Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Need A Compass

So many things to do, so little...well, you know.

I just thought I'd take a break from my heavy working/filming/writing schedule to update my blog. Much like a month ago, I have many projects in the works, but very little to show for it.

Currently, I'm juggling between two fiction projects, two film projects, and a script that I am finalizing to post on my website (I'll post another update once this is ready). And these are only my own projects.

One more week, and we will be wrapping production on Midem Media's 'One Model Army'. Though we have gone through a couple delays in production, I am fairly pleased with how this is turning out. All the major footage has been shot, with only a few minor details left.

Once this is wrapped, it will take several months in post-production to see the finalized product.

In the meantime, I will soon be crewing up once again for the local senior thesis 'Roses are Red', which will begin production in October. I am excited to work with all of these wonderful local artists, who all seem equally excited and very professional. I expect some strong chemistry with this upcoming production.

With all of these projects still in the works, it seems like it will be a while until I will be getting any new material onto my website (shameless plug).

However, I do have a little something to show: a production that I worked on post-graduation.

Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful cast and crew as the 2nd AD on Nickel 17 Production's short film 'Soliloquy'. I was fairly nervous, since this was my first 'real world' production, but I soon felt at home with the chemistry between myself and the talent on the set. It was truthfully a great first experience for someone straight out of college. This production helped me to become a more confident director and team member, which I carried on to future projects and productions. A special thanks to all the cast and crew for showing me the way!

I'll provide any future updates on screenings or other distribution of the film as it becomes available to me.

As I mentioned before, I have several projects in the works. I currently have the first draft of one script done but with much editing left to do. I also have several other writing and film projects still in development that I am excited to reveal. I will start releasing the details as I reach the final stages of developing process.

Hopefully, in the near future, you will be able to witness some my own projects come to life through the medium of film. I hope to have my first film in production by early next year (depending on budgeting concerns).

Until then, I plan on getting lost in as many projects as possible. Helps keep me busy. I wouldn't have it any other way.


Monday, August 13, 2012

State of the Union

Surprised? So am I. I'm actually keeping up with my blog. How about that.

Anyway, it's nice to be able to take a moment and breathe. The last couple of days have moved at a very fast pace, and I'm trying to figure out how to catch up. Between working and filming, I almost forgot that my once plentiful free time is nearly nonexistent.

Though this may become problematic with completing my own projects, it is justified through the work that I have put into everything else. Right now, I'm beginning to see where my priorities lie. I still continue to build my project resume and gain experience, which is still very important. However, recently I also find filming to be a way to scratch a certain itch. When I began to step behind the camera, I started to feel at home.

Saturday saw some growing pains, but it didn't take long before I adjusted to some of the flaws of being a first-time director of photography. With a little help from the rest of the cast and crew, shooting became second nature by the next day. When this happens, the work ends and the fun begins.

While there can still be moments of frustration, you have to keep in mind that no production is without them. Eventually, all the worries begin to fade away when you review all the video footage and realize how much progress you have actually made. It's the driving force for any film production. It's a constant reminder that the finished product will be worth the repeated takes, lack of sleep, occasional failure of communication, lack of eating, and the loads of time spent preparing for each shot.

You have to put a lot of care and consideration into each camera angle and movement. Through this heavy consumption of time, you can sometimes forgot why you're doing it in the first place. You have to keep telling yourself it's a just cause just so you can keep morale high. And some days can truly be a trial, depending on the difficulty of each take.

Then you review the footage. Hope is inevitably restored and you are reminded why you do this in the first place.

Every production has its trials, but there is a payoff at the end of the long and bumpy road. That's what makes it all worthwhile. That's what makes you proud to be apart of this team of ambitious artists.

Until next time,

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Forward Motion

I promised that I would keep up with my blog. Obviously, I've broken that promise, but at least I have an excuse.

It's been a hectic couple of weeks. Filming is well under way for the production "One Model Army". As assistant director, I've had a wonderful hands-on experience. Having such a direct involvement with an on-set production is very liberating. Because of unforeseen circumstances, I have also had the opportunity to wear the "Director of Photography" hat. Though, I'm still a little self-conscious when it comes to handling a camera on the set of a real production, I seem to find all my training and education quickly taking control and setting my fears aside.

Although, I would still very much consider myself an amateur, being surrounded by a crew of professionals and conditioned actors and actresses fills me with reassurance. It reminds you that when a production unit unifies, it almost feels hive-minded. It's amazing to see everyone move in such a smooth motion and find yourself right in the middle. As cheesy as this may sound, it really holds true.

Where do I go from here? Well, I still have several more weekends planned throughout the month of August for shooting. I've also split up my time to work weekdays for some income. This helps to pay the bills and also help finance some new equipment and fund any potential future projects of my own (although this would probably be WAY down the road).

But, it's nice to see that things are coming together and I'm able to keep myself busy. I've also been working on my writing and I'm hoping to get the next two scripts and the first part of my story called "The Paradisus Transit" published online by the end of the month. Of course, this would be in a perfect world, and since my life is far from perfect, the end of September might be a more plausible goal. We'll see how productive I can be.

While there are really no new updates to my website, I am working hard on my personal projects. Writing has become my main concern, but I have not forgotten about the short film that was shot in May, with the special help of some wonderful Juniata people. I haven't had the time to edit it together, but I'm still keeping it as a high priority. Hopefully, I can free up some time to finish that in the coming weeks.

Another new venture that I am working on comes in the form of an LLC. I am currently in the process of developing my own business plan for a yet untitled company that will focus mostly on film and video for entertainment, personal, and commercial purposes. This wonderful experience is really helping me understand what it means to be an entrepreneur. Hopefully, in the coming months, I can develop this plan into a workable solution that will meet my needs and the needs of others.

As always, I'll try to keep up with this blog. Due to limited time, it's becoming harder to provide new content with each new post, but that doesn't mean I've given up on any of my projects. Some things take time and intend to work out all the bugs before I start posting my next batch of projects online.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading! And a special thanks to all my friends and family for providing your support!

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Why do we fall, sir?"

As busy as I have been lately. I wanted to take a moment to keep up with my blog posts. Everything's been going very smoothly with all video projects, at least as smoothly as this business allows things to run. Fortunately, I'm very content with where I am right now. It's almost been a month and a half since I graduated from college, and I feel I've really gained some major footing. I can now proudly say that I've had some post-college experience in both video production and photography, and I am very content with the end product.

Last weekend, we wrapped production for Nickel 17 Production's short film "Soliloquy". I can't say enough how thankful I am to be a part of this. I enjoyed every moment of it and look forward to seeing the film once it is completed.

I am excited for my next official project, which is slated to begin production in August. Although, I don't want to give away any official details yet, I can say that I feel this project has a lot of potential, and I am very ecstatic to be on board!

Personal projects have also been progressing at a steady pace. I have recently edited and uploaded the original script for my college project, The Waiting Room. This story was written as a rough script for a college class. It was then edited down and adapted into a short story that I needed as a portfolio piece at the time. I've always wanted to revisit the project and refine the script. Recently, I finally decided to put my other writing projects on hold to finish the editing process. I finally finished it and placed it into my writing portfolio.

Now that I'm finished with this, I am starting to work on the script for "Self-Censored". If I have another moment, I'd like to add the treatment to my portfolio, which I finished about a week ago.

I also have several new photos in my Flickr stream! Previously, I took a break from photography to focus more on video production, but after seeing these photos, I am very excited to start shooting stills again!

While everything has been going well with work, it's hard not to ignore that this kind of business can be rough at times. Already, I have faced issues in clashing visions, pricing disagreements, and contacting potential clients. However, this tends to happen to someone who ventures into the territory of entrepreneurship, so I am actually glad that I've already experienced this part of the business. As they say, "You learn from your mistakes," and I feel that I've learned more in the past month about the film/video industry than I ever did in a semester of college. While, this will undoubtedly not be last time I experience the downside of this business, I feel better prepared as I take the next steps into the future. I feel a new business venture coming soon. And, many more projects on the way. Stay tuned, and check out the website, if you have a chance! Thanks!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Real World: One Month Later

I've been meaning to post more on my blog, but I've been very busy as I become more adjusted with life in Pittsburgh. I also haven't had a whole lot of time to work on any major projects, but many short films are on the horizon as I begin the development phase.

I have just finished the treatment for "Self-Censored" (formerly "Sensory Censor"). This was originally meant to be a short story, but I decided to adapt it for film. I plan to begin the script as soon as possible. However, there are other projects that I'm itching to get started, so it may take a bit longer than expected.

Recently, I uploaded my school project: a film called Nihility. I had a lot of fun making this film, since it was my very first fully scripted film, making it a lot easier to direct and a lot more enjoyable to put to together. The film was even featured on the website Nothing But Hope And Passion. I am very happy with this production and plan to take from the process and develop even better independent films in the near future.
I also still have a few projects that are in the post-production stage, including "The Presentation". I'm not sure when I'll get around to finishing these projects, since I have a lot of other things on my plate.

Currently, I am working as a Second Assistant Director with the production company Nickel 17 Productions on a short film project. Production will begin towards the end of June. I am very excited to be a part of this team!   

I have also recently shot my first interview with other members of Healthy Artists! I had a great time working with them and an especially good time speaking with the interviewee. The video should be uploaded within a week. I'll make sure to post a link in my portfolio once it's finished. This will also mark my very first post-graduation production, so I'm very excited to see the final product!

In my spare time I've been preparing short scripts for submission to production companies. I'll make sure to post any completed scripts on my portfolio. Hopefully, I'll be picking up steam with my productions in the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted!

Until next time (which will hopefully be a lot sooner)!


Monday, May 14, 2012

A Foot in the Door...

Here we are. It's nearly summer 2012 and the buzz of high school/college graduations is in the air. As of May 12th, I am among the elite of those graduates. With a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media and Writing, I am ready to enter what many like to call "the real world". However much my professors and advisers talk about it, there's nothing that "real" about the "real world". If anything, it's like I walked into a Salvador Dali painting. But it's not in a bad way.

Thanks to my wonderful education, experience, and supportive faculty, opportunities are arising like I've never imagined. Real experience in a real world so early in the game. It's like a dream. I have so many people to thank for helping me get my name out. Already, I am making connections in the Pittsburgh film community. Who knows where I will be five years from now. Hollywood? Probably not. My love for Pittsburgh might keep me from that dream...but not forever. It'll just be further down that road the I originally imagined. Opportunities are opening up in Pittsburgh. The film industry has taken a liking to the steel city. If you're a filmmaker in the area, the time is now to get your name out there. Who knows what might arise.

On the portfolio side of news, the film narrative "A Lie" has been uploaded to YouTube and is available to watch on my website. New projects are in the works, including another narrative and an experimental film. Both are currently in the post-production stages. A special thanks to all my Juniata classmates and advisers who helped to make the projects possible. I'll make sure to get you the credit that you deserve. I owe a lot to you. You made me the person that I am today. I will always be in your debt. As cliche as that sends, it's the honest truth.

I'll keep you posted on the happenings in Pittsburgh entertainment. Until next time!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The End of an Era

As I reach the end of my college career, fear and excitement show their presence. Where do I go from here? However uncertain the road may be, I know that my projects will continue to keep me busy.

Jon Snyder in the short experimental film "To Sleep".
Presently, I am applying the finishing touches on "To Sleep" and "Out of Sync". While, I feel they are an accomplishment, I know that I still have a lot of work, if I ever want to make a name for myself.

But, as the saying goes, "practice makes perfect" and "you learn from your mistakes" and "when you fall off the horse..." get the point.

Anyway, more projects are currently in the pre-production stage. "A Lie", which is written by the magnificent and talented Bennett Rea, is nearing production completion. Due to scheduling conflicts, shooting for the final scene had to be postponed until next week, but I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.

I am happy to have such a reliable and talented production team. I am also happy to have such supportive and helpful coworkers at the Digital Media Studio. I'm going to miss working with them. Hopefully, we'll cross paths again in the near future.

Until then, the real world is my next destination. What awaits for me after I walk across that stage and get my degree? We will see...