Monday, December 29, 2014

Wedding Video

This is a video I produced for my wedding reception. I edited this, but a big thanks goes out the photographer, Brittany Cascio. You can click here to see her blog. Also, my good friends, Jackson Danluke and William Hunt helped to film my proposal.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Student Film

It was really fun to help my friend Jackson Daneluk on student project he is producing. The script is really intriguing and thought provoking. He actually used an old film camera. No battery powered digital cameras this time. It was fun to see how that worked. Slowly I've been learning more and more about cinematography from him: aperture, focus, filters, light color, and intensity, etc. It's all been fantastic. I enjoy helping my friends and I hope his project turns out well!

They Changed My Title!

Looking through my deal memos (work contracts for the Media Services Department The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I noticed that a couple of them listed me as "Post Production Editor." It's crazy! Most of my time spent working for the Media Services Department these days has been spent editing. I love it!

The following is a list of things I have worked on as an editor lately: A video about a mission president in Hawaii, a video about LDS Philanthropies, a video about Catholic Nuns, a video about Peter the Apostle, and a series of video about working the Church different departments. These videos have been for BYU-Hawaii, the Mormon Channel, Faith Counts, and the HR Department of the Church. I've also been able to work under a lot of amazing producers and I've edited on Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro CC. It's been a fun last month!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Being a Production Coordinator

I had the great opportunity to do some production coordinating and set dressing for a video commercial. The producer knew my work from a couple of other projects I had worked on and called me to work on the piece. It took a lot of time and I was able to do a lot of things. I helped with everything from location scouting, scheduling, creating the call sheets, to coordinating actors and crew members. Here are some pictures from the shoot.

My good friends Alex Thompson and Jackson Daneluk helped me. Jackson was having some fun and decided to put on our statue of liberty costume that we purchased as a prop. It was a fun shoot and a great group of people! Alex is in the picture above that and is holding the clapperboard. Both are hard workers and both are actually interested in screenplay writing. I have read scripts that both of them have worked on and I think both of them have a lot of potential. I would recommend both of them for other projects!

Here are a couple more pictures from the shoot.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Three Commercials For Weber's Career Services Center

Here are three videos I produced over the summer for Weber State's Career Services Center. There will be more videos to come soon. To be updated on what is to come, visit the Career Services Website by clicking here. Be sure to also like their Facebook page! To find out more about the making of these videos, click here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Call for Actors and Extras

Did you miss your chance to be an extra in the last commercial shoot I did? Well, don't miss your chance now. If you're interested, please fill out this form. Production is going to be on Friday September 19th and Saturday September 20th. Lucas James McGraw is the Producer! It's going to look great. Lucas has Produced YouTube videos (e.g. Mormon Messages) that have gotten hundreds of thousands of views.

Pictures From a Sinclair Commerical

Here are some pictures from a commercial I was a PA (production assistant) for. It was really fun to work on this shoot and I got to keep one of the actors shirts when I was done.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Kind of Manager/Producer I Want To Be

I've been thinking a lot lately about organization and planning, creativity and flexibility, deadlines and work hours. Most importantly I've been thinking about people: networking, managing, incentives, rewards, motives, etc. I do not aspire to be in a management position. I'm not writing this post because I want to be in charge of people. I do not. However, I recognize that in most every roll we get put in, we have to learn how to work with people and in most positions how to delegate and organize. There is hardly a position out there where these skills are not useful in someway or another.

The biggest thing I want to articulate here is my personal philosophy on managing people. In the different work environments I've worked in and with the different bosses I've had, I've seen many different philosophies on managing. I've seen people who will do just about anything to develop the highest quality product possible (and sometimes that has meant putting people second in priority to the product). I've seen people that are extremely customer/client oriented (to the point where they treat their employees as second best). It takes a good balance to manage all these things and sometimes we are so pressed for time that it's easy to neglect things that really matter. As I continue to produce video projects and/or get put in charge of people, I want to make sure to treat the people I work with more important than the product or service I'm delivering. It's for sure not a strategy or philosophy that everyone would agree with, but I believe that as you put the people that you work with (fellow teammates and clients alike) above anything else in the workplace, your product/service will naturally improve.

I am not perfect at it and I would like to work harder at treating people with respect, but if I ever run into a situation where someone is struggling to do their best work, I want to lovingly work with them to enhance their abilities, deepen their skills, or give them meaningful things to do. I never want to just let someone go simply because the work they performed was not to the standard I was anticipating. Many disagree. Many people feel that you should stop using someone or fire someone when they are not performing at optimal levels, but I feel like working with someone to help them reach that optimal level is better in the long run than treating many people unfairly. Firing people as soon as they mess up burns too many bridges along the way. I want to be honest with people, but in a loving way. I never want to let someone go unless it's unreasonable not to (for example, if someone was being dishonest, stealing from the company, or consistently not doing the work).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weber State's Career Services Commercials

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to work at the Career Services Center at Weber State. This summer I've been working hard to produce some commercials for them. These commercials will be released on their website, shown around campus, and played at football games, etc. The idea is to market the Career Services Center to the students.

This specific project took more coordinating on my part than any other project I've worked on. As the producer, I budgeted (including working with the director of Career Services to get my budget approved), assembled a crew, scheduled the productions, and made sure everything was organized. I am grateful for everyone at Career Services that helped. I'm also grateful for Matt Goff, a fellow student that was brought on as my director of photography (AKA cinematographer). 

He just finished a documentary project that he shot in Africa and did a fantastic job at helping me with lighting, framing, and running the cameras. I was the director on this project as well and so having Matt focus on those things freed me up to really help the actors. I would give Matt direction on framing and lighting when needed and I had a shot list for him to follow, but other than that I let him take control.

As director, I cast the actors. We had some professional actors and some amateurs, but all of them did a great job. As director, I also went location scouting and prop hunting. I tried to put as much thought into the emotion of the pieces as possible so that I could get a look and feel that would make people laugh and and inspire students to go to the Career Services center on campus.

We have a Halloween themed commercial that will be coming out in October. Lacy Simmons did a great job on make-up for our zombies! I would highly recommend her to anyone needing a make-up artist.

The editing has been fun too. I really like editing! Adding the sound affects and finding the right pacing is something I keep getting better at every time I edit.

Recently I showed the rough cuts of these commercials to the team at the Career Services Center. They really liked them and the director of the Career Services Center came to me afterward and told me about a few more projects that he had for me to work on. That helped me to know my work was appreciated and I'm excited to work on some of these future projects. (One of which I just filmed the interview for today).

Monday, July 14, 2014

Shoot In Logan

Recently I got to go to a shoot in Logan. I was able to act as the production coordinator for this shoot. I planned the schedule, coordinated with the Producer on what kind of b-roll we needed to get, and contacted everyone involved to make sure things would move smoothly. This is a project I've also been able to help do some assistant editing on.

The project is completely unscripted and is based on interview footage from two young men in Logan Utah. The backbone of the story has been cut together with interview footage. This introduces interesting challenges, but at the same time it is a fantastic opportunity to learn how to do something that is more like documentary editing.

I have a lot of respect for the Producer, Lucas McGraw, and the Director of Photography, Tom Garner. They have both worked on and produced some of my favorite Mormon Messages. Both of these men sometimes spend long hours and even days or weeks away from their families to produce these pieces. They both love their families and spend a lot of their time talking about their families. You can tell that they are dedicated husbands and fathers and yet they still dedicate themselves to their work.

Want to be an extra in a commercial or help make one?

As many of you know from my last post, I am making some commercials for Weber State's Career Services Center. If you would like to be an extra or would be willing to help out on the crew, please click here to fill out this form as soon as possible! Our shoot days on July 21st, 2nd, and 23rd.

This commercial has been fun to work on. One of the ladies that works at the Career Services Center recently said to me, "Thanks for teaching us the process. You have brought process to doing these commercials." Looking back at it I have been able to bring quite a bit to the table. At the very beginning I came up with a couple of ideas, we met and discussed the ideas which grew into a script. The script was changed and revised many times before we got the green light. Recently I've been working hard to coordinate location, actors, extras, schedule, budget, camera crew, etc. It's been an amazing opportunity for me too and I have learned a lot.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Zombie Auditions

Weber State's Career Services Center will be holding auditions for a commercial starting Tuesday July 15th at 1pm. The commercial is going to be run online and on campus near Halloween. We are looking for a actor (male or female) from the age of 17 to 25 years old to play a zombie. The actor will need to be available for the shoot on Wednesday July 23rd all day. The actor chosen will receive compensation for playing the part of the zombie. To sign up for the auditions e-mail the subject line "Zombie" before the 15th. E-mail Matthew with additional 
questions or concerns.

The Career Services Center at Weber has hired me to make a few commercials for them. I'm really excited for this! It take a lot more work being a producer then I anticipated. There's everything from budgeting to planning to coordinating to scheduling. It's been fun, but it's been a lot of work too! I'm excited to see the finished product.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What My Seminary Teacher Taught Me About Video Editing

Last year my good friend Jackson Daneluk and I were arguing about a short script I co-wrote. Jackson is going to film school at the U of U, I am not, that obviously seemed to give him the upper hand, but something still didn't feel right to me. "I really don't like movies that try to teach you something," Jackson explained, "I think movies should just tell a story and the audience can pull whatever they want from it."

"Yeah, but I don't just want to tell a story! I want to have a purpose behind it!" I adamantly insisted. During the filming of the Kay's Cross YouTube Series, this topic seemed to come up several times. I love film and want to make a career out of video making and story telling, but I don't want to tell a story just because it's fun. I want to teach and inspire!

For those of you who may not know, I currently work with the LDS Church. Right now I'm working with the team that does Mormon Messages for Youth. One of the main producers in youth media, Lucas McGraw, has been kind enough to give me a chance to edit. The last few weeks I have edited more than I have in the last year. However, every time I finish a rough cut something doesn't seem to fit right.

I showed my rough cuts to several different people and got lots of really good advice. "You're too straight forward," "This part of the video crescendos too much leading to a let down later on," "The topic is explained too many times," etc.

I think I pounded the purpose pretty hard, and some parts of the video were edited really well, but over all something was missing. I wasn't really telling a story.

This Tuesday I got to sit down with my favorite seminary teacher of all time! Brother Lether works for the Seminary and Institutes Department of the Church; he oversees the media made for that department, and represents that department for other media projects in the Church. He has a video editing background himself and I've talked to him several times about it. As we watched the latest cut of the video I was editing, he explained his thoughts. After awhile we decided to come up with a whole new layout for the video.

With a paper and pen in hand, he explained what he would do to prepare a lesson for his seminary students. As one of his seminary students eight years ago myself, I eagerly listened and asked questions. I loved Brother Lether's lessons. I think I can literally say his class changed my life.

So, we planned the video like he would plan a lesson. Without going into too much detail, he taught me that it's better for the students (or the audience) to discover the lesson is for themselves rather than spelling it out for them. BAM! Suddenly it hit me. Video editing is a lot like writing an essay or a short story. It's all about rhetoric. Just as a good essay needs an attention grabber, anecdotes, a way to build credibility, etc. a good video needs the same. And all writing is persuasive at its core, which means there is always a purpose behind what you're reading. However, good writing does not over state the purpose, but hints at and ties back to it in subtle ways.

Our Notes From the Meeting

Rhetoric at it's core really means understanding the writing situation, including your audience. "And when I'm teaching a lesson about the Atonement," Brother Lether explained, "My goal isn't for them to understand the Atonement . . . it's for them to gain the tools they need to learn the Atonement for themselves." What he said hit me pretty hard. "They won't always have a seminary teacher, or a parent, or a young men's/woman's leader there to guide them. I want them to have the tools they need to discover it for themselves."

Does this change the way you think about videos? I would love to read your comments.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Flyer For Singles Ward

I made this flyer for my Church. I did the boat and the guy flying on the tube in illustrator by looking at a couple of different photos online and copying the basic idea. I love graphic design, to see more of what I've done, click here.

If you live in the Fruit Heights/Kaysville area, are single, 18 or older, and would like to come to the activity in this flyer, please feel free to contact me: bananahavertz(at)gmail(dot)com.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Friend's New Halloween Project

The friends that helped me make last years Halloween YouTube series about Kays Cross are making another YouTube series for this Halloween. Right now it's being called "Murderer's Waltz."

It's going to be a very interesting music video put to my song. The very song used in the Kays Cross YouTube series. The music video being made this year by my friends is about a tragic event that takes place during a masquerade ball. The project is going to need a small budget; to learn about how you can help, visit the indiegogo site by clicking here. To like the project on Facebook and see updates that way, click here

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Job - Graphic Design

I love graphic design and have really begun to do a lot of social media cover art pieces as well as memes. I recently got a job at Weber State University's Career Services Center. They have commissioned me to do some advertising for them. I am going to be creating short video advertisements, posters, online graphics, etc. Here is a banner ad I just created for their website.

Click here to see the webpage it will be going on.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Campaign I Got To Work On

I was fortunate enough to be able to help out with this campaign. My job included helping to put together the report for the Church's legal department to review and approve. Some footage, like the space shuttle taking off, was not actually filmed by the Church and was licensed to the Church by another group.

This is a very powerful Easter message about Jesus Christ and I would highly recommend watching it no matter what your religious view. To learn more click here.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

For Facebook

I made this image in photoshop as cover-art for my Facebook page. I took the photos as well. There are two main photos. One of the bountiful temple and one of cloth. The cloth was originally white, so I had to change the color. There are also background photos of other red cloth for texture.

The man who came up with the title of liberty was Captain Moroni, a military leader in about 73 BC. You can read the original text by clicking here.