Wednesday, April 06, 2005

How it all began



It started around when I was eight years old. I had been interested in photography since I was six or seven. I took pictures of my GI-Joe's in various states of action. I was also a voracious comic book reader. Fantastic Four, Sergeant Fury, The Avengers, Dr. Strange, and more all fascinated me and entertained me for hours. I even for a short time drew my own comic books with stories I created myself. Then after my grandmother died I inherited her Super-8 camera, which was a simple point and shoot type of camera. I read about stop-motion photography, and studied films that contained stop-motion. Such films as Mighty Joe Young, King Kong, and the Sinbad pictures all had stop motion in them. I tried to emulate that with my cheap camera by shooting in short bursts. The results weren't what I wanted, but they showed promise. I eventually acquired a camera which could do single frame shooting, and suddenly my world opened up. I would read Special effects magazines, and I even subscribed to a magazine devoted to amateur SFX called "CineMagic". It was the holy grail of magazines. It showed me how to do effects, and even showed me that I was not alone in my love for the fantastic. It was published by a man named Don Dohler who is still at it, and making films now on DV.

I soon began making movies with live actors, and using my friends and family as my cast of characters. Such films as "The Thing in the Basement", and "Resurection" were shot in or around my house. I learned a lot, and during the 80's the VCR explosion happened and I would rent movies, and have movie marathons of all types of films. Of course this lead to me wanting to go to college for filmmaking. My chooses were limited due to financial reasons, but I choose Brooklyn College as my school, and to this day I don't regret it.

Brooklyn's undergraduate program for film was small. Brooklyn also had a Radio & Television department separate from the film program, and I would take TV courses also. It was at Brooklyn that I began to shoot 16mm. I had great teachers, but the equipment was not the greatest. We all made do with what we had, and a lot of the students created some great little short films. I learned about lighting, sound, and editing during my time at Brooklyn. I even interned on several films as a production assistant. The conditions were miserable, and we were all broke, but we pushed on, and graduated eventually.

Since then I've worked on several low budget films & a nuber of corporate videos as well as commercials. I've worked for an ad agency for some time, and became a graphic artist. I've also been a video editor, a cameraman, and a production assistant for a number of corporate videos.

I work currently in the digital realm of DV, as a media technician for a high school in South Jersey. I am a lot of times a one-man band, and I am used to that. I've completed my first feature "Deadly Obsessions" recently and am trying to get it seen through film festivals. I am currently raising funds to put the film onto DVD, and most likely will self- distribute myself.

So that's me in a nut shell. The picture above is of me when I was editing on Super-8. I am in my teens in the picture, and have fond memories of working on my little epics. I hope to have more stills here from my past, and a few stills from current projects here. I'll talk about how I did it, and for how much. It seems that many producers want to keep the figure of their budgets quiet because they don't want distributors to know how much it cost them to make. Distributors will only low ball their figures then, but in todays film climate that is more the rule then the exception. There is a lot of product out there, anda lot of competition. It's not impossible to distribute your film, but it's very hard to get the money back. More and more producers shoot on Digital video (DV), and the reasoning is that it takes little money to do so, and in some ways that is a correct way of thinking, but not entirely true. I also discuss that here too.

So That's it. My second entry, and I hope you got something out of it. More to come I promise. I just hope someone is listening. Thanks for reading.

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