In Industry, Weeks 2 & 3

Hello there, people of the internet.

If any of you are even reading this right now…

I guess I didn’t do too well keeping up the upkeep of the blog after writing that last entry, but hey! I’m spending some time working on it today. I’m sitting here watching playoff hockey and decided I may as well be productive instead of continuing to procrastinate on school work. There are only four weeks left after all, I should finish strong. Edmonton and San Jose are on right now, Game 5. I’m torn. Edmonton is fun to watch but if San Jose wins the Cup, the Canucks will get their first round pick this year. Regardless, it’s fun to watch playoff hockey without a horse in the race. It hurts to be a fan of the Canucks these days.

I figure I’ll take this post to give an overview of how my second and third weeks out in industry; firstly so I don’t have to write as many entries and secondly, I think there would be too little in each post if I went week by week.

The thing I can get out of the way right now is naming the project I was working on: I Am Heath Ledger.

Yeah… First film I get to work on, and it’s a feature length documentary about Heath Ledger. Pretty crazy, and pretty damn lucky too. Heath’s probably most known for his turn as The Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight, an absolutely incredible performance that won him an Academy Award. It was a movie that came at a time when I was starting to appreciate the more nuanced elements of the craft of filmmaking, and was the first time I really noticed a specific actor very clearly doing something special in a film. It’s a performance that has stuck with me as on my favourite acting performances ever for nearly 10 years. I remember the shock and the sadness when news came out of his untimely death.

In a weird way, for the five weeks I spent working on this film… Heath was, kind of alive again. Our film has a lot of unseen archival video that Heath and his friends took while he was on his meteoric rise up the Hollywood A-list a decade ago. For every second of cool footage that is in the movie, there’s hundreds if not thousands more that we aren’t able to include for whatever reason. I still got to watch it all, and because of that it very strangely felt like Heath was alive again and that I got to know… some version of him, at least. It’s impossible not to feel some sort of attachment to him as a person now, instead of just as a fan of a particular performance.

In terms of the actual work, it was still somewhat slow going for me at first. I was trying to learn as much as I could without biting off too much and screwing something up, for sure. I was slowly starting to feel more comfortable, and by my third week I felt like I was settling in. By that point, I was no longer doing small bits of work on another, currently unannounced documentary. It was all-in on Heath, a full-on sprint to the finish. I was being given more responsibility and more things to do, a challenge I felt ready and able to embrace. I think I did a good job, considering I came into the position as a junior assistant editor with little-to-no knowledge as to what the job actual entails.

See, at school they teach us how to edit. But other than some basic media management, we don’t learn much about being the assistant editor.

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Of course, it’s a job that varies depending on the company you work at, the editors you work with, and the project itself. I still didn’t really understand what I was getting myself into though, and that was a humbling moment. The kind that is good to have on occasion, a reminder that maybe I don’t quite know as much as I would like to think I do. The kind of thing that keeps you from becoming complacent. I actually stayed late a few nights, and came in on a weekend to continue to help out as well. I wanted to help out, we were inching closer and closer to our scheduled picture lock day, and hell… I just enjoyed what I was doing. It was fun bouncing around edit suites and different computers and working on bringing this film to life.

For those of you curious to see the film, it premieres at Tribeca on April 23rd… There’s a one day only screening in the USA on May 3rd, the 60 minute version premieres on Spike on May 17th, and then the full version of the film will premiere on The Movie Network on May 22nd, I believe. I think it may also be out on iTunes that day, though I’m not 100% certain. It will release on iTunes at some point.

And hey, my name should be in the credits somewhere so keep an eye out for that.

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In Industry, Week 1

Author’s Note: This post was written a couple of weeks ago, so things that are written in the present tense are now out of date.


Hey again. Sandro here.

One of things that I am supposed to be doing is maintaining this blog. Haven’t really kept up with that. It’s been crazy. I’m in my industry practicum right now and we’re literally in the finishing stages of a feature-length documentary.

Doesn’t leave you with a ton of time to dedicate to other things. Especially when you’re trying to put in extra hours to try and impress your boss, and hell… just to help out. I’ve wanted to make movies since I was barely able to walk, and even if I’m just a small cog in the machine I want to do my part and then some to get this thing across the finish line. Even more so because I’ve arrived at this company just in time for a very big project that sounds like it’s been more challenging than anything before it. A good test to see if I really am crazy enough to follow through on the whole, “I want to work in the film industry” thing if there ever was one.

I should catch up on the blogging though, I guess. I’m thinking for now I will try and go week by week with my experiences, without getting to specific, because… Well, I can’t really. At least as I write this. The film we’re working on is dealing with some sensitive material and technically hasn’t even been officially revealed to the public yet. So it’s best I keep my mouth shut on some of these specifics, at least for now. I think I’ll be able to share a trailer for it around very soon though.

So, week one… I suppose I can say that I am interning at Network Entertainment. They work on a variety of shows, but I’m working in editorial on the feature length documentaries. It was an interesting first week for sure. A lot of new names and faces. Definitely felt like I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, because we’ve never really done anything that would be an assistant editor’s responsibility at school. Media management is one thing, everything else was just… wow. Just I sat, and listened, and tried to absorb as much as I could about what they needed me to do. Not to mention just trying to catch up on the projects we’re working on. One is still fairly early on, the edit hasn’t even started. The other… Well, that’s the one that we’ve been pushing the picture lock date on for about a week now.

A lot of excitement and nervousness for sure… for sure.

This week was difficult though. I had to miss a day because… Well, this is difficult. I don’t want to get into too much detail because it’s… It’s just difficult. Back in November 2015 we got a puppy, very young, her name was Finley. We have another dog named Shadow, she’s much older. Finley was new because our other dog, Lacee, had passed away earlier that year. We had this adorable Golden Lab-Retriever/Australian Shepherd mix. But as she got older and stronger, she became very aggressive. This started to tail off once we got her spayed, but the two dogs fighting or Finley getting aggressive still happened from time to time.

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At the end of January this year, we moved to a smaller house. The two dogs started to get very territorial. The fighting between the dogs became more frequent and more intense. And Finley biting us became more and more frequent. In the last few weeks it was almost as if something had snapped, because even when things were okay she was behaving rather strangely.

Late on the Wednesday night of my first week of practicum, Finley went… Well, she basically went feral. It only lasted about 30 seconds but she attacked me and my sister. We had to call 911 to get an ambulance. My sister got it much worse than I. I’ve just been left with a ton of scars from puncture wounds around my wrists and forearms. I lost probably 90% of my mobility and all of my strength in my arms for a few days. My car is so old that I have to put the key in the door to unlock it, and I couldn’t even do that.

The dog had to be put down, of course. I tried to find other solutions. This was a dog that had a tremendous ability to feel empathy. But we were scared of her. Our other dog was terrified of her.

I don’t know what went wrong. A failure on our end or something just not being right with Finley. But I hope she’s found peace… Somewhere. Anywhere. It’s sad what happened but I know for the most part, we’re a whole lot less stressed out and in losing Finley it’s almost as if we got Shadow back. She’s much more relaxed and her personality is shining through again.

It just had to happen.

 

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So that really brought an end to my first week. I was back in the office on Friday for a screening of the film, but between all the antibiotics and painkillers, and the fact we had to make that call… I wasn’t really there mentally for a while.

I’ll try to be back again to talk more about my experience at Network.