Friday, August 15, 2014

School Video Yearbook Trilogy

In the Beginning:
Just before the Summer began in 2000, as my Freshman year was winding down.  I took a week long film making class with Carole Ronane at Metamora High School.  In the class we produced a short film that her husband, John, had written.  It was a positive experience and a great way to begin the summer, especially considering it was an extension to the school year.  Then when Sophomore year began I went back to her and inquired about something that she had included in the original write-up for the film class.  She had mentioned that students involved in the class could participate in the making of a school year highlight video.  This peaked my interests and when I went to talk to her about it she gave me a brief synopsis of a video highlight project that her and a friend had done back when they were in school.  The wheels started turning in my brain and I took the idea and ran with it.  No plans were actually in order for it at that time so it needed to be produced from the ground up.  With the help of several friends, family, and school personnel over the course of the next 3 school years we captured sports events, dances, daily life at the school, and more.  If an event was mildly interesting I would have brought my camera along.

Post-Production:
Once an event was shot I would then edit the footage partially at the school with the broadcasting class equipment and also at home on my own system.  It was a very long and drawn out process but being able to harness and improve my video production skills and breathe creativity into projects that were going to show at the end of each school year was very rewarding to me.  It kept me busy.  Even though I was already pretty busy with football, track, other films and highlight reels, and enjoying life in itself.

The Collection:
Since graduating high school in 2003, the plans for this combined trilogy collection has lingered off and on in the back of my mind.  It started as a multi-VHS set, then became a multi-DVD set, and now it has ultimately become a single disc Blu-ray collection. That being said, a single Blu-ray disc will hold a hell of a lot of content.  This release includes 5+ hours of material, which is definitely more than I ever would have included in the VHS or DVD sets.  It was produced in Metamora, both of my apartments in Chicago, and 4 different apartments in Los Angeles before it was finally completed (see workstation progression below).  It was a lot of material to pull together and was being worked on within many other projects, more than I can even attempt to count.








Menu Design:
The original plan for the Menus was for it to just be footage of empty hallways at the school.  Unfortunately I didn't shoot enough of this content before moving to Los Angeles and this idea was scrapped.  This led me to the second version, which used stills of notebook paper with the text selections added using the DVD/Bluray software.  I was about to call it complete near the start of 2013 but then I decided that I wanted to go a more creative route.  I wanted to have a little more fun with it and experiment.  So I literally found an old binder from high school and made it the housing for a notebook that I planned to make into a tangible version of the menus.  I then raided my office supplies for inspiration. Soon after that - I went to work creating the menus using a few different types of paper, note cards, paper clips, tabs, tape, staples, pens, pencils, oil pastels, crayons, some old printouts from the `era, and a redbird sticker from my senior year football helmet to top it off.  After several weeks of work on the pages I shot an introduction and captured all the menus in HD. To keep the organic style going, the menu selection highlights were also drawn by hand, scanned, adjusted, and brought into the DVD/Bluray Authoring software.  You can watch a short behind-the-scenes video of the making of the menus HERE.

The Content:
All 3 original School Video Yearbook Films have been cleaned up and remastered along with a slew of old and newly recovered Bonus Content.  This includes 2 Vintage Featurettes from Volumes 2 and 3, newly recovered deleted/alternate scenes from Volume 1, additional deleted/alternate scenes from Volume 3, un-used recovered Mr. Metamora Contest from 2002, Three 2002 Snowball Reels, Powderpuff Football 2003 Extended Documentary Version, Senior Awards Assembly Coverage, along with 6 Broadcasting Projects from 2001-2002, 11 Shorts, and 11 Vintage Trailers from the 'era.

All of this bonus content clocks in at a total of 197 minutes, so when added to the Trilogy it clocks in at 304 Minutes (5+ hours) of total School Video Yearbook content spanning from 2000-2003.  Once again, similar to many other "releases" I've done of old projects, it is not actually for sale due to copyright issues.  It was created mainly to get all of these projects from back then all in one place.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

THE HUNT: Finale

Check out the season finale of THE HUNT tonight at 10/11pm ET.

Monday, July 7, 2014

PURSUIT OF A VISION: PART II Lost Scene Recovered!

A year after we completed the Phoolish Philms produced short, Pursuit of a Vision we came up with several ideas for a sequel/prequel.  The general concept of it was to explain some of the questions that the original had brought up and to add even more questions to the mythology of the character.  So Brandon, Jordan, and I went out and shot a scene for it on a ridiculously hot summers day back in 2004.  Our initial plan was to shoot several scenes but the heat was too unbearable and not very inspiring.

After this we never returned to the project, most likely because so many other projects were happening at the same time along with college and my work at CDSC Video Productions.  It would have been the same year that The Only Way was in production, three weddings I was producing independently, Return to Glory: Metamora Football 2004, numerous weddings and other event projects at work, Work Day, and SURF.  It was a very busy time in my life and unfortunately this movie was never completed and the footage for it was indefinitely lost.

That is, until 10 years later when I just happened to be watching an old tape of interviews I shot for The Only Way Documentary.  Low and behold out of nowhere I see my brother Brandon's screaming face wearing purple plaid in front of my smoking old red pick-up truck.  I cannot explain how excited I was to finally find this footage after it had been missing for so long.  Unfortunately we only shot a single scene for the sequel but it is surely a worthy opening.  I, of course, couldn't leave it alone and had to cut it!  Check it out HERE!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ASHES



















Ashes, a short film from Beyond the Nametag Productions  was officially released online this morning.  I worked on this short several years ago as a Boom Operator alongside Jennifer Larson, who was audio mixing.  The short is directed by Shawn Montgomery with a slew of Columbia College Graduates filling out the crew. Watch the short HERE, and then check out the behind-the-scenes content for it HERE.

Monday, June 2, 2014

THE HUNT

The series Premiere of THE HUNT, a new series set on the island
of Kodiak, Alaska premieres this coming Sunday at 10/9C on The
History Channel.  For a sneak peak and more information about the
show please check out The History Channel's official site for it HERE!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

THE ONLY WAY: 10th Anniversary

http://youtu.be/FUJWvl_XkJ8
Today is the 10th Anniversary of the Premiere of Levi Obery and I's second film,  The Only Way.  In honor of this day I have decided to release a few segments from the still unreleased in-depth behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of the movie.  These segments cover the three nights of shooting the car accident sequence (July 15, 21, and 23).  Watch it HERE!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

CALENDARS, a Bryan Butt story

CALENDARS, a new short film by Bryan Butt is an Official Selection in the 2014 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival.  This short spoken word piece takes an insightful look inside the mind of its 25-year old filmmaker, Bryan Butt.  Watch a 30 second promotion for the piece HERE and then go see it at the festival!