Jul 27, 2012

Lucky Luke Comic Book

The Stampede is in town again, and it clued me into checking out this Lucky Luke comic book that was at my parents place.  Aside from Skywalker or Paul Newman's Cool Hand, Lucky Luke was another one of the nicknames I got as a kid.  He was a cowboy known 'to shoot faster than his shadow'.  This comic, Western Circus, was published in 1970.

Short of the name there isn't much similarity to me, but I was always a fan of the illustrations in this comic as a kid. I still am, they're really well done.  The most interesting part about this Western comic is that it's not even North American.  Lucky Luke is a popular Franco-Belgian comic series that has been translated into English.  

Jul 26, 2012

Misconceptions About Film School

Post-secondary education is a mixed bag of potential, stress, and promises.  Film school can be even messier when you consider that part of what it's selling is a connection to pop culture and the fantasy behind film and television production.  For anyone considering or who is already in a film program, here are some common misconceptions about film school that I'd like to dispel.   

1.  Film School Makes Filmmakers. FALSE.

Whether you're taking a technical or creative program, a film degree can't make the same promises as a degree in education or engineering can.  Film school is intended to help you understand the technical aspects of film production in cooperation with the creative elements that help fuel ideas, but ultimately, the onus is on you to develop yourself as an artist.  It's not that film school won't help foster your career, but it's real job is to nurture a talent that's already there within you, not create it from scratch.

2.  Your Grades Don't Matter. FALSE.

Frankly, your grades aren't as important as the work you create in film school, but you're fooling yourself if you think that you don't have to bother with marks.  Employers might not care as much, but your reputation with film profs can sink if you don't make an effort and that's just another way of cheating yourself out of improving.

3.  Film School is Easy.  FALSE.

It's easy to overlook the challenges of actually creating a film project, but the moment your tasked with writing, casting, shooting, editing, and screening a project on someone else's deadline you'll quickly realize that there's no coasting.

4.  Film School is a Ticket to the Top.  FALSE.

Many believe that a film school education will entitle them to working as a director, producer, editor, or screenplay writer as soon as they graduate.  This is rarely the case. Taking into account where you go to school, the kind of film program you take part in, and your personal connections, for the average person your education is simply a means of entering the industry, not starting out in your dream position. 

5. A Film Degree is Necessary.  FALSE.

Connections and experience matter more than a degree in film.  Speaking personally, employers have had far more interest in the festivals I've taken part in and the clients that I've worked for than where I went to school.

6.  Film School is the Most Practical Option.  FALSE.

Film School is simply an option, but the variables on whether it's the right choice for you come down to your location, financial situation, connections, and what you want to do. There are as many reasons not to go to film school as there are to go.  Great filmmakers are born from great experiences, and the real challenge is finding and creating your own.  

7.  Film School Provides Real World Experience.  FALSE.

It's unfortunate, but most film schools and programs are internal operations that serve to produce  degrees not real world experience.  There are exceptions, and some programs are more versatile than others, but the real focus is on developing a skill set, knowledge, and basic technical know-how about the medium of film.  This canned environment, while valuable, is often not entirely applicable to the work you're more likely to be doing when you graduate.

8.  (After Reading All of These) Film School Isn't Worth It.  FALSE.

As I've said many times, there are numerous reasons why film school isn't the right choice for everyone.  However, film school put me in touch with a handful of like-minded people that helped me grow creatively, helped me fine tune my interest in editing, helped me build a portfolio of work, and provided challenges that made me more fearless about how I approach media and clients.  Film school can be a springboard, but you have to be willing to jump.  

Jul 25, 2012

Weekend in the Mountains: Part 2

With the college gang reunited in Golden, BC it didn't take long for the old dynamic to fall back into place.  Daunean, Tyson, Sam, Jeanette, and I all lived in College West residence at the University of Regina, and because of that we are bonded for life by the suffering and hardships that we endured there.  That, and we all seem to appreciate stupid jokes and alcohol, so it's clear the universe wants us to be together.

On Saturday, July 21, it was finally time for Tyson and Kristi's wedding. I met up with Daunean and Ian for lunch before joining Sam, Jeanette, and Jen at the Golden Eagle Express Gondola. In addition to the very scenic surroundings at the Kicking Horse Resort, the ride up the mountain provided more impressive views. Sam made the mistake of hinting at her fear of heights, which only fueled a series of jokes about gondola related accidents. You could say we were all in good spirits.

At the top of the mountain it was noticeably colder, but the views were worth it.  From our seats on the terrace at Eagle's Eye we were able to see the peaks of Banff, Jasper, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks.  Not a bad setting for a wedding (or a photographer for that matter).

Tyson and Kristi soon made their way down the aisle and sealed the deal with a kiss. I managed to capture and edit a few minutes of really nice footage of the event.

Not long after we were back at the base of the mountain hanging out in the suite at the Mountaineer Lodge and having drinks. We were ready for the reception.

The night from there on was a blur of random conversations, dancing, playing with the photo booth, snacking, drinking, and haphazard picture taking. It was exactly what I think we were all hoping it would be. Everything seemed to go off without a hitch, and the energy was high.

The next morning, a bit hungover, I was rushing to checkout by 11 and get back on the road. Everyone was in between other plans and so things seemed to end as abruptly as they began. The jury is still out on who will be getting married next year to continue our annual reunion, however I'd be cool if we just forced an excuse for a party. Vegas is always nice.