Posts Tagged ‘VIMEO’

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: JP Frydrych

249042_10200227483724665_1713961734_nWe started to run these articles with intent to highlight filmmakers on a weekly basis, but it turns out that with only two people running the articles, Nicki Legge and myself. It can become a difficult juggling act between productions, work, personal endeavors, etc. I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that we take every aspect of Jump Ship very seriously, including the articles. We want to give each person that we write about the justice they deserve because we pick people that we feel take this stuff as seriously as we do.

I met Charles Peterson last year at Phoenix Comicon; he had a few films playing and I had the pleasure of seeing two of them. From the few words we exchanged at Comicon, I can tell you that Charles is very passionate about his work, and although his work is extremely edgy, he’s probably one of the most grounded people I’ve met. Comicon has a block of films that screen really late at night. I am referring to the 18+ category. I found it interesting that I met Charles at the Con in the middle of the afternoon, considering there are tens of thousands of people that attend Comicon and the 18 + section usually screens at around midnight. The other reason I find this intriguing is because in 2012 one of my films was part of the 18+ films at the Phoenix Comicon. When Charles told me his film was playing in that category, I felt compelled to make my way back to the screening hall later that night. Let me tell you, Charles’s film blew my submission out of the water! The film I saw was Sex and Violence, and it rocked my world. Without giving too much away, the title hits the nail on the head. We didn’t pick Charles as Jump Ship Productions Filmmaker of the Week because we met him a year ago though. We picked him because he is working on a new short film that sounds really good.

Typically we write an article style piece about the Filmmaker of the Week, but Charles’s attention to detail and his wonderful grammar has inspired us to share his comments as raw as the essence of all of Charles’s films (Interview Style).

Nicki: How long have you been involved in filmmaking?

Wow, since I was a kid and made home videos. I took it seriously back in 2000 with a short film I made in black and white called “CD-ROM”. The film was heavily inspired by David Cronenberg’seXistenZ. There was a contest online that I wanted to do and the idea was to film, shoot, and edit a short entirely by yourself. When I looked at the deadline it had already passed. The idea of shooting a short like that inspired me to still do it as a personal challenge. This is one of my favorite “old school” films and one that I’m still proud of considering the time it was made. In 2004 I wrote and directed an unfinished film called “The Slick White Rabbit” starring Patti Tindall, Shannon Power, and Mark Ray. The story was about Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick finding her inspiration through drugs to write the song “White Rabbit”. In 2009, I had the pleasure of working with seasoned actor Corbin Bernsen for the movie “Closets” produced by Old World Producers Group. While the film was a complete disaster from the beginning, it was an honor to work with such a professional actor. I would not trade the experience for anything.


Nicki: What sparked your interest in film?

HBO and Showtime. When I was a kid my mom had cable and subscribed to HBO and Showtime and I would watch a lot of movies on there. A lot of the films may have been too mature for my age range. “Ghostbusters” is so much better watching it as an adult. I must say the year that really pushed my interest in film was the summer of 1996. In my opinion, the best summer movies came out that year – “Twister”, “Mission: Impossible”, “Independence Day”, etc. It was around that time that I really decided to make movies professionally, or try to. DVDs had started to surface and I loved that technology so much that I would buy every movie that came out. I purchased this one flick that was rated NC-17 because up until that time I had never seen a film so rated.  That movie was “CRASH” (the David Cronenberg version). I watched the movie and hated it. I didn’t get it and it really disturbed me. It was a movie that I could not get out of my head. Why did I keep thinking about a motion picture that didn’t arouse me, or even make sense?  I actually had to buy the book and read it to better understand the movie! To keep this short, I read the book and it was actually very close to the film. You just have to accept what these characters are doing. I have a deep love for that film, it took me on a journey that I have never seen or experienced before. Now going back and watching it today, it is a beautifully presented dark film that I think is done very tastefully, and that is why I love film. Take me on a journey that isn’t everyday normal life.

Nicki: I see that you do a lot of writing, directing, and producing. Are there any other roles that you enjoy behind and in front of the camera?

Actually, I hate the writing part. I do not consider myself a good writer at all. I would rather collaborate on the writing process with someone else. That being said, I really love the editing aspect of film making. I think it’s where the movie comes together as a whole. I love operating the camera, too. I love bringing other film makers on board as producer under the Cool Wave Pictures banner to build our team of talent. Kenneth Miller and Cody Everett are prime examples of that. They are very talented people and I am honored they allowed me to produce their films. In front of the camera? Yes, I confess I have done it, but try to avoid so at all costs. Haha.

Nicki: All of the films of yours that I have seen have a very dark and cynical feel. Even “Clint,” which is an all-around fun film, still had a bit of a sinister element to it. What is it that draws you to this type of film?

I think what draws me to the dark material is a fascination for the human mind. I want to take my audience on a journey they would never take in real life. I’m not a dark person at all.  I’m actually nervous, shy, and maybe a little neurotic at times. I don’t try to be dark and cynical on purpose, but it’s those types of films that get me excited and for whatever reason I latch on to. Maybe it’s my love and fascination for David Cronenberg’s work. I don’t know. “Clint” was actually a fluke. I just got into DSLR cinema and was really anxious to film a movie on the new camera. At the same time Cameron Cooper sent me a crappy cell phone video of him doing a Clint Eastwood impersonation and he wanted me to put it on YouTube. I told him it looked like crap and that we should entirely improvise a short. We came up with an outline and filmed it the next day. We needed actors so I called up Patrick Adam and Carrie Fee. They agreed to do it and the finished product is something more than we expected.  With “Sex and Violence” I wanted to explore sexuality in a married couple’s life, so it was obvious we had to make a dark film. Having Javier Gomez as my DP really made that happen visually. What excited me about the films that I collaborated with Jose Rosete on (“Win, Lose, or Draw”, “Schism”, and “Sex and Violence”) was that he writes his screenplays with a lot of reality in them, and sometimes real life is dark and sinister. Happy films, or films with happy endings, just don’t interest me. “Clint” wouldn’t be as fun with a happy ending. I love the way that film ends.


Nicki: I’ve noticed a lot of familiar faces between your films (Carrie Fee, Patrick Adam, Jose Rosete, etc.). How did you meet your key actors and what makes you bring them back on set?

I met Jose Rosete on another film set while casting for my short “Laws of Deception” in 2006. He was eager to do the film and the rest is history. Not only is he a brilliant actor, but a brilliant writer as well.  We would end up collaborating on several other projects over the years. He is a joy to work with. Patrick I met on a casting session for “The 11th Aggression“.  I initially cast him in a small role, but when the lead actor dropped out he took over. After that, I cast him in “Win, Lose, or Draw“, “Sex and Violence”, “Clint”, “Closets”, and “Schism”. I consider him a good friend and would cast him in future projects.

Carrie Fee I actually met through Patrick Adam. She came from the world of theater and “Sex and Violence” was her first film role. I strongly believe that if it wasn’t for her the movie would never have come out the way I envisioned it. She portrayed the role of Cassandra so perfectly and beautifully, which was not an easy thing to do – not just for the nudity, but for the craziness that Cassandra projected. I cannot think of another actress that could own that role like Carrie Fee did. I owe a lot to her for the incredible performance and her professional attitude regarding the film.

Nicki: How long has Cool Wave Pictures been around?

Cool Wave Pictures started back in 1993 as a potential software production company. When I was in high school I took a computer programming course and created a game. I wanted to come up with a company name, but had a hard time settling on one. I do a lot of thinking while in the shower, and when I was putting on deodorant the scent I was using was called Cool Wave. So I called my pseudo company Cool Wave Software. When I started film I carried the name over. First it was Cool Wave Studios, then it changed to Cool Wave Pictures in 2002. Wild Rain Pictures, also part of the Cool Wave label for internet productions, came from a deodorant scent as well.  So I suppose I owe a lot to Gillette. To this day I still use Cool Wave deodorant.

Nicki: When did you create Cool Wave Post?

Cool Wave Post & Digital Media was created in 2012 to assist companies with their video production needs. We have worked with several clients including Sweet Corn Organic Nursery, The Village Health Club & Spas, British Automotive Repair, and others to name a few. Our goal is to create high quality video productions for anyone’s budgetary needs.

Nicki: What is the basic premise for 3 cars?

The story of “3 Cars” follows politician Hugo Parker, who’s likely to win an election to become state senator. He is running against his father’s principles to spite the former politico. The movie is basically a political thriller where everyone, it doesn’t matter what side you are on, is shady, dirty. I don’t really follow politics because there are always dirty games being played behind the scenes. It’s basically a fuck you to politics, but first and foremost a family drama.


Nicki: How did you come up with the concept?

The idea of “3 Cars” came while I was pondering how cool it would be to start with one car parked in a neighborhood and travel to another car parked elsewhere. I always wanted to do a political thriller, again an FU to politics. After I wrote a draft of the script, I enlisted Michael Sallustio to do re-writes. Our final shooting script is labeled draft 9, but I think we must’ve done 12-15 drafts over time.

Nicki: How long do you anticipate the finished product will be?

I think the finished product will be anywhere from 12-15 minutes. When doing a short film, not only do I direct, but also edit. I think it’s very important for me to cut my own films. While engaged in the editing process you are still directing your film, plus I love working with Avid. To be honest, I really don’t know how long the film will be. I usually don’t worry about that unless the film drags. Pacing is everything! I don’t think a lot of film makers know pacing. You can set yourself a goal, but the story can’t be too slow or too fast. I’m sure I’ll have to make sacrifices to make it work, but it’ll be well worth it.

Nicki: When do you anticipate the film will premiere?

Since this is an early 2014 production, along with my other film “Homecoming”, we may have to do a screening/premiere separately – hopefully getting into the Phoenix Film Festival next year. If we can get them done sooner, maybe Jerome this year. I would recommend checking our website for the latest screening information at www.coolwavepictures.com.

Nicki: Do you plan to take the film to any festivals?

Submitting to film festivals is a given with all of Cool Wave Pictures’ shorts. I always try to have their world premieres at Phoenix. “Laws of Deception” was the first short film that was an official selection and we had a great time at the festival. Chris Lamont and Jason Carney run an incredible festival and we are so lucky that it’s in our hometown. I have had my shares of rejections and I know it’s a difficult process to select everyone’s film. To me, Phoenix is the big dog in Arizona.

Nicki: What do you hope the audience will take away from the film?

You can want the audience to feel a certain way, but sometimes you are surprised by what people tell you after the film. With “Sex and Violence” I wanted the audience to feel disturbed, depressed, and even horrified at what they just saw. I got exactly that. That was the first film I’ve made where people – strangers even – came up to me and told be how disturbing the film was. I wasn’t insulted, I was proud! “Homecoming” is starting to take form as an intense drama, while “3 Cars” will be an intriguing thriller/drama. You can rarely predict how an audience will feel.

Nicki: What other projects are you working on right now?

I am working on “3 Cars” and “Homecoming” back-to-back, which I will never do again, but it’s been fun. I am also doing pre-pro on a feature film tentatively titled “DARK”. A film that follows the investigation of a sex club (think “Eyes Wide Shut” merged with “The Ninth Gate”). I really want to push some boundaries with that film – no holding back! I want it real and gritty. Everyone tells me that I need to turn “Sex and Violence” into a feature, but I won’t unless Jose Rosete is on board – which is a long shot. I am certain I will be working again with Kenneth Miller and Cody Everett on their future projects, and hope to build my team up even more! I just want to make films, because I love the art form!

By: Nicki Legge

A state film office provides many resources to filmmakers, assists in finding locations for productions, and often consults productions on financial aspects of filming within the state, including any incentives that the state may have. A film office is crucial for any state that hopes to have a successful film industry. Without one, the state is essentially closed for business to large productions that are looking for a place to shoot. Arizona used to be home to many various film productions including Casablanca, The Kingdom, and Wayne’s World (one of my personal favorites) among many others. The AZ film office, however, closed in 2009 due to budgetary reasons, forcing many productions to look elsewhere for locations to shoot. On Thursday, January 16th, Sen. Carlyle Begay sponsored the bill, SB 1098, to bring back the film office, and with him at the state capitol buzzed a flurry of filmmakers rallying for a cause that they believe in with all their hearts. At the head of that rally was a man named Randy Murray, Jump Ship Production’s pick for Filmmaker of the Week.

Back in 1978, Randy began his studies in production at Arizona State University while worked at channel 8 as a set builder. He instantly fell in love. He says, “When you are expressing yourself creatively, your day flies by, your mind whirls and you feel empowered and proud.  I loved building sets, then I moved up to lighting and found such magic in sculpting with light and shadows.  I soon got the chance to do camera work and was taken by the art of composition, then editing and the art of pacing.  By the time I graduated I was head and tails in love with the work we do including directing, writing and producing.  I had the good fortune to work as a grip on large commercial shoots and found out what the word ‘teamwork’ means.” At the finale of his college years, Randy sold his senior project to Channel 5, jumpstarting his career in broadcasting. He worked for a large production company for eleven years, and then decided that he was ready to branch out and start up his own film production company, Randy Murray Productions.

Randy met his wife, Theresa while she was still in high school. As their relationship blossomed, so did their careers. Randy decided to go the production rout, while Theresa climbed ladders in the business world. When Randy decided to create his production company, he knew just who to turn to for a partner. He says Theresa “had climbed the latter at large accounting and legal firms and was a top notch manager and strategic thinker who would put up with my crazy ways.” Randy and Theresa took much pride in the quality of work they put out, and over time they realized that there was even more to it than just creating top notch content. Randy says, “Later in my career I discovered that the stories I was telling, the images I was creating, and the words I was writing had power to persuade and change the way people looked at the world.  It was this realization that sparked my interest the most.  I now know that I could do what I love to do and do it for the good of our community.”

On top of running their film production company, Randy and Theresa also decided to start their own post-production studio. Randy says “I had a favorite editor, Kevin Ruest, who had a falling out with his boss at a local post facility.  Kevin was thinking about getting out of the editing game, so Theresa and I offered to buy the equipment if Kevin and his wife Susie would run the business.  They accepted and Postal was born. The name came from Kevin’s temperament in the suite; he was crazy good, wildly creative and scared the hell out of clients, the perfect partner.  Unfortunately he passed tragically and Postal lives in his honor striving to be crazy good, wildly creative, and we have matured to be nice to clients.” Although Randy has an amazing life with his wife and their two companies, he will always be a dreamer striving for goals that are growing to bigger and better things. He says, “I set my goals while in college, I set them way high, unachievably high… But my failures are key wisdoms I brought to our business when Theresa and I started out.  While we worked hard, bled long and gave much to be here, I know my success is a gift of our community.”  

Before Sen. Begay made his way up to the state capitol on January 16h, he called Randy on the phone to schedule a meeting. Randy of course agreed, and sat down with the senator to talk about gathering the troops for a rally in support of the bill he was about to sponsor. Randy jumped on the chance to be a part of something so important for the film community.  He called upon his experiences from college, where he organized a rally for “John Anderson for President,” and quickly got to work.  Randy puts the head count for the rally at about 30-40 politicians, at least that many key staffers, and over 100 filmmakers. When I asked Randy if he felt that they made an impact, he replied, “Actually I am sure we did.  I personally talked to a couple representatives who had very strong objections and tough questions, then I saw that they had decided to jump on board and cosponsored the bill.  Senator Begay wanted at least four sponsors, a Democrat and Republican from each house. He ended up getting 12 Representatives and 14 Senators.”

Although it is looking like the bill will pass both houses, Randy says “The process is just beginning… the real danger of failure is when it is in committees.The Appropriations Committee should be one of the toughest to get through.  The bill give the film office a budget of $612,000 a year, that is not a lot for a state film office or a lot compared to the numbers that are tossed around in budget meetings.  However, if the committee chair does not feel our industry is something he supports he can single handedly kill it by simply not bringing it up for discussion.”  Randy is more than willing to get his hands dirty again if the Senator asks for more help, and the rest of us can also do our part. Randy believes that it is important that we filmmakers “know who our three representatives are, and we need to reach out to them and let them know that we are film makers, we live in their district, that we vote, that we are active, and most importantly, that we ask for their support of Bill SB 1098.”  You can find your legislators HERE!

Aside from his work with the rally, Randy Murray Productions is beginning production this Sunday on a film for the National Geographic Channel. They also “just landed a six episode series for Discovery ID,” and are in talks with Discovery ID on a show of their own. Randy Murray Productions also recently created a documentary called The Joe Show, about our very own Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which is going to the Sedona International Film Festival. Randy says, “When I need hire someone new, the first place I go to is the APA website.  I strongly suggest any serious production person be a member of APA.  Over the years, this organization has been the one place that we could come together to get jobs and get things done.  There are so many people in our community who are working so hard to stay in our industry or get a break in it. The best chance of working on one of our projects is through personal contact with one of the keys on that project.” You can follow Randy Murray Productions on Facebook.

977431_10202070055625568_542492901_oBy: Nicki Legge

It is no secret that we love film challenges at Jump Ship Productions. Just about every film we have ever produced has been for a challenge with the IFP Phoenix or Almost Famous Film Festival (A3F). Challenges are a great way to get your name out there and meet tons of amazing and talented people, but they are also good for winning prizes! Every year Doritos hosts the Crash the Super Bowl Ad contest where people all over the world can submit their own 30 second spot to compete for a slot during THE FREAKING SUPER BOWL! And if that wasn’t enough, the winner of the contest this year will also receive a prize of $1,000,000 and will be invited to join the crew on the set of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Our Filmmaker of the Week, Ryan Andersen, not only submitted a funny and well made ad to the contest, but he has made it amazingly far in the contest, top five to be exact! Now it’s up to the public to vote for which one will be the winner.

Ryan has loved going to the movies with his parents since he was about four years old. He has always loved the magic of the cinema, but when he saw the film “Requiem for a Dream” for the first time, he knew that he just had to be a part of this wonderful art form. He has now been happily engaged in the film community for ten years! Like many of our great independent locals, Ryan takes on the tasks of writing, casting, shooting, directing, editing, sound design, and coloring. Every day brings a new learning experience, and that’s just the way he likes it. Ryan says “My main passion is Directing but I think learning all other aspects help me become a better director!” Throughout the years, he has won numerous awards with the A3F and IFP Phoenix “The last short film (he) did was ‘The Fall.’ It won best story, best director, best actor, and best film.  Then it went on to the Phoenix Film Festival and it won best film of the year for IFP’s shorts!”

Like many of us film fanatics, Ryan’s dream is to get noticed and make movies for a living, and what better way to get noticed than to air during the Super Bowl? He entered into the challenge, but had absolutely no idea that he would actually make it to the top five! Out of all of the Grand Prize Winner awards for the contest, Ryan is “most stoked about airing during the Super Bowl!” He is also incredibly excited for the opportunity to work on the set of The Avengers. And who wouldn’t be? This is an insanely larger than life production, with an ‘A list’ cast, and so many opportunities to learn and grow with a large professional crew. Money is also a perk. If Ryan wins the million, he plans to buy a home for his son and use the money that is left over to produce a film that is all ready to go. Ryan does not have to be a grand prize winner to walk away from this experience with something to show for it. His ad has already gotten great exposure on the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl website, and just by making it into the top five, Ryan will already be eligible to receive a “Finalist Prize” consisting of $25,000 USD!

The concept for Ryan’s ad, “Doritos Time Machine” came to him while he was watching “Back to the Future” with his son. Ryan says “he wanted a time machine so I said I would build him one. I thought of a refrigerator box, and started to decorate it!  As I did this, I just started to think how cute it would play as a commercial. I thought of a scenario around it and VOILA!” Once he had his concept, Ryan jumped into Pre-production. It took him one week to pull together everything he needed, including his cast and crew, consisting of old friends and new faces. Ryan says, “I have worked with Tommy Schaeffer on many spots, and Raj Suri, my producer has worked with me on all of our past Dorito submissions! I had never worked with Daved Wilkins (Mr. Smith) or Jim Coates (Old Man) ever before, and yes, I will bring back my team to work in the future! 100%.” The shoot went well. It only took about seven hours, and the only difficulty they ran into was working with an untrained dog. Ryan says “it was difficult to get him to stay still… but once we did, I was ready to shoot it and move on!” After the shoot, Ryan spent over 80 hours in the editing room, making sure everything from the sound to the coloring was perfect.

Ryan says “I would love to do another spot next year!  However I feel like it should be left to ‘another me’ to have their chance and moment to experience what I am feeling right now!” Aside from pumping his ad, which you can vote for HERE, after the contest is over, Ryan is determined to produce his first feature film.  He is always more than willing to collaborate with other filmmakers, because nothing makes a good film like a great crew. If you are interested in working with Ryan, you can reach him HERE. I highly suggest vising doritos.com to vote for your favorite (and by favorite, I mean Doritos Time Machine, first because it is awesome, and second because we should all work together to bring this amazing exposure to Arizona).

Vote for Time Machine here!

By: Nicki Legge

Lee_Quarrie_HeadshotThere are a few very special people within the Arizona film industry that I hold in extremely high regard; they are out there on the front lines every day working hard and really getting their hands dirty on any set they can. When one of these people tells me to check out a project or a person, I know that it comes with a level of experience and knowledge that should not be ignored, so when Nile Popchock suggested that I check out Patchwork Dreams, I knew I would not be disappointed. Lee Quarrie is the writer, director, and producer for Patchwork Dreams. This amazing film has taken her to new heights in her career, and she has chosen to share this experience with local filmmakers with the motive of bringing work to the very community that raised her as a filmmaker.

Many of us today are grinding away day in and day out at jobs that we hate, dreaming about all of the other, much more wonderful things we could be spending our time on. Lee spent many years of her life doing “soul-sucking” jobs that left her feeling unfulfilled, but then she found film. Lee says “I believe that a person should do what she loves, and do it with all of her heart.  Filmmaking is what makes me curious about the world… it makes me ask questions, probe and inquire.  Being a filmmaker means I am constantly engaged in creating art.  So the moments of time that are less than exciting suddenly become about informing the larger process of being a filmmaker.  Being bored or sad becomes research.  Then suddenly I’m no longer bored or sad; instead I’m asking myself questions about a character or a relationship or situation in which a character is bored or sad.”

Lee graduated from Arizona State University with a Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Digital Media.  “It’s not a film degree; rather it’s a theatre degree that focuses on creating media for live performance.”  She was incredibly grateful for her advisor who recognized her interest in film production and pushed her in that direction while she got her degree. Lee wrote and produced a live, mediated play for her thesis called Mother and Daughter Live! 2.0. During the play, live performers interacted with several characters who were filmed in advance. Lee began her filmmaking by taking several classes at Scottsdale Community College, where she began to refine her skills.

All her life, Lee had loved being an actor and hadn’t really imagined doing anything else, but as an actor she found that she had to do things she didn’t particularly enjoy in order to make a living. Lee says “My reaction to unhappiness is to find something else that interests me. When I found myself dissatisfied with acting and my professional life, I decided to take a screenwriting class, and that hooked me in.” Now, her two favorite roles are writing and directing. Lee says “I’ve produced most of my own films, but enjoy the writing and directing so much more when there is someone else doing the production work.”  She says that as a writer “my mind is constantly noticing stories, shots, characters and relationships.  I believe that having a mind that works like this makes me a strong writer. That and lots of practice, bad writing, practice, accidental good writing, practice, and constructive criticism.”

Lee has done approximately 15 short films, most of them for 48 or 24 hour challenges and won several awards.  In October 2012 she won Best Director, the Brock H. Brown Best Script Award, and 2nd Place in the Almost Famous Film Festival 24-hour challenge for her film “Second Chance.”  She has also won several prized for her submissions to IFP Phoenix Beat the Clock Challenges. Her film, “M.O.P.! An Intergalactic, Melodromatic Rock Opera won the Audience Favorite award and Best Use of Prop. One of Lee’s two favorite films “The Line Up” took Third Place and the lead actress, Jennifer Pfalzgraff not only won Best Actress in the initial competition, but also took Best Actress in the final round at the end of the year.

Photo by: Laura Durant

Several months ago, one of Lee’s friends posted a link to a script competition on her Facebook wall.  She says “Funny thing to me is that he’s not a writer; he’s a gaffer. So it was one of those moments where the Universe got the information under my nose in a roundabout way.” She decided to take a stab at the competition and wrote Patchwork Dreams, about a migrant worker in Beijing who dreams about creating something meaningful. Lee has a friend, Maggie, who spends several months a year in China. She used her as a great resource to understand what life is like in Beijing, in addition to doing all sorts of research about migrant workers.  Lee says “I felt that the migrant workers of China and the migrant workers of America had similar tales to tell.  I’d also recently found myself fascinated with kites for some reason.  The two ideas meshed in my imagination and became Patchwork Dreams.”

Lee ended up winning Grand Prize for the her submission to the shorts competition. She was flown out to Beijing to be honored in a ceremony, and was awarded with a $10,000 production budget. Pre-production began immediately after she found out she had won. Lee says “I received an email on May 15 that I had been selected, and we began shooting on August 8th.” Because the Arizona film industry had been so good to her, Lee knew she wanted to bring the work here.  She found her actors through durantcom.com and social media and messaged several directors, producers, and casting agents for recommendations.  She says “The crew was mostly a crew of people I had worked with on previous projects.  I was very happy to have each one of them on board because it was the first time I was ever able to pay any of my crew. I wanted to be able to give them the opportunity to earn a wage rather than donate their time for food and credit.”

Once she had her cast and crew, it was down to business. Lee was able to find wonderful locations, including the Phoenix Hostel and Cultural Center and The Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix. Lee says “It’s my understanding that the Cultural Center has never before permitted a commercial film crew to shoot on their premises, so I consider myself truly blessed to have been able to utilize their unique venue.” They also had to build one of their sets and were able to make it happen at the Stagebrush Theatre in Scottsdale.  Lee says, “They were so helpful and generous with us  If they had charged us what their services were worth, we wouldn’t have been able to afford them.” Production took about five days over a ten day period from August 8 through 18th and post began immediately afterwards. The final cut of the film is due on October 1, 2013, so Lee and her crew are hard at work to make the deadline.

Lee plans to submit the film to multiple international film festivals, and it will also be viewable in China through their online television presence LeTV.comLee is also working on a script for a feature length film and is “actively seeking representation as well as writing and directorial opportunities.” Lee is a big fan of collaboration. She says “I consider filmmaking the ultimate collaboration.  I’d be a fool to think I could do this by myself!” If you are interested in working with her, you can contact her HERE.

james2

Photo by: Sara Nevels with Talk Studios

By: Nicki Legge

One of the most important elements in a well-made film is audio. You can have great acting, beautiful sets, and flawless camera movement, but if the audience cannot hear the dialogue or the sound is too inconsistent between camera angles, the mood of a film can be absolutely destroyed. Unfortunately sound is not something you can see, so it all too often overlooked by a lot of independent filmmakers. Last weekend Jump Ship Productions went to the IFP Phoenix’s Beat the Clock Challenge screening to view all of the films that were submitted this year. Normally there is a certain list of awards that are given away at these screenings, but this year the IFP is doing something different by adding a specialty award for each challenge. The award for the this challenge was Best Sound. A very wise man once told me that “a great sound guy is one that goes unnoticed,” but this time he was noticed, and that guy was James Alire.

James says “Film production was never on my radar as far as what I wanted to do with my life. I kind of fell into it and have been hooked ever since.” He started out with a passion for music, playing bass and drums for various bands. When he stepped into a recording studio for the first time, James got a taste of something that he could really sink his teeth into. He decided to go to school at The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences which was focused on audio engineering,” and he dove straight into the recording studios once he graduated, “recording albums of various genres for both signed and unsigned musicians.” From there James began doing live sound and running audio for different venues around town. James says “One day I responded to an ad about recording audio for a short film, which also happened to be a 48 hour film challenge short. I have been hooked on film audio ever since. We actually took 4th place on that film challenge, I believe.”

James has been doing audio for films for about three years now, but his interests are growing. He has begun also producing, writing, and consulting on cinematography and production in general. He says “If I had to give a rough estimate, at the current time I have worked on 6 features and about 20 short films, with plenty more on the horizon.”  There is a special place in James’s heart for every project he has worked on, especially the ones that he worked on in Post, but he does have two favorites. “One would be the first feature (he) ever worked on, ‘The Big Something’ from Running Wild Films… because of the camaraderie that was developed during the long two weeks of filming. The other would be the latest feature (he) did post on, called ‘Cathedral Canyon’ from Movies Making a Difference Productions…There was some pretty big talent in it, and the film ended up winning “Best Feature” at the 2013 Jerome Film Festival.”

Like most filmmakers, James loves to take a script, a bunch of symbols carefully arranged on a piece of paper, and see what happens to it once you put it in the hands of an even more carefully assembled group of artists. He says “It reminds me of my musician days where you would be sitting around and come up with some random riff, then after everyone puts their talent into it, it results into an amazing song.” But unlike other filmmakers in the valley, James learned his trade before he was ever even interested in the film world. He says “I think something that separates me from other film sound professionals out there is my background. A lot of people, who are very talented in this community, went to film school and from there moved into sound. There is nothing wrong with that, but I feel film schools don’t teach enough about sound and the physics and fundamentals of it. I went to audio school, and learned how to make films after that. I feel like that gives me a different perspective when approaching the sound for a film since my decisions put sound first and I don’t get distracted by the aspects of filmmaking itself.”

James started his own company, 5J Media back in 2009. At first he mostly did “mobile recording for local bands in the valley,” but since he has gotten more involved in the world of film, he started offering film related services as well. Now 5J Media will come do your production and postproduction audio, mixing of music and spoken word as well. On top of audio, 5J can also do web design and graphic design work to suit your needs. James says “I don’t think a lot of filmmakers in the valley have access to an experienced sound person. Usually they just take turns holding a Boom, recording into a small recorder or into the camera. Granted you can get good audio this way, but having someone that is focused on audio, and knows what they are doing, makes a huge difference.”  5J Media offers a much needed service to independent filmmakers throughout the valley.

This year during the IFP’s Beat the Clock Challenge, James decided to hop on board with the Running Wild team. He first met the boys at Running Wild when he replied to an ad they posted “looking for an audio person when they were beginning to make their feature ‘The Big Something.’” He has since bonded with the group and can be found as the sound mixer, editor, or designer on many of their films. This year the IFP decided to hand out an award for best sound, and after reading about James’s experience, it is no surprise to find out that he won the best sound award for their submission Star Babies, taking home a shiny new shotgun mic. as an award! James didn’t only do sound; however, he was also involved in writing the story, and on top of winning the best sound, Star Babies also won Best Film!

James is “currently working on post -production audio for two films, ‘The Men Who Robbed the Bank’ from Running Wild Films and ‘Reckless Abandon’ from BreadCrumb Productions.” He is also planning to start doing an audio mix for two shorts he ran production on last year as well as the post for all of the Running Wild Films52 Shorts in 52 Weeks.” He says “Needless to say I will pretty busy for the rest of this year.” That, however, will not deter him from jumping into other projects that are thrown his way. James says he is very interested in working with other production groups throughout the valley. He says “I like to see the different ways people make films and it allows me to constantly evolve the way I work, which helps me become an adaptable sound professional.” If you are interested in working with James, you can email him by clicking Here, and you can find more information about him Here.

James also recently wrote a blog detailing what went into the “Star Babies” film from a sound perspective that you can read it by clicking Here!

Poster GriefBy: Nicki Legge

One of the most impressive projects I have seen bouncing around the wide world of Facebook is a feature film called Grief. With Kevin R Phipps at the helm, this film has snowballed into a substantial project with some of the most talented actors and crew on board. Grief delves deep into a surreal world of life and death, following a main character, Kari who unexpectedly takes her own life, leaving her friends and family to plummet through the unforgiving stages of grief. With the combination of impressive special effects, and phenomenal acting, Grief is sure to be a film that you do not want to miss. Kevin was kind enough to tell us about his inspiration for Grief and the long, rewarding path he has gone down to breathe life into his creation.

How long have you been involved in filmmaking?

I have been involved in filmmaking for about 7 years now. I started out as an animator doing motion capture etc. and then did comic book coloring for some major comics like X-men and Gi-Joe for about 6 months. Then I decided I didn’t want to be in a cubicle anymore so I said, “Let’s make a movie!!” I had no idea what I was getting myself into. LOL I have been professional AD for about 4 years working on some great projects like Oil of Olay, Kelloggs, Qwest, and Head and Shoulders among others, all while gathering more and more knowledge about directing, which is where my heart really lays.

What made you interested in creating films?

Well to be frank I asked this of myself about a year and half ago. I said, “Why the hell are you doing this?” The truth is when I started I wanted to feel worth it… to be validated. I was searching and giving pieces of me to the audience and hoping they liked it. If they did then I would find my worth through that. That wasn’t really healthy for me and since, it has changed. Mostly, it has been about challenging the audience, finding truth in acting, and I have learned you can inspire and change the way people see things as long as you tell the truth with your work. Mostly though, I want to let the audience lose themselves for a couple of hours and forget the craziness in their lives. They can smell and taste the truth in your work and if you’re lying or not willing to go down the rabbit hole fully, then they will be weary of your work.

What made you interested in coaching actors? How has this affected your writing/directing style?

This is a really great question. I got interested in coaching actors when, after seeing my first feature, I realized that I wasn’t there for the actors to allow them to feel like they could truly let go. I had no idea what I was doing, and I could have been more conscience of them and what a truthful performance in the imaginary circumstance is. So I started studying, acting with a passion because I knew actors were the face of the film, and without them being able to be their best, your film is dead… After learning the Meisner program, I realized I wanted to give back to AZ and share this powerful program to help actors find their truth. It really has become a huge part of my life, and to see them grow and change has been a blessing.

Meisner 2013 class graduation showcase.

As far as writing and directing, it has definitely had a huge impact on my directing. I am flabbergasted that most film schools teach lighting, camera, art, etc. to directors, but they don’t teach how to work with actors… so many directors have no idea how to speak the actor’s language. In fact, most have no idea if the actor is really being truthful… I beg all directors to please learn how to work with actors; it’s a must. If you don’t know how, then you have no business directing…Too many beginning directors get focused on “I need you to cry here!!!” But what does that mean? Where do the tears come from?

Incidentally, I am working on an 8 week intensive program for just directors who want to learn how to work with actors… It will truly transform the way you see your films, and I can’t wait to see some amazing things the directors will come up with afterwards.

How many projects have you completed (rough estimate is fine)?

I have directed 1 feature (and I’m working on another right now), about 7 shorts, 4 music videos, and a handful of commercials. I’ve been an AD on about 8-10 features, 9 shorts, and about 12 commercials.

Have you received any awards or recognition?

I have a few awards, for my first feature. I won best audience award at the fear festival, which in turn got me distribution. I got 2nd place at the SCC film festival for my short, Sitting. I got best live action short at the Phoenix Film Festival about 6 years ago…. My favorite is the audience award; that is what I find to be the most rewarding because they are my target, to speak in marketing terms. If they are happy, then I am happier.

What do you love the most about film?

Film can be the most exhilarating, sometimes most frustrating drug addiction I have ever known. Mostly, I love the massive amount of creative people you put into a room… all fighting for the same cause. Artists can be known to be introverted, but here they are forced to speak a language together, and it just works. I didn’t understand the family thing until… a couple years ago… I saw the wave of emotions and personal journeys, and at the end we all loved each other. It was amazing. I also love it when the actors find their space and truth on film. They just get it, and it’s extraordinary; it can make the crew and me cry and laugh. It truly is a magical experience that can’t be traded for anything.

What is one thing you want people to know about you?

I love with my heart. I come from a place of love even when I may not be feeling well. That sometimes I’m introverted, and most of the time I get excited about just being around people and helping them on their journeys. Oh, and I love chocolate pudding on my pizza… Don’t ask. And Transformers.

Where did you get your inspiration for Grief?

I had just got done doing a program in the mountains called the Mankind Project. I had hit rock bottom, lost my home, my car and my job all at once. I had to rebuild, and that meant becoming more aware of who I was as a person and learning to let go of my past to find my present. So, after I got done with the program, moved back to AZ, and started teaching again, I started to become interested in how you can really find your own truth by hitting the bottom. So I started writing Grief to help actors go the deepest they have ever gone. It started out as one story, then ended up being six stories all tied into each other.

Did you do any research on the stages of grief while you were writing the script?

I researched a couple of different takes on the Grieving process. Of course there was Kübler-Ross’s take on the grieving process and her five stages. There is a newer thought that it’s seven stages, but I find that Kübler’s has those seven, she just condensed them…. It was absolutely imperative to research it because each stage is the “theme” of each of the characters stories. So whenever I felt I was getting off track, I would read my research again and go noooooo, she wouldn’t do that that’s more like Denial.

Each of your characters seem to have such different and unique personalities; did you base any of them off of people you know, build them around their stage of grief, or did you have another method of breathing life into them?

I did a ton of things when doing this script. They are very unique and different, but Kari, the main character bonds them all. I used some people I knew or know, I used myself in a few different places like anger and the alternate version of Kari. I even did this great thing where I had two actors improv some scenes that I outlined, watched them work, and recorded it. It was amazing, and they came out to be some of the most fun characters in this film. They are going to get a special thank you because they really brought a new awareness in my work.

How long did you spend in preproduction?

I guess about 3-4 months. I am not really sure because it was a back and forth thing. Part of the purpose of this film was to go on a raw journey for myself and see what would come out of it. We are flying by the seat of our pants sometimes, and other times we do heavy pre pro. We are shooting this film a few days at a time every two weeks. That gives us time to do some more pre pro for the next few days that are coming up. Sometimes you just have to do it, and the footage has been amazing! The producers and most of my crew I have worked with before and we trust each other. It’s their journey as much as it is mine.

How long do you anticipate production and post-production will take?

We are editing as we go. We finish scenes; they go to the editor for a rough cut. I have scenes we shot the day before rough cutted the next day. It’s awesome!! I highly recommend it because it would tell me immediately if we missed anything or if we want to get more. Post production is estimated at 3 months I believe. We are trying to hit some festival deadlines.

It looks like you have some impressive special effects in the film. Are you working with an effects artist and if so, who?

There are some awesome effects, and we are doing them live; no CGI. The film is about not only what is going on inside, but each character has a manifestation on the outside as well, a more physical denial or anger if you will. My effects team is collaboration with three talented ladies, Vicki Xericos, Vanessa Siler, headed up by Dania Garza who has been amazing at the makeup and visual effects. I like having a makeup artist doing the effects too because Dania understands painting with makeup so she uses layers to find the realness… these 3 have been awesome to work with; I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I keep challenging and they keep meeting me with awesome results. We puked up another person the other day but that is all I am telling you.

I know that you had an Indiegogo campaign back in 2012, have you utilized any other means of raising funds for your film?

We did! It went well. We also did a home auction and donations. I have sold things to make this film. Most of the stuff is just material things, stuff I don’t touch anymore or don’t need. It has been great in simplifying my life. The amazing donations have kept us a float and we are almost done so it’s working. But you are always hustling. Make no mistake my producers and I are always thinking of new ways to do this or do that. If you have a passion for something, you will find a way; if not then you may have to ask yourself if it’s what you really want.

Have you learned anything new from your experiences with this project?

Do everything from the heart with a little sprinkle of logic so you’re not flying blind. If it’s not from the heart, then no matter how much cool stuff you do it’s going to be missing something. I also have discovered that if you have a great project, you will be humbled and honored at the gifts you will get from the world around you. I am an AD by trade so I understood my limits and how much we should be shooting a day as to not burn us out and have a quality project. Some people think it’s great to burn though a film as fast as possible; unfortunately I have seen the results, and I know they could have done better.

Do you have an estimated premiere date?

January. Earlier for festivals, but I believe we are shooting for early January.

Do you have any other upcoming projects planned?

Next up is “Iniquitous,” with my good friend and partner Andre Payton as the exec producer, and my friends and partners, Ruben Angelo and Jason Wiechert, helping on the production side. It’s great! It’s about a troubled woman who lost her mother when she was young. She then decides to purposely get possessed with her mother’s spirit to save her, and of course it all goes wrong and she ends up with a different person inside of her. Andre had approached me with the film, and I wasn’t sure at first because I didn’t know what I could offer to the genre. When we decided to make it so that she purposely possess herself, that was where I was like, “I don’t know that I have seen anything like that! LETS DO IT!!!”

Then we are working on to a couple of others. I have “107/Juliet,” my first action film and an awesome film written by my personal friend Josh Mathieson… and another personal project called “Mend.”

Is there specific contact information you would like us to list in the article for interested parties?

Check out Rangelo Productions on Facebook! And check out the site page which is almost done. Also, Epic Sky Productions on Facebook!

By: Nicki Legge

Favor Movie PosterAt the beginning of April I found myself stumbling through the halls of a Harkins, wide eyed and overwhelmed by the sight of independent movie posters and enthusiastic filmmakers. Jump Ship Productions was honored to have our short, Titus, play in one of the Arizona Shorts blocks, and while that was exciting in itself, my favorite part of the festival was actually watching other people’s films and talking to their proud creators. After a whirlwind weekend, I saw many films that will stick with me for many years, but the one I loved the most was a delightful dark comedy called FAVOR.  This independent feature was written and directed by Paul Osborn. It took home the award for Best Screenplay, which Paul has won before at the Phoenix Film Festival.

FAVOR is about Kip Desmond, a man who has everything but stands lose it all when his fling on the side ends up dead. He asks his longtime friend, Marvin Croat to help him dispose of the body, causing an unexpected series of events that leads them both into a dark and dangerous place. This film kept me guessing and sitting at the edge of my seat through the very last scene. If you missed FAVOR at the Phoenix Film Festival, it will be making its Hollywood debut on Saturday, June 8th with the Dances With Films festival at the Mann’s Chinese Theater. I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Paul about his experiences with his film FAVOR and as a filmmaker in general.

Get Your Tickets!

Get Your Tickets!Get Your Tickets!

How long have you been involved in filmmaking?

I’ve been pretty obsessed with movies and television since birth, and was directing Super-8 movies in my backyard long before puberty hit.  Whether you define it as a calling or a sickness, it’s hard-wired into who I am.

What made you interested in creating films?

I’m interested in making them, I expect, because I love them so damn much.  It’s really that simple.  When I see work on the screen that I really dig, it makes me want to go create my own flick.  The continuum of cinema is kind of like one big conversation.  Some movie fans are willing just to listen; others like me want to have our say.

What do you love the most about the filmmaking?

I love completing any part of the journey where you can step back and see that what you just did works.  That might be nailing a scene in your script, finding the right actor, getting the dialogue to snap the way you want it to on set or getting a sequence to work in the editing room.   But in between those moments it’s a struggle.  I wrestle a lot with my own creative limitations.  Filmmaking is less about loving the process and more about being addicted or involuntarily compelled to do it.  As I mentioned before, you can label it either a calling or a sickness; both terms are appropriate.


You are obviously a talented writer and director, are any there other roles on set that you also enjoy?  

On the set of FAVOR

On the set of FAVOR

I’ve done a lot of other production jobs in my youth – assistant director, props, sound, camera.  None of these are as satisfying as directing.  I did operate camera on FAVOR and most of OFFICIAL REJECTION, and while the technical and physical challenges of doing that while trying to run a set and monitor performances can be a bit much, I found I really liked the control it gave me.  A side benefit of shooting FAVOR myself was it put me right up on the front line with the actors instead of dozens of feet away tucked behind a monitor.  I think that translated into an intimacy on-screen we wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

How many features have you been involved in?

I’ve been involved “above the line” in three: FAVOR and OFFICIAL REJECTION, both of which I wrote, directed and cut, and TEN ‘TIL NOON, which I wrote.  I was also either a producer or executive producer on all of these.  Prior to that I’d been an editor-for-hire on a couple of features and worked in various crew capacities on about five others, starting with the John Travolta flick CHAINS OF GOLD when I was still in college.

I know you have received Best Screenplay TWICE from the Phoenix Film Festival (which is the award I have always coveted the most). Have you received any other awards or recognition for your films?

I’ve actually been really lucky with the awards thing.  TEN ‘TIL NOON and OFFICIAL REJECTION each won nine awards during their festival runs, although not nearly all of them were for me.  I’ve also won awards for editing movie trailers and, if you want to go way back, for my student work.  You gotta take awards in stride, because you want the work to be about the work, not the statuettes.  And I never expect to win anything, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t nice when it happens.  I was a horribly un-athletic kid and jealous of other boys that had walls full of trophies and ribbons.  So when I look at my Copper Wings, I figure it’s just life finally evening out.

Did you and Leslie start working together and then get married, or did you get married and then start working together? What are some of the pros and cons of sharing your life’s passion with your spouse? (This is especially interesting to me because our producer is also my boyfriend)

Well, for starters, we were friends long before there was anything romantic going on, and there was already a pretty solid foundation of professional respect established during that time, but yes, we were dating when I brought her aboard OFFICIAL REJECTION as a producer.  That was her area of expertise, so it made sense.  I think our professional relationship works because we’re interested in different sides of the process – me more the creative, her more the business and logistics.  We also communicate well and since she’s my wife she’s already hip to my bullshit.  If something’s not working in the movie, she’s in a position to just blurt it out without pretense.  The last thing you want is a partner who’s just a “yes man”.  And when I have to work late on the flick there’s no spousal backlash about missing “couple time” – usually she’s the one shoving me into the editing chair or onto set.

What is your favorite project so far, and why?

That’s a tough one.  By the time I finish a movie I’m honestly completely sick of it.  Probably better to ask me in about ten years.

Most artists look at a finished product and think of all the ways they could have made it better with more time, money, or even more knowledge. If you could remake any of your films from scratch, as if the original never existed, which one would you choose and why?

None of them.  It’s true that when I look at them all I see are the flaws and what I would improve with hindsight, but they reflect who I was when I made them.  When you make a movie, or at least a feature, it’s a process that swallows you up and doesn’t spit you out for years.  When you emerge, you’re a different filmmaker and you want to tackle different things, not go backward.

What is one thing you want people to know about you?

About me personally?  I guess I’d want them to know that I’m not nearly as dark as the movies I make.  I’m a friendly guy, honest.

(more…)

981491_10151594966714242_1814446343_oWritten By: Nicki Legge

Several months ago I heard that a local film company, Running Wild Films, posted a full length feature that was completely improved called 1 (Improvised Feature Film). Like a good little film nerd, I decided to stop what I was doing (soul crushing work in a cubicle) to indulge in a little YouTube viewing action. I was familiar with the majority of the actors in the film, however one, Amber Michelle Davis, was new to me and I was completely delighted by her performance. I have since noticed Amber in multiple other films. Jump Ship Productions had the pleasure of interviewing Amber about her experiences in the film industry.

Amber has been involved in the film industry “for the better part of two years.” She says that acting is her first love, so it’s no surprise that she got an Associates Degree in Fine Arts and Theatre from Scottsdale Community College. While in school, “one of (her) acting professors encouraged a bunch of the ‘theatre actors’ to audition for some student films.Amber says, “I really began to love the filmmaking process on the set of the first film I was cast in. I had only ever done stage performances up to that point… Once I was on set I quickly fell in love with the camera.” Since her love of film sparked, she has participated in roughly 20 projects! She has been especially active recently. Amber says, “A very dear friend of mine has recently been a catalyst in reviving my passion for story telling through film. His passion for truthful and provocative storytelling is not only admirable, but contagious.

Out of all the projects that she has been a part of, Amber’s favorite is 1 (Improvised Feature Film). She says that, “It was the very best experience as an actor. We were all given character breakdowns and relationship cues, but the dialogue and interactions were all improvised. It was so freeing to just be in every moment and respond truthfully to my fellow actors. The process was liberating.” Aside from the improve feature, Amber has been involved in many other projects with Running Wild Films. Thus far, she has been cast in two of their 52 Short Films, “Liar” and one that is “due to shoot in July called “The White Stocking.” Amber says that the guys at Running Wild Filmsare phenomenal and (she) feels very fortunate to be included in anything they do!Amber even recently ate two crickets in support of Running Wild.

Amber won an outstanding individual performance award for acting at the A3F 48 hour challenge for her performance in “Itty Bitty Bang Bang” with Running Wild Films. Most recently Amber took home the 1st Place Best Actress award at  this years “Film School @ SCC’s Film Festival” for her performance in “Eduardo and Ted“. She says that she “was completely shocked both times!” She found out about the project through “the great Facebook,” but did not plan on auditioning until a friend of hers dragged her down. She says “to say the least, I am very thankful!” Not only is Amber a talented actress, she is also a professional makeup artist. She can not only make people look beautiful, but she also loves to play around with making them ugly. Amber says, “I’m not a huge fan of ‘real life’ gore, but I adore made up gore. I have had a lot of fun playing tricks on my mom with some of my makeup wounds.

Aside from her upcoming shoot with Running Wild Films, Amber is has also been cast in “another short at the end of June called Friendzone.” She will also be participating “in a film called Russel Benson’s Last Day.” If you are interested in contacting Amber, you can email her here, and you can find her on Facebook!

Written By: Nicki Legge

389553_2536081441655_1885901135_nAs technology advances, it seems like more and more films are using Visual Effects (VFX) and Motion Graphics to aid in the telling of a story. Filmmakers are doing amazing things with technology, building entire worlds on a computer. I have heard a lot of great things throughout the community about the talents of Logan Hennessy, but I had no idea how impressive his work is until I recently stumbled across his VFX/Motion Graphics demo reel on Facebook. I was absolutely blown away by the before and after shots throughout the reel and I immediately knew that I had to share his story by making him the Jump Ship Productions Filmmaker of the Week.

Logan is originally from Spokane, Washington. Before he moved to Arizona, he was attending a local community college, not particularly satisfied with the direction it was taking him. “One fateful night” as Logan says, he was watching the Appendices for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and something clicked. Logan “always liked making videos with (his) friends, but it never really crossed (his) mind that you could do it for a living!… (he) became infatuated with the behind the scenes of a film set, and decided then and there (he) wanted to go to film school.” He decided that Phoenix would be a good place for film school, so he turned to the trusty internet to find schools in the Phoenix area.  Logan “found (his) school, and moved across the country in a little less than three weeks from the night (he) watched those Appendices.” He says “it’s the greatest decision (he) has ever made.”

Logan began school in January 2010 and recently graduated “fluent with After Effects, Cinema 4D, 3DS Max, and Boujou.” He chose Collins College because “It had great facilities including two large sound stages and a massive green screen.” My favorite question to ask filmmakers is whether or not they believe film school is necessary. I think Logan hits the nail right on the head with his answer.

It is true that film school is completely unnecessary and the degree that you get from it will rarely get asked for. Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, and David Fincher never went to film school, heck, Steven Spielberg was turned down from film school twice. The only thing anybody really cares about is if you are good. Really good. If you have an uncle that runs camera for Hollywood feature films, you can start from the bottom there and learn a massive amount… in a very short time. 

The problem lies there. Not all of us have an uncle in the business, and we have literally no connections into Hollywood – THAT is where film school comes in. You essentially pay money to make connections. Yes, you learn some stuff in school, but you learn most of it on real sets. So that is the answer, you go to film school in an area that has a film community in order to meet like-minded individuals… building a network and learning all you can.

Logan was “drawn to visual effects and motion graphics because (he) does not want any barriers.” One of the biggest limitations for independent filmmakers is the lack of budget. Logan “decided (he) would not allow (himself) to have any restrictions if (he) didn’t have to. If (he) comes up with a story and needs the setting to be a post-apocalyptic wasteland, (he) can do that.” Logan says that it is difficult to choose a favorite project or graphic, every time he completes a project he immediately thinks of something bigger and better to do. Although if he had to pick one,   Logan says “it would probably be one of the first difficult shots I ever did… on a video I co-created for a video game that was being released that year (“Battlefield 3 Live Action Gameplay Trailer“). The climax of the video is a first-person perspective and as the character looks up into the sky, two jets collide and explode, followed by one of the jets falling into the screen and on top of the character. It was two years ago, and I’ve learned so much and honed my craft a lot since then, but seeing people’s reaction to that shot for the first time still gives me goosebumps.”

As much as Logan loves VFX and Motion Graphics, his true passion is working hard on set. Logan says “I learned visual effects so I could have no boundaries, but I’m a filmmaker at heart, and there is nothing like being on a film set. I really like to direct my own films, but when working for others my favorite aspect is being behind camera. I like to be able to have an impact on the look of a film, and being a camera operator or Director of Photography is one of my biggest goals as a filmmaker.” Logan has completed four of his own videos, most of which can be seen on his Youtube channel, ENRELEM, but he has worked on countless other projects through school and with other filmmakers.

“The best recognition I ever got was when me and a buddy released our fan-made trailer for an upcoming videogame called “Battlefield 3″, and after the second day that it was on youtube the creators of the video game posted it to their twitter and facebook, and subsequently it started showing up on gaming websites all across the internet. It received a lot of praise and was the first time I really felt like this is the only thing I could be doing with my life. I’ve never felt so giddy in all my life than the morning I woke up and saw the video had jumped 40,000 views overnight and the top comments said they were sent by the game’s creators. I can’t wait to do it again!”

The absolutely most important aspect of filmmaking to Logan is simply telling an incredible story that captivates people and forces viewers to learn a little about themselves and grow with the characters on the screen. He strives to never stop learning and never stop improving so that he can be the best filmmaker he can be. Now that Logan has graduated college, he plans to pump out consistent short films with his longtime friend Nile Popchock for their youtube channel, ENRELEM. He says, “the internet is an incredibly powerful tool for filmmakers, and if we can consistently create jaw-dropping films I don’t think there is any better option to get exposure… Making films is a gift from me to the audience, a chance to bring them into a world I created that they could only imagine in their dreams. I really do believe that through continuous, excruciatingly hard work I’ve got a shot at doing just that.” Logan is active on Facebook, he can be reached at (509) 979 – 7015, or you can email him HERE!