Jan 30, 2009

Day Dream Day (2008)

Late in the summer of 2008 I was anxious to make a new video and was feeling motivated by the fact that for the first time in years I didn't have to pack up and head off to university. More than anything, I wanted to create a personal piece about what I was feeling at that very moment, about how things suddenly seemed so wide open again after years of school had left me feeling stuck and uninspired.

By August I had saved a bit of money, my student debt was finally on the decline and I was comfortably settled back home. It had been 4 months since I left, and all in all it took about that long just to gain perspective on what I'd left behind and what exactly my new focus was going to be. In short, Day Dream Day was made to mark the end of a chapter.

Being in a nostalgic mood to start, I wrote a short poem to use as the structure for the project. The rooftop seemed like a good location to base my shoot around, not only because it felt symbolic in referencing my childhood neighbourhood, but because it was literally a place to have my head in the clouds. Throughout high school I remember climbing on the roof countless times during the summer just to be alone, and on occasion to catch the exhibition fireworks.

Day Dream Day, simply, is about the passing of time in pursuit of my own dreams/goals. I always get a little closer, and then naturally the dream gets bigger. I think we can all relate to this. Hence, the spacing in the title: day, dream, day instead of merely a 'daydream' day.

I've received many mixed reviews about how this short was concluded, despite general appreciation for the overall piece. I can't expect everyone to respond to the movie the same way I do, especially when it represents something quite personal. However, my choice for the conclusion was clear.

The poem/narration is about my continued focus on making movies, editing, and pursuing film as a career despite the risk and competition. To show this, in the conclusion of Day Dream Day I'm walking around on the roof, but here's the point - those walking clips are of me setting up my shots, moving the camera between takes, and putting the project together. After musing about creating new edits and projects, the conclusion is my attempt to show you - it's the candid footage between takes of me actually constructing Day Dream Day. It's done with the point of connecting the dream to the reality of what I want to do, and how I'm already doing it, how the very project you're watching serves my goal.

It's an otherwise clean cut little movie, about the summation of a not-so-clean cut journey through an education in filmmaking.

Day Dream Day (2008) Written and Directed by Luke Fandrich

Day Dream Day Poem:

Perched on the roof with the street at a glance,
An afternoon devoted to pondering chance.

The neighbourhood's silent, the possibility's there,
But you think to yourself, and you shift and you stare.

It's nice to be free, it's nice to be young,

Your potential, you reason, is so out strung.

You glance at the windows, the roofs, and ground,

It's a long way up, when the there's just pavement around.

The world is my oyster, the future my now,
So many questions, but most of them how.

I want to be seen, and I want to be heard,
But so high up, I think, there's only the birds.

So I'll get back to the ground, get my head from the clouds,
I'll shuffle and mingle, shake hands with the crowds.

I'll do what it takes, and I'll work the late hours,
I'll sacrifice some sleep, some meals, some showers.

I'm just another dreamer, another guy with some hope,
Just a man on a leash, tugged by someone elses rope.

But from here things look fine, with camera in hand,

I'll shoot what I'll see, I'll edit and I'll land.

All at once I won't do, cause I don't wanna fall,

I'll just ease myself back, while admiring it all.

But maybe not yet, not just for this minute,
I want to dream a bit more, and find myself lost in it.

Jan 28, 2009

Portfolio Preview

In an effort to put some of my down time to use, I started putting together a new DVD portfolio of some of my work. I recently upgraded my editing software to play with some new transitions and filters, and revising my portfolio seemed like the perfect opportunity to try them out. This preview will play as a lead in to my main menu on my reel where anyone can view samples of my projects. It's a brag fest, but I guess that's the point.

Jan 19, 2009

Video Postcards: A Decade

The first few posts I made on this blog back in June 2007, were about my travel edits - specifically my video postcards. The postcards were put together in December 2006 as part of an editing exercise I made for myself, where I captured all of my vacation footage and then linked it on a DVD. The main menu was a map, and by clicking on the various markers you could watch a short clip of each destination. It was part of a gift I was making for family and friends who I'd traveled with before.

Since then, my postcards have evolved into various projects, they've also undergone several re-edits, and some are exactly the same as the first time I put them together (ie. my Ontario postcards from 2000). Now there are over 20 travel edits. When I first wrote about my reason for making my Travelogs I said:

"At best they're polished recollections of various destinations, events and experiences, and at worst they're just snappy music videos. However, for those who have traveled with me and have found themselves watching one of these VVs (vacation videos) years later, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn't agree that the video became an essential piece of memorabilia in giving face to the experience."

It's true, as time has gone by the videos have proven their worth by holding on to a lot of the random moments that my friends, family and I associated with the various trips. You wouldn't necessarily pick up on the exact same things, but there again is the value of the work. Everyone sees something different, associates their own memories with the spot, picks up on something they missed themselves, or is given a quick glimpse of somewhere they've never been.

I'm not a world traveler yet, but ranging from the late summer of 1998 to the fall of 2008, these various vacation vids compile a wealth of personal memories in mere minutes. Because this blog began with reference to my postcards, it felt like an update was in order to bring all the shorts together in their different playlists at last. For as much as was shot, I want to clarify that this is not really the beginning, nor is it the end of the postcards. Part of the fun in having home video footage is being able to reflect on it for years to come. Here's to a decade.

Use the arrows to scroll through each playlist to see the edits for each location, and look under My Selected Videography in the sidebar to see the playlists separately.

Jan 16, 2009

One Banana (2001)

It was in January 2001. I was in grade 11, 16 years old, and as part of a communication technology class I made this short animation project. This project in fact was the one that kicked off my love of stop motion and inspired future projects like Clumsy Claus and Sitting Bull. The concept is very simple, just a tribesman after a banana in a tree. In terms of my own history, however, this project symbolizes a distinct change in the presentation of my work. Knowing full well that I'd have to debut this project in front of a large class, I focused very closely on the little details of my animation. Sure, the motion is choppy, but for an early attempt I'm still impressed with how the little flowers, the toilet paper roll tree, and my handmade tribesman hold up. It seems charming enough to share, despite it's obvious flaws.


The photo above was taken in 2005, and was a set I designed as part of a possible sequel to this movie, to be called 'Two Banana'. That project was never made, but I held onto the set in the hopes of making a new short. I've been considering making a new stop motion flick ever since coming across my old animations, but part of the charm in these is that they were really some of my first stop motion experiments.

Jan 14, 2009

Quirks (2009)

This new short is part documentary, part home video, part experimental, and what I consider to be a somewhat kitschy stereotypical depiction of what every film student experiences on one of their first film shoots. 

The footage, as you might have guessed, comes from an old film school project that I shot with classmates Cam Koroluk and Thomas Gallagher in 2004, originally titled The Brief History of Metric Time.

Brief History was the result of a Film 300 assignment in which every student in class wrote a script, and then two other students in class would act as either the director or producer for that project. This system worked on rotation so that every student got to experience the various roles played in the production process. 

For this project I was the director, hence, I took it upon myself to resurrect the footage after 4 years and cut it into something I actually felt was worth sharing. 

It seems to be a common occurance in all creative ventures when groups are involved that comprimises have to be made. I'm refering here to the film class, which was a very diverse and opinionated group. With the scripts randomly distributed, I didn't have much of a choice in terms of plot, and didn't really have a lot of time to rework the concept before shooting. It was always what I hated about shooting on film compared to shooting digital, there was so much equipment to be booked, and so much more to do just to get your exposures and audio right. 

On top of that, everyone always had their own projects on the go at the same time, so there wasn't an abundance of people to draw on for crew. Even in the best of circumstances, it was just a complicated process to pull everything together in these classes. 

The original film, focused on a man who invented a new system of time based on the metric system. The dialogue was divided by pages of nonsensical mathematical equations, and aside from that, there wasn't actually much to go on. The student who wrote our script was the type that if you were casting roles for stereotypical arts students, he'd fit the bill perfectly, which is to say that he didn't need his script to make sense because he already believed himself to be the next Fellini. 

The worst part was that the concept really wasn't a visual story. I guess dealing with these challenges was what film school was all about.

On a side note, I recall that my script was a comedy about a guy getting dropped off at the dorms by his parents. Inspired by my own experience in the fall of 2002, the group that shot my screenplay did a sweet job.

Quirks (OR: The Blurbs Behind a Lost Film School Project) is a fresh edit composed entirely of the raw footage that was captured to mini DV from the film we shot it on. My goal here is to give a little glimpse of my own film school history, with some quips about just how random the experience was.

While this project obviously wasn't technically 'lost', it stands to represent the handful of my film experiments that were. At the very least, Quirks is a symbol of just how far I've come since 2004. The 4 years and 3 months since this was shot seems like an incredibly long time ago, largely because of how much more prolific I've become with my filmmaking. It's why I felt it was finally worth sharing. I've grown up a bit I suppose.

Quirks (2009) Directed & Edited by Luke Fandrich
Starring Cam Koroluk / Produced by Thomas Gallagher

Jan 12, 2009

Video Playlists

One of the biggest challenges I've faced in maintaining my blog is keeping an order and structure to my posts, both past and present. Some of my edits have been removed or changed, I've changed, and as always, time gives you a different view and context of what some of your projects mean to you. This has resulted in a lot of back tracking.

I've always promoted this site as both a personal blog and portfolio, so there's been a steady mix of homevideo/vacation/everyday edits mixed in with my narrative/comedy/festival work. In my videography I've tried to give a simplified reference to a lot of the projects that I've uploaded and written about here. Just this weekend I was busy with a lot of fixing old links, uploading old videos to my account again, creating video playlists, and refreshing old posts that refer to some of my larger projects from over the years.

Editing Luke has really been an evolution, and I've noticed it more now than ever. I've never had so much of my footage as accessible as it is now, all in a single location, all referenced, and everyday a bit closer to having full stories posted about all the various individual productions. It's been a year and seven months in the making, and with that comes a certain strength in being able to talk about my creative growth with strangers and actually be able to share it with anyone who's interested in seeing it.

Below I've posted a collection of playlists that I recently updated/created over the weekend. Have a look and thanks for stopping by folks!

Jan 9, 2009

Hip Hop Ninny Shoe Satisfaction (2004)

I have only a handful of movies in my filmography that I'd actually categorize as stereotypical film school flicks. These are movies that are overly artsy, ambiguous, reference suicide or death, and every film student makes one at some point. They're experiments. That said, Hip Hop Ninny Shoe Satisfaction is actually quite an innocent and playful short in the guise of something far more pretentious.

The project was a joint undertaking with my friend Jennifer Eisler in the winter semester of 2004. We were both taking Film 202, which was a second year core production class focused on experimental film. This project specifically was an exercise in shooting with several types of 16mm film using the Bolex camera. Subsequently, my short Keys to Existence was my final project in this class.

Our original concept involved comparing and contrasting various parts of the body with similar machines and their functions. It seemed like a good idea when we wrote our proposal, but come the day of the shoot we were both feeling pretty uninspired. After a lengthy and cold Regina winter we were finally starting to see the effects of spring roll in so we decided to go for a walk instead.

Jen was wearing her classy 'old lady Eisler shoes' and that mixed with the melting snow, mud, sunshine, and project deadline had us going on a spontaneous whim. I started shooting Jen walking through the park, through puddles and on the playground equipment. It was honestly a big risk on our part, not only being concerned about our exposures with the film, but switching up our concept so suddenly. All I really remember about it now though, is that we both seemed to have a lot of fun that afternoon, which for me ended with a home cooked meal with the Eisler family - a big bonus after all the canned food I'd been eating in the dorms.

When all was said and done, I can't really remember the screening in class, but it's likely because our final projects would've also been in the works at that time. What does stick with me is the process of how this production unfolded, and the memories created from the stress and excitment of essentially winging it.

To me the title explains it all. Hip - as in artsy. Hop - quite literally jumping around. Ninny - foolish. Shoe - the subject. Satisfaction - the feeling after getting it done. Hip Hop Ninny Shoe Satisfaction, it just rolls off the tongue.

I can't expect everyone to respond to this short the way Jen and I would, but for us, I think this stands out as one of our classic film school experiments. And for that, it's hard not to be nostalgic.

Hip Hop Ninny Shoe Satisfaction (2004)
Directed by Luke Fandrich & Jennifer Eisler

Jan 8, 2009

Chico Bandito: Episode 4

This latest episode was filmed over the Christmas holidays, and is my first brand new short to debut in 2009. The Chico Bandito series can now be seen in HD directly on my YouTube account, which offers an excellent viewing experience, however, it's still nice to see things unfold here on the blog.

Episode 4 has been the most time consuming of the series to produce, and I expect that trend to continue with the episodes to come. Not only are the schemes getting bigger, but I'm trying new things each time and also trying to work my way along to the big conclusion. Like I've mentioned previously, this is all an exercise in editing, staging and movement as there's no dialogue to explain things throughout. It makes Chico's escape all the more universal. Plus, it's simple, clean and I like the structure of making serials as the concept is already there.

I can't say what's going to come next exactly, but it's sure to be good. In the meantime, enjoy the fourth installment of Chico Bandito!

Jan 3, 2009

Film School Lesson: Creating Options

I think one of the best lessons any young filmmaker can learn is to search out as many outlets as possible to share, discuss, and promote your work. When I graduated high school in 2002 YouTube wasn't even an option yet, and that's just one outlet that's made it considerably easier to get yourself noticed - and cheaper than film school.

When considering film school you have to weigh your financial situation, etc. to see if going is even feasible. While I'm not entirely convinced that the financial obligation is worth it, what film school does provide is a tremendous opportunity to network, gauge the level of your skill, and the time to experiment and improve. All of this provides you with more options as a filmmaker. Allow me to expand on this:


Whether it's with your classmates, your profs, the girl you met in Art History, or the friends you made at the campus pub, university lends itself to meeting new people on a daily basis. This is valuable for numerous reasons. The more people you have in your court, the more people you have to support you. You never know when you'll need someone to act in one of your shorts, someone to hold the camera, someone to vote for your movie in a contest, someone to tell you about the contest in the first place, someone to refer you for a job or get you hired themselves. Just like a spider spinning a web, the larger your network the more likely you are to catch opportunity. You have to work at this! People aren't just going to approach you, and you need to teach yourself how to take advantage of Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, etc. not just as a way to waste time, but as a way to build a following. The internet is the cheapest and most global outlet for reaching a lot of people with your ideas quickly.

On the surface I know all this sounds like a no-brainer, but of all the people I've met through film school and various student festivals, so few people actually take the time to do this. Start as soon as possible. The time and work it's taken for my blog and other online accounts to grow to the point of actually being able to significantly help me took months. But, the work does pay off if you're dedicated. This blog itself helped me campaign for votes in early 2008 and helped me win $3500 in an online video contest, as well, when I mentioned it in my job interview with Stream Media in May 2008 it immediately helped me make a strong first impression. I think you get the point.

Gauge Your Skill Level

All first year film students think that they're 'the shit'. We all start off this way because we're young and we've grown up having all our friends and family tell us that we're the next Spielberg because of that one video we made in 8th grade. Don't get me wrong, it's great having people cheer you on, but at some point you have to step up to the plate and ask yourself if working in film is a career choice or just a hobby.

As much as I've been impressed and inspired by my peers time and time again, I've also been incredibly embarrassed by some of the lazy work that I've had to screen my projects with in production classes. While no one is without their occasional flops, having film classes that allow you to talk about and receive feedback on your work allows you to see where you fit in the spectrum of things. It's where I was able to pinpoint my love for editing, and build confidence by giving and receiving critical comments. Just knowing that I'd have to defend the choices I made with my videos in class motivated me to work harder and produce the highest quality of project that I could. The exposure to lots of student films allowed me to see that all the work I had been doing helped put me above the curve.

Time to Experiment

To each their own, but for me, film school allowed me the time to experiment with various types of equipment, software, genres and styles. Had I gone from high school straight into the workforce I wouldn't have had the time to produce the number of short films that I did so quickly. I was able to learn techniques and tricks by being challenged by other peoples standards, and because of that, was able to refine my own style and develop a portfolio of work that represented the variety I was capable of. Practise is the only sure fire way to improve, and often without someone pushing us we don't feel the need to be quite as productive - and certainly in such a short period of time. 

Remember that in film, as in any art, you're competing against the person who may not necessarily have the best work, but instead against the person who is able to best sell it. Keeping an open mind, pushing yourself to grow in as many creative directions as possible, and learning to promote yourself will give you plenty of options when opportunity comes knocking. 

Jan 2, 2009

Follow This Blog! Please?

I just added the 'follow this blog' widget and now I feel so alone. I'm sure a bunch of you already know the deal with this, but if you use Blogger it's an easy way to keep tabs of the updates on various blogs by just looking at your blogspot dashboard. Plus, it's a free link to you via my blog.

So, if you find yourself surfing over here from time to time on Blogexplosion, Entrecard, Facebook, etc. why not click the link 'follow this blog' under Followers and add your face to the mix. I've finally just started searching out and adding my favs to my dashboard. So many blogs folks, but if you add your face to mine you can be sure that I'll click over to check yours out. Thanks!

Jan 1, 2009

Editing Luke in 2008

I have a lot to be grateful for, and in looking back at the last year I can't help but feel happy for all of the things that I was able to experience and do. With each new year we're reminded to take inventory of what we have, who we have, how are lives have changed and what we plan to do about it, good or bad. 2008 proved to be a very significant and challenging year for me, both personally and professionally, and I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you a few of the moments that made this passing year one that I won't soon forget.

January 4, 2008 - In my first blog post of the new year I vowed that, "by this time next year i'll have either concluded my lengthy and overdrawn stay at university with a degree, or I'll have just moved on from this experience altogether to take my shot in film without that piece of paper".  Turns out the degree wasn't in the cards.

January 13, 2008 - I made a random video on a trip to the Saskatchewan Science Centre with my friend Tyler. Thanks to a private tour from a new friend, Daya, it proved to be more exciting than I thought it would be and a nice break from the dead of winter.

February 19, 2008 - After several months of votes, views and messages I went to Sasktel to pick up my cheque for winning a total of $3700 in their Cell-ebrities Video Competition. The Gizmo Tree won 2nd ($3500), and my short Give it Time was in the Top 10 ($200).

March 22, 2008 - After months of deliberating, it was with this blog post that I made my peace with film school.

March 31, 2008 - In addition to turning 24 on this day, it was also when I uploaded my final and favourite episode of the Buick to the Future series.

April 22, 2008 - On this day I drove away from the University of Regina and the dorms for the last time. Deciding to leave was a tough decision, but it was also one of the smartest things I did in 2008.

May 31, 2008 - My blog, Editing Luke became a year old, and with that came a new found excitement and energy about what my blog/promotion could really do.

June 1, 2008 - In my first post-university job I started work at Stream Media Inc. as a corporate videographer and editor.  One of the initial highlights was getting to shoot aerial photography of Medicine Hat from a helicopter.  

June 3, 2008 - I started my Chico Bandito series (despite revamping and re-promoting it all again in December). 

June 28, 2008 - I received a message via my YouTube account about broadcasting my shorts Keys to Existence and A Chill in the Air on a short cinema showcase called Short Cuts in the USA.

July 17, 2008 - A visit from my sister lead to a new short film, Siblings.

July 19, 2008 - After a few new edits, Give it Time was accepted into the 2008 Youngcuts International Festival in Montreal and was nominated for Best Short Short - Movie under 3 minutes.

August 22, 2008 - Keys to Existence played numerous times over the weekend at Aeon 2008, a giant outdoor multi-media concert in the UK.

August 25, 2008 - I released a brand new short film, Day Dream Day.

October 15, 2008 - After a year and 4 months I finally hit 100,000 total video views.

November 15, 2008 - My animated shorts Clumsy Claus and Sitting Bull were revamped and uploaded after over 5 years without being seen.

November 22, 2008 - After a lengthy build up, I left for Las Vegas for a second time, and what a time it was!

Decemeber 21, 2008 - My movie The Gizmo Tree wins the top vote for week 17 of the YOBI.tv Filmmaking Contest and becomes a semi-finalist. The final vote will begin in March 2009.

What a year it was. Thank you all for sharing it with me, and here's to all of our continued efforts and success in 2009! Happy New Year!