Eye on LA – Disneyland!

When I lived in Australia I use to brag about being from California. The first thing people would ask me was if I lived near Disneyland. When I said yes I would invite them to come visit. To my surprise many have taken me on that offer, even 10 years later!

Peita’s life time dream as a little girl was to visit Disneyland. Because I’ve been a million times, seeing Disneyland through fresh eyes is so much fun. Gus filmed and edited our adventure at Disneyland.

Season of Grace

Last night I was thinking about my time living in Australia. I remembered the feeling of missing my family and how far they felt from me. There were a few weeks I was living with a friend on her farm. I remember laying in her room looking at her walls wondering, “How did I get here?”

When I think back on those days, I can’t imagine living far from my life again. How did I do it then? I was younger, had less money, had no job or car.. then I heard, “It was grace.”

That was sure a season of Grace. Now looking back I see what a miracle every moment was. I look at life now, the responsibilities I have at work, the task of managing others, having people refer to me as, “boss”. If I could live in Australia all alone, I can do this task I’ve been given. God will once again give me that grace.

I often like to remember my time in Sydney. It reminds me of what GOD can do and will do! Let me break it down to you, I’m from a culture where everyone is just making their bills, no one really travels. I was just graduating college and had this CRAZY dream! “I want to go to bible college in Australia.” My mom didn’t realize where Australia was until I was already gone. Her co-worker had to show her on the map.

Oh it seemed so impossible but the more I read my bible the MORE possible it was. When I graduated, I was GIVEN $10,000. Can you believe that? Well I bought my ticket, paid for my housing, my tuition paid in full.. and I lived, breathed, and thank God everyday for the blue Sydney sky that was above me. I will never forget it. It was a miracle.

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of the battles that we won though God in the past. And remember that we didn’t do it alone. Every season there is grace available, we just have to grab on to it.
Whatever it is, what ever it may be, it will always be possible to those who believe.

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.

Connect with Nick:

Website

Twitter

Vimeo

Youtube