November 1, 2012


This film had a bit of an interesting start. Dustin Schwindt, former US Army tank driver and current University of Utah MFA Film Student was pre-producing his thesis film when he asked me to get on board as 1st AC. He was nervous about shooting with the RED due to the fact that he had never used it before and figured my past experience would be useful. I think it's important to note right now that I have very limited experience operating a RED, my experience is mostly pulling focus.

Although I'm no expert, Dustin still figured I'd be useful so I started working with Cinematographer John Rogers to get this thing going as smooth as possible.

Curveball #1: The University of Utah decided that, because they hadn't yet taken their new RED out of the box yet, that it was not available to be used by students. Therefore we had to shoot on something else. Luckily John had just discovered the Technicolor CineStyle picture profile for Canon SLR's and after a few test shoots we decided it would be a good alternative.

"Whaddaya mean no RED?"
 Curveball #2: The talented Mark Macey, a close friend and collaborator of mine, was told by his professors that he needed to be focused on acting in the Theatre Dept. shows this semester and not student films. Therefore we needed to fill his role quickly before shooting started.

I'm sure you can see where this is going. I filled in for Mark at the reading and Dustin (most likely out of desperation, although he told me it was my performance) chose me for the role of PV2 Adamzig. See the picture below with the whole cast.

From back left to front right: Aaron Bruderer as Pvt. Harvell, Tony Gallegos as Pvt. Flores, me in the middle, John Rowland as Cpl. Young, Carter Wayne Blanc as Pvt. Callow and Colin McDermott as Spc. Pope.
Cal Ngyuen as Sgt. Streich.
What a group of guys. The film follows a group of soldiers on "Funeral Detail" and shows the contrast between their on-duty and off-duty interactions. Dustin actually served on the funeral detail while in the Army and had a lot of stories to tell through this script. A lot of what is shown may seem rude and crass but deep down it's really about these soldier's coping mechanisms being surrounded by death all day. Despite this, the story has a lot of heart and humor as well. Definitely not for young audiences but anyone with family who has served will understand.

Despite the aforementioned curveballs, the production moved quite well once we got going. Shooting was over the course of two weekends and rarely did we ever put in a full 12 hours. Dustin, John, Assistant Director Jim Heiner, Sound Wizard Jill Pecchia-Bekkum and Juliah our yoga instructor were really a get-it-done type crew. 

On-set yoga.

"Outprocessing" can be seen in the MFA film showcase at the end of the year. No official details have been released about the showcase but I imagine it'll be in late April at the Post Theater on the U of U campus.

I've worked on a few projects this year but this one was one of my favorites. Not sure if it was the great group of people or just the fact that I got to wear a stunning looking uniform but whatever it was, I'm sad it's over. That being said, I've very excited to see it!

Amazing what a polarizer and a grad-ND can do!

The obligatory "Album Cover" shot.

This shot could go in a gallery in my opinion.

Just a dead guy eating a bagel, NBD.

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