Sep 28, 2007

Las Vegas Video Postcard 2005

You may remember that I had already done a Las Vegas edit and shared it in the Dusting Off Video Postcards entry when I started this blog. After rewatching it, and since completing a few more edits, I thought I could do better.  I don't plan on doing a bunch of re-edits, but I do want my videos to stand out and I think there's a lot of value in showcasing the quickly evolving Las Vegas strip. Not long ago, I also did an edit of the Fremont Street Experience and downtown Las Vegas, which I think turned out pretty well too.  Here's a slice of my short time in Las Vegas from 2005.

Sep 23, 2007

Directing Class

I was sitting in my new Directing class last Thursday and it hit me that half of the people in it had glasses. I have nothing against folks with glasses (although I don't wear them), but it was the stereotypical thick rimmed black 'filmmaker' frames that really caught my attention. Do people go out of their way to get these when they decide they want to be a filmmaker? Half of the class is about 10 people, and it didn't matter if it was a guy or a girl they were still wearing the same style.

I've often considered myself outside of the expectation of what a filmmaking student should look like. I'm not 'artsy' looking, and have got the 'well, you don't look like a stereotypical film student' comment from new faces a few times. I'm not saying I've got it right, I just want to know what's the deal with the glasses!?

If the first few paragraphs didn't make it clear, the class lent itself to a lot of reflecting. It's not that don't care about the material (in fact I should be more interested considering it's a 4th year production class) but I feel that in so many ways I've already experienced, and put to use, what the prof is drawing diagrams of on the board. This kind of comes off as arrogant, but to be fair, I've done a handful of festivals so far and have gained a certain level of confidence from having my submissions accepted, and twice as often rejected. This kind of relates to some of the previous posts that I've made where I've expressed my desire to get passed all the prep for something more practical and real. I sat through class mostly feeling anxious about putting the lessons to work, and kept myself focused by doodling. Am I really paying for this? My attentive student skills seemed to have melted away in first year.

Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty I feel I need to learn, however I'm skeptical as to whether I'll learn it here. No matter how much practical training you really get, especially in the arts, it seems twice as valuable to learn through trial and error. There's also a fine line between how much responsibility I think the school has and how much I have in preparing myself for what I want to do. I guess it's fair to say that directing class is getting me thinking, maybe randomly, but in the right direction . . . I hope.

Sep 19, 2007

White Pass & Yukon Railway

This was the first vacation I ever recorded. It was 1998, I was 14, and I was on an Alaskan cruise with my Mom, Dad and sister.  I shot a lot of great footage on that trip, but some of the best was from the afternoon that we spent on the White Pass & Yukon Railway. The trip took us from Skagway, Alaska through the northern tip of BC and into the Yukon territory.  It was the definition of a scenic ride.

What makes the White Pass so incredible is that the rails are literally on the edge of mountains, which in turn allows for some incredible views and maybe a bit of vertigo too. It was used back in the gold rush to transport workers and miners, but now, and for obvious reasons, it has a lot of tourist appeal. I don't think any video could ever really capture what the experience and views are actually like, but it's certainly fun to try.