Exploring the City with Aussie Friends

One of the greatest benefit about living in California is Los Angeles is close by. The first time I went there I was probably around 17 years old. I remember hearing about LA from movies and seeing it on my freeway signs – west to go to Los Angeles and east Palm Springs but I never really gave it much thought.

For the first time this summer, I was able to spend a week in LA. I had a good friend from Australia come visit and I decided to send time in the city with him and hang out with my friend Annette. In college I had met a good group of people in Australia and they became my really good friends, almost like family when I was living there. They took care of me in so many ways and looked after me.

To pay the favor back and to spend time with them, we spent the week together and we did so many cool Los Angeles things. I wanted to share those things with you here. So if you ever travel down, you can do some of the cool things we did.

Griffen Observatory

Carters Restaurant 

Amoeba Music, Sunset / 101 Cafe

Photo Jun 15, 9 03 20 AM

Downtown Burbank

Oceanside, Ca

Mosaic Church, Hollywood

Australian Pie Kitchen, Santa Monica

Warner Brothers Lot, Burbank

Arch light Movie Theaters, Sunset / Counterpoints Records, Franklin Ave.

Sunset Media Building, Australia Channel 9 / Alcove Cafe & Bakery, Hillhurst Ave

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It was nice to get out into the city, to get reminded of the people who are so different than I. We did Urber, which drove us all over the city, we didn’t have to worry about parking. This summer, try to do something fun, even if its local near by. Put the extra money away so you can stay there and not have to worry about driving. Driving can be one of the most stressful parts of traveling.

I was inspired and came back refreshed, which is the point of traveling as a creative. You differently need to get out of your zone, your circle, have conversations and listen and gather up those stories. I had a good time hanging out with my friends from college, they will always be my best friends no matter how much we’ve changed – its always good to reconnect.

11 Years of Editing and Still in Love

It’s hard to believe its been 11 years since I made my first video. It was 2002 and mini dv was king, Youtube hadn’t been invented and the word, “social media” didn’t exist. My instructor in college was a hippie with large glasses. I remember him teaching us the history of television, and how NTSC and PAL came about. He taught it with such passion, I was at the edge of my seat. He ended his lector by saying, open up Final Cut 4.0.

When I opened up the program I instantly fell in love. I wanted to know all about it. I thought, “This is how they make movies.” I was young and naïve, and dreamt of one day making music videos for MTV. I had no idea what the future would hold for video and my career as an editor. I just knew, I was born to do this. I felt at home creating and piecing clips together. I was the first to arrive and the last to leave class. At lunch the boys and I would talk about our favorite movies and why we loved them. It wasn’t until the second term that I noticed I was the only girl. This made me feel even more special knowing that I wasn’t following the crowd but for the first I was doing what I wanted do.

Its been a long journey since then. I don’t think anyone in my college class stayed with the art. Reality hit and many couldn’t find a job, some got bored of it, and others just gave up. But for me I had no plan B. And I knew if I gave up editing I would have to give up a piece of myself. At age 19 I discovered editing was my language to the world. It is my voice.

There was a period where I was bored of it. In 2010, I went to photography. I edited to make money, but photography was my mistress. I would go shooting on the weekend and even introduce myself as a photographer. The more I shot the less I would talk about editing. And then one day, I looked at my book shelf and found a book given to me by a friend.

In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch

As I began to read this book by famous film editor Walter Murch he talked about the art form with such love and affection. I was drawn into his words and related to everything he was saying. He began to elaborate on what it is to be an editor. Reading this book brought me back to my passion. I looked him up on youtube, watched every video, read all his books. I was learning so much from him, it was bring me back to the glory days. After I read another powerful book called Story by Robert Mckee. This enlighten me even more!

People were noticed the difference in my work. The videos were coming alive. The love was back.

I saw that it was when I stopped learning and challenging myself that I got bored. I thought photography was a new career but it ended up leading me back to the core: story telling. Being an editor is in my DNA.

Once you find something you love and are good at, run with it. It will lead you to your destiny. I know I still haven’t arrived, I am and will always be a student. Challenging myself weekly, pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Reading books on the art, talking about it and connecting with others who love it too.

Who knew video was going to be so popular in 2013? Now just about anyone can be an editor but its those who never stop learning and never give up who will still be in love with it ten years from now.

The Pain of the Answer

The answer is what we are looking for. We talk about the question for so long we feel like the answer will never arrive, we even begin to think, “Maybe there isn’t a solution.”

Its usually not what we are expecting. When the small voice finally responds, we even say, “Nah..couldn’t be, you are crazy!”

The key is discovering the right question. As my friend and I drove around town, I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing with my golden opportunity. I was starting to feel uneasy about not knowing what to do next. I needed to think of the next step. “I know exactly what I want, its how to get there I’m not sure about. I’m on step B and need to get to step D, what is step C?” I stop talking as I just landed the question I’ve been searching for.

As I went home and continued to read my book, The Conversations by Walter Murch, something he said stood out to me, spoke to me specifically. Walter mentioned editing with Avid and how he enjoys new technology. I thought to myself, “I shouldn’t be so scared to learn Avid, change is okay, growing is good.” As I read Avid’s website, I saw students get a great deal on the software, and then it happened, step C appeared to me. Summer school!

Now is my chance to take those film classes I’ve always wanted to. I looked up information on my local community college and read through all the classes. The next morning I enrolled and did all the “web work” as there is no longer “paper work”.

When I step on campus, I felt humbled. It’s been 12 years since I last went to school. How amazing its going to be to learn the history of film, talk with other students, and learn Avid all at the same time. When I was working I always wish I could have time to go back to school to brush up on my skills, now years later I finally am.

I start school in May 🙂 then..step D.

***’s Drawings

So last night when I wrote about how I found my long lost my friend, I was reminded of the drawings he made for me. I found a few but most of them I misplaced (yes, I lost them). I hope one day I find them. I wanted to share these with you so you can understand how creative he is. I think his drawings would be great for children books or a cool cartoon.

Anyway, he was always a good friend to me and never failed to encourage me. Friends like that are hard to find.

The Mission to find ***

When I was in college I met this very interesting guy. I remember the first time I saw him. He was wearing all black, had long dark hair and was drawing a large sun in this science book. It was actually a really cool looking sun. Right away I knew *** was naturally gifted and creative. From a distance he could seem scary but he was so soft-spoken and sweet, he won me over right away.

During my college years I kept to myself a lot. I felt out-of-place and lonely. I was dealing with a broken heart, a lost identity and trying to transition to adult hood. During lunch break I would eat my lunch outside and read my bible. To be honest, reading my bible kept me from crying. A friend that also went to our college later told me that *** noticed a sticker on my car that said, “God’s girl” and saw me read my bible on breaks. She told me, “He was an atheist but when he saw you reading your bible, he began to ask questions about God.”

Little by little *** and I became friends. He was thirty and I was nineteen. He would draw me these amazing illustration that had funny stories to them. We would talk about everything, music, art, dreams but most of all God. One day I invited him out to church to see me sing. To my surprise he came. Everyone kept asking me who my friend was, he didn’t look like your normal church goer.I remember I gave him a small bible. He told me he was reading the New Testament, “Jesus sounds like a pretty awesome person, I wonder what happens at the end.” I wanted to tell him, “They kill Him, but that’s not the end of the story..” I instead let *** read it for himself. He began to come to church with me. It was amazing to see the transformation God was doing in his life.

Then one day he stop coming, we graduated college, and we lost touch.

That was 2002. Since then I’ve wonder about him. I tried looking for him on every social network but no luck. I thought the worse. I feared he was dead.He always seemed troubled.

About a month ago one of the staff members sent out an email saying, “Delete your name from this website, if someone types in your name your home address appears.” I went to the site, typed my name and found my self. I then thought about ***. I typed his name and nothing. I then emailed my friend asking for ***’s email address. She gave me the email address he never responded to. I typed it in and the site scanned every social network, every email network and then listed  50 guys with the same name. I remembered the city he lived in and wrote down the address. I thought about sending a letter but knew he was too special to just send a note. I wanted to go that weekend to find ***.

A few months had pass and I still hadn’t went. Finally this weekend I told myself, “It’s now or never.” I drove thirty minutes, found the address, parked and knocked on the door. A very pretty girl answered. I asked, “Does someone name *** live here?” She looked at me confused, so I kept on talking, “I went to college with him and he gave me this address a long time ago..” She then stopped me and said, “Hold on, stay right there.”

Out came ***! He looked the same as if he hadn’t aged a bit! He came out side and I told him how I have been looking for him for years, and that he is no where on the internet. He told me he uses a fake name for everything on-line and isn’t on the internet very much. I gave him a fast up date on my life and he told me he is engaged to the pretty girl who answered the door. I stood there smiling at him. He must have thought I was crazy to go through so much effort to find him.We talked for ten minutes and then I said, “Well I’ll let you get back to your life, I just had to know how you are.”

The drive home I thought about how amazing it was to find him. I was happy that he was happy. I was glad to know he was alive! *** is and will always be special to me.  I don’t know if he still has faith in God, but his story reminds me no one is unreachable. God pursues our hearts every day we are alive. One thing I know for a fact, is that God loves ***.

***  is the most creative person I ever met. He shared this song with me back in 2002. Now every time I hear it, I think of him.

Camera girl for Hillsong United

Ever since I graduated college from Hillsong in 2005 I’ve gotten the opportunity to do cameras when the team comes to Los Angeles. Last night the youth worship band, Hillsong United sold out the Staples Center.

It was exciting to work with some of the most creative bunch of people I know again. During one of the songs, the director asked me to fix my framing according to the middle screen, when I looked to fix it, my mind got confused as their was a duplicate on the left of the screen with the image upside down. It was a funny moment that made me say, “Oh yes, it’s United.”

Something that worship leader Joel Houston said is that it’s not about the lights and stage but about Jesus, the one who paid the cost for our sins. As a person who loves God and production this is something I tell myself often. I have to remind myself of the Cause.  He also said how they were once a small worship band for their youth group in a little suburb in Australia and here they are in Los Angeles at the Staple Center with a sold out concert worshiping God with thousands of people.

During one of the song transition, we faded everything to black and at that moment the crowd of 20,000 people started to sing all by themselves the next song, “With Everything”. The sound echoed though the Staple Center. It’s kinda neat to think of all the events that have taken place at the Staples Center but I’m pretty sure nothing out beats that moment.

Congratulations to Hillsong United for a sold out concert at  one of Los Angeles largest venue.

Here is one of their videos on youtube so you see for yourself.

Encounterfest Video

For  years I dreamt of attending Hillsong College in Australia. I wanted to devote myself to learning leadership skills, biblical principles, and to give my talent to encourage the church. While I was there I was able to create projects that thousands around the world have seen. I enjoy work that has a great purpose and that influences people to go after their dreams, potential and get connected to God.

The Encoutnerfest youth conference was the first time I not only edit projects for a conference, but looked over a team of editors as a producer.

1st Editor/Producer/Graphics