I wrote about Production Design and Cinematography. I was in a few short films, and I looked forward to the future holiday of Thanksgiving. Now, it’s January, and I’m a year older (making me 20!) and I’ve got nothing on my mind except graduating from film school and the future.
At the time of writing my last post, I had no idea I was about to go on one of the best trips of my lifetime… a weekend in Key West, Florida with my friend Jason. We took a horrendous bus ride down to the Keys (thank you very much, Greyhound) and after 9 hours of nothing but snacks and the awful aroma of the bus we ready to experience the awesomeness that we had been looking for here in Florida. We enjoyed dinner at Mallory Square and got a glimpse of the street performers and vendors. Walking around the streets we spontaneously signed up for snorkeling the reef the following morning, and of course found some Key Lime ice cream to indulge in. The boat ride out to the reef was about an hour long, and was executed with a huge catamaran. It was such a beautiful trip. Once to the reef we grabbed fins and a snorkel and jumped right into the warm water. I have never seen such beautiful fish and coral before. Bright yellows, lime greens and the most beautiful blue colors I have ever seen. I’ll never forget how amazing it was. We grabbed lunch at the Southernmost Hotel Cafe and got our classic tourist shot in front of the Southernmost buoy.
We then partook in the real reason we were there… the Key West Film Festival! We supported our fellow student filmmakers from Full Sail at the viewing that night, and had dinner with them and our teacher. There was an awesome party on the beach later on, and the awards ceremony with Film Producer, Brett Ratner. Although it was a quick trip, I had a great time seeing the Florida that I think everyone likes, because I got it. Key West was wicked!
Our 16mm Production, Backgammon,
In October we chose a script, chose a position, built a set, and shot a movie. I was the Script Supervisor for our film Backgammon. As Script Supervisor you make sure that the actors are staying true to their lines, keep watch of continuity and create a lined script while filming to ensure coverage. It’s a fun job, and it involves multiple positions that you get to work closely with so I enjoy it. Our set was built in under a week, and we shot over the course of 3 days. We worked with power tools each day, and I got to use my favorite, the nail gun.
Later on, in November,
I have found my own piece of heaven here in Florida. It is seriously too good to be true! Just a short drive from my apartment is an indoor ski mountain. Well, not a mountain, but a carpet that rotates continuously and you can ski on it. I know that sounds crazy, but WinterClubSki is crazy awesome. A few months ago, I saw the word “Ski” while I was driving down the road, and I couldn’t believe it. On a whim, I parked the car and went inside to check it out. I found the coolest people imaginable in Florida, and they were all in one building, one that was filled with skis! How cool is that? My friends, Tyler and Jason were finally seeing me in my natural habitat. We all got fitted with boots and that awful ski boot hobble was too funny on my virgin ski friends. Climbing onto the carpet I felt my adrenaline pumping and the feeling only a skier can describe. We had a great instructor who taught us how to ski on the carpet fairly quickly. Ty and Jason had the right idea and picked it up pretty quickly.
I can’t even tell you how amazing it feels. It was a little odd skiing in shorts and t-shirt, but it was still so incredibly cool. Even cooler than that, the facility also houses a dope virtual ski machine. With 3 screens that surround you and parallel bars beneath you to slide on, it makes for a pretty realistic feeling. I couldn’t get enough of this place, so I’ve pursued a job there. My training has been going really well and I look forward to working there soon!
Thanksgiving & Christmas
The best time of the year, the holidays! My family absolutely crushes Thanksgiving. No one goes quite as hard as the Hooper family when it comes to Turkey Day. With an upwards of 25 people at our house on the big day, we also had a huge surprise! My Uncle Paul married his fiance right in our living room! People were so surprised and happy. We all are so excited to have Mel, Wil and Ben as our family.
I returned back to Florida after an awesome week home with good spirits and motivation to finish out the year. My class for the month was finally Post Production. In Post we learned how to use Avid Media Composer. It was a difficult program, and as my teacher put it; If Premiere is equivalent to the controls of a high end sports car, Media Composer is a helicopter’s interface. Although complicated, it’s great to have added a new program to my repertoire. In that class, we edited our 16mm films. Instead of editing Backgammon, I chose to edit the film Karma. Other students in my class made this movie, but I loved the kids and the story so much I had to give it a go. Check out my Karma Trailer here.
Christmas came at the perfect time, as I was ready to get back home just after 3 weeks of being in Florida. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been much of a winter up in Connecticut, so I got rain, rain and more rain for Christmas. No matter what, I was with my family and I saw my friends and that’s all that matters. A trip to Orono, Maine, for Christmas Dinnah, a Live Stage Radio Performance of It’s a Wonderful Life and a long drive to Waterville to see The Big Short was all so much fun. Plus, it snowed while I was there, and that’s really all I wanted when I came home.
I turned 20 years old in the beginning of January, and I chopped almost 8 inches of hair off. It’s scary to think I’m not a teenager anymore, but I’m ready for this exciting time. For my birthday I got hooked up with new ski gear. Thank you Mom and Dad!!! Check out Alpine Haus in Wethersfield, Connecticut if you’re looking for a custom fitting and super service. We spent 3 hours in there finding the perfect set of boots, skis, bindings and poles.
I headed back to Florida a few days later, and I was pretty upset about Christmas break being done. Little did I know, my friends had a little something up their sleeve. I walked in on my first surprise party and was greeted by all my closest friends down here in Florida. We ate great food, played video games and went bowling. I can’t tell you how good it felt to be surrounded by so many awesome people. Thank you Tyler and Jason for making all of that happen. I’ll always remember my 20th Birthday!
Some Other Projects I’ve Done,
Into the Lake 2015 was finished back in November, and can be seen here. Check out my cousins, Mark and Matthew Cloutier tearing up Pushaw Lake, via barefooting and wakeboarding. It’s some of my best editing and cinematography to date, and I’m very proud of it.
Day By Day is a music video that I was asked to edit for the Student Production Office, SPARK here at Full Sail. I also worked as 2nd AC on the shoot, with the very talented, Gatlin Thornton. She has a very early Taylor Swift vibe, that I know you’ll like. Her music video will be released very soon once it’s done being color corrected next week!
I’ve got a great set of skis and poles, and my ski outfit of yellow pants and a black coat make me look like a bumblebee. GOALS ACHIEVED. I’m working at an indoor ski place, in Orlando, and I’m almost done with my college career. Sounds pretty snow-oriented. I’m working on getting an internship with Teton Gravity Research in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There I would edit ski videos and work with some of the leaders in the action sport industry. Long term goals, maybe work for GoPro, maybe work for NBC Sports, maybe go to the Olympics… It’s all a maybe. I’m keeping my future wide open for all sorts of possibilities. Most importantly, I will make an effort to live somewhere where it snows, I will have a job that makes me happy, and preferably be near New England to see my family. We’ll see. Graduation is this May, and I’ve got so much to show this world, that I can’t be too sure just where I’ll be yet. As always, thanks for supporting me 🙂