Category Archives: Videos

The eyeFix Commercial

Fake commercials are so much fun to make. That’s where I started in film.

About: pre-production: Well… there wasn’t much pre-production. It was about a year ago and I wrote down ideas for a fake commercial about glasses that can fix life problems. It all started when Evan came over to film the Enrique Project, but Lev cancelled, so we couldn’t film. Me, Evan, and Ryan were still keen on filming something though, so Ryan had the idea of a fake commercial. I went through fake commercial ideas I had written down, and we figured the best one was the eyeFix.

production:  So we started filming, almost everything was on the spot, rehearsed, but written on that day. I set up the green screen, put up lighting and brought out my camera. We were ready. The scenarios were the best part. All those we came up with on the day, they were really fun to film. we had to get those done while Evan was there, after he left, I did the rest in front of the green screen. So why did I act? Well, I wrote the script, so I knew the lines, and I was willing to do the announcer voice. In total, production took about 6 hours or so, not too bad for a 5 minute movie.

post: So post actually took a while. there was a lot of video effects and green screens, and picture in picture. It was really fun editing it all though. The effects worked really well for the “eyeFix view” and the green screen was well lit, so it chroma keyed nicely. Then came the music, the classic, “Life of Riley”. I am so reliant on incompetech.com for non copyrighted music, and if I had money I would donate a ton to them, because I really appreciate that site. So “Life of Riley” is a score from there that everyone uses, so it’s funny because it’s so well known. It worked really well for our movie though. Anyway, this was my favorite movie I have made so far I’d say. Its clean (looks snazzy) and it’s intelligently funny. I’m very happy with it.

Contribution: Well the story was my idea, but a lot of the scenes and almost all the dialogue was decided on by all of us. Ryan and Evan helped with the lines, the camera, and acted a bit. The rest was up to me. I acted, did camera and lighting, and then edited everything with all VSFX.

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The Archer

About: I mentioned a lot about this film in my last Projects Update.

Pre-production: So I got this idea in England, and wrote the script then. I liked the action sequence idea, and wanted to have a twist at the end. I really loved the idea. I had always planned to film at night, so I waited until the sun sets earlier, later in the year. I needed lighting, which I had, but I needed it outside. I looked up portable lighting systems, then realized that they are basically flashlights. So I bought high beam flashlights and attached them to the lighting tripods. The reason I liked having an Archer, is because I have done a lot of archery myself. And I had a bow, arrows and quivver. It seemed to fit well.

Production: So we went out on a winter night to a bus stop near my house. I read ahead to make sure the busses wouldn’t constantly inturrept us (I read it wrong and they did, but it wasn’t too bad). We brought out the equipment: DSLR, Tripod, lights, costumes, and props. And we got filming. It was dark. The lights weren’t as bright as I had hoped. I had to put the camera at its brightest settings: 1/30 speed, 4.5 aperture, and 12,600 ISO. This is the recipe for grainy pictures, but it was all I could do. Filming went on, but the night was cold, and we had only about 3 hours. We changed a few things in the script, but got the footage that we could.

Post-Production:  So the footage was dark, and not as good as I had hoped. But I made the most. My first thing was to import all the footage, then lighten the scenes so I could see better what was going on. FCPX is actually quite good at lightening scenes. I found a good formula: shadows up 10% mid-tones down 10% highlights up 30%. And that seemed to make it brighter, without have a lot of grain (I hate grain). I then went on to write the theme song. So I have written music in the past, since I play 3 instruments, I know a lot about music theory. So of course for the theme I picked instruments I knew. I wanted the main part to be on piano, because that’s where my idea came from. After figuring out the 4 main chords I could add the other parts. Flute became the mysterious part of it, with a very simple, but important part. Then violin and cello became the body, and eventually violin became the counter theme (I play violin, I gotta give it a star role). And then I took a risk and threw in an electric base. It was risky, because it broke the classical instrument theme. I needed that power from the base though, and that dark eerie feel. I didn’t regret my choice. From there on the piece really wrote itself. It consists 3 variations on the theme: one for calm mystery, one for big moments, and one for action sequences. I’m starting to learn more about film scoring. Anyway I threw the piece on the film, and it fit together beatifully. I couldn’t have been more happy. The other part I liked is how I included VSFX. First was with the poster, I whipped it up quickly on photoshop and threw it into the movie. It fit well. The second was the arrow… that was harder. I had to make the animation myself. I went through lots of ways I could do it, and I decided to film it dropping onto a green screen. I then opened the footage in Photoshop, where it imported as frames. I had to take a few filler picks, but it pretty much worked out well and complete. Keframing was the annoying part. It’s strait forward, but time consuming (this is why I don’t like editing/animation).  But all in all it wasn’t bad how it turned out. A little fake, but it’s high school film.

Contribution: this was my project. Every part done by me (minus acting) all writing, pre production, filming, costume, editing, composing, and visual effects done by me. This film was my baby for the last few months. I wish it turned out a bit better, but I’m still happy with it.
Publication: Vimeo and YouTube. Winner at Eyelight for best sound and a contributed to my outstanding individual achievement award. Entered to NCSFF (status undecided)

Ice: a suicide prevention PSA

Ice was made to be entered into directing change, but has become much more. 

About: pre-production: So I wanted to go for directing change year 2, and I wanted to make film that topped my one last year. I got Eric, he’s a great photographer and writer, and I asked if he wanted to work with me (and the writing and cinematography was the best in the film). He set out to write the script, and he wanted to use the symbolism of ice, because it is needs to be watched so it doesn’t melt or shatter. Anyway, I thought the idea was good, so we set out to film.

Production: He brought his dlsr and I had mine, so we were well prepared. The best part of filming was the ice scene. We got a big block of ice, and put it on the table, we then turned off the lights and shined a flashlight over only the ice. Then slowly pushed off the table. The other scenes were pretty strait forward. There were some intermittent cinematographic shots that Eric and I took. Those were fun and also a really good part

Post: Editing is when I noticed our achievements. All the footage came out beautifully. I couldn’t have been happier. I used picture in picture to parallel the ice and me falling, it worked really nicely. The cinematographic shots were really nice as well. I wish I could’ve used more of them. Getting it to one minute wasn’t too much of a struggle either. At the end I was actually really proud of how it turned out.

Contribution: It was me and Eric’s film. He wrote it, planned it, and did a lot of the camerawork/cinematography. I did the rest. I did the acting majorly, and all the editing. As well as helping out on set with the technical side of things

Publication: Entered into Directing Change 2017. Did not win any awards though. Did win in Eyelight for best set design and editing. And it contributed to my to my Outstanding Individual Achievement award.

Europe 2016 Videos

I should’ve posted this a while ago, but here I am now.

About: Amsterdam was the first place I visited. Normally I go strait to England, but this time I flew strait into Amsterdam. Really interesting city,  full of boats, bongs, and bikes! Basically sums it up. that’s what’s in this video. All the scenic views that you can see at every turn of this city.

Contribution: All filmed by me! Using my iPhone 6 and the application “Manual Camera” which allowed me to manually change the focus. Then I edited it all on FCPX.

Publication: Vimeo and Youtube. Parts on Instagram

About: Second time I’ve been to Paris, and I actually remember this one. I only stayed 2 nights and left very early the second morning. Ended up staying there for about un jour et demi (a day and a half). I still went to a lot of the tourist spots and of course ate street food! This video is just some more shots of iconic and unique places throughout the city.

Contribution: All filmed by me! Using my iPhone 6 and the application “Manual Camera” which allowed me to manually change the focus. Then I edited it all on FCPX.

Publication: Vimeo and Youtube. Parts on Instagram

 

Longboard Life and Createfest

About: I made this film a while ago, I think over memorial day weekend. This film is different, because it is the first artsy film that I made. After going to the Davis Shorts film festival, and seeing my friend’s film “The Disneyland Dream” I was inspired to make my own artsy film. So I did. I don’t have a DSLR, so I was stuck to my other cameras. None of them could do Pull Focus though… except my iPhone I found out. You’re like “An iPhone is better than your 100$ camcorder and 300$ point and shoot” and I’m like “Yes, yes it is.” Apple if your reading this, your iPhone has AMAZING video quality and capabilities. And the makers of the app Manual, if you’re reading this, your app is basically a 3 dollar DSLR. With this equipment, I could easily make an artsy video with great perception of field and amazing video quality. Production took one day and editing took like 5 hours. All in all a pretty cool video with. (and a pretty good song too).

Contribution: All me. EVERY aspect of production was me. I edited acted and yes, I filmed the whole thing as well. Well a bit of credit to my tripod. You’ll be like “how did you do that over-the-shoulder shot though” and I’ll be like “I held a tripod very awkwardly behind me.” All of the shots were all filmed by me with no other cameraman on set. And I edited on FCPX and yes, I’ve been longboarding for like 7 years now and do lots of stunt videos as well. So I did all the stunts in the video as well.

Publication: I made the video for the Pence Gallery (local gallery in Davis,Ca where I live) Createfest. I had like 4 people ask me to submit an “artsy video” so I made on. I might bring it to the next Davis Shorts or put it on TV as well.

Festival: It was pretty cool. The whole event was organized by teens in the community that are doing an internship there at the Pence. The festival was upstairs. I walked in to an empty room with films playing on a loop. One was just ending and mine came directly after. I watched mine with my dad and stayed for the others. My friend’s Disneyland film played (because I made her enter it) and then a there was another film by a photographer in my grade. I didn’t know she did film too, but I suppose they are too very similar medias. It was pretty good. Our 3 films were the best ones there probably, because the others were so bad and weird that they aren’t even worth mentioning (harsh but true). The rest of the festival was kinda cool, I knew like half the people there and a good friend of mine was doing henna. So I talked with them a bit and looked around at the other art work. It was pretty cool all in all. I want to get involved next year.

Electrify Your Strings Promotional Video 2016

About: I made this video to promote a big concert that we had coming up in orchestra. It was designed to get a few more people to come watch. It needed a lot of funding so it was important to get as many people to come as possible.

Contribution: I edited the entire video and added all title effects, the raw footage was recorded and edited by Davis Media Access.

Publication: This video was aired on public television, DCTV, from 5/10 to 5/14. It was also  sent in two email advertisements with credits to me.

Directing Change 2016

Didn’t win anything, but still spent time making these videos. This year there was almost 500 submissions so competition was high. My videos were pretty good, but just couldn’t make the cut. They were actually better than some of the ones I saw from last year. But I suppose the quality has grown a lot from then. I can definitely learn from my mistakes though.

Everyone Matters- this video I credited as my own completely in case we won award money. Evan hardly worked on it at all. It was my idea, but since we only got a 1 minute video it didn’t turn out like my idea exactly. It wasn’t bad, just it was hard condensing it to only one minute. Plus I’m not a good voice actor. Just small things could’ve made it better. Anyway here it is

Paper Jacket- the sentiment in this one came out great. It took days to find music, but once we did… It was perfect. I had the idea for the jacket, but Evan edited the entire thing. The jacket was really fun to make, kinda hard to put on, but turned out pretty well. When I showed it to my friends, they said that this was the one. And I agreed. Just a few things could’ve made it better though. I wish I had spent more time on effects, to make it more powerful, but oh well… I might make a director’s cut version with all the added effects, but idk. I’ll see.