I took a great opportunity to be an associate producer on "The Voice Continues: Renée Fleming Masterclass" at Carnegie Hall. It was a wonderful experience to be there in one of the greatest cultural centers with one of the greatest opera sopranos of all time.
This job got me thinking about the varied purposes of the job. This masterclass is educational for those who are learning to sing, but also for those simply learning about music. It is also entertaining for all those present as we get to see the transformative power of a master to a student.
What role does media have in the field of education? That's something I want to learn more about.
As the year wraps up, I wanted to appropriately say thanks to the truly fantastic cast and crew that carried the production of a special film I've worked on since 2015. Bizone started as an idea in Mario Rizzo's class and after the Moving Picture Institute and FEE fostered it, I was able to produce it as my Senior advanced film at NYU. To Laszlo Santha, Sean Malone, and Lana Link, I am so grateful for the support!
To start, this shoot would not have been possible without the production design of Anastasia Sänger and Justine Yeh, with the help of Nicole Marie McClellanfor costume and brick-painting help. With production right after Thanksgiving, I know it was a challenge to get the period film pulled together, but you guys carried it through and it looks simply outstanding. And to complete the look, Chelsea Nowak and team handled the makeup of so many people in our cramped apartment, I still have no idea how it could have been done. To the whole team, thank you so very much.
Together with the eye of Yuki Soga, I couldn't have asked for more. You knocked it out of the park, and clearly, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Thank you, truly, for the work you do.
Of course, no shoot could ever come together without the constant push from the AD and Rishabh Patel, you were one of the bests I've ever had the pleasure of working with. The rest of the producing team David Scherker and James Coleman, your problem-solving was stupendous and kinda makes me feel bad for having so many holes in the road for you. You saw what needed to be done and you did it, and for that I must thank you for it all.
Our brilliant cast, who have been with us since September, stands out as one of the things I am most grateful for this year, with all the scheduling, the early call times, the emails, health complications, and whatnot -- and through it, came a great piece of work. Ethan Coskay and family, Ben Rademacher, Dolly Lewis, and Rob Pope, you guys are truly wonderful people and for that I am filled with gratitude. A huge thank you to my best mate and casting director Sean Daley, you did a hell of a job.
And to the rest of the cast and crew, for all the work you put into it, for the cold, early Sunday morning, some of you were even sticking it out through a cold and putting up with some food and water shortages, and just everything I put you through, you know I owe you both any favor, and of course my thanks and praise. Some of you didn't even have any experience in film and just let me rope you into something. That is truly incredible.
I know I didn't get to tag you all, but know that I'm thinking about you all. Have a warm, happy rest of the year and I hope to see you in the new one.
We finally streamed Suburban Summer, a short film I wrote, directed, and produced as a bit of an exercise immediately after my freshman year at NYU. It was a two-day shoot around my hometown and we pulled all the stops -- riding a tandem bike where I'm driving and peddling and my AD/DP is shooting on the back seat, shooting a short stunt fight, and even borrowing equipment from a local channel.
When I finished editing it, I felt weird about it -- it's purposefully cringey by the matter of the main character's social awkwardness regarding relationships and asking someone out. Ultimately, I buried the film.
But as a promise to the actors and crew involved, I needed to show them, and so I invited them and everyone they might know into live streaming it and I just let myself have fun with it. Ultimately, no harm no foul.
I enjoyed it. And I learned I really should be less concerned about films I make because I'm still developing myself and my career. I'm happy to learn and I can always do better.
Thank you to everyone who watched it and even enjoyed it. Thanks for helping me realize that filmmaking is bigger than me.
I landed back in Grand Rapids with a project in mind and we pulled it off! Quiet Please is a bizarre, story based on the children's book "The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet." It was a blast as it was the first film I made with my hometown friends in two years, as well as starring my little sister!
We made this film in my living room with just a black backdrop and a few lights, but it was a blast either way, budget or no budget. Filmmaking is a series of challenges to deliver something of value despite the obstacles. Go film something!
It was incredible to finally see two months of preparation pay off. On April 29, the NYU College Libertarians hosted the Free To Be Art Gala with Students For Liberty and the Atlas Society. We brought together arts from across New York City to promote the role of art in a free society.
Among them, Tersi Bendiburg: storyteller, presented by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation; Rob Clove: music artist and activist; Joe Salvatore: theater director and creator of "Her Opponent"; and Lou Perez: head writer for We The Internet.tv
Read the blog post I wrote with our regional director Rachel Chiu here.
Rob Clove performing "Little Black Boy," pictured above.
I was blown away by the talent of this orchestra and am so incredibly thankful to all those that helped, especially our wonderful conductor Bence Juhasz.
We recorded Vivaldi's Gloria, first movement, and Beethoven's Opferlied 121b, with a full orchestra.
I am proud to announce my acceptance as a Screenwriting Fellow for the Moving Picture Institute, a non-profit that promotes liberty, human rights, and justice through film and media. During my fellowship, I will be developing and writing my next film "Bizone," a short biopic on Ludwig Erhard. This film was also awarded the MPI Film Grant and will be produced in Spring 2017.