Jan 3, 2010

Sneak Peek: The New Site

With the finishing details in place and the domain simply being finalized, I thought it would be nice to give a sneak peek right before I officially launch my new portfolio site. Months have been spent designing and re-designing, fixing layouts, and changing themes - much like this blog, I'm not sure the renovation will ever be complete. I certainly have more than enough room to grow now anyway.

My goal with this new site was originally to ma
ke it sleek and simple - this eventually evolved into an eclectic concept, a digital scrapbook, not just another site, but a destination to reflect my personality and style. What I've just began to achieve with my new portfolio is an interactivity and flexibility that I think welcomes viewer interaction, feedback, and the ability to discover my work on individual terms. I've tried to make things as clear, fun, and fresh as possible, and setting out on this new chapter I can't wait to see how things go from here.

When visiting my new site you'll first land on the home page:

From here you can access this blog (while seeing what the latest posts are first through the rotating live feed) you can also click over to my portfolio, archive, and bio. When entering my portfolio you can select from 4 genres that I've broken my work down into and scroll the posters to see what you'd like to watch and read about.

In my archive you can scroll through pages of newspaper clippings, photos, links, and videos that highlight moments of my journey so far. All the images and notes can be enlarged and uncovered simply by clicking on them.

Through my bio I've outlined my brief experience thus far over a few pages, and provided more info about my new outlook.

All this is just the beginning. A timeline, virtual theatre, and comments section have also been created to inspire some interaction. There's a lot to explore with the new Editing Luke Portfolio, and a lot of content that will continually revolve and update. Check back within the next couple days, the new site may be posted, linked, and launched as soon as tomorrow . . .

Dec 31, 2009

End of a Decade

For as arbitrary as the date rolling over really is, I think we can't help but box things up, categorize, reminisce, and measure what made this time meaningful and significant. I remember the end of the nineties, if only because of how overblown Y2K was, but this is the first decade that I can actually say was experienced on my own merit. In many ways, if I were writing a story about my life the 00's would be an introduction, proof of my ambitions, but largely about finding meaning in what I wanted to do and who I was/am now.

In 2000 I was in high school, soon to be 16, and I generally felt like life was sh*t. It didn't help that all my spare time was eaten up by a job I hated and that my social life seemed to be in a continual flux - I just wanted to be independent already. My video work didn't branch too far out of the classroom these days, but I felt like I was on the cusp of big things as digital video cameras appeared (I ended up getting my D8 that summer) and home editing software became r
eadily available.

In 2002 I graduated, the planning for university was over in a flash, and soon I was in film school in Saskatchewan of all places. I thought I was awesome - and maybe I kind of was, haha, but in comparison I really didn't know where I was going. It's still amazing to me how aging makes you see that, even when at the time you thought you were really sharp. The uni route seemed like the only real option and so I went with the flow (out of province albeit) to have some 'real' experiences.

Somewhere between film theory and Keys I pinpointed my love for post-production and knew that editing was worth pursuing. In many ways, it felt relieving, less cliche, to say that I wanted to be an editor over a director or an actor - though technically
, I'd still be doing all of those.

Between '05-'07 I hit my stride with my first film festivals and contests, some becoming quite notable achievements for me, and soon began shifting more of my attention to self promotion and making myself known online. I had a simple Windows/MSN blog first in 2005, very casual, followed by a YouTube channel in 2006, and later the debut of this, Editing Luke in 2007 (which was really the push that changed things).

By late 2007 however, I was lost. University didn't make sense to me anymore, I was spending money I didn't have, and I battled with the feeling that m
y efforts were all for nothing. Debt, stress, and a fear of finding meaningful employment took its toll emotionally. Leaving school and heading back home in 2008 was both the lowest point of my decade, but without question also put me back on track.

Relief came quickly with my first post-uni job. Working with Stream Media became a huge ego boost as I was paid to edit and shoot corporate promotional videos (everything from commercials, highlight reels, and instructional materials). I slowly began repaying my loans, found new motivation in several festivals and contests, and for the first time in
years had some money in the bank.

With the economy suffering, 2009 had a rocky start, but I found more permanent work with a website that took interest in my video work. A copywriting position evolved into photography and editing content for them, with Stream Media still sending me projects as they came up. I even had some freelance work coming through.

It hasn't simply been a shift in my mindset or goals that's brought this decade to such an optimistic conclusion, but instead, it's the feeling that the
hard work is starting to pay dividends. I'm in a position to take bigger, more calculated risks now, and I'm not sure I'd be nearly as confident were it not for the personal wrestling and failures that I had to
confront as my university career evolved and ultimately collapsed. I can now see how university just wasn't for me, despite the years I invested there, it was, however, that cocoon that actually made me search out my personal ambitions, submit my work abroad, and shake my apathy to find opportunities that suited my motivations.

If anything I can say I don't regret going to uni because it would've been a bigger regret to miss out on some of those experiences, the lifestyle, and the time I needed to grow up - I only regret staying too long.

As this decade comes to a close I'm left with a sense of gratitude and relief for what's now behind me and simply chalked up to my personal experience. The road ahead seems just as risky and even more trying, but in 10 years I've learned a lot about myself, and perhaps most importantly, how to make myself happy. I think some people spend a lifetime trying to figure that one out.

Yes, things are changing pretty fast these days, but it feels like I'm finally riding the wave instead of drowning in it. Show me what you've got 2010!

Dec 29, 2009

Editing Luke in 2009

With the same checklist of ambitions weighing on my mind from years previous, the end of 2009 naturally leaves me critical about what I've done to advance myself over these last twelve months. It has been another great year, although not without its share of sacrifices to shed more of that film school debt and to prepare for a departure to a bigger city. 

That said, I have to have an optimistic outlook for 2010 - for the new decade entirely - because the change on the calendar represents a clear mark between the high school, university, young adult prep of the 00's and the young adult life, full independence, and creative career pursuit and fulfilment I'm expecting to experience in the '10s or teens (whatever we call this new decade).

As the clock rolls over find yourself another excuse to create something, share something, and inspire someone - if the new year reminds us of anything, it's that our time is what we make of it. Here are a few of the things that made my 2009 memorable:

January 2009 - Energized with the start of 2009 I began working on a portfolio preview to summarize some of my experiences. This clip was revised several times throughout the year, but the goal of showcasing my potential remained the focus.

January 14, 2009 - After finding the footage from one of my old film school projects I created a new short, Quirks (or: the Blurbs Behind a Lost Film School Project) as a stereotypical look/flashback regarding the creation of a student movie.

January 30, 2009
- Weeks of work with Stream Media resulted in one of the most ambitious editing projects that I'd cut for them - a four part series of promotional videos for the University of British Columbia, created using a range of impressive footage from a variety of contributors.

February 2009
- In an effort to complete the portfolio aspect of my blog, February saw a number of my older projects uploaded, receive official posts, and worked into my evolving videography layout - this trend continued throughout the year and subsequently inspired more creative ways to share my work with new video sites, links with similar projects, and the development of a new portfolio site by the end of 2009.

March 31, 2009
- On a return trip to Regina for my 25th birthday (also the city where I went to University) I took the opportunity to revisit a bunch of the locations that I had shot previous projects and reflect on what my departure from film school nearly a year earlier meant.

April 12, 2009 - Upon winning the weekly vote and entry into the Yobi.tv Filmmaking contest back in December 2008, my short The Gizmo Tree entered the semi-finals for the first voting round of the competition. By mid-May I had made it from the Top 30 to the Top 10, but was eliminated just shy of the Final 5. While the loss was disappointing, my involvement in the contest resulted in thousands of additional views to my blog and a surge of over 60,000 video views for the projects I had uploaded. Here is one of the posts and the promotional videos I shared during the run - click here.

May 6, 2009
- Using footage I had shot in 2008 I cut together a new experimental short titled, I Was Dead.

May 26, 2009
- My new short along with the promotion on my blog put me in touch with The Reel Skinny (a podcast and movie blog). Featuring up and coming independent filmmakers, I was interviewed by Patrick for his Off Screen podcast series - click here.

May 31, 2009
- Editing Luke celebrated 2 years and new promotional edits followed!

June 5, 2009
- In a surprise sequel to my 2008 short, Siblings, my sister and I had fun creating an impromptu followup - watch Siblings 2 (best to see part 1 first to get the punchline of part 2).

June 9, 2009
- I started a brand new job for a major website retailer as a copywriter and photographer. My editing work with Stream Media continued on a contract basis.

June 21, 2009 - After the conclusion of season 1 of the Yobi Film contest, I entered my short The Geology Student for season 2 and was voted into the semi-finals once again as a weekly winner - click here.

August 2, 2009
- My video views surpassed 250,000 - a quarter million!

August 24, 2009
- My friend Dave and I left on an incredible road trip to Indio, California from Alberta. In a single week we found ourselves walking around Salt Lake City, watching Beatles Love in Vegas, eating at the end of the Newport Pier by the Pacific, sitting by the pool in Indio, up a mountain in Palm Springs, and exploring the stretches of desert out around the Salton Sea. The project, due to how much footage was shot and my indecisiveness in editing it, has yet to be completed - but I assure you it will be.  I also put together a photo book of the experience

October 11, 2009 - I cut together a simple Editor Profile to highlight a few of my projects.

November 2009
- With increased pressure from 2 jobs, additional freelance work, and a new interest in refining my online presence, several new columns were created to make coming up with ideas easier. Intended to increase readership and encourage involvement, I've continued to search out others who are interested in contributing content to find interest on Editing Luke. This was also when the idea to establish a specific portfolio site came about, with Editing Luke becoming the blog element of that new venture.

December 12, 2009
- My brand new holiday short, We Two Kings debuted and attracted a lot of positive feedback (online views from Yobi.tv alone surpassed 70,000).

December 15, 2009
- Editing Luke is revamped and streamlined with a fresh new design and a simplified layout to make the content easier to access. With the new portfolio site nearing completion and elements of that design ready to be integrated into this blog, this month has really marked the start of an entirely new approach to how I'll promote my work online - click here.

2009 Overview
My total blog views grew from 29000 in January to over 68000 by December.
My total video views grew from 118000 in January to over 330000 by December.
Traffic both to my blog and for my videos in 2009 was greater than that of 2007 and 2008 combined.

This year has really allowed for some major changes in the near future. With the launch of not only a new site, but a new online hub for all my work, and a move later in 2010 thanks to the money I've been able to save, it feels like big things are on the horizon. That 'student transition' I've mentioned so many times since this blog was established is finally fading and I can see the fresh start and next step up on the horizon.

Put simply, 2010 is going to be exciting!

Here is one of my blog promos I made earlier this year - although it should now read 'over 400 blog posts' and over '300000 video views'. Things are sure changing fast.