Why You Should Make a Film…

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As a new filmmaker I have often wondered how much of the process I would like to know about. I am familiar with what production is of course, pre, post and distribution obviously, but there is something that sort of eludes me.

Recently, as I mentioned in my blog issue from June 16, 2013 , myself and Seacoast Multimedia had submitted a project to a couple of film festivals including The Indie Fest and First Glance up in LA and have won an award of merit.  I was ecstatic, stoked is more the word and was sort of a surprise! What I mean is that while in film school my instructor drilled in our heads that when making a film or even being in the industry to not focus on the prize.

So what does it take to make it from a beginner to good, to great filmmaker? That’s what I’ve wanted to learn most from my journey so far! I craved to learn as much as possible, other than from film school and my other productions. And, I also wanted to figure out as much about other parts of production that could teach me all the technical aspects as well.

So, here is what I did and how I approached the learning process of filmmaking from a wider perspective and asked myself and other professionals!

  1. Okay, what is it that I want to know? Everything! Or just enough about a certain part of production?

Well okay, here’s the problem with that. I figure I had a lot of knowledge stuffed in me in film school, pre-production, camera work, editing, scripting and blah blah blah. Even though all of it was great and I certainly gained tremendous insight. But when it came to starting my biggest production it wasn’t enough for me. I had to learn other elements to understand the scope and significance of the other parts as a director.

 2. What is it I needed to know?

Here’s the sucky part about that question! What do I know, not really as much as I thought? So I know how to work a camera and I certainly know photography, as well as creating ideas, composition, mise en scene analysis and editing etc. But when it came time to design my shoot I really didn’t know all too much. So here’s what I did! Or at least what happened!

First the people who I work with, At Seacoast Multimedia, almost immediately started asking me about my history, work history that is! They were curious and inquisitive about what I had done and where I was headed. Of course I mentioned my experience and education as a filmmaker, and showed my enthusiasm and passion as well. Though the most important thing were the questions of what I didn’t know!

Q: Have you ever worked with After Affects?

A: A little… (Well, very little)

Q: Have you ever edited?

A: Yes! On Avid products and with Final Cut and mostly Premier Pro

Then as time went on more and more questions came. And my curiosity about other things became stronger. Each question challenged my aptitude, my perception of what a good filmmaker is! I wanted to know everything, every technical characteristic, part and phase of production. In the mean time, Dave, the most experienced of all, had me come over from time to time to teach me new things about production I didn’t know so much about.

He wondered and asked about everything that I could tell him I knew and didn’t know. He challenged my ability and skills with every question. The most important lesson I realized after all the questions and tutorials I was given is that it is important to learn different aspects of production. To be an even better filmmaker is to study and become skilled at editing, motion graphics, lighting and photography or whatever you feel is necessary. Not that you should be a complete expert in all things because it would be too much to know it all. However, to know just enough or the right amount so that your skills as a filmmaker/director become more knowledgeable so that experience and education help your creativity.

You must also get over your fears when doing anything creative! It is also all about the pre-planning and there are a lot of things people want to skip, especially budding filmmakers. Always, ALWAYS consider everything (as much as you can think of), new ideas, and different ideas when in pre-production. You may not see it all or get it all, but you will at least avoid production delays and your creative work will be at its height.

Joseph Clinton Peirce once said that “In order to live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.” You want to keep things moving forward in a project whether it is the pace of the story or the story itself. I was also told that the greatest benefit from every project is fine tuning yourself and finding where you stand by putting your work out there. You should drop your ego and let people critique, consider what’s best for the project, by not getting the best shot in film history, but by doing what is best to make the whole film work in a seamless performance of art.

It is all an artistic development of yourself, your craft and your imagination. You can make better moves in the end of each an every next endeavor you take. Everything you do is experience related! The more you do the better you become.

So by creating and filming a project from beginning to end and submitting your work to various places, not just online but to film festivals you as a filmmaker can gain tremendous value from the experience.

Untamed Imagination Productions Wins Award of Merit from The Indie Fest

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I wanted to write this which includes a direct copy of my press release for the award myself and the people involved in my recent music video production won.

I had a tremendous ride learning, filming and being a part of an exceptional creative team this past spring. Everyone at Seacoast including Joshua “Cassanova” Thomas, Nina, my friends Bryan and Matt made every moment and every frame count. When I asked my friend Bry one day at the gym, which we regularly go, how he felt about the award he asked “What was the award for?” Typical! I said it was for all of the hard work and talent of each one involved. He of course smiled and laughed as usual. Most everyone part of this project kept their wits and demeanor low key when I told them. It seems that most in The Biz are humble and calm but for me it was an affirmation that I am making my way upward.

Don’t get me wrong! I love doing what I do especially making films (and working with the camera) but I was stoked big time. My second award this year for the music videos I made. It gave me this untamed drive to want to do great things and make even more great films. Though there won’t be tons of awards, I think ;), I want to continue to work with great talented people who have the passion and drive to want to have fun and do remarkable on and off camera.

For each person I’ve run into so far they have all been complete professionals. They are level headed people who know how to design, create and make really high-quality animation and films. We’re all not rich, but more successful in our own right. Little by little we create enjoyable and entertaining things that others outside of our little bubble enjoy watching. I hope to do more and to work with others that have the drive and energy to want to amuse everyone else.

Thanks everyone!

Frank b.

“Feels Good” is a song of love and the simple life. Its setting is of college living and of young people enjoying what they have and having fun getting a little bit crazy and features an exceptional music artist “Cassanova” and local acting talent Nina Courlea, Bryan Boettcher and Matthew Carothers. Filmed entirely in San Diego CA this music video used stunning creative visuals and a unique sound not typically seen or heard of in the Hip Hop scene.

“Feels Good” was created as a more preppy style Hip Hop music video about a bunch of college kids having fun and enjoying life while on campus and the main character, a guy, “The Artist,” singing about a girl that he likes but is not confident enough to approach her. The girl is “The Girl Next Door Type,” but there’s something about her he likes.

Director’s Statement:

“This is my first full scale music video and my biggest production to date. I had begun this project as a continuation of my film career starting with short films & promotional videos to making music videos. I wanted to expand my experience and film education to a more significant feature or narrative short into the style of this video. It is also the culmination and efforts of a lot of good talented people I met over the past several months who offered to help so that we could all enjoy and learn from this experience.”

Executive Producer’s Statement:

“I certainly appreciate the recognition from Indie Fest. I feel that it is important for every producer and creative team to submit their works to a group of their peers. It is a great way to receive qualified feed back as well as continued encouragement.  The Indie Fest provides such a venue and recognizes achievements of new and exciting productions.”

 The Indie Fest recognizes film professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film industry. Information about The Indie Fest and list of winners can be found at www.theindiefest.com.

 In winning an Indie, Untamed Imagination Productions and Seacoast Multimedia joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award. Thomas Baker, Ph.D., who chairs the Indie Fest, had this to say about the latest winners, ” The Indie is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world. The Indie helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the exceptionally high quality of entries. The goal of The Indie is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”

For more information call Mike Nacar, 619-297-6113 or visit www.seacoastvideo.com

The opportunity of a lifetime!

 

 

 

For over the past four months I have had the privilege of working as an intern with Seacoast Video in San Diego California. I had originally approached Seacoast as a student at Grossmont College in the fall of 2012 when attending a multimedia class as part of a class assignment.

My task had been to interview a local multimedia company to find out how they started and what they did. After making arrangements Mike Nacar agreed to meet with me for an interview. He was gracious enough to take time to discuss what Seacoast was about. As he spoke he began to mention how the company had started which was very interesting.

Mike pointed out that Seacoast had been around for more than 20 years and started in video production. Then in 2008 combined their video capabilities with multimedia services and do projects for various clients. I had always been interested in both fields and was fascinated by what they did and their experience in the industry. As a film student I was curious about finding a company that would be willing to take me in so that I could learn firsthand how the industry worked.

Then in about March 2013 Seacoast agreed to take me on as a film intern. I had previous professional experiences as a filmmaker and as a film student and wanted to learn from a professional production company. After a while Mike had approached me to manage a video project which I jumped on without hesitation. This was an opportunity to show all that I had learned when it came to filmmaking as a director. It was also important to come up with a good idea and organize myself so that when I pitched my idea that it was interesting enough to Mike and others at Seacoast.chinon-super8-moviecamera-6455277-o

The proposal had been to create a music video, to design the concept, come up with the treatment and design all of the shots and sequences for the film. Mike and his associate producer, Simona Vackova, both guided me on what needed to be done for the production. It was then my task to do most of all of the pre-production as the director/production manager (treatment, storyline, sequence outline, breakdown, location scouting, casting, floor/blocking plan etc.). I then coordinated with Simona and Mike on any steps for production support. They were also more than glad to provide me with the resources, such as camera lens and wardrobe rental.

After all was coordinated with the production team and music artist, Joshua Cassanova, all in about 2 ½ months I went on a mad spree to get all of my shots for post. The filming took three days, including main cast, extras and crew, such as Philip Sanchez, sound engineer, who gave a tremendous amount of time and talented effort to make the production go smoothly.

It has been an incredible journey from each moment to what is to become one of my biggest projects to date. Each step of my experience with Seacoast has been an astonishing amazingly fantastic ride. Everyone who I have run into and had the privilege of working with on this project including Dave Gifford, Director of Multimedia, and Chris Kerendian, who all  have a tremendous professional background in the film industry and supported all that I have done.

It is because of their belief in my aptitude and ability that they saw in me that inspired my creativity and drive to be a great filmmaker. With their support and leadership Seacoast is able to provide to any future intern in the film industry with the tools, experience, insight and expertise to launch them into the next level and beyond…

 

Written by:

Frank V.V. Boss Jr

Filmmaker/Director

Where’d my TV Go Dude? Welcome to the Tech Age!

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It surprises me when someone says they still watch TV! I say to myself, TV?!, why do you still watch that?! I guess you don’t know about Netflix, Hulu or YouTube yet?

In today’s world a lot of people especially millennial’s, those 90’s kids, don’t watch traditional TV let alone gravitate to a TV Guide at their house if they even have a TV. Most who I’ve talked to say they get all their entertainment online or on mobile. Just like myself, I tend to watch my entire programming, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Original TV on Netflix like Hemlock Grove or shows on Hulu like History Channel’s Ancient Aliens or Reno 911 all online.

Access and inexpensive technology is the new TV channel! Do you have a smart phone?  A tablet like the iPad? You’d better! Because even if you have a flat-screen TV in your living room or kitchen (my favorite room of the house btw) more and more programmers, producers and businesses are moving away from the traditional (old school)…   There is a possibility for a lot more because technology has become a great equalizer in the entertainment industry. Creative tools that were once too expensive for most have become youtube_tv1accessible to most everyone with T-Mobile or AT&T!

Today with this new tech you have instant access without annoying commercials ! It’s your choice, just like mine when I’m logged into Hulu.com, to which commercials you don’t want to watch. Click that little x and start watching your favorite show without interruption. It’s so simple, I move the new window from my browser to my Emerson 32” flat-screen that’s connected to my computer and just sit back and enjoy. Of course I still have cable, but that’s just a provider, my access to the internet world for only  $40.00 a month.

Poke1    The Social Factor! When I was a kid nearly all of my interaction with other people consisted of a phone call or picnic with family (and having to put up with them LOL). But with Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and all the others you can interact with what you watch. Leave a comment, like or dislike with that little thumb. The power to the people in a massive way! Just like Sarah Sliverman and Ricky Gervais who have found the power of social networks to reach the masses. Unlike traditional TV celbs can create quality webisodes, amass a following of fans almost in an instant. With one search on Google (or YouTube, now the same thing) people can find their favorite video/channel to view. And anyone can create a eTV/online show with little or no money, just get a cheap video camera, or cell phone, and record! Anything!!

So I truly believe that future entertainment tech will give us much more access for ever more creative filmmakers and eTV producers because the TV screen is slowly fading away…

Casting Call! What makes a good Actor?

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I often wonder when I’m considering who I will cast for a project what “type” of person will fit! It is hard to consider the actor you want to use especially if you don’t have a good background story or experience knowing what makes a good actor…

I know that you should have a locked down script (good story, and a full breakdown) so that you know the look your going for visually. But when it comes to matching a character with a real person I have a hard time visualizing who that is. I’m not saying I can’t imagine what they look like or what the actor should be like in the scene. It is more of a complex consideration based on talent.

I want to know what the best way to start is? Do you look for the hair and eye color, height, or cultural background first? Or go the other direction of physical attributes such as their age Imageand body dimensions? For my most recent music video I personally just went on to Actors Access posted a breakdown and waited for responses. From there I scanned all respondents, viewed each photo and their resumes.

From that point,  I  went to the music artist and producer to ask for their input. Both had some good things to suggest. The producer posed some questions before reviewing head shots of potential actors so that I would have a clear picture of what to consider. Mostly, I rated actors based on their youthful look, “The Girl Next Door” type, their smile and if they had multiple pictures, how they appeared to be e.g. playful, friendly, and how they emoted themselves. The artist was concerned about her height and weight compared to his so as she would not standout against him on camera. He also wanted a girl who would be the type that would attract attention to herself without effort, be someone who was naturally friendly, and others would gather around because of her personality.

This gave me a base to start from when reviewing potentials! I rated each girl from notes I took and considered the top actors who stood out from suggestions by the artist and producer. So when I cast this weekend I will have a clear picture of what I need to focus on when the actors go in front of the green screen. I also know from my advanced digital film class at Grossmont College that Acting requires a wide range of skills, including vocal projection, clarity of speech, physical expressivity, emotional facility, a well-developed imagination, and the ability to interpret drama. These are the other attributes I will be considering when the actor performs during casting!

All in all I believe it will be a good day this Saturday and I have confidence that I will know what to do…