Sunday, April 17, 2011

Indy-Pendent Living

In May of 2010, my time at Ball State ended.

Then in June, I got married.

A month later, my wife and I moved to Indianapolis. We spent several months working at our respective jobs, looking for jobs in our field without much luck. It was hard for my wife to find good social work jobs without a Master's degree, and it was hard for me to find media jobs without all of my own camera/audio equipment saddled with 10+ years of experience.

Then great news came in the mail. My wife was accepted into the graduate program at Columbia University in New York City. The social work program at Columbia is among the best in the country. Fortunately for us, it will allow for infinitely more possibilities for work in my field as well. It's safe to say that the move to NYC will be extremely beneficial to both of us.

That is the main reason for re-igniting this blog. To gear up to go, I will doing posts over the next few weeks that re-examine my past audio, video, and web work. It's been long enough that I feel I can have a more objective opinion in regards to my work. I'd like to critique them for their good and bad qualities, but more than anything, I know what I need to do in the future to make my work the best that it can possibly be.

Stay tuned, I'll be starting these posts before the week is out.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Debt Ahead: A Documentary Short

For your consideration, I present my latest documentary, though I can hardly use the word "my." I was an editor and producer on it. The first two minutes are entirely my editing, the last three minutes are a mixture of my work and the work of my two partners on the project, Kate Bowling and Kimberly McCue. My role as a producer on the project was mainly in developing the story and what questions to ask and how to tell his story. The interviewing and camera work were done by Kate Bowling, whose other work you can find here.

Evan was very gracious to do this, and we appreciated him being so open and honest about the topic. We had hoped to get interviews with Evan's family members, but were unfortunately unable to get them into the film. It stands more as a very personal and introspective story about where he feels he's at in his life. Enjoy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nicholls Fellowship just opened its doors

In case you were unaware, there is fellowship that is run through The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for aspiring screenwriters. It's called the Nicholls Fellowship. Each year they award several writers with a $30,000 fellowship. Where that leads, I don't know, but each script is read at least once.

Over 6,000 scripts were submitted last year alone. Only five percent make it into the quarterfinals. Ten scripts make it as finalists. I'm intrigued by this alone, because often times the finalists and semifinalists get represented by an agency. That's what I need to get my foot in the door.

If you have a script, send it in. I certainly will.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some favorites of 2009

I don't particularly care for using the term "best of," because art is so subjective that I can't tell you what the best was. And I certainly can't say that they're my absolute favorites from the year because there is so much else that I didn't see. So here are some of my favorites of 2009, in no particular order.

(500) Days Of Summer
The Road
The Informant!

Big Fan
The Girlfriend Experience
Funny People
Inglourious Basterds
The Cove
Up In The Air

Transformers 2
Runner up: Terminator Salvation


The B-Sharps - Play Cherchez Kahuna
Tinariwen - Imidiwan
Julian Casablancas - Phrazes For The Young
The Horrors - Primary Colours
Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom Live
The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
Lonesome Wyatt and Rachel Brooke - A Bitter Harvest

Most of the "new" bands I get into are buried treasure artists that haven't released in album in 20+ years, so I am so not up-to-date on current music. That was made even more apparent to me when I realized looking through the albums that came out last year that 1) I don't know at least half the bands on most critics' Top 10 lists and 2) that there are an awful lot of bands that I like that released new material that I wasn't even aware of. Bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, even Kiss. Also of note, though not on an album yet, Devo released a few new songs that's some of the best material they've done in years.

Bob Dylan in Bloomington, IN, November 2009
Runner up: The B-Sharps CD release in Fort Wayne, IN, 2009

I may post some additional favorites of 2009, but this is a good list so far. What other "favorites" categories can I do?

First time as a recording engineer and mixer: The Bashville Boys

One of my favorite endeavors last semester was to find a band for a group project, bring them in for two days, record six songs, and then mix and master the songs. I was lucky enough to get my favorite local (Muncie, IN) band, The Bashville Boys, to come in and record.

The recording day was long, but it all went smoothly. Everyone in the band (in the picture from left to right is Kyle, Pete, and Jim; not pictured is Nathan, who sat in on drums) was very patient with the process. Everyone doing the recording work in my group were very accommodating to what the band wanted and worked very well with them. I couldn't have asked for a better experience my first time doing the technical work of the recording process.

Each of my group members had to mix and master a song on their own. Posted below is the song I recorded and mixed. It's an original of theirs called "Waitin'" and it's one of my favorites. If you ever catch them live, one of the coolest elements is that they constantly switch instruments, which gives a surprising vibracy to not just the performance but to the sound. It can also make it difficult to track who plays what on what songs, though, if you're wondering. Posted below the song are some of the technical aspects for those who are curious.

"Waitin'" written by The Bashville Boys.
Jim Flatford - mandolin, vocals (1st verse, chorus)
Peter Gaunt - guitar, vocals (2nd verse, chorus)
Kyle Beaty - banjo, vocals (3rd verse, chorus)
Nathan Bilbrey - drums

Mixed on Pro Tools. For both the compressor and equalizer, I used the JoeMeek plug-ins.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Documentary, and a new feature-length screenplay

Fall 2009 semester defeated. Spring 2010 will be my last, and it's going to be a doozy.

In addition to taking four classes, I'll be assisting in the making of a documentary on a former Ball State department head and respected member of the community, Ned Griner. It'll focus on his art work, including footage of never-before-seen works and pieces that have not been seen in over two decades. The documentary is being produced by Patricia Nelson of the Ball State art department, but there are only two telecommunications students on this project. That makes me 50% of the production crew, and I have yet to meet the other half.

What could prove to be a wonderful coincidence is that one of my classes is on production management, and it is being taught by Robert Mugge who directed numerous documentaries. The majority of his work has been about musicians, including Sun Ra, Sonny Rollins, Rounder Records, and Al Green.

Considering this will be my last semester (and I'll be ending right before the summer), I'll need to be looking hard for jobs, internships, and/or fellowships. I was turned down for the Disney Fellowship, but I'll be able to apply for the Nicholls Fellowship soon. I finished my first draft of an original screenplay that I intend to revise and turn in. It is a satirical comedy that is roughly titled The Assassination.

That's all for now. Stay warm.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crash the Superbowl: 1 in 3000

The commercial I filmed for Dorito's Crash The Superbowl contest is finally online.

There are nearly 3000 independently-produced commercials online. There are a lot of really really awful commercials here. I have a chance against the awful ones. But I've seen about 20 that really blew me away. So I don't know what chance I really have. If I had to guess it falls somewhere between 1 in 3000 and 1 in 20. Either way, not great odds. Anyway, here's hoping for the best!

You can see the commercial here: