John Painz, boom operator

Hey all!

So, on Saturday morning I worked my first film/video paid gig! I’m 38, and I made $75 on Saturday.

Awesome.

I worked on a crew that shoots Dylan’s Lunchbox for Birds Nest Foundation.

I received that gig from Mandy.com, I believe I was going to be a P.A. The first job fell through due to some scheduling conflict, and they got in touch with me two weeks ago to help out on Saturday. It was a lot of fun.

We went to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Shop on 20th and Broadway. Quite a few of us crew members kept saying ‘how have we not known this place was here?’

It’s such a nice shop, and they make the cheese there, for everyone to see.

As the boom operator, I had to go in to the cheese making room and follow around the host of the show, with the camera person.

Sanitation is key, so they had us don these white coats and put hairnets on, and we also had to wear these plastic booties. Since I’m a gargantuan, I had to get special boots, but you can’t see them in these photos. Sigh. They were silly.

So, it was a lot of fun. The director/photographer was using a Sony EX1. Nice camera. The boom mic and the lavalier mic were both set up to go through the camera, which is new to me. No syncing in post, just straight from the mics, embedding with the video.

I finished out the day meeting a producer to possibly assistant direct on a short film. Working on those details now, we’ll see what happens.

All in all, an interesting day. Today I shot some awesome footage for The Difference Between. Tomorrow is our final day of shooting, thank god. I’m putting my foot down at this point… my foot down on me, as it were. I keep thinking of interesting things that we should change, etc.

The thing is, this project will never start if I don’t keep moving forward. That was one of the things I liked about renting equipment. The sense of urgency. Since we shot the majority of the first episode in the winter, I’ve had to finagle a bit to make sure the sense of season was consistent. I’m sure it’ll be all just fine. The footage looked awesome, truly. I can’t wait to show some of it.

Tomorrow we’re shooting at Simple Studios. I picked out a nice room for the shoot (they have quite a few of them), and have a friend, Michelle, helping me with the shoot.

On Monday, I am helping out the production of a short film, which will be ongoing, as they need it. On Tuesday we’re doing some re-shoots of the pilot episode of Off Off, the web series I shot last week, or two weeks ago… can’t remember.

Busy, busy!

Now I just have to make some more money. That $75 went straight to the production of The Difference Between. Perfect timing.

OK, My body feels like it’s about to shut down. I walked from 1st Ave and 3rd Street all the way home stopping here and there to shoot interesting footage. Yesterday was my second day on my bike. My body is simply not ready for this physical assault.

Thanks for reading.

John Painz

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Some videos and an article I wrote

Firstly, the good people at Free Music Archive asked me to write a guest blog about Creative Commons Licensed music for film and web series. You can read it here. They put together a mix of some of the best tracks, too! Check it out.

I also figured it was time to post some videos. First, the teaser/fundraiser video for “8 for Vegas.”

What a goof.

This next one I found on Vimeo, via Reddit. So much fun, great atmosphere… and, supposedly the person who did the make-up learned via tutorials on Youtube! So, there’s hope for everyone due to fantastic people who take the time to teach.

And finally… this is a CG short apocalyptic film called Ruin, and it is simply gorgeous to look at.

Thanks for watching! Tonight I’m going to bike over to Simple Studios to see if their space will be good for the opening of The Difference Between. If it is, I’ll shoot there this week, and we’ll have a first draft on Sunday! Awesome.

John

8 for Vegas, and more

Hey all.

Just started the fundraising campaign for the second season of 8 for Vegas. Should be fun! You can check it out here.

Is that the goofiest face on that video or what?

Let’s see. What else.

The pilot episode of Off Off is in the process of being edited. Not sure when they are going to shoot a second episode.

I recently answered a Mandy.com ad for an assistant to the producer position. I was, and still am constantly reminded of the UK version of The Office. Garath continues to assert he’s the assistant manager. David Brent continually corrects him. “Assistant to the Manager.”

Funny stuff. In context.

It’s for a short film that will be shooting some time in the next month. I believe they have a position for me on the crew, so we’ll see what it ends up being!

I have finished transcoding all of the footage from the first episode of The Difference Between. I didn’t realize it, but it’s over 100 different shots, and over 80gb of footage. I’m completely running out of disc space. Not good.

This weekend, I’ll be out and about getting awesome sound effects and background sound for the short, and should have a first cut some time on Sunday, if all goes well. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading!

John Painz

New projects

Hey all. Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’m in Florida until tomorrow. Been helping my mom move some stuff and all that.

So, let’s see.

I finished an edit on the 8 for Vegas teaser and fundraising video. Worked out some fun incentives, too. At least, I hope they’re fun.

It’s difficult to know what incentives will be best on a fundraising campaign. I read a very interesting post on Reddit about this very thing, and the basic gist of the thread was that people don’t care about the incentives, as much as they are donating money to support the person, because they believe in them.

Well, I believe that’s true part of the time. But I think that people donate money because they are getting something for their money. Whether it’s entertainment, or something physical, something fun, or perhaps an opportunity for involvement. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be incentives.

So, we’ll see how it goes. I’ve been checking out a bunch of successful campaigns and seeing how they went about getting funding. Since we’re looking to raise about $2,000, I suspect that the majority of the money we’ll be raising will come from friends, family, and APA players. Mostly.

Let’s see, what else.

On Tuesday I’ll be shooting photography on a pilot for a web series called Off Off.

Last Tuesday, I went to the Soho Playhouse and shot some test footage for the writer/director. You can check it out here.

Should be fun!

The final thing is, I’ve been given an opportunity to direct a music video for Northern Introvert and his new album.

Looking forward to it. I was given my choice of 1 of 8 tracks for his new album, so, we’ll see which one I get!

That’s about it for right now. I know I keep saying this, but I’m about 99% finished on the first episode of The Difference Between.

When I get home I have to do some foley work, which I’m very excited about. Foley, according to Wikipedia is “Foley is the reproduction of everyday sounds for use in filmmaking.”

It’ll be interesting.

Finally, one thing up in the air, I have an interview on Friday to be an assistant to a producer on a short film. We’ll see if anything comes of it.

I’ll keep you posted! We’ll definitely have the 8 for Vegas fundraising campaign up on March 19th, and start production some time in May. Awesome.

Talk soon.

John Painz

Improvisation, and filming rehearsals

Hi all.

On Sunday, Julie (producer Julie), Ian Bjorklund, Katie Howe, and I went down to Society Billiards to film both an 8 for Vegas teaser for Season 2, and a fundraising video.

Katie is a new cast member. We’re losing 2, possibly three people for season 2, unfortunately. I met Katie while she was working at Society Billiards, and we hit it off straight away. She’s an actress, very pretty, and after explaining what we were doing there (and her watching the series) she agreed to be a part of our production.

Now, I went in to Sunday’s shoot with a vague idea of what we were going to accomplish. I had hoped to get Drew and Nicole there, but unfortunately, they weren’t around. This made it a bit difficult to write a script because something for just one person would be kind of dull. Luckily I received a wayward Facebook message from Katie who said she was, indeed, free Sunday, and so I started an outline.

Improvisation in this type of venue is key, in my opinion. As much as I love the stuff I write down, there is something to be said about giving your actors and actresses the ability to get from A to B in their own way.

I explained a bit about what we were trying to accomplish, and from there we got about 45 minutes of footage, bloopers, and some real gold. Katie and Ian worked very well together, unsurprisingly, and I got way more than I needed, which is good.

We wrapped that segment of the day and moved on to the fundraising video, which was a complete nightmare. I knew the message, basically… we need help to get Season 2 made. That was it, in a nutshell.

Well, I hate being on camera. I hate it. Not for any other reasons other than vanity, or what would be the opposite of vanity, I suppose. But I tried to talk intelligently, and spoke to the loaded gun that is the lens of the camera, and felt like I was babbling like an alzheimer’s patient. Or perhaps just a crazy person. One of the two.

In the end, I think I might have gotten a reasonable 30 seconds of footage out of me, even though we shot for an hour. At one point I’d been babbling so much that Julie said “BORING.” It took a lot of will power not to kill her, for I had been on a role, spouting off technical nonsense that might have gotten through to 1% of 1% of our audience, but dammit, it seemed important at the time.

But she was right, in the end. And it saved her life.

It’s a problem, you know, shooting a fundraising video. If you’re not shooting a product video (or maybe YOU are the product), you have just moments to interest your viewer. Your plea has to be quick, to the point, and engaging, especially if you’re a nobody (respectively) who is reaching out for help from the great void that is the internet.

While I may not be ‘nobody’, perse, since 8 for Vegas has an audience (though a limited one)… the same rules apply.

We’re hoping to keep the entire video, both the teaser and the plea, to 5 minutes. I just finished editing the teaser and that is at 5 minutes. So, we’ll see what we can cut, and go from there.

Before shooting 8 for Vegas last year, I came across an article on Ridley Scott. Or maybe it was a video. Or a wikipedia page. I cannot remember.

But, what I gleaned from it was that Scott filmed rehearsals during the production of Alien, which abled him to get more spontaneity and improvisation out of his actors.

I thought this was going to be so enormously helpful when we started filming last year, and it was. Allowing the camera to run caught so many wonderful moments of improvisation. And while I never said “Get from A to B,” many people were able to do that by themselves. They were able to use the script for a sense of direction, and got to B.

Sometimes it didn’t work. I remember on a handful of occasions that I needed to tell the actors to get back on message, because without it, propelling an arc or the basic plot of that episode forward would have been difficult, if not impossible.

When we started filming The Difference Between… I did the same thing. Kept the camera rolling, and watched as things evolved. It was helpful on both sides of the camera, I think, and I would recommend it highly.

We should have the fundraising campaign up in the next week. I’m excited to get started.

Thanks for reading!

John