Helping at risk youth in our community

A few months ago I shot and edited a video for the Jackson Street Youth Shelter in Corvallis. They are trying to open up an Albany house for Linn County youth at risk. Today they launched the video within a new website created by the Madison Ave Collective. I am very proud to be part of this project and I hope that they raise as much funding as they can to help the kids of Albany.

Please check out the website.

http://jacksonstreet.org/give/

Sean D Brown

Vignettes of Interesting Women

Today we had a shoot at Live Well Studio for our Kickstarter trailer for Vignettes of Interesting Women.  We shot on the RED One, amazing 4k resolution camera. I had some great help from Eric Buist and Carlos Zuniga. The pictures from the event are from Carlos, and Eric is the best AC in Corvallis.

For this project I asked women to send me stories about anything they would like and we were going to turn them into something we can film. I got asked a lot about what type of story I was looking for. My answer was it can be anything. My official statement was this.

So, an idea, not necessarily THE idea, but an idea, inspired by my wife (yay!):

“Vignettes of Interesting Women.” It’s an art film. About women. What I’d love is to have women write stories, memories, impressions of their lives and send them to me. They can be real or inspired by something real. They can be deep, passionate, sad, happy, mundane, goofy…whatever. I’d just like to make a film of glimpses into the lives, minds and hearts of women. I realize this might be asking something personal or sensitive. I promise to handle it with tender love and care and the thoughtful advice of my wife. I will make dramatic interpretations of the stories, so they may not be exactly biographical (unless you specifically state that you want the facts out there, and then I’ll be very true to your story). So, if you’re willing to put a thought, story, memory or idea out there to the world, I would love to consider it for a scene in this film of snippets from the inner lives of women of all ages and backgrounds. Every submission will be kept confidential, and I won’t use your material without express written permission.

So I got some pretty powerful stories and some great ideas came from them. We are going on quite the journey to tell these amazing and very interesting stories.  So I hope that you can stay tuned to the blog and look for updates as they come. I will be working on the trailer and our kickstarter page to help raise funds for the project. I would really like to be able to raise enough to tell the world about the lives of these amazing women.

Thanks for reading.

Sean D Brown

One quick screen grab from the shoot today.

Recent Projects

Hello Readers,

Just wanted to give you an update on what I am up to.

I just finished my edits on the Boys & Girls Club Video & my Jackson Street Youth Shelter Albany House video.  I hope both of these Non-Profit fund raising videos do their jobs. Please help support if you can.

This last Thursday and Friday I went to Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast to shoot a hotel video. Had a great time with my friend Eric and we shot some great footage.

I have a new project that I am slowly working on called Vignettes of Interesting Women. I hope to see that project take off soon. Stay tuned for a Kickstarter on this and you can find out how to help out on the project.

And I will leave you will a few photos. BTS:

Up-dated Reel

Just updated the demo reel to include the new Demo Scene I filmed.
Enjoy.

Working with Non-Profits, tipping the scales in their favor.

Sean D Brown Cinematography has been doing a lot of work for Non-Profits over the last year. A few of the jobs are to create fund-raising videos, so that these amazing programs can continue.  I’m all for supporting these organizations! On the reverse side, they usually don’t have a budget to pay for a video to make them money.  Well, money isn’t everything! It’s good to keep that in mind in your business ventures.

Right now I am making a video with the Madison Ave Collective where I’m a member, and we are doing this fund-raising video for the Jackson St. Youth Shelter to open a house for the youth in Albany.  (Side note) If you can help donate to this cause or any other listed in this blog that would be great. Today we had a shoot and the stories the kids told where amazing. They had quite the hard life and have had to overcome a lot to be where they are now.

Here is a still frame from today’s shoot.

Another Non-Profit I’m making a video for it the Corvallis Boys & Girls Club.

I visited their building to scout the location and it is quite a nice facility. The kids that attend this club have a lot of opportunity. Again, supporting them is important to make sure they can continue the great services they offer the community.

They can’t pay much for these videos but I’m still going to put my heart and passion into them, because I believe in helping people who give back to the community.

Hope you can go out and give back to the people who have helped you in life. In this case the B&G and JSYS did not help me directly in my life but they help lots of kids here in Corvallis, and I hope to help them to keep helping others for years to come.

Thanks for reading,
Sean D Brown

Edit: A list of a few more Non-Profits I have worked with and need support.

CASA Corvallis

Freshwaters Illustrated

Corvallis Youth Symphony

Conservation Biology Institute

Knowledge is power

I am a strong believer in the never ending journey of learning your craft. I never went to film school but have learned a lot about film making and directing,  by reading books, making films, being on sets, watching online tutorials, videos,podcast, and teaching.

I believe that the books you might read in school are just as valuable or more so to be read on your own. School is not for everyone. Film making is something you have to get out there and do. The more you do it,and practice the craft the better you’ll get. Also the more passion you have for it the better it will be. (That one is true for anything you set your mind and heart into).

A book I enjoyed for my particular field was “Directing Actors” by Judith Weston. In this book, Judith shares her wisdom with us about “Creating memorable performance for film and television.”  I got a lot from this book about how to work with actors and how to get the most out of them without forcing your own view of the scene upon them. Directing is an art form of it’s own. I am not sure that it is something that can be studied and mastered, like how to aim a light.  We all can calculate the fall off in candles of a light, and what light modifiers do to it. It’s more of a science and math.  Directing is not like that for me. It’s something you feel and have a natural talent at. Some people have it and some people don’t. That doesn’t mean they are bad directors. It  just means that might not be the best place for them, and they have not found that out yet.(Side note :I love lighting and it also is an art)

Another book I enjoyed and found very useful was The DV Rebel’s Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap. A must read for any indy filmmaker that is making an action movie on the cheap. This book really makes you think about why each shot is in the movie and what it means and what is the best way to get the shot on the cheap.

Now I also follow some online blogs and have read the RED forms daily for the last 4 years.  These and many other sites help gain insigh into what’s going on in the industry and keeps me up-to-date with new technology.

Well, that’s all for now. Let me know if I can help you on your way to greatness. (sounds sort of like the sorting hat in HP book one…)

Sean D Brown

Directing

In my opinion, all roles on a set, whether TV or film, are as equally important and critical to getting the final shot.  That being said, I want to talk about one of the most difficult jobs on set: the director.

In a TV production, in the field or studio, the director has many things going on at once and a lot of calls and cues to hit as the event is being switched live with multiple cameras.   When I’m opening a show, my rundown from the top usually sounds a bit like this. Cameras to opening position, talent to opening positions, cue up music, cue up cg, cue up lights, cut up roll in, stand by with talent mics, stand by to roll tape, roll tape, (here, I will give a good 10 secs of black, stand by opening credits, which could be a cg or a roll in, take cg ( or roll in) fade up music ( or roll in sound if built in) preview camera 2, stand by to fade out roll in and music, stand by talent in 5, slow fade out of roll in and music, 3 fade up talent mics, any light effects if we have them, 2 cue talent, one, Mics should be live at this point. Take camera 2.

Ok. From here, I then direct my talent, cue up more CG, lower thirds or roll ins, music, and any other effects or lights cues we have planned for in pre-production. So, that is  what a TV studio production can look like from a director’s stand-point. Of course, that is after you have helped decide what the set will look like, made sure the cameras are matching (if it is a small shoot), and you need to oversee everything.

I have directed over 25 live studio/field production shows in the last two years. That might not sound like a lot, but between film directing and my video production business, finding time to do a live-switch production is hard.

Film production is a different concept to directing. I still have to oversee all that goes on in the production, especially when I have a small crew of under 10.  When I am fortunate enough to have a larger crew, I can delegate and trust more on my amazing crews to do their job to make the production run smoothly.

When I am on set, I usually have been through at the least two weeks of pre-production and at most 3-6 months of pre-production for the shoot I am directing. On set, the director is in charge of working with the talent, signing off on the look and camera moves, keeping things on time. On bigger shoots, an AD can do this, watching each take to make sure they are getting what they want, giving the talent direction if they are not getting what they want, knowing when to say “cut” and “print,” and being a professional. A bad director might not know what he or she wants and might not know how to talk to talent or get what they want from the talent or know what shots they want or what devices (camera techniques)  they want to use to aid in telling the story. These people waste the time of the cinematographer, the talent, the crew and the funders if they have them.

A good director, in my opinion, knows a little about all aspects of filmmaking, a alot would be even better.  I grew up an actor in NY doing print-ads, local theater, off-Broadway as a small child, stand in, extra work, commercial work, etc. I have studied cinematography for the last five years and taught filmmaking and TV production for the last four years. I have been almost every role in a film production, holding a boom, being a gaffer, a dolly pusher,puller, make-up (took a college course in it), sound mixer, producer, craft services, talent, editor, and director. Having a well-rounded view of what a set should run like and the crew to produce a good shoot are very important to a director.

Next time you wonder what the person behind the camera staring at a tv set yelling “ACTION” or “CUT” is doing, just remember what they went through to get to that spot and where they are going once the footage hits the can.

Thanks for reading,

Sean D Brown

Director

Reality Crash Update

My test demo scene for the movie “Reality Crash” is coming along wonderfully. Today I got my first cut of the sound for the whole scene and it sounds great layed down with rough-cuts of some of the music. It’s all coming along quite well. We have a lot of talented people working together on this film and it really shows. Right now I have a locked picture cut that the post-sound designer and music composer are working from. I will soon send the picture out to get color corrected by my colorist. All of these elements coming together will help tell the story we are trying to tell.

I would include some pictures here but can’t yet as I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

Color correcting can help tell the story in an amazing way. It can cool an image down or heat it up or make it scary and dark or warm and light. How we shoot and color the image is again another way of telling the story.

In sound mixing and designing we are discovering new ways to aid in the sorry telling that were not in the script or in the original storyboard plan. They work so well at helping tell where we have been and where we are going that I could not imagine the story without them.

Finally the musical score really helps put the mood and feel that we should be having outside of the picture. My composer did an amazing job so far at hitting all the right notes to help tell the story in the way that a production of this caliber should be told.

I want to thank all the hard work that my crew has put into this film to make it what it is.. I have worked for 6 plus months on this project almost everyday thinking about it and working on ideas. It feels good to be nearing the end of production on the scene and even better to have new prospects of moving on to a feature length film of “Reality Crash.”

Thanks for reading and pass it on.
Sean D Brown

Reality Crash Speical Effects

I have been in Post Production on my short demo for the movie “Reality Crash” for a few weeks now and it’s been alot of fun and hard work.

I have been editing the Red One’s footage mixed in with the 5D Mark II in Adobe Premier Pro CS5. I like this work flow because I can do my Visual Effects and Motion Graphics right in After Effects, and Dynamic Link them together.  With Dynamic link I don’t need to export my effects each time and then bring them in to Premier. Dynamic link lets you edit in both programs at the same time and live update as you go along. So I can have a piece of footage on the time line in Premier where the clip is going to end up then when I am ready for the effects I can send the clip to After Effects and do my chroma key or matte paintings or any other effects I would add to the shot then click back over to Premier and see the live update.

Stay tune for some BTS photos of my clips from Start(RAW) to Finished shot(Keyed,SFXed,Color Corrected,)

Thanks for reading,

Sean D Brown

Fun times outdoors in Oregon

At the end of 2010 I got a chance to co-produce a promo for a New Zealand based hiking backpack “Bodypack” company called AARN.
We shot it all on my 5D mark ii and my T2i/550d. We were hand held most of the time as it was alot of action shots. The T2i came in handy as it was much lighter then the 5D and it can shoot at 60FPS. We got down in to small cracks in the cliffs and camped out in the snow over night.
It was a great time and I look forward to creating more promos for company’s like this one.

I would click the link and watch on Youtube as this does not fit quite on the blog.
Sean D Brown & 117 Productions