Podcast Guest on The Way We Tell

920!x300!_8803817I met filmmaker, Jesse Koepke on twitter a few years ago. Since then we’ve kept in touch talking about our faith, storytelling,  videos, and encouraging each other about working in post as editors. He recently asked if I’d like to be a guest on his new podcast The Way We Tell, a podcast about storytelling.

Hear about how I started making videos and what it’s like being a media director at church.

You can listen here at: The Way We Tell and subscribe to this new podcast on iTunes.

The Secret to Great Work

It wasn’t until recently I discovered the secret to great work. The answer might surprise you. For me, it clicked a few weeks ago when I tweeted how it took me seven versions to get a video just right. An editor, who does amazing work, responded how it normally takes them doubled that.
It was then I realized the secret: refining.

For so many years I created videos making three or four miner adjustments, which were actually fixes, thinking it was as good as the project can get. Not knowing, I was limiting my creativity. It’s true, there comes a point when you must abandon your project but that can become an excuses. What would happen if I change my attitude and start to ask myself questions about my work?

How can I make this project better even when it looks like I have a final product?
What can I do to get it just right?

As artist, we can get offended if we don’t get the project just right on the first, second, third or 20th attempt. You mean we aren’t creative geniuses? I’m pretty sure William Shakespeare didn’t write Romeo and Juliet on the first try. There was editing, adjusting, fixing, refining.

Another editor once twitted, “The first cut is like a fat lady falling down the stairs”. That visual gives us comfort, it tells us creatives, we aren’t the only one who’s first attempt is a mess. As you ask for feedback from friends, colleagues and yourself, you will see your work improve.

It takes great effort to achieve great work.

The Project Work Flow

I received an email from a reader after I wrote the post, “Making a Video – Do it fast!!” He asked if I could talk about my video workflow in greater detail. What caught his attention was a statement I made at the end. I said the video I made took two 8 hour working days.

In my freelance days, I use to spend up to a month on one video. Since working at church with a high demand of request for videos, two days is the minimum length for a 30 to 1 minute video.

At church the demand of quantity is greater than quality. But that doesn’t mean the quality of the production is poor. There are elements in video production that can not be compromise such as un-fixable white balance, bad exposer, focus and horrible audio. All those things can cause hours trying to fix, and there are even times that its easier to just re film.

When I say quantity is more important than quality, that really means, we don’t have a lot of time to spend on graphics for one promo. We can have an average of six videos every week that are due that weekend. The demand is high to complete videos fast.

We achieve every due date by time manage every hour. Here is a snap shot of a week on the calendar.

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 6.57.40 PM

You have to estimate each task. Such as, “I’m giving myself an hour to write up the script and record a voice over.” Arrange your lunch when an item has to render, export or upload. You have to be smart on using every hour given to you. If you are a freelancer with no boss pushing you, beware of spending too much time on a project.

I found the most time consuming element on a video are the graphics. I wait until the end to do that. Then I am able to see how much time I am allowed to create something. Our graphics are usually simple and basic but for special events we try to spend more time on creating something amazing.

Here is a practical break down –

My workflow —

1 hr- Create the script.

15 m- Book the filming.

30 m- Film: ask a volunteer who you trained to set up filming. Give them an hour.

30 m- Log and Capture: multitask by answering emails or look for music.

30 m- Find music: We have a hard drive called, “Sonic Pro”, that is full of stock music that allows us to change the track length.

1 hr- Normalize Audio levels: Normalize your audio on dialog so it can be louder than your music underneath.

1-3 hr- Edit: Depending on what it is, interviews may take longer – save time by having a volunteer add and name markers that will help you scan through your footage.

1-3 hr- Overlay footage: If you logged and captured well, this won’t take to much time. No “Untitled” footage is allowed. We keep overlay footage very organized by event name and date on a network that we can access to copy over to our hard drive. Example: “ConnectGroups_031413”

1-2 hr- Color Grading: I have saved presets in After Effects for each camera we own. Even depending on our studio backgrounds. I adjust colors depending on the person skin color and the way the lighting was set up.

No more than 3 hrs- Graphics: All depending on how much time we have until its due and the importance of the project. We use logos and colors that the graphic design dept. created for that event. I like to export this separate from the footage color grade just in case changes have to be made. Export lower thirds with an alpha channel so next time the video is used, you can change out the details.

2 hr- Render: Create a folder where all your renders will go. Place them on the project. Make changes if animation doesn’t work, etc.

30m- Export: Export a .mov, create an mp4.

30m- Upload and send for Approval: I upload to vimeo, sometimes I add a password -avoid letters and use numbers just in case the person you send it to has their caps lock on.

4 hrs- Changes made: Don’t get upset when you are told to make changes, it is apart of the editing life, set out a day for changes but try to send them another verison for final approval within 4 hours.

1.5 hrs- Approval: Once the video is approved, export to final format and deliver the video by letting who ever know that its completed and ready for show time.

There are times when a video can be made in a shorter amount of time given. The next time you work on a past project, your editing time should cut in half. The video I did that took two days, I saved time by having good audio, markers on the interviews, no changes were needed, and the submitter walked by and gave me approval instead of uploading and emailing a link.

Hope this helps those who work in video land. Feel free to share any tips you’ve develop over time in your work place.

One more thing, if you’re faster than your computer, maybe it’s time to upgrade.

Making a Video – Do it fast!!

You don’t have to be sloppy in order to edit fast, in fact, if done right, editing faster will force you be organized and even create better work. In order to speed up how fast you make a video, you gotta have a game plan. You have to know what to do next in order to keep your work pace going. Avoid the opportunities to get distracted, avoid repeating task, and avoid making mistakes that will take hours to fix.

Pre-production

Pre-production might as well be called “the fountain”. You must know what you’re going to do before you start. You can create thumbnails but they can be time consuming. What you need is a script of the timeline, this gives you an idea of the beginning, middle and end. Working out the details will help you in post. What questions are ask, who is in front of the camera, your audio, your white balance, and everything that goes into giving yourself or your editor good material to work with.

Audio – Audio can take forever to fix, so start off right with the best audio possible!!!!!

Post-production

When I am starting a new project I first, save my blank editing project right away, label all my bens, and gather all my footage placing them in a project folder with everything labeled. Misplacement and mislabeling can cause lots of wasted time, naming items will save hours and headache. I like labeling my items by date and subject.

(example: 061413_Blogpost)

Next, review your interview footage and label markers with titles. This way, you can scan and grab the parts that you want. Delete clips from your bens that are unusable. This will save time from thinking it can be used. (Example: Shots of the camera persons feet walking around.)

Audio- Pick your soundtrack before you edit, this will help set the tone, pace and style.

If your audio needs to be fixed, do it before you start cutting. If its an interview, you can lay your footage on the timeline, send to soundtrack pro, normalize and save.

My workflow —

-Script

-Book the filming

-Film

-Capture

-Find soundtrack music

-Fix Audio levels

-Edit

-Overlay footage

-Color Grading

-Graphics

-Render

-Export

-Upload

-Approve with some changes

-Changes made

-Approve!!!

Editing Someone’s Story

When I have to edit someone’s story I have to ask myself what point do I want to land on. Like any story, it can go anywhere. As I book the person to interview, I have to know my objective. In a strange way, what do I want this person to say, but still allowing room for twist and turns I may not be aware of.

The key is asking questions that will lead you to your point. At church we wanted to talk about one of the classes we have available for special needs as well as show the impact it had on the family. Everything in her story sounded equality important, but as the editor, I had to pick which parts where going to lead me to the objective. I had to eliminate points that were repeated, if she describe the hard times, I no longer needed anymore clips that describe that. If I focused too much on one area it may lead me away from the point of the video.

Telling someones story in less than 3 minutes, is an art. It takes practice, but most of all it about preparing before hand that will make the interview successful. Wording those hard questions just right will make your story 100x better. It will also help the subject feel comfortable enough to open up. When you know what you are doing, they will be able to relax and open up. The last thing you want is someone closed up when you’re trying to share their story.

Here is Maggie’s story.

Making a Video

Thank goodness we don’t live in the early 1900’s, other wise creating anything visual would be difficult. Making videos are easier than ever but you will still face some big obstacles. You won’t know how to make a video until you try, more than anything, you learn by doing and each video is different, with different challenges. You will get better after each one. The mistakes you learn in video #1, you will apply to video #2.

As I am teaching new people who are highly interested in creating videos at work, I often don’t know where to start, there is so much to learn.

Here are a few areas you should try to grow in.

-Graphic design
-Story telling
-Communication
-Marketing
-Editing Software
-Codec’s, Formats, Compression
-Files Organization
-How to work a Camera, tripod, etc.
-Lighting
-The history of the technology of TV, history of film

7c58f1b8278411e2807c22000a1fba57_7IMG_20130117_132202

The list looks a little like a school curriculum and if you can go to school to learn how to work in post-production, go. But like many of my co-workers, they learned by interning at church. Internships are great, if they allow you to be apart of the projects. Regardless on how you learn, you learn by investing time, focus, passion, and heart.

Here are some tips on how to create a video.

1. Know what kind of video you are making. (Commercial, comical, drama, short film, documentary, music, etc.)
2. Know what you want to say. (This product is the best, come to this awesome event, look how fun this event is, here is our history, etc)
3. Look to see how others have done it, and see how you can make it different.
4. Create the Script, know what needs to be said and what text has to be on screen.
5. Create story boards or thumb nails for animations. Layout your Graphic Design.
6. Gather your gear, and people who can help out with filming. Audio person is key if you need good audio.
7. Film – make sure your shots are steady and help tell the story. Watch your white balance, focus, whats in frame, exposure.
8. Edit – Capture your footage, (Make sure you know where your files are going; be organized!) know what format your will be editing in (h.264 or NTSC), what aspect ratio, widescreen or box TV screen (16×9 or 4×3),create your cut, lay down the story, put music to it. Have someone look at it to see if it makes sense. Ask for their input, even if they don’t know about videos.
9. Export your cut into a graphic software (After Effects), follow your animation thumbnails, if the animation doesn’t work out, try something else. Check out http://www.videocopilot.net/ for after effects tutorials. Avoid fancy fonts or colors that maybe hard to read.
10. Import back in to your editing software, fix any audio. Export.
11. Convert your file in to the correct format: .mp4 for web, .mov for DVD or to load up somewhere else.

Being organize will help you out so much in the end, never “Untitled” anything or save on the desktop! Some twitter friends gave a great suggestions to name the file with the date and what it is. At work we all do this now. Put the date on our file that it has to be played. ( 030913 Intro)

Hope this helps, feel free to ask questions if you have any.

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.

Command D + Me

When I started editing for church the only thing I was worried about was me and my deadline. I’d often joke that I needed to clone myself. I remember working with other young editors and seeing them make mistakes while thinking, “they’ll learn.”

A lot has changed since then especially the way I work. I train others as if tomorrow I will not be there. I’ve learned that training other people will not only benefit me or them, but the team. I use to be hesitant to teach my job to others in fear of losing it but it took me years to learn, that is what suppose to happen. When I step out of my old position, I am able to move to a new level.

I now see each individual that is interested in learning production as an extra set of hands. Though it may seem easier to work alone, there are times when more than one person is necessary. The time it takes to teach another person will be time given ten times over in the future. In the video office, I want to create a culture of command D’ing. I am now training others to train others..  I love adding to the team, I enjoy witnessing a new comer give me a perfect shot.

When we teach others, it re-teach us and sharpen our skills.

On that occasion I have to critique, I then explain to them the ‘why’. The next time they are faced with a similar problem, they are able to find a solution on their own.

Though I wanted to command D+ me something better took place.. new artist and storytellers were born. And when its time to say good-bye to them. I can stand as a proud parent knowing that God is at work in their life and I was just a set of helping hands.

As you grow in skill and knowledge, also grow in number. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Command Dimage*.

*command D is a short cut in After Effects that duplicates a layer.

Blog: Now Boarding

The more I think about the past six months, the honest the answers become to my questions. February I left my job to pursue editing in the industry and to move to Canada. It appears the reason I left wasn’t about my career, my goals, or anyone else but it was about getting on the right road to lead me to my fate.

At one point in all of our lives we stop and have to look at our self in the mirror. We ask our self questions we would commonly ask a stranger: Who are you? Where are you going?

If we are honest, most of the time we don’t know the answer to those questions. I guess we have to decide when we are going to answer them. Search for the truth? Or keep on moving in whatever direction you are moving towards.

After I left my job in February, I could feel myself getting lost – I no longer knew where I was going. I thought I was moving forward because I was going towards a goal I made five years ago but my inner dialogue was haunting me.

As I was living the dream, traveling the world, meeting new people, seeing new sights and drinking the best teas in the world, I was faced with a question every person ask themselves at one point, “Where do I belong?” I felt like I could live anywhere in the world and survive but the real question is, “Where do You want me God?”

From travel to travel, day-to-day, month to month, I asked this question. I received my answer in Paris but it wasn’t until I was in Vancouver did I listen.

“You belong at your post.”

The journey was needed to find the answer.

Those on the outside wont understand, they will think she failed. They will think she couldn’t find a job, they will whisper she tried. But I will say I went, I learned, I saw, I heard, I found peace, I found faith, I discovered the answer, I found where I belong, I found who I am, I know who I am following, I trust where He is leading, stopping was necessary, listening meant doing, and going back means I am ready to move forward.

The differences between me and others is that I want to go where He wants me not where they say I should be. Not even where I think I want to be. “I want my dream to be Your dream, it’s where I am the most happiest Father. You know me better than I will ever know myself, You know eternity.”

If the past few months were a movie, my life would be a Miniplot- opening ending, inner conflict, self discovery…yes, it would be your classic indie movie. The movie will end where it started.. San Bernardino, but the audience will leave the theater with a new discovery about where they are in their own life.

Next month, I will be returning to my old job to do a new job. A place that was created for me. A position with new challenges, responsibility, and possibilities. I will be in charge of the TV department, a boss, a supervisor, a leader. I have only been given a glimpse of where we will be going, but I know it’s somewhere no one thought possible, not even myself.

I finally made it to the correct platform.
Now Boarding a new adventure.

VBlog: How to Interview

Some tips on how to interview.

1. Prepare
2. Eye Contact
3. Keep it Fresh
4. Don’t be Shy

Particle
-Audio
-Tape or Card
-Lighting
-Background

One last note: Make sure you know your gear before you show up for the interview, check your bags before you leave to see you have everything you need. And don’t forget your notes! 🙂

 

Filming for Catalyst

This week I was a camera person for a large Christian leadership conference called Catalyst. They gather best selling authors, creatives, business people, artist, musicians and well known pastors from large churches to talk about what makes a leader.

I am always blown away at the creativity at Catalyst. Everything to the stage, lighting, videos, and speakers all tie in together to carry one message, this year it was, “Be Present.” Which I really loved learning about. I’ve always challenge myself to, “Be all there.”

I really enjoyed hearing Tony Hawk talk about how he transition to a team when he started his own company. He talked about taking risk, over coming fear, doing what you love and the importance of who is apart of your team.

One of the last sessions had very successful TV producer, Charlie Parsons. He talk about his new series about stories from the Bible. He told us many people in his field told him not to do it, to stay out of religion. He decided to stand his ground and believed in this project. He gathered some of the best film makers in Hollywood and traveled to Morocco for filming.

The conference had so many things going on, every moment was filed with something creative, entertaining, inspiring, funny, and impacting. It was my job to run around with a 5D and capture it all. The production team had rented these beautiful lens. When I looked at the glass I could see how beautiful it was and the focus rings was so easy to roll. I shot with another shooter who actually has his own steady cam. We collaborated together and decided he would get the wides, and I would get the close-ups.

When the steady cam operator and I talked to each other,  I told him, “I feel like I’m not getting anything awesome.” He said he felt the same thing but added, “You know what it is, it’s because we are both editors, and we shoot to edit. We get the shot and move on. We aren’t have to continually film because we have become better shooters. Everything we are shooting is useable. Now it’s up to the editor to tie it all in.”

He was right. I use to have to shoot all day and then look for something to use but over the years I figured out what works and what doesn’t. Now I don’t bother filming for the sake of filming but instead I stop, look around, see something or someone, then shoot. I am no longer a random shooter but a strategic one. That feeling that I was looking for, of capturing something awesome, comes from shooting all day and then finally getting the one shot. Now that everything was useable I no longer got that one high of feeling proud but instead can leave with a job well done.

Next month I’ll be traveling with the team to Dallas. Glad I was asked back! 🙂

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.

Audio: Editing and Ministry

Audio advice about editing and ministry. This could also apply for working at a company and not just a church.

Here is the 2011 year end video I did at The Rock. I wanted to give more than just number, I wanted to tell the story.

“What They Don’t Teach You at Film School” Notes

For some reason I found it hard to get in to this book but I knew it was valuable information that I needed to learn. Its full of great advice about how things work in the film making world. It’s an introduction to what it takes to make a film.

“…it’s not Hollywood’s approval that will determine if you die feeling like a successful filmmaker. It’s your own.”

“Your film is nothing more or less than a conduit for an audience’s own emotional experience.”

“Your work may not be “better” than that of others before you, but it can be unique. Originality is a virtue.”

It talked about film debt, budgeting, being a good director to the cast and crew, keeping things simple during filming, dealing with locations, issues with the script, basically what the author leaned by doing, they put it in the book.

I tend to learn better by mistakes. This is why I found this book useful.

“Your short is, at best, a prompt for them to ask to see more of your work-the kind they can make money on. They want a script. That’s all they want, all they ever wanted, and all they will ever want.

“Think like the buyer, not the seller.”

“No one wants you to experiment with their money, When someone reads your script and gives you money for it, it’s because they’ve seen the movie-in their minds.”

“The good news is that if you’re paying, you won’t need to protect anybody else’s vision but your own. If someone disagrees with you about how something suppose to look, you can listen, but you don’t have to negotiate.”

So much goes in to film making and when money gets involved it can get complicated. Reading about what to do when these situations are reached made me no longer fear them.

The chapters about picking the right cast and crew was full of great advice from other film makers. A few things that stand out is not to beg people to work with you, loyalty, treating your actors with care, don’t lead people on when hiring if they aren’t what you are looking for, making sure the coffee is good, food is always available, confronting issues.

[Directing] “By signing on, cast and crew are agreeing to be led. They’re giving you the power to lead them. Your job is to accept and assume it. With all the side effects and responsibilities.”

“Your crew is giving you more of their attention, creativity, and patience than your main squeese..don’t two-time them by bringing your romantic interest onto your set.”

And finally, pay attention to sound. I learned this important rule since I’ve been the shooter & editor.

“Without good sound you’re sacrificing your film’s potential or even your film, period.”

“You don’t want to fix it in the mix. Not only because you can’t, but also because you need to keep your sound editors’ time focused on the creative possibilities, not the technical harassment, of your film.”

I’m pretty sure what I read in this book will indeed help me from making mistakes.. and for that I am thankful I read it.

Now on to my next book… “The Conversations” 🙂

New Editing Book

Good news – My new editing book came in..

The bad news – I am having a hard time finishing up the current book I am reading, “What They Don’t Teach You at Film School.” This book is good but dry. It more about preparation for working as film maker.

Today when I got home I found this on my table. I can’t wait to highlight the pages and share quotes with you.

Seven questions with an Independent Film Maker

Nick Khoo was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia. I met him when I was an editor in Sydney. Even though he was my mentor, Nick became one of my best friends.

Nick is a very talent motion graphic artist and video editor. His first film, The Shot Down recently premiered in a theater in Australia. He wrote, directed, edited, created animation bits and color graded the film.

Nick didn’t wait for permission to create a film. He took a life goal upon himself and worked hard.

He gathered his friends together, picked up a camera and told a story.

The Shoot Down – Trailer

Here are seven questions with Nick Khoo:

1. Why was creating this film important to you?
It was becoming apparently that no one was going to just give you an opportunity to make a feature film, so I decided to make one for myself. I had read Robert Rodriguez’s “Rebel without a crew” and it just energised me so much that I thought that the only thing holding me back from making a film was me. And being from a church background you are constantly being challenged about making your limited resources work to your advantage. So looking at everything at my disposal I thought, well now I really don’t have an excuse.

2. What did you learn about being a Director?
Being a director is hard work. You are constantly planning. I read a little blog about how George Lucas on making the first Star Wars would get up at 6am, drive to the site,shoot all day, come back by 8pm, plan for the next day and be in bed by 1am. Then the whole process started again. Even with such a small team like ours, I found this timetable to be extremely true. The other thing I learned is you need to be a good people person otherwise I don’t think you can get the best performances out of your actors. And being from a post production background I definitely found it advantageous to know what things I could fix in post and what things we had to shoot again.

3. What did you learn being the film’s Editor?
Editing a film of this size requires you to see more of the bigger picture and not get bogged down in the smaller details. But I had worked on 30 minute documentaries before so I was very used to working on pacing for something at least that long. One of the things I learned while editing at church is make sure the you keep the pace. And with anything that is long form, you are constantly making sure that parts of the movie don’t lag or bring the whole story to a complete halt.

4. What type of difficulties did you come across and how did you over come them?
It was insane the amount of things that went wrong during the shoot. Even on the day before the premiere we had so many things go wrong that were out of my control! We had shot the movie during the middle of winter so everyone on the team, minus Sam, got the flu at some stage. We were all very medicated 🙂 We also had a harddrive crash which cost us a mint to get fixed, dealing with short days in Winter, dealing with long days in Summer, organising locations to shoot, feeding our crew, picking up gear, dropping off gear, shooting at a beach at night in the middle of winter.
All in all though, the best thing we had at our disposal was a good crew, and a good plan of action. Without those things, I reckon you’d be stuffed.

5. How did you finances the film?
Finances were generously donated by my folks, Sarah Vickery, Kurt Jaeger and self funded by myself (trust me, it was very cheap film)

6. What type of gear did you use?
We shot everything on a Panasonic HVX202 with a P+S Adapter and Carl Zeiss Lenses. We also had an audio mixer with a Sennheiser boom mic, a set of red heads, dimmer box, a wally dolly and tripod and a few reflectors.

7. What was it like watching your film in a theater?
Watching the film with people in a theatre was quite a rush I must say. It is always nice to watch your work up on a big screen in a dark theatre and hearing people respond to various parts of the film. All in all I am very happy with how people are responding to this film.

The Shoot Down is fun, honest and entertaining. Not sure if Nick is going to release it to the public, but when he does I’ll make sure to let you know.

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My Personal Film School

I may not be able to afford film school but I can afford books. Here is my film library. Some of these I read a while back and others I bought yesterday when I was in Burbank. I am now on my third book, “What They Don’t Teach You at Film School.”

I just finished, “In The Blink of An Eye” and loved every moment of it. I didn’t want the book the end. My personal film school is: Read a book, make a film, read a new book, film….

Here are a few more books I am looking to read:

Make the Cut: A Guide to Becoming a Successful Assistant Editor in Film and TV
by Lori Coleman and Diana Friedberg

First Cut: Conversations with Film Editors
by Gabriella Oldham

Do you have any favorite film books?