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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Accomplishments of the Day

So today was a good mix of both relaxation and getting business done. All day was basically spent with my girlfriend Ashley, just lounging around and what not but in the evening I had two meeting with local musicians about upcoming music videos. Both meetings boiled down to shooting after I graduate which would be in May, so about mid May to Early June trying to knock it all out of the way. So that means potentially by the end of this year (as far as from now until June) I would have made 3 music videos and 2 short films which would be a new record for content created for myself. Things are really looking bright and hopeful and as long as this track stays true for me it will be a great year.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gearing Up

So I finally worked out things on my script and I have an official official final script done for Voicebox a film that I think can achieve greatness as long as it done well. I am very excited and watching the Oscars got me all thinking about the day that maybe I could go to the awards! That would be amazing. However I think they should totally have an award for best experimental film or short film at the Oscars but maybe that would make them too mainstream or something. I don't know.

Anyway I am very happy to have been featured in the Towerlight newspaper yesterday and it has been the first time since my first short film Abuse that I have had a story in the newspaper. So I have been having a lot of good fortune lately which I am very grateful for, I just hope it can keep going for a little bit.

Anything else...oh yeah I also sent the music video for Hello! to The Other Venice Film Festival out in California which has a category for judging music videos and I submitted it just for the hell of it. I think I may have mentioned it before but here it is again I guess. Otherwise things are just slowly building up to April when I hope to shoot the film.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Monday, February 27, 2012

Newspaper Feature!

I was featured in today's issue of The Towerlight, Towon University's school newspaper. Check out the article!

Student directs music video

26 February 2012 By Eva Niessner, Staff Writer No Comments
Daniel Hess is no stranger to the world of filmmaking. His short “Spiritus” won the 2011 72-hour Film Festival, sponsored by the University Residence Government and Lambda Kappa Tau; his film “Gas Guzzlers” screened at Towson in December 2010, and his film “Nina” was a finalist in the Baltimore 48-Hour Film Project competition.
But until now, music videos were unexplored territory for Hess. The Towson University senior made the video for rapper Kane Mayfield’s song “Hello!”
Hess made contact with Mayfield through his audio production class.
“My professor was Brandon Lackey, who was a co-owner and producer at Mania Music Group,” Hess said. “I thought it was awesome that he made beats and worked with rappers, so I started coming to the studio and filming their recording sessions, then live shows, and now music videos. Kane was always there and even though he seemed intimidating at first, he is a really cool guy and fun to work with.”
Hess said shooting the film was grueling.
“We shot in New York, D.C., Virginia and Federal Hill,” he said. “The New York trip was the craziest, since we stayed up there all day going from Manhattan, to Brooklyn, to Times Square. That same night, we had to go up to a party where a bunch of famous producers were sampling never-before-heard beats, and we were there until about 3 a.m.”
The video also has a deeper meaning, Hess said.
“I wanted to dedicate this video, and in fact all of my videos, to my cousin Anthony Ranocchia III, who I named my production company [To Tony Productions] after,” Hess said. “He passed away from cystic fibrosis at age 14, when I was 10, and he was my best friend. He is the one who motivates me to keep working hard, because I know if he were alive today, he would be making a difference in the world. That is all he ever wanted to do.”
Though Hess says he could see himself making music videos professionally, it wouldn’t be his dream career.
“It would difficult for me, because to me, video production is an art I take very seriously and I love to tell deep and intricate stories,” said Hess. “It is a tough field to get into and I have worked in nearly every aspect of video production, because in this industry you can’t be picky. You have to take the jobs that are offered, and if right now it is my time to make music videos, I am more than happy to do so.”
“Hello!” is now available on Vimeo and YouTube.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Film Festival Time

So today when I woke up I was really checking out film festivals again for submitting Love is Undead which I am still just about done and for some reason I really wanted to submit some of my work to a festival. After a little while of debating I decided to send off my music video for Hello! by Kane Mayfield, just because I don't want to regret not doing it. I still regret not sending out Gas Guzzlers to any festivals to this day and I didn't want to do it again. I figured even if I don't get accepted at least I tried, no harm no foul. That was my morning.

After that I worked all day and tried to figure out more details for my short film but didn't accomplish much beyond that. Hoping tomorrow goes better in the afternoon but I fear thanks to this crappy work schedule I won't get back on track until Monday which sucks.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Friday, February 24, 2012

Exciting News

So last night I got an email from a certain reporter from The Towerlight asking me if I would like to answer a few questions about my experience creating the video for Hello by Kane Mayfield. I was more than willing to and I am super excited to find out if this is going to make newspaper pages, because if so that would be amazing! I can't wait to find out more!

In other news I met with my professor about my upcoming short Voicebox and he really enjoyed the script and think that it will make for a great short film. I need to add a few little details to the script but otherwise things are going right on schedule with production. I can't wait to get past all the pre production and get into actually shooting the film!

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Searching for our Journey

We sat blind that night,

The past behind us,

But nothing in front of us,

We had no direction,

Our parents didn't care,

They moved on without us,

We thought it wasn't fair,

But that lack of knowledge,

Made the adventure that much more fun,

And in the end we all found the path that lead to happiness,

The worst thing we could do was sit down and stare,

After we stopped looking and just followed our hearts,

Things were much better,

I think I owe the ones who left me behind an apology,

For they were leading me the entire time.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Finishing Script

So after a few days of disgust at the fact that I had to finish a script and also a treatment I finally got back to work today. After about an hour and a half of writing I finished up the first draft of my script for Voicebox which I think has a nice blend of drama, humor, and action. It isn't too fast paced and doesn't take itself too seriously at least to me. Thursday I am meeting with my directed study professor to go over it and any possible changes that need to be made. I am hoping to get the script done before the end of February and then March is all for preplanning out the movie itself. Things are right on track and so far I am very happy.

In other news I have to finalize the treatment for my next music video and also meet with another band about a future music video which seems pretty promising.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chronicle Review

This Saturday I saw the film Chronicle with my girlfriend Ashley and I was very impressed. Going in to the film I was very nervous because of the way it was filmed (in the style of found footage). I was nervous by this because it is very easy for filmmakers to take the easy route with this style that being the typical ending of breaking the camera, footage stopping, wtf, the end. That drives me nuts and I am happy to report this does not happen in the film Chronicle thankfully. What does happen is a pretty fast paced film that seems to make all the right turns in storytelling. Introducing us to the correct characters at the best points and even taking a step out of the found footage realm and into what I think is an amazing first step for this type of filmmaking. In the film not only do we see the footage captured from out protagonist's camera but also the cameras of everyone involved in the story or watching the story unfold. For instance at a party scene a young girl is recording the main character Andrew and we switch between his recording and her recording of the conversation. This is a genius way of getting a two shot in a movie made like this. The most genius moment is towards the end where there is a big showdown so Andrew grabs the phones, ipads, and cameras of everyone recording the big battle and now we see about 8 or 9 different angles of what is going on. This is something many will watch and enjoy but the fact that the filmmakers took advantage of a world where everyone has a camera is quite amazing. This film is clever, funny, dramatic, and inspirational all at once and so far this year it is the best film to go see. If you haven't already you should go out and watch Chronicle!

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Side Work

This weekend was all about side work. On Saturday I filmed 2 monologues for a local actor from the DMV area. He did a great job and the monologues turned out awesome for what he was looking for. I finished up the DVD menus and all just a few minutes ago and tomorrow will be shipping it out to him. It was great to work on a small project like this and to get to know another local actor. It is great that I have been able to work with so many actors on something other than a film set, a lot more relaxed.

I am still on the verge of completion of Love is Undead and now that I got my Tascam DR-100 field recorder I can record the zombie vocals for the film. After that it is just a matter of making them work and then getting it all done. I am very excited to have it all finished up!

In a final bit of news tomorrow I am going to try to record a little short clip to promote donations for my upcoming film Voicebox. My goal is to get $3,000 to $3,500 dollars but I would be just happy with anything over $1,000 just to be able to pay crew. I don't know how things are going to go and I am very nervous so we will see.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Saturday, February 18, 2012

First Experimental Film

This is my very first experimental film. It had to involve no camera and tell no story. What do you get out of this video?

Insert User Experience from Daniel Hess on Vimeo.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nap Time

What I wouldn't give right now to take a long nap...nah I wanna keep working hard. Today I had work all day and really wasn't up to much video content however I did just make my first experimental film which I feel like a lot of people had a good response too in class. In fact I think I may upload it and put it on vimeo tonight. I think it was pretty good, I just hope no one takes offense to it.

In other news I am still trying to finish up the treatment for Kane Mayfield's next video, which after a long talk yesterday with him the whole original treatment has been scrapped to the side in favor of something more inspirational. I still like it and think it works, it wasn't my first choice but the first option was much too dark, because that is how I always write stories it seems. I also spiced up Voicebox a bit by adding some much needed awkward humor to the film which I think will work out really well in the whole story.

Tomorrow I am filming a monologue for an actor from VA which will be fun and the rest of the day is dedicated to spending time with my girlfriend Ashley because we haven't had a day together in like forever, and I guess tomorrow doesn't even count because of the video work. Oh well I guess it looks like it is the closest we will get for a little while.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Writing, Writing, Writing

So right now I am working on the treatment for another music video for the talented Mr. Kane Mayfield of Mania Music Group. This video is going to be more directed than the last in the sense that we are not just going to show up at a location and roll. We are actually going to put some time and consideration into the lighting, costume, directing, etc. I am having a little bit of trouble with the third verse but I think I found a good solution for it, I just hope we can get past this point so that we can film and I can edit it up. I only say that because of my next point.

Today I am hoping to finish up my script for my directed study film entitled Voicebox which is my biggest undertaking to date and something that I hope comes together beautifully because that is what it deserves to say the least. However that is why I wanna get done the music video so that is not eating up too much of my time, which would suck if it did because for Voicebox I need to have my focus up to 100 million percent.

I just finished up my first experimental project last night, I am debating whether or not to put it up since for 17 seconds it has a ton of nasty language, I am going to see how everyone reacts to it in class tonight and go from there. If I do good I will put it up...maybe lol.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chad Fehr Headshots

I feel like I am spoiling you guys this is my third day of new content in four days but that will be it for a little bit I am afraid. These are the final edits of the headshots I did for another local actor Chad Fehr. He is a great guy that was very easy to work with, he landed the poses before I even asked him to which was great. You can find his facebook to get in touch with him for acting gigs on his Facebook. Enjoy the photos and as always any feedback is great.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Updates For the Masses

So today I was going to try and upload the second actors headshots from two saturdays ago but I saw that I am almost filled up on my storage space on here. I didn't even know that was an issue but apparently you only get a gig and I am 98% there so if I want 20gb I gotta pay 5 bucks for a year which I assume is a pretty fair deal; I am just not all uppity about paying for storage. I mean I probably will so it is whatever. This is my website so I need to have the storage space to back it up.

 In other news the premiere of Hello went great yesterday! It almost broke 1,000 plays in a single day, I think when  it was all said and done it was like 980 or something like that. That breaks all former records held by any of my video premieres, the most for a single day for me before I think was like 500 views in a day.  I got an outpouring of support which I didn't expect at all but so many people that I knew reposted the link and it got out there for people to see. Plus the artist Kane Mayfield himself knows so many people that they all checked it out as well. It was a great day to say the least. I am so happy with the video and I am so glad to have all this love and support from everyone.

Can't wait to put even more content out there for everyone...oh Love is Undead is 99% done, all I need to do is add the zombie sounds and clean up the bullet sounds and I am done! Can't wait to put it out there for everyone to see.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kane Mayfield - Hello!

Well here it is! My first ever music video! It is a great moment for myself because this is yet another part of film/video industry I was able to take on. I have been wanting to do something like this since I first started making videos and this was my time to do it. Let me know what you think.

Kane Mayfield - Hello! from Mania Music Group on Vimeo.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lighting Class Final

Here is the video from my lighting class over the minimester. This was the final project and I finally got a vimeo account to put this on so YAY!

EMF 340 Lighting Final Project from Daniel Hess on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Loading Up On Work

Now that school has started and my schedule is completely set I am really trying to give myself a lot of work which is turning out to not be a hard thing at all. As of right now I am still applying finishing touched to Love is Undead; which has the music set, 95% of the audio is done, color correction is great, now all I need is the blood/bullet fx, some foley work, and end credits. Also I am getting a little push from my friend over at Mania Music Group to try and do his next music video before SXSW in March. This would normally be possible but the song in which he wants to do a video for is a bit tricky and I am trying to come up with a way to do it without it being cliche. Also still booking as always for Headshot packages so anyone out there looking please hit me up whenever either on here or by email at mind_confided@yahoo.com

In other news the music video for Hello by Kane Mayfield is dropping this Monday on either youtube or vimeo. I can't wait for everyone to see it and let me know what they think of it. It is my first video content dropping in a long long time.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Finishing and Starting

So yesterday I finally buckled down and finished up the edit for my Baltimore Humane Society project in corporate video...ya know the one from last semester. Well I had it pushed back and back and back until I decided yesterday to take the whole day to get it done. It was worth it to finally get that big burden off my mind, it sucked knowing that whenever I had free time in the back of my head I would think I could be getting this project done. Well it is done! I am also almost done with Love is Undead I am hoping to somehow get it done before Friday but I don't think that will happen especially since I am going to be up all night tonight watching Start Wars in 3D with a friend of mine, so I won't be getting up early and I have work in the afternoon.

On a separate note I am officially starting the scriptwriting process for what is now titled Voicebox a film with what people have been telling me is a badass idea so I will see if I can turn a badass idea into a badass film or what will happen. I am hoping to have a DP and an Assistant Director out of two buddies of mine as well as a boom operator out of another friend of mine. If I can get those three and maybe a PA I would be set for this film. Also getting locations locked down will be kind of tricky since I really want a school setting, I will have to see. It is fun to get started on what is shaping up to be my biggest project yet but also scary at the same time.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Headshot Edits

So here are the best photos from the Kyle Edwards photoshoot I did last Saturday. I took a lot of pictures and I think these eight are the best from the bunch. Feel free to ask me about any of the editing I did on the pictures or what you think of them good or bad.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ClusterF*ck of a Day

Today has been anything but boring given this whole last day of classes sign up crap at Towson. I mean I did it to myself really, deciding in my last semester to take 3 upper level English courses in one semester. I should have realized it was going to be bad when I was signed up for writing ficition when I had already taken it like 2 years ago and just forgot (which I didn't realize until 3 days before the start of the semester). Then taking a class on shakespeare was a terrible idea and after less than a week of being signed up for it I dropped that class next. Then today rolls around and I realize I could have been taking an internship class here and didn't think that through either. Today as well I was trying to make sure that I could get into my directed study class which I thought was a shoe in but it became more complicated than I thought it would be. Also today I found out I missed the online registration date to apply for graduation so now I gotta call the school and see if I can get in at all, if not I am just going to drop my Modern Fiction class and take something in the summer. Screw it all man this semester sucks and there is no one to blame but myself. I just hope I can salvage it enough to make it through.

In better news I got through from start to finish my first batch of headshots from the weekend and with the actors blessing I will be posting them online shortly. Also in better news my finances are back to order again thanks to my camera saving my a$$ once again.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Working Overtime

Yesterday the photoshoot sessions went really well. The overcast skies made for an amazing look and it provided nice even lighting. The first session was a little rough since my client ended up at Eastpoint Mall somehow instead of Fort Howard. However we met up with him and he followed us over. The shoot went until 1:45 and my next client was pulling up as he was leaving. The second session I was a little tired to be honest and it started up a little rocky but I feel like I got very solid pictures. I think in the future I want to start having more control, maybe even having an indoor set up here in my room or something like that. This is when having a whole house would be nice so that way I could set up a studio in a whole room, which would be set aside. Then life would be a lot easier. For now though I think it is good to keep doing outside photography. I just have to find a very neutral background which I will have to do a little searching for.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2 Photoshots 1 Day

So in a few hours I will be attending to the first photoshoot of the day and the first photo session since August of last year...it has been a while. I am doing headshots for an actor making the trip all the way up from VA which is pretty awesome for me. I am going to be working with him for about an hour or maybe even two at noon until the next actor has his session at 2pm which will go until 3:30 at the very latest...I hope thanks to work today. The second session wants headshots as well as doing a monologue reading which makes things a little more complicated but in both circumstances I am getting paid so I will work diligently for both actors. I hope after getting through these two actors I can have more photo work so I can do more headshots, because I am just trying to offer quality work for a price that is insanely cheap ($75 for unlimited photos/touch up). It is not because I suck or at least I hope I don't it is just because actors are hard working and money is hard to come by. I am not trying to run a scam on them, I am trying to help them out by providing an essential service at a low price.

As long as it all goes well today things should be picking up soon on the photography end of things. That would be awesome!

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Friday, February 3, 2012

Farewell Sony HXR NX5U

Well it is an end to an era...or maybe the first era of my film career. Today I officially sold my Sony HXR NX5U camera for $3,000. It was hard but it was time to let go of the camera, mainly because it is just outdated. It was a glorious day when the camera arrived, I was so happy to have a great camera that was going to do so much for me and it did. The camera served me amazingly for about a year and a half. I used it for Gas Guzzlers and many of my student projects, for 2010 and 11 it was perfect. However the DSLR camera has really taken over the market and it beats my camera in several categories. For one it can run higher mbp/s which makes the HD much higher quality. If you compare the two the Canon T3I or 7D beats it every time. Also DSLR cameras give you an amazing depth of field that is much more cinematic than the HXR could ever be. It does suck though because I put out a lot of money for the Redrock Micro M3 adapter which I just got last summer and I should have never bought it. At that point I was just hanging onto the silly dream of making the HXR a cinematic camera, which it could be but the low data rate just makes the picture much muddier and then the grain from the adapter just doesn't look good at all. That is the next thing to sell, I hope I can at least get a 1,000 out of the adapter.

It has been fun HXR it really has but with the RED camera and Canon C300 on the market there really isn't room for you anymore. It is a new frontier and I hope to get out and make even better looking work in the future.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Trying to Keep Track

It has been pretty hard to keep track of everything these past few days. Really just about scheduling everything and staying on top of everyone. For Saturday things have changed around a ton and they are still changing constantly, it seems like everytime I get online the way the photo sessions keep happening are different. I don't even know if everyone is going to be there, it is tough and I am just always sending messages like "Are you still down?" Then I get asked more questions about everything and then pause...ask it again...back to more questions lol. I just need straight answers from people.

Enough about that though, as far as other work I found out that I gotta turn in this corporate video to my teacher before the end of the first four weeks of the semester or I fail the class. That would suck so I gotta get on top of that. Plus I really gotta get Love is Undead finished up before the 10th if I want to get it into the Sacramento Horror Film Festival. Also after all those photo sessions I have to edit the pictures quickly because the actors need them for auditions that are right around the corner. So again I am going from a dull period to a busy one...I also have to see about doing my second music video which I wanna be able to shoot in February and get done by early March at the latest. Again...we will see.

A lot of work is coming my way again which is strange because I guess the whole semester starting and making me wanna work hard again is why I am booking all of this freelance stuff. Over break I didn't want to do anything but then again my mojo was gone then as well. Thanks mojo for coming back when the semester is here and I totally scheduled way too many hard classes lol. Nah I love it!

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Working Double

So for a while there I had a strong aversion to doing anything related to freelance work...I just wanted a break for a while because of the minimester and work. Now that I have had my week vacation I have gotten my mojo back so to speak and I am ready to work my butt off! This Saturday I am trying to set up 2 more photo sessions in addition to what should be 2 already, official booking my whole day. If all goes according to plan I would be doing engagement photos as well as 3 headshot sessions for local actors. We will see though, that is more of a best case scenario.

Not only that but getting off my butt and editing the video for Hello by Kane Mayfield really helped me to get a project done and feel good about it. All of my past independent projects have either turned into nightmares or just not happen at all and to finally finish one felt good; it made me feel something I haven't felt in a long time with filmmaking and reinspired me in a strange way. Hopefully before the 10th of February I can get Love is Undead finished up but I don't know considering that I have to still do a lot and the special fx required in this film are my biggest obstacle since I have yet to perfect the art of the blood splatter. I will do my best though.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess