WRITING! DIRECTING! PRODUCING: HOW I’M NAVIGATING THE FILM WORLD

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“A tough road ahead.”


In November of 2015, I made my first short film. It is the beginning of my Independent Filmmaking career. I did not attend film school, so I am learning while doing. The first film was a seven minute short entitled, “First Day Fears. A film that you can watch on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvgKx6fDflA). The film took me an entire year to edit because of the process I had to undergo. Now, had I had an editor to assist me along, it would have been completed earlier. But this is the learning curve I must take on my journey. Now that I am on to my second short film, I get that feeling again.

That feeling, you know that feeling of will I raise the funding, won’t I raise the funding. The Indiegogo campaign is next month, and I cannot believe it has been a year since I started promoting the project. Hopefully this goes well planned so I can move on to my next which I plan on it being a feature. You see, this process is a long tedious process that can take years to Image result for indiegogoaccomplish. But a lot of people don’t realize it can take years. They just look on a screen and see film. You would think it took about year to a year and a half. But sometimes films have taken five to ten years, or sometimes more. Now how long will my first feature take to push.

Well, I am putting myself on a two year window to build it, and then raise the funding to shoot it. So in all, I would say about three years in all. You might ask yourself, what is my process for making my films. For right now, I of course start with an idea. I build a character analysis about the person/s who will be the principle actors. Then I go on to writing my outline, which is a tedious process. Well why, why are my outlines so tedious? The reason is that I see the entire film all the way through. Wait, wait, wait, really? That’s right, from beginning to end, all the way through. So how do I do it?

Imagine sitting in a theater seat, then the theater goes black. From there, the opening credits pop onto the screen, and into the first scene. The title emerges somewhere around this time, then we go into the movie. Imagine the whole movie, all the way until the closing credits as they scroll down the screen. And that is how I build my screenplay outline. So when I write the Image result for screenplayscript, I know the character, I know the story and I start from the beginning of the outline, and write the script all the way through. Knowing the story and the characters, I base the dialogue around that in each scene from my outline; and that’s the first draft.

Now, my first draft is the first draft, most likely, none of the first stuff will make the cut because I write more than I need. Once I do have myself a Image result for pre-production planworkable script, I set the script aside. Opening myself a nice spreadsheet, I start to build myself a pre-production plan. In that plan, I take into account
how long it took me to write my script. Then I go along add how much time it could approximately take to complete task that must be accomplished. Image result for storyboardFor example, from my workable script, I design myself a storyboard that is basic. This storyboard will show in imagery the story from start to finish. Here is where I would start building my social media awareness for my film. Because I start my budgetary concerns at this initial point.

Over the course of this past year, I took into account many different budget concerns: wardrobe, props, equipment, staff, insurance, location for shoot, craft services, editing, and composition (music). This budget I work, as well as adjusting the script if need be along the way. Now for me, I raised Image result for film budgetfunding on a crowdfunding platform. So about halfway into the pre-production planning, I started brainstorming incentives for people who give toward my film. Time progress on as I continue to refine the budget and eventually coming to an Indiegogo launch date. This will be the time frame for me to raise funding for my film. And in this time, you have no clue the amount of money raised.

But eventually the campaign ends, and you wait for the finances to clear so you can start funding your film. Make sure you give those that chose an incentive their goods. Then you want to start purchasing and hiring for the film. By the time the Indiegogo campaign was already complete I had my People at the Green Grass Field With the Distance Holding Filming Camera during Day Timeactors. Days pass, and then, the shoot date. All this time put in, and you’re finally here. You have no clue still how the day will go, but hopefully it works out. My day went fine, except for a few issues, sound, some continuity, oh and a key player didn’t show; yeah that’s nice. But nonetheless, I still made my first short film.

In the end, I learned some valuable lessons. One, start researching venue space early. Don’t rely on one actor to fill spots, you may have to react on the fly. And last, but not least, I say start building your project early. It isn’t guaranteed to work, but you have done preparation at least. So, hopefully this next one goes well, so I can move forward. So, I strap up, and here goes nothing: lights, camera, action.


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THE AARON HERNANDEZ EFFECTS: HOW LEAVING A LIFE BEHIND IS HARDER FOR SOME

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“Why some can’t adjust to change.”


Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez has been talked about in the news as well as the sports world since his conviction on murder charges. But this past week, Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell. Now questions linger as to what was going through his mind toward the end of his life. He had just the day prior was found not guilty two separate murders in other states. But the suicide came out of nowhere. But more than the suicide or even his murder charges, everyone want to know, how did he lose it all? What was it about the NFL that he couldn’t adjust to his knew life.

To the dominant society, it seems odd that a multimillionaire can’t just fly straight. But when you grow up a certain way, some people just cannot adjust. Meaning, just because you have a lot of money does not mean you’re going to change who you are internally. If anything, money just magnifies who you really are as a person. So whatever you were prior to the money, you’re more now. But still, the average Joe feels like Hernandez had life in his hands. Big NFL contract, married with a child, nice home; everything seemed right. So what was it about the street life he couldn’t shake loose.

Well, if you didn’t grow up in the street or knew someone that deep in the street, then you won’t understand how Aaron could become who he was in life. There is aspect of the street lifestyle that is within you already. Just as there are some people who can’t take part in the activities in the street. Not everyone is cut out for that life, but some are cut out. Hernandez was lured in after the death of his father. When a boy loses his dad, it’s much easier to pull him into the street because he is now looking for guidance. And if there is no one who can tell him in the street he’s headed down a wrong path, then the flower blooms how it wants to bloom.

So in the end, Aaron Hernandez is not the first pro athlete to fall victim to himself. A lot of guys have not been able to change their ways. Some men have even turned to abusing narcotics and alcohol because they can’t adjust to the new life they have. What’s sad is that more young men each and every year are suspended from professional sports leagues. And until they learn to leave old ways behind they will always have problems in life.


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GANGLAND: WHY WE CHOOSE

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“What is about them that make us join?”

No father, single mother, and the city is riddled with crime. With so few opportunities felt, young males and females look to each other as some means of guidance. This quickly turns into violence once the males start to clique up and form bigger groups known as gangs. Then as narcotics is introduced the situation gets worse. As a young male myself, it would have been easy to join a gang, yet I didn’t. Well, how come, it’s not like I didn’t grow up in the neighborhood. What were the reasons I decided not to join?

For starters, the city I grew up in did not force you into a position to join. For instance, in a city like Chicago or Los Angeles, you can be affiliated just by being from the neighborhood. Some boys figure I should just join because I’m getting shot at anyways living here. Others just take the risk and not join. But if you do choose to join a gang to keep from getting shot, it will only increase your chances. Because now you are on the radar of other gangs.

Another reason why I decided not to join is because I understood the psychology behind the gang life. And that is kill whoever disrespect our turf; but only if they look like you. I understood at a young age the gangs operate on this basis of disdain for each other. Why, well it comes from the mentality that I can’t touch this guy, but this guy is fair game. You say you don’t know better, but make a real conscious decision not to touch certain people. Someone who don’t know any better shoots anybody. But the dynamics around the gang is this self hatred. Hatred which stems from the idea that I hate myself, so killing someone that looks like me is fitting because it’s like removing me, without taking me out of the equation.

So you’re probably thinking to yourself, why do so many young people join? It seems to be counterproductive, and if you do gang up, why not care for each other. Why be apart of something built around so much violence? The main reason is the need to belong in a society you feel you don’t belong to anything. Another reasons why young people join a gang is to have family in their lives. You so many young people with no family, so dying for the group is better than being alone. And the other reason people join is to escape. They have nothing else going on in life, or going anywhere else, why not join.

In the end, there will always be gangs. Truth is, they have been around for a very long and will continue to be around. As long as you have a demographic of men and women who feel they don’t belong you’ll have gangs. As long as people feel they need protection they’ll join. And as long as their isn’t a stable family structure, then you’ll have gangs. But most of all, poverty is a main source. When you only think of life in the now and not tomorrow, you can’t see the future. So as usual, more and more join, even with the high numbers of deaths linked to gangs.