Archive for October, 2009

Apple Final Cut Studio 3 re-certification. the college cram sessions are back!

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Yay for Amazon.com prices and Free Super Saver Shipping!

In the next several weeks, I will be re-cramming all of these Apple tutorials for the new Final Cut Studio 3 in my head and then regurgitating them back onto the online exams. I am already certified in FCS2, but with the release of the new version, I wanted to get re-certified. Either that or have my title stripped away and my name removed from the Apple registry (oh no! haha. i don’t know anyone that has found me through that anyways!).

It’s gonna be tight. These are my deadlines:
Final Cut Pro 7.0 – Nov. 19
Motion 4.0 – Nov. 21
Soundtrack Pro 3.0 – Dec. 9
Color 1.5 – Dec. 9

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I’m excited to learn all the new tools and updates that Apple incorporated into the new suite. Being a “Master Pro” of Final Cut Studio is quite the title, but I’ll be the first to admit that it doesn’t necessarily prove my editing abilities. To me, I enjoy mastering the tools of the trade because when the creative waves do come, it becomes that much easier (and faster) to bring those ideas to life when you know your programs inside and out. Also, I think it shows how serious and passionate I am about this stuff that I would take the time to teach myself and soak up the lessons in these tutorials. And yes, I have been very tempted to photoshop the word “Jedi” just before the “Master Pro” title on my business card. 🙂

I am also planning to start a few screenflow tutorials for those of you who are interested in learning about Final Cut Pro. I’ll do a few basic tutorials for those of you just learning the program, as well as some advanced techniques for speed editing (i’ve heard stories of editors who can edit almost as fast as they can think!). For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a speed typist, so I don’t think editing at that speed is too far fetched. And if you don’t believe me, I dare you to challenge me on Typing Maniac on Facebook! Come get some!

Re:Frame San Francisco!

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

From October 19-22, 2009, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend Re:Frame San Francisco, which is described as “4 days of intense shooting technique, business management, HD workflow, branding & marketing, creative storytelling techniques, social media and much more!” and it did not disappoint. Chris Dumlao of San Diego based Starcross’d Creative had been suggesting I attend this conference for awhile now, and I was lucky enough to land a ticket just a few days before it started.

This being a conference primarily for wedding videographers (or wedding “filmmakers” as they should be called now) at first made me a bit hesitant to attend. Being a film school guy, surrounded by film school geeks, that stigma that comes with the anything labeled “wedding” still exists, but after attending this conference, I am convinced that can be challenged and eventually broken. I was impressed by the quality of their images as much their abilities as storytellers. These creative professionals are truly bridging that gap between the wedding videographer and the filmmaker, and I found that very inspiring.

I learned so much not only from each of the speakers but also from the attendees. I was a typing maniac on my laptop the entire four days and ended up with almost 40 pages of solid, valuable notes. It was an open environment for everybody to pick everybody else’s brain freely!

I owe a huge shout out to the founders of Re:Frame SF: Kristin Bliss, Bruce Patterson, Julie Hill, and Jason Magbanua, for assembling an “awesome” conference. And huge THANK YOU to the speakers who traveled from far and generously shared their expertise and knowledge of the industry: Joe Simon, Kevin Shahinian, Oleg Kaylan, David Robin, Dennis Lennie, Jasmine Star, Leila Khalil, Alex Hill, Loyd Calomay, Angela Desveaux, and Philip Bloom.

Here are some highlights of the conference:
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Our classroom for four days.
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Me in sponge status. (photo by Philip Bloom)
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View from the rooftop. Mini-SF!
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Toys! (playing with gear from Zacuto and Jag35)
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Spoiled with some of the finest cuisine.
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On-location Shootout!
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Work hard, play hard.

With the hot thing being same-day edits, there were a handful of cool videos that documented the action and were posted right away to share! Here is one of them shot by Cinematographer Philip Bloom using only stills from a 5Dmkii and a 7d DSLR:

“Lucky Lucky”: 7D and 5dmkII photo movie from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Check out this one shot by John Connor, Cristina Valdivieso, and Anthony Quintano:

Re:Frame San Francisco – The Beginning from Cristina Valdivieso + Jon Connor on Vimeo.

More videos can be found on the Re:Frame Vimeo Page!

To all of the attendees I met at the conference, I am excited to be a part of the community and share the future of filmmaking and event filmmaking with you. For everyone else reading, I hope to share more stories and even some lessons learned from these guys in future blogs. It’s just too much to cram into one post!

And please stay tuned for a new concept film that I will be posting soon!

Team Stroganoff wins “Best Film” of the 48 Hour Film Project San Jose!

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

I really lucked out when I was approached to be editor for this team. I knew I wanted to participate in another sleepless weekend, surrounded by talented artists, all working towards the goal of completing a short film in 48 hours. We definitely had our obstacles but we pulled through and created a film we are very proud of!

And at the Judging Awards Ceremony, we won 5 out of 6 nominations, including: Audience Choice Award, Best Actor, Best Directing, Best Sound Design, and Best Film of San Jose. =D

Thank you Jacob Rangle, Team Leader and Writer/Director, for asking me to be a part of your team. And thank you to the whole crew who welcomed me into the group… I look forward to more battles in the field!

And here is our film, entitled, “Raton”:

Now, check out some of the behind-the-scenes photos I shot that weekend, using a Nikon D5000:
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Anxious on the morning of our shoot.
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Our D.P. Jason Burton and his camera setup.
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Actors Jake Lyall and Zach Gossett having too much fun.
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Our fearless leader, Writer/Director Jacob Rangel.
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Will Myers going to great heights to reflect the sunlight before it sets!
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On-set editing! I had a rough cut ready by the time they wrapped shooting.
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Just another good day with the rat people.
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With about 3 hours of sleep, the post-production madness continued in the morning.
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With less than 10 minutes to spare, we delivered the final cut. No time for shoes!
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Celebrating our success before the screening.

Thank you for reading my blog and please continue to support your local artists!

Credits:
Director: Jacob Rangel
Writers: Jacob Rangel, John Broglin, Adrian Thompson, Will Myers
Producer: David Bettencourt
Line Producer: Mark Araiza
Cast: Jake Lyall, Teresa Byrnn, Zach Gossett, Marcella Galindo, Adam Bishop, Nate Duncan, Jesee Walker, Alexandra Harkins, Max Martinez, Stefany Boretti, Justin Burton, Marcus Araiza, Liddy Freeman
Cinematographer: Jason C.H. Burton
Assistant Director: John Broglin
Editor: Nelson Nunez
Visual FX & Compositing: Adrian Thompson
Script Supervisor: Joel Tatum
Best Boy: James Harkins
Gaffer: Hector Aranda
Costume Design: Liddy Freeman, Jesee Walker
Prop Masters: Jesee Walker, Adam Bishop
Boom Operator: Leo Quintero
Production Assistants: Chelsea Rangel, Alexandra Harkins, Justin Burton
On-Set Photography: Sarah Quinn, Nelson Nunez
Catering: Tony Lauro
Special Thanks: Andy Olsen, Gary Burton, Mary Hulbert, Janielle Burton, Diamond Laundry & Cleaner, SAG

Road Trip Americana: DAY 13 (Sunday, October 4th, 2009)

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

in the morning, i had a warm plate of blueberry pancakes…
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Then started the long drive to my next destination.. Weather was gloomy for the first several hours.
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Hmmm… maybe i should’ve crashed here:
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Drove through part of Oregon, found a bit of snow!
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Then crossed the border into Nevada
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Caught the Bears game through my iPhone
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Found a very familiar highway
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Was planning to make a night stop in Reno, but I was making good time and decided to push my way to the finish. Had one more chance to dive into a local eatery:
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And when I saw the “Welcome to California” sign, I had to rock out to this!
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then I was treated to a nice drive through a snow storm in the sierras.
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Then the exhaustion started kickin in. Dizzy, feverish, spent. I felt like how this picture looks:
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Finally, TOUCHDOWN!
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BED Day 13 +!!!
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Summary:
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Cities: Boise, ID > Walnut Creek, CA
Odometer Begin: 211470
Odometer End: 212110
Day Miles: 640
Gas Prices: $2.70, $2.95, $2.90
TOTAL Miles Across America: 4,464

Next: Summary, FAQ, and tips learned from my road trip. Feel free to ask me any questions of your own!

Road Trip Americana: DAY 12 (Saturday, October 3rd, 2009)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

how they do omelettes in Salt Lake.
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spoke with Jason about his latest project, Hell Hole.
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he is a skilled DP who has been working on this original web series since the beginning of the year. it’s looking good! check it out at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hell-Hole-The-Series/112857746305
you can also check out his DP reel at: www.rjasonball.com

i made a few stops along the way to Boise.
– Salt Lake City Library. a must-see as recommended by my friend. yup, a PUBLIC library!
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– Hill Aerospace Museum
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then continued on…
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I’m in IDAHO!
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and met my 2nd couchsurfing host: Kent. we spoke briefly about couchsurfing and i told him how it has been difficult to find people willing to host me. we both agreed that it’s my lack of references (i just signed up when i started the trip anyways, so it’s understandable). but he told me the reason why he accepted me is that sometimes, you just have to give people a chance… and he gave me that chance.

Kent was a gracious host filled with many stories of his own travels. he’s seen most of and lived in many parts of South America, spending his time building orphanages and language schools there, giving children and many young adults a chance at a better life. inspiring.

he hooked it up with a nice Guatemalan style dinner.
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met his son Wesley, and somehow ended up helping him move a huge dining table into his new house! hey i was getting a free couch to crash on! i gladly helped out.
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he then treated us to a well-deserved round of beers and wings at their local watering hole.
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Couch Surf Day 12
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Summary:
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Cities: Salt Lake City, UT > Boise, ID
Odometer Begin: 211105
Odometer End: 211470
Day Miles: 365
Gas Prices: $2.68
TOTAL Miles So Far: 3,824

Road Trip Americana: DAY 11 (Friday, October 2nd, 2009)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

morning power brunch:
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as i crossed the border into Utah, i saw the signs for Moab which included a picture in the background of a very familiar rock formation, which i later learned was the “Delicate Arch” (google on iPhone saves the day!). after doing quick direction search, i find out that it is located in Arches National Park, near Moab, only about 1 hour off route from my destination to Salt Lake City.

best detour of my trip so far. stunning landscapes and formations.
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squeezed in a 3 mile hike to the Delicate Arch, even though feeling a bit feverish. well worth the effort!
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practiced some HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.
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exhausted by the time i made it back to my car, i still had 4 1/2 hours of driving ahead of me. a lot of the drive was at night in the mountains through a lonely, narrow, and isolated highway.
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eventually found myself in civilization and discovered a new restaurant to try: Wingers.
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looked like the typical chain restaurant. ordered the Original Wings Dinner. i was skeptical of their “Famous Original Sauce” but took one bite… and i was convinced! pretty damn good.
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i ended up buying a bottle of sauce to bring home. really… it’s up their with Kinder’s Sauce. 😉

arrived at my friend’s Jason’s house. haven’t seen him since Sundance Labs ’05! we did a bit of catching up and eventually called it a night.

BED Day 11
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Summary:
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Cities: Grand Junction, CO > Moab, UT > Salt Lake City, UT
Odometer Begin: 210723
Odometer End: 211105
Day Miles: 382
Gas Prices: $2.65
TOTAL Miles So Far: 3,459

NEXT: drive to Boise, ID

Road Trip Americana: DAY 10 (Thursday, October 1st, 2009)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

started the day off with a proper filipino breakfast. tocino, hot dog, and rice.
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had some major work done on the car, replaced the engine belts and a pair of tires. then heard a loud grinding noise a few miles as i started driving! i found out that part of the bumper started falling apart and hitting the tire. but gaffer’s tape solves all rigging jobs!
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the drive through the rockies makes Colorado the most scenic of all the states i’ve driven through so far. i constantly found myself wanting to pull over and capture the gorgeous views and rock formations.
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no food adventures today, didn’t even have a proper dinner because i wasn’t too hungry. i attribute it to that power breakfast i had in the morning.

Bed Day 10
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Summary:
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Cities: Colorado Springs, CO > Grand Junction, CO
Odometer Begin: 210397
Odometer End: 210723
Day Miles: 326
Gas Prices: $2.36
TOTAL Miles So Far: 3,077

Road Trip Americana: DAY 9 (Wednesday, Sept. 30th, 2009)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

i spent today doing a bit of sightseeing around Colorado Springs and just hanging out with the Nicandros… family friends from when i was growing up in Vallejo, CA. as i mentioned in an earlier blog, i hadn’t seen them since i was 1991! it’s was pretty wild seeing them all married with children.

some of the highlights of Colorado Springs:
– the Air Force Academy.
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– the Garden of the Gods.
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catching up on 18 years…
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i’ll have to browse the old shoeboxes for old photos of us as kids!

NEXT: drive through Colorado towards Salt Lake City.

Road Trip Americana: DAY 8 (Tuesday, Sept. 29th, 2009)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

started early and made my way mt. rushmore by 8am. it was a cold morning with a light breeze, and a nearly empty park. peaceful. it was quite the amazing view. i have always wanted to see this as a kid. i took more pictures here than anywhere else in my entire trip!
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how Mt. Rushmore was meant to be finished:
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probably my favorite tilt-shift photo of the trip so far:
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found this guy wandering the parking lot!
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after a couple of hours of touring the park, i was back on the road. i had a google-estimated 8 1/2 hour drive to colorado springs, so i wanted to get started early.

it’s true what my friend Ariani said about Wyoming… there’s really nothing around!
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“3G”, “E”, “o”… none of these networks exist here. i was alone in Wyoming! but it was nice to be free for once from the shackles of the evil iPhone.
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it made me a bit nervous knowing that my brother’s car wasn’t in the best shape and i was pushing it across the badlands. but i feel blessed to have made it safely.

bummed out at the lack of unique eateries on my route.
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drove through Denver and snapped what i could as i was driving…
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then arrived safely in Colorado Springs and i met with family friends i hadn’t seen in 18 years! and true to Filipino custom, the first action is to offer food, which i gladly accepted.
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Day 8 Bed
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Summary:
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Cities: Keystone, SD > somewhere in Wyoming > Colorado Springs, CO
Odometer Begin: 209887
Odometer End: 210397
Day Miles: 510
Gas Prices: $2.58
TOTAL Miles So Far: 2,751

Road Trip Americana: DAY 7 (Monday, Sept. 28th, 2009)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

visited the “world’s only” corn palace.
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eh. most interesting part was chatting up with an elderly local who was at the front desk. but these designs are pretty cool.
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yup… all made of corn.
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browsed the gift shop for overpriced souvenirs.
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had brunch at a local restaurant (country omelette and warm muffin).
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as i was driving to city, i noticed DOZENS of variations of billboards for “Wall Drug”. the signs don’t really tell you what it is.
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tourist trap or not, you have to feed the curiosity!
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continued the drive into Rapid City and drove straight to Mt. Rushmore as night began to set in. was able to catch the illumination ceremony.
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ended the night with a buffalo burger.
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that’s right… 100% buffalo meat. i’ve heard of a movement to push buffalo meat as the new standard. not bad.

empty downtown Keystone.
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Bed Day 7
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Summary:
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Cities: Mitchell, SD > Keystone, SD
Odometer Begin: 209547
Odometer End: 209887
Day Miles: 340
Gas Prices: $2.26
TOTAL Miles So Far: 2,241