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.

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.

Last Five, Did I Just Bite Off to Much?

So, this is seriously crunch time in school.  I started looking at everything that has to be done for this class, and I’m a little more then intimidated.  There is so much to get done, even though I thought that we were going to ease into this, I’m a bit nervous, and my script is a bit more than I think most would plan theirs to be.  With that being said, I’m confident in the team that I have…just a bit anxious to know where this might go.

To start off, I didn’t think that what I wrote would be too hard to do, but I find that needing a number of extras, and locations might present a challenge.  Again, I’m sure the team can handle it, but I’m feeling out of sorts at the moment and not as confident in myself.  I just have to bring my A game when it comes down to what we are going to be doing.

I have a couple of things that are going for me: One, all other projects are pretty much on hold until we are done with Nash Gray’s story, and two I’m expanding the crew on this.  At this time, I do have three people that I’m adding to this project. I have a friend and fellow Los Angeles Film School  offering his help, so I’ll take him up on that offer as a second camera man.  I have a friend who is interested in film school and I’ll try and use him in a grip position.  Finally, I have someone who not only has worked with me on stage, but as worked for me in Appreciate What You Got. I’m thankful that he’s willing to help me as a casting agent.

Tonight is just a night for a short thought, and I’m prepping for one hell of a ride.  This is Chris, the Director, and that’s a wrap.

The Flow is in The Work

So this day turned out to be such a great day.  To start out the day, I took it off so that I could handle a bit of family business, which went fairly smooth.  I was glad because it was too hot for working out doors(which is a daily routine for me).  Since I did free up my day, I decided to reach out to my partner Ed, and see if he wanted to do some work together in the studio.  It was a good thing he happened to be in that day.

Today was the first official day of us working together on one of our projects, and it went really well. I showed Ed and Sarah(my wife) how to break down a script into a shot list, and so we broke down a few scenes for our reshoots on Appreciate What You Got, and that was fun to explain how the whole process works when dealing with the pre-production process.  I’m feeling inspired to keep going and we went on to discuss a bit more on the Nash Gray project.  I’ll work on that after I get the notes resent to me.

We also discussed some on the CK Project, and we decided that we’re going to start it out as a podcast, as well as recording it on video at the same time.  This is what this blog here has been about the CK Project, also the reason for the Chris Keeling Productions address on this blog.  It really is all-in-one with what I’m doing.  This weekend is when we will be hashing out a few details before we start our first broadcast, and hope to bring it out weekly. There is so much more to the content that this project is going to have, that I hope that I can find time for ever thing that I plan on doing between the three big projects.

I don’t know how much I can shameless plug the things I’m involved with but, Luckey Bom Films, is where the movies and entertainment aspect of my creative side comes in at. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpzpFCXIo1NAwJ_9kCxMHA is the link to my channel there.  Things will be popping up soon on this channel.  We are going to be wrapping up the reshoot soon, so that will be the second video on the channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/luckey97, this channel is my personal one, that I’m turning into the CK Project, this is my personal journey, and it it helps somebody with their struggles, then I’m doing what I set out to do in the first place.  It compliments well with this very blog page.

Now, the third big thing that I’m involved with is something that is local to my area, here in California,  and it’s called the Geeks of the IWV.  It was created from a tragic event, where my friends’s lost their son in an accident.  He was a great kid, who was a giant geek in his own right, and he left a void in so many lives.  I agreed as a way of helping them cope with that big hole left in their lives.  Never in my life did I think that this was going to change the way I do things.  I find a different kind of purpose in this group, and it feels good to share a passion in the geek culture.  We are doing things in the community, like a fund raiser called Relay for Life.  I never thought I would ever do anything like this, and yet it feels rewarding that I can help out and that our little group could make the difference.

I promise you that great things will be coming in the near future and I hope you take that chance to subscribe and support these various avenues that I’m taking.  There is so much to life for and I can’t wait for more adventures to start.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.

That Right Feeling

Let me start out with the introduction video was a challenge to get uploaded, and it took several days to finally upload: https://youtu.be/dGhRPhagcbs.  So, it was hard for me to actually do much online this week.  Yet, this week went extremely well and I’m glad that this is the biggest step in the right direction.

Today, there was a moment in the studio when I was by myself that I realized that I’ve finally arrived at where I was meant to be.  I truly felt that all was right in the world, and that my life was going in the right direction.  I feel awesome when in the zone, and Ed tends to bring more of the creativity out of me.  I admire his musical talent, and hope to get to that level at some point.  After the announcement of last weekend, I started another Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisKeelingProject/. This has been something that I’ve had in development since 2011, and now that I have a forum to present it, I find myself more excited that I can use my life experiences and try to motivate and help people.  Loneliness is something I want to help people deal with.

I don’t have classes for a week starting on Monday, and then it’s time for the crunch to get my student film completed, and this is the best learning experience for my team to experience a full production, most of the experience has been on me to do the different stages, and everyone has been on set when we filmed, but now is the chance to get my partner into the development stage.  I’ve found some other interest in what we’re doing and I will be getting involved with a few other projects in the near future.

Any way, that’s about all I have for this update, I’m going to enjoy Saturday night with a few friends, and get on finishing my homework tomorrow, so that I can get a better grade then I have now.  So this is the Director and that’s a wrap.