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Julia Camenisch's Blog

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I hate painting

...and I hate cleaning up afterwards. Just thinking about the massive clean-up effort after this Sony Bravia Commercial makes me tired. But all that being said, when you see an amazingly executed commercial, do you ever wonder how they did it? Take a look at this behind the scenes short and you'll discover how.

Posted by: Julia Camenisch on May 26, 2007 at 7:32:35 amComments (1) commercials

Tired of Prime-time programming?

Mark Cuban, owner of the HD tv channel HD Net wants your show ideas. All he asks is that you don't offer yet another tired knock-off and that you be familiar with the programming of HDNet. Seems fair enough. If you've complained about nothing good being on TV, then maybe you should leave an idea at at his blog.

Posted by: Julia Camenisch on May 18, 2007 at 11:16:21 amComments (2) television

Doc that inspires me, #2

First, watch the trailer. Want to do a Cinema Verité project? Spend an evening watching Lost Boys of Sudan first. The film follows several Sudanese young men as they leave their homeland and try to start life anew in the US. You almost never feel the intrusion of the camera, and the interviews are so organic and natural, it seems as though the subject is just talking to himself or a good friend, not to a producer. I'd love to watch another "Making Of" for this film - something specifically dealing with the techniques used to keep the camera in the background and to capture so many transparent and honest moments.

Posted by: Julia Camenisch on May 15, 2007 at 11:42:48 amComments (3) documentaries

Films that Matter

What's your favorite film that matters? I'm looking for movies that have more to them than cool special effects, interesting plotline or A-list cast. Why? I'm building a viewing list of films that were made for more than just profit. Example would be Hotel Rwanda and the way it forced you to look at news reports as more than just something to shake your head over and instead put a human face on suffering. So what are your favorites?

Posted by: Julia Camenisch on May 11, 2007 at 12:34:17 pmComments (3)

Learn from the Pros

It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That may be true, but copycatting is also an effective way of improving your video skills. Try it out. Watch this commercial.

Caught up in the story the first time you watched it? Now watch it again, this time with the sound off. Concentrate on the lighting, the framing or the editing.

What did you learn? You may have to watch the spot a few times, but when you've picked up something, go try and imitate it. Set some friends or family down for supper, and try to light the scene to look like "Stranger". Try to get the DOF on the rolling artichoke. Try to recreate the suspense in a short script of your own.

Companies like Epoch get paid big bucks to produce spots like this - they obviously know their stuff. You can gain from their experience by watching and imitating. Get this mindset, and TV watching will never be the same again

Here's few more of their spots to watch:

Quest Divider

Posted by: Julia Camenisch on May 9, 2007 at 10:51:10 am

Ask a Filmmaker

I always thought IMDB was nothing more than a huge listing of people and movies, cross-referenced ad infinitum. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon +Ask a Filmmaker+. Very cool feature.

Posted by: Julia Camenisch on May 3, 2007 at 11:16:05 amComments (1) editing, television, entertainment, business, blogs

Storytelling with Real Life

Life is stranger than fiction, or so they say. And even though my day to day existence doesn't contain much fodder for prize winning television, there are many true stories out there that make for riveting viewing. If the term "documentary" makes you yawn, you might need to shed your preconceived notions of picture slideshows. This genre is full of creativity and artistic expression. In fact, I'd say that watching documentaries is one of the best ways to learn the elusive art of storytelling. So before you go to Blockbuster for yet another Hollywood crafted fable, take a few minutes to sit down with real life and learn what truly makes "better TV". If you can make a compelling story from real life events, you can probably make a pretty good fiction story as well. A good example of this can probably be found at your local library. My Flesh & Blood is one of my all time favorites. The filmmaker, Jonathan Karsh, followed the Tom family over the course of a year, and was able to become almost a "fly on the wall", capturing very personal moments. The storyline intrigued me so much, I can't say I focused on much to apply to my own filmmaking, other than that your subjects have to be willing to be open with you. If they're not comfortable with the camera, you're not going to be able to capture the range of emotions which will connect with your audience.Update: After a little more searching, I was able to locate the trailer Made me want to watch it again. I think the power of a story like this is that it takes you into someone else's life that is vastly different from yours. I guess that's what all good documentaries accomplish, at least in some measure or another.

Posted by: Julia Camenisch on May 1, 2007 at 12:29:26 pmComments (1) editing, documentaries, entertainment, indie film

There is such a thing as free quality music...

Wow. I just got done listening to music at, and was quite impressed with the quality/price ratio. Only seven bucks for these songs? I don't know how this company makes a profit, but if you need some music, get it from here before they raise their prices! In fact, if you use this address:, you get one free song for opening an account. Hey, don't be slow in clicking that link. Do it now! You can always come back and finish reading this blog later...

Posted by: Julia Camenisch on May 1, 2007 at 12:22:26 pm editing, business, commercials

Video Producer, Writer & best of all, a mom.
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