5. What influenced this particular editing style?
I see transitions as eye candy. In a world where filmmakers don't want you to notice a cut in a scene, I see editing as an art form and a way for me to challenge the viewer. I love being able to make people notice when things are changing and appreciate the intricacy of change. It's a way to keep the viewer attentive throughout. I couple that with seamless transitions to create a fluid wave throughout my film. I want people to notice the little things and also appreciate the flow all at the same time.
6. What tips do you have for aspiring VFX filmmakers?
Start learning After Effects or any other VFX software as soon as you can. I use to dream of creating worlds and after editing in After Effects for over 7 years now, I can finally create them. This took a ton of time and a ton of failure. I am 100 percent self taught. I would just go on YouTube and try a new effect every few days, pick up on new editing techniques, get comfortable with the shortcuts and software. Remember that there's no right way to edit, only results. Who cares if it takes you 7 hours or 7 minutes to achieve an effect, all that matters is that you got to an end result you are proud of. It will take a ton of time and practice but as a filmmaker being able to take a vision in your mind and make it come to life through editing is one of the most satisfying things ever I think.
7. What non-film medium most influences your work and why?
The music industry, more specifically the Hip Hop industry. When I first started making films I gravitated towards artist from Toronto who "made it" out the city. Who stuck to their passions and made a living doing what they loved. Drake is a prime example. His songs spoke to me as I chased my passion because I could relate to everything he rapped about. Toronto is important to me, more specifically every single kid who is in a basement, studio or tiny apartment in a neighborhood that no ones ever heard of making music, painting, dancing, creating visuals and grinding through the late nights to hopefully have their voice/passion heard one day. I was one of those kids. I want to continue to be a voice for my city, no matter how far I go.
8. How has filming on your smartphone impacted your work?
Although editing is a huge part of my work, the Festival made it impossible to hide behind smoke and mirrors. It made me think about things that matter the most like Storytelling. I'm trying to become a better storyteller everyday but this Festival definitely pushed me to try and be more critical of myself and my work. It made me question things that i usually don't like progression, plots and climaxes. But you also cannot deny the fact that using a phone to create a film is not a gimmick anymore. Phones have become just that good and I truly think that it will be a viable medium in the Industry.
9. As complex as your film was, what went wrong on the shoot?
We forgot to take into account just how exhausting it would be to get to every location and get the shots we wanted. We ended up shooting till almost 1AM every night and after awhile it can take a toll on you. But I trusted the process and Lishen was a great sport. He ended up doing a jump off a cinder block on the first day and hurt his toe pretty bad, but he pushed on and we got the film done. I couldn't be prouder.
10. What did you learn during the shoot?
I would have assembled a bigger team to help delegate and plan things. When you're so engulfed in the video and filming, you sometimes lose track of time and it can end badly if you aren't precise. Decisiveness is important but also having a bigger crew to help with the small things would have done wonders.