The Game

The Game_Web

This post could also be titled What I Did During Christmas Break 2013″.

This is my latest short, it’s not perfect but I’m proud of it.  Filming was done last summer but I did the editing over the past couple weeks during Christmas break.  Special thanks to Christopher White for doing the sound, you are amazing!

I don’t know exactly when/how I got the idea for this film.  I’m one of those weird people that have stories in their head all the time and some just stick.  Which means I have to tell them or they will drive me crazy.  These little projects I’ve been working on are warm-ups for a bigger story that I’ve had in mind for several years but that one, I really want to do right.  My plan is to storyboard it this spring and start principal photography over the summer (2014).

But I digress, back to The Game.  I wanted to show the magic of a little boy’s imagination and how the world in his head is more real than the “real” one.  If you don’t know what I mean, see Calvin and Hobbes, which I consider the best comic strip ever.

Anyway, I hereby present my heart and soul to the world.


The Game


Small Town July 4th

I’m learning Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 for video editing right.  For some reason I got it into my head that I needed to know other programs too.  On this past July 4th I took some footage with the idea of making a short using iMovie.  I wanted it to look “not slick”, like it belonged in a small town.  The 4th of July is my favorite holiday and I think my home town of Huntsville UT is the very best place to celebrate the 4th.

Here’s the link.  Enjoy.

Music by One Wood Uke

And if you want to do a good deed, I would love subscribers.  My channel is very new.  I don’t post often, so I promise I won’t clog up your feed.

Much Ado about Much Ado

MuchAdoI am in the middle of finals but if I don’t blog about this movie my head will explode.  I have been so so SO excited to see Joss Whedon‘s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.  I adore his work just shy of the line of being creepy, add Nathan Fillion and there isn’t much more I could ask for.  I was lucky enough to see a special advanced screening of it last night (thank you Ben) and my world will never be the same.  It’s like they went inside my head and made a movie to be exactly what I aspire to.  It’s a little alarming in a way because now it’s been done, but I’m not going to think about that.  The words of course are brilliant, the acting was phenomenal, the cinematography…..angles…textures…nuance…passion…ARGH I don’t have words!  It was just pure deliciousness to the soul.  Ok, this comparison might work.  Y’know when someone makes better than sex cake and you take a bite and you’re like ummmm this doesn’t really taste that great which makes it so wrong on so many levels…well…if this movie was that cake it would sooooooo live up to it’s name and would probably be outlawed.  At least in polite company. 😉

images-1p.s.  Nathan Fillion is beyond delightful…jic you were wondering.

They like me, they really like me! ;)

01_19_2013 MainStreet17As most of you know {and for those who don’t I shall now tell you}, I have been involved with the Sundance Film Festival for the past three years.  Last year I got my dream job as a full time Park City photographer.  It was a fantastic adventure, a lot of good hard work, and tons of fun.  After the festival your supervisors evaluate your performance and this affects your status for the next year.  I recently received an email stating that I had a positive evaluation and for the first time they included an excerpt.

“This sentiment was echoed by your supervisors who provide feedback and they had nothing but great things to say about you.  Here are some highlights:

 Mandie was such a joy to have in the office.  She has a beautiful personality and was always fun to be around.  She was such a hard worker and consistently provided quality images.  Our editors said she was very helpful with pre-editing.  We loved having…”

Needless to say this made my day.  I absolutely loved the people I got to work with.  The creative services department is like my own personal Mecca and I’m so glad that they appreciated me.  Of course I kinda want to read the whole thing but alas…hopefully there wasn’t a “but” coming up.  😉

The Boxer by One Wood Uke

CoverArt_webtitleSo here’s the link to my first short on YouTube.  I know, it’s a music video, but I want to call it a short.

Here are some of my thoughts on this project.

1.  I have watched the “raw” video a million times over but after I render it there are a few spots where I have a slight fealing of the synch being off.  Then when I try to watch the youtube video on my phone there are parts that are way off that aren’t if I watch it on my computer.  Why is that?  Is it normal?  This is my first time uploading a video and I’m baffled…very annoying!

2.  I did this in Photoshop because a.  I thought it was cool that I could and b.  I knew with all the color changes that I wanted to make it would be a breeze.  Sidenote:  I just had to look up how to spell breeze…it still looks funny to me.

3.  I changed the color in Photoshop…a lot.  We were going for a downtrodden type look so I knew I wanted to desaturate the color and the add a brownish feel.  The black and white is also a very faint sepia instead of a true black and white.

4.  If I do something like this again I need to bring loud speakers so I don’t have to throw out the majority of the footage that we shoot because of getting off tempo. Grrrrrr

5.  When you have to throw out the majority of your footage because you get off tempo it really messes with the elaborate storyboard that you spent forever creating and you kinda end up winging it…I hate winging it.

6.  Youtube adds are annoying.

7.  Getting yelled at by the police while filming is horribly mortifying but not the end of the world…yeah, don’t want to talk about that.

All in all I’m giving myself a B+.  I’m excited to take what I’ve learned to my next project which I hope to start on soon.  I need my beautiful Valley summer nights for that one (as ironically it is snowing outside as I type this).  Special thanks to Christopher White for doing the sound.  If you’d like to download the music for free go to.

Introducing… Four:30 Films


I’m finally going public with my film company name.  I’ve been stalling because of problems in the past with people stealing my intellectual property which is sad mainly because it makes me paranoid {which I hate}  and also lessons my faith in humanity {which is the worst}.  Anyway, I have dreams that are grandiose to say the least and I may not ever fully reach them but at least I can say that I am giving it all I have and that’s worth something.

The reason for the reveal now is that my brother and I have a short film that we are putting together and we decided that we needed to practice…a lot….so we’ve made a music video and I should be posting it next week.  Monday, if all goes well.

Just in case anyone cares about the meaning behind my company name {and there is meaning because that’s how I do EVERYTHING}.  Here goes…
You know those nights when you are with people who are especially meaningful in your life and you get to talking about dreams, goals, hopes, sorrows, aspirations, ideas and so on and so on and so on?  And it’s one of those almost magical times when the clock ceases to exist and everything is just perfect?  Then, there’s a pause, and you wonder what time it is and suddenly you realize that it’s 4:30 in the morning and you’ve talked all night.  That’s what the name means.

Anyway, I’m very very “nervous but excited” to unveil my first, what I think of it as, short.  Hopefully people will be kind.  Constructive.  But kind.  See you next week! 🙂

Sundance 2013 Wrap Up – Top 13

I have been wracking my brain about how I would wrap up my Sundance 2013 experience and I finally thought of just posting my favorite ten images from the festival and adding a little explanation to go along with them.  Of course I got stuck narrowing it past 13 then I thought well, 13 is my favorite number, it’s Sundance two-thousand 13 and voilà, 13 it is, problem solved.  So here we go starting with 13.

01_19_2013 Inequality20

Number 13 January 19, 2013 Inequality for All Q&A.  Listening to the Q&A made me want to see this film!  The gentleman holding the mic is noted economic police expert Robert Reich and standing image right of him is director Jacob Kornbluth.  This film did win an award and I have hopes of seeing it.  Perhaps it is the world economic situation right now that makes this so poignant for me.

01_22_2013 SAwards008 Number 12 January 22, 2013 The Shorts Program Awards and Party.  This was held at the Jupiter Bowl which is a bowling alley.  They covered about four lanes with the stage and it was such a fun event.  I was all worried about where to stand and how not to get in anyone’s way but it was so fun and low-key.  I ended up sitting right in front of the stage on the floor out of sight of the instant feed cameras and cranking my ISO up so I could go handheld.  Major ab work out but oh so fun!

01_25_2013 Marc42Number 11 January 25, 2013.  This was my crazy day where I wrapped four theatres, two venues, three events, the festival insider pro volunteers and the transportation hub then stayed up all night editing (except 4-5:30 am when I tried to nap) and got my images in on time to my editor at 9:30 am the next morning. Boo-yah!  Awesome, awesome day.  Loved it!  Anyway, on my shot list was volunteers having fun doing their jobs and the volunteers at the MARC theatre were hysterically fun!

01_25_2013 Misc06Number 10 January 25, 2013.  Another image from the awesome day.  I forgot to add ambiance shots to that list.  We were always to be on the lookout for ambiance shots and I count this as one though I guess the real story is that these are darling friends of mine who came to visit and walked up and down Main Street with me for an hour or so.  I was so grateful to all of my wonderful friends who took the time to message/text/call/facebook me while I was at the festival.  It was a brilliant experience but I did have some lonely and tired moments and it made a world of difference to be sent a kind thought.  Thank you friends!!

01_25_2013 Trans06Number 9 January 25, 2013.  Yet another from that day!  I needed images of the transportation system.  People using the ap, looking at the map, talking to the transportation liaisons, and having fun riding the shuttles.  These ladies were only too happy to oblige and I had so much fun talking to them as we shared a shuttle for awhile.  I may never see them again in this life but they brightened my day and we laughed together.  That’s one of my favorite things about Sundance.

01_17_2013 DayOne35Number 8 January 17, 2013 Day One Party at Legacy Lodge.  I believe this was my second official event and it was a blast.  Crazy, crazy packed.  This event is where I ended up ducking through the service doors and getting lost in the kitchens and having to have the awesome workers back there help me get out.  I was trying to get from one area to another and that was the only way I could think of, it made me laugh.

01_23_2013 VolParty81Number 7 January 23, 2013 Volunteer/Staff party at Music Café.  Every year they have a volunteer appreciation day and put on a party to say thank you to the volunteers and staff.  I believe this year there were 1830 Volunteers, then add the staff.  I know (from Film Church) that Kenneth Cole had 2500 jackets made.  The party was fun and my favorite part of this image is that you can see one of our Drivers, Dooley, front and center (he has the red creds around his neck and my logo is half on him).  He is the nicest guy!

01_28_2013 BofF053Number 6 January 28, 2013 Best of Fest Screening at Rose Wagner in Salt Lake City.  This was my last festival gig and when I went home and took my credentials off for the last time it was a sad sad moment (I so loved my credentials).  This night was extra special because my best friend Josh Allen, who was the one who got me involved with Sundance in the first place ,just happened to be there.  I got to see him first and last days of Sundance 2013, perfection!

01_17_2013 Artist_Table14Number 5 January 17, 2013  An Artist at the Table event at New Frontier.  My first official Sundance 2013 event and at New Frontier where all the art exhibits are, what could be nicer?  This event was a kind of kick-off event for the festival and I was told that it is their biggest fundraiser of the entire year.  There were lots of importants there and festival director John Cooper did a kick-off toast.  I like the colors in this image.  I was joining in and being “artistic”.  Fun, fun, fun!

01_17_2013 Artist_Table30Number 4 January 17, 2013 Another image from the Artist at the Table event at New Frontier.  Our shot list asked us to capture each exhibit and I was struggling with this one because it was very dark and it’s a film projected on a dome.  You go in, lay down on the comfy’s and watch the film above and around you.  I needed to capture not just the film but the people watching the film.  I’m smashed against the entrance with my tripod (so dark) trying to stay out of the way and to find something to focus on {it was all black at first with what looked like shooting stars}.  A nice lady came up and started talking to me and I kind of told her what I was doing and how I was struggling to focus and she said that there would be a really neat part coming up with seals and that it would be a lot brighter.  Sure enough, I got a bunch of images that I really loved and this was one of my favorites.  A little later she asked if I got what I needed and I thanked her profusely for her help.  It was only at a later event that I realized I had been speaking with the artist.  Sundance is awesome!

01_20_2013 Signage63Number 3 January 20, 2013  This was my epic day of capturing every single sign on main street for the Sundance marketing/signage department.  My official with me was so nice and patient and let me do “pretty” shots as well as basic.  I figure if I’m going to take pics of signs I still want them to look artistic.  This is the Music Café venue which is, of course, one of my favorites.  I was able to photograph three different performers there during the festival.  See the red and black cubes in front of the stage?  Those are chairs and they’re squishy.  Big squishy cubey chairs.  Still fascinated by those.

01_22_2013 Ambiance01Number 2 January 22, 2013  I am SUCH a sucker for street performers.  They add so much flavor and color to well…anything.  I love that there were many at Sundance.  I also really love the lighting in this one.  Perfect afternoon/early evening light, my favorite.  Image left you see Michael, an Insider Pro volunteer so I got Insider Pro AND ambience! 😉

01_19_2013 MainStreet20aaaaaaaaand Number 1 January 19, 2013 Opening Weekend Main Street night ambiance.  So many things to make me love this image.  Opening weekend Main Street is crazy nuts and so much fun.  I’m up on the balcony by (I believe) Wah So so I can get a shot of the people and the cars and the lights.  I’m on tripod and dragging my shutter to blur the lights of the cars to try to convey the feeling of excitement and energy and motion that was going on at the time.  It was also a fun night because I ran into my brother Ben, who was there for press (Deseret News).  I got my pay-it-forward gloves from a kind stranger (have I mentioned I love Sundance) and it was actually my 17 year wedding anniversary.  Ironically we spent our honeymoon in Park City and stayed at the very place where I was given Sundance Lodging.

Well, that’s my Sundance Film Festival 2013 wrap up.  It was an amazing experience.  I made new friends, had incredible adventures and worked really really hard (my favorite part).  Here’s looking at next year!!