Writer, Director, Producer, Cinematographer
Neuqua Valley High School Class of 2016
The greatest lesson I learned was the need to see the bigger picture when you are shooting your film. This can be especially difficult, but I found that if you have a specific idea of when you want to use a certain shot and why, you can become a much more effective storyteller because it can help the pacing of your film and add to the story. If you are just trying to achieve "cool" or "interesting" shots in your films, you aren't staying true to what kind of elements and stylistic choices that each individual story calls for. I believe Roger Deakins once said: "There's good cinematography, bad cinematography, and the cinematography that is right for the movie." I cannot agree more with this quote, and tried to constantly ask myself the questions of: "Why do I need this shot?" or "What will it bring to the story?" when I was shooting Parallel.
The most difficult challenge that I encountered while shooting Parallel was having a first time crew and actors. Initially, production was slow because my crew did not have any prior experience on a film set. Due to this, I constantly tried to explain everything to them and why I was doing it. I did this because I did not want them to just execute what I wanted blindly. I wanted them to understand the reasoning behind the decisions I was making so that they then could provide their own suggestions in the future. With my first time actors on the other hand, it was a constant learning process for both them and I. Before each scene, I would carefully walk them through their movements with their markers on the ground and tell them where the camera would be and what focal length it would be at. I was also extremely open to any questions that they may have and advised them of the many nuances that they could add to their performance to make it better. Although the inexperience on set initially slowed the filmmaking process down, once we got through a day or two of production, my amazing crew and actors quickly realized what I expected of them and what they needed to do, so production sped up drastically. I could not have asked for more hardworking and great friends to have helped me make this film, and I owe it all to them.
Brandon Ruckdashel is the Festival Director for YoungFilmmakers. He has been the Program Director for NewFilmmakers for the last three years and Marketing Director for six. Brandon is a filmmaker who is most well known for his acting work in the HBO series Co-Ed Confidential and numerous B-Movies. Brandon has worked with Roger Corman alumni Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski along with a number of other very talented directors. Brandon's Directorial debut GRINDER will be out in theaters in 2016.
YoungFilmmakers screens quarterly in New York at Anthology Film Archives. Opened in 1970 by Jonas Mekas, Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, and Stan Brakhage, Anthology in its original conception was a showcase for the Essential Cinema Repertory collection. An ambitious attempt to define the art of cinema by means of a selection of films which would screen continuously, the Essential Cinema collection was intended to encourage the study of the medium’s masterworks as works of art rather than disposable entertainment, making Anthology the first museum devoted to film as an art form. The project was never completed, but even in its unfinished state it represented an uncompromising critical overview of cinema’s history, and remains a crucial part of Anthology’s exhibition program.