Excuse the tardiness but I’ve been busy prepping for my next projects that I forgot to blog about the last project I finished at the end of February. It was a fun and very interesting project and I hope the world gets to see it one day.
“My Little Baby” is about Jimmy, a child with extraordinary powers who has just lost his father. On Christmas Day, under the tree, among other gifts, is a pair of walkie-talkie toy. A night like so many walkie talkie starts to emit strange noises, while connecting with a parallel dimension to be met by the deceased father. From then on, Jimmy starts a radio relationship with his dead father. But this incredible touch means that even the mysterious creatures have free access to our world, thus disturbing the tranquility of Jimmy and mother Becky.
So to wrap up a pretty exciting 2016 why not fly down to Florida and film a crazy movie called “The Executioners”. Let me rewind a little bit. So I was in St. Louis and I received a phone call from my friend Allan. Allan is a producer who will help produce my very first short film called “No Charge.” We’ve always kept in contact ever since that first project and he always said if he has a project I’m gonna be the first one to call, so he called me. He told me he had this awesome script that he was trying to shoot it and he needed an AD and the rest was history.
Any way so I fly down to sunny Florida leaving freezing North Carolina and get picked up in a convertible to welcome me back to Florida. The production for this project was pretty interesting to say the least. I originally suggested that we shoot this project and 20 days. The final schedule ended being 14 days but we finished in 16 days. This project wasn’t the easiest to get through but I excepted the challenge and we got to the end of the project and finished the movie. This movie will probably be one of the best movies that I’ve ever been 1st Assistant Director for. It pushes the limits it makes you very uncomfortable but I think in making controversial films like this one will stand out and be really good at the end of the day.
So a little while back I had the pleasure of working with Marquis Daniels of the Boston Celtics and his crew the 10/90 Blokk Boyz for the first single “Kome Here Nikki” featuring Dee Boi! The video concept was a very ambitious from the director Wuz Good but giving his track record with these music videos, we always know that the video is gonna come out hot!!!
The concept was a Grand Theft Auto concept except for stealing cars they guys were playing the Grand Theft Nikki video game collecting Nikki’s!!
Be sure to check out the behind the scenes of the music video which I edited and of course the music video!!! Shout out to beemac Films for producing this project and always hiring me for gigs!!
Have a look at the Alexandra Amor music video “Superstar” directed by Wuz Good. We shot this in the lovely city of Miami. We had a few complications with the shoot and we ended up shooting the video twice but it turned out well both times. Have a look and enjoy!!!
So where do I start. Oh yeah. Pre production! This is the first video that I have done with the core crew and we didn’t have 17 pre-production meetings and I didn’t mid at all! LOL But it was a little scary at the same time because we had NO meetings. But hey, let’s move forward.
Day 1: We shot the master green screen performance at F.I.R.S.T. school in Orlando. The second location we were suppose to shoot was a downtown penthouse but we ended up losing that location so we just shot the green screen for day 1. That’s where we start the somewhat downward spiral of stuff not going right.
Day 2 comes around we have this kick a** location downtown Orlando. I believe we were shooting in this building next to old Club Paris. But something was different. Something happen to the lead singer and the band and he got replaced in the middle of the shoot but I didn’t figure that out till about 3 or 4 hours in. But MurrayMile the director for this project had everything figured out. And on top of that, we went hard (no homo) for 18 hours on the shoot for the 2nd day. Damn that was a long day but it was like my fourth time doing 18 hour days after 12 hour shoots.
I’m not going to ruin the surprise but the final video is going to be tight. We couldn’t really call ourselves filmmakers if everything turned out perfect each project. So he came up with this interesting way to tell the story in the video. So that’s enough talking for now. Check it out!!
This was an interesting shoot to say the least. A couple of key’s I didn’t really get along with cause they were spazzing the f*ck out all the time and adding stress. Everybody that knows me now of days knows that I am anti-stress. I used to let people piss me off then I snap. But I’m better now. LOL
This was a 2-day shoot and we shot it at a local high-school in Orlando. Wuz Good (the Director) for this project wanted to make this a sports theme and they had the idea to shoot at a school because it would be easier to move around there then moving to different locations around the city, which was a great idea. It made my job easier cause when I did the schedule, I put in padded time so when we went over in one location we saved time cause we didn’t have to do a company move anyway. We just changed locations that were 5 minutes away from each other.
The art department did their thing on this video as well. Roger also got sponsors from Hip Kat clothing and the Orlando Magic. And of course Marcus and Corday did their thing on the post end of things. Other than the rain and certain people acting a bit reckless at times, this project really came out good.
Special shout out to the Lution Crew for doing work!!
This was a pretty exciting project. This was my final project as a student at Full Sail University or any school of that manner. I swear it seems like I have been in school for forever and a day but I have two degrees to show for it. So I wasn’t a waist of time by any sort.
Anyway, back to the actual commercial. My approach to this project was really going after a specific target audience for the product and do something out of the box and something that my classmates wouldn’t even think of. Of course they did the stereotypical rockband or party atmosphere like commercials and my group and I decided to take a second and actually research what the “rockstar brand” actually markets too.
Originally we wanted to do a mix of sports like skateboarding, bmx, paintball, etc. But with budget constraints (no money) we had to come up with something that could capture the eye and still serve it’s purpose to market the drink to a target that Rockstar Energy drink actually caters too. So we came up with an exciting game of capture the flag. Paintball style!
Concept: An action packed day with the boys turns into an adrenaline fueled game of capture the flag meets the rock out attitude of Rockstar Energy Drink. A militaristic scenario paintball match reaches the brink of competition when the one team calls upon Rockstar to give them the winnng boost of energy.
Producer: Ryan Hitner
Production Manager: Paige DeMarco
Directed by: Da Big Body
Dir. of Photographer: Jonathan Bregel
1st AD: Brad Burke
Edited by: Marcus Small
Color Corrector: Murray Mile
Composer: Kris Fame
Cam Op: Matt Adams
1st AC: Kevin Griffin
Jib Op: Brad Patterson
Glide Cam: Derek Soter
Key Grip: Chris (Super grip) Fountain
Grips: Dan Lobosco, Justin Keller, Cody Kruger
Script Sup: Tim Hahn
Wardrobe and Makeup: Paige DeMarco
Well there comes a time in every film student’s educational career where you have the “thesis film.” And “Falling From Grace” was it for me at Full Sail.
This project and the whole 35mm process was a big ball of kayos too begin with. Not everyone wrote scripts but then you had to sign on to scripts to work on the crew. I personally was on about 7 different scripts and none of mine got chosen so I had the potential of working as a grip or something on a project. Now I don’t have anything against grips but that is not what I do.
So after the storm settles. I end up on the camera team (sighs. . .) for this project. Let’s fast forward to the pre-production and actually building the set. I kind of mixed these two steps because pre-pro was pretty light on my side. I was on the camera team. Then came building the set. I am a fan of building sets, measuring stuff and cutting things with powerful saws. I think it’s fun to build stuff and it brings out the manly man part of every guy when your cutting stuff! lol Things were going good. I’m usually the lead foreman when it came to the school projects and I pretty much was on this one with Kev Dogg. We were building away on this project just like we did on the project Perception but this time we were thrown a different lab teacher who will remained nameless. And he came with an attitude. He out of no where thought I was slacking and not working because I take things seriously but my personality doesn’t put that out and so we had problems. Then I turned into ass hole Doug. So to make a long story short, he tried to take GPS points off of my grade and fail me but I am good with the other teachers so that didn’t happen!
So here we go on the actual production. Long story short. The AD didn’t have her A game on to say the least and we shot a lot of wide shots. I was frustrated with what we were shooting cause we have to edit the footage and from an editors standpoint, editing wide shots is a waste of time. But I was on the camera team and I was learning a lot about the Arri Studio Cam and the Arri 235 camera. We did shoot at a cool location downtown Orlando on Church Street. And another bad not was Krafty. That probably was the worst I have ever had. We shot 12 am to 12 noon and they thought it was a great idea to eat burgers (cold) at 6 am. Terrible! I always ended up leaving and going to McDonald’s. I didn’t tell anybody else cause they probably would of made a scene out of it.
Post production: So here is where the fun begins at Full Sail. This is where most students start talking ish and complaining on why their edit sucks. But I always go in and try to save the film and make a good story out of it no matter how bad it was shot. In order to take some wide shots out and make some close ups, I choose to add the anamorphic bars to the movie and use the 3d camera movement in the Avid to create new camera movements and close ups. I was really happy with the outcome from what we started with. I had a team help me out. I had my man Dan Selby come through and help with the sound design. Kev Dogg came through with the color correction. Victor did an amazing after effects intro. Kris Fame did the amazing score. So it was a team effort to get this project done and I think it turned out the best it could. The final cut is pretty long but I stayed on course with the actual script instead of doing the “student editor” thing and re-creating a new story and sucking! lol Be sure to check it out.
The Spaceship project was another interesting project. First of all I was the 2nd AD on this project. But not to talk down people who 2nd AD, I really didn’t like doing it. I really felt out of the loop when the video was actually being made. That job (to me) consist of a lot of talking to extras and walking them to set and leaving. I don’t like that really, I like being in the mix of things, solving issues and running the actually production. But being the 2nd AD helped me really appreciate being the 1st AD, even as stressful as it can be, I’d much rather AD or Direct then do anything else in film.
On the post end of this project, Marcus did his thing but we had one of the animators bail out on us and it took over a month to actually finish this project. But after it was done and over a million views in a week on World Star Hip Hop, this video is still the shit. I just can’t listen to it that much because I heard the song over a million times sitting in Marcus’ house when he was editing.
Directors – MurrayMile/Wuz Good
DP – Jonathan Bregel
1st AD – Freddy
2nd AD – Da Big Body
Camera team – Burke, Kev Dogg, Ben Eck, Matt
Editor – Marcus “M Kutta” Small (with no S)
Dope Behind the scenes by Brad Patterson and Derek Soter: