Jun 29, 2009

Buick to the Future: Trilogy (2007)

Shrouded in the scientific mystery of time travel, automotive engineering, and the perplexities of the space-time continuum, came a project about . . . well, none of this. The project that would grow into a trilogy, later a series, started out as nothing more than a half-assed attempt at comedy and the means to jump start a brand new blog – this one.

“Obviously you’ve never heard of Good Vibrations”. It was with Doc’s closing line at the end of episode one, as he was left standing in an empty dirt parking lot, mix tape in hand, that I knew it was going to be a good summer.

In the creative vacuum that is film school, you sometimes forget about the simple joy of creating something on your own terms. My first time staying in Regina over the summer to take some electives allowed me the freedom to try a variety of new things. The Buick to the Future movies just happened to have a bit more longevity than everything else.

There wasn’t any reason to think that the first video we shot was going to be that memorable in the beginning. It wasn’t planned to be a series. In all honesty, the project would never have happened had I not come up with the title – Buick to the Future. It seemed too good not to use, and was only made more significant because of how much I love my old car, still proudly referred to as ‘The Buick’.

Buick to the Future: Episode 1

Back in June 2007 I was ambitiously trying to get my brand new blog, Editing Luke, organized. There was years of work and film school projects to consider uploading, and on top of that there were big plans for creating a personal online portfolio. One of my first goals was to create some brand new content though. I was stocked with plenty of artsy shorts and travel edits, but what I really felt I needed was more comedy and narratives in general to appeal to a wider audience.

With a rough idea about Buick to the Future in my head, I started writing out some simple scenarios and things fell into place days after that. The original draft of the script could’ve taken the video in a different direction, but the beginning was cut because I wanted the video to be no longer than 5 minutes. It was made clear on the first page of the original script that Doc had been tinkering with the Buick, and that I was actually me – really Luke, not Marty. It provided more detachment from the fake fantasy of the story, but with so many comedic plot holes already worked in there wasn’t much to lose.

Shooting was no ordeal. Like I said, it was fun creating something for myself outside of the classroom. Tyler, a film student at the time also, felt just as excited to be a part of the project and admitted to me that it was nice being the actor for a change and not having to deal with any of the camera setups.

Buick to the Future, the first video, was very simple. Loosely based on some Back to the Future popular culture, largely based on the natural interaction between Tyler and myself, the video was a clean-cut formula that seemed to work. Tyler got to shine as Doc, I still played myself as Marty, and in the background I got the chance to create something fresh and inspired for my brand new blog.

Buick to the Future: Episode 2

When editing wrapped up, I knew I wanted to make a sequel. Buick to the Future: Episode 1 was uploaded on June 15, 2007 and part two was already being written. The three original shorts from that summer were created within weeks of each other, mostly staggered for the sake of keeping people somewhat interested. 

Episode 2 was uploaded on June 29, 2007 and Episode 3 on July 24, 2007. Tyler and I agree that part two was the easiest to shoot because the banter just came so naturally. There were key jokes I wanted to use in the script, but after that we just played it by ear. It didn’t hurt that it was almost all in one location too. If there was any hiccup worth mentioning it came from episode 3.

It was shot all outdoors in the middle of the prairie and it was HOT. We both got pretty good tans that day, and I remember Tyler melting in his long sleeves and jeans. The noisy bugs were also the biggest hassle in editing out of any of the videos, but with that the series felt complete. See the parking lot from episode 1 and the drive-in from episode 3 in my 'on location' series of posts.

The joke was made at the end of episode 3 that the series was most likely retired, but months later when I started making my Buick to the Future promotion videos it seemed like part 4 would be fun to do. That’s another story, but episode 4 would end up happening. See Buick to the Future: Episode 4 here.

In a nostalgic sense, I have really clear memories surrounding the making of the trilogy. They were escapes – from being broke or school or whatever else. They’re probably even checkpoints in my long friendship with Tyler. I remember these projects and can’t help but feel proud, not because any of them are groundbreaking are even really the best edits I’ve done, but because these videos remind me of my goal to promote myself back in 2007. I see them and remember how I wanted to get more assertive about my approach, how I wanted to feel relevant and ambitious and motivated, and more than anything, how I wanted to entertain.

Buick to the Future: Episode 3

Buick to the Future put me in touch with a lot of people. It’s made lots of folks laugh, it’s encouraged many of them to check out this blog, and more than anything, these videos gave me the positive reinforcement that I really needed to hear when I started sharing my work online.

They’re comedies about time travel that kind of did and kind of didn’t happen – and while it seems like it might be fun to time travel back to that summer again, I’ve realized that I’ve been able to experience so much and relive the memories over and over again just by sharing and watching the movies. Buick to the Future and that summer marked the start of a new chapter in my independent movie-making, which based on the subject matter seems strange to say – still, things haven’t been the same since.

Jun 27, 2009

The Dirty Sailor Book

December 2006

Associated Post(s):

I created the cover and look of this book for my mockumentary, Elliot in late 2006. The project was the final movie I created for a production class in film school, and although it wasn't completed until spring 2007, it was in December that I shot all the footage with my friend Travess. It was he who played the title character, author Warren Elliot, who comically explains his quest to get into a prestigious national writing guild. The Dirty Sailor was his debut novel. In reality, it was nothing more than a cover, but I thought the book looked convincing enough. For more on the story, click the link above to read about the production and watch the full movie.

Jun 21, 2009

The Geology Student Makes the Semi-Finals!

I just wanted to send out a quick update and thank you. I just got the news that my short, The Geology Student is now a semi-finalist in the Yobi.tv Online Filmmaking Contest! I'm the weekly winner for week 3 out of 40, which means I'll be competing against 39 other filmmakers come voting time next year.

This is the same position that The Gizmo Tree was in just a few months earlier, so it's going to be exciting to have another shot at the win. At the very least, I'll be featured in the semi-finalist section for the next several months while this preliminary round plays out. You never know how many people might watch from there.

Thank you to everyone who voted and helped me make the semi-finals! I couldn't be more appreciative of your support. Thank you very very very much!

Jun 20, 2009

Day at the Saskatchewan Science Centre

What a day it was, but this actually happened quite a while ago, back at the beginning of January 2008. My friend Tyler and I decided that a trip to the Saskatchewan Science Centre would be a fun way to spend a freezing winter afternoon in Regina. At the time we were both students at the university, and being the production geek that I still am, I thought it would be nice to film the experience.

Tyler knew a girl who worked at the Science Centre named Daya. I had never met her, but when we first got there Tyler decided to have a go at the climbing wall, and it was Daya who was there to help. The day ended up being miles better because of her. It was like having our own private tour guide, and because it was a sunday afternoon and pretty slow, we got to try out and see everything. I honestly didn't expect there to be all that much to do, but to my surprise it was an incredibly entertaining afternoon.

I made A Day at the Saskatchewan Science Centre originally for the sake of sharing it on Editing Luke and having the homevideo for memory sake. Homevideos are still something I don't shoot enough of, which is a shame, because I think this edit demonstrates just how much can be done with simple footage and a bit of creative energy. I even put this short as a clip on my first video reel when I was applying for my job at Stream Media. Not that it's even that complex, but I think the ability to take an everyday homevideo and make it into something inspired says a lot about an editors potential.

The reason that this video is even on my mind right now though is because of Daya. She sent me a message and let me know that the folks at the Sask. Science Centre had seen it and put it on their blog. Not that it's my big break into editing stardom or anything, but who wouldn't be flattered? They see that place all the time, so naturally it feels good to have them recognize my edit and say how well done they thought it was.

On another note, yesterday was actually Daya's last day at the Science Centre so I want to wish her well on her next set of adventures. I'm sure few things will compare to entertaining a couple of fools with a video camera, but being that it was the first time I met her, it was a great way to make a new friend. So best of luck Daya, and thanks for making my Day at the Saskatchewan Science Centre far more memorable than I ever thought it would be!

Jun 16, 2009

The Geology Student on Yobi.tv


I'm going to try my luck again with YobiFilm. Some of you may remember my weekly promoting with The Gizmo Tree through April, but that's old news. I've done some slight updating with my film school short, The Geology Student and uploaded it to their site.

Some may ask, why not make an entirely new short? And the answer is, I am. However, the new projects take time and when I have a bunch of content that most people haven't seen anyway, I feel like I might as well promote it. So here's my plug:

As many of you know, I'm just trying to expand my network and make connections. These video sharing sites are ideal for that. You can help me increase the popularity of my short by casting a single vote for The Geology Student on Yobi.tv. You just need to use your email address, and vote here. Simple as that.

I know it might sound kind of pointless, but if you've enjoyed any elements of my blog you probably have a slight understanding of why I'd even bother with this. You never know who could be watching. Voting only takes a minute and it helps me get a bit of recognition . . . so, please? :)

Thanks for checking it out guys.
See the site and VOTE HERE.

Here's the revised, bad educational film version.

Jun 13, 2009

The Trophy

April 2004

Related Post(s):

This corny trophy was supposed to be this corny when I received it. It's from my second year in university when my film profs selected my short, Keys to Existence as the best personal project created by a 2nd year production student. It was handed out at the year end screening in April, and while it was far from a grand affair, at that time it was certainly something.

When I was told I won, I got a little certificate and this make-shift trophy. While I'm sure many don't even remember the screening, that early achievement felt huge to me. I've held onto this memento for that very reason. Before I had done any festivals or contests, this little award felt like my first tangible piece of acknowledgment. I've spoken a lot about Keys on this blog and how it helped me promote myself. It is without question that my experience in 2nd year film encouraged me to push myself harder and submit my work to numerous venues.

If this blog is any representation, than I think there's a lot to be said about what I've accomplished and worked towards in the last 5 years since this was given to me. It's enough to make this ridiculous trophy shelf worthy.

Jun 9, 2009

Buick to the Future: Promotions (2008)

In marking the 2 years since the original Buick to the Future debuted here on Editing Luke, I've taken it upon myself to finally write the full scale posts associated with these movies like I have with so many of my other projects. These posts include the Buick to the Future Promotional Edits, the Buick to the Future Trilogy from 2007, and Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (Episode 4) from 2008.

The bulk of the promotional edits I made were to stir up interest for the BTTF series months after all 4 episodes had already been completed. The only exception was the original Buick to the Future trailer, which promotes the trilogy, and subsequently inspired one more episode: The Conclusion. To be fair, I can't guarantee that there will never be another BTTF short because if you watch episode 3 it seemed clear that we thought that would be the end too.

Buick to the Future was my campy mainstream, comedic, parody inspired, popcorn entertainment appeal to the YouTube crowd. It was made to help develop my new blog, attract some visitors, and get some laughs. It thankfully did all of that. Over the last couple years the series has received a modest 15,000+ views - but more importantly, for the small few that it connected with, they supported the project in a big way.

Check out the commemorative trailer for the 2 year anniversary of Buick to the Future, inspired by Doc's lost mix tape from Episode 1.

The episodes have been re-uploaded a few times due to copyright or quality issues, and despite my trailers and teasers the videos still remain fairly hidden on YouTube. It's tough to feel too disappointed though. The series revolutionized my online filmmaking and jump started my concept for this very blog. In that sense it's been a huge success, and like I said previously, it's not like this is the end - the promotion is ongoing. 

Of course, all this aside I have to thank Tyler Cyrenne for his help and support in making the series. His role as Doc was hilarious, and while I played myself (as Marty), there was no shortage of comedy on screen and off. You've embraced BTTF as though it was your own Tyler, and I couldn't be happier. Thanks again! 

Watch the short promos in the playlist below, including: 
The Original Buick to the Future Trailer (Originally Uploaded Feb.29/08), BTTF Promo 1 (Uploaded May.3/08), BTTF Promo 2 (Uploaded June.16/08), BTTF Promo 3 (Uploaded Sept.11/08), BTTF Series Trailer (Uploaded June.7/09)

Jun 7, 2009

The Beatles Rockband Trailer

Whenever I feel compelled to divert my posts away from my own work, I'd like to think that it's to share something above average. Not a mere viral video, but something that showcases true creativity. Enter the trailer for the Beatles Rockband game.

I've immersed myself in the music and history of the Beatles since my early teenage years - to say they're my favourite band is an understatement. This trailer, which is technically the intro to the game itself, is a beautiful animation! The execution and transition through Beatles trademark moments is mesmorizing and incredibly clever. It's a must see . . . I can't wait to pick up a copy for myself. Damn those clever advertisers making me want this even more! Enjoy!

Jun 5, 2009

Siblings 2 (2009)

It was a comedy that more than any other short I had made, seemed the least likely to ever have a sequel. Strange how it was that single limitation that sparked the idea for the follow up.

You'll have to watch Siblings, the beginning of the story if you will, to fully appreciate the departure that part 2 takes - this won't really make sense otherwise.

As you can imagine, this was a fun shoot. My sister seemed to enjoy the new twist as much as I did, even if she was the one getting the bumps and scratches in the process. Without giving anything away, I'll just say there were numerous times she fell out of character - for obvious reason (see the outtakes below).

You can see a big difference in the look between part 1 and part 2. Things were intentionally a bit more drab this time, not nearly as green as in the prime weeks of summer, but we did go through the effort of finding the same clothes we wore in the first video. Not quite as easy as you might think as the original Siblings was shot close to a year ago. It was mostly just a matter of digging out my old red hat again.

Thematically, this follow up plays off even more like a music video than the original. The punchline this time is the fact that there's even a sequel to be seen. It looks good though, and we're still not taking ourselves too seriously. Enjoy the sequel we never thought we'd make, Siblings 2!

Jun 4, 2009

Disneyland Ticket

May 2004

Associated Posts:

For a small ticket that sat in my pocket for most of the trip, it's nice to have something tangible to remember the experience. The Tower of Terror had just opened in Disney's California Adventure Park, which is why it was featured on our tickets along with billboards, commercials, and print ads. Just a little token from the Happiest Place on Earth.

Jun 2, 2009

Split Screen Experiments (2008)

In their varied simplicity, my split screen experiments have become a regular source of inspiration, not just in and of themselves, but for the editing exercises that they lead to. They're personal exclamation points that pander to my own creative entertainment, and whether any one else can see value in them is less important to me here.

It's like I wrote when discussing my latest split screen short,
Headphones - "...the idea behind shorts like this isn't about masked themes, but about appreciating the digital medium and editing technique by taking a forced look. Just as a painter might fill a canvas for the tactile experience of seeing the streaks and runs in drying colours of paint, these editing experiments serve a similar purpose for further nurturing my personal appreciation for the technical execution of editing".

Split Wash, Split Thoughts, and The Wave are the three main shorts that were created within weeks of each other at the end of summer 2008. While at first glance they have little in common, it's the technical approach and self-portrait aspect of each short that has established an unmistakable theme, however unintential it was in the beginning.

Split Wash stirred up some interesting conversations when it was first posted on August 12, 2008. In a discussion about visuals vs. substance, I defended my approach saying, "Split Wash is just a clip, take it or leave it, no different than someone talking to a webcam about something they did today. You'll either find beauty in that or you won't, but I wouldn't post something I didn't personally appreciate. This direction isn't about telling a story, it's just a slice, an art short, it's about reworking a simple clip to see something in a different way".

Split Thoughts posted on September 26, 2008 and The Wave posted on October 6, 2008 both embody that sentiment even further.

This need to experiment, and even to share it, is part of showcasing the experience and not just the product. I'm not trying to create a traditional channel or blog series here, where the work all compliments each other or fits perfectly. In shifting focus to make it not just about my work, I'm creating a journal to document my own ambitions and trials - which just happens to be open to outside interpretation.

On the surface it's shallow, in the context of the big picture it's essential.

Split Wash
August 12, 2008

Split Thoughts  

September 26, 2008

The Wave
October 6, 2008