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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First Day of the Last Semester

So today is my first day back to school in what looks to be my final semester here at Towson University. It has been a fun ride and I hope this semester turns into a memorable one (I would say the last great semester was Fall of 2009). It has turned into more of a chore than anything coming to school especially when you know what you need to do in the real world and just want to get there. I am taking it easy on myself or so I say by taking 3 upper level English Courses, One Film Course (Experimental! Scweet!) and One Math Course (the one I have been avoiding). I can't wait to get through it and start the rest of my life.

On a whole other note I wanted to talk about a recent interaction I had on Facebook last night with a "group" of people that call themselves professionals...which I will say outright they are not. The post I saw that a member posted was an audition call for a film they are doing. The first one they did was terrible but that is beside the point. Anyway they were going to charge $5 for a processing fee for actors to come out to audition. I was mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No audition should ever cost money for anyone ever ever ever ever ever ever period. If someone wants you to pay them to watch you act when you are not even guaranteed a spot in the film just walk away. The thing was after I called them out they still argued it with me saying that they deserve to get paid for hours of listening to actors. NO NO NO you get paid when the film you are making gets money...and if you are getting into this business because you are trying to make a quick buck then you are wrong. Every professional producer out there takes a gamble producing a film and on small productions usually takes a little bit of a loss. Trying to think that you deserve to make money to hear auditions is total and utter shit! If you are getting into this business because you don't want a real job or you think it is easy there is the door buddy because no good people like you flood the indie market and drive too many people down the drain. Film is an open canvas and people like I encountered last night and have encountered so many times before just smear shit all over that canvas.


Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Monday, January 30, 2012

Landyn Photoshoot

So without further ado these are the photos I took of my little cousin Landyn back in August.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finishing Touches

So today I was adding some last minute touches on the music video and actually just a few minutes ago I sent out what I think should be the final cut of the video to the guys at the studio. At the request of the owner I added a few things that I was hesitant to at first but thanks to his encouragement I did which was the last little punch it needed to take it from average to awesome. I was glad to have made the final adjustments and can't wait to show it off, all anyone has been saying about the video is that they like it so I am very happy.

Also today I showed my cousin and aunt the final edits of the pictures I took of my little cousin back in August. It was a lot of work to get through so many pictures but they were happy with the end result and I was too which was great. After my cousins approval I am going to be uploading the final edit of those pictures tomorrow in my post so that everyone can see. I hope everyone likes what I have done and that it will help me to get future work with pictures. We will see.

My final piece of information is that I am talking with an actor concerning headshots and if all goes well I will have a paid gig and even more photography experience.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Editing Nearly Complete

Well last night I was cleaning and finishing up the last touches on my newly redone room and after a long day of cleaning I sat down to my computer and decided to edit. The project I finished up was the music video for Kane Mayfield the song of course being Hello which is really a tribute song to a lot of different locations that Kane himself has been at and lived at. The way I had to edit it was basically create 9 video tracks for B-roll and 8 video tracks of different spots we recorded him performing at. After that I would listen to the flow of the song and depending on how each few bars went or maybe one bar after the other went I would select one of the 8 locations we shot at and go with that. Then the ones I didn't want I would just cut and discard. It took a long time because I had to go with the very best shot for those few bars because I was getting rid of all other options once I cut out a video track. It was time consuming and probably not the most practical way to get the job done, it took about 2 and a half hours; but I got the job done. Later today Ashley is coming over and she will watch it, let me know what she thinks, then maybe I will ask Zach to come down and see what he thinks. If I can get approval from both then I will send it on to the label owner and get his approval. After all that we should have a final cut to be sent out.

I hope it gets there and I don't have to do a whole new cut...that would be very disheartening.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Friday, January 27, 2012

No Country for Old Men and Red State

Well over the past few nights I have watched both No Country for Old Men and Red State two very different films that are both very well done. First I would like to over my thoughts on Red State the newer of the two films.

In the film Red State a change of pace for Kevin Smith three young high school kids all decide to take up an add for a woman looking to have sex with three guys at once. They decide to go out and take this woman up on her offer and when they arrive she offers them alcohol which is inevitably poisoned with what is implied as a date rape drug. When we see one boy awaken we are now inside of a church of very creepy people. We go through the motions of seeing how crazy these people are and in the meantime the police go down to investigate the boys car who sideswiped the sheriff's car on the way up to the woman's trailer. Police officer gets shot things escalate and it goes from there. What I love about this movie is the fact that it has a good sense of humor too it which is of course a staple of most Kevin Smith films. The dark subject matter is great for Smith who I usually have stronger reservations for because I feel like his films can be a tad too talk heavy. In this film he sticks to action, humor, and violence to create a very well done film. In addition this is his first film using a digital format which he used the Red Camera which again is a nice touch that allows him to do some very unique shots. I would highly recommend this film if you and your buddies are looking for a good movie to pass the time.

In No Country for Old Men Joel and Ethan Coen deliver another great film that is very dark and stays very dark throughout. It is a film about a hired killer who is trying to find a briefcase of money from a drug deal gone wrong. A man while hunting stumbles across it and tries to flee from the pursuit of this killer as well as fellow drug dealers who are all trying to get the money. In this film we see the mindset of the man on the run, the sheriff, and the killer all who which at one point or another you sympathize with in a strange way. I don't want to give away the ending but it is a different ending then you might expect for a film like this. I know I kinda felt like it was but it still was a little bit of a shock for me. The thing I love about the Coen brothers with this film though is the way they film it, it makes it seem as though anyone could do this film as long as they have a solid ground in filmmaking. This is not a bad thing at all, I love the simplicity of the shot selection and the very classical way of telling this story. Just everything about this movie they nail dead on, there is really not a lot of flaws I could point out. Another great one to watch maybe not with a bunch of buddies but certainly a great film none the less.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Changing Things Up

So today I am going to be changing my entire room layout, which is something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I am just tired of my old set up and wanna make my room not only a bedroom, but a home office and also a space for people to come and enjoy themselves. What I am hoping to do is to move my bed to the other side of my room and my computer suite to the opposite side of where it is at too. I also want to get rid of two pieces of furniture completely, one being an old broken record recorder which used to be my grandmothers and the other being a big old dresser of mine which basically turned into a random storage spot for just plain old junk. Getting rid of that will free up a lot of space which in the long run I am hoping to add a flat screen LED tv and also a couch to the side with my computer so I can actually watch movies on something other than my bed. It will be nice to have some changes around my room and hopefully before the end of the year I will be moving out and also in a union!

In addition to that I feel as though I have a solid beginning for the Hello music video and that is always my biggest hurdle. I am going to let my girlfriend watch it and if I get her approval I will go on, she is a much harder critic than I am...plus I get clouded by my own edits so I can't really approve my own cuts, I like to get second or even third opinions before moving forward.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Music Video Is Over

Well yesterday afternoon we officially wrapped on the Hello music video for Kane Mayfield. It was a tough and grueling shoot considering all the places we had to travel but it I feel as though something unique will come out of it. The last spot we filmed at was Federal Hill here in Baltimore since it was a shot to me that summed up the entire city in one location. So at the end of the day we got footage from DC, New York, Baltimore, and Virginia, pretty crazy.

I started editing it last night and just a smidge this morning but I am hung up on the introduction and what it should look like. This is always the hardest part of editing for me because for me that is the most important part of the video. Without a good introduction no one will keep watching because nothing grabs the audience. It is even harder for me because I have such a slanted view of what makes a good introduction since I love the New Wave so much I am hung up on wanting to do a Godard style introduction but I don't think anyone else will like that. Once I get over that hump though I think I will be good to go.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pictures from the Minimester

Well last night I decided to edit the pictures I took for my final project in Aesthetics of Film further to make them more appropriate for my picture reel. I know it has been a while since the last time I put up pictures so I think now is the time to do so. From my perspective I feel like the middle three are the strongest one but the first and last look pretty sweet too.

With the project we had to redo a scene from any movie we wanted and I decided to do a scene from 500 Days of Summer when Summer and Tom were talking on his bed. In the film it is presented pretty innocently but I set up to do two things very different. One was make it a lot darker, the lighting, the actions everything. Two was to change the scene to reflect the style of the whole movie and how the relationship was always in flux. I feel like I did a good job of both but you be the judge and let me know what you think.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Monday, January 23, 2012

Last Day of the Minimester

Well today is the last day of the minimester for me here at Towson University and I couldn't be anymore excited to be honest. After today I have all week off of work and school which it seems is already getting booked up with film jobs and hang out times lol. It is crazy that I have to schedule hang out times even if I have been doing it for a while it is still pretty crazy to me. I remember when I could get outta school and everyone would just hang out and do their thing. Now it is like hey what you doing tonight followed by either oh working or nothing lets chill or we figure it out days ahead of time. It sucks and it is irritating at the same time that our lives are dictated by such a thing as a job. I guess these are the questions everyone asks around this time in life. I think we question and question until due to lack of responses we just accept everything.

Sorry for that side conversation with myself. Yeah today in about 20 minutes I am going to turn in my final project which was the same thing as the last one but I had to create stills instead of finding them. Then after that I take the final quiz which will be 20 questions, maybe hear some lecturing in between or after and that is the end of that. From there it is a week of freedom! I can't wait.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Soul Searching

So between last night and today things have been a very internal struggle. Last night my parents decided to chat with me again about how things have been in the house which is nothing but constant tension. We talked and I have realized that I can be selfish and stubborn, that is just a dark part of who I am. I constantly want to argue and clash so badly with authority figures because I always want to be my own person and I feel like those authority figures want to hold that back. I don't know why but for some reason I do maybe it is because I never want to be held back in my personal ability.

Today while at work I got into a huge fight with my supervisor because I feel like he is doing a terrible job and no matter how much we talked today I still feel like he doesn't get it and that never seems to crack into his mind. Plus just that struggle of caring but not caring at work sucks, on one hand I don't care because it is not my career, on the other I have to because I am a captain which warrants more responsibility than a normal day to day worker. It is tough.

So now I am stuck trying to figure out not only how I want my personality to be but also what approach I want to take in the film industry. I am thinking of maybe doing a feature the summer outside of college but that is the same time I could join the union for film work. We will see...

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Matt and Kim

Now this is all me, now this is all me
Watch out for late phone calls
Wheat paste and concrete walls
Go too far, live too long
Time’s too short, right and wrong
Block after block
Block after block
Roll down gates look the same
Different trips, different trains
Hey friends
Break in the back door
And turn it up
While the lights are out
Eyes closed and shouting right now
Lights turn on
And dark turns up
Side by side
Dream bigger
Next in line
It’s late
Now this is all me
Now this is all me
Eat when you’re hungry and
Sleep when you’re slipping like
Tired dogs rest their paws
Today we show our flaws
Block after block
Block after block
It’s one way, now on Wythe
What was left now is right
Hey friends we’ll jump the turnstiles
And cut it down
While the lights are out
Eyes closed and shouting right
I think it takes a pile of bricks
For us to make a home
And I’m not sure but I hear
Mountains grow from just a stone
Block after block
Block after block
Everything I’ve learned
Every step I took
And street I’ve walked

Friday, January 20, 2012

1 Class Down

So yesterday I almost thought I wouldn't make it to class on time, which was terrible especially considering that it was the last day. I woke up at 9:53 when I was supposed to wake up at 7:30, the problem was I stayed up until 3 the night before editing the final project video for class the next day. I still had to finish the edit and get ready for class before 10:30 which I somehow managed to do and going 80 the whole way I made it just at 11 which was insane. I got the project uploaded and we were the third group to present and it was a blowout. We took the cake in the class with the best project bar none. We composed the shots great, solid with the lighting, story was moody then very funny (the class actually did laugh which was great to see), and overall it just looked good. I am not saying that because we shot in HD or any of that because if anything HD is less forgiving than SD (many professors have even commented on that).

After we showed it we were on a roll with great feedback until this stupid girl had to go and be buzzkillington all over the room. She asked what camera I used because she is a hater and I truthfully responded with the T3I and then she was all in some bitchy tone like I didn't think we could use that camera. The teacher then in a low voice almost like he didn't want to say it was like Yeah, you shouldn't have used that camera. Then all the feedback just stopped and we moved on, I was so pissed. Then after class...right in front me when I am waiting to talk to the teacher she is still complaining about it. I was even more pissed, and I mean the girl owns that camera...use it. I was always told use the DVX and I did until I got my HXR NX5U back in the day and then I was like screw it, I got this thing. I mean I didn't buy a 1,500 dollar wide angle lens to not use over some DVX crappy camera. This film is going on the reel man I wasn't downgrading the quality for anything.

Anyway that was my little descent into madness. I also watched The Thing last night for the first time (not the new remake, the 1982 version). I thought it was a very good film and the effects were still pretty sweet even by today's standards. I wouldn't want that happening to me or people I knew that would be super scary.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We Made It

Well it took all last night but somehow...someway we made it through the night with a completed short film for lighting class. We started out being very very nit picky but as the night wore on and we began getting more tired things slowly started getting...good enough lol. One take in particular was being so frustrating that I was just like alright that last one was good enough, something that is never good to say on set. However with the great job of everyone and my lovely girlfriend sacrificing her sleep as well we managed to make what should be a fun little short that at the very least is lit really really well.

I am going to be up late tonight editing it and getting it ready for class tomorrow which should be fun, but hopefully does not involve me staying up all night tonight getting it ready. I may have gotten 7 hours of sleep after we finished last night but I don't want to do that again tonight. Only this and one more project is due for my minimester classes and then it is all over. After that from the 23rd to the 30th I am taking a nice little vacation from work because I need at least a single week off before my final semester of college.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Filming for Class Tonight

So tonight is the big night for the final project in my lighting class. It is hard to believe that 2 days from now I will be all done with the class. Tonight we are going to start filming at around midnight and get done whenever it is we get done. I hope it is not too late but I have a feeling it will be since we can't even get started until midnight tonight. It is going to be grueling to say the least but it will look nice especially since we are filming in complete HD with the DSLR camera. The other nice thing about today is the fact that class isn't until 3pm which is giving me some extra time to sleep in and also get my first project done for Aesthetics class which will be all over on the 23rd. The minimester goes by fast and I am almost a little sad to see it go so quickly.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Sunday, January 15, 2012

No Dice...Again

It seems to be a very growing trend with my productions where things don't get done. All it takes is one bad screw in a table to make it collapse and with each growing production that seems to be the case. This time it was my DP who is sick...now I want to make perfectly clear before I continue that I am not mad at this person, I am not pissed off, just extremely disappointed for obvious reasons.

The first reason being why not let me know earlier ya know? I mean come on when I am that sick I first let someone know and then if I am on the fence I stay very vocal with the situation. If I get 5 or 6 or even 8 texts the day before a shoot I will answer (unless I am completely pissed off at that person). I will not wait until late in the night to do so after the same texts over and over. In the end I would feel completely horrible especially if I haltered the entire production which is what happened in this situation. I am a professional I strive to do so because I am sick and tired of people being anything but and deciding because they are sick or wanna go outside and play not showing up. ESPECIALLY after I got out of my way to do nothing but helpful on their production which I did completely free and let you use some of my equipment again completely free.

This is yet again another reason why my productions can not be to the excellent quality I want them to be. With Spiritus and Nina I was so happy because I had a crew of people but then egos got in the way since people want to do everything and be the best at it. Once you start getting critical they hate you...but yet when I do something it is ok for you to shit all over it (sorry that was a tagent). Back to the main point I try to rebuild from losing a crew I could trust and start surrounding myself again but the one person I felt would help me the most is now screwing this shoot up the most. Yes being sick is not something that can be avoided but I was still ready to go even with a fever, sore throat, and sinus headache...because I am dedicated to my work. I know people who will go to insane lengths to make a production great through huge hurdles.

If the person I am talking about happens to read this I would like to extend my gratitude for what you have done for me but I hope you understand my frustration. This is a blog for the company and being as such I feel as though this is my time to both vent and inform everyone of the status of TTP. I have withheld your name because that is completely uncalled for but I urge you to please grow and continue to hone your skills. You have a lot of talent and despite all this I still want to work on something together just at a time where things are not so bad for you.

A final thing to understand is that I have been burned so much in my life...if I was a chicken I would be beyond overcooked by now...please don't be another helping of fire.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Get it All Done Day

Today is get it all done day for me. Mainly because I have to try and get everything done before Sunday/Monday. Plus I have to run around and get supplies still for Sunday/Monday. I have to get ink for my printer, hooks to hang the china balls for the samurai film, and fishing wire. All of which is going to be crazy to do considering I am working all day today and I know I am going to be very very very tired...to say the least. I couldn't even get up at 8 this morning when I fell asleep last night at 11pm. I got up at 9 which is like 10 hours of sleep and as I am typing I am still a tad bit groggy, being sick sucks. I hope by Sunday I will feel better but I doubt it very much since I am probably going to get bad sleep tonight and then right after work on Sunday I have to get a room all ready for filming by decorating with different items. I just can't wait to get all of this done. After the 17th things should be slowing down. Unless something else comes my way which it probably will. I am not complaining about that just merely talking about it. Wish me luck with all of this guys.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Friday, January 13, 2012

DC Trip

Today was my big DC trip to shoot the DC end of the Hello video for Kane Mayfield and also meet with an executive producer about an Assistant Director position on his upcoming short film. The video shoot was short and sweet, really only got 4 shots at the location, one of them being Kane rapping the whole song. As far as the meeting it seemed to go really well, I was offered a 2nd Assistant Director position which I would love to do but the travel is what is going to be tricky. The way it was described to me it sounded like we would be staying out shooting until midnight each day and the Megabus doesn't go that late so I have to look into two different options. Option 1: Try to convince the executive producer or another crewmember close by to let me crash there for the shoot the next day or...Option 2: Take the metro back home each night and return the next day by the same mode of transportation. I hope I can do Option 1 since it will save me a lot of money but if Option 2 works I may have to just do that. I will have to ask around and get it all straightened out before early February.

Other than that on Sunday I have the Samurai short film shoot and then on Tuesday I have to shoot the final lighting project for class which will be a late night shoot as well. In addition I almost forgot I have to turn in my first project for my other minimester class on Monday...somehow. Tonight is all about good sleep so that I can just work tomorrow and get a lot done Saturday night before all hell breaks loose.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sorry For the Late Post

Sorry for the late post everyone but I was tied up all day between school and after school projects. Class was held later in the day today but I had to get to school around the same time to work on our second lighting project. It was quick so I just chilled on campus until class time. During class we got to simulate what it would be like to have a stationary car but make it look like it was moving. It was really cool to see how it works and a good trick to remember for the next time I am shooting if I want to do driving shots.

After class I got to finish up the lighting project with my group which was fun even in the pouring rain. It is a simple little story of waking into a building but the lighting is pretty sexy to say the least. This semester is killing me slowly but I have been learning and continue to learn a lot. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Working Things Out

Today I wasn't able to attend my lighting class which I thought would be no big deal but my teacher actually ended up calling my phone and asking where I was. I was shocked but it was something that couldn't be stopped since my car was driving so funky I didn't trust it going all that way. It turned out to just be transmission fluid and it is running much better right now. It was nice that things worked out that way though because it gave me more time to study for my quiz tonight and also get some much needed rest.

Also today I worked more on Love is Undead which has all the music set as of right now and the color correction is almost 100%. Now I am just working on the sound correction as well as the dreaded last step of adding the bullet/blood effects which I hope go a lot better than the last time I tried to do it, which looking pretty bad. The nice thing is that I am getting there and once the regular semester starts I will show it to some people/professors and once I get a final blessing I will send it out.

In other news I am trying to lock down this editing job which looks to be pretty basic but for each edit I do I get $100 which is pretty sweet since the work seems pretty constant. Once I get the ball rolling on that I hope to do at least one edit a week which after just a single month would be $400. We will see where it all goes but I hope it ends up somewhere nicely.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

200th Posting!

Well this is it the 200th post I have made on this blog which I started back in June of 2010 or maybe a little earlier I can't remember. I have been letting you guys in on what is going on at To Tony Productions and also in my life in general. I am so glad to have been sharing my thoughts with you guys for so long now and hope to continue doing so for a long while. I feel the support everyday and the constant positive thoughts I get from you guys really help me get through tough times here in the field.

As far as today however I am in postproduction mode really just getting my mojo back which had been lost for a while. I am tweaking Love is Undead and also a series of photos I took back in August of last year which has just been sitting forever so I finally decided to go back and give it a look back. Those things should be coming out shortly. Oh and I did find a festival for the zombie film since the Maryland Film Festival is all done accepting submissions which is the Sacramento Horror Film Festival, their submissions begin in February which gives me a month to finalize everything with the film.

I am so glad to share my thoughts with you and for you to listen is pretty amazing!

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Monday, January 9, 2012

Brick Wall

Today was just a massive brick wall that I smacked right into. I have been pushing myself too hard and today in the morning it all blew up in my face. I was supposed to go to DC for two things 1.Shoot more music video footage for Kane Mayfield 2. Meet a local director about an Assistant Director job on an upcoming film. Well I decided to hang out with my girl last night and we stayed up until about 12am and I had to get up at 4am today, I thought I could do it. Turns out my alarm went off twice and before I could get up I looked at my phone again and it was 6:30 in the morning. The megabus was leaving at 7:15 and I had nothing ready to go. I ended up not going and now here I am just getting ready for a test in class today.

It was just a lot though, worked long shifts from Thursday to Sunday at work right after long shifts at school Tuesday + Wednesday. Combine that with short intervals of sleep and running 2 miles a night at the track...all this adds up to one bad combination and today was certainly all those factors adding up.

On the positive though I started editing old photos again so that I should have more of my photography work up soon and also I started editing more of Love is Undead for the first time in over a month. I will not be able to submit it to the Maryland Film Festival but I will be submitting it to the Sacramento Horror Film Festival instead. Wish me luck with getting accepted to that. Should be back to 100% tomorrow after this funky day is finally over.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What a Waste

Well today was pretty much a wasted day to say the least. I pretty much spent all day trying to figure out good times for outdoor photography and what makes a good image vs. a bad image. I was also studying the different types of filters for good outdoor photography. I figured out polarizing filters are great for outdoor work but also the magic hours are when you need to shoot outside. At least 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sunset are the best times, noon is the worst. I understand that a lot better now and I am going to invest in a Hoya Polarizing filter which is all well in good but being in Baltimore there are no stores to be able to get said things. Also on B and H Photo today online ordering wasn't starting until 6pm so I won't be able to get my filter until Tuesday at the earliest. I have a shoot that I have to do Monday in DC and I am pretty screwed right now. I am trying to borrow one so we will see. I wish that school would have been more informative about filters and shooting times and all that good stuff. I am glad I know now but I have to go to work until 8pm so I wasn't really able to get anything done. Tomorrow working 8am to 3pm so no luck there either. Trying to make time and get good rest is an impossible task to say the least.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Friday, January 6, 2012

Setting Up

Ok so today is a long work day, pretty much just a throw away day if you ask me. However I am finally getting everything finalized for the rest of the month pretty much. So the samurai film is looking like it is getting filmed on January 15th which is a Sunday. It is going to be an all night shoot but totally worth it for a kick ass little short film. On January 17th I have to work on my final project for my lighting class so we again are going to be pulling an all nighter getting that done for class (it is due by the 19th). Before all the that on the 12th we have to do a lighting day for night short video for class which is due on the 17th.

In addition to that tomorrow I am going out to Federal Hill park to film the Baltimore portion of Hello by Kane Mayfield which should be simple and fast. Sunday is going to be another chill day even though work is all day again. Monday I am going up to DC in the morning to finish up shooting of Hello and also I am meeting with a local director in the DMV area for an Assistant Director job on his senior film. Then that night I have class at 5:30pm and in between I have to study since we have our first quiz that day.

Not only all that but I still want to find time to get to the reviewing of movies. If all goes well tonight I will be getting my computer back and can finally get back to the finishing up of these videos. I still have to edit Love is Undead and the Baltimore Humane Society video. Needless to say after the 23rd when the semester is over I will be taking off of work from the 23rd to the 30th for a much deserved break.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Things Are Picking Up

So today is the end of my first week of the minimester. It has been hard sitting through 5 hour classes but I am getting the hang of it. My first day I was ready to give up but by today I feel a new sense of energy especially since I talked to my teacher after class yesterday. At first it was about lighting but then it turned into different thoughts on college and life afterwards. He even told me about some productions coming into town soon which was pretty bad ass.

Also I am pretty firm that shooting of the samurai film with take place either January 14th or 15th. I am hoping for the 15th because I get out of work early in the day and the 14th is another show for Kane Mayfield and I really want to go to the concert. Not only to get footage from that but also because it is in DC and if we can spend the day getting awesome shots around the DC area for the video that should be it for the music video.

Also in about a half hour I am leaving to go up to my friend Everett's to get my hard drive back which has been a long time coming but I am glad to finally get it. Oh and also I will be getting the computer back for the the third time on Friday which again is awesome because it is finally in working order!

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The World of the Mini...Mester

Yesterday was the first day of my minimester at Towson and wow was it a lot different than what I expected to say the least. It is a pretty empty place at Towson during the minimester and when I tried to get something to eat all the stores on campus were closed. I was half expecting this but still it was pretty strange. I decided to get some food at Jerry's subs and it was nice to be able to leave campus drive out and come back no problem but this luxury does not make up for the 4 1/2 hour class followed by the 5 hour class I have to take with only a 2 hour break in between. It is a huge marathon to say the least.

In other news I am still trying to find a date for my samurai short film which has been on the back burner since late December. My DP is still not getting back to me 100% on the date and whenever we seem to get close to it things sort of fizzle out. He is a great guy just not the best with scheduling but no matter I press on and will be able to get things moving with it.

In even other news I am still trying to finish Love is Undead which again got majorly delayed by the fact that my computer sort of died and to make matters worse I still don't have my hard drive back which I haven't had access to since early December again my DP has it and I haven't been able to schedule a time to really pick it up yet. It is coming though do not worry.

Other than that I still am working on the music video for Hello by Kane Mayfield which has turned into a video with a lot of travel footage sprinkled on top. The entire video is very guerilla style but it is looking good. We have to hit DC and Federal Hill and we should be all done with it. I expect that to be wrapped up before the end of January.

My final project is getting that Baltimore Humane Society video done which I will be able to jump into again after I get my computer back on Friday. Can't wait I have so much catching up to do.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Minimester Time

Well today is the start of the minimester for me at Towson University. I was basically forced to do it because I was 8 credits behind this past semester and kind of need to take 2 courses just to catch up. Luckily though next semester I could pick whatever I wanted except for one course which was MATH (my worst enemy!). However it should be chill just 2 classes a day Monday-Thursday 3 of the 4 days staying until 10:30 at night. Sounds bad, but I can handle it, the nice thing is parking won't be an issue since almost no one does the minimester at Towson.

In addition to that I came to the realization that this week I probably not be able to start my reviews as planned due to my computer issues. The nice thing was the guy who built it finally figured out the problem which was one bad stick of ram. That one bad stick was causing constant freezing and restart issues. I did have 16gb now it is just going to be 12gb of ram but from what I saw online 12gb should be more than enough for me. I hope it was just one stick though he wasn't really too specific on the matter. Either way the computer works and I should have it by Friday finally done. After that I gotta go into overkill mode to get through the Corporate video project which was supposed to be done like a month ago...I will get it done.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Monday, January 2, 2012

Phew...I Am Tired

Well since the New Year I have been really just trying to focus on my needs over the whole video thing at least for a little bit. With my extra free time I have been spending more time with my girlfriend and also hitting the track at lot more. I have been eating less and watching what I eat a ton more. It has been nice to really just put my mind at ease and focus on my own life, I forgot what it meant really to have my own life.

On the other hand I have also been keeping in mind that I wanna start reviewing movies soon too and I hope that by this Friday I will be able to go out and watch one of two films. On one side there is The Devil Inside which looks to be another low budget but creepy horror film in the vein of The Blair Witch Project or The Last Exorcism. On the other hand there is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which looks to be a very smart spy film which I have high hopes for. My girlfriend wants to see the horror film but a good friend of mine Joe wants to see the spy one. At this point I am at a crossroads but in the end I might not be able to do either since my computer is currently acting crazy. So we will see.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

So another year has gone by and for this first day in January 2012 I have decided to reflect back on all that I managed to accomplish this most wonderful of years 2011.

Well at the beginning of this year was right after I had my premiere for Gas Guzzlers at Towson University. At this point I was putting up my 15 minute clips from the film up on youtube. After that I was trying to think of something new to do video wise and while I was able to come up with something pretty awesome it was beyond my level of budget big time so I have to sit on it for a while. I then started putting up newly edited versions of my True Docs series including the Heroin Addiction, Fishing, and Graduation story videos. Almost all of these videos got ads put on them which was yet again an achievement of this past year.

Not too much longer from here was when we finally worked on Spiritus which to this day is still a crowning achievement for all the videos I have worked on (at least from the ones I have seen). This film was done in only 72 Hours for the Towson 72 Hour Film Festival. It was a pain and it isn't perfect but for the time we had I am very proud of it. We won both Audience Choice and Best Film of the Fest (my first ever award winning film!). It was definetely the highlight of my year so far.

Next up was the 48 Hour Film Festival which we mad Nina as a result of. This film is my biggest reminder of what not to do when making a short film. Make the beginning terrible...which is exactly the biggest draw back of this film. The beginning is unnecessary it doesn't really do anything except make the film slow and campy (not in a good way). At the time we all accepted it because we couldn't come up with anything better to do for the film so we went with it. On set the footage seemed funny but after editing it not so much anymore. In the end the meat and end were both excellent but that terrible intro killed us. However again I am proud of it for what it is.

After this is when big changes came for this year. Me and my close friend Hector stopped being friends since I "changed," apparently. Team Open Aperture was forever lost even after all the vein attempts to get it back together. So for the first time I was an island...lost at sea not knowing where to go and then I caught a break. An ad on craigslist looking for a videographer to do football games. I was hesitant at first and wasn't sure then they offered $250 a game and steady work for a whole season. I was ready to go! In only 3 months I made $3,950 plus what the $10.25 I was making an hour at work. I was in heaven, even though the payment got all messed up a few times I still got the money and it helped out a lot this year. I may have been alone but I was making money for the first time like ever.

The next step was working with people outside of my close friends and that opportunity came thanks to the 48 Hour and becoming friends with the winner Everett Glovier who I saw needed to crew for a film he was working on The Cat which I did so completely free. It was worth it though I learned so much from those guys and being on set was so much fun. It couldn't have gone any better and for the first time since the summer I felt like I wasn't on an island anymore and that I had video buddies again. I still feel that way and hope to work with Everett and Zach more in this coming year. Time will tell.

This year I may be able to be a crew member on my first feature length film if all goes well with the interview and in addition I may be pitching a full length film to a studio for the first time. We will see and if this year is better than last year well then it doesn't get much better than that.

Best wishes to all in the New Year,
Daniel Hess