Nov 30, 2010

Fremont Street Cutouts

Having been to Las Vegas and the famous Fremont Street Experience several times before, I thought it would be cool to play around with these photos that I shot on our 2010 road trip to California.

Manipulating the cutout filter in Photoshop and boosting the color and vibrancy of some of my select images, I created stylized prints of some popular Fremont Street scenes. For my own sake, this was an easy way to separate and re-imagine a series of images that I seem to shoot over and over again each time I visit.

This evening in early September was a general blur between casinos, bars, and souvenir shops. It was the first evening of rest and celebration after two days of driving from Canada, and we both seemed anxious to kick back. Inadvertently ending up in Vegas on the long weekend, the crowds actually made the short stop seem more iconic of a classic Vegas trip. In an alcohol and neon fueled hypnosis, the hours flew by.

For more, here's a video I made from a previous visit to Fremont Street and my complete photo set of downtown Las Vegas from 2010.

Nov 29, 2010

Summer by Gnarly Bay Productions

Another incredible edit found thanks to Vimeo, Summer by Gnarly Bay Productions Inc. is thoughtful, patient, and captivating. The slow motion works to great effect in emphasizing the nostalgia and details of the time. It's yet another piece of inspiration in a long list of accidental finds that showcases the effectiveness of a well executed slice-of-life edit.

I'm also further inspired by the amount of skillful work that I've seen created using Canon SLRs - the 1D Mark IV used here is especially brilliant, however very expensive. I can see one of my next major purchases being a higher end SLR to experiment with. All in due time. For now enjoy this short.

Nov 26, 2010

Salvation Mountain

There are places that immediately distinguish themselves as one of a kind. When getting my first glance of Salvation Mountain just outside of Niland, California it was clear that we were about to experience something we wouldn't soon forget.

Created by Leonard Knight, Salvation Mountain is a shrine created from hay bails, old telephone poles, and layers upon layers of paint. Everything at the site has been decorated in such bright colors it gives the impression of a cartoon-like atmosphere. Leonard lives at the site, and despite being in his eighties now is more than happy to give you a personal tour and share his stories.

I first heard about Salvation Mountain after watching Into the Wild - a portion of the film takes place in Slab City which you can see from the site. At first I expected Leonard Knight to be overly eccentric, maybe even a little scary, but the reality is that all that apprehension disappears when meeting him face to face. He wasn't pushy about religion and he didn't seem to have any motive for making money from the visits, instead he was simply proud to share and talk about what has become his masterpiece.

I think the photographs speak volumes about the level of detail and originality that exist in this quiet site off the eastern shore of the Salton Sea. It was undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights from our 2009 cross country road trip.

You can read more about my experience and watch the original edits I made of the location by visiting my Indio Outio posts for Salvation Mountain and Leonard Knight.

Nov 24, 2010

Inspired Singles: Sunlight

Issue 13: Sunlight by Harlem Shakes

This was a rare find for me. The kind of song you think you might like just by the cover art, but end up discovering entirely by accident while clicking through a chain of recommendations on iTunes. It's now been on regular rotation for the last month.

Sunlight kicks off with an almost predictable sound. I would mistake it for the wrong song when I first heard it, but when the chorus came I was amazed I hadn't heard this sooner. Crisp, heavy, and with a lyrical rhythm that'll stick in your head all afternoon, Sunlight is like a friendlier cousin of an MGMT t

From Harlem Shakes first debut album, Technicolor Health, I think this is an inspired single that you'll want to have on repeat too. If you're anything like me, you're bound to appreciate how happy it makes you feel.

Nov 23, 2010

One Hundred Thousand

On November 18, Editing Luke received its 100,000th visitor since debuting on May 31, 2007. This milestone adds to an already exciting year in which my little stake of online property gained some new ground, went through some renovations, and moved a few rungs up the ladder.

This year began with a bang as my portfolio site was launched at In May I made my 500th post, in August my online video views rolled passed one million, and now my blog views have reached 6 figures. I've always been quick to advertise these steps along the way because I've wanted to make it clear that I don't take any of them for granted. It's also been a big part of the motivation since establishing this site in film school, that I was always challenging myself, growing, and working towards the goals I've set out to achieve personally and professionally.

Sharing bits and pieces of my work or my ideas or my goals isn't always easy, and this site has taken on various incarnations as I've often struggled to find a balance between personal promotion and creating broader entertainment. The truth is that I wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't enjoying it though.

So, thank you for sharing in the milestones and for continuing to make them a reality. Thank you for offering feedback and advice. Thank you for making my site more interesting with each passing year. And most importantly, thank you for fueling my ambitions and often giving me the extra motivation I crave to push myself harder and further than I would otherwise. Cheers to you 100,000 times!

Nov 22, 2010

Postcard From Bali by Stephan Kot

Here's another inspired find from Vimeo. This postcard by Stephan Kot is beautifully shot and edited. The depth of field in many of the shots is terrifically executed and gives familiar details added punctuation. There's a cinematic sensibility throughout, painting a picture of a rich and visceral experience. I have yet to tackle my condensed Indio edit yet, but jewels like this continue to inspire and challenge what I might come up with. A job well done, Stephan Kot!

Nov 20, 2010

Desert Run

Skirting through Arizona's scenic canyons we continued our motivated drive south to California. The destination for this evening however, was Las Vegas. You could feel the heat and sunlight changing in the late afternoon. By the time we stopped for gas in Nevada there was a warm orange glow over the landscape and the pavement was radiating the days heat.

We passed a Hostess truck that seemed fitting given the frequency of our references from The Wizard - the boys hid in one to escape. I was also quick to notice a Jaguar as we cruised by - ah, memories of home. With Vegas on the horizon I knew our day was just beginning.

Nov 19, 2010

Where the Wild Kings Are

Upon retracing our steps from last years Christmas short, We Two Kings, my friend Tyler and I were left to make reference to our Where the Wild Things Are surroundings. The crowns we wore for our movie closely resembled Max's and now without snow on the ground the comparison was a no-brainer.

We Two Kings was a play on the popular We Three Kings Christmas carol, with our basic premise being that we were lost on our way to Bethlehem. The sudden snowfall we received the evening before shooting last year made for some incredible winter scenery. The imagery alone made the project worth making.

It was cool to look around and try and pinpoint where we'd shot some of our scenes. Flooding over the summer had made one location where we sat last year into a sea of logs and debris. We also had a glimpse of what our movie might have looked like if it hadn't snowed on cue. Expect to see We Two Kings making the rounds again this season.

Nov 18, 2010

On the University of Regina Blog

It was during my time at the University of Regina that I started this blog and began sharing some of my video work and film school experiences online. So, you can imagine my reaction when I received an email from the U of R blog about sharing some of the campus collage videos that I shot back in 2006 and 2007.

Maybe it shouldn't be surprising that I've become so involved in corporate video now as it seems like when I go out of my way to create content specifically about a place or location I end up getting requests about sharing it (which is awesome by the way!). This has happened several times with my travel edits ending up on vacation booking or related travel sites, or earlier this year when a short article I wrote about Universal Studios Singapore ended up in a Singapore English textbook, or when a video I shot at the Saskatchewan Science Centre ended up on their site.

Moments like this are cool in their own right, but as a collective it means so much more for getting my name out there and interacting with a lot of new people. Writing a brief promo post about myself on something like the University blog or any other site is always an opportunity with unknown results. With so many links and networks and blog posts, etc. I always get excited thinking about who else might find their way to my inbox.

It seems like there's potential to share even more content in the future, which could be a lot of fun. In the meantime you can check out the post and my campus collages by CLICKING HERE. Thanks for the shout out U of R!

Nov 16, 2010

Wheel Inn: Cabazon, California

Whether it's for kitsch or novelty is hard to say, but the Wheel Inn restaurant in Cabazon, California is so comfortably outdated that you could mistake it for a theme. There is a big reason to come here however. The famous Cabazon dinosaurs that originally stood all by their lonesome in the middle of the desert, continue to be popular draws for this unassuming truck stop.

The dinosaurs themselves have appeared in several music videos and movies, the most popular being The Wizard (1989) and Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985). In both films you can see the landmarks without landscaping or fences. The truck stop looks like it's in the middle of the desert as the town had yet to grow out that far. The inside of the restaurant however is a blast from the past, almost eerily intact from the scenes shot in Pee Wee over two decades ago.

The entrance is lined with several arcade games, not unlike those seen countless times in The Wizard. Badges and patches are also framed and proudly showcase decades of history from the visitors who have passed through on their way to wherever.

We enjoyed a couple burgers before going to check out the dinosaurs again. This was our first time eating at the Wheel Inn, but not the first time we'd stopped to see the roadside attraction. I ended up buying a plastic apatosaurus inside the gift shop (which is located inside the apatosaurus, up the stairs inside his tail). When you think of stereotypical road trip locales, this almost seems too perfect.