Saturday, February 25, 2012

GoPro: Hero 2...

After a Friday night of partying studying, it can get pretty hard to wake up at a decent hour on Saturday. But I had agreed to work on some commercials for my school's television station. So I ripped myself out of bed at 10:30am (yes, I'm serious) and walked to the film school. Not going to lie, I wasn't super stoked about this commitment I had made. I'm not good with technology so I was fully prepared on creating a dinky commercial with really low production value.

However, I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw what we had to work with. Two people showed up with a little video camera that looked friendly enough to be WALL-E's first cousin. Its name? GoPro: Hero 2.

This friendly little guy seemed to have a personality of his own. But could he actually shoot a decent looking commercial? He did look sort of like a toy camera, after all.

Someone showed me some videos of the GoPro at work. Alright, this was going to be fun.

We strapped this little guy on our heads, on the front of the car, and on statues. And let me tell you, the quality of this guy is AMAZING. I won't get too techy on you (because I know nothing about technology) but I'll tell you this much: it was beautiful colors in high-def.

I don't usually get excited about technology but this little guy is so cool (you can take him skydiving by suction-cupping him to your helmet, taking him swimming or ATV'ing) that I couldn't help but gush.

See, I had never done anything with film before coming to film school. Sometimes, all the time, really, I wonder how I even got in. I guess they must have seen something in my writing. But I had never written in screenplay format and the extent to which my production skills had ever reached were video projects for various classes. So, needless to say, I was on a gigantic learning curve those first few months (and still am, to tell you the truth). 

But it's almost shocking how much I've learned in the first semester I've been here. I was worried I would not fall into the 'film student' role, like maybe I had somehow chosen the wrong field to go in to. And sometimes I still feel that way. But then, on days like today, I get so needlessly excited about little things I've picked up by being a film student that I'm totally reassured that I'm in the right place.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Perks of Being a Film Student...

There are many perks of being a film student like having access to cameras and studios, being able to network with other future and current filmmakers, and taking classes to hone your craft.

But those things don't really sound all that impressive to your non-film friends. Here are a couple of my favorite perks of being a film student that normal people actually can relate to:

1. Awesome people are always visiting my school. 
For example, last night we had a showing of all of the Oscar nominated short films in our school's (very large) movie theater. It was followed up by a Q&A with two of the Oscar-nominated Directors, Andrew Bohler (Time Freak) and Hallvar Witze (Tuba Atlantic). It's so awesome, because they could be Oscar winners come this Sunday. We also had Ben York Jones, the writer of Like Crazy, and an alumni of my school, come give us an early screening of his film after they had won Sundance and before it hit theaters. And those are just a couple of the cool visits we have at our film school every day.

2. My professors have legit industry connections.
Many of my film professors have real world experience in film or television (actually, all of them in my first year of college have). One of my professors worked on Legally Blonde 2, another was a writer and producer and worked on The Cosby Show and Step by Step, and another professor has directed America's Funniest Home Videos (with Bob Saget), The Writer's Guild Awards Ceremony, and Entertainment Tonight. In fact, that professor is friends with many industry professionals and happens to be friends with the director of Conan. So we get to go see an episode of Conan later this month, meet the director, and see the control room (this thing).

There are so many perks of being a film student if you go to the right school. I'm not going to lie, it's incredible. Even if I don't make it in the industry, I already have all these cool life stories of people I've met and things I've done just from being a student. Definitely beats being a law student, or a business student....just sayin'.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Working at the School TV Station...

During my first semester of college, just about six months ago, I didn't know much about the school I was attending and what I wanted to get out of my experience here. I did know, however, that I wanted to join the school's television station. I had seen some clips of some of their shows online and knew I had to join.

So I went to that first meeting, not knowing anyone or anything about what I'd be doing, and left a couple weeks later having had been assigned to work on a show. Little did I know, I would end up with a co-producing credit for that same show. Now, I've progressed to getting to getting to run a show with my co-producer on our own this semester, and it absolutely terrifies me.

Coming into film school with absolutely no experience while I look around at all the other already experienced students was overwhelming to say the least. The fact that I'm only just taking my very first TV production class this semester and still have yet to know how to properly light a scene doesn't help my lack of confidence issue.

But I'm also very excited. I'm venturing into new territory and taking the first steps towards gaining real life experience in TV production. Who cares if it's shitty? I'm not going to learn anything by being afraid to fail. And if it's shitty, I'll learn from that. I'll learn why it was shitty and how to make it less so. That's what I love about being in the film school. You get these opportunities to learn your craft and make mistakes in class so that when you get out into the real world, you have just that much more knowledge.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Control Room...

Guys, my classroom is literally a control room and a studio. My class consists of me learning to use a switchboard, cameras, audio, and how to direct. How awesome is that?

Even as spazzy and frantic as my normal demeanor is, I am really enjoying the stress of working in a control room and studio. It's I think you know you're going for the right gig when you actually enjoy the stress and hulabaloo of the work you are doing.

It's awesome because my professor has so many industry connections and has worked in the industry so you know what he is saying isn't just complete and utter b.s. And it's great because we get to watch shows in class and learn random cool facts. Like, did you know Bob Saget wasn't in the pilot episode of Full House? It was some guy named John Posey. We watched the opening credits with John Posey as Danny Tanner. (Side note: my professor worked with Bob Saget and the cast of Full cool is that?)


Saturday, February 11, 2012

27 Kodak Moments...

One day, I'm sure I will be doing exciting things in my field of work that people will want to write articles about. But until then, this will more than suffice.

It's a little piece on 27 Kodak Moments on some of my photos which can be found on my flickr (I'm ily416). I love the blog, check it out!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

People Driven Indoors by a Gray Sky...

Being from Seattle, I have never been one to run indoors at a weather forecast of rain and a gray sky. 

So I was pretty surprised that the entire outdoor campus was empty as I walked back from my class at 4 p.m. At first I didn't get it. Was there some big event going on somewhere else on campus? Was it later than I thought and everyone was at dinner? Was there a shooter on the loose and I had been the last to find out?

No. It was the fact that the weather forecast had promised some rain and the skies were an admittedly foreboding gray.

Sometimes I love the weather here in Orange County. I can put on a pair of shorts and tan these legs that have never been anything other than a pasty white for the past 19 years. It's nice to walk around in the evenings and feel the setting sun warm on your back. But sometimes I just want a little bit of change in the weather, the sky. I want seasons, god dammit!

I will admit, however, that the constant sunshine has done wonders for my energy levels. It gets depressing in Seattle, never seeing the sun and feeling like you're living like a mole person for 10 months of the year. A little vitamin D goes a long way.

As for the school portion of college life, it's going well. I was blessed with getting off of two waitlists into a class I need for my minor (Sociology 101) and a class I need if I were to switch my major (which I still haven't completely figured out yet...). My classes are pretty freaking cool and my professors are some of the most amazing people I've met so far in the film school. Will continue more with that later...

For now, going to go enjoy the sunshine...