Film Connection's Student Success Stories, Page 5
Soon my mentor and I will get to work on a short film
“Working with my mentor has been great! I truly am grateful for having the opportunity to work with him. We got to work on a music video. It was really cool working on that set. It was pretty stressful, not going to lie, but it was still an amazing experience. Soon my mentor and I will get to work on a short film and I can’t wait.”
Creating an environment.
“Of the different sets that I have been on it has been very interesting to note the environment that is created. It seems to me that the environment that has been created on set comes down from on top. That the tone of the set is set by the people in charge, mostly the director. And there is a trickle-down effect from how the director approaches the movie that they are working on. If they take it very seriously the people that are working on their film will take it seriously. If the people in power are willing to listen and work with the crew that creates a whole new environment. It is one thing to see it from the sidelines, and how it influences the different aspects of a film set, but it is another challenge to notice it while you are the one in the position of power. It makes me wonder what kind of tone and environment that I will set when I get to direct my own projects.”
My mentor helped me through it.
“My mentor and I ended up meeting at a different location on this day but it wasn’t that far. We talked about chapter 4 and we went over the answers. I had a question about one of the questions because I wasn’t quite sure what it meant but my mentor helped me through it. I showed him my final pictures for the scene and he said for me to edit them some bit and so I’ve been working on that.”
I thought I was just going to be watching, but I’m fortunate that she let me get in and get my hands dirty.
“My mentor actually let me take a camera around the event and shoot by myself. She of course showed me how to work the camera, but after that she released me out into the wild. I also did a lot of the panning back and forth from shots with the still camera during the speech. I definitely still have some work to do, but all in all I was pretty darn happy with myself seeing as how it was my first time. I thought I was just going to be watching, but I’m fortunate that she let me get in and get my hands dirty.”
…it helped me familiarize myself with the different types of equipment used for shooting.
“On Thursday, January 29th, 2015 Adam and I arrived at a company called Infragistics in Cranbury, NJ. It was an exciting day for me because not only was it a 1 on 1 session, but I received a little bit more of the hands on training I was looking for. We basically shot different footages throughout the facility of people either working at their desks or interacting with each other within the work environment. I was his right hand man sort of speak. If Adam needed different types of lenses, or needed me to grab a certain wire for a camera I was right there to do so. It was great, because it helped me familiarize myself with the different types of equipment used for shooting.”
I’m not done with it, but I know it will only continue to get better.
“My mentor reviewed the editing work I had been doing since we last met. She says that she thinks I have the hang of it and gave me some tips on how to improve what I did have. I had a LOT of cuts in the beginning of the project because I was trying to get out all of the “ums” and “you knows”, but she imparted the knowledge that it’s best to leave some of those in there to benefit the look of the video (not so jumpy). I couldn’t agree more. It looks tons better since I’ve followed that direction. I’m not done with it, but I know it will only continue to get better.”
My idea helped to expand the producer’s interest into the project.
“In this session of our weekly meet I learned how to communicate, and sell an idea to a producer. In this session I mainly watched and took notes. When discussing marketing Bainbridge I offered the idea of a comic book. The producer and Hershel both loved the idea. Hershel is friends with a local artist who works in that medium. My idea helped to expand the producer’s interest into the project. We discussed many of the possibilities that a comic book can and will bring to the marketing aspect of the series release.”
I look forward to doing it again and learning even more.
“The shoot ended and Zac made sure all the forms were signed as needed. Mike and I took the equipment down and packed up, he showed me how to fold the sound cords so as not crinkle them up, and we loaded everything up and drove back to Nashville. We had stopped for Lunch on the way up and stopped for Dinner on the way back, Zac paid for our meals as we were helping his shoot so that was cool. All in all we spent about 5 1/2 to 6 hours driving for a two hour shoot. I asked Zac how much of that would be in the film and he stated it was maybe Five minutes all told, we would see during the editing process. Two hours for only a few minutes’ worth of film time. This is how things go in the world of film shoots I suppose. Not terribly stressful and I learned a bit about how Zac works and what is expected on-set.”
Why did I wait so long?
“For the past couple of days I’ve been working on my film reel. This has been a treat because I’ve gotten a chance to go through all my old work, some of which I haven’t watched in a long time. Adobe Premier is becoming more and more familiar to me. Also I’ve been reading up about aspect ratio. I know what it is but, not the proper measurements for different formats. Other than that just really enjoying my time here and trying to soak up as much info as possible.”
First for Everything
“Had my first session with Jason yesterday and I have to say that I’m already excited to go to the next one. We built a cinema rig for an upcoming shoot and just UHG cameras, I love them. I’ve been told next time I get to try my hand at building it myself, so that’ll be interesting. Also got three screenplay ideas cranked out and chose one of them to go further with today. I’m now ready to have a movie watching marathon since I was collecting titles from chapter one to watch later; I will also have some adding to my list as research for the screenplay I’ll be writing. Time to make some popcorn and get to watching!”
“I just wanted to use this opportunity to really experiment with all the steps of making a short film. For my first project, “Ghost Killaz” I chose to write, direct, compose, and edit. Through that experience I was really able to find my strengths and weaknesses as well as get a better Idea of what I enjoy doing most while working on a film, as of now I really enjoy writing and directing.”
We are wrapping our shoot this week.
“It has been very informative working on this set. It has been interesting to see how relationships for. And how quickly these strong bonds can be made within a department. Many of the people might have meet each other before working on this project but by the end of it many would go to bat for each other. It has been an interesting progression watching as this develops. That being said I am sure that there will be a similar process on the next set. Where people don’t really know each other and will have to prove that they have value to each other. The other thing that I am really looking forward to is seeing the final product. It will be very educational to see what the fruits of our labor look like on screen. I know what some of the choices people made look like in the moment, but the real question is how they will play on screen after we have had some time away to digest the scene that we had just built. It will also be educational to see how the effects that we making turn out on screen.”
Learned a valuable lesson at the shoot.
“On Wednesday we began work at 9am at the Ford’s Fitness center. On this day I worked on recording sound. My mentor was brought on to be a camera man during this production. One lesson I will take away from this experience is that a director must communicate with his/her crew. The director did not do this with us and on the first day we did not capture what he wanted. I believe that it is important to communicate with everyone beforehand to insure that you as the director get what you want.”
These past few weeks I have had the opportunity to work on a film set.
“These past few weeks I have had the opportunity to work on a film set. It has been a very interesting experience. I have found it fascinating to see how each department has their own niche on set. And how the different departments coordinate through the AD and others to make the best possible picture arrive on screen. The other thing that I find really interesting is to see how an idea will start from the script, be molded by the director, and then used by the director of photography. The director of photography will use the idea to get an idea of the atmosphere he needs to build for the scene at hand. He will then give the idea to the gaffer, who then gives it to the electricians and grips. They then build the atmosphere with lights and other equipment. While they are doing that hair and makeup are getting the actors ready for the light and the art department makes sure that everything is ready for the set. There are all of these moving parts coordinating to make a set work. I think that it is awesome and it has been a lot of fun.”
We were shooting a commercial
“My next trip out with Ahptic Productions was and early morning, but a long hard working day. We were shooting a commercial for Simplified Tax and Accounting Services Company. They wanted to get their marketing out for everyone to see. Are cameras were set up on a sliding dolly and a 48″ camera slider. We started off at the company’s main location over in Lansing, MI. We filmed two spots out of the whole place and took about twenty five takes total. The hours went by fast, but we got what we needed to be done.”
I learned that it’s all about time management
“For Week 2, I woke up at 3 A.M because Jon was doing a shoot for The Paper Store in New Hampshire. I was very tired, but I was also excited; it was my first shoot ever, so I was ready for whatever. We got everything going at around 6 A.M; I helped Jon and the other interns with the dolly and then I helped Jon’s lighting assistant. Overall, I thought the shoot went smooth. I thought Jon was very professional and always on the ball going from shot to shot; we finished up at around 9 A.M. He got some action shots of shoppers and then some basic merchandise shots. I learned that it’s all about time management; you only have a certain amount of time to film, so you need to use it wisely.”
It was refreshing to see everyone pitching in
“This past week I was able to be on location during a production. We had a pretty small crew but it was very interesting nonetheless. I got to see how a guerrilla crew goes about getting everything done that a production needs to get done. And how on a film set there needs to be little ego because things have to get done. It was refreshing to see everyone pitching in to try and get the shots that we needed to get for the production.”
I’m roughly at the halfway point in my story
“I’m roughly at the halfway point in my story. I’m pushing myself to writing as much as I can muster, day by day. Not giving up now. Haven’t met up with Marcelo in a while, but it’s reasonable considering where I stand in terms of the chapter lessons we’ve covered, and how I need to finish my script.”
I’m going to finish what I started.
“I discussed with John Raffo, in regards to my progress slowly down a bit on writing. I explained to him that my discipline has been taking a considerable toll, as I told him that I feel the pressure of time constraints and pressure from others, as if I had deadline to commit to. John told me, and I completely understand and agree, that the worst offender and last thing that a creative artist should worry about, is time. He then suggested that I could schedule another day with my mentor to finish up my screenplay’s first draft, as the absence of the thought of anything to worry about will greatly assist me in my writing discipline and progress. I am grateful of my screenwriting mentor’s encouragement, advice, and thorough logistics and common knowledge towards a writer’s creative process. Or rather, a writer’s journey. I’m going to finish what I started.”
I found it very interesting to see how people market their movies
“This past week I was able to attend the American Film market. It was an experience to see all of these movies brought together in one place to be bought and sold. I found it very interesting to see how people market their movies to the buyers at the event; to see some of the things that the sellers thought that the buyers would be interested in. It was also interesting to see the human side of the American Film Market. Normally when thinking of buying and selling product the images of cold calculated business types comes to mind. The market was not like this. There were many times when I saw two old friends bump into each other and start catching up, with the conversation never broaching the topic of business. It was a refreshing feeling thinking that even at a place where movies are bought and sold to the world people are still being friendly.”
Choices define characters
“Choices define characters and have the greatest impact on the progression of a character driven story. But, it’s not just the big choices, like setting off on a quest, or saving the princess, or sacrificing yourself. In fact, the smallest choices, the choices that aren’t so obvious can play just as important a role. These tiny choices are what separate strong characters from weak ones, and great actors from not so great actors. But, above all else, the small choices are the answer to the problems of too many characters and needing more character development.”
Work hard, and be scary.
“The learning of film and it’s intricacies from others and reading about it, and how much of an impact it has on me as an individual, is what gives me incentive to keep pushing forward. I’m not trying to outdo others who are learning or in the same field as I am, I’m trying to outdo myself. As Robert Rodriguez once said, ‘Work hard, and be scary.'”
First job, yay!
“Jay, from Student Services, called me Friday night about a job. It’s a documentary about a Jazz player. Very interested, so I called the man who wants to make it and seems like a nice man and I’m very much going to do it. First job, yay!”
Lesson: Line Producing
“Throughout the morning, Marcelo and I went over and reviewed the cinematography and editing of various music videos and we agreed on the criticism we took from said videos. In addition, we went over the occupation and responsibilities that come with line producing. We finished the day by talking about my progress with John Raffo.”
We have our first official meet up this Thursday
“I finally met up with my new mentor and he is really down to earth and I am happy to work alongside with him. We have our first official meet up this Thursday to record some B-roll for his film in the making and will review chapter 7 Friday!”