May 31, 2011

4 Years of Editing Luke

The act of keeping a blog for four years isn't amazing.  What's amazing is how something so simple, so everyday, could start to represent so much of my own identity and history.  In a flash, one thousand four hundred and sixty days have gone by and what remains of that time are fragments of memories, images, stories, and digital scraps (all on public display) that bring forth a sampling of what it was like to transition out of film school and into the real world.

I can only imagine how the future will change my outlook on what Editing Luke began as and what it continues to evolve into.  Whether it's messages from film students or random visitors sharing my links, I can't begin to express how rewarding this experience has been made because of all of you.  With nearly 800 posts and over 40,000 visitors in the last year alone, I've got to admit that the response is pretty humbling.

Here's to the next chapter, another handful of fresh starts, and the continued realization of some scattered childhood ambitions.  Yeah, that sounds like something worth exploring.  

Refresh your memory on how the style of this site has changed over the years by reviewing my Evolution of Editing Luke posts: PART ONE and PART TWO

Stats after 4 Years:
Blog Posts: 781
Blog Views: 128557
Video Views: 1.16 Million

May 30, 2011

Office Propaganda Posters

I recently came across some original artwork by Steve Thomas.  He designs a variety of vintage and propaganda style posters that highlight everything from space travel, battling sea monsters, and scenes from the movies.  He also created a cool series of vintage themed Star Wars travel posters.

These office propaganda posters are what first caught my eye.  It's a fresh perspective on those familiar workplace signs, playing on a style often used for much heavier themes.  You can view more of Steve's work on his site HERE.

May 29, 2011

Web of One

This video of Eli Pariser comes from a TED Talks conference and is pretty fascinating when you consider the way we all interact with the web on a daily basis.  Trust me, this is definitely worth your time to watch.

May 26, 2011

LUCK - NYC Wedding Proposal

I suppose a guy like me can get a bit cynical editing corporate videos, especially when you're trying to connect with people the same way over and over again.  It's what made finding this video so refreshing.  It's polished, colorful, creative, and mixes fantasy with reality while still remaining genuine.  Crafting something like this is no easy task, and its effectiveness is a testament to those involved.  I don't say this often, but this might just bring a tear to your eye . . .

May 24, 2011

Inspired Singles: Specks

Issue 22: Specks by Matt Pond PA

Some songs take you on a ride, and Specks is definitely one of them.  It's easy to picture the landscape rolling by my window as a drive down the highway with this track.  It's light and folksy, played with rootsy abandon, and gives your mind space to wander.  At the moment, I can't ask for much more.

May 23, 2011

Prairie Snapshots

This random collection of prairie snapshots comes from a lot of driving between Alberta and Saskatchewan during my time in film school.  It wasn't uncommon for me to make the trek back and forth for long weekends or holidays, and in that case a lot of these images really are snapshots as they were captured from the window of my Buick on the highway. 

What I love about the prairies is the sense of space.  In a lot of these images it's clear that the focal point has to be the sky because there's almost nothing else to look at.  On those late summer and early fall drives the landscape was often at its best.  Golden fields, high contrasting light on the horizon, and expressive clouds really brought the countryside to life.  Even in its repetitiveness, I feel like I'm always finding new things that really make the Canadian prairies unique.

May 21, 2011

Snapshots Book Series

After publishing my first photo book with Blurb (for my 2009 road trip) I became hooked on the idea of sharing my photos in an original way.  What I opted for was creating smaller soft cover books of three previous trips.  

By creating a Polaroid template, I took a variety of my digital photos and created a uniform border for each image and page of my books.  I really just wanted to highlight some of the memorable spots that made up each trip.  I've since made several more in depth photo books for my 2010 trips to Singapore and California.  

I just thought it was worth bringing attention to these projects again as now you can view the books with them embedded on my blog.  The process and expense of creating some of these photo books is long and expensive, but the reactions and permanence of having a hard cover copy of your images is totally worth it.

Click the links to view the books - LA 2004, Rushmore 2007, Vegas 2008

May 18, 2011

Filmmakers Should Blog

In film school we were told to keep journals as a way to motivate our creativity.  At the time it felt like a chore, because frankly, nothing ever feels that creative when you're being forced to do it.  Pretty much as soon as I wasn't required to write out my random thoughts anymore I actually felt compelled to.  Go figure.

I now see what everyone was on about though.  Filmmakers should blog.  Creative people should blog.  If for no other reason than to indulge your own sense of achievement, blogging has provided me a way to work out my thoughts and frustrations.  Sometimes it's simply a distraction, but often it gives me a forum to really think about the things I want to say and in turn, what I want those things to mean.

This is kind of huge if you allow yourself to get past your own self-consciousness and want to learn more about yourself.  As a video editor I've always been keen to challenge my perception of the technical side of editing with the emotional side.  If I were to try and learn this through my contract editing I might only scratch the surface or maybe never have the opportunity to work out that obscure idea in the back of my mind.  Instead, random creations are fueled by my need to blog about something and it's those random creations that then give me something to analyze.

Blogging can then be more than just an exercise in futility, you can actually improve the way you think about things.  Knowing that I'm posting things publicly actually helps in some sense, because even if no one reads what I post I feel that I'm being held to a standard outside of my own.  When I'm writing an entry it's also one of the few times that I actually slow down to reflect on something that I've learned or something that inspired me.

Filmmaking is a form of communication and there are multiple facets within that framework that build the conversation.  You might not see the value in writing out your ideas at the moment, but if there's anything that Editing Luke has given me it's the ability to articulate an idea and explore my own aspirations.  This skill is invaluable.  Everyone can create, but not everyone can explain their thought process or perspective.  Don't kid yourself, creativity takes work and writing is a tried and true approach to overcoming those mental blocks.

But yes, I still hated being forced to write those film journals.

May 17, 2011

Weekend Photography

Over the weekend it became apparent that the final signs of winter had finally retreated.  It was also one of the first weekends that I'd had in a long time where I had no editing to do, no work to think about, and no excuses to keep me from my own distractions.

I actually used my free time to play with my Jaguar.  I gave her a thorough spring cleaning and finally used the custom kit that I'd ordered a few months ago to restore her leather seats.  This turned out to be the perfect project as it meant a full Saturday afternoon in the sun. Soon after I finished up I grabbed my camera and went for a walk around the neighbourhood.  

The leaves were finally starting to show, the grass was changing, and shades of green were popping up everywhere - this shift literally just started happening over the last week.  After what felt like an inexplicably cruel winter I, like everyone else, seemed keen to get outside.  I even spotted a deer walking on the sidewalk across the street from me right downtown.  Here's some of my photography from the weekend.

May 13, 2011

I Am Your Grandma by Jillian Mayer

In the future our children's children will be able to experience their ancestors history through an overwhelming amount of images, video, and social media history.  This fact isn't lost on Jillian Mayer who proves that it's not all going to be as sentimental as it might sound.  Undoubtedly there will be a few gems . . .   

May 12, 2011

Listen Up, Jeeves!

In less than a months time my new site, Jeeves and the Jaguar is set to debut! I've already began post dating a bunch of entries to prepare.  In case you missed my initial announcement, this new site will focus on my enthusiasm for my Jaguar XJ8 and Jaguar pop culture in general.  

June 10 also isn't just a random date, it marks the one year anniversary since buying my British saloon - "the finest motor car in the world" as Will Ferrell said in the Do You Like Luxury SNL sketch.  Just like Editing Luke, Jeeves and the Jaguar is set to have an eclectic mix of content bridging the gap between practical advice that I've picked up and entertaining stories surrounding my mixed experiences.  It's looking good so far, so stay tuned for the exciting introduction in a few weeks time! 

May 10, 2011

My Portable Edit Studio

Much of this year has been about upgrading, refining, and organizing all the aspects of my editing equipment and software.  Balancing the demands of corporate editing with my future goals of making more ambitious personal films has been at the forefront of all of these decisions.  I've already started tackling my home edit suite, but for the moment I've become focused on creating a studio that I can use on-the-go.

It's perhaps a bit surprising, but up until last week I'd never owned (or even saw the value in owning) a laptop before.  So I suppose the real question is, why now?  Here are the main reasons I finally changed my tune:

1. Shooting on Flip Video
Since I began using my Flip HD I've loved capturing home videos and random events on the fly.  For an evening out it's no problem, but for any extended period of time it doesn't quite cut it by itself.  Having a laptop with a powerful video card and a large hard drive means that not only can I preview what I've shot on a larger screen, but I can also batch my footage right there and then.  In the meantime, the Flip HD can recharge itself through the USB port making it an ideal companion for travel.

2. Easy Communication
From blogging to email to YouTube it's nice to have that connection available through your laptop when you're away from home or just looking for a change of scenery (I could get used to blogging in bed).  The real feature here is the integrated webcam and microphone though as Skype has become a bit more essential when discussing editing projects between various locations.  

3. Separating Work and Play
There are times when my desktop edit studio is bogged down with hours of HD footage rendering, multiple pieces of software open, and the desk itself is covered in notes.  The laptop provides an alternative way to access email, waste time on facebook, etc. while eliminating the possibility that I might accidentally close the wrong program.  In that sense, a portable option keeps my main editing hub more efficient and dedicated to the task at hand. 

4. A New Way to Screen Media
The ability to access the web or bring a library of video files with me on my laptop means it's easier to share a lot quickly.  With an HDMI output it's so easy to plug into my TV and screen high definition footage from the web or directly from the laptop without any hassle - no DVDs, no uploading, no FTP required.  As an added bonus, it makes watching online television on my big screen a breeze.

5. Backup
Purely for the sake of having another option if I need it, this portable addition to my edit studio is a great investment.  Photoshop, editing software, final draft, etc. it's all there if my desktop is tied up or having issues.

In short, my portable edit studio isn't about replacing my main edit suite at all, it's about complimenting it.  Versatility is only becoming more and more important, especially in the case of an independent editor like myself. It always feels better to have options.

On a personal level it's also a great feeling to know that you have room to breathe and expand with the projects you want to take on - a bit of flash doesn't hurt either.  Like all equipment, it's only as good as the use you can get out of it.  As far as I'm concerned I can already see how much use I'll get out of this, and for that I feel this upgrade has already paid for itself.