Jeff works in our Parts Department as Parts Sales Account Manager and Facilitator. He has been with EMR since 2015. Jeff has a passion for film making and below he shares some insight into how he got started, current and upcoming projects and where he hopes to go!
What inspired you to pursue film making?
I’ve always had a love of film. My family wasn’t rich but one thing we did often was go to the movies. The first film I can remember seeing in theaters was “Jurassic Park”, the scene with the raptors in the kitchen with the kids was so terrifying, I cried (I was six at the time). It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized the emotional power of film and I just want to be a part of that.
How long have you been doing it?
I bought my first camera when I was about 14. I filmed stupid “comedy” videos with friends, then stopped making anything for years until I made a YouTube account about 5 or so years ago. Since then I’ve acquired tons of equipment and knowledge and seek to improve. If you ask what my greatest work is, I’d say “My next one.”
What was one of the biggest roadblocks you faced when starting out?
Film making is a complicated medium. It’s so much more than “point and shoot”. It takes an understanding of how a camera works (aperture, ISO, shutter speed, frame rate, focal length), how sound works (microphones, pre-amps, boom poles, equalizing, compression, mixing, mastering), how light works ( color temperature, shadow, exposure, diffusion, flagging), how to write, dialogue, developing characters, story boarding, cinematography, editing, transitions, music, foley… it takes thousands of hours not only to understand the aspects of film making, but to apply them in a production and overcome the obstacles you’re limited by. So my biggest roadblock was a fundamental misunderstanding of what making a film really entails.
How did you come up with the idea for OpSec?
OpSec was a collaborative effort with my film partner Rob Harford. Together we make up the team “CoLab Digital” which can be found on YouTube and is where OpSec was posted. We both have a love of the James Bond film “Goldeneye” and have, over the years, tried to emulate certain scenes. Rob lives in South Carolina and was visiting for a week, we had to plan a shoot that would fit that time frame. We used the constraints we were met with as advantages to get the best we could out of limited time and resources.
Can you tell us more about any upcoming projects?
How much time do you have? I’ve been asked to explain the ending of “OpSec”. The big question being if my character lives or dies. All I will say is that two additional short films in the series are already planned, and that question will be answered, along with a whole lot more. Additional projects include a sci-fi space drama, a superhero film, a murder mystery, a time travel film, and that’s just scratching the surface. We’ve found a way to use the distance between here and Myrtle Beach as a means of getting the leg work of film making done so that when it comes time to hit record, we know we’re making the best work we can.
What is your favorite part about creating these short films?
I take great pride in the long hours spent editing these films. You can spend all the time in the world planning and filming these things but when it comes down to it, you will never know the film you are making until the edit is finished. This is where an action film can become a drama, a comedy can become a love story, a sci-fi film finds its roots in tragedy. Finding a small shot that just works for the overall structure of the film is one of the most satisfying feelings I have as a film maker.
Do you have a desire to make a career out of film making one day?
My goal over the next few years is to continue making shorts and narrative projects until I’m comfortable enough with my source material and finished projects so that I can submit works to various film festivals. There’s a long way to go but the point is to continue improving.
What are your three favorite movies?
A Beautiful Mind
Blade Runner 2049