Dec 7, 2008

Educated Detours (2006)

I hold a lot of nostalgia for the summers in between university when I'd come back home to work, make some money, and whenever possible make a movie. At the time, school felt big in a lot of ways. I tried to constantly remind myself that the time I had there was limited, and that I'd have to use it wisely to figure out what my next steps would be. Easier said than done.

By the summer of 2006 I was feeling the pressure of not knowing what I'd even be able to do, let alone where I'd go to work when I graduated. That, mixed with my desire to make a road movie with my good friend Paul, a summer spent doing manual labour, and a brand new HDV camera resulted in the plans to shoot Educated Detours by the end of August. A summer production with friends would prove to be the perfect escape.

The original inspiration came from a drive home during the holidays. The open prairie had me thinking that it would be fun to shoot something on the back roads out in the middle of nowhere. I hadn't made anything that really embraced my location in such a big way before, and I wanted to create something more ambitious for my portfolio.

Educated Detours Trailer

The project actually took a lot of planning to get underway. Making a 20 minute short was considerably longer than most of the other videos I'd made, and we'd only have 3 days to do it in. My friend Paul had to come down from Edmonton and my friend Andrea came from Calgary to help out as well. Shooting required a lot of driving to find the right locations, the summer heat proved tiresome, and all this was happening just days before I was moving back to Regina for another 8 months of school.

With the movie now a few years old it's crazy how similar some things turned out based on the predictions I made. I left school without graduating which was never the plan, but I took the same leap of faith in coming back home to figure things out before moving further away. In Educated Detours I equated a degree to a treasure map, but I think it's broader than that. With or without the degree I think I was bound to approach post-university life the same way. Regardless of the badges we carry we're constantly looking for quick payoffs, rewarding ventures, and ways to get us closer to our goals. There are always obstacles along the way.

University was a catalyst for growing up, but I don't think we ever stop searching for the opportunities to help us achieve the things we really want in life. Educated Detours is a pretty straightforward and simple movie that has gained more value as I've gained more perspective on what school really meant to me. Plus, that was a pretty good summer and it's nice to have this as a reminder. Things aren't all that heavy when you can have fun and when your real goal was just to find an excuse to create something.

When everything wrapped up it was nice to share the project with family and friends, and to this day Educated Detours remains one of my favourite summer shoots. Also, be sure to check out some of my snapshots taken that summer. Enjoy, Educated Detours!

Dec 4, 2008

Elliot Preview

In my 4th and final core production course I chose to make a comedic mockumentary - a fake documentary - about a struggling writer trying to make it into a prestigious writing guild. The project was called, Elliot. 

It was completed in April 2007 and resulted in some positive reviews and a generous mark in the class. The complete film, however, has never been uploaded because I've always felt a tighter edit was in order. Just one more thing on the back burner I guess, but after all the work that went into Elliot to begin with, I'd really like to make sure the finished film reflects it. I've always felt good about the preview for the film though and even used it in class to help support my project. For now I think it's a nice teaser. Only time will tell when I get around to uploading the complete project. 

Dec 2, 2008

My Selected Videography

In an ongoing effort to make it easier and more enjoyable to see my projects from past and present, I've recently updated and revised my selected videography. This update included adding new edits, noting those that had already been uploaded but not credited, and most importantly, linking all the available titles directly to their individual YouTube pages. This now makes it easy to not only view my selected projects in chronological order, but also view them directly in new windows without having to navigate through old blog posts.

As this blog ages and I go through the natural ups and downs of wanting to maintain it, I'm reminded that through all this work, this is really the closest I've ever come to being able to glance at my entire film history in one place. With every post I can see that I'm projecting a little bit more of myself, diversifying, and generally just polishing and developing this growing portfolio.

I've tried my best to push myself in different directions specifically for the sake of this blog. This year alone saw several narratives, art shorts, experiments, old works, and future previews all debut here. Blog views are up 22% from this time last year, and video views are 10x higher. It's still small potatoes, but I'm continually impressed at what so little has helped me accomplish, and what essentially a bare bones blog has flourished into so far.

There's still so much to be done, but it's because of that that this seems so exciting. I'd like to think that I've balanced a professional attitude with the optimism of a first year film student by creating a base for myself that shows I'm serious about film as a career and also a real person who's experimenting and playing. Being contacted by festivals, attracting videography work, and 7 months of full-time corporate editing means I'm clicking into something. I haven't quite figured out the exact formula yet to break into narrative editing, but like I said, it's a work in progress.