Archive | April, 2011

Medicinal truth

18 Apr

Another small shoot
beautiful scene in the middle of the film. The art of the life mask:

This past weekend was a spiraling journey into the beautiful world of “Medicine for the People”. Shot their live show in volcano- stayed in their farm in Hamakua and shot another show in Kalapana. Managed to get some excellent footage of their land- some small clips for music videos and hopefully usable interviews. Out of the footage I got- here is a quick teaser I edited TODAY- shot all just a few days ago. Quick- hopefully watchable? I’d love to make a feature film documentary about them- but they are leaving back to Oregon next week! So.. yes.. I’ll be filming their last show at the EHCC on thursday ( the 21st). Additionally to them being shot for THEIR film- The footage will also be scenes for Subjective Expressions!! Really exciting- hope it works out 🙂
When I have free time I work in the garden- clean up or edit personal films. When I work its mostly on this wedding biz.. My friends must hate me- I don’t respond properly to emails.
This was one of the most amazing times I’ve had with creative people doing beautiful work they are passionate about. I couldn’t be more moved by their lives.. Especially what they shared with me. Thank you, brother Nahko!
enjoy this teaser about my time spent with Medicine for the people:

Medicine for the people live 2011 big island hawaii volcano videographer music video photographer live show traveling
More coming

Much Love ❤
Dom

visual process

13 Apr

Working on our latest wedding edit now- but decided as a break to bring back my sanity I’d scan some old sketches and compare them to the final image for my own curiosity. Thought this might be something of interest to some of you.. I’ve been complimented before for nice visuals.. So for that note I’ll show you how sloppy and relaxed I’ am when it comes to pre-production. Real sense of freedom and knowing what I want. Who cares if the sound guy doesn’t get it? Well.. Actually that’d be cool if he did. I’d love his opinion. If only I had a sound guy…. anyway. Nice clean sketches can help you get your idea/visuals communicated effectively. However that can be perhaps when you are working with multiple people who NEED to get everything inside their brain to help you as the director get what you want.

For my sake- I’m my own DP, camera operator and director. And in recent cases, one of the lead actors (wearing the mask in most of the shots)
SO! It was vital I pre-visualized the shots EXACTLY how I envisioned. Or at least to the point I know what the hell I’m doing. Very open in fact- the best shots are the ones suggested by my actors. I truly love when everyone can be part of the film. I blame all my most beautiful shots on Carly. She always interjects “why don’t you try it over their with…”
Something I thought would be interesting to hear for filmmakers out their complaining about not having a DP or camera operator.. When I’m in a scene- I AM the camera operator.. I set up the shots- rehearse- get everything lit and so on.. Then roll the camera- jump into the scene and record it. Jump off the set and stop recording. Its worked wonders. Who needs a DP? No way can there be excuses that I don’t have a director/DP/sound guy. Screw it. We mount our sound recorder on a tripod (or hidden behind a chair). It’d be great to have a Boom operator, camera guy, and much more. But whats the point of having them if we have no clue what the hell I’m doing? This feature film experience is to learn what works and doesn’t. Its to learn the IMPORTANCE of each role. How much we depend on everyone.. Do we really need 5 make-up artists? Gah.. Adrien Brody needs more water sprayed on his left cheek to. Just trying to encourage is the idea of trying, trying, trying. There are a million excuses not to do anything. Lack of proper resources, blah blah blah. Use an iphone, cell phone, camcorder or anything to make films. Screw super X HD 10,000,000,000 pixels WOW. Fuck it- how often do you walk out of the theater feeling cheated? Sure those transformers sure looked cool glimmering in the sunset with a heavy metal song you’ve heard on the radio all year long.. But..so…what? My story needs a major rewrite- I won’t be surprised if anyone walks out feeling cheated either. But we’re not spending $100 million to make this film.. Just a couple of kids running around experimenting with ideas. Almost already feel like just finishing this film so I can move onto my next project. Already getting the itch to take the next step. Which truly is just to get a real proper story going. Subjective Expressions for me is a lot of fun and great learning experience- but certainly needs more work with the ideas. Any advice- screw the camera- anyone can work it. Learn to write- write write write write. Collab? Lets go-

this image I’m putting up is to show the process. See what its like to visual something in your mind- and then shoot it. I usually sketch the scene out several times- then when I shoot sometimes I barely even look at my sketches/notes. I base everything off of my memory and surroundings. Truth is- for a lot of films its hard to truly visualize everything. Only motions/characters/ideas. Which are the most important elements any who. I love going into a new environment and falling in love with its looks- adapting to it. Rather than sticking to some stupid idea of being concise. Fuck it- its all about being spontaneous and open

If anyone is interested I have much more I can show- perhaps even a video which shows the final footage. But for now I must return to editing the wedding and getting ready for an awesome music tour!
dream is coming alive-

Don’t wait for opportunities to come looking for you (most of the time they won’t..)

MAKE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES

the whispering silence

11 Apr

5d mark ii feature film dslr big island hawaii mountain view volcano

what a dream
Past week has been incredible. I’ve been blessed with the presence of Carly yet again to try and wrap our shoot. I realize my last post was a bit inaccurate. It hasn’t been a month since I started shooting. In fact the first scene I shot for the film was Feb 20th- but it was for a scene in the middle of the film. I officially started the main film March 2nd. Only note is that its almost been 2 months.. Wow..
So we shot on the 6th through the 9th. On the 6th we risked shooting a bit in the rain- and ended up sick. the 7th ended up as no shooting until the evening. Next day was also quite delayed until the evening. We managed to ride up to the volcano landscape to get the first few minutes of the whole film. INCREDIBLE shoot- totally brought back my life (previously being a droopy-tired-sick…person). I felt so good in the cold- my head cleared- it was like rebirth. The next day was an additional shoot- with one reshoot of a scene.
Managed to sync a lot of scenes today. Interesting to now have a project with so much footage.. Never have dealt with so much!! I love it
Now the final shoot is coming. I have until roughly May 15th or so with Carly. Need to reschedule-rewrite and figure out the most important bits. I may have a June shoot for some vital scenes that a lot of people are expecting apparently..
This week looks awesome- I’ll be hooking up with: Medicine for the People for a mini-documentary/live music video
More about that eventually

5d mark ii feature film dslr big island hawaii
Future projects will definitely be short films with stronger knowledge of the story. This feature film is quite open to constant change. And not in a bad way- at all. I’ve been rewriting because- quite simply I can. Its organic- fresh and like nature; wild. Basically I’ve planted seeds and now the flowers are blooming in so many new ways that I didn’t expect. Even flowers I didn’t think existed are popping up

Just a few more days of shooting- but thats a lot to ask for now. I will have to wait till I can shoot more. Struggling with the idea of playing more characters in the film- may end up playing a role due to lack of committed participants
more about that-if it ends up being so

Latest short film:

Story behind the visuals: People volunteering their time to save a bird, essentially. To plant trees for a native bird in danger. Love it. Hopefully can pursue a more in-depth film.

love to my dear friends who support and inspire me
check out an article about the film

1 month of shooting

2 Apr

It has been roughly a good month since I started real production on this feature film. Here are some general reflections:
I’m very unorganized and unclear about the film. BUT- compared to months/years before- I’m certainly learning something new each time though
To this day I’ve edited a good rough 25-30 minute version of the actual film. Which is quite impressive to me as..this..is…it!
Before shooting I never had much confidence in the film- which is not good. Especially the first official shoot- I lost my head and sense of anything.. Now that I’m looking at the footage its quite apparent what doesn’t work and what really does. There is stuff I have no clue why its so good.. Well I suppose it really comes down to the actors I have- they’ve done a phenomenal job of not only dealing with my spontaneity- but they’ve given their own unique expressions to their characters and the story.
A major lesson I’m dealing with is being prepared. I’m never prepared- in fact I have barely any films that are prepared in any sense.. Perhaps some sketches- but everything is very much jumped to with no care. I love that
But when you have actors waiting for your decisions- and limited time- things are different. I can truly feel that now

So! Every day I’ve been progressing towards our upcoming shoots- doing location scouting (like today!)- more costume tests (on myself!) and cinematography tests. Based on the footage I have- the script already is being rewritten. Nothing unheard of- but I’m curious to see how the final story will be- and if it feels organic- that it was meant to unfold in that way..

A time to count my blessings- in this time of stress I get from canceling shoots or dealing with not knowing what to do- I lose sight of what I should be grateful for. First is that quite simply I’m working with such dear friends. It means so much to be with patient, kind people who actually give a crap about what I’m doing. So much so that they take time to help beyond the shoot.. THAT I have to try to always remember. Another is that we are shooting on the 5D Mark II.. CMON! Thats insane for me! I had a picture from a magazine of the 5D in my pocket that I carried in Europe. I dreamed of this camera… Now I have access to it and don’t always acknowledge that…
So far we’ve fundraised $100 on our new Indiegogo page (http://www.indiegogo.com/subjective-expressions)
WOW- what a gift- I’m really unsure what to think. Money is hard to give and hard to ask for.. I try to support my friends in need- not surprised if I’m asking too much. Certainly gotta have a crazy dream.. People are so kind… Money isn’t everything- but if used properly it can help you do what you strive to do
More shoots to come- unsure if this film will be fully shot.. A lot of conflicts- but that is film for ya

Currently editing weddings- which to me is film school. I’ll write another post about the importance of being a wedding videographer/photographer/editor. Truly is all you need to get started

Exciting shoots in the forests soon and hopefully wrapping up some final scenes in Hilo- then off to the mountains and volcano to explore a world of the imagination!
love
dom