Coffee Update: 06/26/2017

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The NBA season just ended with the Warriors winning it all (as was predicted).  The Spurs had a real shot this year but two major injuries in game 1 of the western conference finals made the matchup no real contest.  There’s always next year.  I’ve been invited back for my fourth season working with the NBA and I’m looking forward to it as usual.

I’ve decided to move on from the Austin Film Festival screenplay competition.  I was reading for AFF the last two years.  It was a great opportunity to read competitive scripts and write coverage.   The AFF screenplay/teleplay competition is top 10 in the U.S. so I’m proud to have that on my resume and want to thank Fred Miller for helping me get my foot in the door, also Barbara Morgan and Matt Dy for giving me a shot.  The reason that I’ve decide to move on is because I’m not a “professional” writer and don’t need to focus all my energy on writing.  My background is in production for both TV and Film.  As a filmmaker, I did writing, directing and producing.  The writing component to film school is there to give directors a foothold on the craft, enough to be able to generate a story that we want to tell.  The other various crafts such as photography, acting, lighting, sound work and picture editing go along with it and they really help train a director in multiple disciplines so that we can work with the specialists that take ownership in each area.  I’ve got a lot of respect for writers…it’s a very challenging craft.

The discipline that I’m weakest on right now is acting.  Study helps directors to communicate with actors.  It helps writers to craft scenes and characters that actors want to play.  Having this experience is a boon to productions since attracting top talent helps to mitigate the risk in an already high-risk field.  Traditional stats show that, three out of every ten films fail at the box office, so it’s important to have a well packaged production with a quality script, a knowledgeable director and experienced actors attached when going into the fundraising phase.

I’ve done some extras acting over the last couple years and being back on a set got my blood going.  I’ve discovered through that experience as well as the classes, that I like acting more than I expected.  My solid foundation in the study of filmmaking has made this an easy transition.  Who knows, I might actually become good in front of the camera…..but if not it will definitely make me a better director.  At any rate, I’m going to see where it leads.  Fortunately, the film industry in Austin is strong enough to provide the experienced teachers and advisors needed to succeed in this industry, be it from behind the camera or in front.  For my next scene that we film in class, I’m playing the agent/manager for a teenage rock star who is starting to have a melt-down due to the pressure of celebrity.  I have to give her a pep talk and relate my own experience as a major league, star pitcher who went through his own melt down ruining a promising career.  I actually did have a little bit of a baseball career melt down but that was in high school when I washed out because I didn’t have the resources needed to do it right.  I can relate to this character.  Wish me luck!

 

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About Blake

Blake is a Filmmaker, Writer, and Sports Media professional from Austin, TX. He studied Film Production and Advertising at UT Austin. When not supporting University TV crews and NBA Entertainment on live sports productions, he likes to excercise, travel, hang with Snoop his Jack Russell, read, write and collaborate with other writers, directors, actors, editors and producers on new ideas for storytelling in the film/TV medium.
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