Feb 27, 2008

Recap by Numbers

  • 11,395 Visitors to Editing Luke

  • 9 Months of Blogging

  • 113 Posts

  • 39 Videos on Youtube

  • 30,238 Views on Youtube

  • 958 Channel Views

  • 1,266 Average Monthly Blog Views

  • 10 Previous Blog Headers

  • 13 Blog Categories

  • 4,232 Views for my Buick to the Future Films

  • 7 Videos With 1000+ Views

  • 3 Videos With 2000+ Views

  • 6 Most Comments on a Single Post

  • 2,516 Videos I've Watched on Youtube since 2006

  • 73 Fandrix Films Facebook Group Members

  • 12 My Very Low # of Youtube Subscribers

  • 10 Minutes it took to do this Recap!
Once again, you can check out all my videos on my Youtube channel @ http://www.youtube.com/user/fandrix

Feb 19, 2008

Gizmo Tree: Contest Video

Here for the first time on YouTube and this blog is the Sasktel contest video that I've been talking about quite a bit over the last few weeks. Enjoy my winning short film, The Gizmo Tree.

Feb 18, 2008

Spliced: Documentary, Media & Iraq

I was going through some old files on my computer today and came across this article I wrote for the university newspaper back in the fall of 2005. There are probably three times as many films about the Iraq war out there now, most recently I watched No End in Sight and Iraq in Fragments, but there are still no easy explanations regarding the chaos occurring over there; no easy solutions either. Here's what I wrote back then:

Our perception of the world, likely now more than ever, is a result of a media induced society that aims at unleashing our empathy on those who have undergone some experience. It sounds vague, but let us not kid ourselves, anything can be news. This is the first lesson in understanding bias.

Perhaps you’re tired of reading, watching, or hearing about Iraq, but I have to admit that my own ambivalence towards what was happening over there was lifted after watching several documentaries. More than changing my views on Iraq, which wasn’t really my intent, they helped me to refine my views on the media.

The first documentary I watched was Control Room (2004), which provides insight into the infamous Al Jazeera network, and the perception of the war created by both Middle Eastern and American coverage.

After about a half an hour of watching I started to realize that I really had no idea what was going on in Iraq, or the middle east for that matter. I became conscious to the fact that my entire view of the war had been shaped by heated debates and broadcasts that often played the Americans as struggling heroes and the Iraqis as victims or lunatics.

Even worse, I realized that most Westerners who are not directly linked to the conflict are probably having their minds made up in much the same way.

Directed by Jehane Noujaim, Control Room is filmed in Iraq and focuses on many of the media correspondents and military spokespeople located there. It’s a real eye opener that delves into the problems of open and honest media when anyone can access it. However, the films real strong point is it’s realistic, no nonsense Iraqi perspective that allows you to come to your own conclusion about what you may be watching on the nightly news.

Of course, Michael Moore has to come up when talking about Iraq because of his latest release Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). This film takes an entirely different approach, because it’s strength and perhaps it’s flaw, is to inform through entertainment.

I have to admit that I became emotionally revved after seeing Moore’s film and was determined that Bush was wrong, the war was wrong, and Americans were crazy. But, regardless of your viewpoint, Fahrenheit’s real power is it’s ability to spawn discussion.

I’ve been with people who never expressed an opinion about the war, and after seeing this film, wouldn’t shut up about it.

Michael Moore has adopted a sketchy reputation for altering facts for the sake of making arguments. For that reason my eyes opened a little wider when I ran across Alan Peterson’s Fahrenhype 9/11 (2004).

Now I’m not saying who’s right and who’s wrong here, because in my opinion the truth lies somewhere between these two films. Moore is clearly a democrat and Peterson a republican, but from Peterson’s lesser known film I was amazed at hearing how some of the people who were in Moore’s film actually felt.

Ultimately these three films share very different opinions that are expressed in equally different ways. Although each of these films make great arguments, what I really got from these experiences was the reasoning to never accept easy answers.

Media is simply communication altered by perspective. The purpose and logic seems black and white. Although, at one time so did war, and yet here we are living in a world where buses, hotels and skyscrapers are targets and still most people don‘t understand why.

The answers are complicated, but the information is out there.

The good news is that if you’ve reached this point in my article you’ve at least attempted to understand another viewpoint. And for the sake of what I’m trying to say, that’s a good start. 

Feb 17, 2008

Fandrix Films on Facebook

I'm always looking for new ways to share my work, so a few weeks ago I created a facebook group to do just that. It's a really easy way for me to share quick updates regarding my work, and also provides a forum for my individual projects.

It's still in the works, but I think I'll enjoy it as it allows for more casual updates than the blog does at times. If you're interested you can view and join the new group here.

Also, you can always check out my other projects by viewing my YouTube channel and subscribing here.

Feb 15, 2008

College West Sunsets

Here are a few snapshots I took from the roof of College West, the university residence. Not a bad view at all. I've also attached my sunset time lapses below. 

Feb 12, 2008

Gizmo'd Out!

It's been nearly a week now since I found out and the reality has finally set in. Last Thursday I got the call with the news I'd hoped I'd hear - that I'd placed 2nd in the Sasktel Cell-ebrities competition with my film the Gizmo Tree and won $3500!

It's been a long process, but it's nice to finally be able to reflect on it all. The idea of participating in this contest came about back in August 2007, and it's a trip to think about how much has happened in that time.

I made 2 films (Give it Time & the Gizmo Tree); I told everyone I knew about the contest and my flicks; after Xmas had both of them were selected as Top 10 finalists; I promoted the hell out of The Gizmo Tree for 2 weeks of voting; I got the call just a week ago that I'd won 2nd place and that I'd be going in for an interview and to pick up my check!

I feel pretty good about the result too because I had been so concerned about being the only person directly promoting my film. Some of the other finalists had groups of people behind their projects. I never felt relaxed about the contest or my chances, but I felt like I did everything I possibly could have done to get the word out and collect votes.

It's kind of a big sigh of relief to be able to move on, especially with the satisfaction of reaching my goal to make it to the top 3. The contest was both exciting and consuming, and for that I'm going to miss it. It was great getting up in the morning and checking for comments on my film, or sharing the experience with friends, or getting feedback from strangers, etc. Having my film in direct competition with others also felt incredibly validating. I knew exactly what I was up against, but instead of worrying about others work I continually thought about ways to improve my promotion strategy (which lead to a YouTube video, facebook groups, regular emails, blog updates, etc.)

The cell-ebrities contest was another reminder of how much I've grown over the last few years. Each festival or contest I participate in I get a little more confident, a little stronger and better prepared for the next time around. I didn't have any excuses for my work, and I really feel like I've earned my reward.

At the same time it's been an emotional ride. I've been sharing this experience with my friend Tyler, whose film Gilligan also made the finals. When we found out that he didn't win one of the top 3 prizes it was an awkward situation to say the least. Obviously I was celebrating my victory and spreading the good news within my own camp of supporters, but at the same time I couldn't help but think about what Tyler was experiencing.

He's relatively knew to festival stuff, and just based on my own losses I knew it was hitting him hard. It was fun going head to head in this competition when we knew that winning one of the big prizes would have such a dramatic effect on our poor university lives. I'm very proud of our films regardless of this contest though, and I think with the initial shock of loss out of the way, Tyler realizes as well as I do what a great experience this was. We're both left with great films, something for our portfolios, and experience gained that will help us down the road.

With all this wrapped up now, I'd like to take this one last opportunity to say thank you to all of you who checked out my films, who voted, who shared your words of support, who ultimately helped me win! Whether I know you, or whether you just happened to hear about the contest over my blog, I just want to say thank you for your help! This win is a huge reward, and a huge financial boost to help pay some of my student debt.

Also, I want to say thanks to my friend Tyler who made this experience twice as much fun and rewarding. When I think of how much we talked about doing this, and sharing our strategies, etc. I feel like I can't wait to do it all again!

Thanks everyone!

Final results can be seen on the contest site:

Feb 10, 2008

Give it Time: Contest Video

Here is one of the videos i made for the Sasktel Cell-ebrities contest that placed in the top 10 (the other being The Gizmo Tree). The purpose of the contest was to make a cell phone related video of any kind at all. More details to come regarding the contest results and The Gizmo Tree. For now, check out Give it Time.

Feb 7, 2008

Feb 5, 2008

Silent Shoppers

I made this short film back in 2005. Originally it was a colourful, comic-like film called Yellow Tag Clearance, but not completely satisfied with it I re-edited the project into Silent Shoppers later that year. I always describe Silent Shoppers as a modern day silent film. It's a bit of fluff, inspired by seeing insane shoppers on Boxing Day. I think it's still a fun little film though, and hey, it won the Audience Choice Award at the Medicine Hat Film Festival.