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10 Video Standards of Quality and Intentional Practice

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A couple of years ago, a workshop was arranged to address an issue that arose in my absence.  My team was challenged by a manager to create a list of ten standards of quality video. While we corrected the issues, this exercise was an excellent way to solidify my thoughts on what I strive for in my video-making.
Interestingly enough, many others had similar types of standards. I thought I’d share my take on it:
10 STANDARDS OF QUALITY VIDEO Clarity: all aspects; from writing to execution. Clarity means that the video is free from distraction—which may arise from poor writing (confusing, lacking conviction, obscure/esoteric language) to poor execution (distracting audio, anything unusual that takes away the attention from the message). Ironically, poor video quality is the most forgivable violation. People forgive a bad picture, the will not tolerate bad audio, and will lose interest from poor writing. (Amateur vs professional)


Visual Design: utilizin…

Kicking up the Settling Dust

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Inktober 2019 came and went- and I actually managed to post a piece of art every single day. To be fair, I didn’t follow any prompts; I simply used a list for illustrations I needed for a table top card game I had designed, and when I got bored of that I did whatever. You can check out my Instagram profile to see the fruits of my month of madness.

That said, I wanted to continue to create creating ink illustrations. I don’t want to lose the huge gains I made improving my skill, and it gave me time to think about what I want to do. I am caught in a world between filmmaking and drawing. I seesaw in it because I like doing both, but if I want to gain true mastery I know I need to drop one or the other. The thing is I don’t want to.

That said, above is a drawing I did of a character from one of my feature-length screenplays which I want to adapt to graphic novel. I like the way she turned out, and it is close to the style I plan on making my oneshot comic. I originally had another idea for …

Self-applying Salt in Old Wounds

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A few days ago, I had a long conversation with my day job manager, Marc, who is also my mentor and friend. Our chat went to discussing those who we would consider our personal Nemesis. His was a narcissistic old professor he had while he was in college. The dude sounded like a real deuchbag, but Marc persevered. Mine, no less deuchy, was a former friend and business partner from ages (read 'DECADES') ago.

We both got worked up as old memories surfaced and we told our war stories of betrayal and disgust. It's easy for old wounds to open up especially when they're so deep as they happened so young. After our chat, the rekindling of old anger dredged up the motivation to work on some projects. Applying salt to an old wound is not healthy, but it is effective.

However, the poison faded quickly- the thought of drinking in more toxic memories to feel powerful conjured many a cautionary tale. They ARE old wounds, but they HAD HEALED. My former acquaintance had actually given…

The Dragon Has Awakened

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LOSTSKIES.COM has been renewed. Those looking to jump on lapsed renewals will be met with disappointment. I’m planning on keeping this domain for a very, very long time.
I’ve been working furiously behind the scenes to jump-start my filmmaking efforts. Doing videos for my day job have kept my skills from growing cold.
LIBBY LENAN
Libby Lenan has graciously accepted my offer to create a video for her stunning single “Wilderness” (available on Spotify). She asked if I could record her covering a few songs for social media, to which I said “of course!”. She had worked with my old friends from ALSO SISTERS to create a video another of her songs, hopefully to be released soon.
NEW PRODUCTION HOUSE I am teaming up with a few people to create a production house. I’m not ready to officially announce names yet, but it’s in serious works. We have a number of projects on the plate- a couple of minidocs, and a number of short films with a serious effort to create a feature film within a year or two…

Curves of a Killer - Flash Fiction Pulp Noir

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The 3 A.M. Epiphany's second exercise is titled "Imperitive"—writing in the second person was strangely satisfying. I grew up playing D&D (among other RPGs) and so this was natural for me. It's also how adventure books (like Choose Your Own Adventure) are written- telling you where to go and what to do. Kind of bossy, really. 

Still, it was a great exercise; I wouldn't mind trying to create an adventure book, someday.
Exercise #2: IMPERITIVE (500 words)
Dusk slices horizontal strips into your dim office and onto your face, waking you.You stretch, rub the sleep from your eyes and move to adjust the blinds when a quick rap turns your attention away.
You open the door, and a shapely female silhouette is softly illuminated by sunlight splashing off your desk. Her red fitted dress and matching flat-brimmed hat hide eyes that cut through black lace, judging your gape.
“It’s customary to ask a girl in to have a seat, detective.” She breathes. Her eyes glisten, moist an…

NaNoWriMore or Less

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NaNoWriMo is on my mind. I have been attempting it. I also have been flailing sadly at how out of sorts I have been with my own storytelling- the only creative endeavor in which I find any creative flow. 
As it were, I had picked up The3 A.M. EPIPHANY by Brian Kiteley about ten years ago from Borders Books. I wouldn’t say I was intimidated by the work that would go into it, but rather the fact that I wasn’t ready. The book was forgotten and gathered dust on my bookshelf… shame on me. 
That said, as I was looking through my personal library for my BOOKSHELF ACADEMY series, I pulled this off the shelf and perused it, promising myself that I WOULD indeed do the exercises and, hell, why not post them as well? 
I thought I had done the first exercise but it wasn’t to be found on any hard drive, but I suspect it may live in typed form- playing on an old Smith-Corona Classic 12 that I had found at an estate sale; something about channeling Hemmingway, Kerouac, and Asimov. Meh. I suspect they wo…

Inktober so far…

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I am falling behind on these prompts. I am two days behind- partially because of some impromptu overnight plans this last weekend, but more because I am drawing a blank (pun unintended, but approved).

I've noticed a few things while attempting Inktober—I have a long way to go with the particular inking style I want to master, but my default technique is actually decent.

Creative block is my current struggle. Between home life and work projects, my artistic well is running on fumes. Despite distractions of everyday life, many of my ideas are from personal projects that I’m not ready to share publicly... and it's pushing me into a self-imposed block.

I’ve had a hard time with the official prompt list; though many other lists are a bit more literal on WHAT to draw, I haven’t had much inspiration. Again, like I said, I’m drawing a blank.

Here are some of the better daily ink drawings. Hopefully, I can come up with something decent fin the next couple of weeks.













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