Menu Close

Tag: Work

That Damned Voice

You know that voice in your head that hates everything you do?

This idea is so stupid.

Why are you wasting your time? Just give it a rest.

No one gives a damn about this garbage.

I hate that guy. I hate the way he talks to me. I hate the way he affects everything I try to make or do. I hate that he is always there, always nagging, always loud, always getting in the way of exercising the creative juju that helps me feel like a whole person.

But, you know what the worst part of that voice is? That voice is me. One hundred percent, inextricably me.

I wish I could blame his negativity on some external influence, but that would be dishonest. That jerk telling me how much I suck is me.

The voice is something I’ve always struggled with, especially when my job was more creative. I would stress and stress while working on a cut, wrestling with that voice the whole time. They’re going to hate this. This sequence doesn’t make sense. I am a fraud. This is horrible. I will never work again.

The voice was a constant companion back then, like an overly sensitive smoke alarm placed directly above your oven door that goes off at the slightest provocation. He would smell my lack of confidence, sensing that I was about to put my core in front of the jury and he would start screaming, screaming, screaming. Relentless.

Eventually, fear of failure would drown him out and I would push through the noise to get things done. That was the cycle. Project starts -> stress stress stress -> down to the wire -> recognition that I had just enough time to get the thing done -> execution. Far from the best way to work, but I managed to squeak by. I never excelled, never enjoyed the process, but always enjoyed the creative flow-state that resulted when the voice drove me to the precipice of fear. Then I could work.

Pretty frustrating. No use dwelling on what could have been had I unlearned this bad habit decades ago, though. You can’t change the past, only the decisions you make today.

Now, he’s a less common visitor since my work is, overall, much less creative than it once was. Now, I have numbers and math to back up the decisions I make and, as long as those make sense, there’s less uncertainty, less of my self on the line. The voice no longer has such frequent opportunities to make himself known.

But when he does?

It feels like he’s making up for lost time. He shouts about everything tiny choice I’m considering. The din is nearly impossible to cut through. I can feel it in my chest and in my head and in the jelly of my eyes. Without the fear to drown him out, I have no escape. The voice grinds until I cast that day’s creative idea away and give in to easier pleasures. Then reprieve.

Reprieve, however, is short lived. My mind is never quiet and during that easier pleasure I recognize the pattern of emotional self-abuse and get angry. Angry at myself for letting the voice win again. Frustrated for another night of giving in to an unearned reward. Depressed that this is just how it will always and forever be.

Luckily, that pattern, too, is just another bad habit. The only real way to do away with the voice is to unlearn his language. So, here I am, struggling through this post to try and shut him up.

Mountain Dew Game Fuel Raid, or, my first real VO job.

Yeah! Check this shit out! So, I didn’t really want to talk about this too much until it was all done because I was stupid excited about it, but I finally got my first real voice over job, something I’ve been doing here at work for years and years. Tons of practice. This also means that I am now SAG eligible which has been a hurdle in the past.

“We LOVE your voice! Are you SAG?”

“Nope.”

“Ah, too bad.”

And that’s a shame because the paper work required to get me in, the Taft Hartley, requires about 30 seconds of work. Luckily, this time, they thought I was worth it! Yay!

I am actually in the spot twice. Primarily at the end over the tag doing my best Macho Man Randy Savage impersonation. “GET DOUBLE XP WHEN YOU SNAP INTO A SLIMJIM OH YEAHHHHH!!!” And then again, snuck into the middle doing my best Starcraft impersonation saying “target acquired.”

The promo is running through 12/31, the spot is national, and it’s clearly tied into the new Call of Duty game, so with Christmas approaching those of you with television will probably see this air like crazy. So exciting!!

A Peek Behind the Curtain – The Making Of…

In April or May, my friend Rodney contacted me about cutting together a video his friend Arian had shot.

This is not that video. Unfortunately for you all, that piece is still in wraps since he hasn’t launched the event associated with it yet.

Luckily for you all, Rodney did later ask me to cut together this simple little behind the scene film of him painting in the time lapse footage which can be seen on his site. It features music created specifically for Rodney’s site by his friend Asen James. The piece was shot by Arian. The time lapse was directed by Kareem Black.

[flv width=”560″ height=”447″]http://www.josephdillingham.com/files/BTS_FINAL.flv[/flv]

It’s not too complex, but it’s punchy and effective and nice and short. I think it does a good job at getting the idea across without ever becoming boring. It was a fun little piece to work on and I look forward to more collaborations with Rodney. This sort of thing is a lot of fun for me. He gets something and I get something. Good times for all.

Atmospheres

In honor of the unprecedented number of hits I received yesterday (208!), I am going to do something I’ve yet to do on The Black Laser and share some of the video work I’ve been doing.

Earlier this summer, friend Arian came to me with this idea that he wanted to put together an installation piece of ink dropping into tanks of water, but slowed down significantly and placed against ambient music. He was putting together a few demos so that he could try and wrangle some money from some folks who had money, i.e., not us, so he could rent a camera that shoots at insanely high speeds. He asked me if I could work my magic on some files he shot using his 5D Mk II. I told him that I would be glad to. It’s always fun to help a friend create things, and it is a working relationship I’d like to cultivate which is important. You never know what projects lie in the future. I think it is always best to say yes unless you cannot possibly do what they’re asking.

Anyway, these are the resulting videos posted on Vimeo. They look pretty neat in the tiny window, but I suggest clicking through and watching them in HD fullscreen at Vimeo. They look pretty awesome. I hope me manages to get some cash so we can do these right and then project them on walls. That is going to rule.

I think at first viewing they appear pretty simple, and they are, but there are also a lot of speed changes, subtle and not, going on. Enjoy. More work from me when I get home tonight.

Check out more of Arian’s work at his site. Shutterblind.com

Building a body of work

Long time readers of this site will know that I watch A LOT of music videos. Many more, in fact, than I post here. And no one can say that I don’t post a wide variety of videos. I love the music video as a venue for a band to promote themselves. Yeah, it just one step away from a commercial, but music videos are an excellent playground for people to experiment with imagery and animation and whatever. There is tremendous skill in being able to tell a story in 3 and a half minutes without the benefit of any dialog at all. Conversely, there’s tremendous training to be had in learning to tell a story in 3 and a half minutes sans dialog. No telling now! You must SHOW.

Well, I’ve been thinking about making a bunch of music videos for songs I like (so I don’t get annoyed listening to them a gazillion times in a row) for a while now as an exercise in editorial, vfx, writing, shooting, directing, color correction—you name it. The idea was born when I found out that the 5D Mk II I had pre-ordered supported video, and full 1080 to boot. Pretty exciting. And since I already own a fleet of lenses, I’m almost all the way there in terms of production equipment. All I’d really need is a tripod. But that expense can wait for now.

And since I’m already a proficient video editor, a decent photographer, a music buff, semi-skilled in After Effects, a decent colorist, and in dire need of some reel material, why not throw together a bunch of inexpensive (i.e., FREE) videos for random songs and use those to promote myself? I am FULLY confident in my ability to use the tools at hand to produce not only professional quality, but beautiful work. I have a sweet new computer, time on my hands, and the inclination to do so, so why not, right?

Right. Why not.

Consider this my statement of intent. Over the coming months I will be sharing with my fine readers the progress of these currently nebulous videos. I’m thinking of making at least three with no sort of deadline or guidelines beyond that they are awesome. I’m thinking of doing one metal song and one electro song at least to vary my visual palette a little. I don’t really know what songs I want to do yet, but I’ve got a hazy mental shortlist. The one constant on the shortlist is Genghis Tron. I don’t know why. Probably because they’re fucking awesome.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Want to help? Think I’m amazing? Leave a comment!
Read more

Filmcore NY, RIP.

Today is my last day at work. Well, tomorrow I have to come in and do my exit interview, but that doesn’t really count. Today is really the last day. I started here in 2005 after a month of unemployment. I had quit my job at Whole Foods Union Square and spent a month doing a bunch of random shit when I fell into this job. It’s been a good place to grow and learn. I’ve definitely made good progress here.

And now it’s over.

You know what? Fuck it.

I’m going to go freelance as an assistant (resume available upon request) and I think that, ultimately, it will be better for me, just like last time when I quit Whole Foods because it was a dead-end shit hole. At least, if I keep telling myself that I feel better.

An era ends today, and another begins. Rock and roll. Goodbye, Filmcore.

Three More MTV Movie Awards promos

Previously I posted a bunch of MTV Movie Awards spots I worked on. They’ve since posted the three remaining spots. Check them out. They be funny and shit.

MTV Movie Award promos

The promos that Tiffany and I worked on for the forthcoming MTV Movie Awards were posted to their site. Check them out. I think they’re pretty funny. Enjoy!

Way to cut the fuck out of these, Tiff!

Of course, MTV has put on the anamorphic masters into the wrong sized boxes again. Silly MTV!

edit\\\Way to cut the fuck out of some of these, Tiff!