DEO LIVE: Ep. 11 Poetry and Hurricanes

Not much rhymes with ‘poetry.’

Let’s face it, poetry is not easy to write. In fact, most poets come in the form of cutsie limericks or Facebook memes these days. So it is very refreshing to read the poetry in Pure Oceans, written by our own Avery Laing.

You might not know it, but Avery has a wide variety of talents and interests. He is the voice actor for Useless the dog in Wyatt’s Fort. He is the waiter in the web series Saving Harper Ross. He serves as a Production Assistant in most Lumindeo films. And he is also the guy sitting over in the corner of Starbucks, headphones in ears, typing away his latest poem.

Pure Oceans, Avery’s latest poetry book, displays a wide range of topics and emotions. It is available at Amazon right now and you should totally pick it up. It is totally worth the read and no one wants to be the guy at the party that says, ‘poetry is lost on me.‘ That guy never gets the girl.

Check out our interview with Avery below and then be a good sport and go buy the book, paperback or digital. If you buy it this month it will help us send supplies down to Hurricane Harvey victims. Enjoy.

Filmmaking Lesson #4 : Do Small Well

do small well

A tidbit of wisdom I wish I had heeded early on is ‘Do the small stuff well, first.’

During a lunch break on set this last week the cast, crew, and I found ourselves discussing some of the small student films we have been a part of over the years. More often than not these student films entailed drugs, gunplay, blood effects, action sequences, screaming, and so on. Another thing these films had in common was the fact that most of them did not do well in the end. Despite the awesome camera and sound equipment, the final destination for these films was a dusty shelf rather than the film festival circuit.

While it was fun traversing these memories and laughing about the ridiculous mistakes these projects involved it did cause me pause for thought. Why did these films not do well? Was it the acting? Directing? Writing? Everyone involved had worked their hardest to create a good final project but ultimately, failure. I too have films on old hard drives resting on dusty shelves that I am very glad haven’t seen the light of day. How embarrassing if they did. But one of the blessings time and experience have given me is the ability to look back and recognize that these films failed for one primary reason; we didn’t do small well, first.

A newbie filmmaker wants to dive in and do the next Jason Bourne / Lord of the Rings and they falsely believe that the guns, violence, and effects into these stories will push their film to success. It’s easy for the newb filmmaker to focus on these flashy shiny elements rather than on their technique; can you do simple dialogue scene well? Can you do shot, reverse shot, well? Can you do simple walk-and-talk sequences well? Can you light a scene, block a scene, frame a scene, mic a scene; can you do these simple small things well?

Usually the answer is no. We’re too busy figuring out the best way to punch a guy, fire a weapon, wreck a car, or do chase sequences.

A word of wisdom; do small well, and do that first. Focus on the actors and the dialogue. Focus on the framing and lighting. Take a simple plain ordinary scene and make it extraordinary to watch. If you can pull that off then maybe, just maybe, you will be ready to do big stuff well too.

So put away the guns and corn-syrup blood and tell a simple story about a few people doing simple domestic things and see if you can do it well, and maybe in the end you will be directing the next Jason Bourne.

chasonsignoff

When You Creatively Burn Out

Lumindeo Burn Out Blog Post

I love what I do. Really. I have discovered more about life, relationships, and how vastly God loves us through documenting new life. But this winter, 5 years into working as a birth photographer, I had reached creative, physical, total burnout.

The hours are impossibly long. Sometimes I would leave for a birth and end up being there for 30+ hours. Constantly being on-call and staying awake days at a time is a stress level that will make anyone go bonkers after a while. So much rearranging of plans, missing events, coordinating of childcare, being a Pastor’s wife, church planter AND a homeschool mom, not to mention that I also work here at Lumindeo as a Production Assistant. So needless to say, I was slightly overbooked.

I realize that maxing out the hours and trying to do EVERYTHING is a common mistake we Moms make. The whole “How Does She Do It?” mentality ends up being the norm for most of us. It’s not that I WANT to do everything, it just feels like the only way.
The only way to get it all done, fulfill obligations, only way to make ends meet and pay the bills, only way to make it!

And the problem I found is that when I was doing EVERYTHING, not only was I not doing everything WELL, I was losing the part of me that LIKED doing any of it!
God didn’t create us to do it all. He made us to be whole. He made us to live in communion with Him and our Calling. To stop, breathe, enjoy our blessings, maybe even rely on Him more and ourselves less. Burning the candle at both ends only results in hurting ourselves in the long run.
During my third hospital visit of 2015, right after Christmas, I laid in the bed thinking “Why am I doing this to myself? I don’t have to live like this! The hustle is obviously trying to kill me. I’m only 29 and I feel 100. I don’t even know when I last used all that fancy camera equipment to photograph my own family.
I remembered why I got into photography in the beginning – to give witness to moments you can never get back. To capture the beauty of the mundane and the wonder of everyday miracles.

storyboard002

So this year, I’ve decided to slow down (finally) and take more notice of the blessings around me. To go back to what got me started in this work in the first place. I’m reaching back to the roots of my Calling. To glorifying God with these talents he’s given me in my work. To more life, better relationships, dwelling on how vastly God loves us.
And to taking more photos of my own family.

carolinesignoff