Dec 31, 2009

End of a Decade

For as arbitrary as the date rolling over really is, I think we can't help but box things up, categorize, reminisce, and measure what made this time meaningful and significant. I remember the end of the nineties, if only because of how overblown Y2K was, but this is the first decade that I can actually say was experienced on my own merit. In many ways, if I were writing a story about my life the 00's would be an introduction, proof of my ambitions, but largely about finding meaning in what I wanted to do and who I was/am now.

In 2000 I was in high school, soon to be 16, and I generally felt like life was sh*t. It didn't help that all my spare time was eaten up by a job I hated and that my social life seemed to be in a continual flux - I just wanted to be independent already. My video work didn't branch too far out of the classroom these days, but I felt like I was on the cusp of big things as digital video cameras appeared (I ended up getting my D8 that summer) and home editing software became r
eadily available.

In 2002 I graduated, the planning for university was over in a flash, and soon I was in film school in Saskatchewan of all places. I thought I was awesome - and maybe I kind of was, haha, but in comparison I really didn't know where I was going. It's still amazing to me how aging makes you see that, even when at the time you thought you were really sharp. The uni route seemed like the only real option and so I went with the flow (out of province albeit) to have some 'real' experiences.

Somewhere between film theory and Keys I pinpointed my love for post-production and knew that editing was worth pursuing. In many ways, it felt relieving, less cliche, to say that I wanted to be an editor over a director or an actor - though technically
, I'd still be doing all of those.

Between '05-'07 I hit my stride with my first film festivals and contests, some becoming quite notable achievements for me, and soon began shifting more of my attention to self promotion and making myself known online. I had a simple Windows/MSN blog first in 2005, very casual, followed by a YouTube channel in 2006, and later the debut of this, Editing Luke in 2007 (which was really the push that changed things).

By late 2007 however, I was lost. University didn't make sense to me anymore, I was spending money I didn't have, and I battled with the feeling that m
y efforts were all for nothing. Debt, stress, and a fear of finding meaningful employment took its toll emotionally. Leaving school and heading back home in 2008 was both the lowest point of my decade, but without question also put me back on track.

Relief came quickly with my first post-uni job. Working with Stream Media became a huge ego boost as I was paid to edit and shoot corporate promotional videos (everything from commercials, highlight reels, and instructional materials). I slowly began repaying my loans, found new motivation in several festivals and contests, and for the first time in
years had some money in the bank.

With the economy suffering, 2009 had a rocky start, but I found more permanent work with a website that took interest in my video work. A copywriting position evolved into photography and editing content for them, with Stream Media still sending me projects as they came up. I even had some freelance work coming through.

It hasn't simply been a shift in my mindset or goals that's brought this decade to such an optimistic conclusion, but instead, it's the feeling that the
hard work is starting to pay dividends. I'm in a position to take bigger, more calculated risks now, and I'm not sure I'd be nearly as confident were it not for the personal wrestling and failures that I had to
confront as my university career evolved and ultimately collapsed. I can now see how university just wasn't for me, despite the years I invested there, it was, however, that cocoon that actually made me search out my personal ambitions, submit my work abroad, and shake my apathy to find opportunities that suited my motivations.

If anything I can say I don't regret going to uni because it would've been a bigger regret to miss out on some of those experiences, the lifestyle, and the time I needed to grow up - I only regret staying too long.

As this decade comes to a close I'm left with a sense of gratitude and relief for what's now behind me and simply chalked up to my personal experience. The road ahead seems just as risky and even more trying, but in 10 years I've learned a lot about myself, and perhaps most importantly, how to make myself happy. I think some people spend a lifetime trying to figure that one out.

Yes, things are changing pretty fast these days, but it feels like I'm finally riding the wave instead of drowning in it. Show me what you've got 2010!

Dec 29, 2009

Editing Luke in 2009

With the same checklist of ambitions weighing on my mind from years previous, the end of 2009 naturally leaves me critical about what I've done to advance myself over these last twelve months. It has been another great year, although not without its share of sacrifices to shed more of that film school debt and to prepare for a departure to a bigger city. 

That said, I have to have an optimistic outlook for 2010 - for the new decade entirely - because the change on the calendar represents a clear mark between the high school, university, young adult prep of the 00's and the young adult life, full independence, and creative career pursuit and fulfilment I'm expecting to experience in the '10s or teens (whatever we call this new decade).

As the clock rolls over find yourself another excuse to create something, share something, and inspire someone - if the new year reminds us of anything, it's that our time is what we make of it. Here are a few of the things that made my 2009 memorable:

January 2009 - Energized with the start of 2009 I began working on a portfolio preview to summarize some of my experiences. This clip was revised several times throughout the year, but the goal of showcasing my potential remained the focus.

January 14, 2009 - After finding the footage from one of my old film school projects I created a new short, Quirks (or: the Blurbs Behind a Lost Film School Project) as a stereotypical look/flashback regarding the creation of a student movie.

January 30, 2009
- Weeks of work with Stream Media resulted in one of the most ambitious editing projects that I'd cut for them - a four part series of promotional videos for the University of British Columbia, created using a range of impressive footage from a variety of contributors.

February 2009
- In an effort to complete the portfolio aspect of my blog, February saw a number of my older projects uploaded, receive official posts, and worked into my evolving videography layout - this trend continued throughout the year and subsequently inspired more creative ways to share my work with new video sites, links with similar projects, and the development of a new portfolio site by the end of 2009.

March 31, 2009
- On a return trip to Regina for my 25th birthday (also the city where I went to University) I took the opportunity to revisit a bunch of the locations that I had shot previous projects and reflect on what my departure from film school nearly a year earlier meant.

April 12, 2009 - Upon winning the weekly vote and entry into the Filmmaking contest back in December 2008, my short The Gizmo Tree entered the semi-finals for the first voting round of the competition. By mid-May I had made it from the Top 30 to the Top 10, but was eliminated just shy of the Final 5. While the loss was disappointing, my involvement in the contest resulted in thousands of additional views to my blog and a surge of over 60,000 video views for the projects I had uploaded. Here is one of the posts and the promotional videos I shared during the run - click here.

May 6, 2009
- Using footage I had shot in 2008 I cut together a new experimental short titled, I Was Dead.

May 26, 2009
- My new short along with the promotion on my blog put me in touch with The Reel Skinny (a podcast and movie blog). Featuring up and coming independent filmmakers, I was interviewed by Patrick for his Off Screen podcast series - click here.

May 31, 2009
- Editing Luke celebrated 2 years and new promotional edits followed!

June 5, 2009
- In a surprise sequel to my 2008 short, Siblings, my sister and I had fun creating an impromptu followup - watch Siblings 2 (best to see part 1 first to get the punchline of part 2).

June 9, 2009
- I started a brand new job for a major website retailer as a copywriter and photographer. My editing work with Stream Media continued on a contract basis.

June 21, 2009 - After the conclusion of season 1 of the Yobi Film contest, I entered my short The Geology Student for season 2 and was voted into the semi-finals once again as a weekly winner - click here.

August 2, 2009
- My video views surpassed 250,000 - a quarter million!

August 24, 2009
- My friend Dave and I left on an incredible road trip to Indio, California from Alberta. In a single week we found ourselves walking around Salt Lake City, watching Beatles Love in Vegas, eating at the end of the Newport Pier by the Pacific, sitting by the pool in Indio, up a mountain in Palm Springs, and exploring the stretches of desert out around the Salton Sea. The project, due to how much footage was shot and my indecisiveness in editing it, has yet to be completed - but I assure you it will be.  I also put together a photo book of the experience

October 11, 2009 - I cut together a simple Editor Profile to highlight a few of my projects.

November 2009
- With increased pressure from 2 jobs, additional freelance work, and a new interest in refining my online presence, several new columns were created to make coming up with ideas easier. Intended to increase readership and encourage involvement, I've continued to search out others who are interested in contributing content to find interest on Editing Luke. This was also when the idea to establish a specific portfolio site came about, with Editing Luke becoming the blog element of that new venture.

December 12, 2009
- My brand new holiday short, We Two Kings debuted and attracted a lot of positive feedback (online views from alone surpassed 70,000).

December 15, 2009
- Editing Luke is revamped and streamlined with a fresh new design and a simplified layout to make the content easier to access. With the new portfolio site nearing completion and elements of that design ready to be integrated into this blog, this month has really marked the start of an entirely new approach to how I'll promote my work online - click here.

2009 Overview
My total blog views grew from 29000 in January to over 68000 by December.
My total video views grew from 118000 in January to over 330000 by December.
Traffic both to my blog and for my videos in 2009 was greater than that of 2007 and 2008 combined.

This year has really allowed for some major changes in the near future. With the launch of not only a new site, but a new online hub for all my work, and a move later in 2010 thanks to the money I've been able to save, it feels like big things are on the horizon. That 'student transition' I've mentioned so many times since this blog was established is finally fading and I can see the fresh start and next step up on the horizon.

Put simply, 2010 is going to be exciting!

Here is one of my blog promos I made earlier this year - although it should now read 'over 400 blog posts' and over '300000 video views'. Things are sure changing fast.

Dec 26, 2009

Nearly Complete . . .

It should be immediately obvious if you've been here before that things have changed rather quickly over the last couple weeks on this blog. New graphic treatments, new links, a cleaner layout with more obvious tabs, and the promise of an even more dynamic approach to how I share videos and content in general.

Motivated entirely by the launch of a brand new portfolio site to compliment this one. What the portfolio site does is makes it easier for folks to directly find any of my projects, which often links back to the production notes or official project post that I've done here. The portfolio site is a hub for all my online activity, and this blog remains an important part of that - hence the need to merge concepts and broaden the brand 'Editing Luke' that I've created for myself.

Take a moment to check out the new tabs - all that's left is launching the portfolio site and activating those links. It's all about to happen pretty quick. Check in for a sneak peek in the coming week - the new site launches in days!

Dec 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

In the same tradition as every media outlet today, here's wishing you a Merry Christmas, the glad tidings, decked halls and so on and so forth! For the final time this season I've posted my holiday special, We Two Kings for you to enjoy. Have an amazing Christmas Day everyone!

Dec 24, 2009

Santa Claus Comes Tonight

And just like that all the waiting is over - it's time! From a series of early attempts at claymation in 2001, I thought it would be fitting to share Clumsy Claus one more time this season.  My old claymations (especially) feel very nostalgic and reminiscent of a time that I desperately wanted to teach myself how to do stop motion.  The movement is rough and obviously flawed, but as I've grown older I've learned to appreciate my past work more and more for what it represents - a willingness and ambition to stretch my creative boundaries.  They're fond memories of a simpler time, as the saying goes.

Who doesn't like campy Christmas animations anyway?  Soak up the holiday cheer, Santa Claus comes tonight.  Have a great Christmas Eve everyone!

Dec 23, 2009

In the Spirit of Giving, Christmas Morning

If you happen to be one of the those people who's still scrambling to buy those last minute gifts, I'm sorry, but that's unacceptable *sarcasm*. What ever happened to making your gifts? Showing a bit of personality and heart with something unique and original - something I'm sure your Mom or Dad would enjoy . . . they would enjoy that, right??

No matter what you're giving we're taught that it's the thought that counts - the thought - not the price point . . . although somehow that does reflect the thought of how generous you wanted to be or how much you felt that person deserved what you were giving. We all know deep down that it's the people we spend the holidays with that make the biggest impact. Good or bad, some gifts have a way of making us show our true colors.

Children should really know better though shouldn't they . . .

Dec 20, 2009

Do You Know Your Holiday Movies?

There's been countless specials, movies and TV shows to help us get in the Christmas spirit, but how many do you actually remember? If you're anything like me, you know them off by heart - it's kind of my thing though. So as a fun way to celebrate the lead up to Christmas I decided to compose a list of quotes from some of my favorite Christmas shows - how many can you guess correctly?  Answers are at the bottom.

1. "Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. My personal preference was for Lux, but I found Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness. Life Buoy, on the other hand..."

2. "If I live to be 100, I'll never forget that big snow storm a couple of years ago. The weather closed in and, well you might not believe it, but the world almost missed Christmas. Oh, excuse me, call me Sam. What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a talking snowman before?"

3. "Even weirdoes are cute when they're babies." 

4. "Wow, you're fast. I'm glad I caught up to you. I waited 5 hours for you. Why is your coat so big? So, good news - I saw a dog today. Have you seen a dog? You probably have. How was school? Was it fun? Did you get a lot of homework? Huh? Do you have any friends? Do you have a best friend? Does he have a big coat, too?..."

5. "No, you are a hallucination, brought on by alcohol. Russian Vodka, poisoned by Chernobyl."

6. "Me? You want *me* to be the director of the Christmas play?"

7. "Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"

8. "Can I sleep in your room? I don't want to sleep on the hide-a bed with Fuller. If he has something to drink, he'll wet the bed."

9. "At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe."

10. "Oh, I was just smelling - smiling. I was just blouse - browsing. I, uh, heh heh. Well, I guess it just wouldn't... Oh hee hee, it wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they - HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn't it?"


1. A Christmas Story (1983)
2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)
3. A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)
4. Elf (2003)
5. Scrooged (1988)
6. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
7. It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
8. Home Alone (1990)
9. Polar Express (2004)
10. Christmas Vacation (1989)

Dec 19, 2009

Filmmaker Quotes

When I first started this blog I posted some of my favorite director quotes in the sidebar to act as inspiration in pursuing my own goals. While I still consider these quotes to be great sources of inspiration, I'm removing them from my sidebar as part of my clean-up and reconstruction, and instead am posting them here for memories sake.

In my opinion these are still some of the best filmmaker quotes I've come across.

Charles Chaplin

"Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself."

Martin Scorsese

"Now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand how we see the world, and cinema is the best medium for doing this."

Steven Soderbergh

"Making a film that's supposed to be fun to watch is really hard - that's the weird irony of it."

Francis Ford Coppola

"The essence of cinema is editing. It's the combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy."

Robert Zemeckis

"I won an Academy Award when I was 44 years old, but I paid for it with my 20s. That decade of my life from film school till 30 was nothing but work, nothing but absolute, driving work. I had no money. I had no life."

Steven Spielberg

"I dream for a living."

Dec 17, 2009

We Two Kings Reactions

I want to thank everyone for the personal messages, emails, and facebook messages I received about my latest Christmas short, We Two Kings. I don't think I've ever heard the words 'cute' or 'adorable' to describe one of my shorts as often, but under the circumstances, my movie was intended to give people warm fuzzies for the holidays so I'll accept that as positive feedback, haha.

Also notable were the comments about how great the project looked. Like I said in the post, I couldn't have lucked out more with the fresh snow and great weather for a day to shoot. Even I have to admit, the overall look - fake crowns and all - surpassed my own creative expectations.

And finally, a lot of you commented on my quirky and irreverent humor - thank you! haha. I couldn't have summed it up better myself, and I'd be lying to say that awkward comedy isn't a personal favorite of mine. Tyler and I play well off each other and I think it shows in the projects he's helped me with.

We Two Kings has proven to be a great way for me to close out 2009 and welcome Christmas. Thanks to all of you for checking it out and sharing your feedback, it's been a lot of fun to receive (and please feel free to send more). At this point it's a long way off, but as several of you asked, sequel anyone?

What do y'know, here's the movie again :)

Dec 15, 2009

Under Construction

With my new portfolio site launching in just a few weeks, changes are being made all the way down the line to create the best possible online experience for those who want to watch, read, and explore my content.

The new site, part portfolio/part personal scrapbook, is going to act as a hub for all my online material. This blog, my YouTube channel, my complete works, Contact info, and much more will all be linked together for the first time on a single page. Accessing any video will be as simple as clicking my portfolio and scrolling the posters, sending me a personal email can be done directly through the new site, and the latest updates on this very blog will be automatically streaming on the main page so you can see if you've already read my latest post.

Aside from being more efficient, this entire process is about representing myself to the fullest. I want people to take interest in my videos and I want to make it easier and more enjoyable to find them. This is also about creating a cohesive look and brand for everything I do - a personal stamp - both literally and figuratively.

Editing Luke (the blog) will be getting a swanky new look along with an overhaul of some of the links and photos. This blog will become slightly more casual in the presence of a site that can adapt to my need for promotion - though don't kid yourself, blogs are meant to be self indulgent and I'll still be updating, haha.

I haven't even organized my YouTube account in months. With over 100 videos uploaded I think a re-design of my channel is likely to happen also.

It's exciting to feel like after several years of utilizing the Internet for my videos, I'm at a point where everything feels new again. I've done my trial run and had some mid-level successes, but this is a step up to the next plateau. If for nothing else, the feeling of consolidating everything I do creatively online makes this seem worth all the effort.

Watch for some big changes across the board as we countdown to the new decade, and be sure to comeback to see the brand new home site unveiled on January 1, 2010! Until then, consider everything to be under construction.

Dec 12, 2009

We Two Kings (2009)

With the holiday season upon us, my latest short, We Two Kings, marks the first time in several years that I've really gone out of my way to make a Christmas special. It's also the first time since Buick to the Future: Episode 4 (over a year and a half ago) that my friend Tyler and I have worked together on a project. Milestones aside though, what makes this short so memorable and exciting in my mind is how quickly the idea, shoot, and finished movie came together.

Tyler had talked about coming to Medicine Hat from Regina at the end of November for a visit and I suppose that's what sparked the idea for a Christmas short. I started writing out a rough script and thinking about locations which eventually had me focused on a simple comedic spin on the 'We Three Kings' Christmas carol. 

As if on cue, the day that Tyler arrived we got snow. That Saturday morning you couldn't have asked for a better Christmas setting. The temperature was cool, but not cold, the snow was untouched and sticking to the trees, and the wind was almost non-existent. Armed with our winter gear and our hastily constructed gold crowns, we headed down to Police Point, a giant natural park on the outskirts of the city to film.

The long and short of the story is that things continued without a hitch. Just as we were losing sunlight, we shot our final scenes. Our crowns held up as did our feet after an entire afternoon of walking around in brush and snow. With a few curious people looking on from their walks from time to time, the short came together relatively quickly, and surprisingly exactly how I'd written it.

As part of promoting this new project I cut together a teaser trailer. Thanks to my account on YobiFilm that trailer (at the time of this post) has already been viewed over 37,000 times on that site. To say that I've been excited about sharing this project is an understatement. I think it's turned out really well and I hope it helps to get you in the Christmas spirit.  

Also, I'd like to thank my friend Tyler for helping me out once again in not only bringing my rough idea to life, but for getting just as energized about the project and injecting his own energy into the mix. I think the fun we had making this shows, and when you have no budget, enthusiasm is the best currency. So, without further delay, enjoy a short that we're sure to talk about for many Christmas' to come.  

We Two Kings (2009)  
We Two Kings - YouTube Version

Dec 10, 2009

Inspired Singles: Issue 04 - Holiday Edition!

A single a day keeps your creativity in play.
Join me as I share some of my fav tunes in an effort to pay the inspiration forward.

Ladies and Gents, this is the Holiday Edition of:

Inspired Singles: Issue 04 by Luke Fandrich

Winter Skin by Jars of Clay

This haunting and mellow tune from Jars of Clay inspires images of people bundled up, walking in a winter haze. The whimsical chimes and simple piano chords add that Christmas sound which suggests that through the cold, there really is something incredible, magical even, about this time of year.

Merry Christmas, Here's to Many More by Relient k

With telling lyrics and a low key arrangement that grows with the song, this single reflects that building excitement (or perhaps acceptance) of the holidays. A nice transition towards the end of the song suggests that everything isn't really that bad, it's Christmas after all.

Holiday Road by Matt Pond

Made popular by Lindsay Buckingham for the Vacation series of movies, this cover by Matt Pond has a lot of charm. Ideal for those winter road trips and getaways to see family and friends, it'll be tough not to sing the chorus - and make the comparison that singing 'road' in the song is just as long as the road ahead.

Dec 7, 2009

Why Fandrix Productions?

For every filmmaker I assume there's a certain level of pride and identity wrapped up in what one chooses to call their production company. This company is either quite literally a business or simply a badge or brand that a filmmaker puts on his or her work to represent themselves and their body of work (usually both).

From Kevin Smith's View Askew to Tarantino's A Band Apart there's something immediately defining in seeing these credits on the screen. So after considering this I thought it was about time that I addressed this question myself. What's the story behind fandrix productions? Why fandrix?

Of course, the easy answer is that my name is Luke Fandrich and it doesn't take a scientist to recognize the connection between Fandrich and Fandrix. True, this is the inspiration for the name. The meat of the story is that I was 12 when I picked this name however. I was thinking about a production company name simply as a mark of ownership on the videos I was sharing with family and friends. This is Fandrich's video - or as it became, Fandrix.

As years passed and I reached my late teens I began to think more seriously about the name and what it meant to me. The more time rolled on, and as I found myself in film school, it became clear that I was locked in. There was no good reason to change my name, if simply for the reason that from the very first short amateur video I ever made up until then, you could see Fandrix Productions or fandrix on it.

Nostalgia and branding have made it so much more interesting, especially since over a decade has past since I started using fandrix. A stylized and hand drawn image of a TV with rabbit ears was my first logo - and it's still kicking around. I occasionally use it on my posters these days. I now have an actual old TV with rabbit ears that I use as part of my logo, or I simply use an image of the rooftop that I've incorporated into Editing Luke branding over the years. The fact that this production nickname has acquired a history of its own is reason enough to continue nurturing it.

While part of the name, logo, and branding is about playing around and creating an experience, there is also a lot to be said about making your work easily recognizable. My goal has never been about personal fame - but if people can recognize the name on the work and have that as a clue to who I am, that's ideal. I'd much rather have the John Hughes type of fame - you recognize the name and the work, but the average viewer probably couldn't pick him out of a line-up.

So, why fandrix? At this point it's because the name links me directly to my changing work from childhood to adulthood, it's a unique variation on my name that I've been able to popularize as representing only me, and I've been able to see myself grow and evolve with a name and logo that is capable of growing and evolving too. It's a time capsule of sorts, that's just too valuable to let go of.

And then again, why not?

Dec 4, 2009

Guy With A Library Card: Issue 02

Kiss the Sky
Written by M

Adventure. Just the mention of the word creates a mountain of possibilities. The mind wanders and you think of all the things that thrill you without any reason for this thrill. For some people it's tales of old with pirates or cowboys, for others, it's the realization that you are about to jump out of a perfectly good plane. As a young boy I was faced with an object that made these thoughts without mentioning a word. To this day when ever I see an image, a movie or am immersed in the wonder of mountains I escape in my own adventure.

A while back I was reminded of this boyish adventure but this time I connected it with the drive to be a filmmaker. I became familiar with a video called 911 by Jules and Gadeon Naudet. Typically I don't go for documentaries that seem like they might be new age propaganda. Yet this one had a specific allure I couldn't pass up and I knew the library would have it. This film was to have the only footage of the first plane hitting the World Trade Centre. The brothers just happened to be doing a documentary on how hard it is to become apart of the NYFD. They just happened to be on the street a few blocks from the World Trade Center and just happened to hear a noise and point the camera to it. The unexpected part was that, rather than taking a propagandist view, the film continues as an experience, as they travel with the NYFD and into the buildings as they fall, literally. It is likely the most intense movie I have ever seen and it seemed to escape most people's radar.

This documentary reminded me why I do what I do. I love the idea that my work in film and video can have such a profound meaning to so many. Most of all I love the idea that anything can happen. It makes the process a bit of an Adventure. After I watched this I couldn't help but think how I would have loved to be one of the Naudet brothers. Coming out of this experience having my life change, knowing how adverse I am, how capable I am and the thought that I could hold my composure through such extreme conditions. This very real possibility is one of my main attractions to documentaries, the “can you imagine?” being there for that moment, being fortunate enough to record it and share it.

On an off chance I saw a couple mountain documentaries sitting on the library shelf. One of them titled Everest Mountain of Dreams Mountain of Doom also reflected this want for adventure. A series of television and an award winning film all about touching the sky. If you look past the cheesy 90's production and outfits it really makes you want to reach the top of Everest. In my mind it seems like a very basic adventure, a “Where is the highest place on earth?” with answer and then response “Let's go there because we can.” The documentary concentrates on the pioneers who have tried conquering the summit, the climbers who got there and the issues they had, including two grisly pictures of two people literally frozen to death, frozen in position and frozen so badly their bone is exposed.

In the race to reach the top of Everest I couldn't help but think how it relates to my time in life right now. Particularity with this article. This is a first for me, writing this article, like climbing Everest, it will have challenges, and like many climbers it will take several attempts, some will make it and some will fail. But this is life. Anything worth doing is worth failing at several times, and for the one time you reach your goals, you do come away with that connection of who you are by learning new capabilities and pushing your limits while trying only to succeed the last effort.

I always like to explain Saskatchewan as a place of utopia. Thinking about the first explorers going through the hell that is the Canadian shield without proper technology and then finally reaching the prairies and thinking “Thank God”! Only to continue on and eventually see the Rockies and think “Crap!” or something much worse. Or maybe they were like me and just dumbfounded in the awe of something so spectacular that your mind wanders in a world of adventure. I guess what I am trying to say is, inspiration is sparked by adventure. Whether it is completely unrelated to what you do all you need is a starting point. When you begin something an adventure awaits, your own creativity boils and you'll soon realize that the two somehow cross a parallel path.

FYI- First Man to summit Everest: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
First Woman: Junko Tabei
First Without Oxygen: Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler
The top of the world is located at Latitude 27° 59' N, Longitude 86° 56' E and peaks at 8850m
Other recommended viewing: The Man Who Skied Down Everest
My next viewing: Everest: Beyond the Limit.

Dec 3, 2009

Another Indio Outio Poster

You may remember that back in September I debuted a selection of posters as well as the trailer(s) for my new movie/travelog/personal doc titled Indio Outio. The project has been pushed to the back burner several times by work, other independent edits, and by further personal projects (most recently, We Two Kings).

Indio Outio isn't being abandoned though - far from it. The reality is that I'm really focusing on the details of this edit because I want to do it right the first time. It's incredibly time consuming though as there's over 5 hours of footage that I'm trying to compress into an impressive 30min or less. Stay tuned, it should be worth it.

In the meantime, check out the trailer and the brand new poster.

Dec 1, 2009

Fandrix Holiday Mashup

In the past I've shared several Christmas shorts that weren't exactly big enough to command a lot of attention, but at the same time, weren't without their own set of charms. As a great way to kick off December and a series of holiday inspired posts, I thought it would be fitting to group these edits together for the first time to give them a bit more of a showcase.

The Fandrix Holiday Mashup is made up of 3 shorts - Clumsy Claus, a short claymation that I made way back in 2001 in as an animation exercise, Dorm Xmas Tree, a time lapse of me putting up my tree in university in 2006, and Sad Little Snowman, another time lapse of my friend Tyler and I building a snowman in less than ideal snowman weather from 2007. All of these are also a great lead in for my latest holiday short, We Two Kings, a brand new narrative that will be debuting December 12 here on Editing Luke.

Each short doesn't need much explanation, in each case they're just short videos that I have enjoyed sharing with family and friends as an easy way to spread some Christmas spirit. So, with that goal in mind, allow me to do the same once more.

Enjoy these holiday edits, and to you and yours, a very Merry Christmas!

Clumsy Claus (2001)
Dorm Xmas Tree (2006) Sad Little Snowman (2007)

Nov 29, 2009

We Two Kings Teaser

The holidays are fast approaching and for the first time in years I'm going to have an all new Christmas special to debut. Come December 12, 2009 We Two Kings, an all new comedy short that I shot with my friend Tyler, will premiere right here on Editing Luke. For the time being you can check out the new posters and the teaser trailer below. It's going to be a lot of fun to share this one! 

Nov 26, 2009

Some New/Old Posters

While working on my new site I realized that there were a few of my movies that didn't have posters with them. The new portfolio section of this brand new site I'm designing required visual markers so I got to work. Below are a few of the new posters for old films I just made - you can click the links to watch the projects again.

Nov 25, 2009

What Kind of Equipment Do You Use?

One of the most common questions I receive via my YouTube account is 'what kind of equipment do you use'? I always take this as a compliment, however indirect, because it means that someone liked what they saw and now wants to know how to do it for themselves. I also have to take pride in this because I've never considered myself overly technical about filmmaking - instead I approach things from the creative side, concepts and such.

My use of equipment has thus been fairly diverse and made up of what ever was easiest at the time. Starting back in late 2001 I experimented for the first time with digital editing software on the computer, but I had already put in ample time with VCR editing and even had a few cracks at professional dubbing and studio editing equipment thanks to communication technology classes in high school. It makes me feel old to think that I was just starting out on the cusp of what has now become the digital revolution - hello YouTube.

In any case, the equipment I use to day is a personal mix, a hybrid of programs that help me achieve an idea that I often already have in my head. For editing software I bounce between Pinnacle (an Avid program) and Adobe Premiere and Photoshop and shoot with either my small Samsung MiniDV or my larger Sony HDR-FX1 HDV cam. Pinnacle, along with my small Samsung camera, are both inexpensive and versatile tools that allow me to push the boundaries with their user friendly options. Pinnacle especially has been a convincing addition to my arsenal with a long list of customizable options and upgrades that rival the far more pricey pieces of software.

Ultimately I've always believed that it's not so much the equipment you use as it is the story you want to tell. Some of my best projects were shot on D8, a lesser digital format, but it really had no bearing on how the movies were received. Weaknesses can also be strengths when framed correctly - take the Blair Witch Project as an obvious example of getting the most out of very little (from a Hollywood perspective anyway).

I've used the adage many times that anyone can buy a pen and paper but that doesn't mean they'll write a great novel - the same is becoming true for videos. The equipment is becoming more and more affordable, but high resolution doesn't hide a lack of story or concept. Find out what you want to do and find the equipment to match. Part of the challenge is figuring out how to make due - even the big time directors have to learn this lesson.

All this in mind, take advantage of the low cost options available. Like I said, if you've got a great concept or story to tell you can attract just as many interested viewers whether your camera cost $500 or $5000.

Nov 24, 2009

Hold on 2009

Day job and social obligations aside, I've still got a lot to do before the end of 2009. I'm referring of course to my independent video projects. Yes, these are entirely personal pressures like completing Indio Outio, maybe even a final Chico Bandito episode, and getting my new site ready for January 1 - but given my state of mind these days, this checklist of projects feels more significant and essential than most have before.

The shift this year in my available time is notable more than ever because I've been so calculated in making sense of my transition through my final years in film school to this point - to making a living. The reality is that investing time in personal projects has started to come at a greater cost. It's largely what's fueling my shift to start 2010 with a new focus - less mini projects in exchange for a couple ambitious ones and a fresh and efficient online framework that allows me to stay connected without feeling the need to micro-manage my networks. You could even say that's what's started to happen this year, at least with the time being spent on Indio Outio, the completion of uploading and writing about my early work on Editing Luke, and an attempt at bringing new content/articles/columns to the table from like-minded writers/friends, etc.

I'm hoping to have another 2007 this 2010, meaning just a fresh sense of approach. I can already see parallels in that this blog kicked off that new chapter in '07, and the new site launching will do the same for 2010. On a personal front I'm trying to close the gap between video work as a hobby and as a professional showcase - I want these two things to blend, serve a dual purpose in fulfilling my creative whims and showcasing my individual skills (in many cases this is already true of my work, but the potential is there to grow). In my mind 2010 is going to symbolize the end of my post-uni transition and hopefully mark a fresh step up with a move to the city (to be determined) mid-year.

It's exciting, but I can't help but feel pressured by the things I've told myself I need to complete to make this feel like the fresh start it ought to be. At least the goal is clear and I still have the ability to productively challenge myself. I suppose the ticking clock is one of the best motivators - one month to go.

Nov 22, 2009

Inspired Singles: Issue 03

A single a day keeps your creativity in play.
Join me as I share some of my fav tunes in an effort to pay the inspiration forward.
Inspired Singles: Issue 03 by Luke Fandrich

Through & Through & Through by Joel Plaskett

This jaunty, folksy, up-tempo indie rock tune from Canadian artist Joel Plaskett is a great song to kick back to. The crisp guitar and pronounced harmonies within the chorus are just plain fun to listen to. Plus, as a great song to sing, it's exactly what inspired singles are supposed to be in my opinion.

You and I by Wilco

With mellow instrumentation, a clean beat, and soft, sentimental lyrics this track by Wilco has a great hook. I'm without a girl of my own, but this song feels both nostalgic and able to capture the images of that potential relationship waiting just around the corner.

Got My Mac On With iPhone 3Gs by Julian Smith

Falling for the new iPhone was enough to inspire Julian Smith, and in turn his song inspired me. The catchy lyrics and simple chords create a memorable homage to upgrading your technology.

Nov 17, 2009

Editing Luke Ends and Begins Again

For two and a half years I've spent countless hours refining, polishing, rewriting, and enhancing this blog - Editing Luke. The idea was that it was my portfolio and that investing this time was somehow worth it. Fellow readers and viewers I can't begin to express how much I've appreciated your interest and feedback throughout this process, but on January 1, 2010 everything is about to change . . .

This is the part of the post where I explain that there's no way I'd give up on this blog so easily and what I'm actually talking about is a complete reinvention of my brand and the launch of an actual site . . . and the crowd erupts in lackluster applause, haha.

Editing Luke as a blog has been valuable for numerous reasons which you need only scroll back a few posts to realize. What I mean by this is that this blog has provided a direct and ongoing way for me to speak my mind, share my videos, and connect with other artists, filmmakers, editors, etc. What it has struggled to do though is act as the portfolio and sleek promotional tool that I think it could be.

So, what's changing? For starters, come January 1, 2010 my brand new portfolio site will launch - not another blog, but an actual site. Editing Luke will then undergo some small revisions and re-branding to become the blog element of the new site. This won't really change the way you experience Editing Luke as it'll still be a stand alone website on blogger, however, this does change the hierarchy.

With the new site (still Editing Luke by the way) focused on the portfolio and professional side of my promotion this will free up this blog to take a more casual approach for observations. The hope is that it will make this blog even more dynamic and engaging, while the new host site adds the glossy package and clean styling that clearly highlights my work and myself. I think this fresh start at the beginning of a new decade is just what I need as I prepare for my next set of challenges ahead in 2010.

The design and construction of the new site is already underway. Stay tuned for more updates and some big changes before the end of the year!

Nov 12, 2009

Guy With A Library Card: Issue 01

Written by M

Hello and welcome to the first instalment of Guy With A Library Card. This column is a personal reflection based on two thoughts. The first idea is accessibility of information and the second is the notion that knowledge is power. I don't think I need to answer what these two concepts have to do with the library but I do think I should explain why this is not based on the Internet and its capabilities. I think the best way to do that is by explaining my own connection with this column.

In the beginning when I had no library card, I considered myself a pretty regular guy. I didn't really read books, so I thought I had no real need for the library. Despite this, I did develop a knack to retain useless bits of information to blurt out when ever they did come to mind. With this, came a passionate pursuit to learn everything I can about everything I do. Now I didn't realize this until my teens when all my time and effort went into home theatre equipment. 15 years later and my stereo is worth more than all four cars I have owned combined. I learned about the best and bought the best. This habit has stuck with me and continues to be my process with everything I buy. I research specs and brands to the point that it's pretty disgusting.

As I got older, started university and was out on my own, I continued with the no need for library policy including the university's. Then in my fourth year I noticed a roommate of mine was using the library. He kept taking out all these killer old cd's that are tough to find. Stuff like Dire Straits, Soul Coughing, Primus and old movie soundtracks. I started to play around on the library website and taking things out with his card. It was great because it was free and during university anything free is great. I started getting movies that I had not seen in ages like The Rock or Howard the Duck. I was so ecstatic that I became disappointed in myself that I hadn't discovered this before.

A short while later, school was done for good, I found work out of town and my roommate with the library card sold the house and moved away. With a stroke of luck I returned to my old stomping grounds and managed to pick up a lady friend who loved to read and also had a library card. So naturally I started using her card. A few more classic DVD's later and I was hooked back. This time not because it was free but because the content seemed endless; strange documentaries, pop cd's, block busters, TV shows, books and all on a single subject of choice. It wasn't long until I was taking out more stuff from the library than my girlfriend and she promptly made me get my own card.

Ever since then I’ve been visiting the library website almost daily and take out DVD's, CD's and even books regularly. If I get interested in a certain subject matter I search the library like Google and come up with all sorts of things I never imagined. The most enjoyable aspect of all of this is that it has helped me create a stronger bond with my daughter. We can both go into the library and come up with several things we want to check out even though we went in for no reason.

Looking back, it seems ridiculous that I was so reluctant to use the library. Even more shocking to me now is that it took so long for me to realize how great the library is. The strangest thing I have come to realize is that if I tracked the items that I have taken out that I could get a comprehensive look at my life. This is what this column is all about. The library creates life in a quest for knowledge through various mediums. It provides accurate already researched information. It is accessible and fitting for all ages. Lastly, it provides you physical contact with your material. Although it may be outdated by the Internet's standards I believe it to be a better source for these reasons.

So there you have it, the first rant for GWLC. The column will continue a little differently than this introductory piece but will be filled with my own personal thoughts, movie reviews and inspiration that all stem from a more and more forgotten resource, the library.

Nov 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

I was sent this article in an email and felt it was worth sharing, especially on Remembrance Day. It's interesting reading an article with a distinctly Canadian perspective when it was actually written by a British man, Kevin Myers of The Sunday Telegraph - a London newspaper. Quite simply, this article makes me even more proud of the Canadian sacrifice of those who, both past and present, risked and risk their lives to support and honor our freedoms.

On a day like today it's important to recognize this. 

Salute to a Brave and Modest Nation
by Kevin Myers

Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan , probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops are deployed in the region.

And as always, Canada will bury its dead, just as the rest of the world, as always will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.. It seems that Canada 's historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored.

Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, she risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent with the United States , and for being a selfless friend of Britain in two global conflicts.

For much of the 20th century, Canada was torn in two different directions: It seemed to be a part of the old world, yet had an address in the new one, and that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the gratitude it deserved.

Yet it's purely voluntary contribution to the cause of freedom in two world wars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy. Almost 10% of Canada's entire population of seven million people served in the armed forces during the First World War, and nearly 60,000 died. The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops, perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire British order of battle.

Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect, it's unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the popular memory as somehow or other the work of the 'British.'

The Second World War provided a re-run. The Canadian navy began the war with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the Atlantic against U-boat attack. More than 120 Canadian warships participated in the Normandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.

Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy and the fourth largest air force in the world. The world thanked Canada with the same sublime indifference as it had the previous time.

Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film only if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in a campaign in which the United States had clearly not participated - a touching scrupulousness which, of course, Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of a separate Canadian identity.

So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood keep their nationality - unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular perception become American, and Christopher Plummer, British.

It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian as a moose, or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any takers.

Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements of its sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely unaware of them. The Canadians proudly say of themselves - and are unheard by anyone else - that 1% of the world's population has provided 10% of the world's peacekeeping forces.

Canadian soldiers in the past half century have been the greatest peacekeepers on Earth - in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six on non-UN peacekeeping duties, from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.

Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-Canadian imagination was the sorry affair in Somalia , in which out-of-control paratroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators. Their regiment was then disbanded in disgrace - a uniquely Canadian act of self-abasement for which, naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.

So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selfless friendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan ?

Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac , Canada repeatedly does honourable things for honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it remains something of a figure of fun. It is the Canadian way, for which Canadians should be proud, yet such honour comes at a high cost. This past year more grieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.

Lest we forget.