Thursday, June 09, 2011

"The Last Song" by Tim Halperin - Music Video


WATCH IN HD!

I had the incredible opportunity to operate the camera on the music video for Tim Halperin's "The Last Song". After a successful Kickstarter campaign and with the help of many talented people working for little to no pay, this truly amazing video was born and lives on forever on YouTube. I'm so glad that Tim shot a little behind the scenes footage, because this was the most complex, intricate and timing-sensitive shoot that I have ever been a part of. The shot where Tim is suddenly transported in a convertible, onto a movie set, took 19 takes and 30 feet of dolly-track.

Here's a little peak behind the scenes, shot by Tim on his phone:



As you can see, the video was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II, using Zeiss CP.2 primes (and a GoPro for the underwater shots). We also had a Fischer 10 dolly, lot's of track, a grip/electric truck and a full crew.

I feel blessed to work with the team of co-directors Jonathan Combs and Joe Childress, producer Rachel Clary, Elizabeth borders, 1st AC Sam Ryan, D.P. Jeffrey Waldron and the rest of the talented crew (which can be found here).

And let it be known that Tim Halperin, after 3 grueling days of shooting, at 2am, in the dark, in a field in the middle of nowhere, wouldn't leave until he had helped us pack the grip truck. What a humble, ludicrously talented man. And what a song!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DeliberateIndustries.com Website Up in 1 Week

The graphic design team "The Unlonely Kids" are getting very close to finishing the new website for my production company "Deliberate". It goes live on Monday 6 June 2011. It will be a new place to find all of the commercial work that we've done, as well as our short films, in their entirety. Sadly, the .blogspot address that I've been blogging at for the past 6 years will die at that point. Onwards and upwards.

-Anton

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Life Update (Career), 24 May 2011

Something has definitely changed within my personality, drastically, and it has affected the way I act and interact with other people. In the past, I've been praised for my happy, naive spirit. That part of me has either matured or died. I'm not sure which yet. Now, that's not to say that I'm not happy anymore. But there is a certain, sweet innocence that exists in some people, usually young children, that I used to have, which at the moment, has left me.

I should stop here and explain something. This is it:

I make it a point to share everything necessary. I have no secrets anymore. As a child, I was a liar and in order to absolutely destroy my adroit ability to be dishonest, I feel I must be completely forthright. This personal policy has no professional boundaries even if filmmakers (my ultimate career ambition) are held in high regard for being aloof and mysterious. My life choices will not be a mystery to anyone who wants to know what I do and what I believe.

I lived in Dallas from 2005 through 2007 and then L.A. from 2008 to 2009, those two cities taught me a lot of lessons; more so how not to behave, rather than the opposite (meeting so many posers, con-artists and pretentious wanna-be's has made me very non-trusting and suspicious within the "film" industry, when I used to trust people implicitly). Traveling around the world, through the richest and the poorest countries (roughly 46 so far), staying in 5 star hotels while on film jobs, hostels and campgrounds while backpacking, taught me a lot about what makes me happy. Now, as I approach my 28th birthday, I feel wiser, but more aware of my own shortcomings and inabilities than ever before. At the same time I am more aware of my absolutely undeserved, good-fortune and blessings. I am in the best possible health that I can be. I was born to an upper middle class family in one of the richest countries in the world. I am, from what I can tell, fairly intelligent, and college educated. I am statistically, at the very top of the world, as far as potential goes. There is some guilt that goes with this privilege. I have no excuse for not being one of the best at what I do and what I do is tell stories and display the virtues of products and services by creating visually pleasing video imagery, through camera-placement, lens choice, lighting and sound design, and by setting people and talent at ease and helping them to achieve the best on-camera performance and in creating believable characters. I want to do more of this work. And ideally, I would spend every work day crafting these stories with the camera lens, light and human performance. But the reality of my current situation is that I spend most of my days in the edit-bay.

Right now I am in the midst of editing a documentary about my cousin, a missionary-chiropractor who works in Bolivia, that I conceived of and shot. I am cutting down and putting the finishing touches on my short film "More Than It Is" and readying it for film festivals. I am working on commercials for my clients and I am writing the story for a short film that I will be shooting in Iceland in early August 2011. I am happy with all of this work, but I am not happy with where I am as a filmmaker. I am very aware that I have a lot to learn and I know that I am responsible for acquiring and mastering these skills. As I continue to edit these projects, I see first-hand, every morning, that I am not yet the filmmaker that I want to be, and this is not because I don't have the financing, the tools, or the luck, it is simply because I haven't learned how to be a great filmmaker yet, but I'm working on it and I will get there.

I'm also living in Fort Worth, TX again, for the first time in six years. I'm hesitant to call it a home, because I still work in Los Angeles, and I'm just as much a vagabond as ever, but I'm using this city as a jumping-off point for my work and I'm happy to be currently spending my days here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Scene From "More Than It Is"

Charlie invites Josh out for a night on the town in Christchurch, culminating with a drum and bass club and some awkward dancing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm Having A New Site Designed

This blog has existed for about 6 years. It's time for some changes. I'm not sure the platform yet, but I think I'm going to move my personal activities to antonseim.com and hopefully my personal blog will become antonseim.com/blog. Right now, I'm having a website designed for my film production company "Deliberate Industries," which shares the name of this blog. I know that Google will find this confusing, but I haven't yet figured out how to rectify the situation. This blog reads like a novel of my life over the last six years and I love what is within it. If you've been sticking with me since the beginning, thank you. I'm not going anywhere.

Friday, March 04, 2011

"American Girl" - Cover by Green River Ordinance

Here's the latest video I directed, shot and edited for Green River Ordinance's "Covers EP".

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Work

After scribing countless emails with links to my various video work, which is all over the internet, I've decided to put together this post, to collect a lot of my work in one place, with links to the corresponding YouTube and Vimeo videos.

Director:

Client: Oink Art LTD - "Alchemy"
- view video - rt: 5:36
I have also shot and edited over 100 product review videos for Oink Art LTD, which have gained over 7 million views on YouTube.

Client: Green River Ordinance - "The Weight"
- view video - rt: 4:20
I shot and directed 6 music videos for the band Green River Ordinance "covers" EP, also including "Baby" and "Stuck in the Middle"

Client: Florida Baby UK - "Traveling With Children"
- view video - (from 2:04 - 2:34)
This video was filmed for Malt Films London and was directed by Robert Hindle. I shot and directed 5 separate films, including the dream sequence of this video, all on location at Walt Disney World Orlando.

Client: Required Team Gear
- view video - rt: 4:55
Promotional video featuring the CEO of a sports clothing distributor. Shot on green-screen and motion-graphics heavy.

Client: Click Here - "Prance Like a Man"
(Holiday Themed Spoof Rap Video)
- view video - rt: 3:03
Shot on the Red One camera by Digital Shakedown, this video was shot for The Richards Group's "Click Here" agency.

Client: Metro PCS
- view video - rt: 3:25
The CEO of Metro PCS has a video chat with Ranjit and Chad, the stars of their popular "Tech & Talk" television commercials.

Client: Lonely Planet "Eating in Ho Chi Minh"
- view video - rt: 5:17
Traveled to Vietnam to film an eating tour around Ho Chi Minh city.

Client: Moana Turquoise, Tahiti
- view video - rt: 2:25
Traveled to the island of Huahine in French Polynesia and filmed this promotional video for a tour company.

Camera Work:

I've shot over 100 apartment properties, mostly across California.

Client: HEB "Behind The Scenes"
- view video - rt: 1:37
Behind the scenes footage of what goes into launching a new ad-campaign for HEB grocery stores.

Client: Team Tiger Awesome - "Vampires...Suck"
- view video - rt: 3:00
Early comedy spoof of the popularity of vampire movies, filmed for Team Tiger Awesome.

Camera Credits for Project MyWorld, Get Out! and Fed Up! Television shows.

Project MyWorld: Shooter Reel
- view video - rt: 1:22
Television show for Direct TV Channel 101 - traveled from Los Angeles and across 1o different European countries in search of love and adventure.

This is just a very small sampling of some of my work on the web. This post exist mostly for future reference.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Internet Whereabouts

I've kept up my visual diary over at http://www.antonseim.blogspot.com and I will continue posting a few pictures from every day of my life, usually taken with an iPhone 4. It's less about the art and more about keeping a log of what I did on what day, who I met and interacted with and where I was located.

I'm talking with a team of graphic designers about making a company website for Deliberate Industries, my video production company, as well as a personal website (antonseim.com) which will host my varied creative endeavors. More blogs to come soon, in the meantime, follow me on Twitter for the minute-by-minute: http://www.twitter.com/deliberateanton

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

2010 In Pictures (Part 2 of 2)

I've decided to completely copy Yvan Rodic and make antonseim.blogspot.com a visual diary of my daily life, documented in photos I've taken on an iPhone (sometimes DSLR photos as well).

Here is part two of my 2010 in pictures (start from the bottom).

Saturday, February 05, 2011

2010 In Pictures (Part 1 of 2)

I think I've decided to make my personal blog a photo-journal (yes, very much inspired by Yvan Rodic's "Visual Diary"). I take photos on my iPhone nearly every day and they are a great documentary of my life. Here are over 100 photos, representing the first half of 2010 for me, start from the bottom.

Friday, February 04, 2011

On Over-Insurance

Before I get started, I just want to say thank you for the comments and notes of encouragement. I had no idea you were still reading this blog and it's been extremely encouraging to hear that you've enjoyed my latest writing. I've decided to just keep going and I owe it to you.

In 2006, I was in Italy, shooting a television show called Project MyWorld. I really had very little experience as a camera operator at that point, but I'd shot a documentary in Brazil on my own and gotten noticed by the company producing the show, so they brought me on as a camera operator and paid me a very low rate, plus per diem - they could have paid me nothing, I was having the time of my life. We started shooting in L.A., flew to Spain, went to La Tomatina festival (giant tomato fight in the streets of Buñol), drove across the Southern coast of France, Nice, Cannes and Menton and were in Northern Italy. We'd just parked the van and were walking through the streets of a very dense old European town and just as I was stepping out from between buildings, a hand grabbed my shirt and yanked me backwards, just then, right where I was about to step, a giant tour bus roared down the cobble-stone, single lane street at forty miles per hour. Had I taken that step, I'd be dead. I have many stories like this.

I'm naturally a pretty fearful person. As a kid, I was slow to try new things. I loved extreme sports, but my friends quickly advanced past me because I was too cautious. I've always seemed to know the stakes if I get hurt. Many people learn this slowly as they age and take steps to protect themselves, as insurance for the unpredictability of life. They go to college and get jobs as investments, put away for their retirement, have kids young and get mortgages on houses in the suburbs. Those aren't bad things, but my argument, is that they aren't necessary things.

I heard an idea on the Radiolab podcast that as we age, we actually experience time exponentially more quickly. When we are 8 years old, Summer feels incredibly long, because those 3 months represent 3% of our entire lives up to that point, whereas summer at 30 years old only represents .8% of our experience on Earth. And as we age, that percentage continues to decrease, making time actually feel like it's advancing ever more quickly. My point is that life is short. My life easily could have ended in that town in Italy 5 years ago, but it didn't. And the last five years have been good. We don't know when we will die, but we know that we will die. Our over-insurance often makes us too timid and we don't take chances we probably should. I'm not necessarily talking about sky-diving and race-car driving, but I'm talking about the "what-if." What if I fail? What if people don't like me? What if people laugh at me? What if I don't know the answer? So what? We are all human and life is short.

As I get older, I intentionally take more chances. I read a Tweet recently that said "right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be again." That's only a half-truth. We are indeed subjects to death and God's plan for our lives, but we have freedom over our choices. We can choose to stay physically fit, mentally healthy and happy. I struggle with anxiety. One of my biggest fears is that I will lose a limb, or my sight. I've spent way too much time in my life worrying about being maimed. But you know what? I still have all of my fingers and toes and my eyes work great! What is the point of worrying about something that does not exist? It is truly wasted energy.

Over the past few years, I've traveled to 46 countries. That is a hard figure to wrap my mind around and yet, it's only a small portion of the 193 to 203 of the recognized countries and independent states in the world. I've had the chance to experience a lot, but I've barely had the chance to touch the surface of all there actually is to experience. It's easy to look at the lives of others and wonder "what-if." What if I had that house? What if I had that husband? What if I had that car? What if I could sing like that? What if I were born rich? We don't think nearly enough of what we do have. That is a key ingredient to happiness, looking at what you have and appreciating it.

Enjoy the little things. Tell your friends you love them. Life is a gift.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

One More Writing Exercise

I've been writing stream-of-consciousness posts late at night for what, 4 days now? Like I said in pervious posts, my writing ability has gotten out of shape and I'm trying to jump-start my brain to get into the groove of writing again. My plan this evening (1:35am as I type this), was to just write as much as I possibly could before becoming totally exhausted, but tonight I'm actually feeling quite sleepy, so this post will be relatively short.

In the past, I think I've shied away from writing my true feelings on the subject of God because when one outs oneself as a Christian, one gets put in two categories, either pious or annoying. When you're thrown in with the pious group, people give you way more credit than you deserve and then when you screw up, which is inevitable, suddenly, you've corrupted Jesus, you're a hypocrite and Christianity is a bogus religion, God doesn't exist and the floodgates of sin open, lust abounds and everyones joins together in worshipping golden idols. When you land in the annoying category, you're just another self-righteous Jesus-nerd who has no sense of humor and is constantly Jesus-juking and Debby-downering every conversation. I happen to think I'm pretty cool (has a less cool thing ever been said?). I consume popular culture like it's food and I'm so desensitized that I often say, "nothing shocks me anymore." Yes, I'm a Christian and I believe the words and stories in the Bible, but I also like "R" rated comedies, Louis C.K. and Sara Silverman. There, now that I've proved myself to not be up-tight, I'll continue my previous thought…so, when I started this blog, I used to have to fight to write in a more God-less way. I'd find myself typing out that God was leading me to do something and I'd erase it and write that I "felt" a certain way. Well, these days, I can't help but think that me showing my spirituality as a Christian-believer, can only help my image, especially if I'm going to live up to what I say. And I'm still not going to say much. God has never spoken to me in a clear voice, at least not yet. I feel the comforting presence of God in my life, but just like everyone else, I don't know what big life decisions to make a lot of the time.

I've been taking time to read the Bible lately. I've been reading the Bible pretty consistently since I first opened it in 2002, but just recently, I've been reserving the best time of the day, the time that I'm the most focused and most alert t0 read about a chapter and to highlight a few verses and write them on notecards - side-note, I'm about to go to bed and I'm wearing my retainers and as I type this out, and in my head, I'm talking with a lisp, because that's how my retainers make me talk. I can't stop. Back to the Bible. I think I've always read the Bible with such a healthy dose of skepticism, that I'm constantly searching for something wrong with it. I think I'm going to find a glaring mistake that will then make me read with more caution, eventually making me just put the thing down, discounting it as just another corrupted ancient manuscript. And yet the opposite seems to happen. I'm constantly falling more and more in love with God's word. As I study scripture it continues to unfold, the same book, Romans for example, that I've read probably more than ten times, continues to get deeper, more complex, more comforting and contains deeper wisdom. Even now, I don't know what it is. I know the Bible is special and I hear people say that it's "God's word." Even I said it a few sentences ago, but I'm still not completely sure how to read it. All I know is that I love it. I can't get enough of it.

I said that I was going to pick the guitar back up and I finally did tonight. The tips of my fingers on my left hand sting like crazy. While I'm knocking out this to-do list of better habits, I'm going to sign off from this post and actually go to sleep before two a.m. This has been fun. I'm looking forward to continuing to write every day. I'll soon be transitioning this kind of post to antonseim.blogspot.com. Thanks for reading!

My Last Night In Bolivia








Working In The Wee Hours

I've flipped my body schedule for the last few months, so that I'm staying up until 3 or 4 am and then waking up around 10 or 11am and starting my day again. I've been working out with a group of guys who call themselves, "The Future Body Builders of America," and because they all work, or have families and schedules are erratic, they've decided that the best time for them all to meet at the gym is around 9pm. A few months ago and for much of the last year and a half, I've been in a relationship, which I'm not in anymore. Back then, I had to get up early in the morning, do my work and then I would go and spend the evening with my girlfriend starting at 5 or 6pm. In order to do this, I had to be done with my work before 5pm, and thus, if I didn't get up early in the morning, either I wouldn't have enough time to get my work done, or I'd have to cut work short at the end of the day. Now that I'm single again, I can work straight through 6pm, until about 8pm, before I get ready to go to the gym. I'd prefer getting up and working out first thing in the morning, but I'm getting free training and free access to an amazing gym, so for the time being, I'm going to continue on this schedule. I'm more of a night-person as it is, which I hate to admit, but it's true. I really admire people who get up at 5 or 6am everyday, and I hope to one day have those habits myself, but with my caffeine intake during the day, coupled with the constant buzzing in my brain of goals and to-do lists, I find going to sleep by 10pm a near impossibility.

Early in life, my dad instilled in me a love of physical fitness. I started competing in races at age 5, actually winning the first quarter-mile race I ever ran. After that it was golf camp, baseball camp, track camp, swimming camp, soccer, basketball and then golf in high-school. I ran the Stockholm marathon in 2003 at age 19 and continued to workout throughout college. Now, as a freelance camera operator, I find it essential to my work to maintain a peak level of strength, endurance and flexibility. In the times when I've let myself get a little out of shape, I've found it hard on my body to even do my job, which requires carrying up to 50 pounds of camera gear around for sometimes 12 plus hours a day. My work also often takes me on whirlwind adventures around the world, where I just won't be able to use a gym for a month or two at a time. Knowing that I sometimes won't be able to workout because of work-travel, I like to take advantage of the down-time, to always be improving my level of fitness.

For nearly two years I've been a digital vagabond. I've been able to do incredible video projects all over the world, without really being settled anywhere. I told myself that during this time, I would be searching the world for a place to call home. I've considered Sydney, New Zealand, Paris, London, New York and Austin. For the time being, I'll continue to travel, as I have a full slate of projects that will take me halfway around the world again this Spring and Summer. And then, within this year, I will move to a semi-permanent residence, having a real address again. I'm looking forward to this move. I think I got caught up in thinking about where I should be and I wasn't really appreciating where I was, and that's a bad way to think. So while I have these opportunities, even if my bank account is low and I'm living on prayer, I'm going to make a conscious effort to enjoy the places that God takes me. I must look like I'm carrying the weight of the world, because lately, close friends keep asking me "what's wrong." Nothing is wrong, I've just been a selfish kind of coward, thinking I have it bad when everyone else can see my good fortune. I'm so thankful for the life that God has given me to live. There was a time, my Sophomore year of college when I sat alone in my room desperate to know if I would ever get to do any of the amazing things I dreamed about. If I could have seen a list of what I'd have a chance to see and accomplish between then and now I would have been astounded, I wouldn't have believed it. Knowing that now, I need to start living like it's true and stop wallowing in delusional self-pity. I really wonder if this is just a self-realization, or if all of us would feel this way if we stopped and thought hard about where we've come from? I've got great gratitude for God's provision over my life and I owe it to Him to look like it to everyone else.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why I'm Continuing To Write In Stream-Of-Consciousness

If you want to read this, you can, it's not exactly private information. I don't have much private information, maybe my social security number, my credit card numbers and my bank statements, but other than that, my life is an open book. I want it to be that way. I'm writing here lately less for you, than simply for me to get back in the swing of writing. As I've said before, many times, I consider myself a writer before anything else. Before a cinematographer, before a director, I am a writer. But in my absence from this blog (as well as screenplays, journaling, short-stories), I've gotten out of practice.

I made a decision a few weeks back, nearly coinciding with new years, 2011, although, by no means a New Years resolution, to start nurturing my love of movies, music and literature. Since then, I've spent about 2 hours each day watching movies and catching up on documentaries and about the same amount of time reading. I haven't yet picked up the guitar again, but that will be happening soon as well (the tips of my fingers ache thinking about it). I've gone through these phases while I've aged, I keep thinking, "I've passed my prime." It's been happening since I was 15. I thought that by not running cross-country my sophomore and junior year of high-school that my career as a runner was over. Then, I tried out for the team my senior year and ran the fastest 5k of my life. I have a hard time convincing myself that I'm young. I always think I want to be older, wiser, more mature, more established and then I get incredibly nostalgic for my youth. I've heard my grandfather say on many occasions, "Anton, I'm rich enough to have what only the young can enjoy." I desperately want to squeeze all of the enjoyment out of every moment of my life, from now until I die. When I sleep, I want to sleep long and deep. When I laugh, I want to laugh hard. When I run, I want to run fast. And on and on.

I was thinking the other day, what if, at a certain age in my youth, I set out to learn skills that would make me an incredible spy. What if I spent a year in Spain learning Spanish, a year in Russia learning Russian and a year in China, learning a dialect of Chinese? What if I learned Krav Maga, how to pilot a plane and fly a helicopter? What if I altered my looks and worked out until I was chiseled and great looking? I think that by 27, the age I am now, I could have mastered these things, even if I didn't start my quest until after college. I would be James Bond. I would be Indiana Jones. And then what? I would still be subject to age, disease and chance. I would still get old and die. This is the direction my thoughts always go. They crescendo and then they hit the reality of being human.

You and I are going to die.

Not only are we going to die, but we only have a certain window of youth and maturity, in which to really accomplish anything great. So what is there? There is family. If I were to get married sometime soon and have children rather quickly, around age fifty, I'd be sending my children out into the world so that hopefully, they would be able to make their own incomes and eventually take care of me as I become elderly. They might have children of their own and then as a grandfather, I could look out upon my legacy and have great pride for the generations that God had raised through me. And really, I don't think it gets any better. Human populations are growing and the earth's resources are getting used up. Our bodies evolved to live on earth, not any other planet, so this globe is all we have. To live a good life, it takes an incredible amount of foresight and responsibility. That, and often, common grace (the idea that God lets us keep living, even though we're selfish and don't necessarily deserve it). So as I'm still relatively young, I'm going to keep pondering these questions and continue in my quest to live a humble, good life.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Preview To A Bolivia Post

For two weeks in January of 2011, I was in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, shooting a documentary about a Christian chiropractor, who provides free care to orphans and poor people. I'm not quite ready to write a whole post about the experience, but here are some photos as a preview:

Continuation Of An Update - 29 January 2011

I'm on a roll, so I'm just going to keep going. Writing is funny that way, I guess it's the same with all kinds of different brain exercises, chess, crosswords - they all get out of shape without practice. And I'm definitely out of shape as a writer. I don't know if I've shared this in such plain text here before, but my greatest ambition in life is to be a great writer. Not an intermediate, sometimes, slightly qualified, once published writer, but a GREAT writer. I want to write novels. And I'm not without material. I have indeed written many short stories, some of which I've "published" here. I mean really, what could be better, than in the twilight of one's years, to be sitting at a big desk, typing away, lost in one's own thoughts, creating worlds. There is no time when I'm at peace the way I am when I am writing out a story. But at the same time, it's hard for me to actually sit down and bring a piece to completion. Owen Wilson described writing the screenplay for Rushmore to "sweating blood." He kind of stole that from Jesus, but it's a fitting analogy. Characterization is hard and takes a great deal of concentration. It's certainly much easier to sit down, as I'm doing now, and to write stream-of-consciousness, whatever comes to mind.

I like this blog because it is an easily accessible compendium of my adult life. I sometimes wish I had written it even more of a personal journal, although that is not what anyone wants to read in the moment (not that I have a lot of readers, pouring over this site for entertainment). It would just be nice to be able to hop on any computer anywhere and access a memory from a time gone by. And for that reason, I'm going to start posting more of the photos I take nearly every day on my phone. I have two years of nearly daily photos that really tell the story of where I've been. So those will start appearing soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Where We Are, Where We Came From

There was no struggle in naming my business. I started this blog six years ago and just kept writing here, at first, never stating my last name - and then one day, I just decided to put my full name in my bio, thus, allowing a Google search of my name to locate my blog. After I made a video for The Richards Group advertising agency as a solo director, they Googled my name, found this site and they linked to my blog as my company website, thus driving traffic to it from important people all over the advertising world.

So I went and registered the name Deliberate Industries as an L.L.C. and that is the name I worked under for all of 2010. Coincidentally, I've had my best year ever, as an employee of Deliberate Industries. The problem with my blog sharing the same name as my business, is what was once just a personal space to nearly anonymously share my thoughts, this simple website is now the landing page for my professional career as a filmmaker. For the last year I've been very hesitant to share anything very personal, the way I used to, even going so far as to create a secondary, private Twitter account for myself, which clients are strictly banned from viewing. I like to work with individuals whom I have a relationship with, old-fashioned, trusting and friendly. I work hard for my clients. When I say that I'm going to do a project, I do it and I do it by the deadline set forth. Last year I pulled as many all-nighters as I did in college, finishing, exporting and uploading videos so that they'd be viewable by my clients first thing when they arrived at the office in the morning. In return, I've built some really important and meaningful relationships and gotten opportunities to do really fun and inspiring video projects. A few times, the people who've hired me haven't lived up to the bargain themselves, sometimes paying way later than what we agreed upon (this was a rare occurrence in 2010) - it's something that just baffles me. For the first time, over the last year, I hired crew to help shoot the videos I was hired to make. I almost always pay up front, and if I ask the crew to invoice for the job, I make sure before taking on the project that there is enough cash in the company account to pay everyone, even in the event that the client defaults on payment. I refuse to grow bitter even when I've had a couple bad experiences working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. I'm going to continue to work with the same level of integrity that I expect from everyone else.

The really hard thing about running a business is that it's affected the way I carry myself online. I used to video blog, write stories and jot down my emotions in blog format. Now I feel like everything I post online needs to pertain to my career as a filmmaker, or make me look smart, or link to something that is educational and shows that I am relevant.

I'm sick of being so guarded.

The reason I started writing this post tonight, at two in the morning, is to say that last month I ended an 18 month relationship. I'm kind of sad about it. On one hand, we both have peace about breaking up and that is a rare thing and a good thing. On the other hand, we spent 18 months getting to know each other, hoping for a future together and now we can barely be friends. Being single affords me some luxuries that people in committed relationships don't have, for example, traveling the world on a whim, which I do regulary. There is nobody at home missing me. There are no children missing their father. I'd actually much rather be married by now, but I'm not married, not because I'm defective or because I missed some opportunity, I'm just not married yet. I choose to see the positive and I'm making the most out of where I am in life. Some could say that the constant world-travel doesn't exactly lend itself to the opportunity to meet someone to be committed to, but I don't believe it works that way. God made me a certain way, adventurous, disarming, even possibly charming, I'm using those qualities now, to get the most value out of where the circumstances of my life have brought me. And that place is directing videos, writing stories, making connections around the world and serving people in need. I don't have a lot of money saved or invested and I'm not even bringing in a lot of money in income at the moment, but I have a feeling that is going to change and I'm not anxious for it. I like where I am. I like the freedom of not having possessions and not having the responsibility of maintenance.

This update is necessary because I've been holding in details about who I am in the hopes that new clients would think I'm bigger than I am, but I've realized recently that my power is not in an office, not in the ownership of equipment, but in the training I've received and the way I'm executing my ability as a filmmaker, story-teller and director. I now have a solid reel of cinematography work, editing work, pieces that I have directed and even a finished narrative film. I always knew those things existed inside of me but my own belief in myself really doesn't matter to anyone else, not to someone who is going to hire me to complete a job, what matters to them most is the trust that is created in the relationship we have, my tangible history of completed production and the plan I've created and shared with them to complete their project. Where I am and what I have do not matter. What matters is that I'm honest, that I have integrity and that I continue to produce content with consistency. I can say whatever I want here, even if it comes from a place of vulnerability, because no matter what anyone thinks of me personally, my work speaks for itself.

This entire diatribe was written for me to say two things: I'm eager for the future and I'm happy now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recurrent Insomnia

At some point in my adolescence I started staying up way too late. I don't think by nature I'm nocturnal, but I've trained myself to be this way. I'd much rather go to bed between 9pm and 11pm and wake up between 5:30am and 7:30am, but my habits lean more towards 2am-10am (it's almost 2:30am as I write this). I do the same loop on the internet: Check my email, check my Twitter replies, check my Facebook Newsfeed - it's unhealthy. And I suddenly realized tonight that for a year or two, I filled this time by writing. I'm desperate to bring that back.

Tonight, while I was sitting in the darkness of the Angelika movie theater in Dallas, actually seeing a film with my brother and sister, a rare pleasure, I was struck by how much I love independent cinema and how little I've nurtured that love in the last two years. So two things that I'm going to start making more regular in my life are attending cinema and writing words and stories. It's much healthier to express my thoughts this way when I have a lot on my mind, rather than to sit and stew and do everything possible not to face my fears and frustrations. Also, I'd like to go to bed earlier. I've said that for a long time, and I can't do anything about it tonight, but it's something I really want and I have complete control over it, so goodnight. As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Stuck In The Middle" Cover by GRO

Here is the latest music video that I shot and edited for Green River Ordinance. It's the third in a series of 6 cover songs recorded by GRO that I shot in Dallas, while GRO recorded an EP of covers available for purchase on 03/01/11.

Living With Missionaries In Bolivia

Staying with long-term missionaries while I'm here in Bolivia for two weeks is really opening my mind to a life-style/life that I didn't really understand, or even know existed. Some of these people have been in the mission field 8, 10, 16 years. Their kids weren't born in the United States, but have American passports, most of them with duel citizenship. They grow up being told they are Americans but for the most part they don't fully even understand American culture or have any allegiance at all to the far away "United States." It's really changing my idea of home, of being American and of "Christians'" place in the world.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In Bolivia

I've been in Santa Cruz, Bolivia for 5 days, staying with missionaries, living in their nice little house, down a dusty, dirty lane, behind an iron gate with a padlock and spikes on top. Santa Cruz is the biggest city in Bolivia, in the lowlands, with about 2 million people living in a dense urban area. I have been shooting video every day here, but I haven't been taking many pictures. I'm shooting a documentary about my cousin, a Christian chiropractor and missionary here. That's the focus of my stay and we've both been working hard. In the coming days, once I get a little more footage in the can, we will enjoy some more cultural, possibly even touristy experiences. I just really needed to write and update, since so many generous people donated money to have this documentary made and to get me here. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I Launched The Documentary On Kickstarter



I did the majority of fundraising through Christian Chiropractors Association, but I want to extend the opportunity for the independent film community to be involved as well (or anyone who likes supporting independent projects). As I've written before, I'm headed to Bolivia for two weeks to shoot a documentary about my cousin, a chiropractor and Christian missionary, giving free chiropractic care to the poor in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The final film will simply be launched for free online and available to anyone who would like to see it.

Please go to my Kickstarter page: http://kck.st/fiFowW if you would like to contribute. Even five dollars helps!

P.S. I thought Santa Cruz, might be a small town - turns out it's the BIGGEST city in Bolivia, with nearly 2 million people (wiki).

Monday, January 03, 2011

Update: Bolivia, Pediatric Chiropractic Documentary - Bare "Bones" Schedule

My cousin sent me the following schedule for my first week in Bolivia:

Friday (January 7th) - El Ebenezer (15 boys with physical and mental disabilities)
Saturday (January 8th) - Megumi girls (16 girls "orphaned")
Sunday (January 9th) - Church :)
Monday (January 10th) - Mission of Hope hospital/ Mi Rancho (street girls)/ Los Patitos (day care)
Tuesday (January 11th) - Posa Verda (Tribal tour)
Wednesday (January 12th) - Cristo Viene girls (24 girls abused) Mission Prayer meeting
Thursday (January 13th) - Cristo Viene boys(31 boys abandoned/ Nacer 50 (street boys)
Friday (January 14th) - Mi Familia (daycare)/ el Alfarero (8 street girls)

It's intense, exciting and perfect! And that's only week one!