2014: A Post Mortem

The holidays have come and passed and 2014 has come to a close. As we move forward in the new year it’s important to look back at all that 2014 was so that we can make the best of 2015. For me, this year can be described in one word: transition. I started the year as a grad student in Chicago, moved to San Francisco, was in LA for a while, and am now working as a full-time freelancer. It’s been a great year with lots of ups, some downs, and has finally started me down the path I want to be on.

2014: A Post Mortem

Project Update: Uncle John

Back in August and September of 2013 I worked on a feature film called Uncle John (unclejohnfilm.com). You may remember me talking about the production in my “On Set With” blogs (Part I) (Part II). Uncle John is now finished! This is the first feature that I’ve 1st AC’ed on so being able to see it is an intense feeling for me.

uncle john

Adventre: Our Journey Back to San Francisco

This post is reblogged from Loretta Robinson on Creatively Driven. Check out our return to San Francisco to Chicago.

2014-03-18-17.56.17-660x492

Adventre: Our Journey Back to San Francisco.

 

The Moving Day From Hell

If you know me, or have been following my blog at all, you probably already know that Loretta (lorettamaydesign.com) and I are moving back across the country from Chicago to San Francisco (read about our move to Chicago here: widenmedia.com).

photo(3)

c/o Kevin Otterness

Wide Open Camera GoPro Mount Review

Jared (@goforjared) from Wide Open Camera (wideopencamera.com) was looking for a few people to test out the new Wide Open Camera GoPro Mount, so I gladly volunteered. I already had the Combat Cage (review here: widenmedia.com) so I was excited to see what the new mount would be like.

woc-gopro-mount-banner

iPhone Lens Set Review

A while back I was interested in using my iPhone for taking nice stills while on the go and wanted to get some lenses for it, because why not? I found this set of 3 lenses on Amazon (amazon.com) for … .50 with shipping. They were cheap enough that if they didn’t work it was no harm no foul. But luckily, the set was worth the minimal investment.

iphonelenshero

Monthly Inspiration: Parkour

Monthly Inspiration is a blog series that’s about what inspires me; filmmakers, styles, actors, scripts… each month, I’ll cover one new piece of inspiration. Hopefully I can turn you on to something that will inspire you as well.

For the last few installments of MI I’ve focused on actors and directors. I wanted to turn to something else for this month, and I can think of few other things in my life that are as influential as parkour. Parkour is a sport that is defined by its fluid movement, grace, strength, and conditioning. Originally started in France, and technically classified as a martial art, parkour has taken roots across the globe, including in the US.

pk hero_post

Behind The Scenes: Branding and Marketing “The Jog” Film

This post is being reblogged from Creatively Driven, the personal blog of Loretta Robinson. View it on her page here: http://www.creatively-driven.com/behind-scenes-branding-and-marketing-jog-film/#

 

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I’m excited to share with you the behind the scenes of a work in progress project with Jeremy Widen on his thesis film “The Jog”. While working with Jeremy, I’ve learned so much about the film making process and find it absolutely fascinating.

The Look Book

LorettaMayDesign_lookbook

Klondike Mini-Series Review

In early 2014 the Discovery Channel embarked on a completely new endeavor: scripted narrative television. Until Klondike (imdb.com) premiered in January of 2014 the network had never had scripted narrative. Due to the success of original programming on AMC, HBO, and through Netflix, other channels that have been known to not have scripted shows (IE: History Channel’s Vikings (imdb.com), Hatfields and McCoys (imdb.com), and now Klondike) are trying the format out. The question is, “Has the Discovery Channel succeeded with Klondike? And will they create more new content now that the mini-series is completely aired?”

klondikeposterAx

Ikan IFB-1024 LED Light Review

Going into production of my Columbia College thesis film, The Jog (facebook.com), I knew I was going to be needing something a little different for lighting.

Most of the film takes place outdoors, which means using natural light or having a generator. We wanted to have lights for making the punch ins easier, but also didn’t want to hassle with running lines and dealing with noise from the generator; meaning that our lights had to be battery-powered. The first thing that came to mind were LED panel lights.

ikan4

Monthly Inspiration: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Monthly Inspiration is a blog series that’s about what inspires me; filmmakers, styles, actors, scripts… each month, I’ll cover one new piece of inspiration. Hopefully I can turn you on to something that will inspire you as well.

I was trying to figure out who to choose for this months MI post. Then on January 6th, my youtube, facebook, and twitter exploded with something that I had been anticipating for a while, hitRECord on TV (hitrecord.org); and it hit me, “Why have I NOT done an MI on Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL)?” So, in honor of the actor/director/producer/singer/musician/artist/awesome guy, January’s Monthly Inspiration is all about Joseph Gordon-Levitt (imdb.com).

Special Camera Service GoPro Jib Review

I got my hands on the Special Camera Service GoPro Jib (specialcameraservice.com) a few months ago, and I finally got around to testing it. I purchased it at the pre sale price for , but it’s currently at , plus tax and shipping.

IMG_1072

Update: The Jog is Shot!

This post is roughly a month overdue, but here it is. The Jog is completely shot and in the can! We wrapped our last day of production on December 14th and it was quite a journey. Here’s a quick update on the process.

BTS Crew 1w

Monthly Inspiration: Ron Howard

Hey everybody. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and even longer since it wasn’t The Jog (facebook.com/thejogfilm) related. The semester was grueling, and we’re almost done shooting my thesis, so I thought it’d be a great time for a new MI post. And to welcome back the series, I couldn’t think of anyone better than the amazing Ron Howard (imdb.com).

ronhoward_MI_hero

Meet the Cast of The Jog

Nothing sells the way a film comes out better than how the characters are portrayed. And in The Jog (facebook.com/thejogfilm) the acting becomes even more important. We have 7 speaking roles, but only 2 actors. Casting became an extremely pivotal piece of making The Jog come out great. We hired Casey Vickers (caseyvickers.com) as our casting director, and she brought us some awesome candidates.

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 9.53.01 AM

Meet the Crew of The Jog, Part II

A film is only a good as the people who make it. And the crew behind The Jog (facebook.com/thejogfilm)are some very talented filmmakers. As a way to get to know the people helping make my thesis film, I’ve asked them a series of questions. Their answers are enlightening and entertaining. In this post we learn about our Line Producer and Editor/Colorist/ Behind-the-Scenes Videographer.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.32.54 AM

Meet the Crew of The Jog, Part I

A film is only a good as the people who make it. And the crew behind The Jog (facebook.com/thejogfilm)are some very talented filmmakers. As a way to get to know the people helping make my thesis film, I’ve asked them a series of questions. Their answers are enlightening and entertaining. In this post we learn about our Director of Photography and our Production Designer.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.32.54 AM

Rob Ruscher on Shooting Five/Five

After its release, Five/Five went a little viral; becoming a Vimeo pick of the week, and generating 2,200 likes; which is huge for a documentary project. I wanted to know more about how the film was made, and reached out to the Director of Photography, Rob Ruscher (ruschervisuals.com), with some questions. He had a lot of great insight into the indie production process.

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 5.16.27 PM

Update: Prepping The Jog

We’re well under way of prepping for the production of The Jog, my thesis film for Columbia College Chicago’s Creative Producing program. We’re roughly one month before physical production and we’ve got a lot to do, but it CAN BE DONE!

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 6.55.56 AM

On Set With “Uncle John” Part II: Chicago

Towards the end of August I started working on the production of Uncle John, an indie feature being shot in Wisconsin and in Chicago. I got brought on as 1st AC and the whole experience was really fantastic. Because we spent time shooting in two different states, I’m breaking the post into two parts. This second post will cover our Chicago portion! *I just want to preface this post by saying I didn’t have a chance to take many pictures, please stick with me though.

IMG_0905

On Set With "Uncle John" Part II: Chicago

Towards the end of August I started working on the production of Uncle John, an indie feature being shot in Wisconsin and in Chicago. I got brought on as 1st AC and the whole experience was really fantastic. Because we spent time shooting in two different states, I’m breaking the post into two parts. This second post will cover our Chicago portion! *I just want to preface this post by saying I didn’t have a chance to take many pictures, please stick with me though.

IMG_0905

The Jog is Funding on Kickstarter!

Well everybody, the time has come. The Jog is getting ready to move into production. We’ll be shooting at the end of November and immediately moving into post-production. But in order to make the project the absolute best, we need a little bit of funding.

thejog_coverPhoto

On Set with “Uncle John” Part I: Wisconsin

Towards the end of August I started working on the production of Uncle John, an indie feature being shot in Wisconsin and in Chicago. I got brought on as 1st AC and the whole experience was really fantastic. Because we spent time shooting in two different states, I’m breaking the post into two parts. I’ll cover the 10 days we spent in Wisconsin in this first part.

IMG_0890

On Set with "Uncle John" Part I: Wisconsin

Towards the end of August I started working on the production of Uncle John, an indie feature being shot in Wisconsin and in Chicago. I got brought on as 1st AC and the whole experience was really fantastic. Because we spent time shooting in two different states, I’m breaking the post into two parts. I’ll cover the 10 days we spent in Wisconsin in this first part.

IMG_0890

We’re the Millers (2013) Review

The last dozen or so times we’ve gone to the theatre Loretta and I have ended up seeing either action, drama, or kids movies. It’s been a while since we’ve seen an adult comedy on the big screen, and we wanted to change that, so we decided on We’re the Millers (2013) (imdb.com). We went into the movie knowing it was going to be a raunchy, summer comedy and that’s exactly what was delivered. We both really enjoyed the film.

wtm_poster

We're the Millers (2013) Review

The last dozen or so times we’ve gone to the theatre Loretta and I have ended up seeing either action, drama, or kids movies. It’s been a while since we’ve seen an adult comedy on the big screen, and we wanted to change that, so we decided on We’re the Millers (2013) (imdb.com). We went into the movie knowing it was going to be a raunchy, summer comedy and that’s exactly what was delivered. We both really enjoyed the film.

wtm_poster

Shooting in Indiana

A few weeks ago I got hired for a shoot in Indiana for the Travel Channel show “Mega RV Countdown” (travelchannel.com) They brought me on as 1st AC, but the job was really as a second camera op. MRVC is a reality show that highlights different RV’s and motor homes that have been tricked out.

241b11e8b59444ab5af1c12791d1dfd1travel_channel_east

Paying PA's

Because I’m on summer break from Columbia College I’ve been browsing the job boards with a lot more fervor than usual; and I’ve noticed a trend in the listings that really angers me. It seems like every posting for production assistants (PA’s) wants to get the work done for free. I’ve noticed a few posting that go as far as asking for entire crews for free. As a producer, and an experienced filmmaker, I see a lot of things wrong with this.

payingpas_004

Paying PA’s

Because I’m on summer break from Columbia College I’ve been browsing the job boards with a lot more fervor than usual; and I’ve noticed a trend in the listings that really angers me. It seems like every posting for production assistants (PA’s) wants to get the work done for free. I’ve noticed a few posting that go as far as asking for entire crews for free. As a producer, and an experienced filmmaker, I see a lot of things wrong with this.

payingpas_004