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IN[FOCUS] New Orleans

It’s difficult to sum up our experience at IN[FOCUS] in a single blog post; between the presentations and the connections we made with the filmmaking community, this event has changed our lives. It’s amazing to meet people with the same passion and motivation as we have and knowing you’re not alone. Stephen Nathans-Kelly, of EventDV put it beautifully in his latest post here. We were fortunate to hear from some of the best event filmmakers: Patrick Moreau, Kevin Shahinian, David Perry, The Bui Brothers, John and Jennifer Moon, Adam Forgione, Steve Zugelter, Matt Davis, and John Goolsby. On top of all that, we had a one-on-one session with Patrick and Joyce of Stillmotion; in a nutshell, it was mind blowing. We came away with a completely new mindset of how to approach a wedding film and our business. It’s as if we had all of these pieces, but never connected the dots to reach our full potential (we are extremely excited about everything we’ve learned, moving forward).

We used the flight as an excuse to try out our new Pelican cases and test whether or not our checked gear would last through the rugged use of a not-so-friendly airliner (Delta the terrible). After everything made it through without a scratch, we knew we’d made a sound investment. While there, we used every opportunity possible to film our take on the experience we had in New Orleans. The city is beautiful; the weather was warm (even though most days everyone was in parkas). It was also nice putting faces to the numerous Twitter/Vimeo handles, such as Stillmotion, Rising Moon, Canon Filmakers and 31 Films.

IN[FOCUS] put on a contest, open to anyone who attended, to create a film of their experience. There are many fantastic ones already up, including ones from Brick Street Cinema, Vivid Wedding Films, Classic Pixels, and Roman Video Productions. We took a slightly different approach. We learned so much in a few days, met so many filmmakers, and explored a new city. To us, this was a surreal, inspirational, and one of the best experiences we’ve had since we started At First Sight a year ago. Our film, hopefully, reflects that with its simple tone. Cheers.

  • http://artisanmedia.ca Dave Wowchuk

    Nicely done guys! Brings back a lot of memories from my first trip there two years ago. The visuals you captured are the ones usually taken for granted. I wonder how many people pass by the buildings, trees, waterways, etc and never stop to appreciate their beauty & simplicity.

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  • http://www.risingmoonvideo.com Mike Novelli

    It was awesome meeting you guys! Great job on the film and pics! Hope to see you at IN[FOCUS] 2012!

  • http://www.atfirstsightfilms.com Steve

    Hey Dave, thanks for checking it out. That was definitely the feel we had when we were deciding what to focus on – and because it a city we hadn’t been to before, it was hard not being overwhelmed with the size and beauty of the city. Mike – it was so fun finally meeting you in person and we’ll have to hang out more next time we see you. Keep up the great work :)

  • http://belvederefilms.com Ed Ballart

    Great job, guys! Love this post.

  • http://www.myloveisgrowing.com Jessica

    Incredible, guys! Great job! You can see the passion. :)

  • http://www.catchlightcinema.com Brian

    I didn’t actually get a chance to watch your video during my hour long lunch break from the 7Eleven, because I wasted that time clicking on all of your hyperlinks. I was especially offended by the Faces link as I too have red hair now, due to a accidentally adding too much Henna to my Head and Shoulders. GINGERS DO HAVE A SOUL!!!

    Maybe tomorrow I will get around to watching it, but I doubt it.

  • http://www.hatsofmeat.com Hats of Meat

    Now Brian, that’s just wrong! WRONG!!!

    You know the only Soul you have is the ones on your feet!!! That boy in the video says he’s a Christian and then he starts cursing like my grandmother. That’s just not right. As for this video that Steve took so much time putting together for us to enjoy, I have a few words as well. Where are the Strippers? I know you went down to Bourbon Street, come one throw us some beads.

    All kidding aside, I enjoyed the film every much, I hope you find the comments below helpful, it is meant to be constructive crit.

    I didn’t realize that the second shot was a slider until I rewatched it, not enough foreground. :20-:22 doesn’t really help the story, Patrick’s audio at :24-:30 is not clear enough to understand. The time lapse of the clock at :28 could have been longer to show time passing better, The fan leaf at :42 should have continued instead of cutting to the same plant at a slightly different angle to get the sun flare. At 1:15 I wanted to see what everyone was filming, was that a brass band perhaps? Why did you end with a close up of part of a Foot Locker sign? Is that a reference to your Sole again?

    Again, it was very well done! Thanks for sharing. Visit http://www.soles4souls.com

  • http://www.shadesofgraydesign.net Stephen Gray

    Brian, thanks for the crit and time reference. A lot of the audio was terribly hard to make out – so we actually put it through a high-range only pass to give it a bit of a distant low-tech sound. It’s, I suppose, more of a montage of memories. The dual angles were merely to give it a bit of interest – we found single shots, one after another, didn’t give enough reference so we tried cutting more medium to wide, or tight to medium etc. The solar flare happened in both shots, we just left that section in the 2nd wider shot. At 1:15, we decided not to show what everyone was filming for the same reason we left out any footage of the actual event itself. There were plenty of films that showed some amazing footage from inside the hotel walls, and plenty of attractions out on Bourbon street. We focused our efforts on everything else that was happening around – so for example: there was a huge party moving down the street – but then we’re showing the morning after with clean ups and quiet streets. The day progresses, and despite all of us being in our own little world – the city lives and thrives with daily routines like anywhere else. The ending was a closure to the birds we shot earlier on, where pigeons were followed on the ground and up on the rooftops. The final 2 shots were of them flying off the ledges, moving forward.

  • http://www.hatsofmeat.com Hats of Meat

    Great! I love that you really thought about each shot, for me crits and comments are best way to see if someone thought about it or was just in auto mode. We are far from have the answers, just trying to learn. In Architecture school we had a crit cube where everyone posted their work, and teachers and students worked through the how and why projects progressed.
    I really thought you did a great job. I think on the last shot, I knew it was about the birds, but it bothered me that I wanted to know what store it was instead of focusing on the bird. That could just be my randomness, but it also gets me thinking about my work and controlling the background to focus on what is seen.

  • http://www.shadesofgraydesign.net Stephen Gray

    Good call. The trouble with those birds is… it took over an hour to get that one shot. We would have missed our plane if we tried grabbing those pigeons in the right timing, nicely framed and cropped off lol. Not to excuse the shot… I think it still worked out fairly well, at two different focal lengths. If there’s one thing we learned from IN[FOCUS], it was to have a reason for everything we do, every cut we make, every layered sound, and final grade. Working with purpose. Love it.

  • http://www.catchlightcinema.com Brian

    Congrats on yet another big win! Are you guys unstopable?

  • http://31films.com Joey M

    You guys are studs. That is all I got:) oh, and great hanging out w u guys in NO!

  • http://www.shadesofgraydesign.net Stephen Gray

    Hey Joey – same with you dudes! It was a lot of fun. Wish we had more time to chat & hang. We’re excited to see what you boys do with your new member and projects ahead this year.