2017, Year in Review

As the remaining hours of 2017 fade away, I always try to take time to reflect on the accomplishments I had. I don’t typically write them on this platform, but this year, I felt this was the most appropriate place.

This was definitely a long year. It feels so foreign to look at events that transpired in January, and hold them in the same year as events that happened in November. I think this is why it’s such a good idea to reflect.

In the first few months of 2017, I worked with E Leal Productions to finally finish a project that began in 2011. Reborn, a film project that was the launch pad for so many of the people in my network, was finally complete. We held a screening for the cast and crew. It served as a reunion for so many of us who had moved on. It was also a culmination of many years of experience.

Shortly after the Reborn screening, I worked on some employee appreciation videos for Clare Oaks. Through this, we were able to use some of our new equipment. The people involved in this video project were so wonderful and accommodating. It was a great experience.

In the spring, I helped produce Exit Interview for Jason Rugg. It was a submission to the My Rode Reel competition for the year. The shoot day was long and difficult, but as a crew, we were able to finish everything that we had set out to do. The aches and pains were worth it.

Throughout the summer, I worked the Xcelerate summer camps for the 5th year in a row. This was definitely the most difficult year for me for a variety of reasons. The class load that I had this year was the largest it’s ever been, and it covered a variety of topics that really expanded my comfort zone. We’ll see what the upcoming year has in store for me on this front.

While handling all of those summer camps, I finally put together a trailer and poster for my short film, 3:03. I needed to put together these promotional materials in order to start submitting to other festivals. I’m still waiting on word from many of those submissions, but the experience has been a great one so far. The film was actually a semi finalist for Outstanding Female Filmmaker at the Stormy Weather Horror Fest in the summer season!

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In October, I produced another short film for Jason Rugg. This film, titled Pin 5:29, was a submission for a Film Riot competition. For this particular entry, the film was condensed to 60 seconds, but a longer, director’s cut is still on the horizon to show off more of the director’s ideas. It was a fun shoot, and I feel like it went really well. It was a great example of expanding experience.

As the final months of 2017 approached, I found myself heading back to the pre-production plan for my upcoming short film, Return to Sender. My pre-production work for this film began at the end of 2016, but was put on hold for a variety of reasons, mostly stemming from my work load at the summer camps and my personal life. I also got engaged, planned a wedding, and got married this year! It was a big year!

It’s nice to be getting back in gear for that project! I know I’ve said this before, but this time I’m hoping to stick to it.. Let’s hit the ground running in 2018!

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Pin 5:29 – Production

While 31 Days of Reviews was dominating my blog, I didn’t have much time to write about the newest production I’ve been a part of. Throughout October, I jumped back into the producer’s chair for a new short film by Jason Rugg called Pin 5:29!

I don’t have a ton of insight about pre-production because I was incredibly busy with other things. The other producer on the film helped with casting and some script doctoring. I managed to be able to help with securing the location and planning for the actual shoot day, making sure everything ran on schedule and all that.

On the day of the shoot, we had an early crew call. This allowed us to get the equipment set up and start practicing all the things we would have to do. It helped us to be a lot more prepared. When the actor showed up at his call time, we were able to brief him, get him in costume, and jump right in.

Everything was in the same location, just different rooms. This made it easier to transfer equipment from scene to scene. It was just a matter of moving things. We had craft services set up in a nearby room. I think the location served everything really well.

For the most part, we shot in chronological order. I had it organized as much as possible by what lens we would be using to get each shot. There were definitely some interesting shots included in the shot list for this one. You can get a peek at one of the interesting shots in the picture below.


There were a couple of hiccups along the way, something I attribute to having one less set of hands than what we were planning to have. In the end though, we finished everything pretty close to the scheduled time, and the director is very happy with it.

From what I’ve seen in editing thus far, it’s looking really good. The director is excited about it. I’m excited about it. I can’t wait to show it off. We’re aiming for a 60 second cut at first. There may be a secondary cut that is a tad longer, but for the time being, the 60 second cut is the main focus.

Stay tuned for Pin 5:29!

3:03 at Stormy Weather Horror Fest

It is a pleasure and an honor to announce that my short film 3:03 was selected as a semi finalist for Outstanding Female Filmmaker at Stormy Weather Horror Fest Summer 2017.

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It really is an honor to have been nominated as a semi finalist. There were a lot of great horror films in this competition, and to be considered on the same level as the other semi finalists is really just the best feeling. It’s hard to really put it into words. It’s just really nice.

Thank you to the people behind Stormy Weather Horror Fest for watching and appreciating my work. Thanks again to the cast and crew of my short film for sticking by me and helping me out so much. Thank you everyone who has taken the time to view my work and share in the experience.

If you have yet to see my short film, 3:03, you can view it below.

Return to Sender: Update and Delay

It has been a while since my last update about my upcoming short film Return to Sender. I believe the last thing I talked about was completing the storyboard, and that was back in the spring.

I had to put the project on hold for a couple of reasons.

For one, I started working the summer camps in June. This was the busiest year I’ve had for those, working two camps a day all the way through the end of July. It didn’t leave me much chance (or energy for that matter) to take the next necessary steps.

The second reason picked up right after the summer camps ended. Back in May, I got engaged to my partner of 5 years. We’re getting married in October of this year. Needless to say, I didn’t have the time or money available to move forward on the film. I had wedding planning to do, and that stuff is stressful!

The progress on Return to Sender has remained at that same standstill. My next step was to move on to casting, but I will be postponing that for now.

Through the winter, I will most likely make another pass through the script to see if I want to make any final changes. Any changes will then be reflected in storyboard revisions.

At the moment, I’m hoping to pick up where I left off with casting at the start of 2018. I’m hoping to get into principle photography at the beginning of spring, and I’m hoping for a late spring or early summer release.

Let’s see how much of what I’m hoping for actually comes to pass!

Exit Interview

Don’t let the title deceive you. I’m not leaving any jobs.

This post will be about the short film Exit Interview, directed by Jason Rugg, which I recently produced. Conceptualized as an entry for the 2017 Rode Reel competition, Exit Interview follows a man who doesn’t understand that his ideal girlfriend is just not that into him.

Going into the production of this film, my role was more of a line producer. This means that my main job was to keep the production on time, to make sure that everything happened and stayed on schedule.

Over the last few productions I’ve been a part of, I’ve used Shot Lister to help with this. I definitely have some complaints about the current state of the program, but it has the potential to be a very nice organizational tool. I would suggest checking it out. It might be of use to you.

We had a small crew, but there was a bit more help than we usually have. Rugg was directing. I was doing my producing role. Erik Leal of E Leal Productions was running audio and helping with lighting. Rugg also brought in someone to record behind the scenes video and assist when needed. We had three cast members, and two groups of extras throughout the day.

It was an all day shoot. As a crew member, I was there from 9:00am till almost 10:00pm. All of the scenes were shot at a central location, so break down and set up throughout the day wasn’t incredibly difficult. Overall, the day was very eventful and a good learning experience for everyone involved.

You can view the Behind the Scenes video below.

As for editing, that was a bit of a challenge. Everyone just has so much going on, its hard to set time aside. We managed to get an edit done for the Rode Reel deadline. It’s so nice to see how everything came together in the edit.

I’m a really big fan of how the locations look and the performance of the actress who plays Amy, Emma Baker. She was fantastic on set, and her performance comes off really well in the final film. I’m super pleased.

You can see the Rode Reel submission below!

At some point in the future, there may be a director’s cut that would give a little more freedom in the edit without the Rode competition restrictions. If that comes to pass, I will be sharing that as well.

Return to Sender: Writing

I’ve been pretty discreet about this, but I have begun working on my next short film.

The concept is an idea that I originally thought of for Project Greenlight back in 2014. I ended up not using the idea at that time, and I started conceptualizing my undergraduate thesis film instead.

Since then, that original concept has definitely changed. The idea for Project Greenlight was extremely short, less than three minutes. That was part of the reason why I didn’t go through with it at the time. I felt it was going to be too similar to my other work, and I wanted to take the time to try to make it a bit different.

The struggle has been letting go of that original idea a bit. I held on to that original concept for so long that now that I’m changing it, and making it better (hopefully), it’s been a bit of a process to change those initial visuals that were in my head. I just got stuck in a rut with that original idea that I held on to for years, and it kept rearing its head, even when I was trying to make changes.

Hence why I’ve been keeping it a secret for so long! In order to get to this final draft, I went through multiple versions and approximately 5 drafts for each version. That’s a lot of changes.

Now that I’ve reached a point where I’m happy, and the associates that have read the final draft are happy, I think I can finally move on to pre-visualization and casting.

Keep an eye out for future updates on this project.

2017, New Reel

One of the items that has been on my to-do list for nearly two years is making a new production reel.

The last one I made was in 2013, and over the years I have grown embarrassed of it. At the time, it was my first one. I had done a lot of work in the first year of my career, and I wanted to show all of that off. I put in every little thing I had done. It was sloppy. It didn’t hold up well. It’s been put on private at this point. We do not speak of it.

When it came to making a new production reel, I wanted to really focus it on what I do now. I wanted to focus it on what I want to do in the future as well. While I do camera work, for example, that’s not necessarily something I want to put in my overall reel. I would rather make a reel just for my camera work at that point.

What I wanted to do with my new reel was make it centered toward my work as a producer. I wanted to highlight the television shows I’ve produced and the short films I’ve self-produced. My skills lie more on the creative, storytelling side than the technical side, and over the years, I’ve come to accept that.

I still haven’t uncovered the perfect formula for a production reel, but for right now, this works.