Got offered a job teaching last night at a Columbus College and I started at 9:00AM this morning with a 3 hour lecture I pulled out of nowhere. Eh, not really nowhere, as I did teach the exact same thing for nearly 5 years somewhere else. I love teaching and these students took notes. Pen on paper, typing on laptops, they actually wrote things down. At my previous school that happened maybe twice.
Started testing the new animations for Uncle Pete’s Play Time and having a blast. I came up with some other practical applications for this new tool as well. Again, never in my life did I want to be a 2D animator, but this is just too delicious to pass up. I never want to stop learning all new things.
Finished the first of three Uncle Pete’s Play Time bits. One of the new clips is going to be animation heavy, as in the entire middle needs character animation and I was looking to farm that out. Since I upgraded to Adobe Creative Cloud, I got every single one of their software applications and I accidently double clicked on one called “Character Animator” which is now a part of After Effects.
And then I lost over 4 hours in a bottomless well of tutorials and videos on this software….
Got back from the INDIE GATHERING and had a great time. Kristina and Ray always put together an amazing festival and convention. Marie’s Pizza was consumed and enjoyed. Back to the grind and I eased back into work on Monday, to a full work day on Tuesday, and now I am hammering away at a few things. On breaks from the paid work, I am animating something for the long gestating Uncle Pete’s Play Time project.
Two years. I have officially been living in Rossland for two years, owning my own home for the first time in my life. Much like 2014 in August, I am about to do the Indie Gathering International Film Festival and Convention. I will be moderating a few panels, selling my wares, and hanging out with show folk. All I have to do is get my work done in time to head north this weekend.
The upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud (2015.3 - June 2016 edition) went okay. Had a few bumps, but now that it’s installed, I will say I am seeing way significant speed increases thanks to the new graphics card. Being on the official CUDA list for Adobe means I am seeing drastic performance enhancement. And it immediately put me to work.
The strangest thing happened to me at the gym today. I was swimming in the outdoor pool, which I have been doing a lot this summer. I’m extremely pale, so this is the most sun I’ve had since my family lived in El Paso, Texas in the 1980’s. I’m still very pale, just a slightly warmer shade of white. All that history aside, I had an epiphany while swimming. I started to count my strokes which bored me and I tried to make my mind stop focusing on that. In an instant, everything disappeared and a new short film came to me fully formed.
I’ve been asked to speak at FilmDayton later this month. I’m prepping a presentation with powerpoint and videos. I did something similar in Cleveland a couple months ago, specifically on directing. I’m going to come up with something different, but hopefully interesting. I like these speaking engagements, although I haven’t been doing them that often lately.
This is unusual. I have more paid projects than I have time for. Directing live shows, shooting a webvideo for a client, and producing more greenscreen for pay. Sleep is not exactly in abundance for a bit until I can get caught up. Still finding time for the gym though. Swimming and getting a little bit of sun has to be a priority. I honestly need the vitamin D from the UV rays and the physical activity of doing laps will keep me healthy, which I am not.
Since last I updated, I have been both busy and bored. Shooting all over the state, editing for a few different companies, and when not doing any of that, working on my own stuff. Still no narrative filmmaking on the immediate horizon, just things that occupy my mind and easy to do, like the latest Sonnyboo Podcast, and redoing more greenscreen of the past year or so. Aside from that, I have been enjoying some movie time, chilling with the cats, and swimming like a shark.
Got four more greenscreen items shot in 4K. Using the Blackmagic Ursa Mini for a bit. Two places I freelance for now use this camera. The Ursa Mini does some pretty nice images. It requires a decent amount of color grading to get any kind of look out of it. There isn’t really a great “out of the box” image. Many people prefer this control in post. I have no strong feeling either way.
In my last blog, I made mention that I was tinkering a little with a new greenscreen keying technique. Since that time, I have re-rerendered and remastered over 20 videos from the past 2-3 years. I voraciously attacked these old edits, mostly because I meticulously keep all my raw footage on external drives, drives in the plural because I have at least one offsite backup.
I had a vendor table and did some panels at last weekend’s HORROR HOTEL convention/film festival. Worked right up until I left, and went right back to work as soon as I got back home. Today was supposed to be my first day of relaxation and it turned into another work day. I like working. I also like to chill every now and then.
These Framelines Interactive Tutorial started as a fluke. I had raw footage and just threw it out there. Now we’re doing several more for the next year. The original project started from raw footage of what became the basis of FRAMELINES, shot in 2007. I went and shot a new GREENSCREEN intro for this to make it all official and formal.
So I had a near panic. On one of my sidelined projects, the Movie Cliché series, I had outlined and shot the greenscreen portion for over 30 of these and only produced around 10 of them. The greenscreen host segments were mostly edited, but the hard part, the examples, were not even shot yet for the rest. I put it aside because I did not feel I was getting the examples right. So the lackluster response unmotivated me. Still, the Movie Cliché project still might come to life later if I could lick the problem I had as both a writer and director.
Tomorrow night we screen the 3 short films from local filmmakers and some clips from FRAMELINES at the Gateway Film Center. ColumbusUnderground.com did a story on it and interviewed me. The only thing of mine screening is the promo and tech tip for the Interactive Project. I want this to be about the other filmmakers since they are the ones getting celebrated.
Life remains a mysterious swirl of good and bad, happy and sad, with a side order of inspirational. Had one of my parties this past Friday. Good times, ended earlier than the usual sun-up overstays, but I liked that. I don’t want to be up all night like that anymore. I value my rest as I get older.
Progress. Some progress. Even a little bit makes a difference. Auditions yesterday went well. I saw some really great talent and it shows that Columbus has a ton of good actors. I won’t lie to myself, in that I am a little nervous to get back in the saddle. Not so nervous that I won’t make the movie.
Gotten back on track with a few things. Health issues have abated, at least mostly. I just lost a day or two entirely to the trance of creation. The world just disappeared as I worked on two new books coming out in the next couple weeks. First is the FRAMELINES book on film tips, using some articles and other material. The next one was taking three of my nearly two decade old screenplays and putting them out as a book.
The death of Prince has me distraught. From 1982, the first time I heard 1999, I was hooked. It was the 1992-1996 period that was particularly interesting to me, as I was a musician at the time and Prince was getting into some really interesting phases. I was at Kevin Smith’s gig at Kent State when he told the Prince story - you can even see my on the other mic for the next question after that. What I learned most though was that doing art because you love it is more important than money. Most celebrity deaths don’t get to me, Prince’s death does.