May 31, 2010

3 Years of Editing Luke

Today I celebrate the third year since creating Editing Luke and beginning the process of uploading all of my edits and projects online - something I'm continuing to appreciate more and more as my portfolio grows.

Who knew it would come to this? Over 500 posts and growing, several original columns, over 150 edits uploaded, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of video views over several online venues, a comprehensive rehash of my film school and real world experience, and the motivation to still keep this project moving forward - so once again, who knew it would come to this? I'm not really sure that I thought this thing would have a life after film school. 


This site/blog has always been about channeling whatever creativity I felt I needed to release. It's continually evolving and changing just as my own perception of my projects does. However, what I really love about Editing Luke, and what I've become addicted to throughout the experience, is the feeling that I'm giving myself a sense of direction. Career wise and from a creative perspective, the goal of writing about my work or just sharing my thoughts has been therapeutic at the worst of times and a shot of adrenaline at the best.

What always surprises me about time is how 3 years can seem so quick and yet still so defining. This project has become a staple of my approach to film making, with promoting myself online and sharing my work, yet 3 years ago I was still in film school, still completely unsure of whether I was even going to find a related job, stressing about loans, etc. 

To have won 2nd place in the Yobi Film Competition just yesterday (after beating out 38 other filmmakers over a course of several months) only seems to further emphasize just how much of a transition has really been made. Not only have I overcome my fears from just several years ago, but I've taken more gratifying risks. In so many ways my post-university transition has faded away and here I am starting fresh again.


There's now been a history established here and many who never knew me before now at least know Editing Luke. I couldn't be more thankful for the support and feedback that I receive. I'm a creative guy and it's amazing to be able to share this scrapbook of media with anyone who is interested in taking a look. I think the best is yet to come.

Perhaps the real question isn't who knew it would come to this? Maybe it's who knew it would be this good? Thank you guys for helping to make it so.


Stats After 3 Years:
Blog Posts: 514
Blog Views: 85047
Video Views: 962173


May 30, 2010

Yobi Film Results

The results are in - I just wanted to let everyone know that I finished 2nd place in the Yobi Film Contest. While not the top prize, I'm still really happy about the outcome and had my expectations far exceeded.

It's been a long process that many of you have seen play out on my blog, but even 2nd place feels amazing. In this case, I felt the first place winner really did deserve it so I really am satisfied to have made it as far as I did. The show of support was incredible and I owe that all to you guys. Your votes helped me outlast 38 other filmmakers, which is no small feat.

With the next season of Yobi starting up I think I'll take this summer to come up with a brand new, more ambitious short to try my luck at the top spot for a third time. First season I finished 6th, Second season in 2nd place, maybe 3rd times the charm?

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you one more time for making the experience as memorable as it was. I'm actually very optimistic for everything going ahead in the next few months - including new film ideas.

With over 170,000 video views on the Geology Student alone it's tough to feel bad. Thanks for everything!

May 28, 2010

Movie Sounds Central

If you're anything like me you enjoy revisiting your favorite flicks. It's why I was so easily entertained by Movie Sounds Central, a site that lists numerous popular films and allows you to listen to audio clips of some of the best quotes from each.

A few of my personal favs include Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Spaceballs, and Swingers. I practically know these movies off by heart already, but it's fun listening to the clips and trying to remember how the scene actually played out. It's not a bad way to waste a few minutes if you've got 'em.

Check out the Movie Sounds Central index here.

May 26, 2010

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

One of the greatest buddy movies of all-time, Steven Spielberg's E.T. (1982) makes my list of Desert Island Flicks for numerous reasons.

E.T. was one of the very first movies I remember seeing as a kid. It seemed to perfectly capture the adventure and mystery of finding an alien while maintaining the perspective of a wide-eyed kid like Elliott. It made the world seem bigger, while reminding us that there's nothing quite like home.

The unlikely friendship between Elliott and E.T. is just as entertaining and heart-felt today as it was over 25 years ago. Finding a movie that holds up from childhood to adulthood is rare, and in my experience is full of more disappointment than surprise - but maybe I was destined to love E.T. from the beginning. As a kid, even before I even knew E.T. was a movie, we had various E.T. toys in the house. Born in 1984, my age timed me well for the releases on VHS. If E.T. was good enough as a plastic figurine, it was only cooler when I first saw him move.

 

By all accounts, E.T. is and was a blockbuster success so I'm hardly the first person to bring it to your attention. However, you may find yourself wondering what E.T. is like after all these years. It was actually someone elses' review that had me pop in the DVD again. Here's the excerpt from Collin Souter's article that sparked my interest:
 

"I believe in a good time as well as a thought-provoking challenge. I have always said that the best films are those that manage to be both (and by “good time,” I mean a laugh and a cry, because, let’s face it suckers, we secretly love to cry at the movies). “E.T.” may not be an intellectual’s smorgasbord, but it does showcase a director at the very top of his game. By the time Spielberg made “E.T.,” he had learned all his lessons from his previous hits (“Jaws,” “Close Encounters,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark”) and misses (“1941,” which I know is debatable). For this movie, he turned inward, put his camera at child-eye level and went for the quiet moments whenever he could. And, still, he didn’t let us leave the theater until we felt as though we had just been on the greatest roller-coaster ride of our lives". 

Spielberg is what pulls me even closer to this film now. What I've always respected in his work is, quite simply, his storytelling. Be it dinosaurs, sharks, raiders or aliens, it all makes me feel like I'm watching the work of someone who really knows what it's like to dream big, to imagine, and to take full advantage of what the movies are and can be. There's no doubt that E.T. embodies this spirit.

I think Spielberg's intent is to surprise and please his audience by building on classic concepts and universal themes - friendship, love, loss, growing up, etc. His characters and subjects have been constructed (sometimes literally) so well that they become destined for countless pop culture references. As one of the most bankable directors in history he's clearly been doing something right, and I find it inspiring to immerse myself in the work of a director that managed to take the mainstream route to success without sacrificing quality or originality.

 

E.T. is a simple but powerful story, with endearing characters, an underlying theme of tolerance and friendship. It makes me feel like a kid when I watch it, not just because I was when I first saw it, but because the film captures that innocence and playfulness that brings out the kid in all of us. It really is an amazing example of inspired storytelling and direction.
 

And you want to talk legacy? Who didn't pretend their bike could fly?

May 25, 2010

Please Vote For Me

Only 24 hours remain before the end of the Yobi Film Competition!

With over 2 months of promotion, more than 10 voting rounds survived, and 38 other filmmakers eliminated, I'm in the Top 2! It's an incredible accomplishment that I'm extremely humbled by, but it's not over until it's over.

Please use your email address to help me win by voting here.

Your last minute votes can make all the difference! This is for the finals, for the win!

Thanks for all your help throughout this entire experience everyone! Win or lose I have nothing but gratitude for all the support I've received from you all. Results will be announced Friday.


May 23, 2010

Concluding Yobi Film

To skip ahead and cast a final vote click here.

After months of voting, the seemingly endless weeks of promotion, and the incredible support from so many friends and strangers, it's come down to these last few days. In an international online film contest that started with a Top 40, I'm now one of only two filmmakers remaining. I've made it as far as I can without actually winning, and there's still a couple days to tip the scale in my favor.

I'll keep it simple, your vote could literally make all the difference in a competition that has been an incredibly tight race. All you need is an email address to vote. The contest officially wraps on Wednesday, May 26. Results are then revealed on Friday.

Your support and vote for my Yobi Film profile could result in a trip for me to check out the Toronto International Film Festival this year as well as a cash reward that would not only go towards supporting my future film projects, but would also help me repay the remaining portion of two of my student loans from film school. It's no exaggeration when I say that this reward could be life changing.

If you've found yourself visiting my blog over the almost 3 years that it's been around, I think you can probably appreciate just how passionate and committed I am to what I do. I don't take any of these opportunities for granted, and really do feel that I wouldn't have achieved half of the things I have without the support, motivation, and compassion of so many who have just wanted to see me do well or give me a moment of their time. I can't thank you enough, whether this is your first time or hundredth time visiting, it's means a lot.

Please help me complete my run in the Yobi Film contest by casting this final vote for me to win here. It only takes a moment and could honestly make all the difference. Thank you!

May 20, 2010

The Empire Strikes Back 'Premake' Edit

For all those who enjoy Star Wars, which I assume is almost everyone, you should check out this amazing found footage edit done by whoiseyevan.

What he does is source out old movie footage to create 'premakes' - trailers for modern or popular films in the style of films from the 1940's or 1950's. It's actually quite impressive that he was able to find so many clips that could double for the popular Star Wars characters. Whether Lucas took inspiration from any of these films is debatable, but the point is that the edit is so good it makes you believe he just might have.



May 18, 2010

Video Sampler

With numerous random clicks coming through from the Yobi Film site because of the contest, I thought it would be appropriate to create a sampler post to give everyone a bit more of a preview of my work and editing style. I picked out some recent favs that I'd love for you to check out.







May 16, 2010

Top 2 of Yobi Film!

To skip ahead and vote click here.

To say the least I'm absolutely amazed that this has happened. I never realistically thought that a little film school short that I made several years ago would be in the running for such an incredible prize - a trip for 2 to see the Toronto International Film Festival, a cash bonus, and the title of Filmmaker of the Year from the Yobi Filmmaking Contest.

To recap, all this began with 40 filmmakers. Over the last few months it's gone from Top 32, 24, 16, and 8 filmmakers, at which point it changed into a one by one elimination until we reached the Top 2. I'm now one of those 2 filmmakers left.

To help me win all you need to do is use your email address to cast a vote here. It's that simple.

My focus over the last few years has been wrapped up in independent web-based content - random shorts, edits, or parodies. It's a style that's suited me well. It's a style that also doesn't take itself too seriously which I think has helped me a lot - it's certainly a huge contrast to the other work that's been uploaded. Some may call it a fluke, but I'd like to think that a lot of other people enjoy a cheap laugh from time to time too.

My competitor (and other half of the Top 2) has shown some excellent work; cinematic, polished, and inspired. To be honest I think I'm the underdog in comparison. However, I'd love to win, and I'd at least like to go out with a bang knowing that I did all I could even if I lose. You can help me do that by voting, spreading the word, sharing my link, etc. If anything, let this blog serve as proof of just how passionate I am about what I do for a living.

I want to thank everyone who has shown their support, who votes and continues to vote, who has given me words of encouragement, and so on. So many of you have made this so much more than I thought it ever would be, and for that I can't thank you enough!

It all comes down to this final round - please help me with your vote one last time here. Thank you guys so much for making this such an awesome experience!


May 14, 2010

The New Portfolio Design

At the beginning of this year I launched a brand new site, an official portfolio at editingluke.com - you can see what the original site looked like in my first sneak peek here. Things were off to a great start, page views surpassed 1500 without me even doing anything. Well, the limelight faded quickly. Last month, the same site barely made 200 page views.

The sudden drop off in interest is a mixed bag, because although the traffic is now just a trickle of what it was, those who have told me they viewed my site were actually people offering editing projects. This was always the intended purpose of editingluke.com, so I began to rethink my presentation and who I was really trying to impress.The main problem I realized was that I was trying to be too broad, when in reality I already had everything I needed. Editing Luke as a blog provides re-occurring content, news, updates, and various production related tidbits surrounding my work - Editing Luke the portfolio (editingluke.com) really just needed/needs to be a business card.

I was trying to do too much with a space that didn't really need it. I've now redesigned and simplified a large portion of my portfolio site to breathe some new life into it. There's a more cohesive theme that not only ties the site together, but also compliments what I've already established with this blog. The new look is far more streamlined and easier to navigate (excess title pages were removed) this makes sampling my work faster and more enjoyable.

Check out more of the new look for yourself here.


May 12, 2010

Politics of Popularity

Whether I'm to be eliminated this week in the Yobi Filmmaking Competition or I'm to make the final two of the entire season, things have taken an interesting turn this round. After receiving a handful of negative comments both personally and on my profile, then realizing that the audio was out of sync in the highlight video recap for the round, I naturally began thinking that a few people were out to get me - and by that I mean just really wanted me to lose.

This has always been the issue with 'popular vote' contests as far as I've seen. People get their feelings hurt because the contest is really about who can best promote their work. I've experienced this time and time again where I've been sidelined - in fact, I felt this way in Yobi Film last year with my short the Gizmo Tree. I haven't discussed it much, but my choice behind pushing my short The Geology Student to the finals this year was as much about submitting something different as it was anything else.
The Geology Student was first made for a film class as a character study, and more than anything it's a parody of itself. It's campy, it's amateur, it's completely out of context - it's why I enjoy it so much. A bad educational film has never required less facts or purpose; love it or hate it the short isn't trying to sway or convince you of anything and in this contest in particular, I think it's the projects strength.

If this was the only film I'd ever made I'd better understand the frustration from those who I've played a role in eliminating, but this is merely 1 out of 100 other projects I've done. It's as much an experiment and test for myself to see how this short will do in competition - and so far, it's done amazingly well.
I understand completely why some throw their hands up in disgust (no one likes to lose) but like I said previously, this is about who can best promote their work. Individually, just like I'm doing now, we can all make cases for why we deserve the win, but it's actually nice to take comfort in the fact that winning here is pretty clearly defined - most votes wins. If you lose, you can sum it up to the fact you didn't get enough people to vote for you. Even if I lose this round, no one can say that I didn't make an effort to advertise - obviously. That is after all the point of the contest.

In addition to all this, from a creative standpoint the finals are technically about judging each filmmaker's entire Yobi profile. A platform that I've taken full advantage of by uploading over 10 shorts (massing over half a million views and counting). Anyone truly upset about The Geology Student advancing need only click my 'Other Entries' to see a range of other styles and edits that I've done. And hey, you've somehow found yourself on my blog, it's even easier to see what I'm talking about here - look around!

It's such a sensitive situation when you're competing with people that you can't even see. I at least put my face at the top of my blog so you have an idea who's writing. In any case, if this is the end of my finals experience this season I have no regrets. But, until I'm officially eliminated don't expect me to give up without a fight. Top 3 doesn't just happen by accident and I certainly won't apologize for it. In fact, let me instead say thank you to all of you who have supported and who continue to support me. This entire competition (win or lose) is just another great experience that you've helped me have.

I can't express my appreciation enough.

See my Yobi Profile here.

May 11, 2010

Singapore: Edits (2010)

To find yourself a world away in a foreign country for the first time is surreal. You quickly forget just what it took to get there when you're won over by the spectacle around you. For me, this was Singapore.

When I was asked in February if I'd like to go on a business trip with my co-work
er Stephanie, I was elated. Not just because I'd be paid to travel, but because Singapore was a destination that I never really saw myself going to.

I'm fairly well travelled around North America, but this was to be my first time putting my feet in the other side of an ocean. It was m
y first time travelling for over a day in the air (combining all my flights that is). It was the first time I answered 'business' to the 'are you traveling for business or pleasure' question.

Singapore was a mix of welc
ome and unexpected surprises. Never did I think that we'd be able to see and do so much while still working during our days. Somehow, we still managed to cross all of the big highlights off of our list, leaving us both feeling like we were truly able to explore the variety and individuality the country/city had to offer.

From eating exotic seafood along the coast of the Sout
h China Sea to taking in the view of the city from the Singapore Flyer, from cruising up the river through the heart of the financial district to an afternoon in the sun at Universal Studios on Sentosa Island, to the Red Dot Design Museum, the famous Merlion landmarks, the Night Safari at the Zoo, exploring an ornate Hindu temple, raising our glasses of Tiger beer at restaurants and clubs, and shopping on Orchard Road - we managed to play just as much as we worked.

I hoped, but never knew it would have turned out this good.







May 10, 2010

Top 3 of Yobi Film Finals!

To skip ahead and vote click here.

First of all, thank you to everyone who voted (and who will hopefully cast a vote again)! I can't tell you how happy I am to find myself with so much support in this film competition! It really is amazing!

The voting for the Yobi Film Competition has been going for two months now, and after making the Top 40 - here I am after all those weeks and rounds - 1 of 3 filmmakers in the running for Filmmaker of the Year!

I know I've been promoting my short The Geology Student throughout the contest, but as a finalist you're actually voting for my entire Yobi Film profile. This includes numerous short films that I've uploaded and my promotion within Yobi itself. This really is a huge deal for me - potentially opening a lot of new doors and helping me make a lot of contacts.

By taking a couple minutes and voting with your email address (no understatement here) you could absolutely change my life. If I were to win I'd get a trip to the Toronto International Film Festival and a chunk of cash that I could put towards bigger and better projects. Not too mention all of the promotion and exposure I'd continue to receive.

There are now only two voting rounds left before a winner is declared. It's so close that I'm really going to try and pull out all the stops.

Please help me spread the word, use your email address, post my link on facebook, tell your roommate, send an email, tell a coworker, etc. Any little bit can help and if any of you ever need a vote I'm there, haha.

Check out my profile and vote here.

May 8, 2010

The 500th Post

Here I am nearly 3 years into an online project titled Editing Luke, now writing my 500th post. While the anniversary celebrating will have to wait until the end of this month when this site officially turns 3, I'll use this milestone as an excuse to list 50 reasons (one for every 10 posts) why it's been so important to me to keep Editing Luke alive - effectively, 50 reasons why I blog.

  1. You never know who could be reading/watching.
  2. It's helped me create more of a name for myself.
  3. It makes my work relatable.
  4. It makes my work easy to identify.
  5. Writing my thoughts keeps me motivated.
  6. My entries have become time capsules.
  7. It stimulates creative feedback.
  8. It looks great to potential employers.
  9. It looks great to other artists.
  10. It gives my videos a one of a kind showcase.
  11. I've been able to map my growth.
  12. It contextualizes my film experiences.
  13. It's helped me get work.
  14. It's been essential for promoting my videos.
  15. It's been essential for campaigning during festivals.
  16. It makes me want to share more.
  17. It's inspired me to find other like-minded filmmakers.
  18. It makes me more observant.
  19. It's made me a stronger graphic designer.
  20. It's a place to vent.
  21. It helped me transition out of film school.
  22. It shows how serious I am about what I do.
  23. It's made me easier to find.
  24. It's given me creative discipline.
  25. It keeps me forward thinking.
  26. It's made my mistakes relevant lessons.
  27. It's amplified my successes.
  28. It gives me clout with other video-makers.
  29. It shows consistency and stability.
  30. It's allowed me to help other artists.
  31. It's allowed me to receive help.
  32. It connects me with complete strangers.
  33. It gets me honest reactions.
  34. It keeps my creative standards high.
  35. It's a reason to keep my work diverse.
  36. It keeps me organized.
  37. It's expanded my professional network.
  38. It keeps me engaged between projects.
  39. It keeps me competitive.
  40. It makes me a better writer.
  41. It makes me a better editor.
  42. It's an excuse to test my ideas.
  43. It gives me ownership of all my content.
  44. It helps me reflect.
  45. It makes me think about how I present myself.
  46. It makes me an example for others to follow.
  47. It makes me efficient.
  48. It allows me to reinvent myself regularly.
  49. As a filmmaker, it keeps me original.
  50. And above all, it's fun to do.

May 6, 2010

Universal Studios Singapore

And with this footage comes the final edit of my Singapore trip last month.

Universal Studios Singapore was never something Stephanie and I had planned prior to going. This was a business trip after all, and with only one full day off we weren't sure there'd be time for a theme park. Luckily, there was.

On the good word of some of the people we had been working with, on our Wednesday off we took a taxi and then the monorail out to Sentosa Island. Sentosa is nicknamed 'Resort World' because the entire place is undergoing a massive tourist overhaul. Fancy resorts, beaches, and attractions are popping up all over this island on the southern end of Singapore. Universal Studios itself only opened in March, so it was only a month old.

Not as big as the park in Hollywood (see my edit of that here) it doesn't incorporate a tram ride element, and instead is all theme park. It was actually just the right size to see comfortably in a single afternoon, which was nice because it didn't feel like we had to rush.  From a Madagascar section to a Shrek themed 'Far Far Away' to a popular Jurrassic Park zone, Stephanie and I actually enjoyed the Revenge of the Mummy Ride in Ancient Egypt the best. We ran on twice in a row, and all I have to compare it to is the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.

The Revenge of the Mummy ride is part tour of movie scenes, part storyline, and part surprise coaster. What was best about it was that it was a really good mix. Fire explosions, cracking walls, sounds of bugs swarming all over you, quick starts and stops, and then finally a thrilling coaster ride in the dark to finish it off! On the second time around I knew where the on-ride camera was and made devil horns at Stephanie. It made for a good souvenir photograph that I bought to take home.

All and all it was a fun afternoon, but the day was far from over. We followed up Universal Studios Singapore with a ride on the Singapore Flyer, and later that evening, with a cruise on the Singapore River Experience.



May 5, 2010

Film School Lesson: Film Theory

Of all the classes I took in film school, none were discussed with more direct disdain by fellow students than film theory courses. It's just talking about movies you say, but in actuality, it's a set of criteria established to define how we approach varying aspects cinema and how time has made such criteria more relevant. In a largely opinionated and biased way, film theory reinforces rules, genres, theme structures, etc. that make the movies the 'artform' that it is. 

It may not be an easy pill to swallow, but the truth is (film students) you need to know this stuff whether you get it from a professor, the library, or the video store. 


I was never one to do exactly what I was told, especially in film school, but I was still perceptive enough to know that challenging myself was the only way I was going to get better at what I was doing. Film theory, however, was still a hassle to me because I was so determined to make my own work that I wasn't interested in breaking down anyone else's movie. What I failed to initially realize, was that despite my lackluster interest in the classroom, I was actually educating myself on filmmaking theories by watching tons of old movies. As a film student - any serious interest in films outside of your lifespan is to be commended.

Yes, there is a difference between theory and history, but by simply acknowledging the work of Chaplin, early Scorsese, early Spielberg, Wilder, Kazan, and Capra (to name a very select few) I was actually teaching myself a lot about the basics of how to construct a story in numerous styles. My point being that there are numerous routes to the same goal (something reinforced over and over again in film). 


A filmmaker without knowledge of film theory is essentially mimicking a style that they've seen somewhere, trying to copy someone else's pattern to create comedy or drama. This is because they don't understand that there's a framework that gives meaning to the images they've chosen to showcase.  This is both incredibly basic and complex, and can include everything from editing style to the significance of the music chosen, a historical or regional context, and so on.  It's not that you can't figure some of these things out by experimenting, it's just that you're wasting your own time trying to discover a formula that countless others have been trying to share with you.   

In a simple example, it's the way a relationship can be created by just combining two images together. A shot of a face followed by a shot of an apple could be suggesting that the subject is hungry or has an interest in picking that apple up. Simple things like this help to explain why many student films are so wooden or overly didactic.  It's an art to learn how to subtlety convey meaning while naturally encouraging an audiences emotional response. 


For instance, we don't necessarily need to create a complex shot by shot of a character establishing that he's hungry.  Maybe we just need to hear his stomach growl. Why? A stomach growl is a universally recognized sound conveying hunger. Numerous layers can be added to this to establish context and meaning. Theory, for better or worse, is about heavy and repetitive discussions like this that aim to tap you into the culture and influence of the medium.

Relevance is also the essence of film theory; understanding what your work as a complete unit is saying about society and from what perspective it's doing so. From here we can break down scenes, dialogue, style, etc. Lot's of things will overlap.

Think closely about this, as whether you'd like to believe it or not every movie ever created does actually fit into some category or form of classification. What are you trying to say with your work?  What does it mean?  Why did you do it that way?  None of these answers are as simple as they first seem.


May 2, 2010

Top 4! Yobi Film Finals Continue!

To skip ahead and vote click here.

It's very exciting to think that I now have a 1 in 4 shot at winning Filmmaker of the Year from the Yobi Filmmaking Competition! To make the finals felt huge, but to come this close to the top feels both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Still, thank you all so much for your votes and helping me advance! This could really be a life changing opportunity just based on how many people are continuing to view my profile.

To help my streak continue, use your email address to cast a vote for me here.

Use your email addresses, help me spread the word, any and everything is appreciated and could help tip the scale in my favor. Thank you guys for all your efforts in helping me make the most of this incredible platform! Another wholehearted, thanks!

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