Friday, June 18, 2010

Meeting with Todd Tinkham

As post-production progress continues, I keep learning more and more about film making.  Last night I met with fellow filmmaker Todd Tinkham, who is in post on Southland of the Heart, an "independent feature film about life, loss and the many lessons love has to offer."

Before I met Todd, I had heard so many great things about him. My fellow improviser and filmmaker Christopher G. Moore raved about Todd.  Lisa Sullivan, a fellow social media and communications professional, also spoke so highly of him and provided an introduction so that I could play an itsy bitsy role in the film.  When I finally got to meet Todd on the set of Southland of the Heart, I felt like I was meeting a celebrity. 

Todd is a gracious, generous and kind man.  He's passionate about filmmaking and telling great stories.  It was such a thrill to watch him work with Chris on the set of Bursters.  My friend invited me to take production stills while they shot Bursters, and it was immediately evident how dedicated and professional everyone is in this area.  Fiction filmmaking is a whole 'nother bit of filmmaking that I've not yet explored, and is quite different than making a documentary.  And while I have no comparison to other film industries, I rather love the community we have in North Carolina.  Everyone I meet is so fascinating and talented, and Todd is no exception.

Last night I had the privilege of taking a sneak peek at Southland of the Heart, and I am so anxious to see the final cut!  The film is beautifully shot here in North Carolina and stars a number of talented people I adore (both in front of and behind the camera).  You can watch a teaser of Southland of the Heart here, or like the film on Facebook here.

After Todd showed me the first half of Southland, he let me introduce Abandoned Allies.  He seemed to respond to it well, although it paled in comparison to the beautiful photography of Todd's film.  My heart delighted with seeing some of the Super 8 footage in place, the first time I've shown it to anyone other than Skip of A/V Geeks (who helped us with the transfer).

As I mentioned yesterday, I feel like the first few minutes of the film are much more solid than the rest of it right now.  There are more graphics and the transitions between content / clips are healthier, in my opinion.  There's still a lot of work to do, and my main focus is making sure the content is as strong as it can be: the right people say the right thing in the right order.  Once I have that locked down, I can keep making improvements from there. 

We watched a bit of Abandoned Allies and then Todd started tweaking pieces of the film to make improvements.  He showed me easy ways to improve upon some of the mistakes that have been nagging at me endlessly.  He also shared a few filmmaking terms I didn't know, which is fun.  I am ravenous for this information, and find myself envious of anyone studying filmmaking in school.  There are industry terms, film histories, and rules that I would absolutely devour.  Right now, though, my focus is on finishing!  In the meantime, I'll keep learning as I go.

Todd has offered to continue providing input, for which I am most grateful.  His input, as well as other filmmakers who have made the same kind offer, will help make the film so much better.  I can't wait for that part of the post-production process.

The filmmaking process is a collaborative one, which is one of the things I find most attractive about it.  You can't make a film in a vacuum, as you might when painting a still life.  It is truly a living, breathing, ever-changing form of art that is simultaneously a business.  The marriage of art and business, and their offspring known as entertainment, is what I find absolutely addicting about filmmaking.



Hanna Brown said...

Beautifully put Camden! I myself find Todd extraordinary, and it's good to hear about the progress of your documentary!

Camden Watts said...

Thanks, Hanna! Loved watching you on screen. Can't wait to see what you do next!