This week was a wonderful week for me. On Tuesday night I drove down to Portland to spend all of Wednesday on a film set!
Why, you might ask? Well, I’ve been interested in film for a long time, and I’ve been (slowly) trying to get my own film studio off the ground. And one of the things that I realized recently was, although I’ve done quite a few little no-budget film shoots and helped out with some friends’ productions, it was time for me to actually see how the pro’s do it.
You see, I’ve read a lot of books on the subject, and I’ve done quite a few little bits and pieces myself, but I’ve never had any proof that I was doing things the right way. Or the easiest. Or that I knew enough of the mechanics to actually, say, show up on a real film set and not be a hindrance rather than an asset.
My fantastic friend Mike Christian is a creative director over in Xbox land (he works on the ESPN app), and we’ve known each other since we both were a part of the wonderful fun that was X-Ray Kid Studios. And Mike knows my film/creative bent pretty well. So when he was heading down to Portland to film an internal marketing advert for a project he’s working on, he invited me to come along.
(Yes, that’s right… an internal marketing advert. This is just like a real, to-be-televised advert, except it’s used to pump up execs on the vision for a project. And yes, it costs about as much as a real advert. Large corporations are weird. You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, an internal marketing video can be worth way more than that… especially if you want to get people on board with your vision. Just pitching it verbally apparently doesn’t get the concept across…)
And a little shout out to the contract firm who was doing the gig – cmd agency – a creative firm with offices in Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. Weirdly, they’re owned by a glass company. It’s a long story.
Tuesday night I arrived, and met with Randy Woloshin (cmd’s account supervisor) and John O’Connell (cmd’s director for this shoot). After a quick exchange of pleasantries, it was time for bed. After all, it was 10pm, and it would be a long day the next day.
At 7am on Wednesday, I got up with Mike and we were picked up outside the hotel to head off to the shoot – in this case, two 1960s houses side-by-side in Portland’s suburbs. And that’s when the fun and learning commenced…