Showing posts with label 2008. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2008. Show all posts

Jul 17, 2013

Korite Ammolite Mine Tours (2008)

Fresh out of film school in the summer of 2008, I was hired by Tompkins Jewelers in Lethbridge to make a short promo video for their Korite ammolite mine tours. The project was straightforward, but it was a cool experience to see the mine up close and witness the excavation of ammonite for jewelry (where the fossil is refined into the gemstone ammolite). 

Watching this video now is a reminder of how much experience I've gained, how many amazing places I've captured, and how much my work has improved in just a few short years. Despite the few upgrades I'd make now, this was a fun video to shoot. See more about this tour and ammolite at Tompkins Jewellers.

Apr 5, 2012

When My Career Took Off (Literally)

Just a couple of days after starting work at Stream Media in June of 2008, my boss asked me if I wanted to accompany her on a helicopter ride to shoot aerial images of the city. Considering that just a few months before this I had been stressing myself out about how bleak I expected my post-university career options to be, this was the start of what only continued to be a series of 'I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this' moments with Stream.   

Agreeing to the helicopter ride was a no-brainer for three reasons.  One, I'd never flown in a helicopter before (let alone one with the doors removed so that we'd have an unobstructed view).  Two, I knew it would be a memorable experience and allow me to see the city I grew up in in a way I never had before.  And three, when would I ever get a more opportune time to joke, "look I can see my house from here" and actually mean it? I even found a screencap of us flying over the place I live now.  

Barb shot video and I shot stills. We hovered around Medicine Hat capturing different landmarks, development projects, and athletic facilities - really anything that we thought existing or potential clients might want to use in future projects. Needless to say, the views were awesome and surreal.

On one hand it was just a helicopter ride, but on the other, it marked a promising start to my life out of film school.  Professionally my work only continued to improve from there.  Although it's tough to beat a helicopter ride after only a few days on the job, the work continues to be unpredictable and spontaneous - if not still occasionally nerve-racking.  But, how's that for a symbolic start?

Jun 17, 2011

Top Posts of 2008

In 2008 I said goodbye to film school, I welcomed my first editing job when I started at Stream Media, I started repaying my student debt, and I had my work screened at several international venues.  It was a year of major transitions.

Editing Luke started to gain a bit of traction as I became more focused on how I constructed my posts.  Perhaps more surprisingly, I continued to blog even though my time at film school had ended.  Over 20,000 people visited in 2008, and towards the end of the year I became more strategic as I planned out how I wanted my site to grow.  Here is what became my most popular posts of 2008: 

Originally posted May 14, 2008
Posts like this revealed the back story, notes, and context of some of my film school projects, which helped me develop the portfolio aspect of my site. A Chill in the Air was particularly popular because I had promoted it heavily in 2006 on a former blog, and created an email campaign to draw up votes for the video competition I was in.   

Originally posted June 28, 2008
When you've got good news to share the word gets around.  In this post I revealed that my work was going to be showcased at two different venues, one in the UK and one in the US.

Originally posted March 21, 2008 
Having made a career out of being a film student, this post was my declaration that I'd be leaving university without graduating.  This was a highly stressful time in my life as I'd spent 6 years in school, had a semester to go, but couldn't stomach the idea (or realistically afford) coming back after the summer.

Originally posted March 1, 2008
The campy series that I kicked off my blog with in 2007 had its final act in 2008.  I created a trailer for the original three episodes and actually convinced myself that it was worth making one more.  This was that announcement.

May 3, 2011

Last Day of Film School

At the end of April in 2008 I closed the chapter on my student life.  With an empty dorm room, the last of my things piled into my Buick, and one last look back at the University of Regina campus, it was over.  There was no telling what the future had in store at that point.  All I knew for certain was that it was time for something new.

Oct 24, 2009

Las Vegas: Edits (2008)

Las Vegas was made to be experienced. After my first time being there in 2005, this return trip in November 2008 was all about taking things to the next level. Upgraded room, Cirque show, trip to the Hoover Dam, and a ride on the Big Shot on top of the Stratosphere tower were just a few of the highlights. With so much to see and do I decided to be a lot more selective about what I shot.

The first time around I decided to make a full blown travelog, and have since cut down the footage into select edits which can be seen here. For this 2008 trip I decided that a few quick cuts and montages were sufficient for creating memorable mini home videos. I treated the shooting far more casually this time (largely because I already captured most of the city on the last visit). It's always a lot of fun catching things in the moment.

These few energetic edits are meant to reflect a glimpse, not document the trip verbatim. The Bellagio Fountain remix I cut was an experiment altogether. With scenery and popular attractions that are familiar to a lot of people, I really just wanted to play with this footage to highlight what makes Vegas so exciting in both my own experience and in a stereotypical sense (the bright lights, etc.).

Take a look at these short edits and let me know what you think. They're fun slice of life/slice of vacation compilations. You can bet there will be a lot more of these types of edits to come.

Las Vegas 2008 - Edit 1

Las Vegas 2008 - Edit 2

Las Vegas 2008 - Bellagio Fountain Remix

Aug 17, 2009

Buick to the Future: Episode 4 (2008)

Debuting on April 1, 2008, Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (or Episode 4) was the unexpected addition to the Buick to the Future: Trilogy created over the summer of 2007. In many ways, it was never meant to happen. At the end of Episode 3 one of the final credits stated that the series was most likely over. Then again, there was never supposed to be a part 2 or part 3 either. In a series that was just plain fun to make, I suppose Episode 4 was one last hurrah! for the BTTF idea, a needed escape from a long winter of boredom, and a chance to shoot one last project with my friend Tyler (AKA Doc) before I left university for good.

If I can attribute anything to the motivation behind revisiting a series with almost no plot-arch and an extremely loose connection to the Back to the Future movies, I have to say that it was nostalgia that initiated the final episode. By early 2008 I had put the project behind me, but in an effort to promote my videos I was busy creating trailers to showcase on my blog. After going through all the Buick footage from what had been a very memorable summer in 2007, I was left feeling recharged on the idea. Essentially, it was a matter of 'why not' that made up my mind.

This is the original trailer for the Buick to the Future trilogy from February 2008.

After showing this trailer to Tyler he was on board to make another short, but really, I don't think it would've taken much convincing as he's enjoyed making the series as much as I have. With the spring just starting to emerge, we were both feeling pretty restless and in need of something creative. The idea of elaborating on an already established concept seemed like an ideal place to start. On a side note, all the supplemental Buick trailers and promos can now be viewed as part of my Buick to the Future: Promotions post.

Writing and shooting Episode 4 was a breeze. This was the case with all the shorts really. It was the difference between film school guidelines and film student playing. All the premises were based on Doc doing the wrong thing and me (as Marty, but playing myself) calling him out on it. It was a simple formula, but in terms of what I wanted to achieve it worked perfectly.

This last episode remains my favourite because to me it's technically the most complete. It touches on all the random things that I wanted the series to be, and it also allowed for more creative shooting and editing. For instance, the footage between the hand held video camera we were using as a prop and the footage from the master shot all cut together really well. All that was shot with a single camera during different takes, the prop camcorder was never on. 

Also, there were considerably more scene changes and cuts in this episode than all the other episodes combined. It was part of my plan to make the project feel larger and more dynamic. The hand held shot of Doc stumbling down the street in the opening, and the hand held shots mimicking the prop camcorder were all used to add more energy - the tripod did all the work in the original trilogy. In terms of editing, examples of my experimenting were clear in my numerous jump cuts when Doc & Marty discuss time travel on the couch. In general, more shots were cut into each sequence, and the ending montage was the pinnacle of this.No, the final episode wasn't meant to be taken any more seriously, but I thought if I was actually going to put the idea to rest it was worth putting a bit more time into it. In the end, Buick to the Future: Episode 4 turned out better than I thought it would.

While the series has yet to explode online, it has continued to draw passionate supporters for my work and thousands of views online. Buick to the Future continues to be one of my biggest draws on YouTube. I ended this episode with another title saying that the series was really over this time, but it's a weak promise. As long as I own my old Buick I suppose there's always the possibility for one more short. Only time will tell.

Below I've posted 2 versions of BTTF: Episode 4. The first is the original upload, which thanks to my Vimeo account I can share with the copyrighted music. The second is the modified version I had to make when the audio was blocked on YouTube. Both are essentially the same, just with a few different songs included. In any case, help yourself to a laugh.

"It's Buick, Bitch!"

Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (Episode 4)
Written, Directed & Edited by Luke Fandrich w/Tyler Cyrenne as Doc

Jun 20, 2009

Day at the Saskatchewan Science Centre

What a day it was, but this actually happened quite a while ago, back at the beginning of January 2008. My friend Tyler and I decided that a trip to the Saskatchewan Science Centre would be a fun way to spend a freezing winter afternoon in Regina. At the time we were both students at the university, and being the production geek that I still am, I thought it would be nice to film the experience.

Tyler knew a girl who worked at the Science Centre named Daya. I had never met her, but when we first got there Tyler decided to have a go at the climbing wall, and it was Daya who was there to help. The day ended up being miles better because of her. It was like having our own private tour guide, and because it was a sunday afternoon and pretty slow, we got to try out and see everything. I honestly didn't expect there to be all that much to do, but to my surprise it was an incredibly entertaining afternoon.

I made A Day at the Saskatchewan Science Centre originally for the sake of sharing it on Editing Luke and having the homevideo for memory sake. Homevideos are still something I don't shoot enough of, which is a shame, because I think this edit demonstrates just how much can be done with simple footage and a bit of creative energy. I even put this short as a clip on my first video reel when I was applying for my job at Stream Media. Not that it's even that complex, but I think the ability to take an everyday homevideo and make it into something inspired says a lot about an editors potential.

The reason that this video is even on my mind right now though is because of Daya. She sent me a message and let me know that the folks at the Sask. Science Centre had seen it and put it on their blog. Not that it's my big break into editing stardom or anything, but who wouldn't be flattered? They see that place all the time, so naturally it feels good to have them recognize my edit and say how well done they thought it was.

On another note, yesterday was actually Daya's last day at the Science Centre so I want to wish her well on her next set of adventures. I'm sure few things will compare to entertaining a couple of fools with a video camera, but being that it was the first time I met her, it was a great way to make a new friend. So best of luck Daya, and thanks for making my Day at the Saskatchewan Science Centre far more memorable than I ever thought it would be!

Jun 9, 2009

Buick to the Future: Promotions (2008)

In marking the 2 years since the original Buick to the Future debuted here on Editing Luke, I've taken it upon myself to finally write the full scale posts associated with these movies like I have with so many of my other projects. These posts include the Buick to the Future Promotional Edits, the Buick to the Future Trilogy from 2007, and Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (Episode 4) from 2008.

The bulk of the promotional edits I made were to stir up interest for the BTTF series months after all 4 episodes had already been completed. The only exception was the original Buick to the Future trailer, which promotes the trilogy, and subsequently inspired one more episode: The Conclusion. To be fair, I can't guarantee that there will never be another BTTF short because if you watch episode 3 it seemed clear that we thought that would be the end too.

Buick to the Future was my campy mainstream, comedic, parody inspired, popcorn entertainment appeal to the YouTube crowd. It was made to help develop my new blog, attract some visitors, and get some laughs. It thankfully did all of that. Over the last couple years the series has received a modest 15,000+ views - but more importantly, for the small few that it connected with, they supported the project in a big way.

Check out the commemorative trailer for the 2 year anniversary of Buick to the Future, inspired by Doc's lost mix tape from Episode 1.

The episodes have been re-uploaded a few times due to copyright or quality issues, and despite my trailers and teasers the videos still remain fairly hidden on YouTube. It's tough to feel too disappointed though. The series revolutionized my online filmmaking and jump started my concept for this very blog. In that sense it's been a huge success, and like I said previously, it's not like this is the end - the promotion is ongoing. 

Of course, all this aside I have to thank Tyler Cyrenne for his help and support in making the series. His role as Doc was hilarious, and while I played myself (as Marty), there was no shortage of comedy on screen and off. You've embraced BTTF as though it was your own Tyler, and I couldn't be happier. Thanks again! 

Watch the short promos in the playlist below, including: 
The Original Buick to the Future Trailer (Originally Uploaded Feb.29/08), BTTF Promo 1 (Uploaded May.3/08), BTTF Promo 2 (Uploaded June.16/08), BTTF Promo 3 (Uploaded Sept.11/08), BTTF Series Trailer (Uploaded June.7/09)

Jun 2, 2009

Split Screen Experiments (2008)

In their varied simplicity, my split screen experiments have become a regular source of inspiration, not just in and of themselves, but for the editing exercises that they lead to. They're personal exclamation points that pander to my own creative entertainment, and whether any one else can see value in them is less important to me here.

It's like I wrote when discussing my latest split screen short,
Headphones - "...the idea behind shorts like this isn't about masked themes, but about appreciating the digital medium and editing technique by taking a forced look. Just as a painter might fill a canvas for the tactile experience of seeing the streaks and runs in drying colours of paint, these editing experiments serve a similar purpose for further nurturing my personal appreciation for the technical execution of editing".

Split Wash, Split Thoughts, and The Wave are the three main shorts that were created within weeks of each other at the end of summer 2008. While at first glance they have little in common, it's the technical approach and self-portrait aspect of each short that has established an unmistakable theme, however unintential it was in the beginning.

Split Wash stirred up some interesting conversations when it was first posted on August 12, 2008. In a discussion about visuals vs. substance, I defended my approach saying, "Split Wash is just a clip, take it or leave it, no different than someone talking to a webcam about something they did today. You'll either find beauty in that or you won't, but I wouldn't post something I didn't personally appreciate. This direction isn't about telling a story, it's just a slice, an art short, it's about reworking a simple clip to see something in a different way".

Split Thoughts posted on September 26, 2008 and The Wave posted on October 6, 2008 both embody that sentiment even further.

This need to experiment, and even to share it, is part of showcasing the experience and not just the product. I'm not trying to create a traditional channel or blog series here, where the work all compliments each other or fits perfectly. In shifting focus to make it not just about my work, I'm creating a journal to document my own ambitions and trials - which just happens to be open to outside interpretation.

On the surface it's shallow, in the context of the big picture it's essential.

Split Wash
August 12, 2008

Split Thoughts  

September 26, 2008

The Wave
October 6, 2008

Feb 18, 2009

Bellagio Fountain Remix

Somewhere between a series of animated ink blots or gushing oil geysers is where I'd categorize this latest edit. I had started out with the idea of making a short travel clip of the fountains at the Bellagio that I shot while on vacation in Las Vegas last November. The further I got into it the more I felt like switching things up.

If you want to experience what the fountains are really like you can go to Vegas yourself or watch one of the thousands of videos already uploaded on YouTube. I opted for some inverting, overlapping, and rhythmic cutting. It was fun playing with the patterns and motion in this short, which made experimenting easy - and then creating several variations after mixing it with the MGMT Kids Soulwax Nite Remix. Parts of my footage were filmed from the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel, and others at various points out front of the Bellagio itself. Yes, it's different, maybe even a little weird and/or pointless, but to me it sure feels energetic and cool.

Feb 15, 2009

Siblings (2008)

My sister was visiting and I said to her, like I say to almost everyone I know, 'We should make a movie'! It was July 2008 and I had the rough idea for Siblings in the back of my mind for a while. Nothing complicated, just a little flick about sibling rivalry and a punchline. The kind of short that doesn't take long to set up, and is so much more about playing around than specific shots.

While this project is far from my most ambitious work, it's the kind of short that I hope to make a lot more of.

With all the film school projects I feel like my portfolio is already heavily weighted in experiments, art shorts, video poems, etc. and the random comedies that everyone else uploads on YouTube are something that I'd like to have more of myself - even if it's just to attract a few more like-minded viewers. Pull 'em in with the popcorn flicks, make 'em stay for the art.

Siblings was almost entirely devised on the spot. Like I said, I had a rough idea about my sister and I playing in the playground entirely because it just seemed like it'd be funny. The punchline of the short was a product of the shoot. Originally, the ending we discussed involved my sister and I sitting on a park bench, my sister still grumpy and emotionless, we're both drinking slurpees. I'm beaming ear to ear after playing on all the equipment, my sister chucks her slurpee at me and says 'Now can we do something that I want to do'!

That ending would've worked well too I think, but the idea for the change came on the walk back from getting the slurpees. We thought it would be a funny twist if instead of being emotionless the whole time, my sister finally cracks on the merry-go-round and has a bit of fun . . . which ultimately leads to the revised twist. And there's the dynamic between my sister and myself in a nutshell - at least in my comedic view.

A couple months later, I was playing with the Siblings footage trying out some new filters and effects that I had just purchased. What resulted was a the Siblings Remix, mainly just an animated music video playing on the footage we shot that day cut to a remix of Coldplay's Viva la Vida. The remix video doesn't really add anything new, but as far as editing exercises go it was fun to make and seemed worth sharing. The animated nature of the footage was perfect for trying different things, so I guess it was only a matter of time before something else came out of it. For being so simple, it sure makes for an entertaining family home video.

Also, check out the surprsing sequel, Siblings 2!

Feb 4, 2009

Car Kaleidoscope (2008)

When I came across the site for the Toronto Urban Film Festival in June 2008, I knew instantly that I wanted to try and make something to submit. The guidelines for the festival stated that the project was to be exactly 60 seconds long with no audio, and was to fit into one of their categories pertaining to the various ways people live in urban environments.

I settled on the 'urban travels' category and came up with an experimental short that played on the patterns of rush hour traffic in a single intersection. By dividing, or split screening, my footage I created my initial pattern. Then I replicated that image several times to create the grid, and the sped up depth of movement mixed with the variety of colourful vehicles created the geometric illusion of a kaleidoscope - or one of those computer generated 3D prints.

My film wasn't selected to take part in the festival that September, but I can understand why. The selected films ran in repetition for a week on the Toronto subway platforms. Those screens aren't that big to begin with, and my short is tough enough to make out when it's right in front of you. Plus, those that were selected were very deserving in my book (and based on the awards ceremony, they seemed keen on rewarding people from Toronto so people would actually show up). In any case, Car Kaleidoscope was certainly worth while as it proved to be enough motivation to try out several other split screen experiments that summer/fall.

For as seemingly simple as this experiment was, a lot of trial and error went into the effect. Even if you've never been into experimental film, I feel like there's something very relaxing and cathartic about getting lost in the pattern. This version of Car Kaleidoscope is obviously different than the one I submitted to TUFF as a soundtrack and titles have been added, and I've repeated the footage for longer than the original 60 seconds.

To fully appreciate this short it has to be viewed in high quality to make out the images. If you watch it from my blog be sure to click the HQ tag after you press play, or better yet, double click on the video and watch it in larger HD quality from my YouTube channel. Thanks for checking out the experiment!

Car Kaleidoscope (2008) Shot and Edited by Luke Fandrich

Jan 30, 2009

Day Dream Day (2008)

Late in the summer of 2008 I was anxious to make a new video and was feeling motivated by the fact that for the first time in years I didn't have to pack up and head off to university. More than anything, I wanted to create a personal piece about what I was feeling at that very moment, about how things suddenly seemed so wide open again after years of school had left me feeling stuck and uninspired.

By August I had saved a bit of money, my student debt was finally on the decline and I was comfortably settled back home. It had been 4 months since I left, and all in all it took about that long just to gain perspective on what I'd left behind and what exactly my new focus was going to be. In short, Day Dream Day was made to mark the end of a chapter.

Being in a nostalgic mood to start, I wrote a short poem to use as the structure for the project. The rooftop seemed like a good location to base my shoot around, not only because it felt symbolic in referencing my childhood neighbourhood, but because it was literally a place to have my head in the clouds. Throughout high school I remember climbing on the roof countless times during the summer just to be alone, and on occasion to catch the exhibition fireworks.

Day Dream Day, simply, is about the passing of time in pursuit of my own dreams/goals. I always get a little closer, and then naturally the dream gets bigger. I think we can all relate to this. Hence, the spacing in the title: day, dream, day instead of merely a 'daydream' day.

I've received many mixed reviews about how this short was concluded, despite general appreciation for the overall piece. I can't expect everyone to respond to the movie the same way I do, especially when it represents something quite personal. However, my choice for the conclusion was clear.

The poem/narration is about my continued focus on making movies, editing, and pursuing film as a career despite the risk and competition. To show this, in the conclusion of Day Dream Day I'm walking around on the roof, but here's the point - those walking clips are of me setting up my shots, moving the camera between takes, and putting the project together. After musing about creating new edits and projects, the conclusion is my attempt to show you - it's the candid footage between takes of me actually constructing Day Dream Day. It's done with the point of connecting the dream to the reality of what I want to do, and how I'm already doing it, how the very project you're watching serves my goal.

It's an otherwise clean cut little movie, about the summation of a not-so-clean cut journey through an education in filmmaking.

Day Dream Day (2008) Written and Directed by Luke Fandrich

Day Dream Day Poem:

Perched on the roof with the street at a glance,
An afternoon devoted to pondering chance.

The neighbourhood's silent, the possibility's there,
But you think to yourself, and you shift and you stare.

It's nice to be free, it's nice to be young,

Your potential, you reason, is so out strung.

You glance at the windows, the roofs, and ground,

It's a long way up, when the there's just pavement around.

The world is my oyster, the future my now,
So many questions, but most of them how.

I want to be seen, and I want to be heard,
But so high up, I think, there's only the birds.

So I'll get back to the ground, get my head from the clouds,
I'll shuffle and mingle, shake hands with the crowds.

I'll do what it takes, and I'll work the late hours,
I'll sacrifice some sleep, some meals, some showers.

I'm just another dreamer, another guy with some hope,
Just a man on a leash, tugged by someone elses rope.

But from here things look fine, with camera in hand,

I'll shoot what I'll see, I'll edit and I'll land.

All at once I won't do, cause I don't wanna fall,

I'll just ease myself back, while admiring it all.

But maybe not yet, not just for this minute,
I want to dream a bit more, and find myself lost in it.

Jan 1, 2009

Editing Luke in 2008

I have a lot to be grateful for, and in looking back at the last year I can't help but feel happy for all of the things that I was able to experience and do. With each new year we're reminded to take inventory of what we have, who we have, how are lives have changed and what we plan to do about it, good or bad. 2008 proved to be a very significant and challenging year for me, both personally and professionally, and I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you a few of the moments that made this passing year one that I won't soon forget.

January 4, 2008 - In my first blog post of the new year I vowed that, "by this time next year i'll have either concluded my lengthy and overdrawn stay at university with a degree, or I'll have just moved on from this experience altogether to take my shot in film without that piece of paper".  Turns out the degree wasn't in the cards.

January 13, 2008 - I made a random video on a trip to the Saskatchewan Science Centre with my friend Tyler. Thanks to a private tour from a new friend, Daya, it proved to be more exciting than I thought it would be and a nice break from the dead of winter.

February 19, 2008 - After several months of votes, views and messages I went to Sasktel to pick up my cheque for winning a total of $3700 in their Cell-ebrities Video Competition. The Gizmo Tree won 2nd ($3500), and my short Give it Time was in the Top 10 ($200).

March 22, 2008 - After months of deliberating, it was with this blog post that I made my peace with film school.

March 31, 2008 - In addition to turning 24 on this day, it was also when I uploaded my final and favourite episode of the Buick to the Future series.

April 22, 2008 - On this day I drove away from the University of Regina and the dorms for the last time. Deciding to leave was a tough decision, but it was also one of the smartest things I did in 2008.

May 31, 2008 - My blog, Editing Luke became a year old, and with that came a new found excitement and energy about what my blog/promotion could really do.

June 1, 2008 - In my first post-university job I started work at Stream Media Inc. as a corporate videographer and editor.  One of the initial highlights was getting to shoot aerial photography of Medicine Hat from a helicopter.  

June 3, 2008 - I started my Chico Bandito series (despite revamping and re-promoting it all again in December). 

June 28, 2008 - I received a message via my YouTube account about broadcasting my shorts Keys to Existence and A Chill in the Air on a short cinema showcase called Short Cuts in the USA.

July 17, 2008 - A visit from my sister lead to a new short film, Siblings.

July 19, 2008 - After a few new edits, Give it Time was accepted into the 2008 Youngcuts International Festival in Montreal and was nominated for Best Short Short - Movie under 3 minutes.

August 22, 2008 - Keys to Existence played numerous times over the weekend at Aeon 2008, a giant outdoor multi-media concert in the UK.

August 25, 2008 - I released a brand new short film, Day Dream Day.

October 15, 2008 - After a year and 4 months I finally hit 100,000 total video views.

November 15, 2008 - My animated shorts Clumsy Claus and Sitting Bull were revamped and uploaded after over 5 years without being seen.

November 22, 2008 - After a lengthy build up, I left for Las Vegas for a second time, and what a time it was!

Decemeber 21, 2008 - My movie The Gizmo Tree wins the top vote for week 17 of the Filmmaking Contest and becomes a semi-finalist. The final vote will begin in March 2009.

What a year it was. Thank you all for sharing it with me, and here's to all of our continued efforts and success in 2009! Happy New Year!

Dec 28, 2008

Chico Bandito: Episode 3

This next installment in the series is the final episode that I had made before deciding to revamp my approach to completing Chico Bandito earlier this month. Which is to say, that all the episodes that come after this one will all be first time debuts.

Episode 3 was originally uploaded on September 28, 2008 and helps to clarify how despite his ability to get down, Chico Bandito continues to end up hanging on the wall. In the first episode it's easily assumed that Chico is walking out of the laundry room which helps tie into the outdoor start in episode 2. What episode 3 helps to establish is that Chico is constantly dreaming of his outdoor escape, but is significantly limited in his means of escape. This results in his first actual scheme at getting out, as well as further revelations between Chico's dream and the real world.

One of my core guidelines in creating the series was that no episode was to be longer than 3 minutes. Episode 3 is only 2 minutes and 21 seconds long, so stick around! The next chapter of Chico Bandito starts now!

Dec 26, 2008

Chico Bandito: Episode 2

On July 13, 2008 the second episode of the Chico Bandito series was completed and uploaded. I think what stood out the most about this episode initially, is that I'd been promoting the series as 'a quest to a escape from the laundry room' and immediately we open with Chico outside. 

I won't give anything away because I'd like you to see it for yourself, but this is also the episode that introduces 'the bird' character into the mix.

From a critical point of view, the second episode was an attempt to up the ante both visually and story wise. It continues to sit in the back of my mind when I'm coming up with concepts for new episodes, for ways to try and keep the laundry room fresh and dynamic. Remember, with this series containing no actual dialogue I'm trying to tell a story with edits, movement, and sound effects. It's actually the fun of making the episodes, as each one poses a new creative challenge.

While their aren't many ingredients in the recipe for Chico Bandito episodes at the moment, part 2 is a fun short and helps to develop Chico's dilemma a little bit more. The story continues, enjoy Chico Bandito: Episode 2!

Dec 20, 2008

Chico Bandito: Episode 1

Chico Bandito originally debuted on June 3, 2008 as an individual short film. The idea for the series actually came about weeks later when I was messaged by several members of my Fandrix Films group who enjoyed the short and said they'd like to see more. 

I'd actually considered the idea since finding Chico because he was an original hand-made character that you wouldn't find just anywhere, but it was those conversations that really convinced me to make the series.

Episode 1, as it's now known, is basically an open-ended premise detailing the laundry room and the wall that Chico has been hanging from for so long. The concept was pretty much established for me, as Chico Bandito has been hanging on that exact wall since I was a kid. My dad brought him back from a vacation in Mexico in the eighties, and the seller gave him the name Chico Bandito. Who would've guessed that so many years later I'd be making movies about Chico and his escape. I guess if he could really think or move on his own, he would've done this much sooner.

Without further delay, Chico Bandito: Episode 1 starts now!

Dec 18, 2008

Chico Bandito: Series Preview

The story of the little marionette that could, we hope. For the back story on the Chico Bandito series and the plans for developing and completing this project, read here.

And we begin . . .

Dec 16, 2008

Chico Bandito: A Fresh Start

Numerous false starts, several uploads, rocky promotion, and now all the posts and videos have been removed. Chico Bandito is a short film series that I started in June 2008 with a single episode. It's a dialogue-free dramedy that focuses on a marrionette named Chico Bandito and his quest for freedom in escaping from a laundry room. It's polished, it's simple, it's charming, and now it's gone - for the moment.

With three episodes complete and one in the works, the series has struggled to find views largely because of the delays between installments. Despite 3000 views, my decision to remove the episodes today was inspired by a few things. First of all, with a new widescreen format on youtube I can now upload the videos in their orignal aspect ratios - awesome! Secondly, the scattered release of the episodes has made it difficult to promote the series. I'm going to take some time to seriously look at how to re-release the old episodes, and promote the brand new ones to complete the series. And finally, I can see the potential of the project not only in its style and look, but in the impression the series can make as a complete unit. Because I believe strongly in the concept, and because there was excitment from those who saw Chico Bandito in the beginning, I feel I owe it to myself to take a full step back in order to charge forward.

Promotion continues to be one of the biggest struggles. Despite having a strong online presence in multiple online venues, despite taking a very assertive approach to my personal work, despite how hard I push sometimes; it's tough to break into the big numbers to get people to pay attention. A fresh approach with this project feels thrilling, because with a bank of videos waiting to be released I can focus more on promotion and creating momentum. There's a lot to do still, but I'm excited about taking some new steps.

For those of you who are interested, and for my sake I hope a couple of you are, the very first episode of Chico Bandito can still be viewed for the time being on I uploaded the short to their online film contest, and if you login you can give the short a thumbs up vote to help it gain popularity. At the very least, it's worth a free viewing! See it here. Thanks for reading, and thanks for you help.


Oct 6, 2008

The Wave

Another one of my split screen experiments - the wave! I like the idea of playing with repetition of frames. I'm not sure how I'll use something like this in the future, but as one more playful exercise, this was particularly fun to make.