Aug 31, 2011

Downtown Medicine Hat

I love living in downtown Medicine Hat.  It's quaint, it's great to walk around, it's built along a beautiful river valley, and it has lots of small town character in a quasi big city way.  I love how everything quiets down on the weekend.  I love that the buildings are unique and that you can find original stores and places that really define what make this small city of 60,000+ people special.  Places like LOCAL or the Monarch Theatre are just a 5 minute walk away. 

I love that I can make a living editing videos and shooting photography here.  I love that it still feels like there's room to grow.  I love that my perception of this place has shifted so dramatically from when I was a kid to when I came back after university.  For the moment, this small prairie city is a comfortable fit.

Aug 29, 2011

When Life Hits the Fan

Over the last two weeks it feels like it's been one thing after the after.  Even with a week off for holidays, I found myself just as busy and just as stressed out by the flurry of activity that I found myself in.  I like being busy, but as things start piling on top of each other and as the good begins to blur with the bad, well, let's just say that it doesn't take long before you feel like curling up in a ball on the floor.

My story starts on August 12, a Friday.  I was busy rushing to finish up some last minute photography projects before I welcomed a long awaited week off for holidays.  While I wrapped things up at the office, the real work began that evening as I tried to complete the final video for what had been a six week project involving various edits for the College.  Things didn't quite work out.

At 11pm I placed a call asking for an extension on the deadline as I had to be up first thing on Saturday morning to drive 500km for a wedding in Regina.  The project was temporarily shelved and I was off to Saskatchewan. 

The wedding was for my friends Daunean and Ian.  I had lived with Daunean in residence and the wedding proved to be the perfect excuse to bring all of us College West brats back together again.  While I find an excuse to see the film school gang at least once every year, the residence group is spread all over the place so are meetings are too few and far between.  It made the event that much more bittersweet and enjoyable.

I awoke the next morning, hungover and exhausted.  There had been plans for a bonfire that evening, but after checking my emails and finding the new revisions for the College edit I had waiting back home I knew it wasn't in the cards.  It was the briefest trip I'd ever taken to Regina.  A whirlwind 24 hour visit with most of my time spent behind the wheel.

I was back in Medicine Hat on Sunday afternoon only to have my Jaguar start acting up.  As it turns out the drive was just as tiring for my car as a bit of tinkering confirmed that the throttle position sensor had officially conked out.  This was one of my worst fears as my early research when buying a Jaguar addressed this very problem.  The throttle position sensor isn't sold separately, but instead is sold as part of the entire throttle body assembly.  A part that costs over $2000 new.  Shit.  

To feel rushed through a wedding with editing work weighing on my mind is one thing, but then to be sidetracked by issues with my car is another.  I'm pretty handy and have done a lot of maintenance myself, but that Sunday there simply wasn't any time for me to do anything expect figure out what was wrong.  It was starting to feel like I wasn't going to be able to cross anything off my list as I had planned.  It was a late Sunday night spent editing.

Monday I had the College edits away and had some time to prepare for my friend Tyler to come and visit on Tuesday.  I was asked by my uncle to check on his house later in the week and so went to pick up keys at his place.  My aunt had been up in the cancer center in Calgary with what we found out later that week was a Pancreatic Neuroendrocrine Tumor.  The cancer speculations that began at the end of June had taken everyone by surprise, and as I was swept up in my busiest time of year with edits, I struggled with how something so heavy had come out of nowhere.   My aunt is back home for the time being as they explore possible treatments.

My cousin Leslie has been writing about the experience on her site.

By the time Tuesday came along I was thinking I could finally kill some time with my car before relaxing that evening with my old film school friend.  That wasn't the case.  Final revisions for the College edits came in and I was rushing to make changes for a now overdue project.  I was still rendering when Tyler arrived, but the hangout was welcome.

My phone began beeping on command first thing Wednesday morning as there was a problem. I wasn't even surprised at this point.  There were incompatibility issues with the College edits and their software.  More hours were spent rendering as I bounced between work and playing host, but later that afternoon the project was completed, delivered, and finally off of my plate.  

That evening I found out that my good friends Dave and Wendy had finally had their baby boy, Darwin.  Last year at this time Dave and I were finalizing details for our road trip to California, in which Dave spent much of the journey text messaging a new girl he'd met named, Wendy.  What a difference a year makes, huh? Wendy shared her birth story on her blog

The remaining days of my holiday were spent catching up with Tyler, finally getting a chance to visit with my friend Andrea after weeks of delayed hangouts, searching out a salvaged throttle body on eBay (which should be here any day now), and generally just trying to hang on to my sanity.

This swirl of activity has left me generally frustrated, stressed, and in a weird funk.  Since my week off things have started to even out somewhat, but I still feel consumed by all of the big things happening to those around me.  Work, weddings, babies, sickness, reunions, major repairs - it's a lot to process in a week.  It's like walking down the card aisle at Hallmark and feeling like you currently have a situation for each category.

I feel selfish for needing support when those around me are going through big life changing moments.  Perhaps that's what's hurting the most. I'm running on empty from six weeks of working two jobs at the peak of their busy seasons, and I've been reminded that the real challenge has been to have a life.  I just want a few days off, I want my car to work, I want to be able to save a bit of money without something else going wrong, and most of all, I want to be able to fully appreciate the big moments of those around me without feeling that my mind is somewhere else.

John Lennon had it right when he said 'Life is just what happens to you when you're busy making other plans'.  It is getting a bit messy though, so could somebody please turn down that fan just a little bit? 

Aug 28, 2011

Back To Business

With an eventful two weeks behind me - more on this to come - it's back to posting as usual.  The summer is starting to slowly fade out and now is the time for me to kick into overdrive.  There's a lot I want to get done this fall and a lot that still feels unresolved from this year in general.  First things first, a fresh revamp of the blog to turn the page on a stressful few months and to spur on some new motivation.    

Aug 27, 2011

Summing Up the Best Of

Last year I took a couple weeks off to go on a road trip to California which resulted in two weeks of rehashing my favorite edits on Editing Luke.  This year with the same goal in mind (minus the road trip) I took two weeks to share some of the best posts from this site from over the last four years.  In case you missed them, here is what 2 Weeks 2 Rehash looked like this year:

Aug 26, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #10

While I'm certainly not passed the point of receiving advice myself (although I guess no one really is) I feel that I have had my share of trials and errors in filmmaking or video-making. From a kid who wanted to make movies, to a film student who wanted to get out of class, to an adult just looking for film work, it continues to be an uphill battle.

There's certainly no correct formula to success, but if you're looking for a few tips on what you can do to improve your own creative ambitions, maybe take filmmaking beyond a hobby, here are a few things that have helped me out.

1. Don't Assume You Know Everything About Film
Whether you're a film student or not, I've met my share of people who thought they already had it all figured out. There's never a shortage of techniques, concepts, styles, etc. to pick up on. The more willing you are to learn, the more experience you naturally open yourself up to. You don't have to like everything, but try and experience it at least once. The more varied and dynamic your approach, the more credibility you gain when speaking with other artists, and the more likely you are to refine your own tastes. 

2. It's Okay To Like The Mainstream
Eventually you're going to encounter someone who will rant about how all Hollywood flicks are awful - formulaic, boring, repetitive, etc. Don't shy away from the debate, but don't feel guilty about stocking your own DVD collection with comedies. The world needs entertainment, and not everything has to be high art. 

3. It's Okay To Like The Avant-Garde
Eventually you're going to encounter someone who will rant about how experimental films are cliche, without purpose and overly pompous, and how the only films worth seeing are the ones with A list stars and directors. Again, don't shy away from the debate, but remember to continually test yourself with a wealth of movies outside of the weekends top box office. You'd be surprised how often the avant-garde inspires what later becomes the mainstream. Remember, the world needs art and experimentation, and merging creative substance with accessibility speaks to every quality film made. 

4. Create As Much As Possible
If you wanted to be a writer, you'd be told to write. If you wanted to be photographer, you'd be told to take pictures. Same goes for filmmaking: if you want to make movies (whatever facet of the industry you're interested in) practice doing it. Your greatest lessons will come from your own mistakes and successes, and trust me there will be a lot of them . . . mistakes that is. It always looks easier than it actually is, but your own push to see what you can do will pay off as you continue to improve. You most likely won't start off with the best equipment, but use that as part of the challenge. Sometimes limitations help to establish borders which makes it easier to work. The more you create, the more you learn. 

5. Watch Critically
Filmmaking at its core is about experiences used to tell a story. Keep this in mind when watching other films, television and the random events in your own daily life. The more you pay attention to, the more material you'll have for your own concepts. 

6. You Can't Please Everyone
So don't expect to! One of your biggest challenges is going to be finding a style and approach that you're comfortable with; One that makes you confident enough to shake the 'you should'ves' and 'I don't get its' that all filmmakers inevitably hear. You have to take pride, first and foremost, in what your producing. If you've already acknowledged your projects flaws and decided to work on them, you may not have a project that everyone likes, but you will have one that meets your own standards - people who do like your work will respect that. And remember, opening yourself up to raw feedback will naturally lead to your ability to receive it and give it - not to mention, it'll thicken your skin. 

7. Use The Internet
For an independent filmmaker the Internet is the best tool out there. It's a no-brainer. Use it to upload your work to various sites, create a blog to share it, network with people from around the world, research film terms, theory and history, look up festivals and competitions, get feedback from strangers, etc. etc. 

8. Find The Answers You Want
Undoubtedly, you're going to question a lot of things from what type of equipment to use, to film school, to possible jobs, and so on. The beauty of a film career is that there are thousands of different ways to get to the same destination. Search out the info that helps to back up your approach. This may sound pointless, but don't underestimate the benefit of someone else's experience and the motivation you can get from a little positive reinforcement. 

9. Promote Yourself, Network
There's nothing like a group of peers to share with, debate with, and draw from. By looking out for the interests of others, you'll have more people looking out for yours. It's a social business, and knowing the right people counts. Also, don't be afraid to promote yourself. It's obviously what I'm doing with this blog. All my online sources link back here, so if anyone wants to search me out it's as easy as typing my name - Luke Fandrich - into Google. The success won't be apparent overnight, but I've been asked to screen my work at different festivals just for the fact that people saw my work and could easily get in touch with me - the online portfolio also speaks to professionalism. 

10. Get A Job
With any bit of persistence you're bound to find a job related to the field you'd like to work in. Even if you're just a production assistant it still gets you behind the scenes, and you'll still meet a lot of people. For me, I got my first post-university job because of the work I had submitted to the Medicine Hat Film Festival, where it was the company running the festival that remembered my work and hired me. I'm still currently working as a corporate videographer and editor, which is a great practical start to whatever I move onto next. This all ties back into gaining experience. Whether you like it or not, you can't do everything by yourself. Find a related or semi-related job to broaden your prospects and to get into the field that you really want. 

11. Keep At It
The most general and vague advice I could probably give is also the most important. There are going to be times when you feel like no one is paying attention, that what you're doing doesn't matter, and that's it just easier to give up. Remind yourself on a regular basis of what it is you're working towards, and what it is you've accomplished. It's like pulling a heavy wagon up a hill. You may not be able to see the top, but just by keeping at it you naturally work your way higher. If you stop, you'll just slide backwards and have to make up the ground again later.

Hard work talks, persistence talks, passion talks, sitting back and hoping only wastes your time. Working through the tough times not only says that you're serious, it helps prove to yourself how much you want to succeed. Enjoy your experiences, embrace challenges, find ways to motivate yourself, and learn with an open mind. Those who are persistent end up reaping the rewards. The most sound advice I have for aspiring filmmakers is the one thing that I can actually guarantee; Keep at it and you'll find your niche.

Luke Fandrich's Portfolio Preview

Aug 25, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #9

It certainly didn't happen by accident, but day after day that seemingly unattainable goal started to look more and more realistic. Three years and three months into the game and today my combined video views from YouTube, Vimeo, and now total more than one million! That's a pretty respectable milestone if you ask me.

Divided up over a number of projects, I'm proud to say that the views didn't all come from a single video or from uploading someone elses' content or from a cheap attempt to go viral - no, the million views (and counting!) have come from simply sharing film school shorts, experiments, travelogs, parodies, and a variety of other original content that I've created over the years. And to be clear, the number doesn't include any of the corporate edits or videos that I've done and that others have uploaded to their sites.

It's a small time success story in that there are those who have achieved this milestone seemingly overnight - but, for my sake, the number simply means that people have been watching. Whether the number was 10,000 or 1,000,000 that's all I ever really cared about. 

The number is more or less a realization of a goal that seemed almost impossible to reach when I started out, and in that sense it's a marker for the determination and effort that I've invested in myself and the work I'm passionate about. It feels incredible to have reached one million views and have perseverance to attribute it to.

Thank you all for continuing to make the journey a rush!

Aug 24, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #8

Standing in that empty dorm room for the final time was like the last few seconds of an epic film, where the camera remains stationary on the lead character who looks defiantly ahead before walking out of frame. It's the kind of goodbye that really gains meaning the further away you get from it. What's next? What did I learn? What did it mean? It's a real life adventure, and it's crazy to catch yourself in such a meaningful act break.

University is behind me now, and as I've already started moving in a new direction I don't really know what's next exactly. If anything, it's just nice to be reminded how much is still left to be experienced. To escape from that 'bubble' and plunge head first into something new again. It's a bigger beginning than an end - another fresh start.

Aug 23, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #7

To be honest, I've never considered myself a hipster - at least it never seemed that way by comparison.  The connotation actually suggests a form of loathing to me.  The kind of person who would shun you if they saw you buy your groceries at Walmart or remove a song they liked from their iPod the minute they heard it on a popular radio station.

Then I thought about my traits.  I'm a former film student, current video editor and photographer, living in a loft apartment, who blogs, who fills walls with inspiration boards and make-shift posters, who over the last 6 months has stocked his fridge with increasingly more obscure brands of beer, and as of yesterday, a guy who redesigned a blog header featuring himself with stereotypical film-hipster glasses that have no practical purpose.  Oh yeah, I went there.

You won't find me shunning the mainstream however.  You also won't often hear me say that I don't like something because I think too many people already like it either.   

The few things that bother me about the mainstream are often easily applied to the things that bother me about most things in general.  No matter what social classification, it's a lifestyle built on distaste that I dislike (uh oh, double negative).  I just don't want to hear about a life defined by the ways it's been segregated, I want to hear about how amazing it is because of the things you've embraced.  

Originality shouldn't exclude others from sharing experiences, it should be defined by how unique your perspective, reaction, etc. is within those everyday occurrences.  This should be unshakable, and your passions shouldn't waver at the first sign of criticism.  If someone else liking or disliking something completely alters your perception of that thing, maybe you never really cared that much about it in the first place. 

Hipsters can be too far into the alternative to recognize that they're still a product of a mass culture, and likewise, the overly mainstream person is neglecting to see that most ideas evolve from far more obscure places than Hollywood.

I've created a paradox with my non-hipster, hipster critiques.  But what's clear to me now is that it's easy to become what you thought you were avoiding - or at least share some part of it.  We're all posers to some extent though, and that's a good thing. It means we're continually borrowing inspiration and finding ways to cycle through cultural influences. Then again, maybe I'm just a dickhead.

Aug 22, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #6

Over chipped pavement shadowed by golden facades, the palm tree lined streets of Hollywood Boulevard are brimming with activity. In a dream world driven by the promise of opportunity and stardom, the vendors of this dizzying street harp on about star homes, movie tours, and even their own work. It's lavish and seedy, exhilarating and perhaps even a bit sad.

The Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards, is kitty corner to dingy tourist shops, posh retail outlets, make-shift museums, and chain restaurants. I love it for the same reason I love Las Vegas. It's an illusion that strives to bridge the gap between the homeless guy on the corner and the international celebrity that lives in the hills. The chances of seeing a real star amongst the impersonators is slim, yet still the continuous camera flashes dictate that everyone is invested in the scene.

A small time independent filmmaker like me is quickly lost in fantasy. As a kid this seemed believable, attainable, and even desirable. It might as well be a movie set now. Hollywood Boulevard is an amazing place that allows you to get lost in a flurry of movie gossip and entertainment euphoria, but it's also just symbolism on steroids. A fun ride for an afternoon, you can't help but feel like a commodity in such a tourist saturated locale.

I marvel at the Oscar statue knock-offs and amounts of people taking pictures of sidewalks, myself included. Hollywood Boulevard inadvertently forces you to consider all those who haven't made it while touring a walk of fame that lists those who have. Who are some of these stars anyway? The juxtaposition makes me appreciate my day to day editing for it's lack of glamour.

Another busload of tourists is unloaded in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre as we head into Madame Tussuad's to take our pictures with wax. It's just another day in Hollywood.

For more, check out the footage I shot of Hollywood Blvd. in 2004 and my complete photo set from 2010. 

Aug 19, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #5

At times I find myself being fascinated by the simplest things. Moments of essentially little consequence, that only in the right frame of mind seem to trigger reflection or inspire me to think out a scene for a screenplay I haven't written yet. I doubt that this is uncommon as we all have moments that are conveniently entertaining, but I've discovered that the more I can absorb these moments the happier and more self assured I become.

For instance, today I was at Walmart and overheard someone say 'I have no idea where my car is, I parked somewhere out in the boonies'. I started to laugh because I refer to the 'boonies' all the time, and until hearing this other guy say it I thought to myself that I have no idea what that means. I guess it's just slang for the middle of nowhere, but still, boonies? When did that catch on and where did I pick it up? Pointless, I know, but there are a lot of dumb sayings that I've embraced over the years.

Also, today the temperature reached a new record high in Regina, beating a previous high from the 1920s. It was 37 degrees Celsius, the kind of hot and humid weather that makes you feel like you just got out of the shower and can't seem to dry off. The dorms are pretty good, I have AC in my room. My one roommate though, or person who also has a dorm here (roommate sounds like we know each other) insists on opening the windows on a daily basis (which leaves me following behind to close them). His reasoning for this could be to let out the smell of his cooking or maybe he likes fresh air, but all I can think about is that the work it took to cool off the place is lost in 5 minutes. Not to mention all the energy it wastes. Plus, how does 37 degrees feel good unless you're on a quest to turn your shoebox of a room into a personal sauna?

My history in residence is full of stories like this that both irritate and entertain (after the fact). There is enough material here for numerous seasons of a residence based sitcom. I'm a white guy in College West (the dorms) which puts me in the minority to a largely Asian population (especially during the summer when most Canadians have gone back to live with their parents or whatever). The cultural differences can be vast. Although, what I may justify as cultural differences is more likely the general stupidity of a select few.

I've learned to deal with residence life so when it came to the open windows on one of the hottest days of the year, I was once again cheerfully shocked as opposed to angry. In contrast, I've experienced everything from the routine loud music and roommates, to people using the toilet as a garbage disposal, cutting their hair in the kitchen and leaving it, and cooking food that smells like the sewer backed up. It's far from glamorous, but it's the kind of fodder and abuse that breeds creativity. No doubt, building character in numerous ways too. Any how, I've left a note on the windows, hopefully we can save some AC now.

The cherry on top of the day was getting a Slurpee (or technically a froster) at macs. With it being so incredibly hot, the machines were overworked and some of the Slurpees were pretty runny. A kid came up, maybe 8 or 9, and as he turned the lever to fill his cup a rush of liquid just sprayed all over him (clearly inexperienced). Noticing the obvious shock of the kid, and trying to hold back laughter myself I turned and said what anybody in that situation would say, 'that sucks'. Probably actually cooled himself off anyway, so, lucky kid. Not that I thrive on the bad experiences of others or anything, but it's the hiccups that keep things interesting.

Sometimes it doesn't take much to make a good day.

Aug 18, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #4

I've been putting off writing this post for a few weeks, partly because I have other projects going on, but mainly because it's kind of an uncomfortable topic for me. Whether you've heard it through the grapevine, or heard me allude to it in several previous posts, it is in fact official that I will not be returning to university in the fall.

True, I likely won't even return to the University of Regina to finish my degree in the film progam. I suppose this is shocking depending on your own personal experience. Some relate, some disagree, and generally those who know me just look at me wide-eyed when I say it. Although perhaps it's strange to leave after the time I've put into this education, with every ounce of ambition, passion, and confidence that I have I know it's a step in the right direction for me. Sure, at its simplest it's just leaving school I guess, but it's also giving up that 'student' definition; that comfortable and forgiving term that for any artist in my position gives you a title that says it's okay that you haven't made it big yet.

It's not that I don't want to make movies anymore, it's exactly the opposite. I want to get started with my life and honestly believe that these last few random programs are not only a waste of money, but a waste of time and effort in the way of real experiences and tests. Sure the piece of paper is important, and I don't want to express any negativity towards those who pursue it because I understand it's benefits as well. 

My choice is obviously a personal one and in such a case, my sentiment is what really matters. For me, I feel I've been stagnant in this environment for the last couple of semesters and I feel like I'm drowning. The one thing keeping me afloat is my personal filmmaking (the blog/sasktel contest/etc) and in my own opinion, when you discover your inner passion, when you can see your goals, when you go out of your way to better yourself, when you become your own teacher, well then, learning through dictation loses it's effectiveness. 

I guess what I'm saying is that I've been lucky enough to experience and learn a great deal in regards to my own productions and I can't take the hypotheticals anymore. Experience a bit of success on your own and how can you go back to just talking about? I want and need more of the reality.

I started my university career straight out of high school in the fall of 2002, meaning that by the end of this semester I will have been in school for 6 years . . . yes, for a 4 year program. The reasons for this are long, but the last 2 years especially have been plagued by a lack of motivation, understanding, and reasoning as to why I was subjecting myself to classes that seemed redundent and worthless. In argument of this I always tell the story of how in a 4th year production class one of the major assignments was to write about one of your favourite directors. I was thinking:

"I'm sorry prof, but after the tens of thousands of dollars spent to get to 4th year programs in film, i'm beyond telling you about one of my favourite directors. I can do that in a couple sentences, tell me I have to make another movie! Challenge me! Trust me, I wouldn't be this far in the program if I didn't care about cinema, and if you're concerned that Johnny and Jane don't know their directors and styles by this point - let them make another movie and they'll realize just how far behind they really are. It's a sink or swim industry, and all the times I was humbled in class only made me stronger the next time around. Honestly, this is the end, this is the advanced class, write a paper on a director in a PRODUCTION class? Give me something I can sink my teeth into! Please inspire me to do more than read the same books in the library again! I can do that for free."

My mind has been made up to leave school by a series of stories like this that I'll probably end up writing a book about when I'm 40. This stuff is funny the first few times, then it just gets painful when you realize how much you're paying for it.

So where does this leave me? Well, i'll be in limbo for the summer at least while I work to pay off some of my debt. Then it's an open playing field. If I wanted to be an accountant or an engineer my strategy would seem pretty foolish, but based on my research it seems that a strong portfolio (which I do have) is just as, if not more, valuable in proving what you're capable of. There's still a load of uncertainty in this choice, but at the end of the day, school will always be there, I'm still young enough to pursue a lot of directions, and by doing this I feel like I'm finally moving forward. It just feels right.

I have to admit though, as strange as it is, if I hadn't gone to university in the first place I may have never gained the level of confidence to take such big risks (especially in the capacity where I'm able to act solely on what I want, without being bothered that others would/could do it differently). I've learned to trust myself and believe in myself, and whether I'm in school or not, I finally understand that I'm beyond what it is to be a film student. Regardless of what anyone else may think, I'm a filmmaker, degree or not.

Aug 17, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #3

Since my first dorm room in film school I've convinced myself that it's easier to be creative in a space that looks the part. In many ways I've always had the mindset of an editor; overly organized and always looking to contextualize my experiences. I'd like think that this is how my space comes across too.

It started with a couple posters and photos and throughout the process of moving between home and school, the expressions just seemed to get bolder with each years new setup. My dorm rooms became somewhat infamous for how ambitiously visual and wallpapered they became. A mashup of pop culture, personal photos, patterns and collections, the rooms were different every time but the style was fairly consistent.

There's something interesting about being so meticulously organized and yet so attracted to busy graphics. I like that I can look at a wall of imagery and feel surrounded by the ideas that went in to creating them. The colours and selections that end up on my wall aren't made haphazardly either. As an avid magazine reader I've always ripped out the images I liked, thinking that one day they would find their way into an art project, frame, or display. The argument was always that it wasn't the individual image that created the meaning or context, instead it was all about the unique combination of graphics that ended up on the wall.

I'd defend the look by saying that anyone could have these images, but it was doubtful that anyone else had arranged them this exact way. In that, I always felt that pop culture could be embraced and still be made more personal.

I've tried to create balance in my new place by framing things out more and not covering entire walls with pictures. I think it still looks pretty distinct (see first image) and it definitely serves the purpose of giving my mind cues to wander when needed. Then again, sometimes it's just about seeing how far you can go (see last image).

A creative space can be a million different things to a million different people, and in my experience it has been. I surround myself with things I like to see, places I've been, personal projects I've worked on, music I love, and things that generally inspire me or remind me what I've already accomplished. A creative space has only one fundamental requirement for earning its designation, and it's really quite simple - it should compel and allow you to be productive.

Aug 16, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #2

For every filmmaker (I would assume) there is a certain level of pride and identity wrapped up in what one chooses to call their production company. This company is either quite literally a business or simply a badge or brand that a filmmaker puts on his or her work to represent themselves and their body of work (usually both). From Kevin Smith's View Askew to Tarantino's A Band Apart there's something immediately defining in seeing these credits on the screen. So after considering this I thought it was about time that I addressed this question myself.  

What's the story behind fandrix productions. Why fandrix?

And of course, the easy answer is that my name is Luke Fandrich and it doesn't take a scientist to recognize the connection between Fandrich and Fandrix. True, this is the inspiration for the name. The meat of the story is that I was 12 when I picked this name though. I was thinking about a production company name simply as a mark of ownership on the videos I was sharing with family and friends. This is Fandrich's video - or as it became, Fandrix.

As years passed and I reached my late teens I began to think more seriously about the name and what it meant to me. The more time rolled on, and as I found myself in film school, it became clear that I was locked in. There was no good reason to change my name, if simply for the reason that from the very first short amateur video I ever made up until then, you could see Fandrix Productions or fandrix on it.

Nostalgia and branding have made it so much more interesting, especially since over a decade has past since I started using fandrix. A stylized and hand drawn image of a TV with rabbit ears was my first logo - and it's still kicking around. I occasionally use it on my posters these days. I now have an actual old TV with rabbit ears that I use as part of my logo, or I simply use an image of the rooftop that I've incorporated into Editing Luke branding over the years. The fact that this production nickname has acquired a history of its own is reason enough to continue nurturing it.

While part of the name, logo, and branding is about playing around and creating an experience, there is also a lot to be said about making your work easily recognizable. My goal has never been about personal fame - but if people can recognize the name on the work and have that as a clue to who I am, that's ideal. I'd much rather have the John Hughes type of fame - you recognize the name and the work, but the average viewer probably couldn't pick him out of a line-up.

So, why fandrix? At this point it's because the name links me directly to my changing work from childhood to adulthood, it's a unique variation on my name that I've been able to popularize as representing only me, and I've been able to see myself grow and evolve with a name and logo that is capable of growing and evolving too. It's a time capsule of sorts, that's just too valuable to let go of.

And then again, why not?

Aug 15, 2011

Best of Editing Luke #1

Regina, Saskatchewan hasn't changed. The city where I went to university and left last year after deciding I didn't want to finish school is very much the same place I moved away from. What would really change that much anyway, right? I went to the university - yup, this is still the same. I went downtown - the same. Even the Denny's we used to go after drinking - same.

I obviously feel very different than the tired and stuck student I saw myself as at this time last year. After working to pay down my debt, getting paid to actually edit and shoot, and finding new passion in my personal productions, there was a part of me that believed returning to Regina was going to feel epic. The spring air, the lighting, all practically the same as when I packed up the Buick and headed home. What I saw instead was the reason I left. Aside from my good friends, Regina had no more relevance to what I wanted to do now, than it did in March of 2008.

Me next to the Regina sign, celebrating on one of my final nights there.

Without effort things fell right back into place. Strolling through the uni hallways with Tyler felt like any other day I was there, and if I wasn't so focused on finding meaning I probably would've accidentally tried to get into my old dorm. Another year older, a bit more confident, and still as uncertain about the reality of my choices. Leaving school isn't a regret, but a reminder of a different path that I clearly saw and at the last minute decided not to take.
Somehow, thinking about my own potential has only become more exciting.

The weekend was significant for another reason. It was around this time last year, that chatting with my friends Dave and Tyler, we recorded ourselves talking about our favourite film school experiences and memories. I had already clearly stated my plans not to return, but the recording proved just how meaningful the whole journey had been. It was the kind of conversation we'd had hundreds of times, but on the cusp of breaking away from years of formal education, it felt more significant.

I used a few moments from the footage in a preview I edited for this blog:

I don't suppose Regina will ever really be as different or as personally revealing as my imagination says it should be. Instead, it'll always remind me of change and the choices that ultimately resulted in the path I'm on. A living scrapbook that I was a part of for a few years. As long as friends are there, I'll go back. They were always the best part of the experience anyway, and as I'm sure most would agree, they're the best connection we have to where we've been, what we've done, and where we want to go.

Aug 14, 2011

Time For a Break

The summer has just flown by so far, and with a bit of time off I've decided that I'm going to do my best to spend it away from the computer.  I'm excited to get caught up on other lingering projects, spend some time with friends, work on my car a bit, and ultimately do my best to relax as much as possible.

Editing Luke will be back in full swing by the end of the month with more new content and videos, but in the meantime, I'll be showcasing (AKA reposting) a few of my favorite posts over the next two weeks.  With over 800 posts composed over a 4 year history, chances are that there's going to be some content that you've missed or haven't seen before as it is.  It'll be like I never left!

Cheers to making the most of what's left of summer!