Author Archives: kyleletsom

Shades of Reality (Final Project)

Credits:

Talent:

  • Daniel: Daniel Gerlach
  • Older Sister: Jackie Chesnut
  • Roommate: Jorge Sandoval
  • Narration: Kyle Letsom

Audio:

Written/Filmed/Edited/Produced:

  • Kyle Letsom

The initial intent for this video was simply to create something that is interesting to watch. Then as I looked into more story idea a little deeper, finding new possibilities, I realized that I wanted this to be a sad story, yes, but also and inspirational story. There is a bit of a humor element and a suspenseful element, but mostly I was going for inspirational. My initial story idea was a bit concerning because of the editing that was required to make it work. I wasn’t sure if I had all the tools I needed, and I certainly wasn’t sure about how to go about doing them. However, I stuck to the story idea and took my chances with youtube video tutorials on how to operate inside of Premiere Pro to accomplish everything I wanted. Thankfully it worked!

I have to admit, I think I got a little too overly ambitious with this project. What started out as a good idea led to more and more ideas that just couldn’t all fit inside a video that cannot exceed 3 minutes. That being said, one of the biggest challenges with this project was cutting all my video footage down to under 3 minutes. I also had a number of other dilemmas such as working around all of the schedules of my actors. It was especially difficult around this time of year because the people I needed for my project were supposed to be around my age, and everyone that fit that description was too busy with finals. I even had three actors quit on me entirely just before all of my production was due. They had too much on their plate, but they had already committed to the project and I had already filmed scenes with them at that point. Finding replacements last minute proved to be a huge problem, but thankfully I managed. In addition, my computer caused me some issues as well (not Premiere Pro this time, thankfully). My video file just got to be kind of large and my computer was not allowing Premiere to play certain bits of my video, more specifically the split screen section of my video (four videos running at the same time). This was quite the obstacle as well because it was very hard to see all the edits I made when it wouldn’t give me the option to play it back and see what it looked like. However, all things considering, I can confidently say that I am proud with how this project turned out, and I am proud of everyone who put in work to make this video happen.

⌈Kyle Letsom⌋

 

Image Editing (5 Fun Activities)

This is my first time ever using any kind of editing software! I chose to use Premiere, and it was surprisingly not as hard to learn as I would’ve thought it would be. However, I did end up learning the hard way that you should constantly be saving your progress (even though it auto saves for you). I am still not sure what went wrong, but out of nowhere, I got a notification that Premiere had “crashed” on me. I, unfortunately, was unable to retrieve any of the auto saved data after that, and since I did not manually save, I lost a lot of progress and had to restart. Problems like this, and just overall getting the feel of the software, slowed me down a bit, but I was still able to pull through and execute my vision.

When I did all the filming for the project, I had no trouble coming up with fun ideas for a variety of different angles and other camera work. However, when it came time to do all the editing for the project, I did have trouble with keeping all my collective footage within the 1-2 minute time frame. Since I have never edited video before this project, I had trouble with it at first but then quickly became comfortable with it enough to want to try some interesting editing tricks. I wanted to do more than what I did with the editing, and I would’ve too, if I would’ve had more time. I, at the very least, wanted to play with video transitions and text animations, which I did. I also tried playing with the idea of split-screen through Premiere (which I executed a little differently for a different purpose as seen at the end of the video). Also, if I would’ve had more time, I would have tried to play with sound effects and even narration, so I would have more audio layers to work with. Fortunately, for this project, I didn’t feel that sound effects and narration was needed for the story to come across.

Thanks for checking out my first-ever filmed/edited video!

⌈Kyle Letsom⌋

At Cappelli Miles–an informational interview

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I first had the pleasure of hearing about Cappelli Miles through a close friend of mine (his brother works there). I was very fortunate to get a chance to actually take a tour of their Eugene location prior to the interview with my friend’s brother, Joel Gerlach. Joel is one of the nicest people you’ll ever have the chance to meet. He is incredibly easy to get along with; it did not take very long for me, as an interviewer, to become fully introduced to everything and everyone in the building and feel very comfortable and genuinely welcomed in to their space.

IMG_1535So what is Cappelli Miles? According to their website (created by Joel Gerlach), and with the confirmation of Joel, himself, Cappelli Miles is a “full-service advertising agency, specializing in traditional and interactive digital media.” This company didn’t always specialize in digital media, however; the company used to not have any kind of production and would only serve as an advertising agency that used photography, billboards, graphic design, etc. I can tell that this is the sort of company that needs to constantly change with the times to meet the all the changing demands, and they have done exactly that thus far. Now, their Eugene location primarily focuses on the actual production of advertisements; whereas, their other location, stationed in Portland, looks into a lot of the “ad-buying” and using social media. Joel says that one location cannot survive solely without the other and that collaboration between the two is their key to success. Additionally, they are pushing for even more “cross-talk” between the two locations on even more projects.

Not only is Joel Gerlach the coolest person you’ll ever meet, he has also secured a very vital position at Cappelli Miles in ‘Broadcast Production’. However, Joel expressed an issue with that title, as it seemed to him to be too “archaic”. The title of ‘Content Producer’, he felt, summed up his position a little bit better and focusing on media production rather than broadcast production. Joel Gerlach will be the one to actually go out and do most of the filming needed for a project, but he also does a lot of animation ads as well. Blender animation software is his preference for animating. It’s free and he highly recommends it!

At this point in the interview, I’m thinking, “YES! Sign me up!” and of course I wanted to know how he was introduced into such a glorious field of work. Joel says it’s all about connections, really. In fact, he was given to inspiration to apply for Cappelli Miles through a nurse at the hospital where his child was being born. That nurse turned out to be the wife of one of the main crew members at the company. Joel Gerlach got the job immediately after applying because of how impressive he came across to the employers. Of course, he came from Los Angeles with a lot of experience which set him apart, but aside from that, he created a book with all of his projects, which included a reel of his work along with a printed out portfolio. Not only does he recommend doing exactly this, he also made the note to include projects that you are not as happy with and to just take screenshots of them. This way, he was better able to control how the project was seen by people hiring him. He was also very adamant about never under-selling oneself and, above all, always believing in oneself.

IMG_1536For what it’s worth, college did not serve as a very important step in attaining a job such as this. I am so very sorry to break this to all of you whom are desperately pushing through classes to get a degree. It is not so much that a degree is completely useless but it is rather unnecessary, says Joel. People who hire you are really only interested in what you’ve actually done (shown in a portfolio) as opposed to being flashed a fancy degree that shows nothing to the effect of competency as a worker in the field. Instead, Joel Gerlach urges you all to take the classes that you are most interested in and that will benefit you the most. If you plan on eventually being in business for yourself as a freelance artist, or anything related, take a few business classes as well and you will not regret it. One of Joel’s biggest regrets is needing a business background, not having one when he needed it, and thus having to learn everything the hard way. Additionally, in your down time, work on projects that you can later put into a portfolio. If a place like Cappelli Miles (advertising) interests you, then find someone you can market to, someone who needs promotion and all of this will serve as valuable experience. A field like this requires these kinds of extracurricular projects.

Joel Gerlach really does seem passionate about his work and he says he thrives in an environment, such as this, where each day holds something completely new. However, this work, just like any work, has its drawbacks. Joel warns that sometimes the people that hire you are not creative (hence why they hire you), but since they are paying for your services, they feel their opinion should count. They can go on to make several notes on your ideas, knit-picking a project that quite possibly started off amazing but then quickly turns into a project that not even the people who hire you like anymore, despite it all coming from their notes. Working for people can be a very frustrating barrier at times, but ultimately it always comes down to what makes them happy and, in turn, the work you put in will always be rewarding.

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I came out of this interview with so much incredibly useful insight into not only what it’s like to work at Cappelli Miles but also knowing just what exactly it takes to be successful in a job that focuses heavily on creativity and media production.

All thanks, of course, to the one and only, Joel Gerlach from Cappelli Miles.

⌈Kyle Letsom⌋

 

Aesop’s The Lion and the Mouse

With this audio project, I was trying to simply accomplish a mixing of music and background noise along with my voice narrating the track, but I ended up getting too ambitious and Audacity didn’t seem to want to cooperate. I found it to be fairly easy to just drop the different tracks into Audacity. It was a little more complicated to line everything up, but, still, it wasn’t that bad. It was when I was trying to do more with the levels of sound and amplifications of certain sounds that caused me a lot of trouble. I played with a fade in and a fade out at both the beginning and end of the story, however, the beginning was already quiet, so when the other tracks came in, things seemed to get much louder. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure of how to fix that. Another issue I ran into, and it is very noticeable in the audio, was the voice for the mouse. At first, I just had it where I changed my voice to be higher pitched. It didn’t sound like it was high enough for a mouse (although, now I realize that I should’ve just left it alone). Once I found out how to change the pitches of sounds, I tried doing that for my voice for the mouse (going for an Alvin and the Chipmunks kind of deal). That worked well for me at first until I kept messing with it and trying to get it perfect. Ultimately, in the end, it sounded much much worse and I was too far into it; there was no getting it back to where it was, so I had to leave it. I am super disappointed that it sounded the way it did, but I’m taking this in as a learning experience and as a much needed step towards understanding how Audacity works, as I move forward in this class.

⌈Kyle Letsom⌋

Free Media Resources

Sound:

Images:

 

Blog Search [MN Acting Studio]

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MN Acting Studio is a really good resource for aspiring actors. The site focuses primarily on acting for the camera which is beneficial for me, and anyone else in this class who is interested in acting, as the information on media for acting is very abundant in this site. The link to this site is https://www.mnactingstudio.com/, and the blog can be found on the home page in the top right corner. While I transition from acting on stage to acting for the camera, this site will be a very helpful resource because it seems to have everything I’ll need to know about the subject. The blog, for instance is Matt Newton (what the MN stands for in MN Acting Studio) explaining, from first-hand experience, everything he deems important information for aspiring actors.

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An example of one of the blog posts

He talks about what the industry is like for him and what others may encounter; he gives tips on how to prepare for auditions and cope with nerves; there are several posts on how to create a successful self tape, and so many other things. I love the titles he sets for all of his posts. They really draw you in and make you want to read what he has to say (see image to the right for an example). More importantly, I love how detailed his posts are. He really goes above and beyond on giving the viewer as much information possible on how to be successful. I truly believe that he genuinely cares about other actors and that he wants to help them succeed in the industry.

His writing is very easy to read and quite fun to read. For example, in the example blog post I shared, 11 Ways to Make Sure Your Self Tapes Don’t Suck, he says that “there’s no excuse not to deliver a kickass self tape from your own home.” The quality of information he shares, on the other hand, is just as engaging and very insightful. I have already learned a ton from just reading a few of his blog posts! If you are into acting, especially acting for camera, I highly recommend taking a peak at what this man has to say.

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Matt Newton’s videos

Overall, I think the site is very well produced and easy to follow. Everything is laid out on the homepage in a way that easily directs you to wherever you intend to go without a lot of searching. The site looks very clean and organized. However, there’s not a lot of color or any other designs that make the site fresh and fun to look at; the white background can get a little stale after awhile. Although, the site has way to much to offer in resources to be a boring site. Aside from the blogs, you can choose to

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Matt Newton’s book

to read his book or search his YouTube videos for more acting tips. Other good resources on the site include the ability to sign up for classes and/or workshops, and even receive coaching via Skype and many other services.

If you’re having trouble taking my word about how great this site is, you don’t have to. Just go to the site and click on the ‘testimonials’ tab and it will take you to a page that shows a countless number of reviews that this site/teacher has received from credible and acclaimed sources, such as famous actors and talent agencies.

⌈Kyle Letsom⌋

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources for Media Arts Students at Lane

1-Checkout
Equipment Checkout Counter

The equipment checkout was all locked up when I got there.

2-Blue Cyc Wall
Blue Cyc Wall

I was originally locked out of this room, so I had to come back in about an hour or so to take this picture.

3-Engagement
Center for Student Engagement

I’ve never actually been in this place, but I am always smelling the popcorn when I go by!

4-Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Every time I am waiting to meet with an academic advisor (Judy Gates), I am checking out all this beautiful art. Come check it out. It’s free!

5-Art-O-Mat
Art-O-Mat

I know I am not the only one who doesn’t really know what this is. Maybe I’ll learn in this class?

6-Reference
Reference Counter in the Library

The guy working at the Reference counter in the library was trying to charge me five dollars to take a picture of the counter.

7-Silver Structure
Large Silver Sculpture

This is a very interesting piece of art, and I know very little about it. I know that it is covered with engravings, but I didn’t stay long enough to see what the engravings were about.

8-Ingram
Ingram’s Office

Ingram was very busy at the time (doing his job, of course), so here’s a picture of his door!

9-Media
Media Creation Lab

I had trouble finding this place on campus, but someone in the library was willing to show me where it was. He also informed me that this room will be changing to something else, but I can’t remember what it was changing to, unfortunately.

10-Judy Gates
Judy Gates’s Office

Once again, Judy was very busy at that time, so here’s another fascinating picture of a door! I guess I didn’t time my scavenger hunt very well.

11-Teresa
Teresa’s Office

I had to take a number of different pictures of Teresa’s office because I would always look back at the pictures and a reflection of myself in the window taking the picture. This angle seemed to be the most useful considering the situation.

12-Flags
Flags in Building 1

I really need to pay more attention, because I just found out that Lane had so many flags of different countries!

13-Turkey
Turkey 

This turkey is the coolest turkey on campus! She stood there for about 30 seconds, standing still, just for me to take her picture (or because she thought that if she stood very still, I would eventually leave).

13-Other
Mary Spilde Diversity Garden

I also decided to take this shot as well because I didn’t want to just take a picture of a turkey; I wanted something a little different and more original. 

 

About Kyle Letsom

My name is Kyle Letsom. I have lived in Eugene my entire life, but I have intentions on possibly changing that once I finish with school, just for a change of scene for a while (I don’t know where just yet). 

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I don’t have any pictures of myself, so here is my last-minute picture.

I love watching movies! When I’m not at home, school, or work, I am more than likely at the movie theater with friends or family. It’s an expensive hobby, but not always; I’ll just choose to watch movies at my home if I’m running a little short on money. I have also been known to be fairly competitive and bowling is a good outlet to express that side of me.

In my other free time, I play music (not incredibly great but passable) and I act. I love acting and portraying characters on a stage… 

Multimedia fascinates me because of my love for movies and Theatre Arts. Just recently, I’ve made a transition from acting on the stage to acting in front of the camera. Changing pace like that proved to be quite the challenge but well worth it. Ever since I started film acting, I wanted to learn more about it, thus explaining my sudden urge to take some Multimedia classes here at Lane. 

This is the first term of my third year here at Lane Community College. My plan, as of right now, is to finally finish off my AAOT degree and transfer to the University of Oregon. Although I haven’t quite decided if I want to switch my major to Multimedia Arts, it is something that I am, at the very least, interested in taking part in to fulfill more of the required number of elective credits. When I am out of school, I can see myself continuing to audition for more film and theatre companies around Eugene, and maybe even outside of Eugene.