Blog Archives

Bald Eagles on the St. Clair River

Yesterday was a windy day, but wanted to go out and do some filming. I headed down to Algonac State Park and parked by the river looking for Bald Eagles. I filmed one thinking it was a hawk when I first got there then that was it for  while. I was going to head down the river more to check out other spots, so I packed up and got in my truck. Once I sat in the truck I glanced out to the river, and two bald eagles sit on the ice river. I rush grabbing my camera,  no time to set up my tripod, and I got some of the worst shots ever doing handheld with my 18-200mm set at 200mm and the wind blowing. Though, I was still excited because after 2 years of searching for them, I finally saw them and captured them on my camera.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKtIyQGzvkE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Finding Michigan Cover

I went on fiverr to see if I can get someone to design my cover for my documentary film “Finding Michigan” and it came out pretty good. It is definitely better then what I had. I do wish the text was done a little better, or maybe added a drop shadow to it, but other than that it came out pretty sweet.
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I knew I wanted to incorporate the Northern Lights, and a Bald Eagle if he could do it in a way that would look good, and love how he added the silhouette of the bird so it didn’t stand out to much. I wanted the cover to show a bit what the film is about. I guess I could just say its a nature film since being outside is being out in the nature, but my mind keeps wanting to say its more than that.

I recently launched my crowd funding site on my web page, and if your interested in helping by sharing, or choosing a package I would appreciate all the help. I also have some videos on there, and just added a recent video I made called “Slow Birds,” so please go check it out. http://www.kylecoggins.com

Thanks, and hope you enjoy!

Finding Michigan Update

Finding Michigan is a Documentary Film that has been in pre-production for a while now, and am looking to start  crowd funding for in January 2014. I created a page on Facebook called Finding Michigan where you can learn more about it. Though there isn’t much there yet, I am just looking to get people interested in it.

Its been rough trying to get this project going specially when I am working on starting production for my final project for school. I want to put full effort into making my Documentary, but school should come first. I must do both to be happy.

Finding Michigan Film

Finding Michigan Film.

Last weekend I decided I wanted to move forward with making a film about Michigan’s wildlife, nature, and things not everyone can see everywhere.

Michigan holds some of the greatest places for sightseeing to wildlife viewing. Bald Eagles, Cougars, and even Wolves have been rising in sightings, and soaring of the endangered list. Though some may be impossible to find specially cougars, and wolves, but they are still here. Some of you may know that I have been searching for Bald Eagles for a while now, and have not been so lucky; though I feel my time is comming, and I am more confident then ever.

Just last month there was a Bald Eagle in St. Clair, Michigan. The women who spotted it took some good pictures of it as well, and it gave me this urge to push forward with this film.

What got me started!

Last January I was at work fueling trucks, and it was around two in the morning when I saw what looked to be a Cougar walking along the railroad tracks. Crazy sounding I know, specially being in a Marysville Michigan with lots of housing and a golf course close by. The body, and mostly the long tail was unmistakable. It was only a month after I saw this sighting there were a few sightings in Ann Arbor Michigan right by the University of Michigan. Also, there were a few other sighting claimed after that which made me wonder if it was the same Cougar. After that, I became addicted and wanted to see one for myself. This stuff has really interested me, and nature was really what I started out wanting to do in filmmaking.

I remeber what film I watched that got me into filming too, and for the record I was probably 5 or 6 years old, but it was “Wild America” with Johnathan Taylor Thomas. Haha. I admit that because I was young, but that movie inspired me to want to film wildlife. It does freak me out s little because you never know what could happen, but I have been trying to learn about these animals, so I know what to do if I get myself intoca bad situation.

I have a few projects I have been trying to kick into gear like my Online Film Festival I want to start, but I just don’t have enough people interested in it yet, and don’t want to job in it to soon. I have a short film project I’m working on for school but that is still in development right now, and Finding Michigan I am going to start at the end of October when I go to Mackinac City Michigan. Hopefully, I’ll get some Eagle footage, and some great time-lapse of the milky way. Most of the budget will be out of pocket, but I am thinking of trying to raise money through crowdfunding, and offering perks for others who may want to join me in the filmmaking process. I am still working on different ideas for perks, and how to get people interested specially those who don’t live in Michigan.

I know getting into any industry is hard, and that’s why I want to reach out, and help people who just want to have a reason to film. I love just to have a reason to turn on my camera and start filming, and if life wasn’t all about money then I would have no problem working for free. Unfortunately, we live in a world where money is the way of survival, and life. I will update soon on my progress. Thanks for all the support.

My Thoughts on The Matrix 4

Many have asked, will there be another Matrix film? Actually, I been waiting for this answer myself, and there have been false information on it happening for a long time. Rumors say that the Wachowski Brothers went to talk to James Cameron to learn about 3-D. Who knows if that is true, or not but that’s what you’ll find online. It is most likely false since we would have atleast heard of a part 4 instead of a double feature again.

I have read tons of comments about two more installments good, bad, and in between; furthermore, I respect everyone’s comments so I only give my opinion on this film. I must say though that I am a huge fan of the film, and possibly one of the biggest.

First off, I want to start at why it could happen. Why there could be a 4th Matrix film. The Wachowski Brothers amazing screenwriters, and Directors. They did “Cloud Atlas,” and there working on that other film Jupiter Decending I think it’s called. I personally liked Cloud Atlas, and thought it was going to kill at the box office, but it got killed, specially for what it cost to make the film. Now, I’m not sure why it did so bad, and I know many would argue with me about it, but the film should of been bigger then it was. It amazes me how a movie so unique, and different that has a great story could do wrong. I mean Tom Hanks said fuck in the movie! I have never heard him say that word in any movie, haha.

I am curious to see how well their next film does, specially since it sounds like it will be a brain teaser like all their films. To bring my point across, I think if the film does bad maybe they will go back to the Matrix since they know there will be a following.

The comments about another Matrix film were both good and bad. Some loved the film, but didn’t want to see a new one be made. Then you have the people who say flat out that it can’t happen because Neo died, and the war was over. I hate that reply, because war is never ending not in real life, or movies. A long time ago, I would argue saying, how do you know Neo died? It wasn’t until I got into screenwriting till I answered my own question. What better way to learn screenwriting then to read scripts. I read the ending of the Matrix, and clearly it say’s Neo Dies!

If you don’t read screenplays I would atleast recommend reading the first 10 pages of the first Matrix. The writing is so amazing and artistic it truely shows the talent the Wachowski Brothers have, and I’m not a huge reader, but the script is damn close to being as good as the film.

If I were to give an idea to how the Matrix could continue, it would be this: Neo dies in the Machine World, but they bring him back by growing him using his cells, or straight up turn him into a machine. They could either erase his memory, or Neo bring Trinity back as a machine too. Also, at the end of the trilogy the Oracle tells that little girl that she suspects will see Neo again someday. So, what if the machines just give him life again, simple as that. There can always be another Agent Smith, right? I know the story can come back to life it just has to be in a way that will be over the top, and groundbreaking. The Wackowski Brothers have the skills to do that, and they proved it with the first Matrix that was done in 1999. You still can’t find a film that matches to that caliber of filmmaking.

What do you think? Have any opinions on a new installment?

Pre-Production Wedding Videography

When it comes to doing a project with no script, and no way of knowing how something will play out like doing a wedding, I think it is best to try and prepare for any situation. The one thing I like to do, and I do this when I know I am going to be shooting outside is to always be checking the weather. Being that this is my first wedding, I have been preparing for it for about a month now trying to minimize any issues I may run into. No mater how prepared you think you are, you will still find an issue you will have to work around, but planning can make issues easier to deal with.

The first thing I think is important is to create a check list. Write down every single piece of equipment you have even if you know your not going to use it. If it helps, take a picture of every piece of equipment. To have a way of keeping track of your inventory is always going to benifit you.

Keep things organized! Find a way to keep things in places that are easy to find. Create folders on your computer for your when you start post-production. Create scene folders, and folders for b-roll footage.

The next thing I want to mention is communication with your client. Make sure you have good directions, and find out if the event will be inside, or outside. This will insure you have the necessary gear to execute your shoot day. This may even give you info on what you may need to purchase like filters for outside, or camera lights for inside.

What time does the event start, and what time are you going to show up. Plan for the worst traffic, trains, or accidents that will cause you to be late. You may want to be there an hour early to get some b-roll footage, and to setup all your gear you will be using.

I am going to the rehearsal on Friday, and this will give me a look at possible shooting spots, gear setup, and audio setup. The couple that is getting married is having their ceremony in a park, so I know audio may be an issue. I’m going to have two camera’s both recording audio, and if I there are plug-ins then I will use my wireless audio device, and hook a mic to the groom.

The last thing I would like to mention is to make sure you have enough tape, or memory card space; also, you want to be sure you have enough battery power. I baught an extra memory card and I got two more batteries with a car charger off Amazon. It helps to write your pre-production procese down, and either a journal, or a blog like I am doing because it can make you think of ways to better prepare yourself, or bring up things you may have forgotten.

Until next time..

Dollica LT D-100 Short Review

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I didn’t have a whole lot of time tonight to do a video review, but I had a little time to test the dolly. For starters, the Dollica Tripod Dolly is well built and sturdy, but There are issues I had with it while testing it out. I did a few takes on a flat tile surface, and notice that the footage is a bit shakey at times, as it gives off a bit of a vibration while rolling. This really is the one problem you don’t want to have while filming, because it can be distracting to the audience specially when the scene has no action in it what so ever. On the other hand I had times when it was really smooth looking and thought it looked really good, but then I ran into another issue. Trying to dolly straight was a challenge, because the tires kept wanting to turn into another direction. I was trying to frame my subject first then push in on him, so I could concentrate more on the focus, but I kept having to adjust where the dolly was going. I am sure I need more practice with it, and hopefully I can find a way to work with these issues.

Wedding Videography

On August 24th I will be doing my first gig as a wedding videographer. I am actually pretty excited about doing it, and hope everything turns out fine. For if being my first gig I offered my services for free, because I don’t feel comfortable charging for something I have never done before. I threw up a post on Craig’s List, and was contacted pretty quick, so I’m glad I decided to go that route. Hopefully, I can use this wedding to help build more clients. I typed up a release form to get permission to use parts of the wedding video to help promote my work, and I asked her first instead of waiting until the wedding day so I know she is okay with it.

I will be adding updates as I prepare for the wedding. I will post my process on my pre-production, production, and post-production.

Tripod Dolly

Dolica LT D-100.

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I just got my new tripod dolly today, and hope to test it out tonight. I will try to give a review on it through video, but depends on the time I have tonight.

The reason I want to do a review is because I only paid $38.00 for it on Amazon, so I want to put it to the test with my camera. I pulled it out of the case and it seems really well made, so lets hope it can hold up to my expectations. I have to say, though it was only $38.00 I only paid $17.00 because I had $21.00 in Amazon points. Either way it is a great price, and I am excited to use it.

How To Make Blood Gel

Blood Gel can be a cheap and powerful way to make your FX wounds stand out. When necessary,  I like to keep everything on a low budget specially easy do it yourself make-up FX.

ITEMS NEEDED

-Red Food Dye
-Blue Food Dye
-Vaseline

Yes, thats it. Now take a glob of Vaseline out and put it in a zip lock back or some sort of container you have lying around the house. Next, mix the Red Dye into the vaseline, and mix it up.

You have a good looking mix so far, but we want the blood to be darker. This part you have to be careful with, so put a drop of Blue Dye into the Vaseline. To much blue and you will get more purple the dark red, so really be careful mixing. You may need another drop, so add the Blue Dye until you reach your desired color.

That’s it. You can now add this mix you made into you wounds to help pullnof that realistic look your going for.

Hope you enjoyed, and have fun..