How are you? It's been a minute. The time has been moving quicker it seems as we come upon the Fall Equinox and the end of this strange summer. I've been... better. And I hope you have been as well.
Lately I've been reading - a lot. Audio books, eBooks, physical pages... autobiographies, science, horror, fiction, romance, comedy, non-fiction, self-help... It's been lovely. I haven't read this much since I was a teenager - seized by the written word. Drowning in art. Movies, series, documentaries, podcasts, books, comics, and articles - it's been wonderful and I am grateful for this privilege. The Libby and Hoopla apps for library books have changed my life. I don't think I've read and borrowed this many books from the library since I was in grade school.
At the start of the year, I read a wonderful X-mas gift: The Incal by Jodorowsky and Moebius. As the year went on I read How to Change Your Mind which was made into a Netflix series of the same name that I also watched. Reading Fight Club and Homage to Catalonia. Seeing Perfect Blue for the first time. Reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Watching the first season of the animated series Aeon Flux for the first time.
I feel like I've had a creative awakening, but I have no idea how to utilize it, create with it or employ this feeling.
Because of this paralysis, I've dropped myself into old lost projects hoping to find something new in them. I finally made new reels: one showcasing in a fun way that feels the most like me, and the other one is for folks that need more assistance with their online presence and is straightforward.
There's a rather big project that I'm in the middle of finishing up for a client, that while it's not a huge creative endeavor, it's still been a fun and interesting project to help with - it's been great! It feels like helping folks achieve their goals and it feels good, man.
Guess this is a short entry for now. I just wanted to share some of the wonderful art I've been ingesting and sealing this little moment in time.
Hope all is well in your world, and till next time,
I don't have to tell you, dear reader, how things have been. I'm sure you're well aware.
Work continues to press on here with kittens.
My work on the Stella Luna Yoga School 200hr and 100hr online programs came to completion in May this year. With filming almost every weekend starting in November 2019 till February 2020, we recorded over 12 hours of footage. That's a lot for this little crew of just me.
When it came down to it, with all the additional adjustments of lighting in post (different times of day and trying to be consistent with the minimal lighting I was able to do in an office space), text additions, and audio adjustments (being in a strip mall on a busy street means a lot of additional noises to weed through) it took me just over 75 hours to feel good about everything. Over the course of the months as we were filming, I was editing at the same time. It was a good long project and I personally learned a lot about yoga, and even more about editing. I'm super grateful for the gig and if you ever decide to take Yoga Teacher Training, I can't say enough about Stella and Jessi. Their program is amazing.
On the nostalgia side, I revisited some of my older promos I did for Warpportal back in the day, and I have to say: they aren't terrible! I did the best with what was available to me from the game engines and stock art from the Korean studio. With how long I had been teaching myself the software and the footage I was dealing with, I'm pretty proud of some of those. Most notably Metal Assault, Ragnarok Clicker and We Build Story because I did all the in-game capture for those and the editing. And this is just ridiculousness, but I love it. I miss all these people.
I recently completed a new artist reel which you can view on the home page of the site. I particularly proud of how the music hits some of those moments. The free music on YouTube is getting really good - I'm super thankful for that resource.
With the stay at home orders, no traditional job, and plenty of time to meditate - I mean, circle the drain of existential crisis and the nihilistic contemplation of the worth of what my existence has to offer, I've found myself questioning all my "dreams."
Realistically, I'm mourning my dreams.
I'm mourning what will never exist again.
What I wished for since I was a little kid - it's never going to be in a golden age of artistic film the way it was before.
Theatre might never exist again the same way - we don't know. As of the moment, my industry doesn't really exist and as someone who is a VERY small fish, I feel it is unlikely that once there is work that I would be on the top of anyone's list. Sorry to get so real, but I'm working on accepting that what I've trained for my whole life is superfluous and intangible.
With that heavy on my heart, I took a couple weeks to dwell in that sadness and terror of
"what am I going to do FOR REAL?"
It's becoming more and more apparent that the "hustle" has to evolve. The hustle still exists, but there are additional factors to consider now. And the priorities have shifted. The more I dwell on it, the more I like editing the work I do than actually doing the performance work (this might also be because I'm alone and not acting WITH anyone) but I digress.
Every trip into the outside world is filled with stress, dread and a leaky faucet of terror. The shortest interaction with a stranger leaves me exhausted when I get home and de-germify.
But enough about that. We're all going through something peculiar and emotionally offsetting right now.
What this all boils down to is, I'm really thankful to have the internet to help me keep my mind open as a student of editing and storytelling, providing me with resources to make cool shit, and keeping my mind occupied once in a while with a project so that I can imagine a time where we're not all huddled in fear of whatever awful Black Mirror episode this is.
Thank you to the folkx that hire me for little things - I'm truly grateful for the breaks in the monotony of quarantine.
And now it's time to punch the clock.
Take care out there.
It's been a long road.
I started on this project back in September 2018. I had filmed a small segment of an idea for a horror short. My inspiration was drawn from Lights Out - one of my favorite horror shorts that gave me nightmares. It was so overwhelmingly exciting when I read that it was being made into a full length feature with the original director, David F. Sandberg at the helm, under the supervision of producer, James Wan. Everything felt possible.
Somewhere in October, I lost my steam and set my little film on the back burner. I kept getting emails about film festivals and horror fests around the states. It was hard to ignore them.
I didn't feel like I was good enough. And I didn't feel like the film was done.
In February 2019 I dropped my external hard drive... all the files for my short film except the exported drafts and Premiere Project files were on there. This was a valuable lesson in BACKING YO SHIT UP MULTIPLE PLACES. Ugh. That was a hard week.
I wasn't happy with the 4 minutes I had.
One quiet day in April I decided to just film. I didn't put on any makeup, I wore what I was wearing, and I started storyboarding in my mind and making it up as I filmed and set the camera in different spots around my home and just filmed myself. There was a lot of truth in my story.
I felt isolated.
I felt lonely and wanting connection.
I felt haunted.
From April to November I would revisit the project file. Re-Editing over and over. Two versions... five versions... too many versions.
I settled on the one that I felt had the most impact, though not the snappiness I wanted. I agonized with photoshop trying to make something that justified a poster like image. (Photo design is one I'm still learning.)
On November 11, I uploaded my film to YouTube and scheduled it to be made public on the 14th. I promptly forgot about it. If I thought about it, I would have removed the scheduled release date.
It went live. I got my email. I looked at it. No one had viewed it. My good-natured 35 subscribers ignored it. And part of me was glad.
The idea of deleting it crossed my mind several times. Then one person watched it. They gave it a thumbs up. That was all I needed. One like.
The creation of this piece is by no means perfect. It's my art - it'll never be perfect. But it is what it is, like each of us, unique and with potential.
I present it to you without further delay my latest creation - Just One Wish.
As previously mentioned, it's only in the last few years I've actually been able to start editing like a REAL person, which in turn meant that I started to learn a little about EVERYTHING, but still wasn't sure what I didn't know, ya know?
This was and is my worry. There are times where I don't know what questions to ask, what videos to watch, what tutorials will be helpful for me... I just started watching whatever comes up as recommended after watching something I DID look up.
There were things I never knew I had access to before, like LUTs (Look Up Table). I didn't even know what that MEANT! I spend HOURS trying on different presets from download packages, trying a million different transitions between cuts... I lose a lot of time (and sleep) doing this for fun.
When I was learning editing for video tape back in middle school, we had a board of dials and knobs and buttons for that and I think I had forgotten about it because it never occurred to me that I could use something like that NOW. I have been teaching myself with a keyboard and mouse for so long that it just wasn't on my radar AT ALL. Until I saw a YouTube video of a dude reviewing an editing board... WHAT THE WHAT. When I have the money, I'm getting me one of THOSE!
Anyway, I was a little worried that using LUTs would look contrived or people would look at my pieces and be like, OH She used a PRESET. *scoff* Well... I do use presets and free downloads wherever I can get them and I try them ALL. It's so fun! Like trying on clothes (hey, we all like different things.)
So in short, I've discovered presets for LUTs that look good with what I can get on digital film with my 70D DSLR Canon Camera and I use them. A lot of it is just feelings - when I see this on the scene or video, how does it make me feel? Do I need more chaos or calm? More optimism or cynicism? What do I want people to interpret? It's fun, but also challenging.
But this is why I stopped worrying about it so much. When you share your art, people will have no qualms telling you what they think about it! And that's cool. It might inspire you to change it up, or leave it with that intent. Live yo' life!!
Aloha!! I'm super excited to finally have this up and running!
Here's a little rundown of the kinds of work I do and a little about what led me here:
I grew up in a video store. Seriously. My dad fixed VCRs. It was an amazing time to be alive! Ever since I was a little kid, I LOVED taping my favorite shows off TV or taking family movies, hooking two VCRs up and editing them. I was especially fond of removing commercials from my Scooby-Doo recorded marathons.
Once I got to middle school, I joined AV class and started creating the daily announcements with my classmates, wrote and filmed fun little skits and whatever else we wanted! In high school, I was the kid with the Hi-8 recorder and I filmed all the class projects and edited them for presentation for the class. I had also graduated from editing overnight recorded tapes of Scooby to MTV music videos trying to get my favorite songs on tape. Yes, I knew how to program my VCR and it was the best.
Editing was my FAVORITE thing to do when I wasn't acting. Oh yes. I am an actor!
In college I found myself focused mostly on my studies and learning the International Phonetic Alphabet for theatre. There wasn't much time for editing, and I only had a TV/VCR combo and wimpy Toshiba laptop. I wasn't really cooking with gas. I still hadn't gotten my first digital camera yet.
I got another whiff of editing in my 3rd year at college when I took a sound design class. It was my first time working with Pro-Tools. I was intimidated by all the hardware in the sound room but also fascinated. I wasn't very good to start, but I loved doing my projects staying in the room late into the night and early into the morning bleary eyed and my ears tired from listening.
Towards the end of college was when I got my first Canon Powershot that could do small 3 minute videos. I started to see possibilities, but wasn't sure how to edit them together yet.
Flash forward to my first iMac computer in the 2010 - I discovered iMovie, Audacity, BandCamp, Garageband, and a host of other softwares out there that meant I could edit movies ON MY COMPUTER. It was a brand new morning, folks.
I made lots of little self indulgent pieces and edited for hours, trying different techniques, finding different ways to piece things together and time it out. I did this for years, never really sharing any of my work, but always editing movies in my mind. I had no idea how to use editing software, but I wanted to!
In 2014 I got a job working in social media. I didn't care too much for the social part of the gig but I DID enjoy the media and filming my co-workers and streaming with them for work. I started small, working with Windows Media Maker - the bane of my existence. Eventually I bought my own subscription to Adobe Creative Suite so I could edit at home, and started using it covertly at work to make commercials and videos for my job. Eventually they got me a work license and a nice big Mac computer to work on and I edited videos ALL day sometimes. It was the best.
I found myself doing it at home for friends, family and co-workers that wanted little videos done quick and dirty. I loved it. I did it for free.
Now, I'm not saying I'm the best editor, but I do pretty well for someone with no formal training. I am ALWAYS learning. If I don't know how to do something I will research it, test it, try it again and try to do it as many times as I can in a test project to get good at it. It's long been a dream of mine to get a graduate degree from USC School of Cinematic Art for Directing, Cinematography and Editing. Sigh.
SO. What can I do for YOU?
I edit small videos almost daily and I get such a high from it! While I'm usually editing small minute long videos that feed my acting pursuits, I also find time to help out friends, colleagues and small business owners with projects. I love finding ways to collaborate whether that is them making something awesome in After Effects and adding it to project or just making something for personal use.
Some of my favorite kinds of work to do are commercials, reels, film shorts, and narrative pieces. I've started to make small movies and finding immense joy in building the mood of a piece through editing!
Need a website? I do that too! Using whatever web editor you prefer, I can also get your website up and running for you! I'm familiar with SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix and can connect 1and1, Constant Contact, MailChimp, G Suite, and Google Analytics for your site. If you have something else, let's chat! I should be able to figure it out.
In addition, I edit and clean up audio for voice over and narration as well.
If you already have an animated graphic/title or have a template for titles you want in Photoshop, I can also do all the filling out busy work as long as you let me know what I'm putting in there! I want you to look good.
ANYWAY Long first post OUT OF THE WAY! WHew! Hope you got through that marathon okay!
Keep an eye out for when I get new thoughts or ideas about editing or if I'm working on something I can share :)