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IFMAR Worlds Edit – Day 88

The Home Stretch

I have the first cut done!!!

This cut doesn’t include the Narration and the sound-mix isn’t quite completed nor is the color correction & grading. But this cut does help me get finalize the story and gives me a really good sense as to how well it flows.

I watched the cut last night and really liked the stories & people that I followed at this event. It’s shaping up to be one of my favorite episodes and which is good; because I was very nervous going into this event. More on that in a bit.

The next phase will be the script. I’ve talked about this in the past, and I still don’t know if my approach is widely used or even accepted. The edit is very close to where it will be come the final release and I don’t have a script yet. I haven’t even started it yet. While I edit, I basically visualize what the talking points will be and I have a good sense of how much time it will take to get my point across.

The script usually takes a week to write and sometimes it ends up in some changes to the edit, but I should be in a position to record the Narration mid-May. I haven’t set a release date but I believe that the week of May 27th will be when this one drops.

The Voice

Charlie was the perfect voice for the Silver State II movie. He’s exactly what I wanted for that episode; hence the change. IFMAR is a different type of event though. It’s less of a party and much more serious; Silver State was one of the most laid-back races I’ve ever gone to since I began filming “Come Drive With Us” in 2014. Not that there wasn’t fun being had in Perth, but it’s just different type of Movie. IFMAR events are much more serious; and the emotions and drama run a lot higher at an IFMAR event vs. a race like Silver State.

I’m happy to announce that my good friend Mike Garrison will be voicing this episode.

What’s next?

I currently have 3 productions queued up. JBRL, DNC II, an RC Cribs & the Ice Breaker. There is one small issue; well to me it’s a significant one.

I chase perfection. I’m probably my own worst critic. For JBRL, I decided to shoot 3 seperate JBRL events: Palm Desert, Thunder Alley & Revelation. The theme I was going with wsa “The Good. The Bad. The Ugly”. This is no small undertaking especially for a one-man crew. The first shoot at Palm Desert (The Bad) went quite well. There was lots of emotion (Wickham); the race was exciting, and I was really happy with the content.

The next shoot, which was absolutely critical to the production was at Thunder Alley (The Good). The weather was great; the characters at this event were on point, there was just one issue. My dad passed away just a few days prior to this event. I was going to cancel the shoot, but because it was a critical piece to the JBRL story; I thought I would be fine.

I was not.

Filming an episode of CDWU requires me to be extremely focused. I have to ensure that I’m following my stories effectively, and I wasn’t able to do this. I didn’t successfully capture the stories of this event. While my focus was better at Revelation (The Ugly) for the final race in the episode, I just didn’t really capture either of these events to the level of perfection that I feel I needed to.

At this point, I’m not convinced that the JBRL content is up to my standards to be released as part of the “Come Drive With Us” series. This is very disappointing to me as I was really excited about this episode. But with what I view as only 1 successful shoot it might be difficult to tell this story. I will be looking at the content after the IFMAR movie is done, but I’m just not totally convinced that there is a compelling story to tell here. It has nothing at all to do with Jimmy or his series; this is purely on me.

Or maybe I’m just over-reacting and the content is great; but I wanted to be transparent as my next episode may end up being DNC II.

I hope to see many of you at the Silver State Race next week (especially Mark Stanta Maria)! I won’t be filming (I don’t do re-runs); I will be racing!!!

Confidence not Arrogance

It’s been a while since I last wrote a column for my “Blog”. A lot has happened in the past 6 weeks; both good and bad. The bad was I lost my Father; this was a huge blow to me as I never realized what life would be like without having a dad. The good was, I released one of my best episodes to my documentary series; if there is an epic beyond epic…that’s how epic it is! So this post may come off as either extremely obvious to the point of it being a multi-page cliche … or it might come of as really preachy…or it may actually be helpful to you and your career. It certainly has been for both of my careers.

While a bit of Confidence never hurt anyone, I have been finding more and more people who are successful at a craft, sitting back on their laurels and patting themselves on the back not  bothering to innovate or get better at what they do. They become Arrogant; and are convinced that they are the best!

You have to remember that there’s always someone else that can do exactly what you do…only better. As I previously eluded to, I have two jobs; Middle Manager for Ledcor Construction & Cinematographer/Editor/Writer/Producer with 5150 Media Productions. Ok…so that’s like 5 jobs…but I still only count it as two! Even though I am successful at all five jobs, I force myself to continue learning new techniques & technologies.

Are you Self-Aware?

By day, I manage a team of highly skilled IT professionals. On every performance eval I have received as a Manager, one strength that comes up over and over is self awareness. In the business world it’s imperative to know what you are good at and what you’re not good at. Trust me; I know EXACTLY what I’m not good at and this helps me navigate through certain delicate situations in a way that I stay employed. It’s imperative to work equally on improving both your strengths & weaknesses. This guarantees that you’re going to become stellar at what you’re good at and your weaknesses will follow suit. I cannot fathom being a successful leader without knowing, and working around my weakness.

My “Other Job” is producing a documentary series on the sub-culture that is Professional R/C Car Racing. I have applied this same logic to my work in this space as well.

“Your Videos are the best!!!”

I enjoy the recognition and am stoked (a lot) that people like my work, but I also have a bit of a hard time with this statement. The reasons are two-fold. The first reason I struggle with this statement is because I can point out so many flaws in each and every one of my productions. It’s true; I am a perfectionist. It’s been a long time since I had a job-interview, but the last one I had, I got the sense that it was frowned upon when I said that I was a perfectionist. I truly am one however; each episode of “Come Drive With Us” has to be as close to perfect as I can make it. My last episode, the Xiamen Worlds (which I felt was my opus), was re-released because the Narration track just didn’t sound up to my standards. I actually ended up having my Narrator re-record the entire track just to make it right. I suppose this could be construed as CDO (That’s OCD spelled the way it should be: Alphabetical). Most people didn’t even notice that the original track had an issue, but I did.

The second reason I don’t like hearing this is because I don’t want to start believing that they are “the best”. Yes I enjoy watching them and I realize their significance to the R/C Industry but honestly, I am constantly striving to make them better. There is always room for improvement. If you go back and watch my series from the beginning you will see this.

In season 1 I was somewhat “star struck” by professional drivers that I looked up to for many years. Drivers like Tessmann, Drake, Tebo, King, Maifield, Cavalieri, etc. It took me a while to build a rapport with them and once I did, I tended to stick to just interviewing drivers that I was comfortable around. This gave Season 1 a bit of a “claustrophobic” feel. The exception to this was the final episode of the first season. In The Messina Worlds movie I was starting to come out of my shell; and it showed. This is still my favorite episode to date.

In Season 2 I invested in more lenses and hardware to make my footage crisper and smoother. I was also bolder around some of the more intimidating drivers and I focused more on story & long-term plot lines. With less effort wasted on worrying about what questions to ask the best R/C drivers on the planet, I was able to start working more on the technical aspects of my productions which really started to take shape in Season 3. This is probably my favorite seasons so far both from the story telling as well as the styling.

In season 4, I began focusing on more advanced technical aspects of how I shot, edited and mixed my productions.  A lot of this came from my spending time with professional cinema folk; and this resulted in me taking a more professional approach. I adopted a picture profile called LOG and making the jump to shooting in Sony’s version of this (SLOG2/SLOG3) was very difficult for me as it was a technique that was way outside my comfort zone. In the end, it was a risk that payed huge dividends as I feel Season 4 is the best looking season yet.

But I still make mistakes; like completely forgetting to interview Spencer Rivkin after he finished 3rd in the 4WD event at the worlds. I blame this on the fatigue factor after 8 consecutive 12 hour days.

Mistakes will always happen, it’s a matter of how to over-come them. I have absolutely no intentions of slowing down my innovations both from a hardware perspective and from a how I use the hardware. This drive to better myself is not limited to my production company; the same is true for  for my day-job as well. Constant innovation will help your work to stand-out and be original. And do your best to be original. No one likes a copycat or a Fraud.


Never Stop Re-Inventing Yourself!

My point in all of this is you need to keep moving forward and improving what you do if you want to not only succeed; but to stay relevant. Maybe try to Re-Invent yourself?

While hard work and results should get you everywhere, you need to first be self-aware so that you know what your weaknesses are so that you focus all your hard work into the right areas.

#TooManyCliches #Sorry #NotSorry



2017 Calgary Comic Expo

This past weekend 5150 had a crew at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. We were shooting a documentary, not only on the Expo itself, but on a few of the participants.

Taimu, The Drach, Nicholas Lang & Howie Miller

The main focus was Stand-up Comic & TV star Howie Miller whom we shot some B-Roll with earlier in the year. We also focused on several Cos-players including Trevor Goupil.

Howie Miller – Shopping

Trevor Goupil – Being Superman

In addition to Howie, Trevor and a myriad of attendees, we were fortunate enough to have several of the guests help us with our documentary project. Jim Shooter, Kenny & Spenny, Mark Meer, Raphael Sbarge & Garrett Wang were gracious enough to donate some of their precious time to our project.

Garrett Wang – Star Trek Voyager

While our focus of the doc is on the attendees it’s always nice to get the celebrity guests to weigh in on how awesome the Expo here in Calgary really  is. It really blew us away when Mr. Wang said that the Calgary Expo is top 3 in the world.

This was an amazing experience! I was finally in a place where people actually understand my obscure movie references. We were walking into Hall-C and it was so crowded that I was reminded of a scene from ‘The Mummy’ so I started chanting Imhotep Imhotep…and people got it and were laughing out loud! I felt right at home!

– The Drach

Cory Drachenberg & Kevin Sorbo

We still have some B-Roll shooting to do with both Trevor and Howie but we are planning on a Summer release of our doc. Be sure to check out the Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo coming up September 22-24th! For now, checkout our picture gallery on Facebook!

5150 has a pair of product videos coming out for Kyosho and “Come Drive With Us – Psycho Nitro Blast” should be dropping in the June time-frame.