Something I do pretty frequently is work as a traveling cameraman in one capcity or another. I spent more time traveling as either the sole camera man or helping out another production than I ever have in 2016. I worked the shoots and stayed in hotels in various locale’s from Florence SC, to upper Tennessee. I got to follow the Pfeiffer University Men’s soccer to team to all of their games except the 2 in Florida to cover their play and shoot interviews before and after games for an as yet unrelease documentary.
Anytime I do anything out of the norm like that I generally shoot behind the scenes vlogs and other footage on my iPhone 7. What I do a lot less often is to forge those into proper edits I can share. After my busiest freelance photographer activity period ever, I worked two back to back contracts for the next 5 months. That and a minor surgery & subsequent recovery kept me distracted even longer. At last I’ve decided on a format for all this bonus footage that at least makes me happy. Read more “Have Gear Will Travel – Episode 1”
April 21, 2017 marked the start of the first film project I’ve crewed on for a while. It’s was for a script I only had the quickest of glances at before Robert Filion brought me on, originally as Boom Mic operater, though I wound up spending more time on behind the scenes photography and all manner of gear hauling.
The locations were all interesting. The cast and crew were well treated and from what I’ve seen this is going to be a very nice looking film indeed. I guess my favorite part of the process turned out once again to be turning random places into create location spaces. For instance a nice tree on a manicured lawn becomes a dreamy park picknic, or the side woods of an abandoned developement becoming a Elven forests. This time out I had a few new tools in the camera bag, BOTH of which are now a must have for capturing the magic that is the film making process. Firstly, the Ricoh Theta S 360 camera. Just pop over to Amazon and order yours right now. These things are so neat. She the attached images to experience the emersion! Next, the Karma Grip for my GoPro Hero Black. Really, just….how the heck did I ever do without this gear. Apart from the 4 hour charge time and the fact that it won’t let me use the camera battery to extend the usage time when it’s in the mount, I have nothing but wonderful things to say about this amazing peice of gear. Literally from now on all of my hiking and how to videos are just going to be so much easier to watch. THANK YOU GoPro! The fine folks at BrightHouseFinancial.com were kind enough to allow me to step away from my work there for the Friday and Monday even though my contract isn’t due to be up there until May 15th. That made this little project a guilt free joy to work on. So, I got to run around the set of a cool project taking random photo and video of people who probably didn’t realize why I was constantly shoving a camera in their face. Most folks tolerate this intrusion to their extra’s chat conversations fairly well but I still felt a bit like a creepy some of the shots. Hey, I suffer for my art so others have to suffer for theirs from time to time as well right? It’s only fair. I actually found that my new iPhone 7’s camera turned out to be a great tool for taking behind the scenes snaps and even portraits. In one case one of the portait shots was printed out for a prop framed photo in the scene and it really looked great. Usually when I let folks take a peek at the results they are instantly impressed by the new “Portrait” mode. Ironically, I wasan’t even hip to it until a co-worker pointed it out to me a at lunch one day.
To boot, I got to work with one of my best friends. Yes, you know him. You love him. He’s CRAZY Todd! Additionally, some of the talent on this film really put an impression on me. The story turned out to be very compelling and as Robert W. Filion shot it, well you know it’s going to look fantastic. How’s this for an uncommon name? “Your Lips Kiss Well But They Lie Better.” Seeing a production with proper funding and enough help in the crew department was quite a treat indeed. This is not your father’s Mutantville. Some of you will get the in joke but most won’t. On the one hand it makes me wish I could fund and produce something on this level. On the other it makes me happy to be still in the game in some capcity. I don’t want or need to be King of the World cause heavy lies the crown and all. I am completely fullfilled to forege ahead being an artist at whatever level I may be at. I get to do this stuff and be a part of the process in addition to getting to write music and play it with cool people. Life is pretty cool sometimes. This was a cool weekend!
I’ve had several acts inquire about my creating a music video for them. We finally got such a project underway in the form of Two Eggs, Any Style by the Electro – Indie two piece rock group, Illicitizen yesterday, September 25. 2010 with the start of production. We shot primarily green screen and one additional location involving some graffiti and many scrambled eggs.
This shot was a lot of fun and on hand for crew we had Jeremy Mullis, Eric Cook and Todd Britt. We finally got to employee the newly constructed MVP dolly and it worked like a charm. Todd’s modifications to the original design really paid off in ease of use and I cannot wait to utilize this amazing tool on future shoots. I am really excited to see what I can do with a music video and already have a high level of confidence in the footage we’ve shot. Now to work some post magic. As we all know, post can be a real Monkey Fighter! Never fear, Johnny Brento is here.
Editor’s Note: I found this story abandoned in drafts when I wasn’t able to co-ordinate with the band to finish the video off in a further shoot. The video above is what we were left with and likely is all there will ever be since these folks have slipped off the grid like John Connor in Terminator 3! I also got a nasty comment from the bass player when I commented on this video on Facebook once, recently. I’m not sure if that was a drunk comment or whathae you, but it was deleted almost immediately. Anywho, I hope you Illicitizen’s are doing well and I hope they never catch you if you don’t want to be caught. Godbless, BB
I’d like to say that this shoot, having benefited from the first day’s shooting came off without a hitch. I’d like ot say that, but alas I cannot. This day one was another blazer. Many props and essential items got left behind and it was once again time to improvise. No worries because THAT IS WHAT I DO!
I knew that as basically a one many crew, I wouldn’t be able to get every single shot I wanted, so I needed to make sure I had complete coverage. When everyone once again arrived late, I decided to shoot everyone on Green Screen just in case I need that one shot we didn’t have when all was said and done. This only took about 20 minutes so it was well worth the effort. As it turned out, the footage wasn’t need, at least not until I get bored enough to do the space opera version of this video.
We got to the location a full 2 hours later than planed which put us under a really hot directly overhead Sun. Not ideal lighting by any stretch of the imagination. I took a “this is what you have to work with” philosophy and did just that. I had the main composition for the band and the drums and vehicles were setup probably within 30 minutes. I’m thinking we shot out there for about 3 hours. I, along with every one else was very ready for the AC by the time we got to it.
Fortunately, I got enough footage in the proverbial can to complete the project. I think we wound up with some great shots indeed. Once the final video is completed, I hope to post some of the unused footage to this article. The Good Lord knows I have tons and tons of it. I’m a behind the scenes guy myself and always love seeing that stuff. So, I’ll make an effort to include it here for sure. Things like this.
I went with an old film look for all of the shots featuring the band and then a second, older film look for most of the couple shots. The idea being to use them to fill up some of wider shots like frames from memory of the story the singer is telling. I hope it works out as expected. I do love me some Retrograde plugin from Red Giant.
Well, I’d have to say that this weekend was pretty epic. Friday night kicked it all off with a Two Spies show at the legendary Harmanco’s. This was a bigger show than we’ve done previous and our second time as a group at this establishment. We’ve expanded our covers a bit, brought up two more original and added a bit of a light show. The lights being brand new gear meant setup took a little longer. I want to say that we start loading in around 6:15 and after an 8 – 12 show with only a few short breaks, we finally left at 2 AM. As is tradition, I pulled the media before going to bed, putting me on my pillow at 3 AM.
Now the plan for Saturday was to drop Nancee of at work and then spend the day catching up on sleep and editing video while I watched a few items for the VHS Graveyard. That was the plan. What went down was a lot different of course. I would up getting back home just in time to unload the A so Summer could take vehicle to the store to work since she had slept in, as is her custom.
I got a message on Facebook that sort of got overlooked for months due to it being from someone not in my friends list. It was a nice little message thanking me for doing Brento’s Budget Film Making Podcast. That’s the first such message I’ve received acknowledging the effort put into that little show. It was really cool to get that. That makes me think that I should do a show on creating no budget music videos. BBFMP was often overshadowed by it’s much more put together big brother show, MVP Mutant Radio, which is now, sadly defunct, at least for the time being.
Anyways, great to be acknowledged and shout out to show listener, Krutin Amin, of Hanover Park, Illinois. Thanks for your message, Buddy. I’ll keep on making them if you keep on listening.
At the current time, I’m working on a music video for Braden Harwood. Additionally, I have 3 other videos lined up to create as time allows, including one for Two Spies, though, obviously I’ll need help for that one. These things are like short films and as such, they make great anecdotes for BBFMP. It’s all great experience that I look forward to sharing on the show. Read more “BBFMP, Music Videos, Two Spies & New Art”
Respawner is really my first attempt at world building. The character was conceived along with her own universe in which her supporting characters would be fleshed out as they enthralled us with weekly or monthly adventures. Unfortunately, petty jealousy and animosity kept my film making partners from fully embracing the series and some poor casting on the part of the director, namely myself, doomed the original production from that start along with my own inexperience at planning and executing such a large endeavor.
For those that care to dig a little deeper, in these pages you will find the bones of a dream project that fell by the wayside. However, a ton ton of exploratory content was created and I think that it’s worth sharing here.
Much of the content was published via the Mutantville.com website and Youtube channel, but some of it, very few eyes have ever beheld. For instance, did you know that there was an official Respawner fan page and a website?
I’m slowly but surely moving all my video content from the MVP Channel over to my Vimeo channel where there’s less hassle with ads and generally more control over video quality. As I move a file over, I’ll add the new version on this page if it’s Respawner related.
I thought it worth mentioning that after over more than a year, Brento’s Budget Film Making Podcast has dropped a new episode. In this one I share my film making activities from the interim and discuss a new animated film project with my friend from the Poser community, Dave Watson.
The episode runs 47 minutes and constitutes the 26th such episode in the series. I also discuss my depature from the Mutantville Productions film group and cover a secret, unreleased short film. Dave and I get into why we do this stuff being that it can truly aggravate the dickens out of you at times.
As always you can find the podcast on iTunes or right here on our host.
Back in 2013 I started a little How To Make Indie Films on a Budget sort of informational show called, “Brento’s Budget Film Making Podcast.” Originally, the show was hosted on Libsyn podcasting host but I found their hosting overly expensive for very little return on my efforts and investment. Eventually, I decided to host the show myself and resubmit it to iTunes. I did loose approximately 2 episodes in the shuffle but the bulk of the shows made it over and now are offered in perpetuity for anyone interested in no budget film making to enjoy.
Prior to sort of solving the hosting question I did post the first 4 episodes to Youtube with accompanying video content. Here’s the first such cross posted episode. Hope you like it.
Episode 1 sort of covers the mission statement of the podcast and sets things up. It runs about 20 minutes. In retrospect I think I was feeling a bit of resistance to branching out on my own and this was really the beginning of my departure from Mutantville productions. I totally lay out my film making philosophy but I can also hear myself trying to still toe the MVP partyline which is to basically talk like you are a bigger deal as a company than you really are. A fake it until you make it mentality. I was also starting to work with Robert Filion at this point and taking on some of his approaches to film making. Directors/ film makers and artists in general are sensitive and I think along the way I may have hurt a few feelings though that was never my intention. Read more “Brento’s Budget Film Making Podcast Ep1”