Hello friends. As I write this I am happily tucked into my parents cozy home in Anchorage Alaska. I was just up in the Chugiak Mountains near here taking in the lovely views of tiny Downtown Anchorage in the distance and the surrounding Cook Inlet. I hope to have some photos to share with you from this trip soon.
But the reason I’m writing today is about the upcoming free filmmaking and editing course at creativeLIVE. I’ve thrown my hat into the ring for the opportunity to be an in-studio student for the course January 14th, 15th and 16th 2013. The course will be taught by Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow. Based on there popular CineStories trainings, the focus will be on narrative storytelling for live events and commercials. The course will stream free online. Please view and like my submission video and join me for this exciting course on the 14th.
I’ve enjoyed a number of the courses put on by creativeLIVE in the last several years. In particular the opportunity to be a student of Gale Tattersall, Lesa Snider and Skip Cohen. They provide an amazing service to the community of media content creators. You might enjoy this recent podcast from the folks at This Week in Photography where talk with creativeLIVE co-founder Chase Jarvis about the history and future of creativeLIVE.
This is a fun project I put together with the help of a classmate Leslie Stark for our 30th reunion. It tells the story of the last living member of our class in the year 2062. It was a fun film to make and went along well with the idea that we grow as artists by maintaining several active personal projects. The reunion was a big success. Friday we met for a mixer at Fairhaven’s Big Fat Fish Company right after Seattle Seahawks victory over Kanses City. Emotions were high. It was fun as we attempted to reconnect these mature faces with the people we recalled from our youth. It is literally true that we become cooler people the older we get. We become more self assured and comfortable with ourselves. But don’t tell a teenager that. It was great to find that old friends had become even more charming with time. Some of the old stories were pretty funny. I’m glad I’ve grown up.
That next day we met out at Camp Firwood for a family picnic. I got to experience my first attempt at Paddle Boarding along the lovely shores of South Lake Whatcom. That evening we gathered for the main event at the Silver Reef Casino on the Lummi Indian Reservation near Ferndale. Smooth talking musician Dave Klander acted as MC and Garret Smith the Comic Fireman provided the jokes. Next came the short film I’d made for the reunion; “Reunion 2062”. As with any debut the filmmaker is nervous. Perhaps more so when it is for a room filled with old friends. I think they liked it, laughing at the right places and being generous with their praise. The food served by Silver Reef Casino was delicious and the staff helpful with technical issues. The 80’s cover music band Blind Fate was super fun. It all got really crazy when Kevin Mellon took the mic and everyone including myself started dancing.
Here is the short film I made for the reunion. Hopefully it will inspire you to do something fun and creative for your next school, church, family, corporate or similar social event or gathering.
This was a project I put together with Leslie Stark for our 30th reunion. I wanted the film to be fun and funny. We planned to make it with resources that we had on hand. Luckily we are both performers, have degree in film production and motion graphics and thank goodness have production gear on hand.
Alice: A collaboration with filmmaker Amanda Murphy.
As a filmmaker myself this film helps points out the power of collaboration. So often our creativity becomes stymied. We focus on future gigs, new production and editing software, new cameras. We forget that the reason we started this process was so that we could create and collaborate with other artists.
The production plan for the camera department was largely improvisational. My approach to the production was similar way I approached my Dutch Bikes piece; to discover the essence of a “process”. Of course more goes into it then that. Amanda and I are both graduates of the film program at Seattle Central. I should warn folks that some of the shots in this film may be difficult to view. For my part I am impressed with it’s overall quality. Amanda edited the piece nicely.
The project was filmed in Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle Washington. The camera used was the Canon EOS 7D. The lenses used were the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and the Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6.. Lighting was achieved through practicals. The music is from Nine Inch Nails Ghosts I-IV released by Trent Reznor under a Creative Commons license. I was attracted to the interesting decorations found around the studio apartment and included some of them in my shots. Amanda was a brave and talented performer/filmmaker.
The film program at Seattle Central is scheduled to end forever in 2014, barring an economic miracle. I am still holding out hope that the program can be saved. Perhaps with closer integration and a sharing of resources with the existing photography program and the schools Creative Academy? It would be sad for future students to miss out on an opportunity to create. Seattle’s art, film and media communities will miss the yearly influx of talented technicians and artists.
In 2008 Canon released the Canon EOS 5D and shortly after the Canon EOS 7D. Little did they know that these high end photography cameras would shake up the world of indie filmmaking, documentary journalism and television production. The cameras had originally been designed so that photojournalists would have the option of shooting some video while they were on location shooting stills. With sensors as large or larger then 35mm film and a vast array of high quality and low cost lenses available these cameras have quickly become very popular for creative applications. A typically “cinema camera before costs anywhere from to $35,000 and $200,000 or more. These cameras cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 depending on the make and model. Gale Tattersall the Cinematographer of HOUSE MD and FROM EARTH to the Moon, gave a presentation on the foundation of filmmaking with these cameras at the creativeLIVE studios in Seattle on July 8th, 9th and 10th of 2011. I was fortunate enough to be one 6 students with a “golden ticket”. Please enjoy these behind the scenes and instructional photos. I think Gale can help people like me take our Cinematography to the next level.
Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 1
Some of the topics covered included proper camera settings for filmmaking, camera rigs including proper use of fluid head, sliders, follow focus and the glidecam. Gale described some of the complexity that went into the shooting of the season 6 finale to HOUSE “Help Me” with the 5D. Later we applied our skills with the new gear following some talented swing dancers. Please click on the image to see other photos. A full screen option is available on the lower right side of the frame.
Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 2
On day 2 we got a proper introduction to lighting units and some experience lighting a Psychiatrists office in both night day and nighttime settings. Later we discussed shot selection and creative options using shallow depth of flied and camera movement to capture the complexity of a scene and to enhance it’s dramatic impact. Shooting for the edit was discussed as well. Please click on the image to see other photos from day 1. Full screen option is available in the lower right hand corner.
Gale Tattersall @ creativeLIVE Day 2 – Images by Michael Kleven Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 3
Day 3 was much more hands on for me and my classmates. We discussed a number of interesting low cost lighting options for indie filmmakers. Some of which can be made at home with common materials purchased at a local hardware store. We filmed a good cop, bad cop interrogation scene and discussed ways to maintain a high level of craft and artistic integrity even when budgets are small. Gale entertained everyone with the complexity of lighting a bull ride for House at an indoor rodeo at 1600 frames per second. Gale is a very classy gentleman and a committed educator. He and his assistants Steve and Jason really brought it. The folks at creativeLIVE were super fun to work with and made sure we all had a good time while learning a bunch. They offer live feeds of their classes for free. In these days of rising education prices you can’t beet them apples. I hope to work with them more in the future.
Here is the link to the course from Gale on HDDSLR on the creativeLIVE website. They list more about the course their and information about gear used and other resources. If you have a chance check out the rest of my website. I make my living with wedding, event and portrait photography, wedding and event films. I produce commercials for small business‘ and non profits. On the creative side I am available to filmmakers as a Cinematographer, Director, Producer, AD, Production Manager or Boom Pole/Sound Recordist. Keep me busy. I love to stay busy! I am currently helping complete a short film called Reminisce. Future projects include a documentary film about an Eskimo Artist Neva Rivers and a family drama called GI Joseph and Mary.
Link to HDDSLR course information at creativeLIVE
Yesterday I posted about the new 32 mp camera phone. Upon further research I found that it is a design prototype from this Seattle company Artefact. Their point was to speculate about where pro-sumer cameras may be 3 to 5 years in the future. I think this discussion raises some interesting ideas about the future of film production & professional photography. DSLR’s are now being used for professional film production. This kind of system has the potential for easier remote control of a film production camera. Easy OS updates & the potential to develop creative/technical plug ins & apps, make this an exciting time to be involved in film production & photography. That said the Artefact Camera Futura is not going to be seen on the market any time soon. Thanks Artefact for starting a conversation.