52 Weeks of Creative: Week 4

I did not want to do this.  Really.  One picture in and I was done.

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Which reminds me, I should review some of the rules at this point: I must finish a project every week by Sunday at 11:59pm.  And the project must be challenging.  Yes, CHALLENGING.

I never said, “so impossible that you’ll want to pierce your own nose.”  And I know what a nose piercing feels like, and the size of the needles that they use (like 6 inches.  Not kidding).

This week I decided to draw all of my siblings and their families, from pictures I had of them.

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I can draw.  I have been drawing for years.  Do I draw well?  What’s the basis of comparison?  Da Vinci?  Then no, definitely not.  Stop thinking about Da Vinci, you will be sorely disappointed.

If you read my first week’s post, you saw my illustrated children’s story.  I didn’t mention this then, but when I draw I always draw for me.  Sounds weird, I know.  But I am a writer and a filmmaker and even though both mediums require me to be the judge of my own work, being true to myself, I still have an audience to consider.  I create films and stories for someone else to enjoy.  For YOU to enjoy.

Not so with my drawing.  I draw to express things to myself.  Which means that most of the things I draw don’t have to be good, so a lot of it isn’t.

I am okay with that.  It does not bother me.

Sharing these pictures with you is very hard.  I realize that I said that about Week 2, when I appeared in my own music video.  This was harder.

You can thank my good friend and actor Kevin, who appeared in last week’s sword fighting video (the guy who was tied up) for this week’s completion.  He told me not to give up, to keep going.

Here ya go, Kevin.  Here’s my 3 sisters, 3 brothers-in-law, 3 nieces, 2 nephews, and 1 brother:

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52 Weeks of Creative: Week 3

Okay, I made it to week 3.  But I didn’t do this project alone, not by a long shot.  I worked with 6 of my very favorite people, some of whom were in the first films I ever made.

Here’s what we did:  I wanted to film a fight scene, because I haven’t done that legitly.  Filming and editing fighting is a little different than other filming and editing.  It’s supposed to be more frenetic and alive, giving the viewer a feeling of being in the action or alongside the characters.

I wrote a basic script outline, based off of an old project that involved sword fighting and elvish clothing.  I say OUTLINE, because it was more like guidelines than a real script.  We got half-way through fight choreography and decided to kill off a character.

I think I like guidelines.

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Paul shot nearly all of it, and didn’t drop my baby.

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Kevin allowed me to put lots of makeup on him and try on totally absurd costumes.

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Anna choreographed all the fighting, and also fought our villain, Cody.  Cody was a trooper with all the stuff we made him do.

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Lindsey did script supervision, a coffee run, some makeup and other magical things behind the scenes.  And Sarah let me get all in her face and then was tied up for a few hours without complaint.

We made some mistakes.  I know this.  There are some shots we should’ve gotten, some sound that could’ve been better.  If we’d had the time we could’ve learned the fighting a few days before and really been dangerous.

But overall, these people did fantastic.  Not only did they devote an entire Saturday to run around in elvish clothing and fall down in the melting, icky snow, but agreed to put it all on camera.  I was very impressed that all 4 of the actors learned this fight in a few hours.  And even without lines, I know exactly how they feel.

Special thanks to my boss, Jeremy, because he allowed us to use a lot of his equipment.  When I told him we were filming sword fighting, he went a little pale, but trusted that no swords would be hitting any of his lenses.  Thanks for trusting me, man.  We didn’t let ya down.


This was my absolute favorite day of filming.  Ever.  In over 7 years.  These are my friends, and also, apparently, my crew.

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52 Weeks of Creative: Week 2

I know some of you were expecting this post to be a sword fighting video.  Sorry, that’s not this week.  Though we did film some sword fighting yesterday.

I’m keeping very quiet about it.

This week I quarreled with myself about whether or not to post my creative project.  I’m not a huge fan of putting my face or myself on camera or on the Internet, which is why you see very few pictures of me on this blog.  But as a personal challenge this week’s creative project features, well, me.

Singing.

Please forgive me this moment of narcissism.  I really don’t think of myself as the premier singer, but I’ve always liked it, and I did a lot of musical theater in my teens.  I wrote a song once when I was 19 or so and I write a ton of poetry.  A few months ago I found this song that I loved, but it’s just music.  And it intrigued me.

So I wrote lyrics.

I guess I was pretty frustrated at the time with some people in my life so these lyrics are not exactly…nice.  But it was fun to sing and record them to music I really like.

I’ve never made a legit music video before.  I don’t recommend trying to make one by yourself of yourself.  There’s some logistical issues with that plan and it ensures that a lot of your footage will be out of focus, especially when you use a lens with such a short focal length.  It does mean that no one else will see or hear you pretending to be Lorde or Pentatonix, but then you also have no way of knowing how much you’ve failed in this pretension.

Here’s some of the color correction I did on the footage:

Before:

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After:

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Before:

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After:

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The Sony FS100 is a delightful camera.  And I do love editing on FCP7, even though it is a bit older.  Color correction on it is very effective.

The original song is called Celestial Soda Pop and was written by Ray Lynch.  This man is a genius and of course owns all the rights to the song.  Thank you, Mr. Lynch, for writing something that inspired me to make up lyrics and then be brave enough to share my performance with the whole Internet.


Feel free to jump in and join me in creating something every week this year.  Or offer creative ideas in the comments.  In case you missed out on why this is week 2 or what’s going on, here are the rules I set down from last week’s post:

“My goal is to create and finish something “creative” every week.  That’s 52 things.

1.  Must finish by 11:59pm on Sunday of the week (Yeah, I edited that because 12am didn’t make any sense).

2.  Must accept a CHALLENGING project, not something like “draw one picture of a dude.”

3.  Must post by the following Monday.

4.  May work with others on any project.

5.  May work in area of expertise, as long as the project still offers a degree of complexity.”

52 Weeks of Creative: Week 1

This was a very weird way to start my 52 weeks.  Firstly, I have an eye-infection that brought me a lot of pain the last few days.  Had to go to a doctor and everything.  That was very unexpected.  Never had one of those before.

Don’t start copying me, ya’ll.  It’s not as fun as I’m sure I made it sound.

Secondly, I picked a creative project that I have never done before.  The goal was to write and illustrate a children’s picture book.  This required the conceptualizing and drawing of over 19 pictures, partially colored.

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At the end of all this madness, I realized that designing a complete children’s PRINTABLE book was beyond my ability and software ability at the moment.  So I settled for a sorta comic-book, internet-illustrated story approach.  Some people may have a lot of experience with photoshop for this kind of thing, but I didn’t.  I didn’t even know how to import a picture into a separate project file.

But I finished the story and the pictures and the importing and combining and cleaning up and…well, I finished my first week of 52 creative projects.  And I guess it’s time to lay some ground rules:

1.  Must finish by 12am on Sunday of the week.

2.  Must accept a CHALLENGING project, not something like “draw one picture of a dude.”

3.  Must post by the following Monday.

4.  May work with others on any project.

5.  May work in area of expertise, as long as the project still offers a degree of complexity.

And here is my finished project of Week 1:  (View as a gallery.  The single-file version won’t upload at a high enough level.)

Inspired by and dedicated to my cousin, Sarah.  Thank you for Markus.

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Let’s Get Creative

It’s been a while.  I’m not proud of that.  I made the commitment in my mind when I started this blog that if I didn’t have anything to say, I wouldn’t write anything.  No point in you reading a load of blathering waffle.

It’s the first day of the New Year.  That gets caps because nobody knows why.  Probably because it’s important.  People like beginnings.  In the beginning of something you can’t see how it’s gonna go.  It could turn out great, you don’t know.

Hopefully ya don’t anyway, right?

I’m posting because it’s about time I let you in on my New Year’s plan.  Why?  Because I’d like to challenge you to either do this with me or come along for the ride.  I know it’s possible to accomplish, but I haven’t done it, so I don’t know how it’s gonna go.

In the year of 2014:

1.  My goal is to create and finish something “creative” every week.  That’s 52 things.  This is a super loose goal, I realize, but I’ll refine it more in later posts.

2.  My goal is to live as if I am burdened with glorious purpose, like Loki of Asgard.

3.  My goal is to be unashamed.

4.  My goal is to learn to longboard, well.

5.  My goal is to tell YOU all about it.

So.  What am I doing this weekend?  I’m creating something.  And I’ll post all the pictures…Or video if that’s more accurate to the project…and you can ride along with me as we take on the most mysterious year of our lives.

(P.S. Here’s the disturbing, NOT kids video that inspired the title of this post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C_HReR_McQ)