LightningCloud won the "2013 Who's Next: Battle For The Best" held by LA's Power 106 & NY's Hot 97 out in Austin, TX during the South by Southwest Festival!
The road was tough as there were thousands of artist who entered the contest from both the East & West Coast. LightningCloud will now go on tour and open for hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar as well as a winning a cash prize!
Good for Red Cloud, Crystle Lightning, & DJ Hydroe--they've been hustling the past few years and now their hard work and dedication is paying off!
Follow LightingCloud on Twitter: @LightningCloud9
Also check out the video Playlist I put together!
My Hockey Dad trailer has now been released!
Check it out! Share it!
Crystle, Roger, & Red Cloud.
I knew Crystle and Red Cloud for awhile now. They make up the duo "LightningCloud". Earlier this year they were nominated for the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards in the category for best Hip Hop/Rap CD.
I messaged Red Cloud and said when they were here, we should collaborate on a video.
They sent me the song #ZombieLove and I wrote up a few different ideas that came to mind. At first the ideas were simple; something that would utilize my basement, maybe the local 100 year graveyard. The idea was very basic and it was something that could be shot in an afternoon.
That was the plan.
LightningCloud won their category at the APCAMA's. (Check out the Winnipeg Free Press Article HERE.)
The small concept for the video suddenly turned into a larger idea. We sat down for lunch that Sunday and started to come up with a new idea for the video. Red Cloud said he had an idea to fight zombies. That was going to be a challenge. We'd need to find people to be the zombies, plus we'd need make-up. on top of this, LightningCloud only had 1 day available before they flew back to LA on Tuesday. Well it was Sunday evening. The challenge laid out.
The One-Man Crew
I put the call out on my Koj-B Films Facebook group for volunteers to help me with lightning, camera, locations, etc. I got a couple 'likes' on the announcement but the few people whom were interested had to work that entire day. Things didn't look too good from a crew-standpoint. It looked like I'd have to play Producer, Director, Camera, Set-decorator, and Gaffer/Best Boy...heck, I was going to even have to be the Locations Manager too.
For this project I was going to be the "One-Man Crew".
The one thing I learned from previous short film mistakes in the past was locking a location. Whether it's your basement, garage, or the local park, you should plan out the places you want to use and get permission for the date and time from the owner (Unless of course it's your basement/ garage). I once pushed back filming on my short film "The Maintenance Man" because I could not lock a location nor did I have an experienced Locations Manager. It was a tough lesson but one well learned.
For "Zombie Love", I was already in contact with local artists/organizations/people whom had possible locations available. This is why networking is so important. Create positive relationships with your fellow peers and help them out when you can. You never know when you might need assistance and someone can come through and surprise you. Sometimes you just have to ask.
I called up Frame Projects and asked they had space available from 11am to 9pm roughly. Luckily for me, they did! I owe them huge! Thank you Frame Projects!
(If you are an artist in Winnipeg, be sure to check them out! http://frameprojects.org/)
Next up was finding the volunteer Zombies. I was relieved that I didn't have to take over on this part as LightningCloud put the call out to local fans and friends. I even heard it was announced on one of our local radio stations.
The only thing that was asked was for volunteers to bring their own zombie makeup.
I was afraid we'd have more people than we needed but it worked out perfect as we had just the right number of volunteers.
On top of this, we also landed a very talented local make-up artist to do Crystle's makeup for her big zombie scene; Enter Sayisi!
Crystle and Red Cloud asked her to come out for the shoot that day. Luckily for us she was available, otherwise I'd have to be the make-up person as well! ...I don't think it would have turned out as great if that had been the case.
Be sure to check out her Facebook Page: Make-up by Sayisi
Feed Your Volunteers
The one thing a low budget project must always do, be it a short film or Music Video, is ALWAYS feed your crew and volunteers! If you have no budget, find someone to make some Kraft dinner and juice/ coffee.
This one thing I always do on my Music Video/ Short film sets-- I'm always sure to feed people if they can come out.
There was one time I couldn't buy a huge meal, so I got the basic snacks and asked a relative to cook up some hot soup/ bread and bring it over. They were more than happy to do it! Now that was a filling meal.
If you are an indy filmmaker in 2013, chances are you've been able to purchase a DSLR camera. If you haven't and are surrounded by filmmaker friends, chances are they have one.
If you want to be a filmmaker and have no equipment, do not let that stop you. Use what's at your disposal! I shot another Music Video, Hawaii Airlines, on my iphone 4 when I got it, prior to purchasing my Canon 60D.
The first couple short films I shot were on a borrowed camcorder and edited on my old HP computer using Windows Movie Maker! One of them, "210" ended up getting chosen to play at the National Screen Institutes (now defunct) Film Festival!
I know it's been said but it's not the equiment you have, it's how you choose to use it!
I shot Zombie Love with my Canon 60D and my 18-135mm lens. I managed to rent an Arri kit from the Winnipeg film group for $20/day! It was a price I couldn't refuse! If I couldn't get the lights, I was going to just use the 3 worklights I have and get creative.
When I went to pick up the lights they also had a "lens baby" available for the day. I've used that before in my Drezus-Never Gonna Be the Same music vid; it has a dream-like quality to it that adds such a practical effect to the video!
I also managed to get a smoke machine for the shoot as well. The smoke added a lot of depth to each scene yet it was so subtle.
On top of the 2 lenses, lighting, & smoke machine, I still use my beat-up tripod. It doesn't look good but it still does what it needs to.
After it was all said and done, I wrote up a quick shot list, organized the 4 scenes we needed to shoot while Red Cloud and Crystle got the props and their wardrobe together. We quickly rehearsed each scene with the zombies so no one wold get hurt. Everyone was on point! Set's were dressed, scene was lit, camera ready, I called action and we went about our day, taking a break when needed.
We got everything on the shot list and even added a couple extra shots. By 9pm we were on the final shot, I called cut, & "boom!", we were finished!
It was tough but it was such a great experience! I love being on set. We had 2 days to pull it off from the concept to this final shot and we did!
People may ask for the budget so, without looking at exact numbers, for location, equipment, food and makeup, it came in at roughly $300.
Always say thank you!
I know I called myself a "One-Man Crew" but behind the scenes, everyone involved pitched in and helped with whatever I may of needed. I couldn't thank them enough!
On top of this, everyone showed up with an excellent & professional attitude!
I know I said it already but I'm saying it here again; Thank YOU!!!!!!!!
Be it a No-Budget or Low-Budget, as a filmmaker, I know I'm growing and getting better with each project I take on and finish!
No check out the Music Video we were able to pull off in 2 days and enjoy!
Thanks for reading!
If you have been following my twitter feed, you know I've been busy the past 6 months.
First up, I finally got my short film "Hockey Dad" shot & in the can, so to speak. I have it near complete and will be unleashing it unto the world very soon. The first thing I am going to do is have a screening for my cast and crew. After that I am going to release exclusively here on my website for a weekend and invite my fellow film peeps to check it out. I will also have a live feed where people can ask questions about the film and chat.
Currently I am planning out a Film Festival route with my awesome "PMD", Gemma! She's very good and I do hope she get's into Producing--she would be great for it!
I produced my friend Chaz's short film "Juliet" in May. Looking forward to the premiere of that one! She was awarded the First Film Fund from the Winnipeg Film Group to make it!
Next, I went to Toronto in June with the Noble Thiefs & Pipe'n'Hat Studios for the NXNE festival. I had a great time and Pipe'n'Hat put on quite the show. It was an excellent experience.
I also had a photoshoot with my friend Meaghan. Check out my Photo's section to see the pic's! She is quite fun to work with!
In July I Produced, Directed, Shot & Edited a Music Video for Drezus for his Mixtape release. The video was for his track "Outta Here". It was a fun shoot and so far the video got a great response! Of course, I wouldn't have been able to pull it off without help from my crew: Joe E, Honey, Dennis S, Shelly, and Dennis Sc.! & the awesome extra's whom all made it out! Great time!
At the beginning of August I went on a canoe trip and directed for the Documentary "We Are Metis" produced by my friend Dennis of Red Flag Films. Keep an eye for the in the near future! (I've included the teaser trailer he shot for it)
I also had moving to get done. Onto the next phase of my life.
September I had a photoshoot with my friend Kim. I always have a great time on photoshoots! Again, check out my Photo section to see the pics!
I've also been working to finish up a video project for University of Manitoba's Aboriginal Student Recruitment. It's a fun project & I am pretty much done. The only negative thing is I realize I have a difficult time sitting down for hours on end. My back actually begins to hurt after the 6 hour mark--haha
The beginning of October(this month) I shot a music video for the Filthy Animals. a couple weeks ago which It's having its' release this Friday! Looking forward to it!
I'm also helping out my fellow filmmaker Jenna, along with her sister Justina, both of "Neepin Films" with their short film "Mark". Looks like I'll be Production Manager. Shooting is in November.
Through all that, I have been putting together the Filmmaker-Actor Potlucks. The next one is this Thursday. We usually get 20-30 people attending the event and networking/ meeting with their fellow filmmakers/actors. It's always an excellent event for everyone!
Thanks for reading. Now check out some pictures & video from the past 6 months!
I have a lot to write about the tour but I will keep it short.
The tour was amazing. The drive; exhausting.
I have tons of pictures and video--looking forward sifting through it all.
But already looking forward the the next tour!
I'm going on tour again with the Noble Thiefs on their 2012 Tour!
Keep up with the posts here: http://thenoblethiefs.tumblr.com/
Tell your friends!
Here are pictures from my roadtrip to and from the Sundance Film Festival! Enjoy!
The potluck was this past Thursday. Wow, we had a huge attendance this time around! Filmmakers and actors and people just plain interested in getting more involved in the industry.
We had a few comics come up and perform and the crowd loved it!
Afterwards, we had a cameraman give a tutorial on his experience with the new Sony FS100.
Finally we screened 4 short films from local filmmakers followed by a discussion.
It's good to see the potluck growing and the film community come together in a positive atmosphere.
Hope to see you at the next one!
Check out some pics from the potluck!
For more, go to ------> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winnipeg-Filmmaker-Actor-Potluck/272855522740400
I was able to check out "Indie Game The movie" which was made from a couple Winnipeg Filmmakers.
I had an excellent seat! Front row at the corner!
Actually, it turned out ok. I ended up sitting beside Eric Vespe, one of the writers for Ain't It Cool news. After the film, we had a brief conversation about the 2012 Comic-Con. I then went out and congratulated Jamie and Lisanne on their film! The films premieres in February back home---I recommend you attend!
I went up and down Main Street after the movie and took a few other pictures. I know there are few famous actors here walking round but I keep missing them. For example, while waiting for a shuttle one of the volunteers had told me that Seth Rogan just came by and they got into a brief conversation. I also know Common is around here. And of course Robert Redford is kicking around somewhere too. There are quite a few others but I know I keep missing them.
After going to the Slamdance Filmmaker's Lounge to grab free water, energy bars, and a lot of Monster Drinks, I headed over to the Sundance Filmmakers Lounge and had a coffee.
They let you sit in the Sundance Filmmakers Lounge except when there are official Sundance Events, where they only let you in if you have a pass.
It was here I overheard one of the filmmakers saying he had worked with Terrence Malik on the Tree Of Life. Pretty interesting stuff. He explained that Terrence Malik takes his time with his movies and really studies/ plans out his shots. Sounds good to me.
I interrupted their conversation and introduced myself. I explained how I came all the way down from Winnipeg to check out the Festival.
We got into conversation and I asked them questions about the industry down here, as they seemed a lot more "in the know" than I was.
One of the filmmakers, who is based in Denver, explained to me that you can make it a career anywhere in the world and you don't necessarily have to be in LA to do that. He also explained that in LA is a rat-race and sometimes the rats win. Haha.
He was also talking about meeting the infamous Stan Lee at Slamdance (the night I was too arrive--thanks a lot Snow Storm!). The filmmaker explained that he was very impressed on how giving and friendly Stan Lee was, considering his age. The filmmaker said he was just in awe of Stan Lee's energy.
One thing they both said about being a filmmaker, and I firmly agree with this, is that filmmaking is about building up a positive network and community---support others and hopefully they support you in turn.
Just before I was about to get up and leave one of them says to me "It says something about a filmmaker when they can drive that distance and not be afraid to sleep in their car in order to attend this big festival--it shows passion."
I was taken aback but those words but I definitely appreciated it and said thank you.
Both filmmakers gave me their cards, one gave me a USB with his short films. Now that's a great networking idea.
I said "See you guys next year" and they said 'Have a good trip back home.'.
The filmmakers names were Alan and William.
That's one thing I learned about attending the festival. You certainly don't need to have a film in the festival to be able to come down and enjoy it. It's actually an excellent place to meet filmmakers/ actors from!
Well, that's all for now. Time to hit the road and head home.