Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Comic-Con 2014 Recap


This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to attend the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con as both a panelist and a fan. My panel wasn't until Saturday but since I got a four day pass and found a place to crash I decided to make the most of it and go as much as I could -- which only ended up being two days, but still...


Perhaps my biggest regret is not making it down to SD Thursday night for the epic Kings of Con party thrown every year by Daniel Alter (@dalter007) and Umberto Gonzalez (@ElMayimbe). I had a late dinner that was too important to miss or cut out early from and so #Kingsofcon became my first Comic-Con casualty. Still, gives me a reason to go down next year.

DAY 1:


This being my first time at Comic-Con I just didn't know what to expect. And what you get is a mass throng of 130,000 people within a (roughly) square mile. And 60% of them are cosplaying. It's an all out assault on the senses. Super crazy and super fun. 


I picked up my badge and met up with RESIGNATION producer Alex LeMay (@thealexlemay). Travis (@tobewan) was meeting us down there as well. While waiting and people watching in the lobby (saw the best cosplayer ever -- some Wolverine wannabe with butter knives duck-taped to his hands) I connected with my buddy Ryan over at Dolphin Entertainment. He was in town to debut some of the new Max Steel movie they're working on. We all headed over to the Mattel booth to check out the the Max Steel suit and watch a signing with the stars.

Max Steel Suit
At the end of the day, Comic-Con is much like any other trade show -- just more insane. There's stuff to look at everywhere. If you're ever planning to go I would say you have to give yourself more than a day. The first day is just taking everything in and trying not to explode. It's madness and you can only take so much before you need a break.

Following Max Steel, I took a quick walk through the DC Comics booth where they had all of the Batman suits up for display, including the new cape and cowl from Batman V. Superman. 

Dark Knight Batman Suit
Batman V. Superman Cowl
If I'm being honest, I think the DARK KNIGHT suit is still the best but that's me. At one of the booths they had a full Dark Knight leather motorcycle suit. If I was still riding I might have considered it.

I connected with BitterScriptReader (@BittrScrptReadr) and Brian Scully (@brianscully) but as they just got there, I wasn't sure I could dive back onto the floor at that moment.

I needed a break but outside it was hot and muggy (I actually had rain on my drive down earlier). I headed over to #NerdHQ at Petco Stadium to check out what the deal was. Basically, they take over a large part of the stadium. It's free to the public and you can hang out, play video games, watch panels, buy food or, like me, just sit in the bleachers in the shade and relax. 

#NerdHQ (@thenerdmachine) is run by Zachary Levi (@zacharylevi) and all proceeds benefit Operation Smile (@operationsmile). I reached out to Missy Peregrym (who is now married to Zach) and found out she's in town at the event. We met up and she brought me down to the green room for all the panels. We caught up for a bit, met Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion) and then I met up with Travis and we headed over to grab dinner and drinks with the Pemberly Digital and New Adventures of Peter + Wendy cast and crew. 

That night, Travis and I headed to the #NerdHQ industry party. Saw Timmy Spielberg (heyo!), ran into Tiffany Brouwer (@tiffanybrouwer) wandered around drinking a Coors tall can and then took off for my hour long drive to my buddies place (seriously, book your hotel early, kids). 

Day 2: I got back down to Comic-Con around 11am and headed on to the floor. I wanted to walk around a bit and check out the merchandise and comics. I decided to pick something up while I was there, maybe a comic, wasn't sure. I mean, I had to make a purchase, right?

I found myself at the Big Wow Comic Fest booth and ended up buying an issue of Detective Comics #395. In addition to being pretty solid quality (VF+) and having a cool cover, this issue is notable for two reasons: 1) I believe it was the first issue drawn by Neal Adams and 2) it marked a turning point in the Batman comics series from the campy influence of the Batman TV series to a more darker, grittier tone. That felt appropriate for me. 

To top it off, Neal Adams was at Comic-Con signing books so I headed over there and had him autograph the cover. Pretty cool, huh?


After walking the floor a bit, I headed back over to #NerdHQ to watch a panel Missy was going to be on about badass women. Appearing alongside her was Yvonne Strahovski, Rhetta, Jennifer Morrison, Sophie Turner and Ming-Na Wen. 


It was awesome. Great panel, Rhetta is HILARIOUS and everyone was saying how this was one of the best panels they had done. I've embedded the clip below. Give it a look.


After that panel, it was time for my own. I headed over to room 24ABC in the convention center. I was joined by Alex LeMay, Jay Bushman, Lara Hoefs,  and Jeremy Azevedo for a panel moderated by Gayle Bass. Missed it? You can check out the highlights here thanks to Travis:


We got to present a short case study on our film RESIGNATION and hear from other creators and facilitators of the fan fiction world. What? You haven't seen RESIGNATION yet? Well, I just so happened to have embedded it below.


Afterwards, by 9:30pm I was trying to make a decision on whether to stay another night or head home but with at least an hour drive to my buddy's place, only to then head home Sunday morning, I figured I might as well slog through it get back that night. In retrospect, I would have loved to walk the floor again Sunday morning but as my mom says, "You have to save something to do when you come back."

And I do hope to be back.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Comic-Con 2014 Panel: Legit Fanfic: How Fan-Made Content Is Good for Audiences, Filmmakers, and Hollywood


I'm very excited to announce that I will be appearing on a Comic-Con panel to talk about my Superman short film RESIGNATION (embedded below). 

I will be joined on the panel by:

ALEX LEMAY, producer of RESIGNATION and Executive Producer at The Shadow Gang. 

BERNIE SU, Emmy-winning creator of THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES, WELCOME TO SANDITON and EMMA APPROVED.

JAY BUSHMAN, Emmy-winning producer of THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES and WELCOME TO SANDITON.

STEVE PETERS, executive from 4th Wall Studios and 42 Entertainment. 

JEREMY AZAVEDO, Head of Programming at Machinima.

The panel, titled "Legit Fanfic: How Fan-Made Content Is Good for Audiences, Filmmakers, and Hollywood," will be a conversation about how filmmakers are premiering high-quality fan films that catch the eyes of millions -- and the movie industry, too.

We'll be discussing the evolution of fan-made content, how it's important to filmmakers, and why comic publishers and film producers are watching.

If you're going to Comic-Con this year (it's my first time) I hope you'll stop on by and check out what we have to say. It's schedule for Saturday, 7/26 from 8:30 to 9:30pm in Room 24ABC. Hope to see you there!

Click here for programming schedule for the panel

And to get you even more excited, watch RESIGNATION below:



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Writing Life: Multiple Projects

Image: Flickr, Kathy Ponce
At present, I am currently working on five different projects in various stages of development. I'm rewriting a feature I'm attached to, prepping a feature to shoot in winter, prepping a short film I'm shooting in the next couple weeks, co-writing a feature I hope to shoot in the winter/spring, and writing a treatment for a company that (I hope) turns into a script writing assignment. Not to mention another feature I'm up for, any commercials or industrial videos I'm working on and figuring out distribution on LAYOVER.

Not to mention, as you may or may not know, in December 2013 I became a father. I have an amazing seven month old who doesn't like to take naps or go to bed and is already crawling and standing up.

I have a dream someday about being able to focus on one project at a time but as a young filmmaker working freelance, it behooves me to juggle several projects in the hopes that one will "go."

As such, I am always looking for ways to increase my productivity and make it easy for me to switch between projects, especially ones that are so wildly different in tone. I'm still working on it but I've figured out a few things that help me work on multiple projects at the same time:

SCHEDULE

I know that writers often hate confining their time to set hours but with multiple projects you don't have the luxury of drifting from one to the next whenever you want. The smartest thing you can do is set up a weekly schedule in a calendar that lays out what you should be writing and when.

In general, my day looks like this:

6/7am: Wake up. (Depends on how Austin was the night before.)
6/7 - 8am: Coffee. Breakfast. Take dog for a walk. 
8am - 1pm: Babysit Austin so wife can work. He'll generally take one nap during this time. During these hours I will respond to emails, read the news, respond to Twitter or FB, look for Twitter or FB post ideas, look for blog ideas, and so on. No major writing going on but I'm always thinking.
1pm - Lunch. Sometimes at home, sometimes a lunch meeting.
1pm - 5pm: Writing/Meetings/Phone Calls. I prefer to get some writing done here but as my mornings are generally occupied, I often have to schedule meetings and calls during this time.
5pm - 7pm: Cook and eat dinner.
7pm - 11pm: Writing.
11pm - 12pm: Read.
12pm: Bedtime.

Obviously, this can vary quite a bit depending on what's going on but it's a schedule I tend to aim for each week.

Then, within those writing times, I schedule out which project I should be working on depending on the priority and where my head is at. Not all of  them have hard deadlines, some do, but I'm also not in a position to just finish them whenever either.

COMPARTMENTALIZE

This may go without saying but keeping each project in its own little world, be it a Scrivener project, Dropbox folders, or the multiple desktop screens on a mac really allows you to focus on that one project. I'm easily distracted so this is a big thing for me.

For a long time I would jot down thoughts and ideas and write by hand in a notebook. I like the process of handwriting and I just couldn't get in to the whole Evernote thing. The problem, however, is that a notebook is linear and when you're working on several projects the notes jump from project to project (I don't section out my notebook). So, when you're going back and reading through them, you might stumble on notes for something else and suddenly your mind is thinking about THAT story.

I've recently started using Scrivener and what I love about it is exactly this: everything related the particular project you're working on is contained within its own project file. No more hunting for a file in Dropbox or via email. It's all right there and available to you within a single window (for the most part). 

If you haven't checked out Scrivener it's a pretty powerful tool. I haven't yet used the Scriptwriting feature and I'm not sure if I will or not, but for development its a really incredible tool. The program costs $45 but they offer a 30-Day trial to see if it'll work for you. 

MUSIC

Working on stories that are wildly different in tone, it's sometimes hard to get in the mood to write, especially if you're going from a love story to a psychological thriller. To help move from one thing to the next, especially within a writing period or the same day, I create music playlists for each project. 

For the love story I might be listening to music from THE SPECTACULAR NOW, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and others. For the psychological thriller, I call up music from UNDER THE SKIN, ONLY GOD FORGIVES, etc. If you're familiar with these scores then you know how incredibly different they are. 

It immediately gets my head into the game and allows me to more easily shift between stories that are very different from each other.

DON'T WORRY ABOUT WRITING WHEN YOU'RE NOT

When you create a schedule for your writing, what you're also doing is creating a schedule for when you're NOT writing. Now, as writers, I know we're always writing and always thinking. And that's okay. Time away from the computer is a good thing. When you're doing other things, your mind can still be at work on a problem and often is. That's why people always say they came up with something in the shower. 

But what I'm talking about here is worrying about the writing. And what I mean by that is when you're not writing you're puttering around feeling like you should be writing. I'm guilty of this. For the first couple days I was babysitting Austin in the mornings, I would stress about the fact that I should be using this time to write and I would get frustrated because WHY IS HE NOT GOING TO SLEEP?

I had to change my perspective and attitude on the manner. Besides seeing my time with my son as an opportunity, I also told myself that because I had scheduled the writing time for the afternoon and evening, writing will get done, and what I should do right now is just play with my son. 

We all need a break, even when you're working on multiple projects. 

I'm sure there are far more "hacks" for writing multiple projects at one time. What are some of yours? Be sure to share below or on Twitter @Joshua_Caldwell.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Shooting on 35mm Does Not Equal 'Cinema'


I want to be really clear about something: a lot of really shitty, forgettable, unbelievably terrible movies have been shot on 35mm. 

There seems to be this suggestion out there that storytelling and cinema are only possible by shooting on 35mm and/or projecting on 35mm and it just couldn't be further from the truth. 

Is the RED or Alexa better than 35mm? I don't know. Maybe? Not yet? That's for other people to argue over. But we've only been shooting moving pictures for 120 years. Of those, digital has been used for only what? 10? Maybe a little more. That's less than 8% of the entirely of "cinema's" lifetime. Where will digital be in 110 years?

Some of the greatest films ever made were shot on 35mm simply because THAT'S ALL THAT WAS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME. It wasn't a divine gift from God. Digital is in its infancy and 50 years from now we'll probably be saying that some of the greatest films every made were shot on digital.

Now, I'm not against 35mm. I'm not one of those digital prophets who speaks about the "death of film." Fact is, I've never had the opportunity to shoot on 35mm, yet I've been making films for 12 years and have worked on a huge variety of projects. Why is that? It's simple. I've never been able to afford it. If I could have, I would have definitely done so. (I tried many times to make it work for the budgets I had but to no avail.)

It would have been much harder for me to develop my talent and skillset and experience without the low/no cost of shooting digital. I always held out hope that I would one day be able to shoot a film on 35mm but in the past decade that opportunity has become less and less likely. Not because I don't want to but because the wind has shifted during that time.

Honestly, I'm thankful for it. I appreciate the fact that I can shoot really great looking films for very little. I love that fact that I have a wide variety of cameras to choose from based on my budget. LAYOVER would have never been possible without the 5D. 

I'm honestly passed the point of lamenting the death of 35mm. I really appreciate that there are filmmakers trying to keep it alive and my hope would be that it remains a viable format for years to come. And I still have hope that I might be shooting a project of my own on film. 

But we're no longer dealing with VHS or 60i digital. The cameras today are incredible and have their nuances, just like films stocks. 

'Cinema' is to experience something profound -- a story and/or characters that move you, take you beyond the dark room you're sitting in. It is not the method by which that story is created. I'm not trying to dismiss the work of cinematographers who have created indelible images using film -- but I also don't think it's right to discredit the work being done in digital by (many of the same) incredible cinematographers. 

A novel is no less moving or profound if it was written on a computer vs. a typewriter. A photograph is no less important whether it was shot on digital or on film. The method by which a story is 'produced' does not add to or subtract from it's quality. 

There is so much more to 'cinema' and storytelling than the format and to suggest that it's only possible on 35mm is both narrowminded and wrong. 

But that's me. Leave your thoughts below.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Why I'm Raising Money for the 'LAX Trilogy'


Contribute now to help make the LAX Trilogy a reality.

A year ago this weekend I wrapped production on my first feature film Layover. We marked that one year anniversary with the film's World Premiere at the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival. We sold out both of our screenings. We're nominated for the New American Cinema award. We're having our LA premiere at the 2014 Dances With Films festival where we are also in competition for the Grand Jury prize. This is all just the beginning.

Layover is the first first in a planned trilogy we've dubbed the LAX Trilogy -- a series of three films that all begin with a main character arriving at LAX and taking off from there.


Assassin, the second film, is about a female assassin who meets and falls in love with another woman while hiding up in the San Bernardino mountains after a job goes wrong.


X (Ten) is an epic romance telling the story of one man's journey through love and life and the ten women who have made up his past relationships.


Sounds exciting, right? Well, even with the great success we've had so far with Layover no one is rushing to hand us a blank check. And we want to keep making films. We want to keep making films that are female driven. We want to keep making films that tell the stories that studios and even the major indies aren't making. Stories about people. Stories about emotions and relationships and complicated characters.

We need your help, either through contributions or through spreading the word. We're raising $50,000 to make the next two films. While that's a giant leap from what we spent on Layover it's still a very, very small amount of money but we're not going to be able to get these films made unless we reach our goal.

I hope you'll consider helping us out in any way you can.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Layover: World Premiere and Official Selection - 2014 Seattle International Film Festival


I could not be more excited to share this news with you.

Layover has been invited to have it's World Premiere in competition at the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival! The film will be featured in the Catalyst Program and will be competing in the New American Cinema competition.


The New American Cinema competition is one of the most eagerly awaited programs in the festival, and represents films that SIFF programmers feel are among the best U.S. films of the festival.

From the official SIFF program: "Gorgeous and hypnotic, writer-director Joshua Caldwell’s feature film debut, Layover, invites favorable comparisons to the early films of the French New Wave. Needing little more than a beautiful woman, a mysterious man, and a fast motorcycle to conjure the experience of fleeting youth,Layover is an exercise in visual storytelling that will make you remember why you fell in love with the movies."


The New American Cinema competition is a juried competition featuring a selection of U.S. films without domestic distribution currently in place.

Each is chosen on the basis of its original conception, striking style and overall excellence, and the jury is comprised of members of the foreign press, the FIPRESCI. SIFF is only one of 4 US festivals with a FIPRESCI Jury, and the winner will be announced at the Golden Space Needle Awards Brunch on June 8.

The film will premiere on May 30th at 7:o0pm at the Uptown Cinema, followed by an additional screening on May 31st at 2:30pm, same theater.

For tickets and more, be sure to visit the SIFF Layover Page.

I will also be featured on a panel of my fellow Catalyst filmmakers. More on that to come.

For both myself and Travis, being Seattle boys, it's very excited to be premiering our first feature film at our hometown film festival.

Consistently named one of the top five film festivals in the country, SIFF screens an eclectic selection of the best new international features, documentaries, and U.S. independent films and is the largest and most highly attended film festival in the United States with an audience of more than 155,000 attending in 2013. The 25-day Festival presents more than 400 films from over 70 countries. 

There will be a ton more announcements to come, including another film festival, so check back here or at Layoverfilm.com for updates.

Lastly, we wanted to share with you the Official Poster for Layover. Designed by artist Adam Maida we couldn't be happier to be represented by a true piece of art that fully captures the essence and spirit of the film. 



Monday, April 28, 2014

Some Thoughts On DSLR Filmmaking


I'll preface this by saying I'm sure you guys already know A LOT about what I write about below -- in fact, probably more than I do. My point in writing this is to describe how I've made DSLR filmmaking work for me at a very high quality level.

I've always been a DIY filmmaker -- going all the way back to my years in high school, writing, directing, lighting, editing, sound mixing (I don't act and I don't compose the score, neither falling into my skill set) -- mainly because either 1) there weren't skilled people around to help me or 2) I couldn't afford to pay them. I did a lot of in college as well, but around that time I started transitioning out of doing everything and finding people better than I am to take on some of those roles. I met some great collaborators that way and found some great success with the resulting projects. 

During that time, it was easier to be a DIY filmmaker. Shooting mostly on DV, you often lit and composed your image to be exactly what you wanted to be, instead of shooting it flat and waiting for color. You just didn't have the latitude to push the image too much and shooting RAW meant you were shooting film (and spending a lot of money). It was also simpler equipment wise. I owned an XL2 and could shoot great stuff with it right out of the box. In college, I got fancy and started using the P+S Technik Mini35 adapter with cine lenses but other than decreasing your depth of field, you still shot the image close to how you wanted it.

After college, things started changing. HD was becoming a big thing but the formats and codecs were all over the place (not that it's gotten less simple today) and the technology started moving so quickly that it no longer made sense for me to purchase cameras and support equipment. Instead, I looked to renting the latest and greatest. As a result, I also moved further away from DIY and more into just being a director and writer (though I still had to edit). 

I loved that period of time because I got to focus on what I really wanted to focus on: working with actors, composing the shots and telling the story. And I got to shoot with a variety of cameras: HVXs, REDs, DSLRs, Canon C300s, Alexas, and more. But mounting projects allowing for that take time, cost money and are pretty sizable productions. Because of that, in order to shoot these things, I needed money. It was difficult because I didn't have the means to just go and do something (a short, spec commercial, YouTube web series, whatever). I was always limited.

I also began to realize that the bigger cameras weren't necessarily better for my style of filmmaking. I like to shoot handheld, and long takes with a lot of movement. It took time to reset, you had to light before you changed your shot, etc. It wasn't conducive to speed and ease which is what I really wanted.

Enter the DSLR. 

I was a camera operator (in addition to co-producing and editing) on Anthony E. Zuiker's second digi-novel series Dark Prophecy. What is a digi-novel? It doesn't matter anymore. Point is, we shot a little web series connected to a book. To move quickly, our DP William Eubank (director of this summer's Focus Features release The Signal) suggested we use Canon 5Ds. And we did and I loved them. Despite my issue at the time with the tinny electronic-ness of the image, they were compact, worked amazing in low-light, and still provided an HD picture with incredible shallow depth of field. 

Last year, when I was looking to shoot a no-budget feature (Layover) I immediately thought of the Canon 5D mk ii, for a couple reasons: 1) I didn't have the money to rent a camera, so I had to go with what I had access to, 2) I knew several people that owned a Canon 5D and 3) I wasn't going to have the ability to do a ton of lighting and would be shooting largely guerrilla style.

I had a DP on the film but I shot 99% of the movie (mostly because we didn't have an onboard monitor, much less a video village, and it was easier for me to just shoot it myself and see exactly what I was getting). The problem, however, was that I wasn't really paying attention to the settings, color balance, etc. I was but I wasn't being meticulous about it. But I was okay with that, it was part of my approach to the film -- just doing it. And we didn't shoot Cinestyle (a setting that flattens out your image, allowing for better color correction, it essentially creates a LOG-like setting) so what I was shooting was pretty much the image I was going to use. I also shot the majority of the film on the Canon 24-105mm IS 4.0/L lens -- which is a GREAT lens, the image stabilization allowed for me to shoot it handheld without a rig (it eliminated hand shake) but it's a f4, which means you need a pretty good amount of light. 

After I left my executive job at Zuiker's to go out on my own as a director, I knew I was going to need my own camera. Rather than drop a huge chunk of change on a Canon 5D mk iii and have nothing left over, I bought the Canon 6D -- which is exactly the same camera, with the same full frame sensor, it just lacks some of the more professional photography features. Fine. It also came with the 24-105mm lens and the Canon 50mm 1.4 which is a great lens as well.  With the money left over I was able to buy an onboard monitor, handheld rig with mattebox and follow focus and an eye-cup viewfinder for the LCD screen on the back of the camera (on board monitors with DSLRs are a little janky).

Rather than drop $2000 on a RedRock rig, I found this one from Adorama, costing a fourth of the amount and yet it's still incredibly high quality. I would highly, highly recommend it for DSLR shooters out there. 




I've more than paid back my investment in the camera with the jobs and projects I've used it on. And I've gotten far more comfortable with the post/color process as well, now choosing to shoot in Cinestyle and color later. One of the things I learned was that you want to over expose your image in Cinestyle by a stop. That gives a good amount of latitude to work with in your color suite, because you can always crunch the image down, but it's really hard to lift it back up out of darkness.

The other thing I did was hack the 6D to use the Magic Lantern software. This software (and warranty voider) gives you a lot more control with a ton of additional features, including shooting RAW. I don't use the RAW option much because on my 6D it can only go up to 720p, not 1080p. But features like Focus Peak, Crop marks for 2.35:1 and slightly bumping the bitrate are ones I use on the daily.



One of the newer things I've gotten into is lenses. While the still photography lenses are great, they're not really made for video and I've notice a sharpness issues sometimes. So, I recently purchased the Rokinon 35mm T1.5 cine lens and the 85mm T1.5 cine lens.


I've already shot two projects with them and the results are incredible. I'll still probably use the 24-105mm due to the IS but these lenses are really great and definitely add a more cinematic look to your image. Are they the best lenses? No. But I'm not in a position to drop $4k on a Zeiss DSLR lens, especially when a number of the reviews suggest that you can't really tell much of a difference. They're good glass and add quality.

Finally: color. I've never been a colorist. Once it moved out of the DV world and we were in to LOG and Final Cut Color and RED footage and DaVinci I was threw up my hands. I wanted to find someone else to handle that and for a while I did. But it got to the point where I couldn't ignore it anymore, especially on some of these projects that didn't have the budget for a colorist. Plus, I was seeing some cool coloring being done and I wanted to figure out how to do it. I started collecting images off of Pinterest and playing in Photoshop and trying to figure out how I could apply that look to video.

That led me to BlackMagic's DaVinci Lite suite, a free color correction program from the makers of the BlackMagic cinema cameras. I worked with a gaffer/colorist on a couple commercials I shot and when I went over to his place to look at the color I started talking to him about it -- asking him how to use it, what LUTs are and how to use them. 

Now, I am by no means a master -- but I've found myself starting to get it, mostly through YouTube videos and blogs. Last week, I directed and shot some commercials spots and decided to use my 6D, shoot in Cinestyle and then color in DaVinci. I had at my disposal natural light, a china ball and some LED panels. 

I was pretty happy with one of the spots, coloring wise, and even finally learned how to use power windows. The four images below are from the shoot. The top one is the original image as shot and the bottom one is the final color.






While DSLR doesn't tend to provide the same level of resolution as the RED or Alexa or even the C300, I'm okay with that. I look at it like this: 1080p DSLR is like 16mm (albeit, with a full 35mm sensor) and the RED and Alexa are like 35mm. It can be an aesthetic choice, one that I embrace. I think too much is made over the whole resolution game. And while, yes, both the 6k RED and Alexa images look amazing, there's a lot that comes with getting those. For a run and gun filmmaker like myself, DSLR (16mm) is a little more manageable while still delivering stunning results.

This is all to say that I'm really enjoying the process of learning and figuring out how to do things on my own. It means I get to create and execute my own projects when I want to. 

As an extension of Layover, I'm planning what I call the LAX Trilogy. A series of films that begin with a character arriving at LAX -- all very different stories with different characters. Layover was an experiment executed largely on a whim (that's an understatement) but it was do first, think later. I'm really excited to bring the lessons and skill sets I've learned over the past year to the next two films in the trilogy, shooting this fall, winter and spring.