Around six months ago I made the decision that I was going to shoot a film in June of 2018. The film that would be shot was called PORCH, a film about the relationship between a grandfather and a granddaughter and their efforts to reconnect over the course of a weekend.Read More
While enrolled in an intermediate film production class while I attended Hofstra University, I was tasked with the project of telling a story using only visuals.
That story was called PORCH.
Written by David Yurman, the original concept was simple - An older man who watches life go by from the comfort of his porch. You can see the original film here.
PORCH is the story of an elderly man and his granddaughter as they confront their loneliness and their depression in their efforts to reconnect.
Andrew ‘Dew’ Schofield has spent his entire life taking care of others; his children, his granddaughter, and even his wife after she got sick. Now that his kids are grown and his wife has passed, Dew finds himself living alone in his familiar little suburb, with only his memories and the quiet teenager next door to keep him company. When his granddaughter comes to visit in between apartments, they will both face the deep-rooted loneliness they’ve spent so long trying to bury.
PORCH is a film that I had every intention of adapting. After reading the original script written by David for the initial project, I knew I would one day adapt this into a proper short film.
That time is now.
We're unveiling our latest upcoming project, PORCH. This vision is the culmination of two years of writing and development, and now we need your help to make it a reality. PORCH is the story of a young woman and her aging grandfather as they try to reconnect in the face of their loneliness and depression. If you're curious about the project or eager to donate, check out our Indiegogo page for a message from the filmmakers, interviews with the cast, and a sample scene from the film. But most importantly, please share! We need as many supporters as possible to bring this dream of ours to the screen. Follow us @gounderscore for more updates.
This is post is long overdue. As I sit here and type this out, it is February 13. 2018 started 44 days ago and I am just now finding the time to do this.
That's a lie - I've had the time, I just chose to spend it in other ways. Regardless, I shoot a lot of pictures throughout the year. Most of them are shared on my instagram, but some never see the light of day.
This is a post showcasing what I feel are the best photos I took during 2017.
And last but not least, a cell phone selfie....just because.
Stick around by following me on social media for a look into what 2018 has to offer!
Don't be a stranger - say hi!
Have you ever had an idea floating around in your head for years? An idea that just sits there and sits there, not knowing if it will ever see the light of day? I had one that I decided to take action on. A simple yet elegant music video of a young girl with wavy blonde hair and white dress, frolicking through the woods to the song "Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Ray.
This was the initial concept - but as you know with the creative process, this is not what I ended up with.
We had our fair share of production delays, a few run ins with the police, location changes, etc. All of which is expected when you have any sort of production. Every time I produce a shoot, regardless of the final outcome of the project, I learn so much.
This production, in particular, had three location moves in one day, each an hour or so away from each other. Not to mention that was only a two-day shoot, to begin with so putting three company moves in one day would make any seasoned producer shit themselves. Rightfully so.
When you work on low-budget productions you have to break a lot of rules. Some of which included shooting without permits for each location. Two of those locations resulted in the police being called. We were able to talk our way out of the first officer writing us a ticket. He sympathized with a "student film" and decided to cut us a break. He was a swell guy. The second one, however, didn't feel the same way. He also didn't have a clue what he was doing, something I'll visit later.
I've been on many productions that have taken place in New York City, which some consider the media capital of the world. The laws in the city clearly state that you can shoot on the streets as long you don't set up a tripod, light stands, or block off traffic. None which we were doing. Now, granted we weren't shooting the city, we were shooting in a state park, so the legality behind it could very well be different. This particular officer stopped near us and asked for the proper documentation, which we didn't have nor did we need. When I explained to him that we weren't doing anything wrong, he left to go speak to another officer. I mean, what kind of cop leaves us to go ask someone else if we were supposed to be there? Come on, guy. As soon as that happened I knew he didn't know what he was doing.
He proceeded to kick us out. Props.
To make a long story short - when you shoot something guerilla style, you have be prepared to deal with the consequences, and of lot that has to do with dealing with individuals who don't want you to shoot where you want to shoot. Low budget film-making is an art itself. You cut corners wherever possible to save money where you can. It's stressful, there's a lot of work involved, and no matter how much you try and prepare, something will go wrong.
But it's why we do it.
All in all this was worthwhile experience. I set out to shoot a music video, and that's exactly what I did. Regardless of the outcome, I learned a lot, and I grew from this.
Hopefully the video will be as successful as I anticipate it being. But at the end of the day. I had a goal of making a music video, and that's exactly what I did.
Stay tuned for the release of the final video.
Until Next Time.
Every now and then an opportunity presents itself in which you can't pass up. I almost did - Luckily I had a friend who had my back and assured me that I would be missing out if I didn't take this trip. My ideal vacation usually has me sitting on a beach drinking. At least that's what I would describe as my ideal vacation. This was not that type of trip. This was a trip unlike anything I had anticipated. This was a trip to Montana, but this was also a trip "For The Boys".
I honestly never imagined I'd go to Montana. I'm not sure why, it just never entered my mind that the west would be a vacation destination. My perception of vacations up until this point was either a cruise to the Caribbean, touring around Europe, or some sort of local beach getaway (my family either travels big or not at all).
We went for a week which at the time seemed long enough, but there was so much to do that that turned out to be wrong. The days flew by, and each day was different. We did the typical "man stuff" one would imagine. We drank beer and whiskey, ate beef, went golfing, floated along a ditch while doing all three, ripped atv's through the mountains, and went on a few hikes. Throw in a few other activities you would expect three twenty-something's to do and you can figure out the rest.
Not to mention the house was gigantic. They call the house their ranch house. I don't know about you but when I think of a ranch house, I think of a run down, little shack on a huge piece of property. This property was huge, and the house did not disappoint.
Only three of us were able to make the trip but it ended up being the perfect number. There were two atv's and since one of us wasn't super comfortable riding one, it meant that I essentially got my own for the week.
When I got back, people would ask "how was your trip", the literal only way to describe it was "amazing". It was one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on. It was so different than anything else I had experienced. People were kind, welcoming, intriguing. It was an escape from the work force of New York City, and it was much needed.
Until the next one.
Nomadic Exposure is the story of five strangers, chronicling their journey across the world. - who they are, what they represent, and most importantly, what surfing means to them.
Shore, the first of the five-part video series tells the story of Tyler Sankey, 21-year-old college student at Monmouth University. Tyler has a unique perspective on life, a reason why we picked him as the first narrator to to take you through this journey.
Nomadic Exposure is an expansion of a smaller project titled Beyond The Garden. What started out as a feature-length documentary about action sports communities in New Jersey quickly became a short story about select wakeboarders and surfers and why they choose to do their sport in their home state of New Jersey.
Nomadic Exposure aims to go deeper into a singular aspect that Beyond The Garden shed some light on. Instead of focusing on action sports in New Jersey as a whole, Untitled wants to take a look at a few passionate surfers, who they are, what they represent, and most importantly, what surfing means to them.
Narrating their journey through live voiceovers, the characters of the film will be telling their own story. Each character will have their own voice capable of explaining exactly what is going on throughout the film.
At the core, this is a story about surfing, but this is also a story about surfing in New Jersey. Using only New Jersey natives, Nomadic Exposure wants to take these riders out of their home state to truly show what New Jersey means to them. By taking them out of their home breaks, we allow them to be fully immersed into the surfing culture they may or may not be familiar with, only to bring them back to surf one final wave all together.
We’re going to take them exotic places all around the world - Fiji, Tahiti, Portugal, Mexico, etc. Anywhere there is huge surf swell, we want to go. Not only are we traveling to these places to surf, we are traveling there to truly understand what it means to be a surfer. As Americans, we are accustomed to a certain quality of life. With that said, we want these surfers to experience what a surfing community is like in a different country. By immersing ourselves into these different cultures, we can truly show what it’s like to be apart of a different community.
What is going to bring these two distinct cultures together?
That’s easy - surfing.
Watch the film here:
Beyond The Garden was a passion project I conjured towards the end of summer 2014. What started out as a small, undeveloped idea about surfing in New Jersey quickly expanded to a feature-length documentary covering all action sports around the state.
Once I got back to school I quickly put together a team of extremely talented individuals to help me craft my idea into what Beyond The Garden is. At the core, BTG is a story about communities. It is the story about these select New Jersey communities and the action sports scenes that inhabit them. With this project, I, along with my team wanted to point the camera AWAY from the spotlight that the Jersey Shore created, toward the suburban kids waking up at 5am to catch that perfect wave, to the mud-spattered boots pushing for that next big jump, for the thrill seekers and the adrenaline junkies looking for euphoria, not fame. It's about New Jersey, about the beachside communities and the home-spun half-pipes providing a generation of ambitious, passionate youths with a sense of belonging, adventure, and commitment.
To read more about my project, click here:
Launching the kickstarter was the first of many hurdles the production team had to face. Did we ask for too much money right off the bat? Probably, but we can chalk that up to a learning experience. The reason for asking for so much money was because we had a distinct type of project in mind that required us to spend a lot of money. As you can see from looking at the kickstarter page, we did not come close to reaching our goal. Again, another learning experience.
BUT, regardless of our short comings, we managed to cut the budget down significantly. And with a very generous donation from my parents, we were able to get our hands on some equipment to shoot the film.
Every production has it's fare share of obstacles, little did I know what I was about to embark on. I'm not going to bore anyone with exact details so i'll leave you with this - what could have went wrong, went wrong.
Aside from the countless hurdles that I faced with the production of my first ever documentary, I was able to make a film. More importantly, those who took the time out of their busy days to help be apart of this unique opportunity were more than thrilled with the outcome of it. At the end of the day, that is what matters. I may not have been happy with the results, but it only leaves me hungry to begin my next project.
Beyond The Garden is finished.
The next project is already in the works.