Showing posts with label Film Fest Stuff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Film Fest Stuff. Show all posts

Sep 18, 2020

Clay Documentary Continues To Find New Eyes

One year ago today the documentary I directed Clay, Creativity & the Comeback premiered inside one of the historic factories showcased in the film (Medalta Potteries) and was then released to the public. Resulting in some amazing connections over the last twelve months, the project has now reached hundreds of thousands of people on various platforms across Canada. 

Editing Luke Fandrich Documentary
Clay, Creativity & the Comeback is the story of how the factories and abandoned ruins of a once booming industrial clay district were saved from demolition and renewed through the work of artists, volunteers, and a community with a vision. 

Shot in my hometown of Medicine Hat, Alberta this was a story that I felt echoed one of the challenges that communities across Canada are continually facing. How do you preserve heritage while also adapting historic sites for renewed purposes? What does that even look like? And who are the people that make these visions a reality?

Clay, Creativity & the Comeback is a documentary that captures the first hand stories of many of the individuals directly involved in this decades long transformation - a transformation that lead a collection of crumbling structures to not just be saved or restored, but to become a National Historic Site of Canada that would welcome artists from around the world.

The entire feature length documentary is FREE to watch and has been posted on Editing Luke. View Clay, Creativity & the Comeback here.  

Jul 7, 2016

The Framed Letter On My Wall

I have had this letter framed and hanging on my wall for ten years. Admittedly, there's been some moving around in that time so it hasn't always been the same wall, but the letter is dated July 7, 2006 - exactly ten years ago to the day that I'm writing this. I'll explain exactly what it is and who it's from, but allow me to provide a bit of context.

Ten years ago I was a film student at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan. At that point in my education I'd become a bit apathetic towards my production classes. With the added stress of feeling like I might not find meaningful work when all was said and done, I began looking for validation in the "real world". For me, I found this in film festivals.

film school letterIn the months preceding the arrival of this letter I had participated in a handful of high-profile film festivals and competitions. I had a short film screen at the Youngcuts International Film Festival in Toronto. I beat out 280 other global entries and was officially selected to screen at Budi2006 (an international digital media festival) in Busan, South Korea. I also participated in a National Film Board of Canada competition where I was selected into the English Top 10. Following weeks of public voting I finished 2nd in the popular vote. 

All of these experiences in the span of a few months completely changed my outlook. I still felt I had a lot to prove, but getting some attention on the back of doing what I loved was hugely motivating. I remember doing a little bit of press, sharing stories for different publications relating to the festivals, and making lots of new contacts in the process. That was the point everything shifted. I wasn't just a film student after that, I'd become a film maker.

A photo posted by Luke Fandrich (@editingluke) on

In retrospect this all seems crazier because of how limited the platforms for personal promotion were at the time. Facebook wasn't a big thing yet, Instagram didn't exist, and YouTube was just emerging as a place to post short videos. It wasn't until the following year that I even started Editing Luke. In a way it was a great learning experience, because having to apply and submit my work to festivals forced me to be even more critical just to get it seen in the first place. 

In the several months following these festivals things died down again, and in the summer of 2006 I was driving a forklift and counting the days before I went back to film school in the fall. Then out of the blue this letter came in the mail, forwarded by the university to my home in Medicine Hat, Alberta. It read:

Dear Luke,
On behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan, I am pleased to congratulate you on your recent success with your student film. 
Through your studies, you have demonstrated outstanding dedication and commitment to media production and studies. This is a significant and well-deserved honour, and you must feel a great sense of pride in seeing your work recognized in such a way. Saskatchewan has a vibrant, exceptionally active TV and film industry, and young achievers such as you will be among the leaders who help grow the industry to even greater heights. 
Once again, congratulations, and best wishes in all your future endeavours. 
Yours sincerely,
Lorne Calvert 

Hand-signed and typed on the official letterhead of the Premier of Saskatchewan, it was pretty humbling for someone like myself who was just starting out to get a letter like that. I had received a lot of congratulations and messages surrounding those projects, but none had seemed this formal or succinct. The student film he was referring to was the short I had created for the National Film Board of Canada, and I guess someone picked up on the small bit of national attention I received following the competition. This was also around the same time that Corner Gas was thriving, so the industry in Saskatchewan was booming.

In the end, I've kept this letter on my wall because it felt symbolic from the moment I received it. Proof that you never know who might be paying attention, and validation that the rewards for pursuing your passions can not only be great, but unexpected in the best ways. 

I'm now running my own media production company in Alberta and have come a long way in the last decade. I've also been so fortunate to work on a number of incredible projects with some amazing people. The growth never stops. Curious to know more about what I'm up to now? Explore more here.

Jan 18, 2013

Medicine Hat Student Film Festival

Every year around this time I used to submit my film school projects to various film festivals that caught my attention.  Part of my student experience was about reaching out to different sources for validation and promotion.  It sounds needy, and that's because it was.  I wanted to know that I could find work in video after university, and film festivals proved to be the ideal testing grounds for developing my skills in self promotion.  As it turned out, that was the least of what I got.

The very first film festival I submitted my work to in 2005 was the Student Video Competition portion of the Medicine Hat Film Festival.  It was always a pretty small gathering with no more than 30 or so submissions, but it ended up becoming a testing ground for my work before submitting my projects to bigger student festivals.

I submitted my experimental short, Keys to Existence in the 2005 festival and ended up winning the popular vote for the Audience Choice Award and 2nd place in the video category from the jury vote (the other category was animation).  I still have the small plaques on my wall as a reminder of that competition and what it ultimately lead to. Keys went on to screen at Youngcuts International that year in Toronto, followed up by a digital media festival in South Korea in early 2006.  My success in my hometown festival is what I credit with opening the flood gates to the other venues that I avidly pursued in the few years that followed.

One of the other benefits of the Medicine Hat Film Festival came later in 2007, when Stream Media was one of the key sponsors for the fest.  After returning home to Medicine Hat after university in 2008, I contacted Stream about potential employment opportunities.  My involvement in the festival became my foot in the door, and after a brief interview I was offered a job working alongside a small team to help shoot and edit promotional videos for corporate clients.  It was an amazing opportunity, and the start of a business relationship that I still benefit from today.

I always tell people who ask about my start that I never had a very stable plan after film school, but I had hoped that the film festivals I participated in had helped me cast a big net.  I became really opportunistic, and I jumped at any opportunity that seemed even mildly related to the things I was interested in in the hopes that I could make them even more relevant.  I owe that mindset to the experiences I got from my participation in student film festivals.

The Student Video Competition in the MHFF hasn't run for years now, and it's simply due to lack of sponsorship and organization.  It's a big undertaking, and it does take a lot of work to drum up enough attention to get quality submissions.  It's a shame, because as a student who was just starting out it was a great experience.  Before YouTube, before I ever screened my work at venues outside of Canada, and before I found work as an editor, I shared my work at the MHFF.  

Dec 12, 2012

My Film That Never Was

Looking through old film school notes I came across this proposal I wrote dated February 7, 2007.  It was from my producing class where we had to come up with the idea for a film to pitch.  Not surprisingly, especially because I was working on Elliot at the time, I came up with the idea for a mockumentary centred around a film festival.  The idea clearly still needed some polishing, but there are a few gems in the premise that I'm still entertained by.  Have a look at what I submitted.   

Working Title:  Film Fest

Genre:  Comedy / Mockumentary

Length:  90 minute feature

Poster Line:  Now Accepting Submissions.      

Meets:  Best in Show meets Entourage


Film Fest is a feature length mockumentary about a man named Charlie taking control of an elaborate and outlandish film festival, created by his dead Hollywood producing dad, just one year after its disastrous debut.  With the festival in shambles and a town full of irritated locals, Charlie picks up where his dad left off (with a documentary crew in tow) and works with an assembled team of mismatched experts to revamp Silver Springs, BC from the ruins of a failed fest, to a celebrity saturated,  respected and acclaimed celluloid circus.  For the sake of his father's legacy and his own ambition to make the festival work, Charlie must confront the death of his father head on as he uncovers the affects the festival has had on the town and the previous attendees.  Film Fest is an offbeat character piece about the best and worst aspects of pop culture and the entertainment industry, while paying homage to the people and drama, in the one place where everything comes to fruition; the film festival.

The Silver Springs Film Festival opened with much excitement, but failed due to the excessive and unbelievable upgrades made by Warner Garber, the founder.  Fast forward one year.

Warner Garber, while talking about his new festival upgrades for the 2nd Silver Springs Fest, dies during an interview with a documentary film crew.  In his eighties, he was losing his mind, but to everyone else it seemed that he embodied the grand imagination of a true eccentric.  Charlie, Warner’s son, knew how passionate his dad was about the fest.  With no real direction of his own, he adopts his dad‘s position as head organizer of the festival, along with the team of assembled industry experts, the documentary crew and the shambles of the failed festival from a year earlier.

Charlie and his team quickly move out to Silver Springs, BC and set up camp.  Initially the town’s reception is cold based on the previous treatment by the festival organizers, but monetary persuasion and mingling gets things underway.  Charlie frequently confides in the camera in response to his indecision, especially when conflict with his team arises.  Meanwhile, the festival undergoes massive correction, altering Warner Garbers original, but hilariously absurd, vision.  Zeppelins, wild animals, underwater theatres and such, are modified to preserve some of the insanity while adding much needed practicality.  Various comedic meetings and character clashes bring us to this point.

The following spring the festival is really coming together.  The small town of Silver Springs, BC, which is nestled along the Rockies, is undergoing upgrades (with the help of some of Warner Garbers old rich friends, and the absurd blackmail the team has acquired about them).  Charlie is still at the helm and we see clips from news spots, commercials, celebrity endorsements, and the towns people reacting to the revamped fest.  There is initial doubt about the festivals reach, and comparative draw to other major venues, but soon the submissions, both big and small, start coming in and it seems the festival has real potential.  The unique festival concept, which teeters on the edge of being a pop culture amusement park, garners outside attention.   

For the last half of the film, the festival is officially in swing.  Charlie has done a remarkable job, but he underestimates the industry heavyweights and celebs as the town, almost instantly, becomes overrun by them.  This is where the mockumentary reaches its comedic climax as the numerous groups and their attached films premiere.  We are witness to celebrity reactions, critics feedback, over the top art flicks, studio head clashes, Warner Garbers old friends returning to take some claim of the success, the townsfolk rising up, Charlie coming to terms with his fathers death and the modification of his dream, and a mishmash of regurgitated pop culture references by anyone and everyone in the small town.  The event takes a back seat here, and it’s all about the people at this point. 

The various filmmakers and celebrities that appear for the festival have delicate supporting roles.  Their characters really give shape to the festival, but none of them are around for too long to be of major consequence.  Charlie remains central, with reference to Warners contribution and the team which has made the festival possible.  In the conclusion, we see the chaos melt off of Silver Springs and Charlie personally (and perhaps seriously for the first time) revisit the death of his dad.  Charlie sits in a room with a view of the town behind him and is surrounded by the countless papers and sketches his father made.  In a spontaneous moment he rushes to the roof of the building and throws the papers off, which end up flying across the town.  We then see his team commenting that he’s lost his mind just like his father, and close on a group of townspeople sneering at Charlie as copies of the original festival idea shower the town.  Charlie is left feeling satisfied with his decision, while reflecting on the fact that were it not for his father’s over the top vision, he wouldn’t be where he is.

Charlie Garber - A 35yr old struggling actor.  He’s ambitious, grounded; your typical nice guy.  Still he tends to find himself in the middle of other people’s mistakes.  Despite his rocky past, he shines and finds direction in pulling his father’s film festival together.

Warner Garber - He’s flaky and off his rocker, but as an elaborate dreamer and a former Hollywood producer heavyweight he has the makings of a true eccentric.  Sadly, he dies pretty quick, but lives on in old footage and his festival plans that are shown throughout the film.

Nancy Monroe - She’s a designer and conceptualist in her late twenties.  Charlie calls on her to help establish a theme for the festival, and her bubbly personality and high energy are infectious.  Nancy is also aware of the power she has over Charlie and the sexual tension between them.

Kenneth Heinsman - He’s a staunch 60yr old money man, and although he’s great at running numbers, his elitist homosexual attitude creates conflict.  He always dreamed of being a celebrity stylist, but has no skill in this area.  Still it hasn’t kept him from trying, and throwing in bad fashion advice wherever he can.

Emma Chang - A 40yr old publicist, Emma is intense, but wickedly efficient.  She has an incredible talent for getting people to open up and therefore, has a valuable repertoire of industry secrets.  Many of which are used to ‘encourage’ Warner Garber’s old rich friends to share some money.

Sam Murphy - A local of Silver Springs, he assists in acclimatizing the town to the fest.  He doesn’t really understand the industry jargon, and so is easily relatable to outsiders.  He puts his reputation on the line to insist that the fest is good news for the town.

Blake Allen - He’s Charlie’s assistant, and despite his good nature, he is often overwhelmed by the things Charlie neglects.  He is also on the frontline with Sam in dealing with the demands of the townspeople. 

Norton Gash -  He’s a virtually unknown director, but his film Abundance becomes a breakout success at the festival.  Gash is a nervous and jittery man, and the public attention causes him grief despite all the praise.  He turns to Charlie for solace.

Vivian Terracini -  She’s the rising star from Abundance and embodies the worst aspects of modern celebrity.

Adrian Ulrich - He’s the rising star from Abundance and embodies the best aspects of modern celebrity. 

Ed Fink - He was an old friend of Warner Garber’s, and owns his own production studio.  As a businessman, he’s come to the fest looking to acquire distribution rights and give some unknowns their big breaks.  

Intended Audience:  

Film Fest should have wide comedic appeal between men and women aged 14 to whatever.  The target is those who are educated or interested in pop culture and the entertainment industry.  

Tone & Style:

The tone of the film is light and snappy.  Things move relatively quickly between characters and events.  Everything is shot like a documentary, but there are contrasting moments.  For instance, when the festival starts and things are hectic, the documentary style can capture the manic pace well and put the audience right in the event.  At the same time, in serious moments or screenings, or conversations, the look can be focused and clean (fly on the wall even).  Overall, the look is to be vibrant, colourful, and polished.  It should complement the diversity and the energy that a festival represents and the over-the-top world of film and the characters within it.

Website & Promotion:

Possible ideas for the website include sticking with the whole mockumentary theme and promoting the film as though the festival is really taking place.  There will be bios of the numerous characters, additional clips from the documentary in production, and examples of Warner Garber’s original and over-the-top vision for the festival.  The site could also take the Corner Gas approach, and provide interactive access to the fake festival town of Silver Springs, BC.  Site involvement could even go as far as holding an online short film festival, where users could upload and share their work.  The entries would be treated as submissions to the Silver Springs Fest and viewers could vote on their favourites.  I think Film Fest lends itself to a wide amount of interactivity with its viewers, and the website would certainly reflect this.    

Feb 7, 2012

X (2006)

Presented with the challenge of shooting (and manipulating) an experimental short on film, X was the result of a few late nights spent scratching my reel and coloring individual frames with a red sharpie.  I can't say I had much of a plan during the process, but it was fun.  This experimental film class also resulted in some of my other random edits like, The Other Time Machine and from 84.

What made this project stand out was that we each presented our films at the Sask Film Pool in downtown Regina at the aptly titled, Terrible Film Festival - a regular event each semester for those taking the avant-garde class. It was a pretty casual affair where some films played on a loop, others were screened traditionally, some in make shift tents, and some overlapping each other.  The entire exercise was really about playing with film, not just from behind the camera, but actually working with it, splicing it, and in some cases, tearing it apart. I remember my friend Tyler actually tried burning a piece of his film and it sounded like cooking bacon when it played through the projector.

I kicked things off with my film on a loop, and a last minute decision to use a mirror to reflect the projection around the room.  My entire idea really centred around 'X marks the spot' because I figured so many of the films would be just as busy and nonsensical as mine, but at least mine would have a red X throughout to give you some place to look. It kind of worked.

At the very least the evening was something out of the ordinary, and it created a more lasting memory for a project that would have otherwise just stayed packed away.  Our professor, Gerald Saul captured highlights from the evening and gave each of us a DVD of our short films.  

Looking back at it now, this was one of those stereotypically ideal film school situations that I'm glad we were forced to take part in.  And I couldn't forget it if I wanted to, as that mirror I was using ended up broken in the back seat of Tyler's car and stayed there for my remaining few semesters in university.  See my experimental film below.

Oct 4, 2011

Z99 Commercial Contest

What would you do if you were challenged to make a commercial for a local radio station?  My friend Tyler Cyrenne heard about Z99's commercial video contest (open to all residents of Saskatchewan) and went to work to create his entry, Life Would Be Weird.  He's now made the semi-finals and could really use your votes to help him get some attention.

No sign up or log in is required, simply click HERE to watch his video and give him 5 stars.  The finalists will be determined based on the votes they receive and reviews by a panel of judges.  I'll be sure to keep you posted on the results as the Z99 contest continues.  Thanks in advance for all of your help!

Dec 30, 2010

Editing Luke in 2010

Another 12 months down and it looks like 2010 is going to be the year to beat!  There was so much to be thankful for in 2010 that it puts my optimism of previous years into an entirely different perspective - who knew you could pack this much awesome into a single year?

Not that I want to seem overtly in-your-face about my positivity, but I feel I'm due as this year I finally saw the tides change and the rewards flood in since film school wrapped in 2008.  If that last half of 2008 was about just recovering from student life, and 2009 was about stabalizing myself, than 2010 was clearly about launching myself forward - and what a launch it's been so far!

Here are a few of the key moments that made my 2010 a year to remember:

January 3, 2010 - I kicked off the year by launching a brand new portfolio site that categorized and showcased my entire video history.  The site, Editing Luke: The Portfolio was essentially a business card for those who wanted to know about me and my work.  Here was the first look.

January 2010 - I officially became the Web Media Content Creator for Weddingstar Inc. and cemented my role as in-house photographer and videographer for all of the original media content we produce.

February 11, 2010 - My combined online video views surpassed 500,000.

March 2010 - Six months after returning from a cross-country road trip to California, I finally completed and began debuting all of the edits that I'd created for a personal travel project titled, Indio Outio.  You can see the first edit of the series below.

March 9, 2010 - After making the semi-finals in 2009 with my short The Geology Student, voting began in the Filmmaking Contest with me in the Top 40.  The campaigning began.

April 9, 2010 - In what was one of the most surprising moments of the year, I had been asked in February if I was interested in going on a business trip to act as videographer.  The destination: Singapore!  Here's what I wrote on the day we left.

May 11, 2010 - Throughout the remainder of April I debuted some of the personal footage I shot in Singapore.  Here was the complete post of edits that went live when all was said and done. 

May 30, 2010 - Weeks and weeks of voting and eliminations in the Filmmaking Contest came to a conclusion when I took 2nd place, beating out 38 other filmmakers after making it to the final round.  In addition to a nice cash prize, the contest resulted in over 170,000 video views for my short the Geology Student. 

May 31, 2010 - The Editing Luke blog celebrated 3 years.

June 10, 2010 - After 10 years of having my license, and 10 years of driving the infamous Buick (5 years of which I owned her) I finally had the means to upgrade.  Say it with me, Jaaaaguar. Dream come true! Here was my Requiem for a Buick.

July 1, 2010 - To continue with the upgrades I traded a basement (one of the final shackles of my student life) for a spacious downtown apartment.  This was the move

July 14, 2010 - I was contacted by a publishing company in Singapore who had seen the posts I'd written accompanying my Singapore edits.  They wanted to use one of my posts for their English textbooks. Read more about it here.

July 27, 2010 - In what was one of my favorite video shoots of the year, I went to Calgary to film behind-the-scenes of a Weddingstar magazine photo shoot.  The edits debuted with the launch of the new magazine in December.

August 20, 2010 - One of the biggest milestones of my year, the combined views of my online videos finally surpassed the once seemingly unattainable 1,000,000.

September 2, 2010 - Inspired by the 2009 trip, my friend Dave and I decided to do another California road trip.  This time we'd extend the journey to 12 days and take an alternate route home, heading up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco.  Here's what I wrote before leaving.  

October 2, 2010 - After our whirlwind trip of the Western USA had wrapped I took the thousands of photographs that I'd shot and edited them down into a glossy bound photo book. You can view the entire book online for free. 

From Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Hollywood, Long Beach, the Salton Sea, Los Angeles, the Pacific Coast Highway, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, Reno and through the Rocky Mountains - there was a lot to see and share.  Photo collections have continued to pop up on Editing Luke throughout these last months of 2010.  You can see samples by viewing the Road Trip 2010 tag. 

October 21, 2010 - With a summer of contract edits complete with Stream Media, we all received some good news.

November 13, 2010 - My friend Tyler visited for the weekend and we retraced our steps from We Two Kings, the holiday short we shot in 2009.

November 18, 2010 - I was contacted by the University of Regina regarding some photo collages I had created and posted on YouTube.  They featured them on the brand new U of R blog. This was followed up several weeks later with a feature of We Two Kings in December.

November 23, 2010 - The Editing Luke blog reached 100,000 views.  Since May 31, 2007 this blog had been viewed in 150 countries in over 6700 cities around the world.

December 16, 2010 - With my loft finally settled and completely furnished, I went all out to deck the halls for the holidays.

December 20, 2010 - This marked the 3rd time in 2010 that one of my shorts made it into the preliminary voting rounds of the Film Contest, despite the fact that I hadn't promoted any new projects there since my 2nd place win.

December 22, 2010 - Without a new Christmas edit this year, I opted to remix a time lapse I made while in the dorms at film school - Dorm Xmas Tree Remix.

December 31, 2010 - My year will close out with a final automatic payment that will see my first student loan from film school completely repaid.  I still have some work to do in paying down the remaining student debt, but the symbolism of ending the year this way can't go unnoticed.  I'll be starting 2011 with my best foot forward.

Like I said, 2010 is going to be the year to beat.

Dec 20, 2010

Nudged Into Semi-Finals Once More

This is just a quick update regarding the news I've received from Yobi Film.  My short, Give it Time has been voted into the preliminary round of the semi-finals for the 2nd time this year without me promoting it.  The very same thing also happened this summer with my project, The Gizmo Tree.

After winning 2nd place in the film making competition back in the spring, these updates from the latest season of Yobi simply reaffirm that people are clicking around to view my videos (which is awesome!).  I haven't even updated my profile on the site since the end of season 2, but it's because I'm waiting to produce something larger and all-new before heading back into the contest.

Neither Give it Time or the Gizmo Tree have been voted through to the semi-finals this year after making the preliminary round, but it's a cool feeling to know that others have helped to put them there in the first place. Thank you to those who have done so! 

New videos are on the roster for 2011. 

Nov 11, 2010

A Chill in the Air

Shot in 2006, I made this short for a National Film Board of Canada contest by mixing footage of WWI soldiers with stark winter imagery. The focus was on creating a symbolic representation of the recovery, healing, and scares left by war. However, to approach the subject in a less traditional form,

I opted to create this video poem. To read more on this project, the results of the contest, and the story behind it click here.

Oct 19, 2010

Give it Time in Yobi Film

This year I was awarded the 2nd place prize in Season 2 of the Yobi Filmmaking Contest with my short, The Geology Student. Season 3 began shortly after with a brand new set of rules, and a lengthier structure to get more filmmakers involved. Largely I hadn't been paying attention though because I didn't have a new short I wanted to campaign for.

In July the Gizmo Tree was voted into the preliminary semi-final round without my promotion or involvement, and now for the second time this year another one of my shorts, Give it Time has been voted into the contest without my help. It's taken an email both times to bring me back to the site to even check it out.

My stance hasn't changed since this happened the first time. I'm incredibly honored and flattered that people are checking out my projects and voting, but if I'm going to participate in Yobi Film again I'm going to wait until I have something new to share. I'm very proud of my previous work but many have already played a role in a contest, competition or film festival. I don't want to back-track at this point when I feel I can produce new work at an even higher standard (I just need the time to do it).

You can view my Yobi profile here. At the time of this post it hasn't been updated since I was participating in the Season 2 finals.

It's an interesting position to be in as the short could potentially be voted through without my control meaning that I wouldn't be able to compete with another film. I'm not really putting too much faith in that though, and mainly wanted to thank those who have been to Yobi Film to view my work and vote without me even knowing.

I plan on returning to Yobi, hopefully to compete in Season 3 with something new. Right now that's all up in the air. You can view Give it Time below.

Jul 7, 2010

Yobi Film Again?

After finishing in 2nd place of the Yobi Filmmaking Competition this year with my short, The Geology Student I have had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to create a brand new short to try again. To my surprise however, I noticed in my junk email folder yesterday that Yobi had sent me a message stating that on Sunday night I was actually voted as a Top 3 weekly winner with The Gizmo Tree.

This comes as a big surprise not only because I had made the semi-finals with The Gizmo Tree in season 1 of Yobi Film, but because this time around I hadn't even made any mention or done any campaigning for votes. This season (#3) of the film competition has seen a change in the rules to try to get even more films into the mix - and potentially even more films into the finals and going for the top prize.

I haven't decided what my approach is going to be yet. With the new rules I can still lose this round and then submit something new again in the next one. As much as I'm proud of my past work I think I'll feel more charged if I come up with something completely new - a more polished narrative short of some kind.

I sometimes feel like I'm not creating new videos anymore and then I remember that I am - it's just for other people now. I don't want that to be an excuse to not still keep the personal projects going though. So I'm inadvertently a weekly winner again, but I'd still like to get something new in the running. You can see the original promo I made for the Gizmo Tree below, when I made the Yobi Film Semi-Finals back in early 2009.

May 30, 2010

Yobi Film Results

The results are in - I just wanted to let everyone know that I finished 2nd place in the Yobi Film Contest. While not the top prize, I'm still really happy about the outcome and had my expectations far exceeded.

It's been a long process that many of you have seen play out on my blog, but even 2nd place feels amazing. In this case, I felt the first place winner really did deserve it so I really am satisfied to have made it as far as I did. The show of support was incredible and I owe that all to you guys. Your votes helped me outlast 38 other filmmakers, which is no small feat.

With the next season of Yobi starting up I think I'll take this summer to come up with a brand new, more ambitious short to try my luck at the top spot for a third time. First season I finished 6th, Second season in 2nd place, maybe 3rd times the charm?

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you one more time for making the experience as memorable as it was. I'm actually very optimistic for everything going ahead in the next few months - including new film ideas.

With over 170,000 video views on the Geology Student alone it's tough to feel bad. Thanks for everything!

May 25, 2010

Please Vote For Me

Only 24 hours remain before the end of the Yobi Film Competition!

With over 2 months of promotion, more than 10 voting rounds survived, and 38 other filmmakers eliminated, I'm in the Top 2! It's an incredible accomplishment that I'm extremely humbled by, but it's not over until it's over.

Please use your email address to help me win by voting here.

Your last minute votes can make all the difference! This is for the finals, for the win!

Thanks for all your help throughout this entire experience everyone! Win or lose I have nothing but gratitude for all the support I've received from you all. Results will be announced Friday.

May 23, 2010

Concluding Yobi Film

To skip ahead and cast a final vote click here.

After months of voting, the seemingly endless weeks of promotion, and the incredible support from so many friends and strangers, it's come down to these last few days. In an international online film contest that started with a Top 40, I'm now one of only two filmmakers remaining. I've made it as far as I can without actually winning, and there's still a couple days to tip the scale in my favor.

I'll keep it simple, your vote could literally make all the difference in a competition that has been an incredibly tight race. All you need is an email address to vote. The contest officially wraps on Wednesday, May 26. Results are then revealed on Friday.

Your support and vote for my Yobi Film profile could result in a trip for me to check out the Toronto International Film Festival this year as well as a cash reward that would not only go towards supporting my future film projects, but would also help me repay the remaining portion of two of my student loans from film school. It's no exaggeration when I say that this reward could be life changing.

If you've found yourself visiting my blog over the almost 3 years that it's been around, I think you can probably appreciate just how passionate and committed I am to what I do. I don't take any of these opportunities for granted, and really do feel that I wouldn't have achieved half of the things I have without the support, motivation, and compassion of so many who have just wanted to see me do well or give me a moment of their time. I can't thank you enough, whether this is your first time or hundredth time visiting, it's means a lot.

Please help me complete my run in the Yobi Film contest by casting this final vote for me to win here. It only takes a moment and could honestly make all the difference. Thank you!

May 16, 2010

Top 2 of Yobi Film!

To skip ahead and vote click here.

To say the least I'm absolutely amazed that this has happened. I never realistically thought that a little film school short that I made several years ago would be in the running for such an incredible prize - a trip for 2 to see the Toronto International Film Festival, a cash bonus, and the title of Filmmaker of the Year from the Yobi Filmmaking Contest.

To recap, all this began with 40 filmmakers. Over the last few months it's gone from Top 32, 24, 16, and 8 filmmakers, at which point it changed into a one by one elimination until we reached the Top 2. I'm now one of those 2 filmmakers left.

To help me win all you need to do is use your email address to cast a vote here. It's that simple.

My focus over the last few years has been wrapped up in independent web-based content - random shorts, edits, or parodies. It's a style that's suited me well. It's a style that also doesn't take itself too seriously which I think has helped me a lot - it's certainly a huge contrast to the other work that's been uploaded. Some may call it a fluke, but I'd like to think that a lot of other people enjoy a cheap laugh from time to time too.

My competitor (and other half of the Top 2) has shown some excellent work; cinematic, polished, and inspired. To be honest I think I'm the underdog in comparison. However, I'd love to win, and I'd at least like to go out with a bang knowing that I did all I could even if I lose. You can help me do that by voting, spreading the word, sharing my link, etc. If anything, let this blog serve as proof of just how passionate I am about what I do for a living.

I want to thank everyone who has shown their support, who votes and continues to vote, who has given me words of encouragement, and so on. So many of you have made this so much more than I thought it ever would be, and for that I can't thank you enough!

It all comes down to this final round - please help me with your vote one last time here. Thank you guys so much for making this such an awesome experience!

May 12, 2010

Politics of Popularity

Whether I'm to be eliminated this week in the Yobi Filmmaking Competition or I'm to make the final two of the entire season, things have taken an interesting turn this round. After receiving a handful of negative comments both personally and on my profile, then realizing that the audio was out of sync in the highlight video recap for the round, I naturally began thinking that a few people were out to get me - and by that I mean just really wanted me to lose.

This has always been the issue with 'popular vote' contests as far as I've seen. People get their feelings hurt because the contest is really about who can best promote their work. I've experienced this time and time again where I've been sidelined - in fact, I felt this way in Yobi Film last year with my short the Gizmo Tree. I haven't discussed it much, but my choice behind pushing my short The Geology Student to the finals this year was as much about submitting something different as it was anything else.
The Geology Student was first made for a film class as a character study, and more than anything it's a parody of itself. It's campy, it's amateur, it's completely out of context - it's why I enjoy it so much. A bad educational film has never required less facts or purpose; love it or hate it the short isn't trying to sway or convince you of anything and in this contest in particular, I think it's the projects strength.

If this was the only film I'd ever made I'd better understand the frustration from those who I've played a role in eliminating, but this is merely 1 out of 100 other projects I've done. It's as much an experiment and test for myself to see how this short will do in competition - and so far, it's done amazingly well.
I understand completely why some throw their hands up in disgust (no one likes to lose) but like I said previously, this is about who can best promote their work. Individually, just like I'm doing now, we can all make cases for why we deserve the win, but it's actually nice to take comfort in the fact that winning here is pretty clearly defined - most votes wins. If you lose, you can sum it up to the fact you didn't get enough people to vote for you. Even if I lose this round, no one can say that I didn't make an effort to advertise - obviously. That is after all the point of the contest.

In addition to all this, from a creative standpoint the finals are technically about judging each filmmaker's entire Yobi profile. A platform that I've taken full advantage of by uploading over 10 shorts (massing over half a million views and counting). Anyone truly upset about The Geology Student advancing need only click my 'Other Entries' to see a range of other styles and edits that I've done. And hey, you've somehow found yourself on my blog, it's even easier to see what I'm talking about here - look around!

It's such a sensitive situation when you're competing with people that you can't even see. I at least put my face at the top of my blog so you have an idea who's writing. In any case, if this is the end of my finals experience this season I have no regrets. But, until I'm officially eliminated don't expect me to give up without a fight. Top 3 doesn't just happen by accident and I certainly won't apologize for it. In fact, let me instead say thank you to all of you who have supported and who continue to support me. This entire competition (win or lose) is just another great experience that you've helped me have.

I can't express my appreciation enough.

See my Yobi Profile here.

May 10, 2010

Top 3 of Yobi Film Finals!

To skip ahead and vote click here.

First of all, thank you to everyone who voted (and who will hopefully cast a vote again)! I can't tell you how happy I am to find myself with so much support in this film competition! It really is amazing!

The voting for the Yobi Film Competition has been going for two months now, and after making the Top 40 - here I am after all those weeks and rounds - 1 of 3 filmmakers in the running for Filmmaker of the Year!

I know I've been promoting my short The Geology Student throughout the contest, but as a finalist you're actually voting for my entire Yobi Film profile. This includes numerous short films that I've uploaded and my promotion within Yobi itself. This really is a huge deal for me - potentially opening a lot of new doors and helping me make a lot of contacts.

By taking a couple minutes and voting with your email address (no understatement here) you could absolutely change my life. If I were to win I'd get a trip to the Toronto International Film Festival and a chunk of cash that I could put towards bigger and better projects. Not too mention all of the promotion and exposure I'd continue to receive.

There are now only two voting rounds left before a winner is declared. It's so close that I'm really going to try and pull out all the stops.

Please help me spread the word, use your email address, post my link on facebook, tell your roommate, send an email, tell a coworker, etc. Any little bit can help and if any of you ever need a vote I'm there, haha.

Check out my profile and vote here.

May 2, 2010

Top 4! Yobi Film Finals Continue!

To skip ahead and vote click here.

It's very exciting to think that I now have a 1 in 4 shot at winning Filmmaker of the Year from the Yobi Filmmaking Competition! To make the finals felt huge, but to come this close to the top feels both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Still, thank you all so much for your votes and helping me advance! This could really be a life changing opportunity just based on how many people are continuing to view my profile.

To help my streak continue, use your email address to cast a vote for me here.

Use your email addresses, help me spread the word, any and everything is appreciated and could help tip the scale in my favor. Thank you guys for all your efforts in helping me make the most of this incredible platform! Another wholehearted, thanks!

Apr 26, 2010

In the Yobi Film Top 5! Please Vote

To skip ahead and vote click here.

Things are really coming down to the wire now. When I first started campaigning for votes over a month ago, there were 40 filmmakers in the running for Yobi Film's 'filmmaker of the year' and now there's 5 - and I'm one of them! This is a huge honour, and just to have made it this far feels like a huge achievement.

Please help me continue my run for the win by using your email address to cast a vote for me here. It's quick and easy and could make a huge impact in attracting a lot of attention for my video work.

Also, the winner receives a trip for 2 to see the Toronto International Film Fest, which would just be another dream realized.

Thank you guys for all your help in getting me this far. In a tight competition like this your individual votes can really be the deciding factor. I really appreciate all your efforts! Use your email addresses to vote, spread the word, send an email, forward my promo video, tweet me - anything you can do to help is very much appreciated. Thanks again!

Apr 19, 2010

Yobi Film Top 6! Please Vote

To skip ahead and vote click here.

And then there were 6.

As these weekly voting rounds continue I don't have much to add, with the exception of another thank you. Your votes are keeping me in this and for that I'm very grateful - so again, thank you!

Please remember to click over and cast another vote for me this week to help me win tickets to see the Toronto International Film Festival (not to mention all of the continued exposure for my profile and work by remaining in the finals).

Once again, you can help by checking out my contest promo video - forwarding it, adding it facebook, etc. Every little bit helps and if any of you ever need a vote in the future . . .