Dec 30, 2011

Editing Luke in 2011

Of all the years in recent memory, 2011 was undoubtedly a challenging one for me.  It felt like a year of uphill battles, where every positive moment was directly followed by a heavier negative one.  Coming off of what was an epic year of successes, I suppose that 2011 had the deck stacked against it to begin with.  However, each year brings a new chapter to the story, and through all of the experiences I felt I discovered a lot more about myself and the people around me.  In retrospect, I did do more than thought.

Here are a few of the things that defined 2011 for me:

January 24, 2011 - In the midst of edits piling up and car troubles, I wrote a post that would seem to echo in the months that followed it.

February 10, 2011 - One of the biggest projects I undertook early in the year was upgrading my edit suite.  I incorporated new hard drives and reorganized all of my files. A few weeks later I went wireless for the sake of Netflix and my new PS3, and by March I was working with new software and wrote about Avid Studio.  That review actually showed up at the top of Google searches and has already been viewed nearly 6000 times.    

April 16, 2011 - One year to the day had passed, and I wrote one of my favorite posts of the year about an experience we had in Singapore.

May 10, 2011 - I added a new laptop to my editing arsenal.

May 18, 2011 - As my blog started gaining more traction, I wrote about why I think filmmakers should blog.

May 31, 2011 - Editing Luke celebrated 4 years.

June 10, 2011 - I launched my brand new blog, Jeeves and the Jaguar.  You can check out my year end recap of that site here and the promo I made in June below.

June 28, 2011 - A family gathering became a memorable event with bubbles

June 29, 2011 - I traveled up to Calgary for a Weddingstar photo shoot at the Opera House.  I embraced living like a boss for a day, and showcased my photos on the Weddingstar blog for the release of the new magazine.  The behind the scenes video I shot and edited debuted at the same time.

July 1, 2011 - I was away to Regina for the Canada Day long weekend to celebrate with friends.  I practiced my bonfire penmanship and snapped a bit of Canadiana.  

July 29, 2011 - One of the most memorable trips of the year was a day we spent on the South Saskatchewan River in the pouring rain.  It was so uncomfortable we couldn't help but laugh (more so after the fact though). 

August 5, 2011 - I spent an evening at the old Monarch Theatre with my folks.

August 29, 2011 - Some well intentioned time off resulted in a painful week of bad news. There were a few highlights at the beginning of the week though, like reuniting with friends from university at Daunean and Ian's wedding and seeing Dave and Wendy together before their baby was born.

September 12, 2011 - Without question the most difficult and emotional post I wrote this year was about losing one of my best friends, Dave.  The experience was a total shock, and I was candid about my feelings leading up to the funeral, the process of making a memorial video for him, and what it was like after we said our last goodbyes.  It's still tough to think about, and has changed the way I look at a lot of things.

October 7, 2011 - In keeping with the upgrade trend that started earlier in the year, I was forced to buy a brand new computer when my existing edit suite crapped out.  

October 17, 2011 - As a welcome break from my busy schedule, my sister and I went to see Jerry Seinfeld live.

October 19, 2011 - I cut a new reel for Stream Media.

October 28, 2011 - For the second year in a row, I went out of my way to get a pumpkin purely for the sake of roasting the seeds.  This time I made an effort to document the experience though.

November 7, 2011 - I released a teaser trailer for my project, Searching Salvation about a trip to Salvation Mountain with my friend Dave.

November 29, 2011 - At the end of the month both my Dad and Brother celebrated milestone birthdays, and so our family all traveled to Lethbridge to mark the occasion.

December 16, 2011 - My brand new portfolio site, went live.  I even designed new business cards to help promote it in the new year.

December 25, 2011 - I made a lot of posts about the holidays this year.  I snapped pictures of my place, of what Christmas looked like downtown, and I uploaded a We Two Kings music video.  We had a great Christmas this year and I shared a collage of highlights that I snapped throughout the weekend.

As 2011 comes to a close I'm anxious about what the new year has in store.  If I've learnt anything this year it's that there's no shortage of surprises, but also that the bright spots are always there if you look hard enough.  I wish you all the best in the coming year ahead!

Dec 27, 2011

Scenes from a Holiday Weekend 2011

Our Christmas was decidedly relaxed this year, but wasn't without fun and excitement. Friends and family gathered at my folks place for Christmas eve where we upheld our ritual to eat, drink, and be merry.  We spent hours playing Pictionary, dancing to a game on the PS3, and singing duets on American Idol on the Wii.  A few drinks in and everyone was a world class entertainer.  

Christmas morning came with plenty of presents and new distractions.  What I wanted most that afternoon was a nap.  However, by dinner the house smelt great and we embraced our comfortable surroundings.  It was the first Christmas we had without any of our extended family and although it felt different, everyone was upbeat.  Our traditions will undoubtedly continue to change as we get older and our families grow, but to me Christmas will always be special.   

Scenes from a holiday weekend.

Christmas eve meets family game night.
Pictionary, PS3 dancing, and American Idol on Wii.

Christmas morning with presents galore.

A small feast for Christmas dinner.

Dec 25, 2011

Good Tidings and Mirth

And Christmas morning came just the same.  This is a new edit, but very familiar footage if you've watched We Two Kings in the past.  I opted to make a music video using some of my favorite footage from that shoot as a way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  Have an amazing day and go make some memories!  

Dec 23, 2011

On the Eve of the Eve

I scrambled yesterday to finish a last minute photo shoot, I uploaded a new Weddingstar video, I cleaned out boxes and boxes of product from my office and studio, and then I pulled an all-nighter to finish an edit for Stream Media.  I'm exhausted, but things have pretty much gone to plan and I'm now on holidays until January without any work projects to occupy my time.

This is my favorite part of Christmas.  All of the presents are wrapped, the decorations look great, and I don't have anything to do except enjoy the moment and savor the anticipation of all of the holiday plans ahead.  On the eve of the eve for Christmas 2011, I've managed to do what has failed me for the last several years.  I've made a clean break and set myself up to start fresh in the new year.  After what has been an incredibly busy twelve months, this break feels well deserved.

Dec 22, 2011

Modern Inspired Photo Shoot

This year was full of on-location photo shoots for Weddingstar, but things kicked off with vintage, sparkle, and modern themed shoots at the office.  Each time the scope of the shoot became a bit more varied with more products and props.  Truth be told, the videos were all secondary to the photographs which were to be used for ads in the UK, to enhance product pages, and for highlights on our blog.  

The modern themed shoot was a bit more generic than those prior scenes, but instead of doing a traditional table setting we did a desert table and seating table.  Here's another sneak peek of some of the products used in the shoot.  

Beatles Love at the Mirage

Back in 2006 I marvelled at the release of Love, a new album of ambient remixes and mashups designed in large part by the Beatles original producer, George Martin. Although I had already been an avid fan of the Beatles I was really just starting to get passed the basics and was hungry for anything that gave me a different perspective on what the band did.  The idea that there was an accompanying show in Las Vegas put on by Cirque du Soleil was equally as exciting, and although I was a broke film student at the time I knew that I'd get there to see it one day.

That day finally came in 2008.  And again in 2009.  To be honest, it won't be the last either.  With a trip to Las Vegas becoming increasingly overdue, I have no qualms about return visits to the spectacle that is Love.  I figured I could go on and on about the show, but then realized I could just let you see for yourself.  Cheers to new epic adventures (maybe something like this) in the new year!

Dec 20, 2011

Christmas in Medicine Hat

Growing up in the city of Medicine Hat, Alberta you might expect that I'd have become accustomed to what Christmas actually looks like in this city.  The truth is that moving away for film school (not to mention traveling more in general) and then coming back here to work, completely changed my view of this place.  Over the last couple of years I've found it easier to appreciate a lot of things that make Medicine Hat unique.

Recently I was feeling restless after completing a small editing project and needed to get away from the computer.  I felt like going for a walk and decided to bring my camera with me.  I figure there's always the potential to capture some cool scenes like I shared in these spring or fall blog posts.  Undoubtedly, downtown Medicine Hat at Christmas presents some obvious focal points - the lights on trees around city hall, the variety in store front windows, and even the perennial lighting of the candle on top of the Telus tower.  The Hat really is a beautiful place to spend the holidays.      

Dec 19, 2011

My New Portfolio Business Cards

Arriving as planned, the brand new business cards I designed and had printed at came just as my portfolio site @ went live last week.  I opted to keep the look simple, using the infamous image I shot of downtown rooftops in my hometown of Medicine Hat. That image has graced this blog in countless variations and has introduced my various short films since 2007. 

I have several friends who have really enjoyed using Moo and I can see why.  I think my cards turned out great and the quality is exceptional.  They'll make a strong first impression when I hand them out in the coming year as I continue to look for new ways to share my online experiences.