will help breathe life into the people you help cast. Mike, you’re the first friend that I ever made here, it’s funny that so many years later we would be going to school for the same thing. I look forward to working with you and have you on as an extra pair of eyes to get this done.

Celeste; while being the newest member of this crew, and one of the newest geeks, I welcome your insight on this process since you have some experience. Thank you for your willingness to help out. Now for my actors and SCA brethren, thank you, Dean and Curtis for being some of the feature players in my film. I look forward to seeing what it is that you bring to these characters, and I think that we’ll continue to have a good time, like always.

I’m looking forward to what creative things I have in the works to present unto everybody. If you haven’t subscribed to my stuff, please do, that’s the biggest way of showing me that you support this journey.  Thank you. This was just to be short and sweet. With that being said, this is the Director and that’s a wrap.

Superhero Shirt Day: The Birth of Something Bigger

Oh boy, where to even begin? Damn, I can’t believe that it’s been over a year since the world lost a big geek. James, I see or talk to your parents almost daily, and I know that they miss you more than ever. You left a huge hole in the lives that you impacted, and things wouldn’t be the same. It was good to know you kid.

Tomorrow is your birthday, you would have been twenty years old. I think you would be proud of the things that are being done in your name. There’s so much that I personally wish I could have shared with you, and I think the things that Sarah and I have done with your parents, would have gotten you excited to join in with as well.

Your birthday day has become a day to remember the parents who have lost a child, and I’ve had the unfortunate experience to see it happen to a few people I know, but their children are honored with you. Thank you for being a bigger light then anyone could have ever thought you would be.

Superhero Shirt Day brought along the birth of the Geeks of The IWV, and it has really brought people together. I never expected this to become such a big part of my life, hell, I’m producing content with its own channel because of the Geeks. It really fills that passionate side of me. Thank you Kim for letting me run with the Geeks on Geek concept, it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and I think James would have loved this concept too.

The Geeks of The IWV was something I agreed to start because I thought it would help my co-creator coupe, and it’s seemed to have given her that, and given her more. It’s even given me more than I thought I would have dreamed of. I knew that I was heading towards this anyway as an avenue that I wanted to pursue, but its also given me inspiration to create content with the other geeks that I know, and I can’t wait to start producing more content in the name of the Geeks.

So, to my followers on WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter, I ask that you wear something with a superhero as a shirt, or even something geeky, to help support this day. Help honor the parents of the lost children, and fly the geek flags high in the air. Happy twentieth James, we love you, and hope you’re smiling down upon those who honor your memory. This is the director, and with geeky pride, I’m calling this a wrap.

Success? Maybe When I’m Ready

Did you ever feel like you get in the way of your own success?  I know I have, but have you ever stopped and wonder why?  I think deep down inside, we face a bit of fear. What if we obtain success? How will it change us? How will it change the way other’s perceive us? At what cost does success come?

This is my thought process on it-yes I’m partially afraid of how things will change, but at the same time I’m excited for the adventure that comes with it. The thought of doing what I love brings me a sense of completion, and a sense of purpose.  I have no doubts that being a filmmaker was something I was born to do.  I’ve always had a great joy in being creative and this is the ultimate outlet that let’s me do it. As I’ve gone through these classes, I’ve discovered that I enjoy the writing process, which I had been on that journey for several years now, but I do enjoy it.

I embrace the chance to get out of the normalcy of a settled life, and I don’t hesitate on feeling excited about going to work. I wonder how this might change things between my family and myself, because movie making is a demanding thing that takes so much hard work to be good at and successful.  Could they stand me being away, filming while it’s the holidays? Or even a birthday?  Will they be with me while we film?  Are they going to want to join in on this kind of work? All I know is that while I want to have my own production company, I do still want to work on my craft in the highly competitive world of high budget filmmaking. I would love to work on a Fox, Warner Bros. or Disney movie.  As my passions of superheroes and geek culture run hot in my veins, I would love to be involved with a Star Wars movie.

I’m glad that I’ve been blessed with a supportive group of friends and family, they all are amazing with the encouragement and praise.  What if that changes with my success? Part of me really wants to put the nay sayers in their place by doing what they said was impossible.  What if my friends end up envious because of my said success and they decide to hate me? These questions continually run through my mind, but it wouldn’t be the first time that I was “hated on”.  I’ve got a personality that you either love, or you absolutely hate. I’ve felt the negative pull of hatred and bias; being the fat kid with a loud mouth tends to do that. That is the way it gets when I also have a strong work moral. I’m not afraid to tell someone no, just because they want to have things their way. It doesn’t work that way.

I guess being successful shouldn’t be a fearful thing, I’m ornery enough to put nay sayers in their place. This is what is going to drive me, because my success is on my own accord and not placed on the people who would want to bring me down. I know in the end, my family is going to support me because part of the reason that I do these things is so that I can do better for my family.  That and the fact that doing this has helped me with my depression in ways that I can’t even describe.

I just wanted to post a little thing on what’s been on my mind lately, as will a billion other things. This is the Director, and that’s a wrap.