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.

Nov 9, 2009

On Location: Scenes Around Regina

All of these photos feature locations where I shot various projects while in film school - recognize any? While I never really considered Regina, Saskatchewan to be all that diverse, looking back I've realized that you can make almost anywhere seem unique by what you bring to it. Check out a few of my past projects and their locations below.  

Wascana Park - A Chill in the Air (2006)
Golden Mile Parking Lot - Silent Shoppers (2005)

Abandoned Cinema 6 Drive-in - Buick to the Future 3 (2007)

Downtown Regina Alley - Homeless (2003)
Wascana Park - The Gizmo Tree (2007)
Geology Department U of R - The Geology Student (2006)
Campus Parking Lot - Buick to the Future (2007)
College West - Give it Time (2007)

Nov 8, 2009

On Location: The Gizmo Tree

Project: The Gizmo Tree
Shot: December 2007
Location: Saskatchewan Legislative Building - Wascana Park
Revisited: March 2009

I'm not sure you can really expect trees to change that much in just a few years, but revisiting the location of The Gizmo Tree was fun. Shooting was such a rush, and after everything that followed it's easy to see why the project is still one of my favorites.

Nov 7, 2009

Inspired Singles: Issue 02

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 02 by Luke Fandrich

Goes Away by Delta Spirit

This sim
ple and down to earth tune has catchy lyrics and a strumming tempo that hooks me from the start. It doesn't hurt that the music fits perfectly with those sluggish days in the office - 'wait until tomorrow goes away' as Delta Spirit puts it, and yes, yes I will wait.

Get Over It by OK Go

The end of high school, my first year of uni, whatever it was that made this song so memorable I'm not entirely sure - although there was certainly a lot going on. This single from 2002 is still on rotation in my car and it's the mix of overly descriptive lyrics and the bass/clap back beat that makes this song worthy of belting it out - and I quote 'lot
of knots, lot a snags; lot a holes, lot of cracks lot a crags; lotta naggin' old hags; a lotta fools; a lot of fools, scumbags!' and you thought rhymes were boring. Classic.

From the Stars by White Lies

Both ominous and heavy, From the Stars has a driving undertone that makes the story within the lyrics more direct. The change in pace as the song gets going is like transitioning from a dark alley onto a crowded bustling street lit with vibrant neon. In general, the album To Lose My Life is a great collection of tracks worth hearing again and again.

Nov 4, 2009

Time Crunch

When things are good, things are also busy. This year I've tackled a few personal projects, I've made some big revisions to this blog in how I showcase my old movies, and I've also been busy editing promo videos both independently and for the companies I work for. Usually there's been more free time to space some of these things out, but tonight I was in a creative meeting and it hit me just how busy the rest of my year is going to be.

My Indio Outio project is still being pieced together, I'm working full-time shooting promo photos for a website these days, and on top of this I'm still putting in extra hours as an editor for the corporate video company I've been with since I moved back to Medicine Hat. With so many random projects on the go my schedule has been filling up fast. It's both semi-stressful and fulfilling to find yourself in a position where you're actually in demand - where people are interested in how you do things and are hiring you for your specific creative contributions.

This year has been flying by and it's interesting to reflect on what's been going on without seeing the personal projects dominating my schedule. I've done a lot of work for other people and I suppose that's where things were meant to be going - it's what I talked about a lot as a film student. It's just a new learning experience to try and figure out how to balance everything and still feel like I'm continually challenge myself and moving forward. I have to admit that the confidence others have shown in me is a huge boost.

With a trip back to Regina (the city I went to University in) this weekend, I'm looking forward to the break, the visiting, and the sense that things really have improved since the year and half ago that I decided to branch out. Still doesn't give me any extra time though does it?