Archive for the ‘_Other’ Category

Wayra River Hostel – Arequipa, Peru

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Wayra River Hostal

Anyone who has spent some time traveling will tell you that the people you meet along the way is probably the biggest influence on the type of trip you have. We were fortunate enough to choose Wayra River Hostel during our stay in Arequipa and met Guillermo and Alejandra, very friendly and gracious hosts who helped make our time very rich and memorable.

After hearing about how business had been slow at the hostal, I thought they could use a short promotional video to help bring in more guests. Most of the footage I would use was existing already, so we just had to shoot a quick interview and I would edit a piece together for them.

Puerto Vallarta and the Festival of the Virgin Guadalupe

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Last year, we took a last-minute vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was a great chance to step away from the cutting room and strap on the old traveling shoes again, even if only for a short while. The days we left weren’t planned at all; lucky enough, our dates coincided with the final days of the Festival of the Virgin Guadalupe.

It’s a religious ceremony that happens every year in December. For twelve nights, there are huge processions through the city that end at the Church of the Virgin Guadalupe (the main church in Puerto Vallarta). It’s a huge event for the locals. The procession includes floats made by local businesses, dancers dressed as Aztec warriors, drummers, bands, and singers making their way down the street. Our favorite part of the festivities? Plenty of street food all-around! We seriously lucked out to be able to experience this local festival in it’s final days.

Here’s a short highlights video to give you a sense of the experience.

Introducing the newly revamped!

Monday, September 26th, 2011
many nights pondering the layout and functionality!

many nights pondering the layout and functionality!

Welcome to my new website!

This is the result of over four months of hard thought, research, and work. I met with Methanie of Methanie Design and after a couple meetings, we were able to narrow down the goals of my website:

1. to showcase my video work in a clean and polished way
2. to make navigation simple, fast and intuitive
3. to have each video section stand on it’s own so users have all the info they need on one page, but can easily access more info and see more videos if desired
4. to make it easy to contact me and locate me on social networks
5. to have a Content Management System (CMS) that would allow me to easily update my site with new content

This site has been a long time coming, as ideas for it really began from the original launch of my site several years ago. I’m happy to have a site that tackles all of the goals listed above, and in style!

Please feel free to browse through each of my pages as you’ll see some new content as well. I hope you enjoy the site as I enjoyed being a part of creating it. Much props to Methanie for the cool design, hand-coding, and patience! Also, thank you to my colleagues at BAPVA who helped immensely not only in my transition to the DSLR workflow but also by generously sharing their knowledge and experience to help me structure the business properly.

Part of my goal in re-launching the site is to commit myself to creating new content on a regular basis. So in the coming weeks and beyond, I’ll be posting new videos and blogs… including my latest wedding concept video. Stay tuned… this one’s gonna be BIG!

Star Wars Episode Zero – Fan Film Trailer

Friday, September 16th, 2011
Episode Zero VHS Cover.  Yes, VHS!

Episode Zero VHS Cover. Yes, VHS!

With today’s release of Star Wars on Blu-Ray, I thought it would be a proper time to revisit a project of mine that is very close to my heart: Star Wars Episode Zero.

During one winter break while I was still in college, my buddy showed me these lightsaber battles that people were making in their backyard. I was completely in awe of the effect; not so much the production or story. Once I learned how to create the lightsaber effect, the possibilities of what we could accomplish took a life of it’s own. It became a year-long labor of love, in which we explored every which way we could to push our fan film to the next level: custom wardrobe, fight choreography, epic locations, and of course… new lightsabers and lightsaber battles!

The next winter break I spent entirely in the “cave”. After finalizing every frame of the trailer, we locked the edit, and then it was time to get to the effects. There is an estimated 30 seconds of lightsaber footage in the film, and at 30 frames per second, that’s a total of 900 frames of rotoscoping! Not to mention a few scenes with multiple lightsabers and complex masking when lightsabers move behind people/objects.

the Jedi cast in their element!

the Jedi cast in their element!

As many times as I’ve watched this, it still brings back all the great memories we had creating it. I consider this project moviemaking at it’s purest; driven by a passion to create the Star Wars universe in all of it’s detail, researching, writing, building, shooting, editing to exhaustion, and not getting paid for it (in fact, our main expense was the fabric for the customized wardrobe)!

How do we make the lightsaber spin in someone’s hand? How do we push what’s possible with new lightsaber styles? How can I create the hologram effect? How do I composite a moon in the background of our Palace of Fine Arts shot? These are the some of the challenges we gave ourselves and tackled in the making of this fan film.

Next time, I’ll revisit the “Making Of” and “Outtakes” clip and share with you the experience of creating Episode Zero. For now, please enjoy…

DSLR Tests: Canon 60D

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

There is a plethora of DSLR tutorial videos, forums, and blogs out there for anyone to soak up. I found it soon became overwhelming to try to absorb all of this information too quickly without testing it out on the field.

I decided to make my own set of tests to help me become more familiar with my camera and the control I have over the images. Only lens used is a Canon 17-55mm IS f2.8.

The first set of tests simply goes through the Aperture range to see how well the 60D handles exposure.

The second set of tests does the same thing but goes through the Shutter range to see how that option affects the image.

The third set of tests compares how different frame rates effect the image.

The final set of tests compares how different shutter speeds and aperture settings effect the image.

This particular test does a great job of showing how aperture effects your depth of field.

Not only did this one session get me more familiar with my camera and the controls, but I feel more confident in shooting with it. DSLRs will continue to grow in popularity as the prices go down and image quality goes up.

I hope these videos can help you. But I encourage you to go out there and just shoot, shoot, shoot! Experiment and put in the hours practicing before you line yourself up for jobs, so you’re not fumbling around with the dials and buttons on set and you can focus on the story you are capturing. Happy shooting!

Canon 7D Timelapse Tests 001-006

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

A series of my first timelapse tests I attempted around my neighborhood this past weekend using the Canon 7D and Yongnuo MC-36b intervalometer.

*No post-work done on any of the pictures; I just used Quicktime Pro to export the original images into a Quicktime movie.

It was cool to learn about the whole process, from setup to shooting to processing. There are some master timelapse folks out there (Joe Simon, Philip Bloom) with some incredible work, please check them out.

Thanks to Jon Connor for posting up the link to an informative Timelapse Tutorial 🙂

Canon 7D Photo Tests

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

So, I finally got my hands on one of these fancy DSLRs that I’ve been drooling over and so far I’ve been pretty amazed at what this camera can do. Coming from the world of video cameras (the Canon GL1 being my last video camera), the amount of settings available can be quite overwhelming, but I’m enjoying the learning process. As an HD video camera, I still have much to learn and will post some test videos/projects soon.

For now, I wanted to share some select pictures I snapped with it in the last several weeks.

These were all taken with “default” settings, either with the included kit lens (28-135mm f/3.5-5.6), a 50mm f/1.8 prime, or my little cousin’s 24-70mm f/2.8L beauty.

Final Cut Pro 7 Level 1 Certified Pro.

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

I’m proud to say that I can still cram my head full of good info and barf it out successfully:

FCP 7, Level 1 Certified

It was a long week of tutorials but I made it through. Most of it was review but it was good to rediscover a lot of tools and techniques that will save me time and make the editing process more efficient. Not to mention, I am really diggin’ the updates they made to the new version. I still plan to create some basic tutorials because I think it will help cement everything that I’ve learned and plan to apply to my own projects.

This week I will be focusing on Motion 4, Apple’s Motion Graphics program. I know this is a fairly deep program to get into, but I’m pretty excited to dive in. The clock is ticking! Wish me broke!

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

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Yay for 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


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