THE BLOG

08
Sep

Amazing Studios Brings On New Director

We are happy to announce that Jerry Oliver has joined our team as Director. While his role will primarily focus on cinematic original entertainment and branded digital film content, Jerry is also a skilled animator and will be a valued asset to our art and animation team.

Jerry Oliver

Jerry brings with him a variety of experience and portfolio accomplishments beginning with a work-for-credit program in 2004 at a small television studio, where he joined the team full-time when the semester ended. Since then, he has been working steadily in film, television and advertising for several Fortune 500 companies. Jerry graduated from Vancouver Film School with a degree in film production.

In addition to his talents, he is also very complimentary to our team. Yes, we mean complimentary with an ‘a’ and here’s why. We heard him say, “Amazing Studios has a lot of talented people.” Thanks, Jerry!  We are thrilled to have you part of our team and hope to learn from you, as well as provide new and creative content to our clients.

He also said, “The only way to improve your personal talents, is to be surround by people more skilled and creative than yourself. Like my dad always says, ‘If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.’ I hope to contribute what I know and then learn from everyone else.”

Please join us in welcoming Jerry to the team – send him an email at  jerry.o@amazingstudiosinc.com.

31
Aug

NC ComiCon: The Movie

As we prepare to pull back the curtain tonight, after nearly one year in the making, we’d like to take a moment and reflect on what went into creating the documentary, NC ComiCon: The Movie.  

10,000 fans

3-days of ComiCon

70 hours of filming

9 months of editing

30 days of music composition

100 hours of art and animation

Thousands of laughs

Maybe a few tears

And, less than 8 hours until the main event! We hope to see you there!

“We are always looking for cool stories that we can tell and NC Comicon was one we felt had a lot of interesting personalities that would make a great movie.  With thousands of comic book fans, cosplayers, talented artists and special guests, how could it not be entertaining?!”  – Mike Cole, President at Amazing Studios.

 

THE CAROLINA THEATRE, DURHAM

8 p.m., $5, www.carolinatheatre.org

 

06
Jun

Amazing Studios Hires Client & Marketing Director

We are pleased to announce that Danielle Grantham has been hired as the brand’s first Client & Marketing Director. In this role, Danielle will focus on expanding current client relationships while also developing and implementing a marketing strategy to establish new relationships and opportunities.

We are very excited to expand our team and bring Danielle onboard in this new role. Her marketing background and experience, motivation, community involvement and overall awesome personality (she made us write that, but we can’t argue the point) make her a perfect addition to the Amazing Studios team.

Danielle has nearly ten years of marketing experience in strategy, events, branding, communication, client relations and sales enablement for regional, national and global markets. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Arizona State University, WP Carey School of Business and is an active member of the American Marketing Association – Triangle Chapter.

“I am thrilled to work together with such a talented group of people and look forward to what we will accomplish together. After meeting the team at Amazing Studios for the first time, I could tell that building relationships, helping others and having fun are at the core of what they do on a daily basis. They have welcomed me into their work-family and I look forward to extending the same attitude and values to our clients.” – that’s what she said.

Please join us in welcoming Danielle – send her an email at danielle.g@amazingstudiosinc.com or give her a call at 919.552.2025.

 

 

11
May

We’re Hiring

Alert the media, post to Facebook, call your mother, because Amazing Studios is hiring! Officially today we are starting our search for a Client & Marketing Director. This is a full-time position based in the Raleigh-Durham area (sorry extremely qualified candidate who lives in Dubai, you need to be local). So follow the link below to learn more about this position, or shoot us an email with your questions. If you are looking to apply, email your resume and cover letter to info@amazingstudiosinc.com. We are excited to have you join our team, whoever you are!

 

Click here for job description
29
Apr

PRESS RELEASE: FAA 333 Exempt

We have an amazing announcement to make today. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our flight team here at Amazing Studios, we have applied for and received an FAA 333 exemption for commercial aerial work. 

This means several things, but for you our partners, it means that we are authorized to produce high quality aerial video without the risk of punitive actions from the FAA.

There are a lot of people flying drones these day, but of all the companies currently producing aerial photography fewer than 5000 have permission to do so from the FAA. Without this exemption, people are running the risks of fines or even jail time for flying commercially without permission from the FAA. 

Amazing Studios is proud to be the first local company to receive this FAA 333 exemption and are excited about how we can use it to help you craft your stories. 

For information about our flight program, or to have us come and produce some awesome aerial work for you, feel free to contact us at: info@amazingstudiosinc.com

22
Feb

Amazing Studios Wins Multiple American Advertising Awards

Amazing Studios received several industry awards at the 2016 Triangle Adfed American Advertising Awards, which took place on Thursday, Feb. 18th, in the Cotton Room in Durham NC.

Amazing Studios was awarded 4 Silver Addy’s and 3 Bronze Addy’s.

Continue Reading..

17
Feb

A Layman’s Guide to Video Production: Understanding the Jargon of Post Production

The video production world has it’s own lexicon; if you work in the field long enough, you get used to the seemingly endless glossary of jargon and industry terms that get thrown around like balloons at a party. At least, I assume that’s what happens at parties. I never get invited…

But for folks new to the production world, or our awesome and incredibly attractive clients who only interface with it periodically, the filmmaking vocabulary can be confusing and exclusionary, especially in the long and sometimes arduous post production process. So let’s take a look at a few of the terms you may hear bounded about in the edit bay. Because knowledge is power, and knowing is half the battle! Or something like that. I get my philosophy and cartoon references mixed up a lot…

 

 

 

1: Rough Cut

While the term rough cut may sound fairly self-explanatory, it’s worth delving into as it’s likely the first time you as a client will interface with an editor or post-production team. A rough cut is the first edited version of a given video, film, or project, and it is usually the longest, least polished, and most incomplete version of said project. The point of a rough cut is to nail down the story and pace of a given piece, that’s it. And although just what the rough cut does or does not contain can vary wildly depending on the size and complexity of the project, it’s not at all uncommon for a rough to be lacking music, audio transitions, graphics or animations, or any sort of visual polish such as visual effects or color grading (see points 2 and 4 below for info on those two terms). Continue Reading..

04
Feb

The Fine Bros. and the Changing Landscape of Trademarks

Its not easy being a YouTuber today. Youtube has grown into a competitive landscape where you are in an all-out war for attention. You are competing with fellow YouTubers, newcomers, Big money-backed stars like Jimmy Fallon, and random content that just goes viral. It’s hard to stand out. So it should come as no surprise that everybody is looking for a leg up. Enter today’s victim of trying too hard: The Fine Bros.

The Fine Bros run a very popular YouTube channel built around the the “React” genre on YouTube (like this Elders React to Netflix video). The basic premise is that they show somebody something (i.e. showing a grandmother the Deadpool trailer) and film their reaction. It has become very popular and is copied all over the internet. Well, last week the Fine Bros announced that they had trademarked the word “React” and that you could license it from them to create your own “React” videos as a part of a program they called “React World”. In their mind, it was the natural progression of YouTube and created a way to monetize people using their idea. However, the YouTube community did not see it that way. Here are a couple of samples:

People react to The Fine Bros.

People react to The Fine Bros.

Since announcing their plans for “React World” they have lost almost a million subscribers, been blasted by other creators, and ended up having to pull their plans for “React World”. The Fine Bros attempted to calm people by explaining that they weren’t trying to get a lock on the format of “React” videos, but merely trying to create a path for people to create similar content. Here’s their comment:

“React World allows you to license some of FBE’s most popular series (the specific elements and structure of each show), and use the trademarks. With that comes a suite of support that you can read about at the website.

“We do not hold a copyright on reaction videos overall. No one can. React World is about licensing FBE’s show formats, not just for shows like Kids React, but also others like “Do They Know It?,” “Lyric Breakdown,” and more. We’re ready to change the face of entertainment and community – and do it with all of you”

So why then are people freaking out? Well in simple terms, they got the law involved. Its like getting into a sports car on a straight bit of road, and your buddy calling the cops to watch you drive. Instead of creating a community where people worked together, they created a system that you legally have to go through.

CatsRedCarFun

YouTube has always been a place with greater freedom, and fewer rules that traditional media. Personally, I think the Fine Bros had the best of intentions, but the door that they opened has consequences. While they may have used this to create mentorship and greater community, whose to say the next person with a trademark won’t use it to stifle creativity in the name of protection. YouTube is an open space, where there is amazing creativity. Yeah, there are going to be people who abuse it, steal content, and plagiarize work — but opening the door to making YouTube more corporate isn’t the answer.

– Peter

19
Jan

Client Case Study: Campbell

We did it! That was the mantra around the studio when we got the final sign off from Campbell University that their project was done. Though some of us (Cliff I’m looking at you) had bleary eyes from late nights, we had never been more proud. It had been almost 4 months since we started on this project, and when everything was done, we were able to look back and say “Job well done”.

Continue Reading..

13
Jan

State Of The Studio

My fellow Americans, we are sixteen years into the new century – a century that has already seen many changes in the industry of video production.

But the state of the studio is stronger than it’s ever been!

Continue Reading..

29
Dec

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 19: Classic Christmas Films

Cliff and Peter talk about their favorite Christmas films. What films did they love as kids that didn’t hold up – and which of them still are classics?

Follow Amazing Studios:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/amazingstudiosinc/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/amazingstudios1

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcGqTt9bpcAE4Xfl-RacCSQ

Medium – https://medium.com/nothing-short-of-amazing

16
Dec

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 18: Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Cliff and Petter talk all about Star Wars: The Force Awakens – fan expectations and cinematic relevance. This isn’t a review – so there’s no spoilers. Also: they make fun of Brandon for thinking Star Wars is stupid.

Follow Amazing Studios:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/amazingstudiosinc/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/amazingstudios1

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcGqTt9bpcAE4Xfl-RacCSQ

Medium – https://medium.com/nothing-short-of-amazing

16
Dec

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 17: We’re Back!

Hey folks – Cliff and Peter are finally back! They’ll catch you up with everything that’s been happening at the studio – and three huge projects. Cliff talks about Spectre and Peter talks about Pulp Fiction.

Follow Amazing Studios:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/amazingstudiosinc/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/amazingstudios1

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcGqTt9bpcAE4Xfl-RacCSQ

Medium – https://medium.com/nothing-short-of-amazing

03
Dec

Custom Music Tracks For Video – Part Two

This blog is the second post of a four-part series, where I talk about what goes into creating a song from scratch. To read the previous article, click here.

Composition

Like I said in the last post, my dad’s a chef. As a kid, I bugged him to teach me his skills. I remember the first time he taught me how to make his pizza sauce — this tasty red sauce full of tomatoes and spices and herbs. “Ok dad, how much dried basil did you just put in the sauce?” “I don’t know, son.” “What do you mean you don’t know?!” It was crazy to me that he didn’t know how much of a certain ingredient he put in, yet his sauce was always the same delicious flavor. He taught me that cooking is way more of an art than a science. Over time, he helped me develop the same palette skills he used in cooking. He’d give me a spoonful of the sauce from the warm pot and say, “How’s it taste?” “Bland!” I’d reply. He’d ask what was missing, and I’d tell him it needs basil, and salt. “How much?” he’d ask. “However much it takes to make it good,” I’d say. “Exactly!” He was teaching me it’s an art, a dance, to get all of those different ingredients blending with each other in harmony to make something tasty.

That’s what composing custom music is all about.Continue Reading..

06
Nov

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 16: Going to the Cinema

Cliff and Peter discuss the experience of going to see a movie at the theater – as opposed to watching it on your phone, tablet or television.

Cliff talks about Black Mirror, a BBC anthology series, and Peter talks about Beasts of No Nation by Netflix.

Beasts of No Nation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xb9Ty-1frw

Black Mirror – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV8ytGwKj0A

Learn how to make a bad video: https://medium.com/nothing-short-of-amazing/how-to-make-a-bad-video-4-video-production-mistakes-374af94fba1#.hs340gvsa

Follow Amazing Studios:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/amazingstudiosinc/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/amazingstudios1

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcGqTt9bpcAE4Xfl-RacCSQ

Medium – https://medium.com/nothing-short-of-amazing

30
Oct

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 15: Horror Films

Cliff and Peter welcome Amazing Studios animator, Jeremiah to talk about horror films. We discuss the merits of horror as a genre, its most famous auteurs and why Jeremiah believes it’s the greatest kind of filmmaking. Cliff talks about Steve Jobs and Peter looks back at Moneyball.

Check out Jeremiah’s cool Halloween video How To Run/Pun Off Monsters: https://vimeo.com/143253867

Read Jeremiah’s take on vertical video: https://medium.com/nothing-short-of-amazing/why-it-sucks-to-make-a-vertical-video-997c72024d55#.a224025n3

What We’re Watching: 

Martyrs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNpDiQimK6U

Steve Jobs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEr6K1bwIVs

Moneyball – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiAHlZVgXjk

Learn how to make a bad video: https://medium.com/nothing-short-of-amazing/how-to-make-a-bad-video-4-video-production-mistakes-374af94fba1#.hs340gvsa

Follow Amazing Studios:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/amazingstudiosinc/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/amazingstudios1

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcGqTt9bpcAE4Xfl-RacCSQ

Medium – https://medium.com/nothing-short-of-amazing

27
Oct

WHY IT SUCKS TO MAKE A VERTICAL VIDEO

VERTICAL VIDEO

If you work in video production or any creative business, you most likely look at vertical video like a dirty stray cat. By that I mean, you still recognize it’s a cat/video, but you’re not sure if you should touch it or not. Well, I took one for the team and approached that tall drink of water, formerly known as vertical videos. Besides an overarching feeling of looking like an idiot while designing in the wrong format, here are a few things I learned.

PROS:

1: It’s fun to work with a different size canvas.

2: It opens up a new way of thinking about composition.

3: It looks great on a phone…if viewed properly.

4: A well thought out vertical video is still impressive due to the newness of it.


Continue Reading..

22
Oct

How To Make A Bad Video: 4 Video Production Mistakes

Video production can be easy. It really can. But video production that’s easy is rarely any good. It’s much, much easier to make a bad video.

Just to make it even easier for you, I’ve listed the four things you can do to insure that your next video production ends up being another steaming pile of digital garbage helping to stink up the internet. And just in case you’re too lazy to read — I’ve even produced a video that spells it out for you. You’re welcome.Continue Reading..

16
Oct

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 14: Color Theory for Video and Film

Cliff and Peter discuss color theory as it applies to film and video color grading. They provide tips and techniques they use for color grading and the programs and plug-ins they use to achieve the perfect look.

14
Oct

Custom Music Tracks For Video – Part One

Part One: Inspiration

One thing you need to know about me is that I love to cook. I grew up with a chef for a dad, and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen watching him craft delicious meals. One of our favorite things is calling each other and comparing new recipes we’ve come up with. I love hearing him talk about the research he puts into a dish. His first step is always finding inspiration. He’ll look up 5 different recipes for a certain kind of dish, get inspired by the ingredients or techniques they call for, and then he’ll make something completely different, unique, and (arguably) better than any recipe he found. I take this same approach when composing a song.Continue Reading..

08
Oct

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 13: Production Recap Music Video for Transit

After wrapping production on music video for Transit, a vocal band, Cliff and Peter sit down to discuss the project. What went wrong? What went right? What’s that smell?

02
Oct

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 12: AMZG Review of The Martian

Cliff and Peter give their review of the new Ridley Scott film, The Martian. There are some spoilers towards the end of this review – so be warned!

30
Sep

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 11: Adaptations

Cliff and Peter chat about their favorite motion picture adaptations. They cover Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and Watchmen.

22
Sep

Brand Messaging Made Simple

Brand messaging can take on many diverse forms – from a single headline of ad copy to your company email signature. But constructing a brand message that’s compact, unforgettable and relevant to your ideal consumer can be a lot harder than you’d imagine. Many times marketers and brands fall into the trap of trying to say too much when creating their content.

So how does one explain in over 500 words the importance of keeping your brand messaging simple and not come across like a giant hypocrite? Well when it comes to crafting your brand’s messaging you have to reevaluate what it means to be simple.Continue Reading..

18
Sep

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 10: Video Techniques

If you want to edit video or film, you need some semblance of order to your video footage and audio so you can find everything. It’s a no brainer, right? Cliff and Peter discuss editing techniques, tips and the methods they execute at Amazing Studios.

15
Sep

Video Editing: The Art of Organization, Pt. 1

 

Everything in it’s Right Place

Folks who know me would probably say I’m a bit of a neat freak. And although I’ve never gone so far as to alphabetize my already color-coded desk organizer collection, it is true that I like for things to have a place where they belong and make sense. This habit, while having ended a few relationships and put at least two coworkers in therapy, has served me well in my growth as a film and video editor — a craft which I have become increasingly convinced is based entirely on the idea of organization.

On the surface this seems like an obvious notion: if you want to edit video or film, you need some semblance of order to your video footage and audio so you can find everything. It’s a no brainer, right? But I think it goes deeper than that. Boiled down, the task of video editing is to arrange disparate images and sounds in such a way that they become a greater, more logical whole — that’s organization.

And if you want to get more granular and artsy with it (and let’s be honest, getting granular and artsy is what us creatives live for), you could say editing is truly the art of organized thought. If I cut from a shot of woman looking over her shoulder to a POV shot of a man in a mask coming towards her, and combine that cut with a dramatic music stinger, I’ve just made you think that something dangerous is happening. In reality the two could be friends headed to a Halloween party, but it doesn’t matter. By arranging the images and sounds in a certain way, I have tricked your mind into making the conclusion I want it to make. That’s the power of good organization.

Psh, and you thought all video editors did was cut out the bad parts…

In this series, I’m going to explore organization as it relates to the art of film and video editing and talk about how I think it can be used to improve your video edits in fundamental ways. If you’re a big geek like me and love film and storytelling theory, rest assured you’ll find plenty of that here in future posts.

Continue Reading..

14
Sep

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 09: Origin Stories, Re-Shoots and Feedback

Cliff and Peter talk about what happens when you get client feedback that requires drastic changes and re-shoots. They also walk through their origin stories and how their journies led them to a career in video production and filmmaking.

09
Sep

How to Design for Motion Graphics

We recently created a motion graphics piece that went rather smoothly.
A lot of this had to do with the way the design was handled before ever getting to the animation stage. There are other things to consider as well, such as a script written with design in mind, and of course, having a great client to work with helps. (shout out to our BFF’s at First Bank) So when it comes to designing for 2D or 3D animation, I always follow these steps to assure a seamless workflow.

ORGANIZE
Organizing your files is the step that is the easiest to preach, but the hardest to actually follow. But, I can’t express enough how much time you save from organizing your files from beginning to end. It’s best to start with a catch-all folder to house any files you have, from inspiration to final files. Within that folder, create a subfolder for every step of the process such as copy, design, animation, renders, etc. And even more important when it comes to organizing, is the file system within your animation program. Whether you are working in AE, Cinema 4D, whatever it may be, properly naming and grouping files will go a long way when it gets down to the last minute and you need to quickly find the scene or layer you need.Continue Reading..

04
Sep

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 08: Production Week Recap

After a crazy week of filming, Cliff and Peter sit down to talk about all that went into the production – gear, locations, talent and more.

28
Aug

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 07: Coming Attraction Roulette

Cliff and Peter play a fun game of Coming Attraction Roulette – they put the titles of upcoming films into a bowl and pick them at random for an in-depth discussion. They discuss Black Mass, Bridge Of Spies, Hateful Eight and more.

21
Aug

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 06: What Exactly Does A Creative Strategist Do?

Creative Strategist and pro wrestling megafan, Brandon Clarke joins Cliff and Peter to discuss video marketing and the various video platforms creators can use. They also discuss Spielberg’s Lincoln, The Birdcage, Hercules and Wet Hot American Summer.

17
Aug

Looking Back: Film Production For Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to wetland conservation. They have chapters in all 50 states, and do work across the country to preserve land for waterfowl. Ducks Unlimited North Carolina approached Amazing Studios about a video production that would work in conjunction with the campaign for their new Sportsman for Tomorrow program.

We asked our Studio Production Director, Peter Scheibner, to look back on this project and give some insight into the projects creation – from conception to the final product. In this article he’ll pull back the curtain and provide some interesting detail into the nuts-and-bolts of this beautiful piece of original branded content.

Legacy | Ducks Unlimited from Amazing Studios on Vimeo.

Pre-Production

So where did the concept for this video come from?

Continue Reading..

14
Aug

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 05: Brian The Intern

Peter and Cliff sit down with Brian The Intern, a talented student from Bob Jones University who spent his summer working at Amazing Studios – and living in Peter’s basement.

07
Aug

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 04: A Journey Through Time and Cameras

Cliff and Peter talk about the cameras they’ve used throughout the years — from film and videotape all the way to the RED Epic — and how each one has played a part in their development as filmmakers and storytellers.

31
Jul

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 03: Ant Man Review, Movie Confessions

Cliff gives a quick review of Marvel’s Ant Man – what he liked, what worked and what didn’t. Then the guys dive into their Movie Confessions – guilty pleasures, movies they don’t “get” and classics that they’ve never seen.d

 

24
Jul

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 02: Inspirations – Spielberg, King, Tarantino, etc

Cliff and Peter discuss some of their biggest influences in the world of cinema and storytelling — from Spielberg to Stephen King and Francis Ford Coppola — and how their work has been impacted by the styles and aesthetics of these masters of the craft.

16
Jul

#AMZG Production Podcast | Episode 01: DC Trailers – Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad

Cliff and Peter discuss the new trailers from DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. – Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad. They take a look at DC’s auteur-driven approach to filmmaking in the shadow the Marvel Industrial Complex.

 

29
Jun

2 redheads walked into Amazing Studios, what happened next you’ll NEVER believe

blog-2-redheads

Brandon Clarke and Jeremiah Berkheimer have joined the talented folks at Amazing Studios.

Clarke and Berkheimer came sort of as a “package deal” from Three Post, an award-winning production studio in Raleigh. Not only do they bring many years of agency and post-production experience to Amazing Studios, but they also bring with them all types of crazy ideas. We’ve been told that’s a good thing.
 


 
Berkheimer spent five years working in advertising as an art director, animator, and copywriter in Cincinnati, Ohio before moving to Raleigh. He combines his skills in 2D and 3D animation with his design and writing talents to create aesthetically beautiful and extremely entertaining animations. He is also very handsome. (He is also very persistent and made us write that.) In his new role, Berkheimer will oversee animation and motion graphic production in Amazing Studio’s art department.

 


 

Over his career, Clarke has spent time at 3D Communications, ElectriCities and VisionPoint Marketing, in addition to his time spent freelancing in key areas including content strategy, video production and creative services. In his role at Amazing Studios, Clarke will oversee strategic and creative development, brand positioning and branding, and the management of creative, video production, and post-production from concept inception to distribution.
18
May

Finding Art In An Interview

 

As an artist, it is tempting to tell all the stories that I am tasked to tell with the words that I think are best. However, the truth is that most of the time what I have to say isn’t as interesting as what somebody else has to say. Given the option between what I can say about how great a retiring member of the Duke Board of Trustees, or what the President of the Board has to say I think the best option is obvious.

Since joining the team at Amazing Studios, I’ve had the opportunity to conduct hundreds of interviews. I’ve sat down with politicians and teachers, lawyers and farmers, athletes and prisoners. Everybody has a story, and every story is worth listening to. My privilege, is to find that story and get them to tell it. I’ve learned a lot from these incredible interactions, and I’d like to share a few of my interview discoveries here.

Be comfortable

Find a setting that is relaxing for everyone. I like to take my time when setting up and spend that time putting the interviewee at rest. Talk about the weather, or a special interest that they might have. Share some details from your life, be vulnerable and let them see you care. It is imperative that the person that you are going to speak to knows that you are a real person and that they can open up to you. Which leads me to…Continue Reading..

22
Jan

3 Design Trends You’re Going to See 2015

 

It’s a new year, and as always, the interwebz are a-buzz about design trends and forecasts. Here’s what I say you should be watching for in 2015.Continue Reading..

20
Jan

3 Reasons to Promote the Arts to Kids

We live in a STEM culture. It seems that every children show, every curriculum package, and every learning initiative is focused on Science, Technology, and Math. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I think STEM is very important. If we can’t master these areas we will fall behind in the global market. However, as an artist, I would like to talk about why it is important to keep encouraging the arts for our kids.

Reason #1

Art broadens the imagination.

Albert Einstein summed this up when he said “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Imagination opens up the limitless bounds of the human spirit. And promoting the arts to your kids will help them to create the next big thing.Continue Reading..

12
Jan

Leading with a Kilt

Being “The Leader” of a company (aka The Boss) is simple… Just delegate everything and then sit back and watch it all come together. And those things you just don’t want to mess with; get someone else to do it. For example… Let me get someone to write this blog for me! ☺

–Enough stalling I guess I need to focus and really do this–Continue Reading..

07
Jan

Finding Inspiration



Every Moment Counts – Director’s Cut from Cinescapes Collective on Vimeo.
Art inspires art. As an artist, I am deeply moved and inspired by other artists work. This is a film directed by Preston Kanak, that I believe is excellent and worth aspiring too. Let me know in the comments what work inspires you.

Peter

05
Jan

How I Found My Life’s Passion in a Cup of Coffee

I have a confession to make. One that, while not embarrassing for me, often garners funny looks from people when I talk about it. The “Serious, dude? This is all you’ve talked about for an hour…” kind of looks.

I LOVE coffee.

There. I said it.

And i’m not talking about just any old cup a joe; I mean the good stuff. Over the years I’ve invested a lot of money and time into being able to craft the best cup I can. I’ve bought the burr grinders, the electric kettles, the manual pour-over bonmacs and chemex set ups—all of that fun stuff. And i’ve spent countless hours researching the best methods to use, the best companies to buy from, and the international farmers that they get there supply from. Heck, I spend 30 minutes a day just making 2 cups of coffee.

I do this not because I want to be a know-it-all or coffee snob, but simply because I’m passionate about making the best mug-full of caffeine I can.Continue Reading..

30
Dec

Writing / Inspiration / Distraction

Today has been one of those days. I’m sitting here with far too many scripts to be written, and no inspiration. I have a host of deadlines, and yet, I can’t seem to get out the first words. So instead, I’m writing a blog to clear my mind, seems like a good idea.

Last night, I was out to dinner with some businessmen from the Raleigh area and we were talking about what we do at our various jobs. One of the men, a civil engineer, after seeing a film that we are currently working on asked, “Where do you get the ideas for your videos?” This is an excellent question, and the answer is not simple. In short, everywhere.Continue Reading..

22
Dec

Working for the Harvest / Working with Ken

It seems like most of the projects I get to work on are pieces with a quick turn around. The film industry as a whole has become so accessible that clients often expect high quality productions in a fraction of the time it used to take. Sometimes, it can feel as though I’m being smothered by the deadlines and my creatively held back by the pace. Working for the Harvest, and its long form schedule, was a much needed breath of fresh air.Continue Reading..

12
Dec

Depth of Field

 

I have discovered a new phenomenon with the advent of Digital Photography. As I’m shooting my portrait shots people will walk over and want to see a particular picture of themselves or a loved one. When they look at my shots they tend to ask, “I have the exact same shot; why does yours look so much better?” The difference is almost always the same thing: an incredibly deep depth-of-field. As I look at their shots I can see everything into the great unknown in sharp detail.  The problem with having your entire scene in focus like this is that your viewers won’t quickly know what the subject of your portrait is. Landscape photography is the only reason that you’d really want to have long-depth-of-field (i.e. having that flower in the foreground in focus as well as the mountain behind). So here are a couple helpful hints on how to control your depth-of-field and make your portraits look more professional.Continue Reading..