Showing posts with label 2007. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2007. Show all posts

Aug 23, 2012

Bear Country USA in South Dakota

Back in 2007 on a road trip to Mount Rushmore, my friend Andrea and I stopped at Bear Country USA just outside of Rapid City, South Dakota. Bear Country is a drive through wilderness park that allows you to see various animals, including wolves, bison, elk, and bears (obviously), up close and personal from the comfort of your vehicle.

bear country usa south dakota

While it was a pretty relaxed experience, the most lively animal was actually an elk that approached Andrea's car and started chewing on the antenna. We had quite a few laughs about that encounter over the course of the trip. 

In addition, checking out the bear cubs after our drive through the wilderness park was a definite highlight. They were pretty cute, and we got there just as they all started climbing up a tree at the exact same time (check out the video below). It was another worthwhile stop on our road trip through the Black Hills of South Dakota.

bear country usa south dakota

bear country usa south dakota

bear country usa south dakota

bear country usa south dakota
bear country usa south dakota

bear country usa south dakota

bear country usa south dakota

Jun 15, 2012

Buick (5 Years) to the Future

It appears that time travel is possible after all!  It's not as instantaneous as Doc would've hoped, but here we are five years into the future from when the first episode of Buick to the Future debuted on a brand new little blog called Editing Luke.  What a long way we've come.  The Buick is gone, film school and Regina are behind me, and this small project (surprisingly) proved to be just enough to kick start a personal website that hasn't faded out.

Below I've posted a few highlights from what became a four episode series in 2007 and 2008.  Also, check out the original trilogy post and conclusion post for the stories behind the campiest, most kitschy short films I've ever made.  Word is still out on whether Doc and Marty survived after episode four.    

Apr 8, 2011

Top Posts of 2007

In 2007 I entered my final year of film school, took part in the Sasktel cell phone video competition, and went on a lengthy road trip to Mount Rushmore.  It was also the year that Editing Luke debuted.  

I was fairly new to sharing my videos online and was still just trying to find my own writing style, but in the 7 months of 2007 that Editing Luke existed my blog actually received over 8,000 hits. I worked hard to get them, but I also knew from the start that the success of my site was resting on how original and unique I could make it from what else was already out there.  In retrospect those first 7 months were all trial and error, but the concept of my online film journal seemed to stick.  Here were the most popular posts from my site in its first year:

Originally posted June 15, 2007
This post shouldn't come as much of a surprise.  Buick to the Future was a campy comedy short that I came up with entirely because I wanted brand new content to promote my blog with.  It also became a big deal when for the first time I was able to share a new video with family and friends minutes after posting it.

Originally posted December 16, 2007
Similarly to Buick, this post became popular when I sent out Christmas messages with this video linked to it.  I suppose you also can't underestimate the willingness of people to share a cheesy snowman video with each other around the holidays.

Originally posted November 4, 2007
An entertaining time lapse concept made this post popular as I kicked off my ambitiously early dorm room Christmas.

Originally posted June 5, 2007
One of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog in the first place was to share my film school experiences.  This post marked the beginning of my film school rants, and readers seemed to embrace my candid thoughts.  It was a good thing too, because there were a lot more on the way. 

Jan 13, 2010

University of Regina Collages (2006-2007)

Created around the end of semester in the spring of 2006 I was going to be saying goodbye to several friends who were graduating. Starting my university career in 2002 I should have been graduating then also, but my evolving plans and a couple wasted classes determined otherwise. As a student I found inspiration in a lot of things outside of the classroom . . . still, with the snow thawing and things rapidly changing that semester, I could appreciate the milestone of how the absence of friends was going to alter my experience and so I thought about making a video.

What I decided to do was collect a few of the home video clips that I'd shot over the semester to include with a photo collage of the university - kind of creating a time capsule on DVD of what the place was like then. You may think that you'd have to wait a decade or so to really see some major changes, but we actually all came to the University of Regina when things were just about to shift.

Regina, Saskatchewan had been awarded the Canada games for 2005 and in 2003, still in my first year, ground had been broken on an expansive new phys. ed building and a set of twin tower residences. Those residences have since become the focal point of the new campus and dramatically altered the green space that the university centered around.

By 2006 the games had passed and the buildings were all in full operation, however, construction had begun on a brand new lab building right next to College West - now the old residence - that we all lived in. It was probably this that inspired the photo collage more than anything. I knew that in just a few years the building would be complete and it would instantly date the footage and remind us all of the semester that that giant crane and construction created so much noise. I even mentioned the new lab building in my retrospective short, Quirks, as the park location we shot at in 2004 was now covered by a lecture hall.

I gave out my DVDs as everything concluded in the winter semester of '06, ending my collage saying 'may our time at the U of R serve as a reminder that we are always working to better ourselves'. A bit cliche perhaps, but true nonetheless.


In 2007 I found myself staying in Regina over the summer for the first time. Not really intending to make a project necessarily, I ended up shooting a lot of pictures of the campus with the weather being so nice. It's worth noting that when you're in Saskatchewan for predominantly winter months it can be tough to fully appreciate your outdoor surroundings. In any case, I created a secondary video of the architectural details of some of the campus buildings - which are actually quite notable, as both the modernist/minimalist library and classroom buildings were designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the architect behind the World Trade Center.

What came out of all these photos was essentially what I had hoped in 2006. Time has passed and with each year the landscape and tone of the university that I attended changes. I'm really happy to have both these videos to remind me of a location that I not only lived in, but experienced in so many ways. Just as the University of Regina evolved so much when I was there, it continues to inspire my nostalgia as it reinvents itself for new students.

It was only a few years ago, but as far as I'm concerned these shorts now represent a completely different time.

Aug 20, 2009

Buick 360: Photo Collage (2007)

As one of the first edits I ever created for Editing Luke, my Buick Photo Collage (or Buick 360 as it's now called) was essentially just an experiment. I wanted to take pictures of my old 1989 Buick Park Avenue purely for memories sake. Getting older and showing her age, my car seemed like a worthy subject for a few photos while sitting all alone in the university parking lot.

This was June 2007 and I was staying in Regina over the summer for the first time, taking some electives in university. I shot several vantages of my car in combination with several sets of pictures I intended to animate. The goal was to create a short edit highlighting the scratches, dings, and old school styling that made my car the character I've always insisted it was (and still is for that matter). Following this project, it should come as no surprise that the first episode of Buick to the Future was shot just days later.

Buick 360 is short, snappy, and my answer to what was your first car like? Driving 'THE Buick' since I was 16, this car has seen and experienced a lot of things with me. Just in the time from making this short till now the car has gone from 240,000km to nearly 260,000km. It's crazy to think it's even been this long. Even as she's started to wear out a bit more each year, there's something comforting about knowing that this piece of machinery I grew up with is so well documented in a number of my short films from BTTF to Educated Detours to even a small cameo from the roof top in Day Dream Day.

There's been a lot of memories, and while this edit is only a showcase, to me it speaks of a car that's put on a lot of miles through some unforgettable adventures. This car has taken me through my youth and into adulthood, from getting my driver's license to driving away from university for the last time. With this video it was even instrumental in helping me kick of edits for this blog.

THE Buick has seen a lot of things and been a lot of places, and for that, I don't want to forget what it's been like to drive this car for so long and have it become a symbol - not for what it is, but for what I made it out to be. There's always been something about me and cars, and for a first car, this old Buick is my Lightning McQueen, Delorean, and Herbie all rolled up into one awesome piece of late 80's luxury. Classic.

Jul 26, 2009

Rushmore: Edits (2007)

It was one of those trips that started out as nothing more than a novel idea. A road trip to Mount Rushmore had been in the back of my mind for quite some time, but the reality of ever actually going seemed like wishful thinking.

The idea really came about because of my location in university. Regina, Saskatchewan is the largest Canadian city to the famed monument near Rapid City, South Dakota despite still being hundreds of miles away. I figured with the isolated location of Mount Rushmore, I might never be in a more convenient spot to actually see it. It was something I really wanted to cross off my bucket list, and having previously explored places to the north, west and east of Regina, it only seemed appropriate to check out the landscape further south. Little did I know that just over a year later at the end of the 2007 winter semester, my friend Andrea and I would decide to take the lengthy drive through the open prairie and into the Black Hills (here's an old school postcard I found while there).

The original project, Rushmore, was a travelog I cut together using photos and footage I shot along the trip. I added my personal narration to elaborate on the experiences and my general mindset at the time, while also using it as a way to tell a condensed story to my family and friends who I was most likely to share the video with.

It was just after returning that my blog, Editing Luke began. In an effort to share some of my previous projects and edits, some of the first things I ever shared included a post about why I love editing travelogs and a history of the video postcards I had cut together. Below you can watch the original South Dakota video postcard (also used as a preview for the complete travelog Rushmore) I cut together just a few weeks after returning.

Original 2007 South Dakota Video Postcard

During the week long trip, Andrea and I visited Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse memorial, the town of Deadwood (made even more popular by the HBO show of the same name), Devil's Tower in Wyoming, and Chimney Rock in Nebraska traveling along parts of the Oregon Trail, Pony Express, and the path taken by explorers Lewis and Clark - just to name a few of the detours. Because sharing the entire Rushmore travelog would've been way too long and indepth for the average stranger visiting my blog, I decided that there would need to be revisions to the main project. So, I cut some new postcards to highlight my footage - making for some great editing exercises.

I figured that my personal story was still connected to the footage and was certainly available to anyone who wanted to hear it, but for the sake of sharing my edits I was content to focus on the locations. What I find endearing still, is that even the simplified cuts maintain the enthusiasm and low key energy that made the trip so amazing and memorable in the first place.

There have been several small revisions and additions to these edits since 2007, however the South Dakota postcard is exactly the same. The newer edits include a video for Mount Rushmore, an edit for Devil's Tower, an edit of our day driving through Nebraska, and a Black Hills Photo Collage. Watching them now, each video embraces the nostalgia that I was feeling even then - just weeks after being home.

It's tough to fully explain what the meaning of the trip was, but in a poetic sense I think our quest for Rushmore was about getting lost, finding new places, and enjoying a journey out of the ordinary. For a mountain carving in between miles of what could be described as almost nothing, the trip was eye opening. Of all the things I expected to find traveling the open road, inspiration was the one thing I hadn't prepared for ahead of time.

All footage shot and edited by Luke Fandrich.

Mount Rushmore 2007 - South Dakota

Devil's Tower 2007 - Wyoming

Chimney Rock 2007 - Nebraska

Black Hills Photo Collage 2007

Jun 29, 2009

Buick to the Future: Trilogy (2007)

Shrouded in the scientific mystery of time travel, automotive engineering, and the perplexities of the space-time continuum, came a project about . . . well, none of this. The project that would grow into a trilogy, later a series, started out as nothing more than a half-assed attempt at comedy and the means to jump start a brand new blog – this one.

“Obviously you’ve never heard of Good Vibrations”. It was with Doc’s closing line at the end of episode one, as he was left standing in an empty dirt parking lot, mix tape in hand, that I knew it was going to be a good summer.

In the creative vacuum that is film school, you sometimes forget about the simple joy of creating something on your own terms. My first time staying in Regina over the summer to take some electives allowed me the freedom to try a variety of new things. The Buick to the Future movies just happened to have a bit more longevity than everything else.

There wasn’t any reason to think that the first video we shot was going to be that memorable in the beginning. It wasn’t planned to be a series. In all honesty, the project would never have happened had I not come up with the title – Buick to the Future. It seemed too good not to use, and was only made more significant because of how much I love my old car, still proudly referred to as ‘The Buick’.

Buick to the Future: Episode 1

Back in June 2007 I was ambitiously trying to get my brand new blog, Editing Luke, organized. There was years of work and film school projects to consider uploading, and on top of that there were big plans for creating a personal online portfolio. One of my first goals was to create some brand new content though. I was stocked with plenty of artsy shorts and travel edits, but what I really felt I needed was more comedy and narratives in general to appeal to a wider audience.

With a rough idea about Buick to the Future in my head, I started writing out some simple scenarios and things fell into place days after that. The original draft of the script could’ve taken the video in a different direction, but the beginning was cut because I wanted the video to be no longer than 5 minutes. It was made clear on the first page of the original script that Doc had been tinkering with the Buick, and that I was actually me – really Luke, not Marty. It provided more detachment from the fake fantasy of the story, but with so many comedic plot holes already worked in there wasn’t much to lose.

Shooting was no ordeal. Like I said, it was fun creating something for myself outside of the classroom. Tyler, a film student at the time also, felt just as excited to be a part of the project and admitted to me that it was nice being the actor for a change and not having to deal with any of the camera setups.

Buick to the Future, the first video, was very simple. Loosely based on some Back to the Future popular culture, largely based on the natural interaction between Tyler and myself, the video was a clean-cut formula that seemed to work. Tyler got to shine as Doc, I still played myself as Marty, and in the background I got the chance to create something fresh and inspired for my brand new blog.

Buick to the Future: Episode 2

When editing wrapped up, I knew I wanted to make a sequel. Buick to the Future: Episode 1 was uploaded on June 15, 2007 and part two was already being written. The three original shorts from that summer were created within weeks of each other, mostly staggered for the sake of keeping people somewhat interested. 

Episode 2 was uploaded on June 29, 2007 and Episode 3 on July 24, 2007. Tyler and I agree that part two was the easiest to shoot because the banter just came so naturally. There were key jokes I wanted to use in the script, but after that we just played it by ear. It didn’t hurt that it was almost all in one location too. If there was any hiccup worth mentioning it came from episode 3.

It was shot all outdoors in the middle of the prairie and it was HOT. We both got pretty good tans that day, and I remember Tyler melting in his long sleeves and jeans. The noisy bugs were also the biggest hassle in editing out of any of the videos, but with that the series felt complete. See the parking lot from episode 1 and the drive-in from episode 3 in my 'on location' series of posts.

The joke was made at the end of episode 3 that the series was most likely retired, but months later when I started making my Buick to the Future promotion videos it seemed like part 4 would be fun to do. That’s another story, but episode 4 would end up happening. See Buick to the Future: Episode 4 here.

In a nostalgic sense, I have really clear memories surrounding the making of the trilogy. They were escapes – from being broke or school or whatever else. They’re probably even checkpoints in my long friendship with Tyler. I remember these projects and can’t help but feel proud, not because any of them are groundbreaking are even really the best edits I’ve done, but because these videos remind me of my goal to promote myself back in 2007. I see them and remember how I wanted to get more assertive about my approach, how I wanted to feel relevant and ambitious and motivated, and more than anything, how I wanted to entertain.

Buick to the Future: Episode 3

Buick to the Future put me in touch with a lot of people. It’s made lots of folks laugh, it’s encouraged many of them to check out this blog, and more than anything, these videos gave me the positive reinforcement that I really needed to hear when I started sharing my work online.

They’re comedies about time travel that kind of did and kind of didn’t happen – and while it seems like it might be fun to time travel back to that summer again, I’ve realized that I’ve been able to experience so much and relive the memories over and over again just by sharing and watching the movies. Buick to the Future and that summer marked the start of a new chapter in my independent movie-making, which based on the subject matter seems strange to say – still, things haven’t been the same since.

Mar 15, 2009

Elliot (2007)

It's the most overdue and delayed upload of any movie, edit, experiment or short I made in film school. Elliot, the mockumentary I produced in my final core production class has been withheld for nearly 2 years, all for one reason. When you spend 8 months planning, writing, shooting, re-writing, re-shooting, editing, and polishing a project constructed entirely in the bubble of university-motivated independent film-making, by the time the project is done and the class is over you're not sure if you'll ever be able to watch your movie again.

It has nothing to do with the movie itself, the experience or the people who shared it, but instead with the process of deconstructing and over analyzing your work to the point of endless frustration, and the realization that your movie will never quite be perfect enough. From September 2006 to April 2007 my mockumentary was simply 'in production', a loose term used to cover all the behind the scenes bargaining that goes into creating a movie with little-to-no money and few resources. To be clear, much of the struggle was by choice.

My final film could have been a 3 minute short, but instead I opted for a 38 minute narrative, a fake documentary no less, that required me to create a series of fake articles, covers, notes, and posters to tell my story - not to mention the fake debut novel, The Dirty Sailor. The challenges I created for myself didn't stop there.

I recruited my friends Travess Durk and Taylor Croissant for the two lead roles, but they both lived in different cities which required extra planning to coordinate shooting. Even after production, with a half-hour screenplay I ended up shooting over 6 hours of raw footage that I had to edit, which in the context of a single class assignment meant I was dedicating more time to the project than was required. It may sound foolish, but I can honestly say that my motivation for the movie was based around creating the film school experience I hadn't had yet.

I wanted to be invested in a project that couldn't be made in a few hours. I wanted to rely on other people to help expand the concept. I wanted to be able to share in the class screening process and have my project evolve into something more significant and memorable than the average assignment. But above all, I wanted a bookend for my film school experience. No rushed assignment would've felt fitting.

So what did I settle on? A comedic doc-within-a-narrative about author Warren Elliot and his quest to get into a prestigious national writing guild. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that my love of Christopher Guest movies didn't have some influence on my choice.

Elliot Trailer

So several days ago I finally re-watched, Elliot. My critiquing and concerns had subsided, and looking past the imperfections I felt really proud of what had been accomplished. After revising the movie so many times over the final weeks of that class, it felt good to finally just enjoy it as a viewer.

In previous posts I've made reference to re-editing, Elliot or shortening it, but I abandoned that idea after seeing it again. True, this movie isn't perfect, but it is what it is for a reason. It marks the end of months of hard work and planning, and the culmination of lessons and tests from a final film class. Part of the reason for sharing my work on this blog, my online portfolio, is to show the evolution of my movie-making. Any changes I made now would be more for my sake, and renewing my view of the project, than it would be for serving the movie itself.

What I love about Elliot is the banter. It's an interview movie, meant to feel literary and dialogue heavy without being dry; Warm and witty without being flashy or intense. People in class compared the interviews to Stewart or Colbert, noting the contrast in the delivery of actual information and the personal posturing in character development. In short, I guess it's largely about characters who do whatever they want, because they all just want to be right - and told so, obviously.

At the end of April 2007 I felt happy to put the project behind me and was satisfied with the positive response I got from those in class and my friends and family who saw it. I handed out DVD copies with a selection of features as a memento. I'm pleased once again to be sharing, Elliot with a new crowd.

I want to say thank you once again to all of you who helped me over the course of those two semesters in completing this movie. I hope you feel as proud as I do, because your help made it the positive experience that it was for me.

Elliot can now be viewed for the first time in the playlist below. I've broken the 38 minute movie into 5 parts to make it easier to watch over several sittings if you choose. Take your time, enjoy, like that book on your shelf you've been meaning to read for months, the movie is here to stay.

Elliot (2007)
Directed by Luke Fandrich

Oct 12, 2008

Give it Time (2007)

In a rapidly advancing technological age we have to ask the hard questions about what impact electronics, such as cell phones, have on our lives. A short film is the perfect medium to do this, and as a filmmaker, I created a short film that doesn't answer any of these questions! And thus is the beauty of a comedic short.

I created Give it Time in the fall of 2007 for the Sasktel Cell-ebrities Online (Cell phone related) competition. My idea had been a work in progress since the summer that year, but it wasn't until November that things actually got underway. My goal for the project was to create something that seemed stylistically different than the other videos I'd been watching on the site, and most importantly, something that folks would watch more than once.

The intial round of the contest where anyone could upload a video had started in the summer, and it took me until November to make my vid because I wasn't even sure I had a chance. Sasktel is the provincial phone company of Saskatchewan and the contest was only for residents of the province. I was living there at the time going to the University of Regina, but technically, I was still a permanent resident of Alberta. A semester of work, and doubt if I'd even be eligible to win any of the prize money had me second guessing whether it was worth the effort to make a film specifically for the contest. Despite this, I'd been thinking about what kind of movie I would make if I were to enter, largely because my friend Tyler had been quite interested in the contest and had uploaded his film Gilligan.

I talked myself into making a short by reasoning that even if I wasn't eligible to win, it would still be something if they said they wanted to accept my film but couldn't because of technicalities like my address. With so much time to think about and refine an idea, it seemed like a waste not to try. So late in November, living in the dorms I went down to the math lounge at 2 in the morning to shoot my film. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, only needed a few camera setups, and knew that the strength of my project would come from the clues I gave in my dialogue and how I cut the video in post production.

Give it Time - Cell-ebrities Version 2007

Fast forward to early January 2008, and Give it Time and the other short film I made for the contest just weeks later, The Gizmo Tree, had both been selected as Top 10 finalists in the contest. Feeling that the Gizmo Tree was a more mainstream approach, I chose to promote that film in the voting round leaving Give it Time on the sidelines.

When all that was said and done, I was left feeling that Give it Time hadn't really had a chance because the whole contest suddenly became about my other short. I still felt that I should do something with the project because so many, including the judges at Sasktel, told me how much they enjoyed the twist in my film, and how it got better with each viewing when you were in on the joke. It was around the same time that I began thinking about submitting something to the Youngcuts Festival in Montreal. I made a few minor changes to Give it Time, including new credits, sfx and a music track and sent it off.

Fast forward a few months again, Give it Time had been accepted at the 2008 Youngcuts International Film Fest and was a nominee for Best Short Short (film under 3 minutes). All and all I got everything I wanted from the project. It was a great experience being the only person in the Cell-ebrities contest to have two films in the finals, and getting to weigh the feedback between those who thought Gizmo Tree was better and those who thought Give it Time was. Youngcuts gave the project legs of its own, and for the sake of my portfolio, distinguished it with a notable credit outside of Cell-ebrities. Even my current employer mentioned to me that it was my editing in Give it Time that sparked her interest in offering me the job.

Give it Time - Youngcuts Version 2008

It always amazes me how connected things actually are in terms of the benefits and positive word of mouth that occurs when I'm on a promotion kick. A lot of it I never hear until well after the fact, but it just goes to show that even without winning on this particular project, I was still able to improve on my portfolio, get people talking about my work, and motivate myself. The evolution and result of making Give it Time has proven to be a signifcantly positive experience. My point behind all of this, is that the payoff came simply from talking myself into trying, even when it seemed like I might not have a chance at the reward. It's a lesson I hope I continue to follow.

Oct 5, 2008

The Gizmo Tree (2007)

Back in late November of 2007 I had just completed my first entry for the Cell-ebrities contest, Give it Time. I'd thought about that film and concept since I first heard about the competition back in the summer, but with over a month left to do something else it didn't seem like such a bad idea to make another movie.

Up until then it was really just a thought. What I liked about Give it Time was that it was something I was able to do completely solo. It was a nice simple idea, with an original twist, and I knew it was unlike the other entries I'd seen on the site. I was more than happy to stand by my original film, and believed, given the other videos I'd seen, that I had the potential to be selected for the final round. Still, there's something energizing about putting your work out there. Being in the heat of things, so to speak, had me checking the Cell-ebrities site on a regular basis and telling everyone to check out my entry.

It was now mid-December, and late one evening I found myself searching through pages of music on a royalty free site. Out of nowhere really, I found myself listening to a track that just sparked an idea. Having the desire to make another project is one thing, but having a complete concept pop into your head doesn't usually happen so quickly. Maybe it's fitting, and definitely cheesy, that the instrumental track was called 'Eternal Hope'. I can see now, that had I not come across the piece of music that I did, the Gizmo Tree and a second submission probably would have never happened.

That exact night of finding the song I began to write and record some narration. I wasn't completely committed to the idea yet, but I figured if I put a few pieces together I'd know. A few minutes turned into a few hours and I found myself with a rough script, and a decent mock-up of my audio and narration. I was excited, and as only an evening of creative efficiency will allow, I had completed enough prep work to convince myself that the idea was still worth completing in the morning.

As was the case with both my Cell-ebrities films, the production came together quickly and was helped by a lot of in-the-moment ambition. It was a Sunday that my friend Tyler helped me out in shooting what would become the initial scenes of my film. The weather was perfect for it, fresh snow on the ground, frost on the trees, all around a perfect winter scene. That night I remember being so upset because all of the dialogue scenes (with me in front, facing the tree) were off balance, and the shots just didn't look as good as the stuff shot earlier.

Time was running out by this point. I was heading home for Christmas in less than a week, and I still needed to re-shoot, edit and then be sure I could upload to the site. A few months earlier in the contest, the site was down for nearly 3 weeks so I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a bit superstitious or concerned that my luck would run out as I was rushing to finish.

I went out the next day alone to re-shoot my dialogue scenes. There is a huge park around the Legislative Building in Regina, SK so that served as the location for my enchanted forest. There were about 3 or 4 different trees that I used as the actual Gizmo Tree throughout the process, but the biggest issue at that point was that the lighting for my re-shoot day had completely changed. The day before it was grey and snowy, the next day the skies were clear and the sun was shining. Although I wasn't initially crazy about it, as soon as I started shooting I could see how good it looked. The lighting created strong contrast, it added welcome colour, it made the tree really stand out, and it gave me a great silhouette and sunset to cut away to.

You can also see a few of the props that were used that day, including the Jumbo Diamond and the Gizmo Toque. I can't look at either of these items without associating the project with them.

That night the editing came together like clockwork. Even though I was incredibly anxious to get my new film out there, I sat on it for a couple of days just to make sure that it was the project I wanted. It was then uploaded early on December 19 and within minutes I had some positive comments and ratings underneath my film.

The Gizmo Tree was above all, another personal exercise in what I was capable of. I often work solo, not because I don't want to collaborate, but because at this point in my life I'm testing myself to see how I can work things out. There's just so much to learn, and if I can compete in a competition where groups of people worked on a film, compared to just me working on a film then I think that says a lot about my personal skill. It could also just be Charlie Chaplin syndrome kicking in and feeling like it's just better if I can control everything about my movies . . . and a lot times that's probably true.

On January 9 the news came in the form of a voicemail message. "Luke, I have some good news. Not only did we love your film Give it Time, but we also loved the Gizmo Tree. It looks like both films have a great shot at being in the finals". Two days later, both films were indeed in the finals, and I was the only filmmaker in the competition to have 2 films in the Top 10. I never expected that they'd include both of my entries, I figured I had 2 diverse films and that I had a great shot at getting one of them selected. It was a pleasant surprise.

Fast forward to late January 2008 and after a week of voting, promos, a new facebook group, and more emails and updates than I can really remember, the news came. I'd won 2nd place, $3500, and an amazing new credit to my name. The several months of the process suddenly flooded forward and all the work and planning seemed like the completion of an intricate puzzle that I hadn't realized I'd made correctly until that moment. I just remember feeling so relieved that I finally had some money to pay the university, some money for myself, and from what it felt like at the time, finally some good news to share.

At first there was rush of realizing what $3500 meant with me being a broke student. All that wears off pretty quick though. What stuck with me soon after, and what I still feel was the most enlightening part of the experience, was the overwhelming show of support and positive feedback that I realized I'd been riding on. 
When your pushing your work as hard as you possibly can, there's nothing like someone willing to get behind you and push too. Sure, I got the word out in every way I could, but it was the actual votes that won the competition. It's a testament to the people who wanted to see me succeed and their efforts to help me get there.

At the end of it all I was told I was the largest single cash winner in the competition as the first and third place films each had multiple filmmakers attached. I received a giant novelty cheque which hung on the wall of my dorm as a reminder until leaving university in April. With a handful of wins and a handful of losses, it's experiences like this that remind me what an exciting career path I'm on. You never know where your next life lesson will come from; for a moment playing in an enchanted forest didn't seem quite so ridiculous.

*Update 2009* After entering this short in the Film Contest in December 2008, I became a weekly winner and semi-finalist to compete in the Yobi Finals in April 2009. Gizmo went on to get voted through 5 rounds, making the top 10 - just a few votes shy of the last round. While the finish was somewhat anti-climactic after coming so close to a win, I was very proud to have beaten out over 20 other independent filmmakers for my spot. Plus, the Gizmo Tree was viewed nearly 50,000 times during the contest. You can see my promo video for the contest here.

The Gizmo Tree (2007)
Written, Edited & Directed by Luke Fandrich

Dec 22, 2007

Editing Luke in 2007

This post wasn't made in 2007, but it should've been (which is why it's been dated as such).  To fit with all of the my yearly recaps that came after 2008, I decided to create the one recap I missed the first time around.  Here's what highlighted the first year of Editing Luke in 2007.

May 31, 2007 - After retiring my old blog, I launched my brand new site Editing Luke on this day.  Here was my first post and mission statement.

June 2, 2007 - Having recently returned from a road trip to Mount Rushmore, I debuted a series of video postcards that I cut from a mix of my travel footage.  Uploading these projects to YouTube was a new experience and this marked the first time that I shared a lot of these edits publicly.

June 15, 2007 - My summer in Regina, not to mention this blog, was really kicked off with the creation of a little project titled, Buick to the Future.  Over the course of the summer a trilogy was created that resulted in thousands of video views for my underdeveloped YouTube channel.

July 28, 2007 - Creating a new site and trying to figure out how to brand my work wasn't an easy process.  The first few weeks especially saw me constantly redesigning my blog header and attempting different styles of posts.  I called attention to these changes with this post.

September 8, 2007 - My final year of film school kicked off and I wrote about my past and my fears about the future as Welcome Week ended.  

October 21, 2007 - In what became the template for how I showcased my other projects, I wrote my first indepth post about one of my film school shorts, Keys to Existence.

October 23, 2007 - Like every aspiring YouTube personality did before me, I created my first lip sync video.

November 28, 2007 - This was my first mention of the Sasktel video competition that I entered with my short, Give it Time.  I had no idea how essential my blog would become in helping with my promotion.

December 16, 2007 - After shooting what would become my second Sasktel submission, The Gizmo Tree, my friend Tyler and I had fun building one of the worst snowmen in history

December 19, 2007 - Before heading back home for the holidays I debuted The Gizmo Tree and officially kicked off my campaigning for the contest that would become in January.

Dec 16, 2007

Sad Little Snowman

Today was a busy day of shooting projects before heading home for the holidays later next week. The first project shot today was a brand new contest video (The Gizmo Tree) which will be uploaded within the next couple of days.

Besides that though, I had wanted to make another little time lapse video (similar to my dorm Christmas tree one) for my blog/YouTube account. At the end of a long day of shooting these projects, here is the sad little snowman that my friend Tyler and I made to wrap things up. Personally I love it, although by the end of the day the wet snow had stopped and what was left was too powdery to make a snowman. This was obvious, however it didn't stop us from giving it an honest effort in Tyler's backyard.

I think our snowman's depressing stature does for snowmen what Charlie Brown did for Christmas trees. Happy holidays everyone!

Oct 23, 2007

My First Lip Sync Vid

I thought since I was going for variety on my YouTube channel and blog it was about time that I did a lip sync video - just jumping on the bandwagon, y'know? I chose the song Army by Ben Folds Five because I think I relate to it somewhat, but mostly it's just a fun song that I already knew all the words to. Not much else to say I guess, so enjoy me making a fool of myself, haha.

Jul 24, 2007

Buick to the Future: Part 3

It's been 2 months between the first project being written and the last film being posted. Not too bad considering the Buick films were purely a self-motivated summer undertaking. It's nice to have them complete though, and now I can start on some other things. I can't believe it's already the end of July. 

Anyway, part 3 was just filmed on sunday, so the editing went pretty fast this time. It was close to 40 degrees celcius that day, and I've got the burns to prove it . . . plus a gash on my face thanks to some wise ass chasing his hat, haha (that's a fake laugh Tyler!).

This time we were competing with the heat and the sound of the wind and bugs. Turned out alright in my opinion despite it - we're well aware of how campy the series is and that's the point. I think each of the Buick movies have something different and funny about them, but generally they're kinda weird . . . all good fun to make though! Hope you've enjoyed this mini-trilogy of Back to the Future parody nonsense and 'the lack of time travel adventures, but comedy in discussing it' concept between Doc and Marty. Without a doubt you can expect the Buick to the Future movies to show up on this blog numerous times . . . in the future *the music swells . . .

Jun 29, 2007

Buick to the Future: Part 2

Here's the next chapter in this summer series, but honestly, part 3 may take a while to see because I'm not quite sure what mundane activity to do next, haha. I think I've done a decent job at referencing bits and pieces of the original films, although the BUICK versions aren't too concerned with plot. 

This time it's all about talk. Doc & Marty chit chat to figure out what to do next, and of course the mis-matched personalities remain. I'm really enjoying the simplicity of this project, and it gets my brain spinning around other episodic shorts that could be fun to make next (not just parodies, but complete original ideas). Anyway, as always I appreciate your comments and feedback, enjoy the show!

Jun 15, 2007

Buick to the Future: Part 1

Here's the result of less than a weeks worth of work! !t's a nice buildup I know. Really it turned out pretty well considering how quickly everything came together, which is the casual way of saying I really like it and I wish that this was how it always went. 

This is the first post of an all new short that I've made specifically for this new blog. I'm expecting that a couple more episodes will be in the works soon due to the fun we had making this one. Tyler you did a good job and I'm very happy with your cheesy performance! So here now for your viewing pleasure is Buick to the Future, and please leave a comment to let me know what you think!