If you read this blog frequently, you might have noticed an immense lack of activity in 2012. The reason for that is as simple as: I spent too much time on set, and had too little brain juice left to dedicate my head to writing the blog. At some points, I even got pretty confused, like making the wrong turns on the street, getting into minor parking accidents, forgetting to eat for entire days etc. – sometimes two projects were back to back and I double-dutied as DP and equipment driver, so once the one shoot commenced and I returned the equipment the next day, I had to pick up a load of equipment the same day, just to go to set for the next three days.
So, without further delay, here is my work of 2012 condensed in my Cinematography reel – 1 year in 2 minutes:
List of Projects (in order of appearance):
- “Rocco Bukatzoo” – Feature Film, Action/Comedy – Dir. Mikel Caprice
- “What Have I Done” – Short Film, Western – Dir. Bob Buhrl
- “Game Over” – Short Film, Musical-Drama – Dir. Leonie Viola Thoene
- “Noumena” – Short Film, Sci-Fi – Dir. Ricky Martinez
- “Hochschulreife” – Feature Film, Comedy – Dir. Alexander Peter Lercher
- “Burn Scars” – Short Film, Horror – Dir. Jason Wilkinson
- “Going Away” – Music Video, Silver Firs – Dir. Marc Bertel
- “You and Me” – Music Video, Kiril Andreev – Dir. Ilgar Burdani
- “iHave Russia” – Commercial, iHave Russia – Dir. Michael Avenson
- “Itinerum Mentis” – Feature Film Prologue, Thriller/Romance – Dir. Simone Ronx
- “Parents” – Short Film, Drama – Dir. Thales Correa
If you want to see more, here is the 4-minute version of my reel:
Working is a Process, and Editing your Footage a Lesson
If you want to know more about the story behind this reel, here it is:
We worked a lot at Prodigium Pictures, got a lot of projects in early 2012 after we founded the company in November 2011 and had a relatively slow start, and I did a ton of freelance cinematography work – projects that were anything from free to well paid. In the past four months or so, I’ve been driving through the city and hunting down directors I worked with in order to collect footage; anywhere from the Valley to Koreatown, I’ve been dragging my harddrives around town to pick the best takes, save them on my drive, and further select footage at home.
After about 90 hours of editing – with an unimaginable number of revisions and re-selection and weeding out ( If there was an equivalent to my editing with film rolls, the floor would have been covered knee-high with shots I liked but decided later on to throw out) – I came up with a 4-minute 2012 cinematography reel, which you can watch here.
I showed it to a bunch of friends and fellow cinematographers (most noteworthy, Matthias Koenigswieser, a great DP from Vienna that has extraordinary taste, and took the time to give me a 1-hour constructive criticism on the phone, which I scribbled down like a madman and followed in nearly every aspect) as well as directors I was friends with, got their feedback and started to cut something around 1:30min to 2:00min. In today’s age, it is very important not to waste people’s time and overkill their attention span; brevity is key, two minutes was the limit many mentioned to me.
It was seriously tough to get to that brevity – I really liked the shots in the 4-minute version, and now I had to get rid of 50% of it, when it was already hard to get the reel down to 4 minutes..! But by cutting out 50% of my so-beloved work, I learned to judge my own work better, refresh my sense of quality control, get a better grasp of my strengths and weaknesses and learn for the execution of future projects. I would recommend anyone to cut their own reel – it’s a self-meeting therapy session.. like Biofeedback!
What is obviously invisible in this reel is how I got on board of these projects. It’s the career work that every artist has to do and should love – often it was sharing my 2011 reel with someone via email or facebook, or getting recommended from a former collaborator, or just a result of building my reputation throughout social media (sharing is caring). Most noteworthy and surprising, the project that came third in the Reel (Game Over), I got through this very blog: A girl from Germany found my blog (she also studied abroad in the US), contacted me and added me on facebook. After half a few months, someone else shared the early version of my 4-minute reel, she saw it on Facebook, loved it and asked me to shoot her film. That was the first time this blog actually lead to a project 😀
Some Behind the Scenes of this Reel
I often see other people’s work and wish to know how they did it, or see something that happened behind the camera. So – here we go, some behind the scenes of the projects you can see in the reel:
This Behind the Scenes video of the “Going Away” music video is probably the best way to “feel the filmset”. Below are photos: