Posts Tagged ‘filmmaker’

Purpose + Personal Strength + Passion = Destiny

September 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Most everyone born in the later half of the 20th Century is familiar with the 1981 Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire (Best Picture, Best Original Music Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design + 3 additional nominations), featuring the story of runner Eric Liddell. The Olympic gold medal recipient has influenced many following his days on the track, leaving various quotes and statements in his interviews while also demonstrating them in his life of service. One such statement has proven to be a North Star, of sorts, for me, and the longer I work with industry professionals it proves itself over and over. Liddell said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.”

Read more…

Canon C100 Camera Review

October 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Don shoots with a C100 in Guatemala

The Canon C100 was a weapon of choice for a project I shot nearly a year ago in Guatemala (documenting poverty and the impact on children & families by charitable giving) and then recently in Peru where small form factor and a filmic image were desired. Also, shooting with a documentary format would require both location sound via a shotgun mic and interview sound from a couple lapel mics. For those who have done run-and-gun work with a DSLR, they know that it can be a struggle double-checking to be sure that the sound recorder is functioning properly and that the resulting separate audio and video files stay organized. Likewise, constantly changing locations can have a significant impact on the ability to set the correct aperture, shutter speed and ISO for accurate imaging on a DSLR in extended lighting ranges. While still of concern on the C100, the 4K imager provides the shooter with a broader range, allowing significantly more flexibility to record images that will be adjusted and color corrected in post. Here are some of my thoughts on the gear and how it performed. Read more…

Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling

October 30, 2012 1 comment

Here are two great links for authors and screenplay writers to follow in creating meaningful stories. Each enforces itself with the visual as well, though in varying forms, so take your pick of preference:

Making it in Hollywood: An Interview with Actor Mark Atteberry

April 3, 2012 1 comment

Every year, thousands head to Los Angeles, CA with the hopes of becoming icons for the film industry. Those that are in the mix will you tell you it’s certainly not as easy as one would think. Overnight success is a rarity, and very few find the gleaming lights of public notoriety and stardom. If one wants to navigate properly through the maze of connections he or she can find help from those who have already found some success in the business.

Enter, Hollywood Connect. Hollywood Connect (HC) exists to “[equip] creative artists and professionals to thrive personally and professionally in the arts, media, and entertainment industries” (HC website). HC hosted a well-attended Q&A with Mr. Mark Atteberry recently, and in this gathering, Shun Lee Fong led discussion and then fielded several questions from the audience to get Mark’s responses. I took notes feverishly and thought to share the wisdom – with Mark’s approval, of course. Read more…

“I Need a Car” A True Run-n-Gun Video Production

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Okay, first, watch “I Need a Car” and see the clip on facebook, then read how it was completed.

I usually don’t do stuff last minute, but it must have been fate that I was thinking about WJXT’s Morning Jam Contest when I was approached by a guy who asked me to help him win a car. Unfortunately, I only had two days to complete the project. GULP! So, I threw all caution to the wind and did a true “run-n-gun” production.  Read more…

Intrinsics & Production’s 3 Major Forces

August 18, 2011 2 comments

Most anyone who produces anything (books, videos, toys, cars) can tell you the three major forces that are constantly tugging at each other: Cost, Time, and Quality. Essentially, you can pick two of these items, but the third will be pulled from the sum of the other two. For instance, if I choose to do a quickly done project with high quality, I should expect to pay more for it. Similarly, choosing to go on a reduced budget within a short timeframe, I should expect to find a sacrifice  in quality. The opposite is true if I choose a high budget and a longer production time – quality will certainly go up.

For some time I’ve prided myself in the fact that I’ve been able to still provide quality in spite of a lack of time or funding in most of the productions that I’ve been asked to produce. However, in taking a closer look at the three pulls, they do little to recognize the intrinsic value of the artist(s) involved in the project. Let me explain. Read more…

UK ‘Priest’ Trailer Editor Headed to Hollywood, Courtesy of Sony Pictures

August 12, 2011 Leave a comment

A few months ago, Sony followed three film students from the United Kingdom as they competed for the best edit of a trailer for the film, “Priest.” Of these, Mr. Joshua Sanger stands triumphant. You can see details and read my critique of each of their edits in the competition here. Just recently, I learned that Joshua is about set for his awaited venture to Sony Studios where he will be fortunate to meet top execs and to observe daily activities at the studio. For many young filmmakers, this is a dream come-true, or maybe better, a dream getting ready to begin. Even though I won’t be there, I took some time to think about items that I would do if I were Joshua. Here are my thoughts (in both serious and entertaining ventures)…

Questions to ask:

  • Economy has had an impact on filmmaking over the last few years. How has that affected your decision-making process? What criteria do you consider to determine if a film will be successful in theaters?
  • What are the top qualities you look for in up-and-coming producers and directors? Are there any personality traits you’ve seen that stand out?
  •  How were you (speaking to execs) able to find your way through the ranks to get to your position? Was it chance timing, planned effort, or others with vision that helped you through?
  •  To the budding filmmaker who thinks he/she has what it takes, what is one piece of advice you would give them to follow if they are going to be successful?
  • What is Sony’s vision/goal for creating entertainment? Is a sense of vision important? How does your vision impact day-to-day activities for both yourself and employees?
  • What do you do that separates you from other film studios, and how is that niche maintained?
  •  What is your favorite film to go out in the past 3 years?
  •  What future films are in the works that you are really looking forward to seeing in the theaters?

 Things to Do:

  • Walk of stars (of course!)
  •  In-depth tour of Sony Studios and production work (a free-be this time).
  •  Hollywood & Beverly Hills Tour
  • Try a couple west coast fast food locations: In and Out Burger and Jack-in-a-Box and review your experience.
  • I’d really entertain spending some time with some everyday employees, too, since they are the backbone of the company. Consider having a pizza party with a group of grips or spending some time with some editors to find out how they’ve gotten to where they are.
  • If you really get bored, then find some time to shoot and then edit yourself into a scene from the upcoming ‘Amazing Spiderman,’ climbing a wall or something.

 Challenges (on a not-so-serious note, but might still be worth trying):

  • Rent an exotic sports car and cruise down Mulholland Drive. Consider a call to Top Gear (USA or UK) or Jay Leno to see if they can match your time through the bends. Otherwise, maybe you can challenge Will Smith, but he has to wear a suite from a Men in Black film.
  •  Try to find and pull a yellow brick from stage 27.
  •  Measure Stage 15 with toothpicks. How many would be used around its perimeter? (Stage 15 happens to be the second largest sound stage in the world. It was used
  •  Climb to the top of the Sony Studios water tower and repel back to the ground.
  •  Attempt to find an open office and move your stuff into it. After you’ve done that, find me one and set it up for my arrival.
Hope your trip goes well, Joshua. Live it up!
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