Film Connection's Student Success Stories, Page 4
Today was my last day at work!
“Today was my last day at work! I thought for sure at some point, I would get teary because of the unknown of leaving, but I didn’t. In fact, it was more like I was in ecstasy all day. I even left mid-day, which was nice. As I was leaving out of the parking garage, I took note of how serene and excited I was to be driving towards the next chapter of my life. It was a happy, joyous feeling. Leave the past in the past, and embrace the future, as it holds the most exciting part of my life!”
Let’s see how this goes. Stay Tuned!!!
“It’s now 5:15pm, I just had a conversation about my first assignment. I have to cover a script. What the heck is that? I asked him and he said basically it’s me reading a whole script in one sitting and then filling out a cover form. Am I excited for this? Hell yeah I am, even though I’m like super nervous to screw up, but I can’t give up already. I have to stay focus and give all my time and electricity to get it done.”
[UPDATE] First night out shooting
“Had an awesome time at the shoot tonight! I got to meet some really cool people from the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City. Listening to them tell stories about all the films they worked just on blew my mind. I got to play with some killer toys too!”
Week 15-First Short Film Shoot
“As I mentioned in my last blog, I was on my very first short film shoot last night. It was fun, and INTENSE! Watching the actors was emotional. I didn’t really know what the plot was as I headed into the shoot, but I quickly found out it was about a recovered alcoholic who basically relapses because of various events. Whoa…you could hear a pin drop in the room when the camera was running and the actors were doing their thing. That was my favorite part for sure. I also enjoyed my role which was running the slate.”
“Going on my first shoot with my mentor today! Going to be getting footage for the accidental project band promotional video. It’s a good thing I put my editing rig back together, because it sounds like he also wants me to edit the video. Should be fun!”
“My next session will be with my mentor tomorrow to discuss my second assignment and the beginning of writing my first draft for my first act in “Final Draft”. While writing my three act summary, I did some seriously heavy brainstorming and made some mental changes on some of the subject matter of the script. I am happy with what I came up with. I look forward to start writing my first act.”
Short experience as the DP
Today I was able to have a deep, educational, and detailed conversation on the lesson I have just finished. I always get the most incredible tips and insight from my mentors. The lesson talked about mythmakers and storytellers, and my mentors were able to incorporate much more to the book. Through their personal tastes and experience I now understand that one must first master previous rules and genres before beginning to bend the rules.
My First Phone Interview
“I’m not going to lie; I started crying when my mentor mentioned my name (in the newsletter). I knew that she was probably going to mention me and her other students in her interview, but I didn’t realize she was going to brag on me. It really meant a lot to read that. ESPECIALLY since I’m the student that came in knowing ZERO about the industry. So a big thanks yet again to RRF for taking interest in their students and their mentors, and a big thanks to the awesome Christine Chen for being patient with my “newness.” I’m having the time of my life learning everything so far!”
At the L.A. Studio
“The crews from L.A. were really great to work with, and it was a great experience to see how different their productions go compared to the work that we do at AD-Venture Videos. With getting to know them and see what they do, I could not be more certain that THIS, being a part of the entertainment industry and being the crew behind the scenes for the shoots, is most definitely what I want to continue doing and learning about. There are a lot of different jobs to learn about and I want to be able to do at least a little bit of everything. I will find one job I would want to specialize in, but for now, I want to learn basically everything.”
“My second class was held at Rite Media Group, same as the first, and the folks who work there is courteous and helpful. I’ve really enjoyed the brief time I’ve been able to observe them in action. During this lesson time, Steve and I continued our discussion about camera operation. We discussed follow-focus and different accessories that are used to make this happen, both manual and electronic/wireless options to meet the needs of focusing on scenes as they move through their blocked positions. We also discussed the various differences in selecting a still and cinema camera (specifically the sensor sizes for FX vs DX Nikon DSLRs). It’s these little discussions that I find helpful because some more seasoned than I may take that information for granted; I am still in the process of learning what I do not know.”
I must have spent about 50 hours on set this week!
“I learned a lot about equipment and how to set it up safely (C-Stands, Stingers, Fabric and screens used to carve or “paint with light,” how to operate a fog machine, how to figure out how many volts can go into a generator, etc). I can now confidently set-up a 12×12 frame with little help! Being able to observe the different departments and all the considerations that they have to make was great, especially as everyone was helpful and good at communicating. I think one of my favorite parts of the first shoot were operating a fog machine and seeing how people come together during a low budget film when obstacles arise.”
How to Make a Video
“I was able to start this video from the beginning to near end. At AD-Venture Videos, we were making a video to help clients and other people as well on what to be prepared for when wanting to make a video. At first, we started with the script and what we wanted to put on the video, then we wrote down a storyboard getting ideas on which shots to take. Although it took a while for us to finish this video, because there were other things to do for clients, we did finally get to finish our video and upload it to YouTube.”
I DEFINITELY don’t want to miss another opportunity to be on a set!
“One day, while at my day job, I received an email from Christine asking if I would be interested in going with her and one of her staff members to shoot a commercial in Galveston, TX. It’s on a Monday so she knew I would probably have work, but I’m glad she asked, because I was able to get the day off. Since I wasn’t able to make the music video filming, I DEFINITELY don’t want to miss another opportunity to be on a set!”
This program is just flying by!
“Every week I am getting closer and closer to completing the next chapter of the curriculum. I am also writing new pages for my first feature. I can’t believe it! I am writing my own screenplay! This school has been such a blessing and I have had many doors open. Things are slowly starting to fall into place and I cannot wait to start getting more in depth with the school as well as my career choice. My mentor wants me to work more with him on a documentary he is working on and he helped me get an internship a few months ago. In the past few chapters of the online course work, there have been some of The Hollywood Reporter’s Roundtable videos. I highly recommend watching the others on YouTube or their website. It is great hearing what other professional have to say as well as getting another perspective on what it takes to make things happen in this industry.”
Today was my first day of actual school
“I read my first chapter and got the quiz done. Tomorrow I will be meeting with the mentors and we have a video shoot! Pretty excited about that and of starting school!”
Working on a new project
“I got an email yesterday from someone with Film Connection: they wanted to interview me due to my connection with Autism in America. I missed the call when I was taking a nap (which I do whenever I can, it really helps) and ended up playing phone tag throughout the day. Apparently they actually read these blog things…. guess it’s a good thing I spell check them!”
I loved the challenge and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me!
“To me, having to cut and piece together music videos shot from that many angles was like putting a puzzle together, except I had to create the idea of what the final puzzle was going to look like instead of having one already done to go off of. The two videos that I ended up finishing were so good the band posted them on all of their social media sites. I absolutely loved this project and I feel like I learned so much from them.”
I hope to have a first draft of the video done by early next week.
“This week we continued to work on the BC apprentice house and made final adjustments to each room. We ended out the week with a shoot in Riverside, NJ where I was hired to film the full Reenactment of Jesus being nailed to the cross. Doug Sakmann provided all of the special effects work while I was behind the camera capturing it all! The shoot went smoothly and we are now in the post production editing process which I am also taking full control of. I hope to have a first draft of the video done by early next week.”
Behind the scenes!
“I went over all of my course work with Hallie today and also watched and added some input of behind the scenes footage and voiceovers! I had a blast!”
In the end a lot was learned.
“I got to play with the equipment and feel that I have a better vocabulary about what is what. I worked a lot with lighting on this project! One aspect that I tried to do was watch and listen to the director and the DP work together how they communicate and how my mentor talks to his cast and crew.”
What it really means to be a good director.
“After we finished reading over the quizzes, my mentors showed me what I had missed the day before. They were working on an eye glasses ad using a green screen! Jim started explaining to me what was being done that day, and turns to the lights. He stands in front of the 2k with a large diffuser in front of it, and then removes the diffuser to show me the difference between hard light and soft light. After the door rings he asks Tony, the DP, to explain to me even further. Tony begins to introduce me to the setup of the lights, and then takes a tennis ball and places it in front of the camera. He points a light to it and talks about dimension. When the light was placed behind it, the shadows made it look a lot more three dimensional. Then he placed the light on the right side, casting a shadow on the left of the ball. He continued to tell me some basics on lighting using some terms that I couldn’t wrap my head around. The whole time I was thinking, “I really have a lot to learn.” It made me extremely glad though, because that was why I came here.”
I’m headed in the right direction with my life.
“I’ve had NUMEROUS friends tell me and even my parents the change they’ve recognized in me. I’m happier they say, and I would have to agree with them. It’s because I feel like for the first time in a long time that I’m headed in the right direction with my life.”
I helped as a production assistant for the shoot.
“Carrying around lighting and power cords was the majority of the work, but not all. I was asked first to be an extra in a shot. I gladly accepted and thought that was it. Later on though I was asked if I would be comfortable doing a talking part as a customer. I felt the normal butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling but again I gladly accepted. We did the shot and afterwards I got to watch the scene through the monitor and was surprised to see that I did a good job. If this is anything like the rest of my schooling is going to be then I can’t wait to continue.”
Beginning of Second Draft
“John Raffo has read and likes my screenplay, even saying that he was surprised and didn’t know what to expect out of my script. But he really likes the elements of the story and how colorful my dialogue is. Just need to iron out some story elements and shorten it a tad so it can be its best. I’m very happy and satisfied with the critique.”
A Star is Born…
“Up and at it super early this morning for a shoot in Delray with Andy. It was the second part of the vacuum cleaner infomercial that we had shot a few weeks ago. I showed up early to help set up for the day. We were shooting at a beautiful house on a lake. What’s been interesting is that every shoot I’ve been on so far has been at a different location, so I’ve gotten to see a variety of different shooting locations, and see how you set up and work in several different ways.”