Running a Meetup Group – 5/29/20

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If you’re looking for helpful advice on how to run a meetup group, this post isn’t for you.

So this is pretty much a lazy bull shit post so I urge you not to read further, I just think I need to get in the habit of posting regularly again. For Mountain Cult I don’t really have anything to do until I secure a location for episode 4.

Ok, so here’s what I did – I realized I new very few people interested in filmmaking, and in particular acting, and also saw that my local area did not have any local groups that would serve my interest. So I launched my own – the Riverside Film Network.

Well, guess what – the corona virus has had this strange effect on people where they don’t really leave their homes or go out in public places. So the first 2 meetings I had with the group were suggestions to create a short youtube video, which one lady kindly did. Also my good friend joined the group and created one, but that was just to troll me.

Now that the covid-19 lockdown is winding down, I’m preparing to announce our first meet up. I’m pretty excited about the possibilities of the group, but also apprehensive. I don’t want to be the constant driving force behind a group if the participation is insignificant. At the same time, however, I am the one who started the group, so it’s success/failure is largely on my shoulders.

Do you have any experience with meetup? If you are a writer I highly suggest you join one. Being in a public group is a great way to motivate you to continue striving toward your goal and is the first step in networking regarding your specific interest.

Ok, that’s it. Here’s my stupid ass short film if you haven’t seen it yet. God knows I’ve posted this thing enough times already.

Burnt out – 5/22/20

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After weeks of locking myself up and editing a stupid phone screen to make it look black, I completed episode 3. I’m tired as shit, void of sleep, and genuinely sick of promoting the stupid video.

I’m proud of how it turned out – it’s easily the best thing I’ve put together. Ok, it’s not great, nothing special, whatever…. I built a dolly, learned how to color grade, and discovered some new editing techniques to create some low budget “special effects”.

I apologize to all 3 of the people out there who may have been following my blog post. I had to stop posting on here because editing was eating up ALL of my off duty time. Now that the video is completed, and posted, I should be able to interact again more regularly.

I’m already looking forward to the following episode (I’m not burnt out from filmmaking, mind you) and have a handful of actors who are supposedly willing to perform. I have a great idea for the next episode, I just want to make certain I have my resources all lined up before I type out the story.

This weekend I plan to promote the video. It is such a pain in the ass to go through different social media platforms yelling at people to “look at my work! Check it out!” but someone has to do it. Since you have a wordpress account, you’re probably already aware of that.

I just wanted to stop by here and vent out all my frustrations because I know that’s the type of content you signed up for. What better way to start your morning than to listen to someone gripe about stupid shit. I always end my post with “anyways” and even that annoys me right now.

Anyways, I posted the video down below in case you wanted to check it out. Feel free to almost click play and then click back instead so you can read a different wordpress post.

Continuity Issues – 04/02/20

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Josh arrived in gym clothes when informed he will be playing a veteran hiker in episode 3

My younger brother came through on Tuesday and spent the entire day acting in episode 2 with me. It was my first day getting through an entire 5 page script in a day, but not without its share of issues. Unfortunately for me, I’m finding those issues in the editing room.

Continuity – we all know what it means, but much more importantly – we all know it goes unnoticed when something is done right. For our episode, we had a dog cage in the background with a bunch of stuff tossed on top of it. The first 3 takes all have that junk in the scene. After that, we decided it would be a great place to film a few takes from. Then we never put the junk back on(!)

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I have 2 takes that have a dog bed on the floor. The other 5, such as this one, do not.

Building on the theme of continuity, there is one great take where my necklace is exposed on the outside of my shirt the entire time. That take is now garbage. Another moronic decision I made was to mumble during a shot of me carrying 2 cups of coffee from an artistic angle. That take is also garbage – there’s no audio that matches up with how my lips are moving. The icing on the cake for the day would be the bacon. I cooked some up for us to eat before filming began. I have video of it cooking and audio of it sizzling. What I don’t have are any shots of it being on the table or of us eating. Why? Because bacon is to delicious to wait for filming to begin. The result is a couple of unusable takes of random bacon shots. I’m still considering using them, however I’m worried someone watching the episode will start wondering whether the plot is about a house burning down from a kitchen fire.

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Here is the only take I have from this beautiful angle. A microphone is hidden in the tree.

Now episode 3, which I began filming Sunday, has the potential to have harder issues to overcome. My two favorite shots from the day are practically unusable. I only have one take from a gorgeous vantage point. That would be fine, except I’m hidden behind a tree branch the entire time. The other take features me walking up the hill. In the bottom of the shot are the pile of clothes my character has been searching for. This was the last take of the day when we were out of time and out of steam. Out of sheer laziness, I opted to have my scene partner record the shot handheld so I would not have to run and grab the tripod. The end result is shaky. This is not his fault – I’m discovering quickly that I cannot stand any footage that is not 100% stable. I hate it with a passion – same goes for zooming in. I like pans, but I’m not good enough to use them yet.

Something else happened on Sunday. My camera began overheating, despite the fact that it was a perfectly nice 70 degree day. I’m now convinced it is because the take required filming in direct sunlight. Because of this, I’m ordering a lens hood and lens filters for our next outdoor shoot. I’m just hoping I can get them by Sunday.

As you can see, I have a lot to learn about photography & directing. Even those these problems keep cropping up, I’m terribly excited about how much editing work I’ll have in the next few weeks. My friend is eager and available to film again. That means that I won’t be limited to a 3 hour window and can afford to take multiple shots.

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The tripod is literally inside of a dog kennel for this shot.

The funny thing about filming is that it feels like it takes so much effort and time for even a 5 minute story. Yet everytime I enter the editing room, I always find myself wishing I had taken this shot, or done a take from a certain angle a few more times. I heard someone say that editing takes 6 times longer than filming the same thing. I didn’t believe that at first, but now I know this is, at best, an understatement.

If you haven’t seen episode 1 and you’d like to give it a glance, or even a like, check it out below.