Sunday, January 20, 2013

Down to The Nitty-Gritty

Well first I'll start with a disclaimer and say that I'm very sorry for not posting anything for a while. I have been getting used to this film life which has hit me in the teeth these past few weeks. It's quite an ordeal switching from a life of torture to a life of joy and contentment. You know, things become a lot clearer when you aren't plagued with drawing and designing things every day for hours on end. But it's nice to be back and to be more exposed to the thing I love most. Filming. Doesn't that sound beautiful? Say it with me out loud, you know you want to. Filming. Scream it with all of the vocal cords that you possess. FILMING! Sends lovely butterflies through my stomach when I say it. Anyways, back to business. Or the nitty-gritty as I sometimes say.

Stepping away from basic classes like drawing, design, and intro to film have opened me up to a whole new array of classes. As of now, the classes I'm in are: Intro to Field Production, Lighting, and Film Business and Management. Now, I will get to the details of each class in later posts but right now, I want to talk about what I have just recently gotten myself into. I was unbelievably stoked for this semester. I was so ready to begin filming my movie and taking classes that actually mattered, I was ready for fun. But it hasn't turned out to be all I thought it was. Sure film is fun and learning about lights is joyous, but it gets serious when things need to be done.

To tell you the truth, I've already been more stressed this semester than I was the entire last semester. I've had to learn about cameras, and angles, and lenses, and budgeting, and breaking down scripts. Your right, it doesn't sound bad. But when you have to find a director, cast and crew for a movie that you hardly have a script for, by the second week of the semester, things can get ugly. Deadlines hit and you have to have this, and that without your brain exploding or breaking down in tears. It's rough. But it's possible. I knew that this is what I signed up for and I knew that it would be a fight and a struggle to get things done. But I know that I can do it. And that I can succeed. Who cares if I was the only one in the class that didn't have someone else write the script for me. It's business time. And I need to be ready.

Upcoming posts will be coming soon. I have them saved up just for you! Im excited about them and about this semester. You can enjoy the ride along with me! And guess what comes next? A Cutscene! I can't wait for you all to read this one. It's really important to me so be ready! Thanks for reading this post and following along in the blog. It's truly makes me happy! And it's also good to be back blogging again. Thanks again everyone! Until next time, goodbye!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stories Start Somewhere

Think of a famous film that you have seen that has won many awards. It made a lot of money, many people have seen it, and a lot of work was put into it. But it had to start somewhere.
We as humans are very creative in nature, some more than others. Our creativity is shown by the kinds if movies we make. When our imaginations run wild, we try and find ways to express them. Some express their imaginations through drawing, some by writing, and if you are like me, you express them with movies. To come up with a movie idea, you don't have to think in detail. Take it step by step and start with the log line. The log line is the basic premise of the story that you are making. For example the log line for my movie is: "A small town searches for The Girl In the Corner. It's all a daydream until its real." Pretty good eh? Well it all came from an idea, and thanks to my good friend Eugenio (Heres his blog link: ) who came up with the story, I can now make that beautiful idea into a film.
Once you have your log line thought up, it's time to start pitching your movie. When you pitch your movie, or any movie, you should try your best to be calm and be focused on your story. Have faith in what you are telling your audience and try to keep them interested. If you see that they are yawning and getting tired, be more animated and get louder. You want to leave your audience interested and wanting to watch your movie. I had the recent opportunity to pitch my movie to my fellow class mates and film majors. We had two minutes and we were on camera, so the pressure was on. By the end of my pitch, there was clapping, and a good amount of puzzled faces from the twist in the movie. Pitching is just another way of expressing your ideas the way that you want to express them. You make any emotion known, as well as any suspense, or twists by how you pitch the movie.
If you are majoring in art, you are there because you have an interest in it and you are seeking to express that creativity spurring inside of you. Yes, you have to be somewhat creative in my field. It is indeed a struggle sometimes. But when you find that golden idea or that golden idea finds you, it's like you're floating on a cloud. And by then, the work that you have to go through, soon becomes stepping stones to expressing your idea to the world. It takes a lot to make a film, but it only takes a little creativity to come up with an idea. And if your idea is good enough, the details will fall into place. So have an idea, and have a story to tell. Then focus on expressing it to everybody in the way you want it expressed.
Thank you for reading! This was a very fun post for me and I'm excited for the next couple as well. Thank you for all that are supporting my blog by sharing it and reading them. The next post will be coming soon! Thank you again!

Have an idea, and express it in your own way. The details will come together on their own.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cutscene Part 2: Flipping Film

I have been waiting awhile to write this next cutscene and I'm really excited for my plans with the next couple of posts. Like I have said before, cutscenes are where we take a break from the normal posts and I tell a story pertaining to my life and my major. Enjoy!

Making videos and taking pictures has always been a hobby of mine along with skateboarding and soccer. But around my junior year of high school I was introduced to gymnastics. I am a pretty short guy and pretty athletic so the gymnastics coach decided that I was well suited for gymnastics. I made it on the team and I have been doing gymnastics ever since. Being on a college team is different though. In high school, we practiced two nights a week for two hours. Now in college, we practice every night for two hours. That's sounds like a a lot yeah? Well it is. When I was trying out for the team, they told me that they haven't had a film major on the team in a very long time. I thought I was unique but I soon found out why there haven't been many film majors on the team.

Being a film major, as I have told you all before, means that you are going to get a lot of projects that take a lot of time. Especially in that dreaded drawing class. Ugh. But anyways, my point is, there are many projects that take up your time. And that couple hours every night takes up a lot of that needed time. But not only that. The team that I am on is called Gym Masters. Pretty legit name eh? So we do a lot of tours and shows all the time. In the first semester of the year, we don't do a lot of tours but we do a lot of weekend shows for schools and events. But in the second semester, Gym Masters take their spring break tour. This is year it was decided that we go to the Dominican Republic (woohoo!). It will be a ten day trip over spring break. Sound familiar? Well, remember when I mentioned my freshman project? Yeah, that's also supposed to be shot over spring break. Interesting. I've been informed that I can still shoot my movie during the semester, but getting actors and timing together will totally destroy me. We will see how that goes. I might need to start making funeral plans.

I have two separate loves. Most film majors aren't the type to go out and do gymnastics. That's more for the P.E majors and outdoor people. And most acrobats aren't going to go film a movie after they do a tour. It's an awkward situation but I'm surviving so far. Choose your loves wisely and don't try to be too versatile.

Thanks for reading my cutscene guys! I enjoy these because it gives me a little break and it gives me more time to think about the next couple of posts in the blog!
Thanks for all the support and please keep supporting me by reading and sharing! Like I said, I'm excited for the next couple of posts, so be on the look out for them! THANKS AGAIN YOU AMAZING PEOPLE!

The pictures at the bottom are me doing what I do when I'm not messing with cameras! I spend a lot of time upside down.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Forever In Need

A doctor needs patients, a teacher needs students, and a chef needs food. What does a Film Major (or any film professional) need? A handy-dandy crew. As you should know by now, I haven't been in the business for as long as some. But I have already learned that one, if not the most, important necessity for success in my area is a film crew that is willing to sacrifice anything for the success of the film.
If you meet a guy that can make a feature film and do every job by himself, send me his twitter name and I'll be sure to follow him. There are SO many jobs on a film set that it's impossible to do it with one person. Even when we aren't speaking in terms of a feature film you see the need for a teammate. You see, us film majors, we need each other. Whether its because we need help with an actual shoot or whether we need to see what others opinions are. A prime example of this is what my film teacher told us in the beginning of the semester. He told us to look around the new classroom at all of the strangers. He then told us that these would be the people that would help us in the future with different projects and with our freshman film project (which I have mentioned before).
A film major will always be in need of other film majors. There is no separation between upper class and lower class when it comes to film. On the shoot that I'm acting for right now, we have a freshman, a sophomore, a junior, and a senior helping out. It was a fun shoot but, although it was just a short film, it took a while to complete. It would have taken even longer or may have even been impossible to complete if there weren't more people helping out. No matter what year you are in or what classes you are taking, having someone help you is greatly needed in film.
Teamwork as you know, is important for different sports and a necessity for getting most things done. In film, the people that are helping you are both your teammates and your competition. As a film major, you have to strive to raise the bar and beat your competition at whatever it is that you are doing. Getting a job in the film industry doesn't depend on age or maturity. Any young person can walk onto a film shoot, an if they know what to do an they are good at it, they have a job. This may sound harsh but that's what makes this industry better. There's always a need for both teammates and competition. Film majors are forever in need.
Thank you all for reading this post! This one took me a while and I thought a lot about if I wanted to write it or not, but some things happened that kept me going and finally completing it. Thank you to everyone who is reading the posts and keeping up! Please support me by SHARING THE BLOG! Thank you all again and be on the lookout! Cutscene part 2 is upon us! We get to take a break from the normal trend of posts. Thanks again guys!

At the bottom, there are some pictures of the small shoot that I just acted for on our last day. These are the crew members Zach Kast, and Juan Pinto! It was fun being Sir Awesome!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Every Little Bit Counts

Excitement: something that illuminates off of young freshman as they begin their new college majors. Nursing majors prepare themselves for A&P and Nutrition, Biology majors get ready for microbiology and chemistry, and film majors prepare themselves for...intro to film. I had one official film class starting out, yay. I knew that I wasn't going to get all of experience in my major with only one class that had to do with it. So I told myself that I had to do as many "filmy" things that I could. The first day of class I learned that I would have three "big" projects to do: A production design project, a location scouting project, and a movie pitching project. These were set up to help you for whenever you work on your second semester project: Make a short film. This is the ACT or SAT of tests for freshman film majors. And for me, knowing this, I wanted to get as much practice doing whatever I could that could help me. Good thing I had so many film classes to practice in, oh wait, I didn't.
It was up to me to do things outside of class (other than my projects) that would benefit me for next semester, and what did I do? I Acted. Literally, I just, acted. Sure I did some camera work and took a lot of pictures, but the only "practice" I got with film was acting. Not to say that it was a terrible thing, because I was a young Christian Bale if you know what I mean. Yeah, I was quite the actor, and that's it. I acted in a couple short films for some upperclassmen and I'm actually acting for a students cinematography final right now as, Sir Awesome. That's pretty, awesome, am I right? You see what I did there? But seriously, acting isn't bad. It just becomes unimportant when you the film major aren't doing any filming before your big show.
So besides outside of class there were always the things we did in class like watch videos of directors like Peter Jackson succeeding in movies like "The Hobbit" and watch other directors destroy themselves and their careers trying to make a movie about Don Quixote. That was terrible. One of my favorite things to do was create short films based on my teachers one-liner scripts. He would make these epic scripts with one line and we were sent out into groups to locate a spot for it to be filmed, come up with our own situation for the line to be said in, and film. We instantly became professionals and let me tell you, it felt good to actually do some film work.
You don't get all of the practice you need, but in what major or situation is that ever possible? Every. Little. Bit. Counts. These are very important words to live by especially in the realm of film.

Thank you all for reading and supporting my blog! I hope you find it fun and interesting! Share it with all of your friends, and classmates, or co-workers! Look out for my next post too! Thanks again for your time! And make you sure you read my friends blog "Real Talk" you can find it here at:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cutscene part 1: The Teachers

This is what I like to call a cutscene post. These will come along in the blog every couple of posts or so and essentially they are posts about an interesting story or situation in my journey in the major. So without further ado, Cutscene Part 1: The Teachers.

College teachers are all different. Some care about the way students are dressing, their behavior, their grade, and the respect they show the teacher. Some teachers on the other hand, could care less if a student wore a robe to class, or if they didn't show up at all. Art teachers take on the second description. On the first day of class, the first thing my teachers told us was not to call them Mr or Mrs. In the art department our teachers are on a first name basis. This took some getting used to for me because, like everyone else, I'm used to the traditional Mr. Bradshaw or Mr. Wilhelm. It was different but it got easier after I saw that the art teachers were nothing more than older students rather than your typical teacher.

My first class was Intro to Film. I walked into the classroom, sat down and waited to see the rest of the students come in, but most importantly, I wanted to see my teacher. As the desks began to fill up, some people were missing chairs, so they were stuck standing up. A student got up from their chair, closed the door and stood in the front of the classroom. He then smiled and said "I'm your film teacher!" A few of us gasped in amazement while the students who had seen him before laughed at our expressions. He gave us a second to drink it all in and he says "Call me Nick!" Nick Livanos could have passed as a freshman. He had on a short sleeve Hollister shirt, brown skinny jeans, hipster glasses, and to top it all of, a sweet pair of Toms. But Nick isn't your ordinary art teacher, he is over the age of 25. Making him "old" in the art world.

My design teacher, Marc, is what I like to call, a Viking Hippie. He's big and tall with the look of, "I just came from chopping wood!" He wears blank t-shirts, short rugged jeans, boots, and red and white striped socks, everyday. You see him and he intimidates you, but the intimidation goes away the more he talks about peace in the world and the different textures of random objects.

My drawing teacher (curse that class) is a younger lady named Elizabeth. She wears clothes that your grandmother would typically wear. She's very energetic and enthusiastic about my arch enemy, drawing. Shivers run down my spine typing that word.

Well these are a few of my art teachers. Hope you enjoyed this cutscene and be on the lookout for my next post that goes along with the others titled: "Every Little Bit Counts". Thanks for reading and spread the word!

The pictures at the bottom are from left: Nick (film teacher), Marc (design teacher), and the third one is sort of what my drawing teacher looks like.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Film, and all of its baggage

Ask a nursing student what a film major does, and they will say something along the lines of "They sit around a classroom watching movies and playing with cameras" or my personal favorite, "you get to color for your homework while I have to study!" This is highly untrue. Went I came into the year as a film major I expected to take a lot of classes that ACTUALLY had to do with film. Only then was I backhanded in the face with drawing classes, 2D design classes, and the always glorious, generals. I'm a film major, I use cameras, not 9B pencils and X-ACTO razors . I have no need to draw blocks and do petty design projects. But according to my film advisor, film majors are usually the drawing rejects while the fine art majors and graphic designers have to struggle and sacrifice their lives to get their 10 hours of drawing in every week. You get more than you bargain for when you go into film but I know that it's worth it in the end. One thing that tells me that is how the other art majors all have to take the dark and dreaded drawing 2 class in second semester while the film majors take fun classes like lighting, intro to field production, and film business and management.
Nursing students can get a full schedule of nursing classes. And science majors can get a full 16 credits of classes just for their major. Film majors on the other hand don't have enough film classes to stay occupied so they give us drawing and design and claim that they are "opening our eyes" which might be true for some. But for those of us who are wanting to get behind a camera and shoot or get on a computer and edit, they aren't too enjoyable. Film is an interesting major. But don't get surprised if you get a nice slap of all the other forms of art too!

Next you see the inkling of film that you WILL get in the beginning. Thanks for reading, look for more!