Projects Update 4/1/17

I got caught up in film festival season. So had to skip on my last couple months. Not much new happened though at first… until I had to cram to submit into festivals. I also got caught up in photography as well. Now I’ve finished with all my films, and have plans to start more!

Enrique Project- Probably not continuing

Other film projects- Finally finished editing the archer. The footage wasn’t as good as I had hoped, so I made up for it in other ways. I couldn’t find the perfect soundtrack for the project, so wrote my own. In only a few days too! it turned out really good, I forgot how much fun it is to write music. Its a classical piece with piano with the main rhythm, and violin and electric bass as a counter rhythm. Then I included cello to give it some body, and flute to bring out that mysterious part. Also for the first time in my films I did CGI. Well… not CGI I superimposed an animation on my films. I had an arrow fly past the camera. I had to create the animation on photoshop. It worked quite well actually, it took forever to keyframe it though. Anyway, I just entered it into NCSSF yesterday. Hope it does well, and at least gets accepted. Its going to Eyelight today.

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A few pages of “The Archer Theme”

So I got another idea, it parallels the lives of 2 different classes of high school students. One who has a wealthy family and everything comes easy for him, and the other who has a very poor family and has to work just to support his family. It starts when the rich one complains that times have been hard even though all his problems are very “first world” , he continues to say that the day was “horrible” even though his problems are very minor. Then we see the poor kid, he says that times have been hard, but he has real life problems, but he continues to say his day was great. We see him go through his day where small good things happen that we all take for granted and he ends up happier at the end of the day than the other kid. So that’s my idea, please don’t steal it. I’m pushing off The Long Run until summer. Those two will probably be my college portfolio films, so I want to do them well.

The Davis Doc- I live in the small Nor Cal town of Davis California. Known only for UC Davis and our turkey infestation (no joke). Anyway the town is 100 years old this year, so my friend Pavan (did stud. Gov. Projects for him, he has a small part in The Enrique Project), he had an idea. He wants to do a documentary on the history of Davis complete with interviews and primary sources. So we started 2 saturdays ago, going around Davis to get stock footage, and visiting the small local history museum. We found people to interview and gathered resources. Later that week we went to the library and did some more research. The project is starting out slow, but I hope it goes well. I’m counting on Pavan to do most of the research. I’m gunna do the editing and filming.

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A plaque about the history of Davis I’m going to use in the documentary

Equipment- no new, thinking of getting a boom and mic wire extension

DMA Work- Not much work really, in May I will do a ton though. I’ve been going there really only to edit some projects.

Film Camp/Classes- Session 1 went great! did all the same stuff as over the summer, just split the days into classes. I was worried that we weren’t going to have enough time with only an hour and a half, but that was not a problem at all. we did it easily, IDK how we used 2 hours over the summer. First day we did green screen, introductions, and talked about the lego movies. Then we did the lego stop motion the next day. My Star Wars group did really well with ours. They all took forever to edit, but that’s normal. On Wednesday we did the visual effects short. That’s always fun, but we couldn’t start the movie, because the student who played the king wasn’t there. Turns out the kid left the class, so my brother had to play the king haha. The movie filming went good, so that worked well. The movie took forever to edit, but in the end turned out pretty good. Got another class in a few weeks, it has some older kids, so that’s always stressful, I’m sure it will go fine though. I don’t plan on changing the movie script until the summer.

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Me helping a student in the film class

Applying for internships and classes- Classes are in for next year. Taking 5 periods! Orchestra (last year! gotta see it through), British Literature (wanted an easy, fun class) , AP Government/Economics (wanted that weighted grade in AP), AP Stats (easy AP class) and AP Photography! That’s right, I got in to AP photography without taking the preliminary basic photo class. I was pretty happy about that, I scored well on my portfolio as well! I’ll post the pics from it on my VSCO. Anyway with 5 classes I can get a job to pay for college, and take a class at Sac City. So that’s the senior year plan.

Colleges- It’s getting that time, that time for touring, applying, and picking my film school. After doing research on good film schools, I have narrowed down a list. All are top film schools in the LA area only. I will tour all these by the end of the summer.

  1. UCLA school of Theater, Television, and Film- UCLA hits the top right now because of it’s prestige, location, and affordability. UCLA hits #3 on most top film school sites. After looking into it, it seems to be a very good school for film. Location-wise UCLA seems to be strong. I have family in that area of LA, and it is very good location in genaral. It’s not too industrial, and a lot like Davis, which is nice. Then UCLA can’t be beat on affordability. Being a public school, it is a fraction of the price of private schools. That is what attracts me a lot… not having to pay ridiculous tuition. Then come the CONS- 8%… 8% acceptance rate… only 30 new students a year. The classes will be very small, and there is a very small chance that I can make it. That’s what worries me. The other thing to note about UCLA is that it only offers specific degrees rather than a general degree. That means I have to decide what I want to do in the industry while still in college, I can’t just get a degree that covers all areas. I still don’t know what I want to do, so hopefully I’ll figure that out.
  2. USC- USC score high because of its pure prestige and accountability of a good school. USC is the best film school in the world. There is no way that I can pass up applying to it. It is the best. With a degree from this school, it will be a piece of cake to get a job in the industry. That is why this school is high. USC also offers a general degree, so that is nice. CONS- $50,000… that is what tuition is. That is ridiculous. I’d have to spend all of my money, get a job, apply for every scholarship, and take out loans just to get close to that tuition. That is what scares me. And then location is the other issue. I hear the campus is nice, but the location is in one of the crappiest parts of LA. So that means I am isolated on campus, which I’m sure is fine, but still a little scary. It will be harder to get a job off campus or an internship with a studio. I have to go to the school to see the campus for myself.
  3. LMU: Loyola Marymount University- LMU is one of the top schools in the area, behind UCLA and USC. This hits my list because of location, and probability of acceptance. This is the only school I’ve actually toured, and I loved the campus! It is right in middle of LA, the campus is new, clean, and looks over part of the city and the beach. The facilities are great, with industry level equipment and a great film studio. It’s a smaller school, but not as small as UCLA. Also you get the rights to all your films that you make there, so that is good for entering into festivals and stuff. It’s not as prestigious as USC and UCLA, so the acceptance is naturally higher. Therefore there is a very good chance that I could be accepted. And I would still be thrilled to go there. CONS- its $40,000 which is really high still, and its not as good of a school as USC, so I have to think if it’s worth that much. Otherwise no other really big cons.

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    LMU School of Film and Television, picture from when I toured

  4. Cal Arts- again one of the top film schools, but I like this school because it is an art school, so it is an all art community. That makes it really cool to me. Otherwise I really don’t know that much about it. I’ll have to visit over the summer. CONS- the tuition is just as high as USC so I have to really like the school if I want to got there. Also its apart from the studio area, it’s only an hour or so, but its still the farthest out of all the schools by far.
  5. BACK-UP: Cal State Northridge- Northridge I know because my mom graduated from there, but it actually made it on of the top 25 film schools in the US. It’s right next to all the studios, so that’s nice, and its VERY affordable under $10,000 a year. I call this my felony school, because it would be my best option if I committed a felony and couldn’t get into anywhere else. Of course I’m not going to commit a felony, and if I did I still might not be allowed to go, but you get the point, It’s my back-up.
  6. BACK-UP: Chapman University- One of the top film schools, near Cal Arts and LMU on the prestige list. I actually know of Chapman University from orchestra, we went there on our disneyland trip, and they came to talk to us at the beginning of the year. They were talking about music performance double majors. Now I’m not interested in music performance, but I am interested in music composition for filmi, so I could minor in that and major in film production. Chapman is private though, and very expensive, and very far away from all the studios and middle of L.A.

Video/Film Jobs- Still waiting on field Hockey money. But I went to do a few more games for them the other day, and talked to the coach. I made $30 in like 2 hours, which was awesome, and I’m waiting on an $80 check from the coach from the previous games. Otherwise more editing this week, I’ve only been to DMA once in the last few months, and that was to finish editing the bike meeting, which has missing footage… so I don’t know how I’m going to pull that one off. But I will figure it out. I may or may not do the bike video, but I’m going to do a flier for them none the less. So that’s cool. It’s a flier for the city police to give to people who run stop signs on bikes. It’s an easy project and I get like $50 for it. So, deal! Otherwise just film classes, thinking about starting a business next year to do highlight videos for students, I’ll see about that

Videos for School- So I haven’t done any PR vids for orchestra, but I have already done 2 for student government. My friend had me make them to promote events coming up. They were simple projects, but still fun. So that was cool working for the school in that way. That is why I changed this category to “videos for school”

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Quick mock up I made on my phone for Student Government

The DMAC- THERE IS NO FILM COMMUNITY AT THIS SCHOOL. Photography has a huge community, but the film community is almost non-existent. So we can’t really do film things. I prepared almost the entire film festival, but it looks like it’s not going to be a big thing. So we might just do it in a meeting. But what has become popular at meetings is watching short films. Short of the week is a website eric watches short films on, and all those films are really good and fun to watch. So at the end of meetings a group of us just stay to watch some shorts. It’s really cool actually. Anyway, the contests are going well, and nothing big has really happened. The club is bearing along.

Film Festivals and Events- Directing Change, NCSFF, and Eyelight updates! Submitted to Directing Change a while ago. The results are coming this week! I’m crossing my fingers that we at least win something. That would be amazing. I’ll do a post about it when results are in. Just submitted into NCSFF the other day! It was really easy through filmfreeway.com. I’m really liking that site. I submitted the Archer that I was rushing to finish, and it let me submit the eyeFix as well which was cool. I know that video is very comedic, but I really love how it turned out. Then I also had Eric submit Ice. Eyelight is a great festival, but also pretty low budget and unorganized. Anyway, I got an email that the submission deadline was the Friday before spring break. I got that email a week before that deadline. I freaked out because I wasn’t done editing at all. Then that day, I hear that they’ve pushed your back 2 weeks. That is good! But it was stressful trying to cram editing. That extra time allowed me to write the soundtrack and do the visual effects for the film. And those are the two best parts about the movie. But anyway, I finished the film for NCSFFthe other day, and just got to submit it to eyelight this Friday. Ice is already in.

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My projects on FilmFreeway

Photography and Graphic Design- So photography, yeah I made into AP photo. That was cool. I wasn’t even going to apply, because I hadn’t taken the regular photo class, and I was worried they wouldn’t look at my application. But I talked to the teacher, and Eric convinced me. So to prepare for the portfolio I had to go out and take some portraits, because I had never done that before. Anyway I went with Eric and Evan. Eric borrowed a 50mm lens, the king of portraits with a 1.8 aperture. Anyway, we went to all the photo spots in Davis. Including this cool concrete building on UCD campus called the Death Star. It’s where all photographers go, even pros, to take pics. Anyway I finished my portfolio there. The 10 photos in my portfolio are on my VSCO. I actually scored pretty high. I got all 4 out of 5 for creativity and technique. If I had taken the class and got a teacher recommendation from it, then I would’ve scored 18 out of 20. Which is pretty good. Anyway, I’m in, so that means I get to rent out lenses and get AP credit. As well as get to be in that photography community.

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My portraits from my AP portfolio, Evan on left,  Eric on right

Graphic Art/Design wise, I did a few things. Most recently I did a poster for The Archer, that is actually seen in the film. And I did the animation on photoshop. I did that using my own footage and then photoshop to do basic animation. Another project I did was for my mom’s etsy company. I antiqued like 80 tarot cards. It took a while, but I’m getting paid, so that’s nice. I’m going to get a percent of sales too, so that’s more of a steady income. And then finally I’m doing that project for the city. I think, I’ll see what my weekend’s like.

Film Review- New category, I’m going to pick a film or two that I watched in the past month, and tell you what I think. Because I know everyone cares about my opinion (sarcasm). Ok so there’s 2 I wanna talk about this time, 1 good, 1 boring. Let’s start good.

I recently watched Ordinary People. I liked it. It touches on a serious theme, but stays enjoyable to watch. Slow at sometimes, but it carried me along. I liked the characters a lot. They were really realistic people with personalities. Like the kid’s love interest was realistic and not glorified like “Hollywood” does with high school relationships. I found that the characters really transfered that feeling that the director wanted you to get, but in a subtle way. Meaning that their prrsonalities weren’t displayed blatantly early on, but you had to watch the movie in order to get an opinion on them. From this movie I learned that a well written character doesn’t have to be  likeable. I hated the mother in the film, because just the way she acted in the scenes painted her as a horrible person. And she was the unlikely antagonist at the end. I didn’t like the movie that much because of my dislike of her. But I realized that’s how the writer, director, and actor wanted you to feel about the character. And I definitely felt that way, so that’s why I liked the film in the end a lot more.

Then one I didn’t like as much was Arrival. I really wanted to like it, and heard great things about it from people who watched it in the theater, but I really didn’t enjoy it that much. I had high hopes for it and was let down. My first problem is the main character, I didn’t find her enjoyable at all. She was dull, depressing, and just boring. She almost mirrored the dull and boring plot as well. I found the plot un realistic (assuming that aliens exist), unexplainable, and all round dull. There was little explanation into how they decipher the alien language, and from what I got from the explanation, no one would ever be able to learn a language as fast as that. And then the “climax” was in fact very un climactic. Oh no! A bunch of people blow up the alien for no reason… it wasn’t exciting, and had no build up what so ever. The idea was there, I liked the message and meaning from the film, it was just displayed poorly with dull characters and dull plot. Technical Aspects on the other hand were done very well. Production design was done well in how it transferred that eerie feeling: visual effects were done pretty well and the aliens were animated excellently: and sound was pretty good of course with the aliens talking, although I’d say it was over exaggerated at times with other sound effects. I’d put this in the Interstellar and Gravity category (don’t get me started on those). If you loved those, then this is your movie.

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My favorite photo from my portfolio

Other News- Same old, life is good. Going out with friends a lot and busy most weekends. Orchestra is going well, I’m second chair now, so that means concert master next year, hopefully. And then the Wennberg concert is this weekend. That concert is at the Mondavi Center here in Davis. It’s a world class performance hall. All the other musicians who play there are world renown. The stage and back stage are amazing, it’s always a joy to play there. The quintet is slow, but we might pick it back up in a bit. Nothing else really. I got my bike stolen, then bought another one, then the cops found my bike. That all happened within a month haha. But otherwise I’ve said everything.

Ok I know I said monthly, but nothing that much happened in February and early March. So if it’s a busy month, I’ll go monthly, if not, I’ll just post at least every few months. So Eyelight and Directibg Change results will be out by next time, so that’s exciting, I’ll do a post about those.

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