Showing posts with label Original Sites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Original Sites. Show all posts

May 4, 2012

But, You're Not a Photographer

One of my pet peeves these days is the way people classify themselves as photographers.  Honestly, it's brilliant to see so many people snapping pictures and finding ways to share their work, and to those giving it an honest go, I have nothing but respect.  My issue arises when people disregard the skill that actually separates a photographer who does it professionally (and actually gets paid) versus someone who simply enjoys it - or more so, those who don't feel the need to work at it because they have apps and a flickr account. 

Self portrait.  Ooooo, Canon? Nope, iPod.

Case in point, Instagram.  I love Instagram.  I snap hundreds of photos with my iPod Touch and use them to create collages for my blog posts, create fun profile pictures, and generally capture things on the go.  However, if Instagram and the prepackaged filters it comes with are the extent of your photographic knowledge and experience, then really you're no more of a photographer than my pancakes and spaghetti make me a chef. And to those posting shoddy Facebook ads promoting your photography businesses, the expense of your camera should not be your top selling point!

Once again, it's not that lots of people are doing it, it's the assumption that somehow everyone who has access to the same tools are equal in skill; that if we all had the same camera the results would be exactly the same.  The truth is that it's not the equipment that tells you how to frame a shot, how to properly white balance, how to bounce and reflect light, or how to effectively manipulate a shot in post.  There's intuition, experimentation, and a keen eye involved.  What I'm saying is that if everyone can do something, then there naturally has to be a new benchmark for those who don't only snap pictures of their cats. If you're wondering who I'm talking about, check out all of the people featured on the hilarious website, You Are Not a Photographer. And as a guy who also makes his living as an editor, trust me when I say that the spectrum is no less terrifying in video.

While I'm not losing any sleep over this long standing debate, I feel like there's a lot to be said for those who excel in creative professions and those who simply want to be part of the club.  It comes down to a matter of intent.  What I shoot and share is deliberate, and the way my photos are edited is not only a reflection of my personal style, it's an exercise in originality and my perspective on what other professionals are doing.  Every decent photographer is out to make common focal points seem more unique, and if you're shooting wedding photos like yearbook pictures, something's wrong.  

Photography, much like video editing, is about understanding subtlety. Expressions, framing, the angle, and the depth of field used are all variables that can project different meanings and encourage different reactions.  I've always been even more focused on the post-production side of things - filters, etc.  Often times something made to look simple and natural is frustratingly hard to create.

I'm reminded of the Picasso napkin story.  The story goes that Picasso was sitting in a Paris cafĂ© when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? It took you a minute to draw this!” “No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years”.     
In short, while talent certainly varies, the skill (in any field) doesn't come prepackaged. 

Mar 11, 2012

Wordle Word Clouds

If you're a blogger you should check out Wordle to instantly create custom word clouds with some of the most popular words used on your site.  All you do is type in your URL and you can randomize numerous variations of word clouds like the ones I've posted below for Editing Luke.  Now that I've seen them clumped together, I've got to say that I'm pretty happy with the words I use. 

I also created word clouds for my other site, Jeeves and the Jaguar here.

Oct 19, 2011

Stream Media Reel

One of the last projects I had left on my plate from this summer was creating a reel for Stream Media - or Stream.  It's the production company that I first started working with straight out of film school and a place that I still edit for regularly.

Stream Media just finished redesigning and upgrading their website so this project was really the last piece of the puzzle.  For me it was a reminder of just how many projects I've been a part of and how our work has become even more diverse in the few short years that I've been there.  

It's what I've loved about working within a small team of very creative people, I've always felt like I was directly involved in the outcome of many of the projects I was fortunate to be a part of.  Working with clients like the Canadian Forces, Encana, the Medicine Hat College, the University of BC, Medalta Potteries, etc. continues to present a lot of unique challenges that ultimately improve my editing and approach.

This was a fun edit to do for a lot of reasons, but I think what I enjoyed most about it was that it's a clear signal that we're still moving forward, we're attracting bigger projects, and we're catering to more styles and venues than ever before.  It's a great job.

Oct 6, 2011

Abandoned Movie Theatres

I've always had a fascination with abandoned places (see Bombay Beach, the North Shore Motel or the North Shore Yacht Club).  There's something romantic and mysterious about places that were once popular and thriving and then thinking about what must have happened that ultimately lead to their demise.

For a long time I've collected images of abandoned places simply because I was so intrigued by them.  I can't take credit for any of these stunning photographs and I wish I could remember where they came from, but they're a collection of abandoned movie palaces, theatres, and vintage cinemas.  These pictures make me think about what films where shown there over the years, how many people must have sat in those seats, and about the reasons these amazing places were left to decay.  I wonder what these movie theatres look like now, and if any of them have been saved or simply gotten worse. 

If you find abandoned locations as mesmerizing as I do you should check out the site, How to be a Retronaut.  Their abandoned category features all kinds of forgotten locations and objects that will have you surfing for hours.  They even posted about an abandoned New York movie theatre, which I recognize one of these images from.  It's all really cool and engrossing stuff. 

Jun 10, 2011

Jeeves and the Jaguar

Several months in the making, Jeeves and the Jaguar officially launches today!  The new site centres around my XJ8, featuring original photography, vintage print ads, stories behind the car, and general pop culture.  It's all pretty tongue and cheek, but it should be a lot of fun.  I'm hoping to document my travels from behind the wheel this summer.  Be sure to follow the new site and add it to your feeds!

Click on over to view

Jan 29, 2011

Angry Charlie Reviews

For well over a year my friend Tyler Cyrenne has been trying his hand at writing movie reviews.  Like myself, Tyler went to film school and has always had a certain knack for recommendations (eye roll here).  He once suggested Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and I have yet to let him forget it.  

In all seriousness though, Tyler's site Angry Charlie Reviews is quickly growing an impressive library of reviews covering a variety of genres and styles.  I've found it entertaining getting to see Tyler express himself in an online project that he clearly has a passion for, and it's exciting watching his writing style and focus evolve as he gains more traction with readers.

I generally have difficultly with movie review sites simply because there are so many of them.  What makes Angry Charlie Reviews different is the framework that it's built on.  With reviews of some of the latest releases, several shots at video reviews, and support from his personal blog Don't Make Charlie Angry, Tyler is branding himself and the determination is starting to pay off.

He's been featured on the popular site Ain't It Cool News and has also had a pull quote taken for a movie poster that one of our friends was a part of.  I'd say that's a pretty good start.

While Tyler continues to refine and find his voice there's no question that his site will only continue to get better.  I thought I'd throw my two cents into the ring to try and help you out Angry Charlie.  Check out his site and latest reviews here.

Dec 17, 2010

F My Life - The Book

If you're a regular facebook user or keen on social media in general you've probably heard the term, FML. It's used after somebody writes something self-deprecating about themselves and simply acts as punctuation to their statement - F My Life. You occasionally feel a bit of pity for the person who writes this, but generally you can't help but laugh.

That notion became the popular where people would upload their misfortune, and this soon translated into a book featuring the best of the worst. I found the 'F My Life' book while doing some Christmas shopping this year and have been picking it up daily for a quick laugh. Here are some recent samples from the website:

Today, a man dressed as Santa Claus walked by me, grabbing my butt. He smelled of pipe tobacco and pee. He pulled me close to him and whispered, "I bet you're naughty but you feel so nice." I looked dumbfounded at him as he winked and yelled, "You're on my list." FML

Today, my toddler stood up in the shopping cart and fell giving himself a black eye. Later while at a restaurant he tried to stand up in his highchair. I quickly blurted out "Sit down! Do you want another one of those?" while pointing at his eye. Now the waiter wont stop glaring at me. FML

Today, I got home from work to find an eviction notice taped to my door, stating that I was a nuisance and had 30 days to vacate the property. I live at home with my parents. FML

Today, at the office, everyone in my department swapped secret santa presents. I bought the guy whose name I picked a DVD box-set of his favorite TV series. One of my friends got a fancy make up kit. Another got a pack of posh notebooks. I got a toilet plunger. FML

And I could go on and on, but why not just pick up the book? It's worth it.

Nov 18, 2010

On the University of Regina Blog

It was during my time at the University of Regina that I started this blog and began sharing some of my video work and film school experiences online. So, you can imagine my reaction when I received an email from the U of R blog about sharing some of the campus collage videos that I shot back in 2006 and 2007.

Maybe it shouldn't be surprising that I've become so involved in corporate video now as it seems like when I go out of my way to create content specifically about a place or location I end up getting requests about sharing it (which is awesome by the way!). This has happened several times with my travel edits ending up on vacation booking or related travel sites, or earlier this year when a short article I wrote about Universal Studios Singapore ended up in a Singapore English textbook, or when a video I shot at the Saskatchewan Science Centre ended up on their site.

Moments like this are cool in their own right, but as a collective it means so much more for getting my name out there and interacting with a lot of new people. Writing a brief promo post about myself on something like the University blog or any other site is always an opportunity with unknown results. With so many links and networks and blog posts, etc. I always get excited thinking about who else might find their way to my inbox.

It seems like there's potential to share even more content in the future, which could be a lot of fun. In the meantime you can check out the post and my campus collages by CLICKING HERE. Thanks for the shout out U of R!

Jul 19, 2010

Film School Advice

I feel like I've ranted, raved, trashed, and glamorized my own film school experience over the last several years, but that's not to say that I don't still have questions regarding the field. Now working two media jobs (largely as an editor) I feel very grateful for the experiences I've had and remember exactly what it was like trying to figure out how I was going to turn a passion into a paycheck.

Personal drive seems fundamental to making it in any competitive field, but self-assuredness is something that you best find quickly if you expect to weather the rejection from pursuing a job in creativity. Looking up information I stumbled onto Film School Advice forum and had fun just exploring all of the discussions. It brought me back to high school and the anxiety I faced as I tried to decide between different film schools - ultimately I settled for the cheapest one.

From screenwriting to directing, from grant applications to film school applications, there are so many facets to film and video that make it possible to really shape the path you take. In my own experience, I returned to a smaller city after film school and actually established/developed my position with both companies with the promise of bringing a new approach to their creative strategies. While I still strive to do narrative/independent production, the work I've been doing since university has been highly self-motivated and full of variety.

I really just wanted to share this Film School Advice forum to get your brain working. Whether you're an aspiring filmmaker, recently graduated, or just interested in film and video, there's a wealth of information to be borrowed (and to make your experience less stressful).

Perhaps the greatest bit of personal advice that I can give is for you to find the answers that work for you. There are thousands of ways to get to where you want to go - something I didn't quite realize until I got there. For more general banter check out my post on Advice for Aspiring Filmmakers.

Jul 12, 2010

Vanguard on Current

It's refreshing to find a news journalism program that isn't just fueled by flashy effects or hype. Instead, Vanguard on Current is a show that allows its correspondents to tell a story and get you interested in the bigger picture. In my opinion, they successfully balance informative commentary and entertainment without feeling the need to dumb-down the argument or take their subject matter too lightly.

Their guerrilla documentary style approach also makes it feel more personal. I love how the correspondents actually get involved with their subjects, whether traveling to unique locations or spending a day in their life, you feel like those involved have actually invested a lot in getting to understand why people are saying and/or doing the things they are.

Current TV has become an online staple for me in the last year with shows like Infomania, Rotten Tomatoes, and now Vanguard. In its 4th season already there is plenty of material and full seasons of episodes to watch online. For those interested in everything from the recession to pirates to robots and even a bus trip across America - Vanguard is worth checking out. I've posted a few of my favorite episodes below, for more click here.

Lost Vegas: Vanguard

The Great American Detour: Vanguard

Jun 15, 2010

Movie Review Sites (That I Actually Read)

While I'm generally quick to form a critical opinion of my own as soon as a movie trailer pops up, the truth is that I just don't have the time to see as many movies as I used to. So in recent months I've started turning to movie review sites for quick opinions on what's worth seeing when I do get the chance. Here are some of my favorite review sources:

100 Words or Less

I love that this site is brief, to the point, and generally highlights a specific reason that a movie was good or bad (in 100 words or less). That kind of simplicity is easy to digest, fun to read, and a refreshing gimmick in a sea of overzealous critics. For a site that's also relatively new and low-key, I think I like it even more because of the potential it shows.

Angry Charlie Reviews
What I like specifically about this site is (much like the first one) it's up-and-coming and takes an ambitious approach. Opting for a more traditional review format, it's been the recent introduction of video reviews that's really hooked me. There's also a nice balance between positive and negative reviews for some of the latest blockbusters, which adds a lot of variety to a fast growing library of original content.

The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current
Whether you're out to watch funny clips, recaps, reviews, or the full half hour weekly show, The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current is a refreshing take on the movie review genre. Witty commentary and numerous features about random aspects of cinema make this an easy show/site to dive into.

May 28, 2010

Movie Sounds Central

If you're anything like me you enjoy revisiting your favorite flicks. It's why I was so easily entertained by Movie Sounds Central, a site that lists numerous popular films and allows you to listen to audio clips of some of the best quotes from each.

A few of my personal favs include Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Spaceballs, and Swingers. I practically know these movies off by heart already, but it's fun listening to the clips and trying to remember how the scene actually played out. It's not a bad way to waste a few minutes if you've got 'em.

Check out the Movie Sounds Central index here.

Feb 18, 2010

The Smalls: Filmmaking Site

It's my pleasure to introduce a site that I've taken quite a liking to in the last few weeks, The Smalls. With original narrative short films uploaded from a variety of users, relevant filmmaking content and tips, and links to other film opportunities, this is a site that I've found very easy to explore and use as a resource for my own independent filmmaking.

As someone who has tried to make the most of what the internet has provided for independent filmmakers, more recently I've been scoping out sites that (unlike YouTube) are focused entirely on narrative/creatively produced content. Finding a forum or forums to showcase your work is paramount to getting your name and work out there, and I've found myself shifting attention to smaller venues that potentially offer more targeted views. While many of these sites aren't the biggest or most popular, the people who use and view them are exactly the kind of people that you'd want giving you feedback on your films. For that, sites like
The Smalls can be a valuable creative gauge to hold your work up against and challenge you to push yourself further.

I have yet to upload anything here because I've been too busy exploring others work (and just haven't got around to it yet), but I can see myself using sites like this as motivation to create a more ambitious and refined short film in the near future. I've been saying it for a while now that I'd like to see myself put energy into single project for a longer period of time to produce something on a more professional and somewhat larger scale than what I've done so far.

The Smalls is a site that was forwarded to me by a good friend so I can't take credit for the find, but you can expect me to be highlighting sites like this more regularily in the coming months. I hope to use this site to highlight my own projects very soon, and in the meantime I'll continue enjoying what others are up to - check it out for yourself!

Feb 9, 2010

Fast, Cheap Movie Thoughts

It was right at the beginning of this year that I first discovered the blog, Fast, Cheap Movie Thoughts. What really hooked me was that it was similar to my goals with my Cinematic Acrobatic interview series in having other filmmakers talk about their work and experiences - these people just happened to be industry professionals.

It continues to be a great resource and a fun read for anyone interested in the realities of making a movie commercially.

What I really enjoy about Fast, Cheap Movie Thoughts is that the people who are talking about their work are tackling a variety of different projects and genres. With comments from writers, directors, cinematographers, etc. I hadn't heard of the majority of the people, but I could recognize some of their work. In fact, the real charm of the blog is that these aren't discussions with Spielberg or Scorsese, these are true behind the scenes/indie filmmakers/industry workers who talk about the industry (often) from a point of struggle and sacrifice just to find more work, complete what they're doing, or to choose between the mainstream job or passion project.

That isn't to say that these people aren't as talented or skilled as the 'big' names, the blog just puts them in a context that makes them easy to identify with - the 'real people' behind movies not the celebrity persona's. The entries come off as real conversations and not promotional puff, which is a nice change from anything you'd come across in Entertainment Weekly.

For an informative and fascinating sample of different filmmaking backgrounds and stories, check out Fast, Cheap Movie Thoughts. And on a sidenote, the blog was ranked as one of the 50 best blogs for filmmakers by Moviemaker Magazine.

Feb 8, 2010

Don't Make Charlie Angry

My friend Tyler Cyrenne has regularly showcased my videos on his blog and I thought it was about time I returned the favor and showcased a few of his. With an equally passionate view of filmmaking, Tyler and I have often challenged each other and used competition to improve our projects. Film school saw many 3am meetings at Mac's to discuss how our assignments were unfolding.

In addition to the several shorts that he's helped me with (Buick to the Future Series, We Two Kings) he responded to be part of the 2nd issue of my column, Cinematic Acrobatic. His interview can be read here. Without a doubt, getting to know Tyler through film school resulted in a lot of good memories and projects that we still joke about today.

Check out his blog, Don't Make Charlie Angry and view a few of my favorite Angry Charlie videos below.

Jan 23, 2010

Amazing Video Production Company Promo

In some of the latest research I've been doing for the company I work for (creating original promotional videos for a website) I came across a collection of videos by Cloud Nine Creative Inc. As a response to the worst production company promo I posted a few days ago, this clip is an excellent example of how a promo should look. Catering to the wedding crowd (a very challenging business to be a part of) the work I've seen from Cloud Nine is both beautiful, polished, and wonderfully cinematic. This is where a steady cam and a small crew really make the difference between a home video and an unforgettable memento.

It's the editing that really attracts me here - I dare say that it's very similar to my own style with the quick cuts, use of bold motion, stylized slow-mo shots/transitions, and rhythmic pacing that I've used heavily in my corporate editing specifically. Working with this footage must have been fun, and the candid shots of happy couples and families complete the package. The work done here is impressive and from a technical standpoint deserves recognition. From my humble position, I say well done Cloud Nine Creative!

Oct 17, 2009

Cinematic Acrobatic Presents: Tyler Cyrenne

To feature the talents of other artists and gain their unique perspectives has long been the motivation behind a lot of what is posted on Editing Luke. To encourage interaction, involvement, and feedback is vital, and I can think of no better way to do this than to allow other motivated filmmakers to share their views in their own words.

As a close friend and film school buddy it only seemed like a matter of time before Tyler Cyrenne shared his view for this series. To me, Tyler has always embodied a lot of that film school optimism and belief that bigger things were just around the corner. It's really been in just the last couple of years though that his approach has become even more assertive: starting a blog, entering contests, and creating original videos on his own terms. Plus, I have to say his involvement and assistance in many of my film school shorts and personal projects in recent years has also reflected his ambition, for which I very much appreciate.

With his stint in film school being one of the longest (sorry Tyler, I had to say it) of anyone I know, he's now starting a new chapter. I look forward to seeing how he decides to pursue his filmmaking in a professional/commercial capacity in the years ahead. In continuation with this new series of posts, readers, viewers, and dreamers, Cinematic Acrobatic Presents: Tyler Cyrenne.

1. Who is Tyler Cyrenne?

I’m a 25 year old filmmaker from Regina, Saskatchewan. I was born in the small town of Ponteix, Saskatchewan, where a lack of productive activities drove me to movies as a form of escape. With no local movie theatre, I either had to rely on TV, buying or renting, or driving an hour to the closest theatre. This meant every movie I got to see on the big screen became a privilege, and was rare, which made me appreciate the cinema more, and added a permanent magic to all things movies. And once I found out people could go to school for filmmaking, what I wanted to do became very clear at that point.

Personal Blogs:

2. As someone who went to film school, was it worth it for you?

Definitely. Even if most of film school was BS classes, the production aspect of it provided a practice ground for the basis of what making a well thought out film entails. And being able to constantly have your work critiqued by professionals and colleagues (other than moms and relatives) was an invaluable if not occasionally harsh way of letting you know if A) you have what it takes and B) how to get in the habit of always aiming higher and always experimenting no matter how little or pointless. Filmmaking isn’t always about how much money you can make or how successful you become; it’s about whether you have the passion to keep pushing yourself enough and not give up so that eventually the rest falls into place. The friends I made during film school going through this insane process have lasted thus far and I believe will last a life time.

3. What about movie-making inspires you?

Movies are unglamorous to make, cumbersome to put together, time consuming and a pain in the ass - but it's all for the sake of feeling something at the end of it. Be it a feeling of accomplishment for the filmmaker, a laugh from the viewer, or a whole date planned around seeing a movie and getting that first kiss after. To put something out there that creates so many memories, and contains so much life; to know that without that one small idea that arose out of a joke, or an everyday situation none of it might have happened or have had as nig of impact, is the most rewarding thing someone can do.

4. If you had to choose a single project you've made or participated in to showcase your style, which would it be and why?

I would say it’s 4th Year Film Project. Now, it’s not one of my most pristine or well thought out projects, that’s more likely to be something like Gilligan. But, from start to finish on 4th Year, I wanted something that would appeal to my core audience – and at the time that was my friends and I. So, the script was always based around the inside jokes or sayings we had at that moment. The film was intended to capture that moment in time, so that I could watch it later on down the road and just laugh. I’m very nostalgic for the old times so to sum up my entire film school experience it was the only thing that made sense to do at the time. The same goes for my involvement in the Buick to the Future series - it’s about getting together with your friends, and capturing that moment. Which is why there’s four in the series so far, I imagine. Because when you find something that works, it’s becomes not only easier and easier to add on to that storyline, but it’s more and more fun, and almost addictive.

5. Passion, Creativity, Drive - Choose ONE.

Passion, hands down. Passion for something means it’s all you think about. You live and you breathe it, it becomes a part of your being. If you have passion, creativity and drive will fall into place. For me it’s a natural evolution.

6. Seeing as you've helped me with a number of my shorts, I should ask, what has that experience been like from your perspective?

Rewarding. I say that for two reasons. One, it’s nice not having the (albeit light) pressure of having to write the script or work the camera or edit it later on. All I do is go over the script, show up and get to act silly. Then I wait a few days, and I get to see the fruits of our labor. Not to mention in most of our films together we do so much ad lib that it’s entertaining to see how you put it together. Buick 2 is a great example of that. The other reason ties to what I said earlier, about making these films together, and bonding over the experience, making our relationship stronger as friends and as filmmakers.

7. In a utopian world, what would you like to achieve with your work or what would you like it to say about you individually?

Obviously we all want to be successful and win Oscars and all that stuff. I don’t think any actual filmmaker or actor that actually wins goes into that project aiming for that type of recognition. They do it for the same reasons I do – to have fun and challenge themselves. If you win something –great, if not - then whatever. That’s not what matters. What I want to achieve ultimately is to be able to make the films I want with a decent budget and the freedom to collaborate with whoever I want. I want my movies to appear in the same places as the movies I’ve watched and fell in love with, in hopes that maybe I can inspire someone in the same way I was inspired - plant that seed of inspiration and passion and the idea that no matter what, you can achieve anything. I want people to see my movies and say “That movie was awesome, I had a great time watching it, and it looked like they had fun making it”. Because if things go the way I would ultimately love them to – it will be.

Oct 4, 2009

Viral Video Film School

I recently discovered an amazing web series called, Viral Video Film School. Whether you've heard of it or not, it's certainly worth seeing for the first time or over and over again. If you've got some time to kill, this is a great place to start.

Hosted by Brett Erlich, Viral Video Film School is produced as part of the InfoMania show on As you may have guessed, VVFS is focused on breaking down popular viral trends across the 'interwebs' (I just love that word). From the worst parents to best animal sex, the series focuses on the real life humour and novelty behind these videos/situations and the people who decide to shoot and post this stuff. With fast paced critique and witty one-liners, Brett is one of the more entertaining vloggers I've seen. The addictive jump cuts and perfectly timed support clips just add to the unassuming polish of the series.

I suppose there's not much else you need to know that it doesn't explain itself. I'm just now beginning to explore the other clips from the web show, and if they're half as good as Viral Video Film School I think I'll continue coming back for more. Check out a few of the segments I've posted below, and for more visit Viral Video Film School here. Enjoy!

Viral Video Film School:
The Internet's Dumbest How-To Videos

Viral Video Film School:
YouTube's Best Birthday Videos

Oct 1, 2009

Cinematic Acrobatic Presents: Alex Lamburini

To feature the talents of other artists and gain their unique perspectives has long been the motivation behind a lot of what is posted on Editing Luke. To encourage interaction, involvement, and feedback is vital, and I can think of no better way to do this than to allow other motivated filmmakers to share their views in their own words.

For the debut of this brand new series of original posts I'm very happy to feature a young artist that I've had the good fortune of getting to know through his work and his interaction on this blog. As a student I knew I wanted to kick off this series with his interview - I've long made it clear that my own early student work proved to be a catalyst for much of my more ambitious projects and goals. Without further delay, I'm proud to feature the brand new interview of this up and coming artist, ladies and gents, Cinematic Acrobatic Presents: Alex Lamburini.

1. Who is Alex Lamburini?

Alex Lamburini is a sixteen year old director, photographer and screenwriter. His film career began when he was only fourteen years old and was selected out of hundreds of aspiring filmmakers nationwide to join the Samsung Mobile Fresh Films production crew, where he produced a film featuring actor Scott Cohen from Gilmore Girls. While working with Fresh Films, Alex and nine other teen filmmakers cast, directed, produced and edited a short film on a professional Hollywood set in only seven days. At fourteen Alex was already working with casting directors from the film “Freaky Friday” and professional actors. This proved to be only a stepping stone in Alex’s career. At age fifteen, he directed a short film entitled “Meeting Mr. Williams” on location in New York with a small DV camera and a budget of $0. Alex went on to win the El Capitan Film Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival for his short film “Meeting Mr. Williams. Hundreds of films were submitted and Alex’s film “Meeting Mr. Williams” was one of eight that was selected for the prestigious award. Alex Lamburini will be working as an intern for a major film studio in New York City and at only sixteen years old he is directing the new music video “It’s So Clear” for the band The Given Motion. Alex is planning on attending NYU film school after high school.

Personal Blog: Alex Lamburini
Twitter: Alex Lamburini

2. What is it about filmmaking that initially hooked you?

I think what initially hooked me about filmmaking was simply, storytelling; that and being exposed to film production at a very young age. When I was only thirteen years old I began writing stories and being the lover of literature that I am I analyzed them. I began to notice that in each of them I found a little bit of myself and my god, this fascinated me! I found that I was translating certain aspects of my personal feelings and experiences into my stories. While this was my initial “hook” all this really did was engage me in the writing aspect of filmmaking. I think what really got me filming and eventually directing was my desire to release these feelings and bring them to a new medium for people to understand what I was experiencing. That medium, for translating these stories just happened to be directing a short movie and that’s where it all began. I couldn’t tell people what I was feeling so directing a film allowed me to show it to them. At this time I was hungry for more and I wanted to actually make a film. That year I was only fourteen years old and I was accepted out of hundreds of aspiring filmmakers nationwide into the Samsung Mobile Fresh Films program. I worked with nine other teen filmmakers to produce a film from start to finish. We did everything from casting actors to shooting the film on a professional Hollywood set and finally editing together a final cut, in only seven days. Throughout the week we worked with a casting director from the film “Freaky Friday” and actor Scott Cohen. I learned so much and it opened up so many doors for me, I think that’s what really pushed me to pursue a career in the movie industry. It gave me so many of the tools I needed to succeed. The experience of producing a film at such a young age was indescribable and it was something I couldn’t imagine living without. I was hooked from that point on.

3. What are your influences, both in terms of other artists and what you take from your everyday life?

I think in terms of other artists my two main influences are Steven Spielberg and Brett Ratner, for two entirely different and unique reasons. Spielberg’s films deal with aliens and the paranormal and this of course stems from his feelings of alienation as a child. When I wrote my first film “Meeting Mr. Williams” I found that alienation was a key theme in the story. I think Spielberg’s ability to masterfully handle this concept in his films is amazing, and it has inspired me and touched me in a way that no other filmmaker has been able to. It’s not so much his storytelling that has inspired me but it’s more his niche as a director that has inspired me beyond belief and I find myself incorporating similar feelings into my films today. For example, in my film “Facing the Sun” the protagonist Caty feels both emotionally and physically alienated. I think my protagonist Caty kind of acts as the alien figure that is so predominate in Spielberg’s films. I feel that special connection with him and his films and it really has influenced my work as a director. As far as Brett Ratner is concerned, he has served as a major inspiration for me as a director. I know professionally, Ratner wouldn’t give up when he was coming up in the movie industry. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and from what I’ve heard he was extremely driven. He was NYU’s youngest film major, at only sixteen years old. If that’s not a perfect example of his drive, I’m not sure what is. I think because of the attitude he had when he was starting out Brett Ratner really has been a major inspiration in my career, especially considering that I’m just starting out myself.

I think as far as my influences from everyday life are concerned I would have to say that my life is my work and my work is a mirror image of my life. I think Andrei Tarkovski put it best when he said “The advice I can give to beginners is not to separate their work, their movie, their film from the life they live.” Your best work comes from what you know and if you separate your life from your work, you’re not going to come away with quality work. I think as far as my influences are concerned I find that whatever I’m going through in my life at the time that I’m writing a script or directing ends up working its way into my film. It’s not so much that even I try to do this; it’s just something that happens. In terms of everyday life my come from my emotions and my experiences. Even terrible experiences have fueled some of my best stories, so I never shut out of my feelings and emotions. In terms of what I take from my life; well I take everything and I think this quote explains that best – “If you want to work on your art, work on your life.”

4. If you had to choose a single project you've made or participated in to showcase your style, which would it be and why?

I think if I had to choose a single project to represent my style it would be one of my first films “Meeting Mr. Williams.” The premise behind that film was about coming of age and feelings of acceptance. In the film every character feels out of place in one way or another and when these characters meet they kind of justify their placement. It’s an interesting concept. I think that movie may be less of a conventional film, but it’s something that defines my style so well. My scripts and films are marked by characters that feel alienated, out of place or trapped in some way. Often times in the end these characters come to find acceptance or placement at the same gaining knowledge concerning something. Essentially this is everything that my film “Meeting Mr. Williams” is. The characters in that film find acceptance in each other while maturing in their own way and grow past their burdening feelings of alienation. Also, I’ve been told that my films have a haunting quality to them. They leave the audience with something when they walk away and I think “Meeting Mr. Williams” does this so well. The ending deals with themes of acceptance and considering that these feelings are so universal, they really touch home with a lot of people, and leave them with something when they walk away. This project sort of paved the way for my style to develop in future films so I see it as a starting place. I think because of its simplicity and symbolic nature, it really shows the most about my style as opposed to something that’s completely fueled by plot. I’ve directed films like that and it just doesn’t get across a perfect image of my style like this film does.

5. Passion, Creativity, Drive - Choose one.

Drive. Hands down, no questions asked. Don’t get me wrong, passion and creativity are extremely important but you can have all the passion in the world and all the creativity in the world but without drive that just makes you talented and most importantly unknown. I’ve met a lot of talented directors and writers that love film but they don’t care if people see their work. They don’t care about getting their work out to a wider audience or taking advantage of a great opportunity in their career. For some reason the interest is just not there, and where does that get them? Absolutely nowhere. Success doesn’t just happen because you’re talented. If that was the case, there would be thousands of people that were famous and successful. You have to make things happen for yourself, nothing is going to come to you. You need to come to it. You have no idea how many talented directors I’ve known that have flopped in their career and at the same time I’ve known people with one hundred times less talent succeed, and it doesn’t pain me to see that because I know those people that were one hundred times less talented, wanted it one hundred times more.

6. Best piece of advice you've received so far?

I think artistically speaking the best advice I’ve received was from music video and TV commercial director Tom Oesch. I wrote to him asking him for advice. He’s probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever spoken with; he got back to me the next day. The first thing he told me was that I needed to find my niche. I needed to find a very specific style and focus on that one thing. Tom told me that everyone that’s successful in Hollywood is known for something, whether it’s Ace Norton, who’s known for shooting quirky pieces, that utilize crazy CGI or Joseph Kahn who’s known to blend live action with CGI. He told me that Hollywood is incredibly categorized and departmentalized. After all this, he finished by telling me not to spread myself too wide, find my niche, develop it and once I become very, very established, I’ll have more leeway to try other things. I take this advice to heart every time I consider directing a film, or begin writing a script. I think as I grow older and my career progresses this advice becomes even more important. I know that when I write a script, it’s a unique story and the reason I’m able to direct it is because I know the material so well and it’s something that is really my niche. In the future I won’t be writing the scripts, other writers will, and I need to have a specific style, something that I can bring to a producer and say, this is why I would be perfect for this script, let me direct it. If you can’t be specific about your style you won’t be able to identify a script or a story concept that you can really contribute something to as an artist. Keeping that in mind, I take Tom’s advice to heart every time I direct a film or write a script.

7. In a utopian world, what would you like to achieve with your work or what would you like it to say about you individually?

I want to direct. That’s set in stone, but eventually I want to direct professionally, in television or for movie studios. I’d like to start my career directing music videos and commercials coming out of film school. There’s so much to be learned here that can carry over to a successful career directing feature films, because they all deal with storytelling the same way movies do. Just in a shorter amount of time. It’s like getting paid to practice directing short films. I think eventually I want to get to a point in my career where producers can read a script and think of my name as a director, because I’d be perfect for that film. That’s really all I want; to direct movies. I direct because I want to get a message across through my film or contribute something to a story and then be able to entertain people with that story. That’s why I love this. It’s that simple, there’s really nothing else to it. I think as far as what I’d like to say about myself is concerned. I’ll let my films do the talking, because in every one of my films there is a little piece of me, and there’s more to be learned there then I could ever tell you about myself as an artist.

Aug 11, 2009

Jake and Amir

If you don't recognize their names you might recognize a few of their videos. Jake and Amir, by Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld from College Humor, have one of the funniest web series on the net. Whether it's their witty banter, clever stunts, one-liners, or the relaxed but sharp shooting and editing style of the series - I'm hooked. 

Reminiscent of a Jim and Dwight's relationship in The Office, Jake and Amir are hilarious. With each episode about antics going on at work (in the College Humor office where they work across from one another) or some other random hiccup in their friendship, the timing and writing is brilliant. I could go on and on about my favorite Jake and Amir episodes, but check them out for yourself on College Humor or on

What an awesome job - to actually get paid for making content, right? Check out a few of their episodes below to get started. And a word of warning, with their lengthy archive of hilarious clips you might want to make sure you've got some time to spare.