Posts Tagged ‘Breakout Challenge’

By: Nicki Legge

Isla-Isabel2As a filmmaker, the process of making a film can mean a number of different things to different people. Some people consider film a form of art, some think of it as a business, and some of us think of it as a way of life. Despite what it means to us, all true filmmakers have one thing in common, our passion. Making films is something we do because we want to and because we love it. It is obvious when watching the mini documentary, “Los Amigos in Baja California,” that Cat3 Productions is passionate about their work. This is why, for the first time in Jump Ship history, we are bringing you two filmmakers of the week, Brice LeCarre and Ivan Nevares, both owners of Cat3 Productions.

Brice and Ivan began their film journey with a deep love for still photography. Due to their “intense desire to create,” they decided to make the transition to moving pictures and formed Cat3 Productions in fall of 2012. They attribute the easy transition into the film world to the wonderful advances in technology over the past decade. They became absolutely addicted to the “challenge of blending a million parts, seemingly unrelated to one another, to appear to belong together seamlessly. Don’t forget the rich experience of like-minded people working tightly together to achieve a goal.” They came up with a simple, yet important slogan that perfectly describes their approach to filmmaking “Explore, Discover, Capture;” these words are the guidelines that they live by.

With their newfound love of film, Brice and Ivan decided to do a film challenge. They participated in the 2013 IFP Breakout Challenge and submitted their film, “The Recipe.” They say, “It was our first film and it showed, but we will never forget the experience.” Brice and Ivan work so closely during the process of making a film that it is hard to give a firm definition to who takes what roles, but they say that Ivan would be considered the Director of Photography and Brice would be the Director. When I asked what they loved the most about film, they said “From an intellectual perspective, it is the process itself, from the original idea throughout its developmental period, its evolution, to finally seeing the film come alive in the edit bay… It is exhilarating. From a technical perspective, it is the camera work, whether in the field on a documentary or in a controlled environment on a narrative project. The complexity of the camera and lens is a fascination for us.”

Despite how much they fell in love with the craft of filmmaking, Brice and Ivan did not call themselves filmmakers until they began working on their documentary about the Sea of Cortez. They say, “First, this documentary is by far our biggest endeavor and requires us to cast aside any doubt on our abilities to produce a great film… Then, we realized the hundreds of little moments, captured in the present with our cameras, are exhilarating. During those moments there is no doubt in our minds that we are filmmakers.” They didn’t initially intend for the project to be so large. The conversation was simple.

IVAN: Brice, you know I own a sailboat in the Sea of Cortez. Wanna shoot some video down there?
BRICE: Sure, let’s do it.

CoPro0078-0195Once they were at the Sea of Cortez, the idea of making a documentary began to blossom with every new thing they learned about this magical place. They say “We want to show the beauty of the Sea of Cortez but also how that beauty is revealed against some social issues that are at odds in the region. Most of these issues revolve around the local and commercial fishing industry, to be sure. There is also the tourism impact, the ecological push, the corruption and so on.” They plan to show all sides equally with an unbiased eye so viewers can come to their own conclusions. The more digging they do on each of these subjects, the more they learn about the sea. This discovery of things they had not previously thought of has become their absolute favorite part of filming this documentary, on top of getting to spend so much time in such a beautiful place.

Ensenada-ChicaLast year, Brice and Ivan estimated that they were about 80% done with the project, but as they uncover more secrets of the sea, they realized that they have a lot more to discover. They now believe that the project is about 30-40% complete. They say, “Our latest trip in April turned over several stones sending us bouncing in different directions. As an example, in august, we are taking our cameras for an interview at Biosphere 2 in Tucson. Someone is recreating a controlled ecological representation of the Sea of Cortez, inside a laboratory environment. This interview could shed some eye-opening light on the interactions we have already captured on film and take us in yet another direction.”

It’s difficult to imagine that there could be so much hard work involved in spending their days at such a serene place, but maintenance on the sailboat alone is taxing enough without the added tasks of shooting a documentary on top of that. They say “A sailboat needs care and maintenance and becomes the priority. Once the boat has been taken care of then filming becomes the priority. Sometimes we have set up interviews and those timelines have to be respected.” But despite all the hard work, they still manage to find a day or night here and there to relax and take in the sea. They say “Spending time in the Sea of Cortez definitely had an effect on our souls. It is extraordinary to spend the night at anchor in a deserted island under the Milky Way. No internet. No TV. No phones or other distraction of the ‘civilized’ world. It is rejuvenating in every aspect when your world is the sailboat and your backyard is three-quarters the size of Arizona.”

Cat3 is planning to have the Sea of Cortez documentary completed in the next one to two years depending on how far down the rabbit hole they go. They also have several other projects in their infancy that you can keep your eye out for. They say “Beyond that, we are always open to helping other filmmakers with our camera work. Every project we do is a challenge to be conquered and we learn something new and amazing about our cameras, our abilities and the world of filmmaking.” If you would like to get in touch with Cat3 Productions you ca reach Brice at 602-751-6291 and Ivan at 480-381-8236. You can also email them HERE and visit their website HERE.

Los Amigos In Baja California from Cat3 Productions on Vimeo.

By: Nicki Legge Conundrum Still - Bill WetherillI am a firm believer that every person on a film set ought to understand how a story should unfold or they have no business being there. Although you cannot have a good story without exceptional writing, since film is a visual medium and we cannot rely on to tell our story, actors take a big part in conveying our message to the audience. I have recently noticed several of our talented Arizona actors have not only been branching out to roles that are more involved behind the camera, but also succeeding more than I saw coming. I think that it is the understanding of what it takes to tell a story without words that gives these creative connoisseurs their ability to transition so flawlessly. Bill Wetherill is a key example of the successful actor gone brilliantly rogue, which is why we chose him as Jump Ship Productions Filmmaker of the Week. At the young age of seven, Bill was told that he would have to go to summer school because he was behind in reading. While most children would consider this an unfair burden, Bill made the best of the situation. He says somehow those wonderful teachers taught me how words made stories and ignited my imagination. I would devour books after that.” Bill’s family didn’t have a television until he was about 12, so he spent most of his time reading book after book, often one a day. It wasn’t until he turned 14 that his love of stories turned to film. A new video rental place opened down the street from his house, so he and his friends would rent every film they could carry and spend the whole weekend watching them. Although Bill grew to love movies, he never quite built up the courage to pursue filmmaking as a passion until about three years ago when a friend convinced him to join Rebel Filmmakers Meetup (now known as Filmstock Social). Once Bill got his feet wet at the social, he spotted an audition notice and decided that it was time just go for it. He was cast in the first role he ever auditioned for. Through this project, he began to get to know the AZ film community. Then as he sat in the audience during the Phoenix Film Festival just a few months later, he became inspired by the short films. He decided that he wanted no regrets in life, and a filmmaker was born. Bill went on to graduate from Kevin Phipps’s Meisner course. He says “I felt that it was important for me to work on learning some solid acting skills and not solely depend on ‘natural ability’ because I didn’t want to be the weak link in someone’s passion project.” Originally, Bill thought his talents would best be served as a writer or director, but acting became his portal into the film world. Although acting will always be his first love, Bill decided to create Resonant Films “to build on the idea of making films that resonate with people.” As of now, Resonant is a “concept company” and is solely comprised of Bill, however he says, “I look to connect with like minded people to produce quality films that connect with the audience.” He launched the company last year when he shot his film A Day on Bleaker Street for the IFP Breakout Challenge in 2013. This was Bill’s first time writing and directing a film. It received 3rd place and Best actor, and went on to be accepted into the Jerome Film Festival, the Phoenix Film Festival, and the Logan Film Festival. Bill decided to take part in the Breakout Challenge again this year with his second film as Resonant Films. He likes this challenge in particular because, unlike 48 hour challenges, it allows filmmakers the time to really make a quality film with a well thought out story behind it. The idea for “Conundrum” struck Bill about a year ago, and has been lingering there ever since. Bill and his collaborator, Kristin LaVanway decided that they wanted to pursue this story if the challenge requirements allowed. The film came about as a social commentary, highlighting the struggles of a man who is trying to live a normal life after getting in trouble with the law. Bill Wrote, Produced, and Starred in “Conundrum”. He says that writing the film helped him tremendously as an actor because “I already had a vision of the character so I had already done much of my character prep in the writing process.” Bill appreciates the importance of quality cinematography and audio. (which can be a rarity in these challenges). Although his team did run into some technical issues, he says that having thorough pre-production and an amazing team made the wrinkles easy to iron out. The only difficulty they encountered was running a little long one night of the shoot. Bill says “we just kept going ‘til we got what we needed and not too soon as the roosters literally crowed and the sun began to rise.”Conundrum” went on to win 2nd Place, Best Actor (Bill Wetherill), Best Cinematography (Jason Ryan) and Best Sound Design (Christian Ruckdaschel & Jonathan Grove). Bill is currently in preproduction on a feature film called “Brazilian Wood that he is co-producing with Kristin LaVanway and will also be acting in. He is also taking part in a few short films throughout the valley. Bill is most definitely interested in collaborating with everyone and anyone. He says “I am an actor after all!” If you are interested in getting in touch with Bill, you can reach him through facebook, or email him HERE.

Conundrum – Trailer from Kristin LaVanway on Vimeo.

By: Nicki Legge

Desiree Srinivas

“I’m surrounded by people who are capable of changing the world someday.”

It is not particularly often that you find an actress with looks, talent, enthusiasm, and professionalism all wrapped in one, but Desiree Srinivas achieves all of these things flawlessly. Jump Ship Productions has had the pleasure of working with her during the IFP Breakout Challenge in 2012, and she was an absolute delight throughout the project. It seems lately that I cannot go to a major function without running into her, and she always happens to be working on some interesting project, literally right there on the spot. Since Desiree is currently doing so much within the industry, we thought it would be the perfect time to write about her as our Filmmaker of the Week!

Desiree comes from a family that appreciates the comforts of a good salary, so it was not easy for her to take the plunge into the film community; however, now that she has, she cannot imagine ever living without it. She is currently starting her second year at Arizona State University as a Marketing student. She did try exploring her options in theater for a semester but decided that it would be better to “get (her) coaching for acting and film outside of school and focus on a degree that will benefit (her) in more ways than one.” Desire has been involved in the AZ film community for a little over a year, but she says “it feels like so much longer with all of the change and growth I’ve experienced over the last year.” Her ultimate passion is acting, thinking of each character as a different variation of herself; however, her hunger for film is insatiable so she takes every opportunity, in front of or behind the camera, to be on set.

When divulging what she loves about film, Desiree’s passion absolutely shines through. She says “I think the greatest thing in film is the insane amounts of passion… Getting the opportunity to immerse myself within this small film family has made me realize that I’m surrounded by people who are capable of changing the world someday… Film lets me tell a story. It lets me convey, and hopefully evoke, emotion in someone… though I haven’t been in this industry for long, I can honestly say having the accessibility to do that has already changed me as a person.” Thus far, Desiree has been involved in (roughly) 15 or so projects, including student short films, feature films, television, and a variety of other film-related shoots. She was the main actress in Jump Ship’s own Face of Innocence. She was recently involved in a film in the 2013 Almost Famous Film Festival’s 48-Hour Film Challenge.

Helsing

Most recently, Desiree has begun working on a new film called Helsing with ARTofWAR Pictures.  Her good friend Ryan Johnston has had the project brewing in his brain for some time. With her help fleshing out the story, as well as the talents of Will Hirsch writing the script, they were able to bring the idea to life on paper and have taken considerable steps toward bringing it to life on screen. Helsing is a spinoff of the notorious story of Van Helsing, with an original script and a unique western and steam punk-infused style.” Aside from helping with the story, Desiree will also be playing the Vampire Queen Moria, “the first victim that Dracula ever turned into an immortal vampire, who serves as the antagonist against Van Helsing in his never-ending hunt for Dracula.”

Desiree uses an array of techniques to get into character, switching it up as she needs to for different types of roles.  She says “for Helsing in particular, I am going to be doing something a little different. Over the next month, I plan to meet with Ryan for multiple rehearsals to work on the character development for Moria. I also plan to work closely with Wardrobe (Autumn Lewis) to get comfortable in the gaudy, eccentric wardrobe pieces… in order to evolve into this character.” Desiree considers this her most difficult role to date, but she plans to make it her strongest performances. ARTofWAR is in the processes of putting a Kickstarter campaign together in order to raise funds for the production. The team has already done some impressive work on the film, securing locations as well as a full cast and crew, and even completing their first day of filming. You can check the film out on Facebook, and keep an eye out for their Kickstarter; it starts next week!

Aside from being a talented actress, Desiree has also started doing a little modeling. With a few gigs under her belt already, she recently filled in for a missing model at a booth during the Phoenix Film Festival Industry Night for Brian Pulido’s new comic book character, Maria Muerta.” Her friend, Sage Greenawalt, asked if she could fill in for the missing model; his father, Mark Greenawalt, “is a notorious, insanely talented body painter,” and he was doing the makeup for the model that night. They loved Desiree so much that they brought her back on for Phoenix Comicon. Desiree is interested in dabbling in modeling a bit more alongside acting. If you are interested in working with her, you can find her on Facebook or email her Here.

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Written By: Nicki Legge

Photo Oct 31, 11 43 52 AMLast weekend, Jump Ship Productions participated in the Almost Famous Film Festival’s (A3F) 48 hour challenge. We have participated in four challenges so far, and our crew has grown bigger and better for each one. During the Breakout Challenge, we turned to Sean Rasbury to do some Photoshop work on one of our props.  We were so happy with his work that we decided to bring him back for the A3F 48 hour challenge as an editor. Sean worked tirelessly during the shoot, dumping, organizing, and syncing all of the footage from our dual cameras, and when the shoot was over and the majority of the crew went home for some much needed shuteye, Sean downed a pot of coffee so he could work on the edit. Sean grew up in Metro Detroit; he “wanted to move to an area that had more film and video opportunities, but (he) didn’t want to move to California,” so he moved to the beautiful valley of the sun.

Sean has “been working on graphic design and video production since 2004, and audio production since 1998.” He was drawn to the wonderful world of film because it provides a diverse range of areas and ways that he can exercise his skills.  Sean loves that “there’s endless subject matter and new worlds to be created when you’re working in film.” He is most fond of editing, because “going through all the footage and assembling it is like a giant fun puzzle,” but his skills don’t end there. Sean also loves compositing and doing visual effects. Sean thinks he might also like to try writing and editing scripts, although being on screen is out of the question because as he says, “I have a face for radio and a voice for silent film.” Sean attended Schoolcraft College in Michigan for his degree in graphics, where he “won first and second place with two projects for the Motion Graphics category in a student and teacher judged competition.” Sean is a big believer in the programs at community college as an alternative to bigger film schools, and he can’t say enough good things about his experiences at Schoolcraft College.

When Jump Ship Productions invited Sean to work with us on the A3F 48 hour challenge, he jumped on board. He participated in this exact challenge several years ago with JP Frydrych and Craig MacDonald on their submission, Open Mic Night with Ber Co. Productions.  What sold Sean on the challenge was the ability to work with people he enjoyed working with on previous projects, while also getting the opportunity to work with some new people as well. He says his favorite thing about these challenges is “the camaraderie on the set.” Obviously the worst thing about these challenges is the lack of sleep (Especially for the editor who stays up all night while the rest of us sleep… Seriously… Thank you, Sean), but Sean never let that slow him down. As far as prepping for the challenge, he made sure to pack up all of his gear ahead of time so he could begin work on set while the scenes were being shot, and to get a few extra hours of sleep the night before. Sean says he might participate in another challenge because this last one was so fun.

As of right now, Sean does not have any definite projects lined up; however he is working on creating a variety of stock footage. He is always willing to work with other people and groups, and he has a wide variety of skills to offer. Sean believes that you learn something new and valuable on every set, and he loves to learn from new people and experiences; it is an added perk when he has more pieces to add to his portfolio. If anyone is interested in working with Sean, he can be reached HERE.

The premier of “The Face of Innocence” will be held at The Phoenix Art Museum, February 7th 2013. Purchase your tickets here!

Until then Jump Ship Productions will be releasing pictures taken by our wonderful set photographer Jacquelyn Nelson. She has picked 19 of her favorite pics from the set and color corrected them for your enjoyment. You will only be able to see these photo’s on our website and on her Facebook page Decorated Photos! Don’t forget to like her page, if you want to comment or like any of the photos below simply click the pic! To contact Jacquelyn Nelson message her through her facebook page or click here.

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Get your tickets for the IFP Breakout Challenge Screening HERE!

The Face of Innocence Postcard 4X6 FrontThis project is especially significant to me because it is my first drama. When we all got together to brainstorm concepts for the Breakout Challenge, I was particularly drawn to this one. I have never had the privilege of working with a story so full of complex emotion, and with such a heavy subject matter, I knew it would truly be a challenge to make it into something beautiful. The Face of Innocence has been Jump Ship’s most ambitious project to date; we had the most locations and biggest crew of any other project that we have done together. I cannot express how lucky I am to have such a talented collection of people in my crew. We managed to make it rain on the coldest night in December, push through a 16 hour day with a broken Dolly and overheating hard drive, and my exceptional AD took the reins and directed the opening scene while I was stuck on the other side of town with a broken-down truck. This project is the perfect example of how you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Together we made a film that we can truly be proud of.

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