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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A Creepy Thing Happened To Me Today

So, I think that I’d like to reiterate a few things that I’ve mentioned in posts past. One, when I originally tried to write a script, I was either going to do comedy or horror. I put a few really good funny things in Nash Gray, so I’m confident in being able to write that. I’m not completely sure if I’m ready to write a complete comedy yet, but I’m looking forward to that day.

I’m however excited to announce that I’ve started writing two scripts. The first one is that I got rid of my Life Happens  script, but I’ve restarted it, and hope that I’ll have a more solid piece when I’m done.   I felt that the dialogue wasn’t my best work and now I’m trying to put more emotion and intensity to it. I’ll keep you updated on that progress. The better news is that my new script, which I was intently writing on paper with pencil today is in fact a horror genre script. I’m building a unique cast of characters with a good story(hopefully). I’ll have more as that develops.

Speaking of developing, I’m glad to say that we are almost finished with the Nash Gray production, and I’ve got the start of a rough cut going, which also leads to the fact that my next class is editing, and that means two months are left of school. Not to be out done with my momentum, I did say that I’ve started working on two scripts, which is a breath of fresh air, because now I can take some time developing these projects, even if I still have the Appreciate What You Got reshoots, and that commercial that got put on hold.

I’ll be doing some videos soon for the CK Project, and getting back into working on some Geek on Geek things as well. I promise that I will be back to full swing with everything soon, just life got in the way this months and most of next.

This is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

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.

It’s Alive!!!

Boy, it’s been awhile since I blogged. I’m sorry for that, but life has been crazy. That’s because I’ve spent a good portion of my waking hours working on the Nash Gray script, and getting things ready for filming. That’s right! We are going to be filming as of next weekend. Three more months and I’m done with school, my blood, sweat, tears(well mostly sweat)  has come to this final stretch.

With all that being said, we had our first table read, and I finally got to see what all the hard work coming together is going to look like. It’s exciting to see something you spend so much hardworking and energy on coming to life. I see where Dr. Frankenstein got excited to bring his creature to life. It’s an amazing feeling to have a thought, and watch it become something tangible, something real. My creature, and I thank my partner Ed for working on this with me.

So, the plan is to start filming next weekend. This fact both excites me, and scares me, because I keep thinking to myself, please don’t fuck this up. The best thing is that I know that this group is going to have fun, and that’s part of the process. After every busy moment that I’ve had, I most defiantly know that this is what I was built for. The long days and busier nights, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

There are different factors that make this a challenge. The first one is I’m going to have a larger crew, this is a blessing because this should make for an easier time by not having to multi-task so much. The only thing is that I haven’t worked with all of them before, but again, I’m up to the challenge. Here’s to working with new and wonderful people.

The other half of this is the fact that I’ve only had to work with two people on screen at a time, and having six is going to take some thought, but, I know most of the cast, and they are dear friends, so it’ll be fun. This is the challenge I look forward too most, is to see how we get this going. I know that we’ll be joking around and having a good time between takes, because that’s the kind of person I am, but it will most defiantly be a great experience, and I expect that we’ll form bonds, and friendships out of this.

Three more months…

This is the director and that’s a wrap.

 

I Have a Heart-Shaped Box in Tetris

I used to be a real estate agent, like a billion years ago, or so it seems. I got out of the business, because I felt that I was too honest for the business. Anyway…today I’m at my desk at the studio, and I realized that I my desk was starting to look the way it did ten years ago, while in said profession.

My desk has always been in a moment of utter chaos. Papers are everywhere(kind of like my kid’s rooms), and I decided I needed to get my act together and organize. I guess my desk has always represented my mind, as in my thoughts are everywhere and I barely think in as  straight pattern. It usually ends up all over the place(kind of like when I play my iPod on long trips).

I don’t know if this is a sign that I’m finally reaching my journey to a respectable adulthood, or if I’m just finally trying to get my shit together(ask me in a couple of weeks for that verdict). Maybe it’s the fact that I’m taking my position as a writer and director far more serious than any job I ever had before. Part of my failure at real estate was that I wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility at the time. It’s hard to live off of just commission when you’re a bit younger. There is something to be said about getting that check every week for sure.

Alas, I know that going this route isn’t going to make the pay checks any easier, but I’ve grown over the last decade and I’m ready to attempt to make my wealth on my own terms. Not that I’m really looking to get rich, but to have a decent life that my family can live comfortably and maybe send the kids to a higher learning institution.

This was just a quick thought for the day. This is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

Welcome to My Funeral, I Think I’ll Be Late.

Well, I guess that is an unusual title, but it’s more about mindset than actually dying…good God, I’m not ready for that, yet. I never tried hard in school when I was a kid, I always skated by with B’s and C’s. As long as I passed was all my parent’s worried about.  Too bad, that I didn’t take it upon myself to do better. I should have done better for me.

All I cared about was having fun, or at least between the time I wasn’t getting bullied or feeling lonely. I had more friends than I thought at the time, and I did okay. I just wanted to have fun and not worry about school. My, how things have changed though. Determination, maturity, and a bit of desperation are great motivators to get the ball rolling.

So the first change came about the time I was thirteen, it was February 29th, 1992. It was that extra day in the year that brought me more trouble than I was expecting. I had been rejected by a girl I liked and it bothered me. I was being a kid, who didn’t pay attention to any of the signs on a road that I traveled down most days on my bike. I ran a stop sign and was ran into by an oncoming truck. Being a kid, who needed a helmet and pads, right? Nothing ever touches a kid, right?

I hit the front end of the truck and roll up on the hood, when the truck stops, I fly about ten feet, yards, I’m not even sure, because I don’t remember any of it. I just pick up bits after I wake up from my comma. So, I fly and hit my head on the asphalt. I suffer from severe head trauma. Broken bones, oh so many broken bones, scares and asphalt embedded into my hand to remind me that I’m a stupid kid.

After about three weeks of a medicated comma, I ended up in rehab to get my abilities to do everything back.  I took a chunk out of my femur bone and had to have a steel rod put in place to help it heel, I had a cast on the right arm I broke, and my hip was broken in two places. I forgot to mention that it was on my right side. Thank God for that because I’m a lefty. Always about silver linings. The thing that changed about me the most, according to my parents, was that I had a major personality change. I used to be a softy at heart, and very emotional. I was a kind person. At least that’s the story, I’ve been told. Things went in the complete opposite direction for me after that.

I’m not saying that I became mean, though I can get that way(if you’ve been following along since the first blog, then you might have heard me mention being bullied a few times), but I was a bit tougher. I’m kind of a cynic, and I have a very crass sense of humor. Mom told me it was like I went to the dark side.

Over all, I like the person I am. I think it’s toughened me up for what this world really is, but I do care about people. I just don’t like to put up with bullshit. I don’t think most people do. Any way, to continue on….

I had to fight to get my grades back up. I had to relearn how to use the bathroom. All that fun stuff that comes out of rehab. I made it though. Some people where glad I came back to school, others not so much, but I was changed.

When your young, you tend not to appreciate the fight, and as I went to high school, I started slacking again, but I did graduate on the first try, even with a couple of close calls. Then I moved to California and took a year off, before I went back. Part of that reason was because my parent’s said that if I took a year off, I won’t go back, and surly I had to prove them wrong, I mean that is the kind of person I am.

I went to school, fell in love with two girls, at the same time, and I choose the wrong girl to marry, but I didn’t know that at the time. It was an interesting time in my life, and I’m far better from that situation as a person. Choosing the wrong mate, put me through a time of hell, and I ended up being a broken person because of it.  That was when the second girl I fell in love with came back into my life. I suffered PTSD from that first marriage, but Sarah came back into my life and saved me. It wasn’t long before we were pregnant, and then married. Second chances don’t come along often, but I was blessed with that.

After that situation took place, I went back to school, but just got burnt out. I crammed the last month of school into a week and a half because I got a job on the Disney film Holes(2003). I kept up with school for about a year more before I decided to just work and be a family man.

I had tried to do a few classes like pharmacy tech, and then an accountant, but I hadn’t found any of that satisfying, so I worked until my break down at work that took me on an extended vacation for seventeen months. During that time I was soul searching and trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life.  Learning that I needed to make the smart decisions and go for “real jobs”, but I never was satisfied with that either. About half way into my suspension from work, I decided to follow my dream and go to film school. By this time, I finally figured out that I was smart enough to do this and I felt that this was what I was meant to do.

Thank God for that, or I wouldn’t be sitting here blogging about my life, and the things I learned. I wouldn’t be here communicating and trying to build a name for myself. Every like, follow, and subscriber is a check in the win column for me. I love what I’m trying to build. I’ve never been more passionate, except about Superheroes and Star Wars, but I do really love what I’m working towards. I do love writing, and I’ve found my prose(google it). I think it works for me. I appreciate that I have a great group of supporters, and fans. Who would have ever thought?

Remember, I’m Chris Keeling, and I’m the Director, and if you like everything I do, like, subscribe, leave some words…. I like words. This is a wrap until next time folks.