Aug 31, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

After a week of traveling thousands of miles on the open road to California, getting back to the office seems so painfully ordinary. In just one week my friend Dave and I drove to California and back again, spending 3 nights in Indio, California at his parents' vacation house. With a long list of things to see, Dave and I explored Salt Lake City, had a night in Vegas, explored the middle of the desert and the hidden treasures of the Salton Sea, made the trek out to Newport Beach and the ocean, and took a ride up a mountain in Palm Springs - just to name a few of the highlights.

Like I said many times before, this trip was meaningful in that it wasn't meant to be just a vacation or an excuse to relax, it was also meant to create experiences. It was an escape from routine, from post-university transitioning and the everyday. Seeing the landscape change from prairie to mountains to canyons and desert was amazing. My previous Vegas and California trips were all linked in a matter of hours. With my cameras at my side, I shot as much as I felt was necessary. This latest project titled, Indio Outio, inspired by the location and the speed of our visit, is going to be a fun project to edit.

Below I've posted the short preview I cut together using two different audio tracks. My Vimeo account features the original video, and because of copyright issues, my YouTube account features the second version. For now, I'll leave the story here. There's a lot to say and a lot to show.

Aug 23, 2009

The Long and Winding Road

My road trip with my friend Dave begins first thing in the morning. We're driving thousands of kilometers to California as a week of escape and exploration. Think of it like the movie Sideways, but in the desert . . . or maybe the movie Made . . . or The Wizard? In any case, it's going to be exciting. I explained the significance of this trip a couple weeks ago in a post, logically titled, Two Weeks. To be clear, this isn't a vacation for the sake of relaxation, this is a trip for the sake of experiences. You can bet that I'll have my video camera in hand.

Back in week.

Aug 20, 2009

Buick 360: Photo Collage (2007)

As one of the first edits I ever created for Editing Luke, my Buick Photo Collage (or Buick 360 as it's now called) was essentially just an experiment. I wanted to take pictures of my old 1989 Buick Park Avenue purely for memories sake. Getting older and showing her age, my car seemed like a worthy subject for a few photos while sitting all alone in the university parking lot.

This was June 2007 and I was staying in Regina over the summer for the first time, taking some electives in university. I shot several vantages of my car in combination with several sets of pictures I intended to animate. The goal was to create a short edit highlighting the scratches, dings, and old school styling that made my car the character I've always insisted it was (and still is for that matter). Following this project, it should come as no surprise that the first episode of Buick to the Future was shot just days later.

Buick 360 is short, snappy, and my answer to what was your first car like? Driving 'THE Buick' since I was 16, this car has seen and experienced a lot of things with me. Just in the time from making this short till now the car has gone from 240,000km to nearly 260,000km. It's crazy to think it's even been this long. Even as she's started to wear out a bit more each year, there's something comforting about knowing that this piece of machinery I grew up with is so well documented in a number of my short films from BTTF to Educated Detours to even a small cameo from the roof top in Day Dream Day.

There's been a lot of memories, and while this edit is only a showcase, to me it speaks of a car that's put on a lot of miles through some unforgettable adventures. This car has taken me through my youth and into adulthood, from getting my driver's license to driving away from university for the last time. With this video it was even instrumental in helping me kick of edits for this blog.

THE Buick has seen a lot of things and been a lot of places, and for that, I don't want to forget what it's been like to drive this car for so long and have it become a symbol - not for what it is, but for what I made it out to be. There's always been something about me and cars, and for a first car, this old Buick is my Lightning McQueen, Delorean, and Herbie all rolled up into one awesome piece of late 80's luxury. Classic.

Aug 17, 2009

Buick to the Future: Episode 4 (2008)

Debuting on April 1, 2008, Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (or Episode 4) was the unexpected addition to the Buick to the Future: Trilogy created over the summer of 2007. In many ways, it was never meant to happen. At the end of Episode 3 one of the final credits stated that the series was most likely over. Then again, there was never supposed to be a part 2 or part 3 either. In a series that was just plain fun to make, I suppose Episode 4 was one last hurrah! for the BTTF idea, a needed escape from a long winter of boredom, and a chance to shoot one last project with my friend Tyler (AKA Doc) before I left university for good.

If I can attribute anything to the motivation behind revisiting a series with almost no plot-arch and an extremely loose connection to the Back to the Future movies, I have to say that it was nostalgia that initiated the final episode. By early 2008 I had put the project behind me, but in an effort to promote my videos I was busy creating trailers to showcase on my blog. After going through all the Buick footage from what had been a very memorable summer in 2007, I was left feeling recharged on the idea. Essentially, it was a matter of 'why not' that made up my mind.

This is the original trailer for the Buick to the Future trilogy from February 2008.

After showing this trailer to Tyler he was on board to make another short, but really, I don't think it would've taken much convincing as he's enjoyed making the series as much as I have. With the spring just starting to emerge, we were both feeling pretty restless and in need of something creative. The idea of elaborating on an already established concept seemed like an ideal place to start. On a side note, all the supplemental Buick trailers and promos can now be viewed as part of my Buick to the Future: Promotions post.

Writing and shooting Episode 4 was a breeze. This was the case with all the shorts really. It was the difference between film school guidelines and film student playing. All the premises were based on Doc doing the wrong thing and me (as Marty, but playing myself) calling him out on it. It was a simple formula, but in terms of what I wanted to achieve it worked perfectly.

This last episode remains my favourite because to me it's technically the most complete. It touches on all the random things that I wanted the series to be, and it also allowed for more creative shooting and editing. For instance, the footage between the hand held video camera we were using as a prop and the footage from the master shot all cut together really well. All that was shot with a single camera during different takes, the prop camcorder was never on. 

Also, there were considerably more scene changes and cuts in this episode than all the other episodes combined. It was part of my plan to make the project feel larger and more dynamic. The hand held shot of Doc stumbling down the street in the opening, and the hand held shots mimicking the prop camcorder were all used to add more energy - the tripod did all the work in the original trilogy. In terms of editing, examples of my experimenting were clear in my numerous jump cuts when Doc & Marty discuss time travel on the couch. In general, more shots were cut into each sequence, and the ending montage was the pinnacle of this.No, the final episode wasn't meant to be taken any more seriously, but I thought if I was actually going to put the idea to rest it was worth putting a bit more time into it. In the end, Buick to the Future: Episode 4 turned out better than I thought it would.

While the series has yet to explode online, it has continued to draw passionate supporters for my work and thousands of views online. Buick to the Future continues to be one of my biggest draws on YouTube. I ended this episode with another title saying that the series was really over this time, but it's a weak promise. As long as I own my old Buick I suppose there's always the possibility for one more short. Only time will tell.

Below I've posted 2 versions of BTTF: Episode 4. The first is the original upload, which thanks to my Vimeo account I can share with the copyrighted music. The second is the modified version I had to make when the audio was blocked on YouTube. Both are essentially the same, just with a few different songs included. In any case, help yourself to a laugh.

"It's Buick, Bitch!"

Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (Episode 4)
Written, Directed & Edited by Luke Fandrich w/Tyler Cyrenne as Doc

Aug 16, 2009

Editing Luke on Twitter

That's right, I caved.

I can't promise I'll be the most avid twitter user, but I figured it's a simple enough way to reach a few more people and share updates. If you're a twitter user yourself, consider following me for project and edits, random insights, and movie talk in general.

View my Editing Luke (fandrix) twitter account here. See the new sidebar tab, My Networks, for links to all my other online profiles and video hosting sites. Thanks for your interest folks!

Aug 15, 2009

California Edits (Again)

Five years ago this summer I found myself in California enjoying the beach, Disneyland, and countless other attractions. Now here I am on the cusp of returning in just over a week, and the trip is going to have an entirely different flavor. No doubt, it's going to be a lot of fun and a great adventure.

With my thoughts focused on my Indio, California road trip, I decided to review the edits from my 2004 California post. With several of them being uploaded in sub-par quality back in 2007, and the resolution far worse than what's now available on YouTube, I decided to re-upload 3 of my original travel edits. The updated clips have been rendered to a higher quality with some filters to clean them up. They're still old digital files so there's only so much I can do, but they do look better than how they were.

The 3 clips include Newport Beach, Day at Disneyland, and Disney's California Adventure. The edits themselves are exactly the same, and they do bring back a lot of memories watching them again. They're energetic, well timed, and thorough edits of each location if I do say so myself.  I can't wait to get back!

Aug 12, 2009

Portfolio Previews (2009)

While the first half of 2009 proved to be a slow one for my personal productions, there was a lot going on behind the scenes to improve what I'd already created. Editing Luke, for instance, underwent a lot of revision. The majority of Videography posts have been updated or established to include the story, photos or posters, the movie, previews, and back links to relating posts to provide succinct and official entries for some of my larger projects. While it's meant fewer new videos, overall it improves the efficiency and purpose of this online journal.

This brings me to the portfolio and blog previews that I created earlier this year to highlight my work.

My portfolio preview was created as an intro to my production DVD to show to potential employers and festivals. The video highlights some of my festival credits and notable projects from recent years. It's undergone several modifications to include more audio highlights and to display a larger range of edits. There's really not much else to say about it as the preview essentially does all the bragging itself.

Portfolio Preview Luke Fandrich (January 2009)

It is worth noting that my approach is undeniably individual though. While some filmmakers may have grand projects to tout, I instead have a range of personal accolades that reflect my individual drive and creative branding. I've expressed my viewpoint by approaching animation, avant-garde, travelogs, music videos, and narrative in a way that reflects my personal growth as a movie maker. I think by making myself the focus, I'm standing on my achievements instead of putting them above me. 

My blog preview (mixed with two different audio tracks) was an edit created to highlight 2 years of Editing Luke. They're a mix of promotion and pride for all that's been accomplished so far thanks to all the viewers and readers who have helped shape this experience for me. In a professional sense, I think these edits have also featured my blog as an up and coming space to check out. While reflecting on the amount of work that's already been made, I think my blog previews are most successful at suggesting that my personal motivation and creative passion are only becoming more refined and focused.
It's obvious that these previews and personal reels are going to evolve and grow as this experience changes. In just a single year there's always so many new points of interest. As proof you can view the first preview I ever made, I'm Luke I'm Fandrix from 2008. There's still a lot to work towards, and with any luck it's only up from here. 

2 Years of Editing Luke - MIX A (May 2009)
2 Years of Editing Luke - MIX B (May 2009) Edits and footage by Luke Fandrich.

Aug 11, 2009

Jake and Amir

If you don't recognize their names you might recognize a few of their videos. Jake and Amir, by Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld from College Humor, have one of the funniest web series on the net. Whether it's their witty banter, clever stunts, one-liners, or the relaxed but sharp shooting and editing style of the series - I'm hooked. 

Reminiscent of a Jim and Dwight's relationship in The Office, Jake and Amir are hilarious. With each episode about antics going on at work (in the College Humor office where they work across from one another) or some other random hiccup in their friendship, the timing and writing is brilliant. I could go on and on about my favorite Jake and Amir episodes, but check them out for yourself on College Humor or on

What an awesome job - to actually get paid for making content, right? Check out a few of their episodes below to get started. And a word of warning, with their lengthy archive of hilarious clips you might want to make sure you've got some time to spare.

Aug 9, 2009

Two Weeks

As an idea that seemed wishful at best in early 2009, it's exciting to think that in just 2 weeks my friend Dave and I will be starting on a road trip to Indio, California. It's a trip that will take us almost entirely across the Western USA from north to south, obviously with us starting out in Canada and ending just a few hundred miles from Mexico. I can't wait.

Much like my Rushmore trip in 2007, our journey to Indio is being fueled mostly by a desire to explore, relax, and change up the scenery. Dave's folks have a place down there, which was the reasoning in the beginning to even consider the trip. With a bit of time in Salt Lake City, a night of celebrating planned in Vegas, a visit to the ocean, and a few days of drinking in the desert, I'd say that all the ingredients are certainly there for a memorable adventure.

As I remarked to Dave, I'll be shooting pieces of this trip as I do with almost all my trips with intention of putting a small project together. It has a lot of potential to be one of the most meaningful things I produce this year because of the personal narrative involved. This video is likely to be a mix of travelog and self-referential documentary as Dave and I have had somewhat of a touch and go friendship since first year of university.

In high school I sat next to a guy who knew Dave named Todd. He explained that Dave was going to the U of R too, and sure enough on my first day there I met him. Since that first day Dave and I have always been loosely in touch, connected by the same people, and have had our occasional lengthy discussion about things - this trip is by far the most time I'll have ever spent with him one on one though, and with both of us having such a broad view of things I know there's going to be no shortage of things to talk about.

After years of events, parties and hang ups, this road trip kind of seems like an opportunity to clear the air about a lot of things. Not just between Dave and I specifically, but about university life in general. As spontaneous as a lot of the road trip will be, I think it's also a great opportunity to put some of that post-university 'what now?' we're both experiencing to rest - or at least an opportunity to recharge or find some new motivation.

It's tough to say that this road trip is going to be as meaningful as my artistic mind is trying to make it, but let me just say, both Dave and I seem perceptive enough to grasp at any enlightenment the desert decides to throw at us. At the very least, it's a chance to get away from the ordinary.

As a side note, I just happened to be listening to Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear and thought the first few lyrics were fitting: "Save up all the days, a routine malaise, just like yesterday, I told you I would stay". Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Still friends after all these years - here's to a memorable road trip Dave!

Aug 4, 2009

My Videos on Vimeo

Several days ago (on July 31) I decided to create an account and start uploading a few of my shorts to Vimeo. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo is a bit more stringent about original content and linking individuals to their own work. This is great, but it also means that viewership on the site isn't nearly as large.

I've barely had a single view since uploading my projects, but I figure at the very least having my work on another site is worth the internet credit.  Maybe one of my shorts will pop up in a search or something. I'll let you know how it goes.

At first glance I'm impressed with Vimeo though. The vibe and artist friendly look is encouraging. There are no star ratings, simply a place for viewers to comment and click if they like your video - kind of like a thumbs up. All videos are linked back to your profile, which is less busy than the look of most YouTube channels, and your name is prominent on each page with your short.

YouTube is great and it's essentially the standard as far as video sharing sites go, but as I've mentioned before, I think diversifying is the only way I'm going to be able to compete against YouTube 'celebrities' who have already established themselves - at least until I get a viral video of my own. Just by adding some of my projects to I've managed to get thousands more views and I wouldn't be surprised if my numbers there surpass what I've achieved on YouTube in the next year.

If you'd like check out my profile on Vimeo, you can view it here. It's also been added to my featured links in the sidebar with my other video profiles.

Here's my short Quirks from earlier this year embedded from Vimeo, please check it out if you haven't seen it yet.

Quirks from Luke Fandrich on Vimeo.