Posts Tagged ‘Ringling College’

The Lucky 6 – a Flagship for the Future?

Friday, June 21st, 2013

I thought I would write this personally because it is a project that I have a lot of faith in & hope for its future.  While I was serving my first Ringling College class, I sat in on a meeting that was spearheaded by Brad Battersby, Digital Film Department head & Tony Stopperan, college president’s assistant & Asolo Repertory alumni.  They proposed a radical idea of collaborating between the two institutions & creating a full length feature film over the summer using students as the crew & faculty as department head mentors.

l6RingbotUp to this time, no film college has been successful at this endeavor but Brad felt that with the right mentors & the right students with the Asolo actors, it could be done.  I felt that I should show my support for this project & offer my experience & services.  I met with Brad & discussed the production & shortly thereafter I was asked to come aboard the film as Production Designer mentor, a position that I would share with a colleague, Sheryl Haler; she over costumes & I over art & sets; we collaborated over the entire look of the film.  Mise en scene!

We started pre-production the day after classes were over for the college; I had to get classes covered at Riverview for the next month in order to commit full time to the production.  The production was opened to all the departments at Ringling making it a true collaborative cross disciplined production.  We had 60 + crew that housed BOAD, Digital Film, Illustration, Computer Animation, Photography, Asolo Rep & a couple of alumni.  The students became immersed into the reality that is filmmaking on a professional scale.  The schedule was a standard 6 day, 12 hour staple that easily ran into 14 to 16 hour days with 7 days being the norm for all professional & a few crew members.

This reality became too much for some of the students & though we had some drop from the production, their fingerprints are still on the film & those that stayed the course became part of a team that didn’t compromise on creativity, design & story.  We shot on two Red Epic’s & two Scarlets as well as a couple of GoPro’s & a Canon 5D Mark III based on what was called for in the scene.  We had some truly amazing locations that were donated to us, some wild props, automobiles & a techno-crane & we met some truly terrific Sarasotians.  The footage that we came back with, before color correction is truly breath-taking.  l6Mansion01

Due to the high profile nature of the two institutions, we had a great deal of media coverage & I know that they will continue to watch us as we head into post production.  We even worked several of the media into the storyline & they were able to become part of the film.  This was an ensemble piece & the actors we had from the Asolo, 5 graduates & 1 first year, were a pleasure to work with & brought their own flair to the characters.  Each of them were very humble, took direction well & were quick to ask & offer suggestions to the betterment of the process.

I met many wonderful & talented people & got to work with some industry superstars with impressive credentials.  My colleagues & alumni that I came to know on a personal level were dynamic & collaborative; we had wonderful discussions throughout the production & we really worked well together.  Yes, with any film there are hiccups & never will you find a production that doesn’t have issues to overcome, but I would say that any complication that arose was thought out & creatively handled.  I was pleasantly surprised by the outcomes of many of the production days & though exhausted, every morning I woke excited about the upcoming day.  I mean throughout the course of this film, I designed sets, choreographed a couple of small fight scenes, directed a couple of scenes & acted in a small role.  I love what I do.

I watched as the students became more & more proficient at this craft as they worked along side us as crew & colleagues.  Some really shined & became examples for those in their departments.  They have amassed invaluable tools, skills & work ethics that hopefully will be shown & handed down to the upcoming classmates.  If this film does what is expected of it & is successful, then this summer film program will have a strong foundation to stand on.  What does that mean for the students?  It means that they will have feature film experience on their resumes before they head out to find their paths in this industry.  To paint it into a possible perspective, I have a high school film student that was accepted into the film program at Ringling just before we went into pre-production.  He became a member of the crew on this film.  If successful & this program repeats itself, he will be able to have five features under his belt by the time he graduates.  Many graduates don’t have two much less any upon graduation, only student shorts.

l6Mansion02In closing, I have enjoyed being on the ground floor of this initiative.  I hope that I imparted some knowledge, dedication, work ethic & creativity to those I worked with.  My hope for this grassroots project is that it becomes successful, expands, inspires others & sets a blueprint for other filmmakers in the future.

Ringling College – Networking & Mentoring Panel

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Jerry has been invited to speak at Ringling College’s Networking & Mentoring Panel for their Professional Communication & Presentation class.  The class is to assist students in their preparatory skills in the job market.

The ‘Fishbowl’ is designed with industry professionals in a circle & the students surrounding the professionals.  The moderator presents the professionals a series of questions followed by the students pertaining to mentoring & networking in business.  This gives the students an opportunity to discuss the rigors of working in the business world, how networking helps business practices & the benefits of an industry mentor & how they can help shape their future careers.

Hosted by Eric Paul Engel, executive director of Ketchcom Development, Inc., & professor for the class, the Networking & Mentoring Fishbowl takes place on the Ringling campus on November 17th.  The seminar is part of the colleges Professional Communication & Presentation curriculum.

Jerry states, “I am happy to be a part of this seminar & share my networking & mentoring experiences with the students.  I feel it is important for them to develop these skills along with their artistic abilities; it will help them to become more well-rounded business people.”

Timely Updates

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

We know it has been a while since our last posting about the company, what we’ve been up to & what’s to come.  It seems that our company’s information gets waylaid for the benefit of our clients work & life in general.  Well this past year has been quite busy for the Illum staff.  We have been diligently working on our e-motion studio’s children’s project; we are piecing together our animatic for the first video, working out the scenes & timing.

nya

The principals of Illum went & had a baby girl which we are all excited about.  Jerry & Michelle took some time away from the company to focus on Nya’s first several months of life.  Nya is a special addition to the Illum family.

Speaking of expanding families, our Animation Director, Joe & his beautiful wife Jada are expecting their first child.  Jada is due in October & though we have been relentless they decided to wait to see what they are having but our bet is a bouncing boy.  We couldn’t be happier for the couple.

Illum’s design division has been working with several clients, most notably SaraPath Diagnostics, formerly Sarasota Pathology.  The campaign has been a long one; we have completely retooled their marketing direction, renamed them & given them a completely new identity.  From corporate packaging to sales staff tools, from courier vehicles to building signage, from in-house requisitions to a soon to be published revitalized web site, Illum has assisted in the coordination & expansion of nearly every department.

Our creative director, Jerry has been working on assisting the expansion of film to Sarasota’s area.  He has been speaking with several local directors about possible projects here & with the expansion of Florida’s tax incentive, the future looks promising.  He has also spoken on a couple of panels about film in our area.  The latest was with the Economic Development Council & the Sarasota Film Commission on the business of film in Sarasota County.  Jerry shared the panel with Brad Battersby from Ringling College & Mark Famiglio from the Sarasota Film Festival.