Happy New Year!
I don’t know about you, but 2021 seemed to be go go go and I’ve had so much happening, from filming across states with my brand new much anticipated camera set up, to the building of my new small studio space. Projects are finally coming to a head and I am happy to say that the previous delays that the world has thrown my way are now behind me. Needless to say, 2022 is going to be a good year. A lot has happened and some exciting new things are coming.
The New Studio!
Moving my family to a larger home was probably one of my biggest life changes this year. For film, this move came with a new office space, but more importantly room to build the small studio I’ve been needing. With this new space, I have the flexibility to create more content for all of you, starting with my new podcast show, ‘Whiskey with Whitley’. Subscribe to my YouTube page to stay up to date on this podcast.
What’s in Production?
Global Panic (COVID 19) Documentary Wrapping Up!
|Shortly after moving, I was finally able to complete one of my last key interviews for the film that I had been waiting on since the beginning of 2021. The pastor of one of the destroyed churches from the massive tornado in Chattanooga Tennessee, gave me some great incite, not only on the devastation and subsequent community rebuild of the town, but on the corona virus and 2020 as a whole. His biblical references were exactly what I needed to wrap up this film in the theme I chose to focus on. It took me the remainder of the year to finish editing the film, mostly because I had to track down where all of my footage was coming from and verify that I had permission to use it all. I definitely had a lesson learned for keeping better records for all of my footage. In my defense, there was just so much coming in during 2020, that I had to just download and drop in order to keep up. The footage came from around the world which allowed me to make this a global story without ever leaving California.|
The film has been sent off to be musically scored and shortly after that we’ll be off to the races with film festival submissions and applications to film distribution companies. I am pleased with the outcome of this difficult project, but honestly I’m just glad to be done and moving on to my other projects. I still have my second firefighter project to wrap up, but I’m also looking forward to getting back to the police crime documentaries that I was originally set and lined up to do before the pandemic hit and caused those projects to be shelved for 2 years. What’s to follow for Global Panic is a lot of Behind The Scenes content as well as a book I am writing that includes many stories from around the would that I just couldn’t get permissions to use footage for. I may make a short doc as a “non-profit” that would include some of this content, but I haven’t decided yet. None-the-less, the book will be a deep dive into the pandemic from a documentary filmmaker’s perspective. Additionally, I’ll be conducting interviews with the videographers from around the world that contributed footage to this film.
After 13 years of using the same camera, I finally pulled the trigger and upgraded.
This upgrade is significant because the Canon XHA1 I was using was very outdated. It still shoots on mini DV tape. Other than my cellphone, this new camera will be the first digital camera that I’ve owned. The XHA1 was the top of the line at the time it was purchased other than an actual film camera. It was even used in the film The Bourne Ultimatum as a stunt camera. I shot my first feature film, Edge, on it. Maybe a year or two later cameras went digital, so I had just missed the transition, but I was very fond of my camera. Still am. I mostly just use this camera for vlogs these days, and as a backup camera for live events since it can shoot for long periods of time. Of course Mini DV tapes have become hard to come by these days.
Up until this year, I’ve borrowed or rented better cameras for my motion pictures. Ever since I started focusing on my own work and got into documentaries, I realized that it was time I made an upgrade of my own since I would be traveling solo for documentaries and needed my own equipment that I could rely on. It took some time to save up, especially since I didn’t own any lenses like most cinematographers these days do, so my total budget was like that of a green filmmaker getting into the industry for the first time. Luckily I already owned a lot of lighting equipment, so I just needed the camera package. Thanks to Uncle Sam, the relief checks, I was finally put over the top of my budget enough to make my purchase. This new camera has been amazing and I now have the ability to do some new tricks that I struggled to push for with my old camera. Most of this has to do with the beautiful lenses I now have. I’m excited to see how much this new camera improves my work.