Crew Connection

Celebrating 30 Years of Christmas Vacation and the Vain Pursuit of Perfection

Celebrating 30 Years of Christmas Vacation and the Vain Pursuit of Perfection 6000 4000 Dani Lyman

This holiday season marks the 30th anniversary of John Hughes’ legendary Christmas Vacation. Despite numerous straight to DVD and streaming holiday comedies, The Griswold’s and their outrageous adventures still reign supreme among Christmas movies.

While Clark Griswold is a lovable family man and fan-favorite character, Chevy Chase himself has a reputation for being… difficult. John Hughes had to let go of Director Chris Columbus because Chevy Chase refused to take his direction. Don’t worry about Columbus though, he went on to direct Hughes’ other holiday film–that small little movie called Home Alone. Despite the behind the scenes drama, Christmas Vacation struck comedy gold with its timeless humor and relatability by capturing four themes many of us can relate to around the holidays.

The Pursuit of Perfection

The pressure of providing the perfect holiday experience plagues parents every year. From the perfect wrapping paper surrounding the perfect gift sitting under the perfectly decorated Christmas tree, the pressure to have a holiday that resembles a Lexus commercial can be overwhelming. Clark Griswold’s obsession with getting things just right is an excellent demonstration of the stress Americans endure around the holidays. More often than not, we wind up forgetting the true meaning of Christmas, celebrating with the people we love.

Family…fun?

Speaking of the ones we love, our family often tops the list of those we love but don’t always like. Spending the holidays with the people you avoid the rest of the year, clashing personalities, and absurd in-laws… It’s all part of the package. Randy Quaid, William Hickey, and Mae Questel give genius performances as the wacky family that tug on your heartstrings. They are crazy, but you love them anyway.

The Scrooge

We’ve all that one boss. The narcissistic cheapskate who happily ruins the holidays for the poor bums who work for him. While most families aren’t planning on buying a pool, they are often relying on their Christmas bonuses to help pay down their mortgage, pay for college tuition, or just keep up with life’s essentials. Griswold’s complete breakdown after being let down and overlooked…again… is hilariously relatable.

Timeless humor

From slapstick humor and angry rants to accidental cat murder and senile elderly, comedy legends came together with exquisite timing to create some of the funniest moments in comedy history. Here is one of my favorite scenes of all time…

 

Happy Holidays from Crew Connection!

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection can help you hire a video crew and put a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection, we pay video and post-production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

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10 emotions of Thanksgiving week: From glee to gratitude

10 emotions of Thanksgiving week: From glee to gratitude 6024 4024 Alicia East

Once a year, a holiday whose very name specifically calls to mind all we have to be grateful for rolls around. And every year, we think of you–the clients and customers who make our work possible. We also think of pie, every form of potato, and stretchy pants.

10 EMOTIONS OF THANKSGIVING WEEK

1. GLEE

On Monday, with a short work week ahead and the comforting knowledge that nobody’s calling a meeting on Wednesday.

2. PANIC

On Tuesday, when we realize that if the year keeps going at this speed, 2020 is basically tomorrow.

3. RELIEF

When we count the days and conclude we still have 26 shopping days between turkey and ham days, respectively.

4. JOY

When it’s finally Thursday and for the first time all year, nobody’s in a hurry.

5. IMPATIENCE

As we strategize our meal–knowing we need to leave room for Aunt Ida’s corn soufflé and Grandma’s cookies with the “secret” ingredient (everybody knows it’s almond extract).

6. AWKWARDNESS

When the conversation inevitably turns to politics and we have to decide whether to body slam Aunt Ida or hand her a drink and gracefully change the subject.

7. RELIEF

When carpool karaoke comes on and gives us something we can all agree on. Even Aunt Ida.

8.REGRET

When we eat the first middle and last pieces of pumpkin pie and then opt to plop down in front of the football game.

9. RELIEF

Did someone say stretchy pants?

10. GRATITUDE

For family, friends, and a little time to just sit and be.


About Crew Connection

Crew Connection provides you with a video production team that gets things done. Get your equipment together in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post-production providers within thirty days of receiving your invoice. If you need assistance, our coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

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3 Tips to a Standout Documentary

3 Tips to a Standout Documentary 2560 1707 Dani Lyman

I recently binged watched Andrew Jarecki’s six part documentary, The Jinx, on HBO and I was enthralled. Most of us had heard of Robert Durst before.  We’d seen headlines and heard rumors, maybe even watched Jarecki’s first film about Durst, All Good Things, but we had never seen him like this.  Here, the monster, the murderer, is now a small, awkward old man shifting in his seat uncomfortably while Jarecki tries to pry the truth out of his decades of silence… and we’re never quite sure we get it.

Documentaries are about truth. They are visual essays intended to share knowledge, perspective and enlighten an audience. They are created by people who have a story that HAS to be told. The passion runs so deep they bury themselves in paperwork and evidence half a century old and surrender their own time, money and resources to share the story with the world.

In some cases, these stories are revolutionary and groundbreaking, in others, they are eye-opening and thought-provoking. In any case, great documentaries contain 3 key elements to keep your viewer hooked.

INTRIGUE

Who cares? Before you delve into the depths of creating your own documentary you have to ask yourself, “Who cares about this topic?” Followed by “How can I make people care?” Much like writing a screenplay or marketing a business, you must be sure you’re telling the story in a way that makes the viewer care. When they are mindlessly flipping through the endless possibilities on Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Sling, etc., what is it about your documentary that stands out among the crowd?

The intrigue element speaks to our intellect. It says we will gain new knowledge about how to drop weight quickly and revolutionize our health. It promises we can learn new tools for success in the business world. It says we are going to learn the answer to a question we didn’t even know we had.

Intrigue makes the viewer press select on YOUR documentary.

 

REVEAL

Now that you’ve posed the question, you must reveal an answer. You need to reveal a new truth by providing new evidence on a cold case, new findings for a study or a new perspective on an old topic.

The way and order you reveal the truth of your story, the way you personalize it and the way you present new information is how you hook the viewer. Building up the tension, hinting at what comes next, foreshadowing the breakthrough or demise of your characters and finding that pivotal piece makes a human connection.

If intrigue speaks to our intellect, then reveal speaks to our emotions. Fear. Empathy. Outrage.  That’s how you get viewers to binge Making a Murderer and then spread the word on social media, to friends, and around the water cooler.

INSPIRE

A solid documentary inspires the audience to ask more questions long after it’s over.

Did he really do it? Was that UFO only a military experiment? If I become a Keto Vegan can I take over the world?

As a truth-seeking storyteller, your job is to present the most accurate information in a meaningful and visually interesting way to your viewer and then trust them to take it from there. Is there a call to action? Should the viewer donate to a charity? Should they vote on an upcoming bill? Or are you simply hoping to satisfy a curiosity or inspire a thought-provoking discussion over a bottle of wine?

If your documentary doesn’t inspire the viewer to ask more questions, you may be doing it wrong.

The foundation of documentaries is truth. What truth do you need to tell?


Crew Connection – A Film Crewing Company

Crew Connection is a film crew company that helps you find and hire a video crew team for your event. The crew connection team is on call to help you 24/7. We offer many options: sign in today at Crew Connection, fill out our contact form, call 303-526-4900, or email us at info@crewconnection.com.

jack-o-lanters | Crew Connection

Must see scary movie this Halloween

Must see scary movie this Halloween 5331 3554 Dani Lyman

When it comes to the terrors and haunting images of Halloween, we visualize witches, ghosts and goblins. But sometimes the real monsters are people.

My Must See Scary Movie Pick for Halloween 2019 is He’s Out There.

First time director Quinn Lasher delivers a horror masterpiece on an indie movie budget. This smart and frightening film, which slipped through the cracks in 2018, stars a very familiar face whose superb acting combines with Lasher’s talented directing to deliver a truly terrifying experience.

You know her as the butt-kicking spy from Chuck, the devious killer from Dexter and the barren Serena Waterford in The Handmaid’s Tale. Yvonne Strahovski does not disappoint in this edge of your seat twisted thriller about a family tormented by a demented murderer at their isolated lake house.

The premise, like most horror films, isn’t anything new. Unsuspecting victims being terrorized and toyed with by a psychopath hell-bent on destroying their lives is something we’ve seen a hundred times. However, the writing and execution of this film catapults it out of the mediocre “slasher flick” zone and into new high-quality horror territory.

Horror films are mocked endlessly for the poor decisions their scantily clad characters usually make (my favorite GEICO commercial is a prime example). However, Strahovski’s character, Laura, is intelligent, strong and scared for the lives of her two young daughters (portrayed by real-life sisters Anna and Abigail Pniowsky) so she makes many of the choices a mother in her situation might realistically make. This allows the film to go beyond a simplistic gorefest and hit home with the feels. Feels like,“Oh my god, this could actually happen to me. Let’s deadbolt the windows and never sleep again.” It gives the impression of being possible, which is enough to haunt any parent’s dreams.

The human element resonates with the audience and creates a foreboding tension that far exceeds basic jump scares and nightmarish violence; tricks typically employed by horror directors. The stellar acting from Strahovski and the two young girls mount the tension and really drive the fear home. The stakes are high. Is there any way they are getting out of this alive?

The villain in the film is also next level scary. He is something out of a nightmare, or worse, a Mindhunter episode. Cold, calculated and committed, he has accepted his fate in this world. He is evil incarnate and therefore he must fulfill his role. His last line, in an already well-executed and frightening film, is one of the most fear-inducing lines I have ever heard in a scary movie. I won’t ruin it for you but think Walter White “I am the one who knocks!” if WW were a deranged serial killer and you’re a 7-year-old little girl hiding under the bed. Chills.

If you’re a film nerd like me who delights in the horrors of scary movies, you are going to love the jump scares, surprise twists and turns, and the relentlessness of the human will to survive against the face of pure evil.

I recommend triple-checking the locks after watching this one.

About Crew Connection – a Film Crew Company

Crew Connection is a video crew facilitator for you! Whether you use our international online database or have a Crew Coordinator handle everything, our booking process for video production crewing will save you time and give you the best odds for a successful shoot. There is no other resource for booking video crews and professionals that is faster, easier, more complete, and freer of hassles than Crew Connection. Contact us today and let’s get started!

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again 150 150 Dani Lyman

This summer movie theaters are sure to be packed with a new generation of viewers who will be introduced to some of our favorite childhood characters. However, kids’ movies aren’t just made for kids these days. Those of us who grew up with beloved characters such as Aladdin, Simba, and Agent Jay will also flock to theaters in droves to revisit our childhood.

I was one of the millions of viewers who rushed to the theater over Memorial Day weekend to witness Guy Ritchie’s fantastical live-action version of Aladdin. Sitting in my reclining leather chair, reminiscing on how different things were when I was a kid, I couldn’t help but wonder why the remakes, reboots, and sequels appeal to us older folk as much as they do to the children.

The performances are charismatic, the humor delightful, the choreographed action sequences captivating and the brilliant colors are mesmerizing. So, no doubt, viewers of varying ages will be entertained. But, at the core, this was a story about true love in the form of friendship, romance, and family. A kind of love that is truthful, accepting, forgiving and willing to put others ahead of our own agenda. It was touching and challenged the viewer to reflect on their own self-worth and motives.

Perhaps as adults, we get so caught up in the rat race of life that we forget the simple principles we learned as children. These nostalgic reboots serve as a reminder of the innocence of childhood. They are also pure entertainment.

Here are 3 movies hitting theaters this summers that are sure to make you feel like a kid again!

The Lion King

Simba comes of age as you’ve never seen him before on July 19th. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa with a voice full of wisdom that will certainly spark childhood memories.

Toy Story 4

On June 20th, your favorite toys come to life on the big screen (and not in the murderous Child’s Play way, that’s a different movie that also releases that weekend)! Tom Hanks and Tim Allen bring life to Woody and Buzz alongside a cast of great voice actors, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele and many more.

Men in Black: International

A new generation of alien-capturing agents hit theaters this Friday! Not only is Chris Hemsworth sure to draw a crowd (both young and more mature), but Tessa Thompson will introduce a new female hero as the first woman MIB agent.

Here’s to the magic of childhood, summer, and the big screen.

you belong here in neon | Crew Connection

Influential Women in Film

Influential Women in Film 500 324 Dani Lyman

Women have always played an integral role in the film and video industry. French director Alice Guy directed her first film in 1896 and is credited with creating techniques like the close-up and synced sound. Margaret Booth started editing in 1915 and is widely considered one of the top-10 editors of all time. In front of and behind the camera, women have always left their mark on this powerful medium.

In honor of Women’s History Month here are three women who are dominating the industry and forging the path for future women.

Thelma Schoonmaker – Editor

Thelma Schoonmaker is a Hollywood legend, a three time Best Editing Academy Award winner and, after 50 years of working in the industry, is still making history.

I didn’t know it when I first enrolled in film school, but Schoonmaker had already been a major inspiration. I always thought of myself as a die-hard Scorsese fan, but I soon came to learn that I was also a die-hard Thelma Schoonmaker fan. She has been the editor behind every Scorcese film since Raging Bull. The story goes that while Schoonmaker was taking a filmmaking course in NYC a professor asked that she edit one of Scorcese’s projects to see if she could salvage the “badly mangled negative”. They have been working together ever since!

So, it was really Schoonmaker’s talent in the editing room and her ability to partner so well with a director that inspired me (and so many other film kids) so greatly as a young film nerd mesmerized by the blows in Raging Bull or the cuts that managed to make a joke out of violence in Goodfellas, .

Schoonmaker’s career is far from over. She recently edited Scorcese’s The Irishman, set for release through Netflix this year, and just received the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship for her “outstanding and exceptional contribution” to film.

“I’m not a person who believes in the great difference between women and men as editors. But I do think that quality is key. We’re very good at organizing and discipline and patience, and patience is 50 per cent of editing. You have to keep banging away at something until you get it to work. I think women are maybe better at that.” – Thelma Schoonmaker

 

 

Director – Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow first showed us what she was made of when she directed the cult classic Point Break (the amazing 1990 version, of course). Coming onto the scene as an action director with films like Blue Steel and Strange Days proves there is no room for gender stereotypes in filmmaking. Her career continued with a steady flow of work, but in 2008 Bigelow made history when she became the first woman to win a Best Director Academy Award for The Hurt Locker.

Bigelow’s work continues to leave an impression as she tackles issues of race, violence, government corruption and morality in films like Zero Dark Thirty and Detroit. Her ability to cover complicated, offensive and relevant subject matter proves storytelling knows no gender and, most importantly, that it shouldn’t.

“If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender and I refuse to stop making movies.” – Kathryn Bigelow

Rachel Morrison – Cinematographer 

Rachel Morrison started her camera career working on reality TV shows like The Hills and short documentaries. She climbed the ranks in television and movies until eventually becoming the cinematographer for films like Fruitvale Station and Dope. In 2017 she earned a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for her work on Mudbound, which made her the very first woman to be nominated in the category.

Most recently she joined forces with Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler again to become the DP for Black Panther. A female as the Director of Photography on such a big-budget, high-concept film is unheard of. In fact, in 2015 the American Society of Cinematographers had only 14 active female members out of 360 members (less than 4%). So, to say that her nomination and success is groundbreaking would be an understatement.

“When people ask me why there are so few female DPs it makes no sense to me. Everything about what we do actually speaks to women’s strengths like empathy and visualizing emotion.” – Rachel Morrison

One of Our Own

Another pioneer in the production world is our President and Founder, Heidi McLean. This month Crew Connection celebrates 30 years of successfully connecting the best talent in the industry with the right jobs and clients. From movies and TV to commercials and corporate videos, Heidi has also left her mark on this male-dominated industry and we are proud to be a part of her journey.

sun - Crew Connection

The Art of Good Lighting

The Art of Good Lighting 800 534 Dani Lyman

As every selfie-obsessed Millennial knows, great lighting is keyWhether you’re posting your daily #foodie pic on Instagram or creating a fog-filled scene for a horror movie, it is crucial to find your light. Before going into a production, you want to determine the tone of the project and then discuss with your DP the right lighting to achieve that tone.

Lighting is an art form all on it’s own. DP’s and gaffers are talented artists that paint a scene with light to create the desired tone of a video project. They can cast shadows, manipulate time and take your video from bland to brilliant with the flick of a switch.

Here are three inspired lighting ideas to take your video up a notch:

The Corporate Video

Most corporate videos take place in offices that are not quite as cheery as the picture above. Under fluorescent lights in a room with grey walls, your video can look depressing and bleak. To avoid the “Office Space” vibe, you’re going to want to use light to create an inviting, warm and modern tone.

You also want to consider that your subject is likely not a professional film star and may come across as awkward and unattractive on camera. The right lighting cannot only make your subject look stunning, but also give them the confidence they need to present well on screen.

For a bright and inviting feel that’s perfect for interviews, testimonials & marketing videos try:

  • Thinking beyond 3 point lighting: Bring additional gear to light around the room, bounce off walls, and brighten up the background to make the whole space more inviting
  • Adding faux sunlight: Give the impression natural light is coming from the windows to appear friendly and approachable
  • Using soft light: Like in the photo above, soft light helps subjects look more attractive and polished
  • Tip: China balls, domes, additional background lighting and diffusion are great add-ons to your lighting package

 

Dramatic Flair

 

 

 

 

 

 

Menacing. Brooding. Mysterious. A highly contrasted look, like the example above, is perfect for dramatic re-tellings, serious PSA’s or corporate videos containing heavier material. Deep shadows create a stark contrast which will immediately communicate to the viewer this content is serious. In this example, it looks like the darkness is about to devour that unsuspecting happy man, which might be too intense for your corporate PSA. But, lighting in a lower key, using additional gear to separate the subject from the background and experimenting with color, split lighting and diffusion can help create this sinister tone.

Next Level Talking Head

The go-to video trend of content creators is the Talking Head. We’ve seen it a thousand times. It’s efficient, inexpensive and practical… a.k.a, boring. But, it doesn’t have to be. With great lighting and a few fun extras, your Talking Head can be eye-catching and dynamic.

If you check out the video below, you’ll see the subject is beautifully lit with specific lighting for hair, face & eyes. However, despite the simplicity of the setup, the video looks rich with contrasting shadows, texture and depth. That’s the work of a skilled professional. You’ll also want to note the use of subtle movement here. The camera glides with such control you likely wouldn’t notice if you weren’t looking for it, but it makes the video all the more engaging. The use of two cameras, a slider or additional accessories like a dolly or gimbal, combined with beautiful lighting techniques, can really push production value to the next level.

A video represents who you are to the world, so you want to make sure the style and tone match your brand. It is essential to establish tone and then plan your shoot and budget accordingly. You are definitely going to need to schedule enough time, as creating the right light can be a meticulous process, so a full day shoot is always best.

While lighting is key, it certainly isn’t everything.  To achieve the best results you’re going to want to make sure you hire a complete team. A director will focus on the talent so the DP can focus on the frame. Hair & makeup artists will make sure your subjects look flawless – because lighting can’t fix everything.  Onsite editors are invaluable when it comes to making sure you have enough footage for a seamless edit. And don’t forget a great production assistant can help a shoot flow smoothly, or at least bring you coffee.

tech - Crew Connection

Top Tech from CES 2019

Top Tech from CES 2019 768 432 Dani Lyman

The tech industry gave us a glimpse into the future this week during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Packed with concept cars, AI and virtual assistants, CES proved we’re another year closer to living in a sci-fi movie. Here is some of the most fascinating tech unveiled in the City of Sin this year.

Robots Galore

Ubtech unveiled it’s latest edition of Walker: The Robotic Butler. Walker has built-in sensors that enable him to walk around without bumping into walls (I can’t even do that half the time), he has arms and hands that can grab and deliver items, as well as a facial recognition feature (again…he’s better than me) so he can remember who requested that Coke from the fridge. While the technology is pretty impressive, Walker is still a work in progress. More of a novelty than a necessity, Walker wouldn’t be the most efficient Butler in terms of speed or complicated tasks, but who knows what the future holds?

 

Honorary Mention: Foldimate, the laundry folding robot, attempts to eliminate the torture of one of humanity’s most mundane tasks. However, it’s size and price tag make it an unrealistic accessory for most laundry rooms. It is only first gen tech, so hopefully, updated models will be more accessible for the average household in the coming years.

Futuristic Vehicles

The Future is here… well, almost. One of the most fascinating and potentially useful unveilings was Hyundai’s Elevate, a walking car designed for emergency response. Currently a concept only, the four-legged vehicle is designed to tackle tough terrain, stand and walk on “legs” with omnidirectional wheels and bring relief during a crisis in ways we’ve never thought possible before.

 

Honorary Mention: Bell, a manufacturing partner to Uber, revealed Nexus the Flying Taxi equipped with six tilting fans and wings. Unlike Elevate, the Nexus prototype is life size and Bell hopes to begin test flights in 2020.

Gizmos & Gadgets

Everyone can relate to the hassle of worrying about luggage when traveling, so Ovis created the self-driving suitcase that can follow behind you as you race through the airport. Much like a small child, it gets distracted at times and wanders away, but it’s camera technology allows it to identify you and follow you when you’re in its sight.

Additionally, Inubox unveiled the dog toilet, which doesn’t need too much explanation. Artemis revealed a Smart Mirror that looks like it belongs in Minority Report, Sony exhibited an 8K TV which thrilled movie lovers, and Groove X designed an adorable robot Lovots you can snuggle – now available for sale in Japan.

Are you ready?

The display of talented inventors and developers proves that what we can achieve through technology is limitless. CES is an important reminder that the world is moving forward. Are you?

 

ornament on christmas tree - Crew Connection

Little Known Facts About Your Fave Holiday Films

Little Known Facts About Your Fave Holiday Films 1001 667 Dani Lyman

If you’re a movie buff, you love your behind the scenes facts. When it comes to the top holiday films you probably already know: Jim Carrey was a total Grinch on the set of How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Christmas Vacation was one of Johnny Galecki’s first movies; and Elf was filled with in-camera tricks to make Will Ferrell look like a giant among Santa’s tiny helpers. However, here a few lesser-known stories from behind the scenes of your favorite holiday classics.

When Harry Met Sally

Containing one of the most memorable confessions of love and definitely the best New Year’s Eve scene ever, When Harry Met Sally is a classic film that proves relationships (and life) don’t always go as planned. Part of what made the film feel so authentic were the real-life love stories sewn through the narrative. Those cute little interviews with elderly couples that popped up throughout the film were actually inspired by real love stories.

It is said Director Rob Reiner and his good friend and Screenwriter Nora Ephron interviewed various couples about their experiences falling for their soulmate. They then cast lovely actors like Connie Sawyer and Charles Dugan to retell the stories on screen. Easily the most endearing part of the film, the stories made us laugh a little, cry a little, and most importantly, believe in true love.

Die Hard

Die Hard is arguably one of the best Christmas films of all time (literally, people argue about it all the time). Perhaps one of the reasons fans engage with the movie more than other action films is their deep connection to John McClane and the familiarity of his flaws. The extra layer of emotion Bruce Willis brings to the character was likely missing from the script before screenwriter, Jeb Stuart, had a close call with a refrigerator box.

During a recent interview on Jeff Goldsmith’s podcast, Stuart recalled the moment that changed the direction of the script and redefined McClane’s character. After a fight with his wife, Stuart “stormed out of the house” and started his drive back to Burbank on the 134 freeway. While changing lanes he was shocked by a large refrigerator box in front of him. With no time and nowhere to go, he was forced to drive straight into the box. Luckily, it was empty, but the brush with death led to an epiphany. This story wasn’t just an action movie, “It’s about a 30-year-old guy who should have said sorry to his wife.”

McClane’s reluctance to admit his wrongdoing follows him throughout the story and culminates in the film’s most human scene; his apology to his wife. This monologue reveals who McClane really is and why we love this movie so much.

It’s a Wonderful Life

Growing up, we all sat in front of the bright lights of the Christmas tree, watched as George Bailey found his purpose and we dreamt about a lovely little place called Bedford Falls. With all its charms and kindness, Bedford seemed like the perfect little Christmas town that was too quaint to exist in the real world. However, there is a small town in Upstate New York, Seneca Falls, that claims it is the real-life Bedford Falls and you can discover all its magic by visiting during the Christmas season.

Seneca Falls’ holiday website claims that this idyllic town is likely Frank Capra’s inspiration for the film’s set design. Similarities between the Victorian-style homes, the old bridge, and globe street lamps all add to the case that Seneca Falls is the original Bedford Falls.

Of course, what would a claim like this mean if the people didn’t take the opportunity to turn their town into a movie lover’s haven during the holiday season. Every December they host an “It’s a Wonderful Life” Festival where one can catch special guests, Christmas light replicas and a screening of the film. So, if you find yourself nostalgic for simpler times during the holiday season, you may want to head to Seneca Falls to experience some Christmas magic.

Bridget Jones’ Diary

For “tragic spinsters” everywhere Bridget Jones’ Diary is a New Year’s classic, packed with impossible resolutions, cringe-worthy awkwardness and clumsy attempts at love. While Jones is usually taking the brunt of the embarrassment, in one chaotic scene, her two love interests prove to be a bit clumsy themselves.

In a recent interview with GQ, Colin Firth explained that the dramatic fight between him and his co-star Hugh Grant was originally scripted to be a serious duel. However, when the actors recognized they hadn’t been in a fight since their youth and a scuffle between these two characters might be more slapstick and sloppy than tough and polished, they reworked the scene and left us with this comedic gem:

Now, get to binge-watching!

Happy New Year!!

video editing on computer - Crew Connection

What Makes a Great Video Editor

What Makes a Great Video Editor 5736 3328 Dani Lyman

“It’s the editor who orchestrates the rhythm of the images, and that is the rhythm of the dialogue, and of course the rhythm of the music. For me, the editor is like a musician, and often a composer.” – Martin Scorcese

 

In the video industry, everyone knows the edit can make or break a project. You can hire the best production team in the world, but if your editor doesn’t understand both the technology and the art of editing, you’re out of luck. A bad edit can leave a viewer cringing and can cost more in re-edits than it’s worth.

So, what can you do to make sure you’ve hired the best of the best to edit your latest piece? I chatted with professional freelance editor and longtime Crew Connection Crew, Jeff Drake, about his vast career and what he believes makes an excellent editor.

 

The Vision

“When I first saw Avid Media Composer, I knew non-linear editing was what I wanted to be doing.” Drake’s editing journey began when post-production meant using tape machines and a switcher. The introduction to editing software was a complete game-changer for his career. “It allowed me to be faster and more creative and inspired me to constantly learn new technology in order to elevate the level of my work.”

That level of elevated work has allowed Drake to be fortunate enough to edit for major companies like ESPN, Wells Fargo, Toyota and Victoria’s Secret, to name just a few. His experience, accompanied by his humble and professional approach, is what sets him apart from amateur editors who may understand the technology, but not the business of editing. “Most directors and producers have a vision and it’s my job to fulfill that vision first. I always aim to bring something to the table and make the final project better than the client anticipated.”

 

 

The Business

Putting one’s artistic ego aside and focusing on delivering the client’s vision isn’t always easy, but it is a paramount trait in a sought-after editor. Creative personalities can often clash, but Drake believes forcing his perspective on a client is the opposite of what he’s been hired to do. “I will defend my creative decisions, but only once because I want the person paying the bill to be really happy with how the project turns out.” In the end, he’s been hired to make the post-production process easier for the client. It isn’t personal.

Another way he manages to keep such a professional rapport with his clients is by working as a contractor, instead of an in-house editor. Drake reveals that working with various clients away from the office is one of the biggest benefits to his work. By staying out of office politics and avoiding distractions Drake says he can focus all his energy on delivering an excellent product. As a contractor, he can also bring a fresh perspective that sometimes in-house editors can’t provide.

 

The Final Product

Working behind the scenes can make it difficult for people to understand the artistry that goes into editing a project.  “Editing is creative control of the structure, pacing, and tone of any piece, no matter how complicated or simple.” Additionally,  a solid editor can work with powerful tools to manipulate mediocre images, improve audio or design motion graphics from a simple idea.

“I think editing is the single most important contribution to the overall feel and success of a project but, of course, I’m biased.” Drake may be joking, but this is the level of commitment and skill you want your editor to have. You want to trust your editor is giving 100% percent to seeing your vision succeed. That’s what separates an excellent editor from the rest.