Childhood is a short personal project I directed, DPed and produced. My inspiration for the project was the digital art painting (seen on the right) by Daniel Lieske. I first discovered this painting during Summer 2015.
My project is a short film about an old man who stumbles upon a painting that helps him reconnect with his long lost imagination he possessed as a child. It’s a sentimental journey, and although I’m only in my mid 20’s, I like the idea of a man, looking back in fondness over what he remembers years removed and what he might see as lost but which really might not be.
The genesis of my project involved finding the initial painting; to developing the storyline; to shooting the short. I spent over six months off and on, piecing various aspects of this project together.
The first challenge was finding a location for the short. Luckily, I was working on a feature film during the Summer of 2015 which led me to the location that I would ultimately use. It was a perfect place for my vision.
Since this is my first personal project since graduating college, I wanted to make sure that it was going to be “post grad quality” and that the set ran like a well oiled, professional set. To do this, I had to ensure I had an adequate budget, which would support all the necessary film equipment needed to produce a quality product. Luckily, I was able to get a lot of the equipment needed free of charge from some of my film friends. The biggest part of my budget included expenses for the art department, cast, and crafty.
Overall, I am very happy with how Childhood turned out. There are only a few things that I wish I did differently – but nothing major. Mostly it was just technical aspects of the actual filming that comes with more experience. Whatever I decide my next project to be, I think I’ll focus on just directing it. Well maybe…(I know film is a corroborative process but sometimes I just like to get my hands into everything…it’s the way I learn best.)
Light Street Studio, a company just starting out, contacted me asking if I could help them out with lighting on a marketing project they were doing. After listening to the details of the project and reading over a very unique script, I agree to be their Gaffer on the marketing project. I saw this as a great opportunity to meet some new people and to hone my craft.
The thing I loved about this project was that it wasn’t half assed, which you might expect from a company just starting out. Every department had a budget and had great and talented people behind it working on making the project a success.
Surprisingly, the most valuable lesson that I took away from this project was the G&E preproduction planning that I had to do. To be more precise, I got a taste of the responsibilities that a best boy would have to deal with on a large movie. With placing an order to the rental house, making sure that the rental house has everything the production needs and if not, going to the next rental house and seeing if they have it. Which might not necessarily sound hard, but it can get confusing at times if you’re not organized.
Overall, I think everyone was happy with the way that this project turned out.
Fallen Arches, is a short narrative directed by Ryan Pianoforte. It tells the story of a hero and an arch villain with a unique twist in the storyline at the end. At the time Ryan presented the project to me, I was exploring the position of Grip and Electric and trying to find out the most I could about the inner workings of the department. I saw this short narrative as a perfect opportunity to try my hand at Gaffer.
With the location only permitting us a day of filming, Production and I decided it would be best if we rigged everything from the ceiling, thus giving us the freedom, mobility and flexibility to jump around from shoot to shoot and not worry about relighting. In other words, we set up sound stage lighting (where the majority of the lights were hung from speed rail). This was a first for me and with the help and guidance of the Key Grip, Sean Froelich, we were able to get the place rigged in three hours the night before the shoot and the production was a success.
She’s Yours…(20 min) is a short narrative about a coming-of-age story where a college student finds out unexpectedly he is a father. Written and directed by Lloyd Vinnie and DP by Matthew Elsburry, I served as Producer on the film.
It was my responsibility to oversee the following: cast and crew, production scheduling, acquiring location permits, releases, deal memos, establishing and maintaining a budget and creating the call sheets. Being Producer of She’s Your’s turned out to be an invaluable experience because it taught me the ins and outs of running a production. The “lessons learned” have helped me in every job since and have increased my understanding of various aspects of all positions on set and have enabled me to do my best to help everyone achieve a common goal.