I was lucky enough to catch an interview with one of the best voice actors in the business, Chuck Huber. He is a well known for numerous roles in anime like Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Full Metal Alchemist, Shin Chan, and many others. He’s also been involved as an on-screen actor and does a alot of other things on the side.
In this interview, Chuck talks about how he got started in voice acting, what inspires him, and what the job of a voice actor is really like. He mentions how the pay isn’t always great for voice acting and encourages future voice actors to pursue other things as well. More importantly to do what you love.
Edward Davee is a professional film-maker and photographer living in Portland, Oregon and traveling far and wide!
He goes by Edward professionally, but I know him as Ted. He has been in my life- well, my entire life. Him and my mom were married when I was a kid, and are now divorced, yet remain great friends, so I still consider him my stepdad. He is the reason I became interested in film-making from a young age. I used to borrow big, bulky cameras from him to film my own stop-motion animation and skits with. He is a highly skilled, ground-breaking artist who has created countless projects since he was a young kid until today, including feature films, music videos, and documentaries. I even played a small part in one of his feature films, How the Fire Fell, about a true event in turn-of-the-century Corvallis! You can’t possibly imagine the amount of hard work… and coffee… that goes into making a feature film!
He recently returned from out of the country filming a documentary (details to come!) and I asked him a few questions, hoping to gain insight and refreshed inspiration and to impart his wisdom on my readers.
Krizia: What advice would you give to beginner photographers and film-makers?
Ted: “I’d say I’d advise beginners to always trust their intuition and believe in themselves. If they feel motivated to create films then they likely have a vision of their own. Hold onto it and don’t let people tell you you can’t do things your own way. It’s good to learn the usual basics but it also can cloud your vision and lead to self doubt a bit. It’s really hard to make films and you have to really believe and keep trying your best and not let people bring you down or discourage you. Unfortunately, it happens all the time whether you’re a beginner or not. You have to take criticism well, consider it as you see fit and either take it to heart, or throw it out the window. Sometimes doing the opposite of what people have told me I should do has served me well. But it can be a difficult balance to keep. Because you can’t ignore advice and criticism completely. You just have to keep working and keep making things until you start to feel at peace with your own decisions”
Krizia: How long would you say it takes to find your personal style when starting out?
Ted: “That’s a hard one because I think it’s probably different for everyone. I started by using still images to develop my own style. But personal style always comes from the things that inspire you, to some degree. So the tricky thing is to let that inspiration guide you, but not to try to copy it. Mix your influences together to create your own recipe. Be inspired by other films and other filmmakers, but also let music and nature and architecture and whatever else be a part of your vision and style. I also think it helps to consider where you’re from. For me, I think it always comes back to my childhood in Corvallis Oregon. I may have romanticized it, but that’s not necessarily bad for the development of personal filmmaking style. Also, just experimenting and messing around with cameras and even sound can help you find things that click with you and that you keep going back to. A simple “mistake” that you make with a camera one day might be something you like and use later and maybe even keep using”
Krizia: What is the most challenging part of doing a day-long shoot?
Ted: “Day long shoots are challenging for many reasons, but I guess I’d say that the most important thing, and therefore the most challenging, is to maintain good morale on set. People are working long, hard hours, often for very little or no money. Everyone is in it together so the challenge is to keep that feeling alive. Let everyone feel like they are part of the process and that they are appreciated. Everyone is important and necessary on a set. If morael is low, it spreads like cancer very quickly. Every link in the chain needs to remain intact. So this is especially difficult on low budget productions because people are doing too much for too little and there’s not a lot of time for keeping the personal connection side of things alive. And communication break-downs can happen very easily”
Krizia: Where do you find inspiration from?
Ted: “Inspiration comes and goes. Sometimes I don’t know when it will strike. I often get inspired by watching behind-the-scenes documentaries on films and directors that I like and reading interviews and such. I get inspired by getting out to nature and experiencing quiet moments in solitude. I take walks a lot to think things through. To me, the things that inspired me to make films in the first place continue to be sources of inspiration. It’s kind of like rediscovering yourself. Sometimes I forget about my early influences and experiences a bit so I go back through my own history to remind myself. Sometimes just going out with a camera and messing around can bring inspiration. Sometimes you just find yourself in a perfect cinematic moment by chance and suddenly you feel really motivated to make movies again. It might be getting up at 5 in the morning and walking to get coffee or something and suddenly everything just seems perfect for a moment. It’s important to listen to those moments.”
I felt really encouraged and inspired by Ted’s words. It’s hard work, but if you stay motivated and as he said, listen to your intuition and pay attention to those important moments, you will go far and succeed in your creative journey. I really liked what he said about getting out and messing around and mixing inspiration to create your own recipe. I like that it isn’t JUST film that inspires him. He mentioned architecture, nature, etc, and I think that is so cool and so important to pay attention to, research, and collect things outside of just film to gain a well-rounded record of inspiration. That really spoke to me in my early stages of the Multimedia program. It was also a valuable reminder that you need to keep positivity and team spirit up while you are working with others, no matter what. I can get grumpy sometimes and I will have to put effort into this aspect of creative collaboration!
This was such a great experience to interview him! Thank you for reading!
Last Monday (October 28), I was sitting around on campus in building 18’s media lab, drinking a to-go cup of creamy tomato soup, when Jan Halvorsenemerged from her office and reminded me on her way out of the building that she was going to be giving a talk across campus with Mel Stark andMichael Maruskaabout a stop-motion video they’d created together over the summer. I, of course, having already seen the stop-motion video, and being very excited to hear more about the story behind it and the process of making it, chugged the rest of my soup and charged on over to building 11to attend the talk.
The stop-motion video in question is Flash After Dark. It tells the tale of a camera that comes to life on a production set and begins to explore its environment. The camera (Flash) discovers a storyboard on the set and realizes it is detailing the events of Flash’s awakening- as well as his impending doom: a broom is about to sweep in and crush Flash under its bristles. He begins to panic and attempts to escape, but is inevitably swept up.
At the talk, the team discussed their inspiration for the short film. Michael explained that “one of the reasons [they] wanted to make it was that [they] did get a copy of Dragonframe, and [they] wanted to see how it worked.” Dragonframe is a software designed to help stop-motion animators capture the frames necessary to make their films. It was used in the creation of films such as Missing Link (2019), Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), and Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015).
(Side note: Did you know Shaun the Sheep was stop-motion? That never occurred to me. Weird.)
As the team described it, Flash’s story evolved especially during the building of the set. The team would be inspired by an idea and put together a piece of the environment, and then find more inspiration from that piece they’d just made. For instance, Michael described where the storyboard Flash encounters came from: “Jan was like, Oh, we could put storyboards on [a whiteboard] and add it to the set,” and I was like, oh, that’s a great idea! […] We could make it the story that he’s experiencing!”
It was super interesting to be able to hear about the process behind writing and creating an animation like this. I’ve never considered doing stop-motion myself before, but now that I’ve gotten to see a little bit about the process of doing stop-motion, I really hope we’re able to put together a studio for it here at LCC! It looks really fun to play with!
William Stanek is a bestselling children’s book author known for writing the Bugville Critters series. He’s also a U.S. Air Force veteran. I was lucky enough to land an interview with him and talk about what inspired him write, his personal struggles, his family life, and what advice he has for future authors.
Q) What inspires you when you are coming up with material?
A) I’ve always been inspired by everyday life. The places, people and things around me give me inspiration and ideas for my work. As an example, my children’s picture books in the Bugville Critters, Bugville Jr. and Bugville Learning series were inspired by my own children and the real-life struggles they faced growing up, going to school and making friends.
My daughter Jasmine is the inspiration behind Lass Ladybug. She was born 8-weeks premature and had to be in an incubator for the first few months of her life. Growing up she faced and overcame learning disabilities because of it.
My daughter, Sapphire, is the inspiration behind Cat Caterpillar. Sapphire has Downs Syndrome and I wanted to create a character she could identify with, and that other people with disabilities could identify with. Cat and Lass’ disabilities aren’t front and center in the books, rather they are there for parents of children with disabilities and children with disabilities to pick up on. I hear from parents with disabled children as well as parents with children with learning disabilities all the time about how their children self-identify with Cat and Lass.
My son, Will, is the inspiration behind Buster Bee. Will was always precocious and getting into mischief. No shortage of parents with boys write to me about how much Buster is like their own children.
Q) What made you want to become an author?
A) I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin in a part of town where most others wouldn’t go. Growing up I was robbed and beaten up multiple times for groceries, a bike, a pair of shoes, more—all before the age of ten. It was part of city life, and part of the deep poverty we lived in. School, being one of the only places I got to eat (breakfast and lunch back then), and the library, being one of the only places I felt safe, were refuges for me. In both, I discovered that I enjoyed learning and reading.
I was always scribbling in a notebook from an early age. Third grade being the earliest I recall. I had an uncle who worked for Golden Books in Racine. I never really saw my uncle growing up, but a few times a year we got picture books from him.
In the fourth grade, I was fortunate to have a teacher who saw something in my class assignments and in my writing. She asked me to write for the school newspaper, the Janes School Gazette—something normally reserved for older kids. I wrote two columns for the gazette. One covering school sports. One,an opinion column.
I think all of these things I experienced in my youth contributed to my lifelong passion for learning and writing.
Q) What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to become an author?
A) It’s a difficult time to be a writer. The internet makes it possible for your work to reach the world, but at the same time it also makes it possible for you to lose complete control of your work. Right now over 1 million books a year are being published, which makes it nearly impossible for a single voice to rise above the din.
As an aspiring writer, you must be patient, diligent and true to yourself. Remember, you have no sway over your critics, the crowds, or the angry mobs carrying pitchforks. That said, if critics, crowds and pitchfork carrying mobs are coming after you, it means you are of sufficient success to have risen above the noise of it all. It means you’ve made it.
Thick skin, chin up. Write for yourself. Write for your real or imagined Constant Reader. At the end of the day, at the end of all days, don’t listen to the mobs, crowds or critics. Care only that your words went out into the world and reached the few, for whom it made a difference.
Russ Sweet is an independent film-maker who travels around the world capturing stories for different people! I met Russ at a random house party about 5 years ago. Then, he was just a student at full-sail University in Orlando, FL. It seems his 80 thousand dollar education has paid off because Russ has been traveling the globe for the last 8 months filming different projects! He travels so much that he went years without paying rent. He has recently decided to rent an apartment in LA so he has somewhere to call home! “I’m completely burnt out from traveling and just want to do local jobs for a while” says Russ. His facebook boasts him in beautiful locations such as the swiss alps, glorious white sand beaches in thailand and shooting on a wildlife safari in africa. How could one possibly get sick of this sort of life you might ask! But for Russ it’s really worn on him and he’s looking forward to spending a consecutive amount of time in LA doing various film projects.
Diving deeper into the adventurous life of Russ Sweet I wanted to know exactly what it is that he does. “My job title on set is usually Camera Operator or Assistant Camera. My skill set I would say is mostly knowing the technical side of cameras & how to work them and of course how to tell a story with one.” Some of Russels most impressive work was working as a production assistant for reality shows such as; The Celebrity Apprentice, The Biggest Loser, Americas Got Talent, The Voice, The Steve Harvey show and Oprah’s masterclass. And as sick of traveling Russ may be he is passionate about traveling and shot his first international short documentary film in Kismu, Kenya called “Living Positive” which is an uplifting film about the social and cultural effects that AIDS/HIV has on people in Africa.
Of course, I had to ask how Russ lands these gigs. “I am always applying to stuff online, sending out my resume and reel, Facebook, Instagram, Email. Sometimes I watch things I want to work on and google names from the credits to see if I might have a connection to them. You never know.” He says that having connections in this industry is critical for landing jobs. When he freelances he says it feels like being on a rollercoaster, one minute having solid work lined up and the next feeling like you won’t be hired anywhere. As hard as freelancing can be he certainly recommends it if you love a spontaneous adventurous lifestyle.
Since Russ Sweet basically has my dream job I asked him what he would say to someone just getting started in the industry and he responded with a great answer; “Believe in yourself. Decide if you want to go the traditional way with school, or just move to LA or NYC and just start out as a PA. Both ways are going to take lots of hard work! Decide what’s best for you and know that their is a ton of cool jobs out there waiting for you. “ Russ ended the interview by saying there’s a plethora of jobs in this industry and that watching behind the scenes of shows/documentaries/movies can help you decide what aspect of filming you want to be apart of!
My last question to Russ was what his next move is. “To get a 6 pack of beer, sit on my couch and just relax”.
After speaking with Russ on the phone I pondered what this interview meant to me. It’s not everyday you talk to someone who is out there in the field making magic happen! What I mainly took out of this is that you cannot give up in this industry, you just have to keep pushing and pushing until you start to see desired results. Russ Sweet is truly my inspiration because I’ve been able to watch his journey from the beginning and see him morph into the amazing film maker he is today! I left this interview feeling more motivated than before to put myself out there and start making things happen.
The 22 filmmaking teams at the seventh annual 72-Hour Horror Film Competition submitted pieces ranging from riveting to comical to somewhere in between. The Jury Award of $1,134 went to the film “Unwind,” produced by an all-female team from the University of Oregon Film Club. “Unwind” was produced by Colleen Quinn, Marissa Jensen, Sophie Ackerman and Noa Cohen. This psychological thriller with feminist undertones featured a female protagonist, hallucinating, as a coping mechanism; a perfect ‘50s housewife role that ends with a major twist.
The teams were given a mandatory prop and a line of dialogue. The prop was a stuffed animal and the line was, “Loneliness is a monster.”The “Unwind” team wrote their story concept in three hours and filmed it in one 16-hour day. As with most film projects, there are a lot of decisions to be made when editing. There are continuity errors and such that, with a longer timeline, one could reshoot or use b-roll to cover.
“Like usual, in the editing process, you kind of, recreate your vision,” Jensen said.
“It was really difficult to try to make the most of our time, while being controlled by, like, what props are up, and how the makeup has deteriorated so far,” Ackerman said.
A Lane Community College team also took home an award for their film, entitled “Don’t Go.” This team crafted a story that left the audience in suspense. Their success was predicated on teamwork and improvisation.
“For the most part,” said team leader Kyle Whitaker, “it was just everybody just kind of chips in where they can. And as far as the story is concerned, how we did it was we just kept throwing ideas around in a circle for a couple of hours and just kept taking that stone and using the chisel and making something out of it.”
Improvisation was crucial in overcoming the huge obstacle of securing a filming location, as every first choice fell through. Teresa Hughes, an instructor in the Media Arts Department at LCC, offered the team use of her house for the filming. Not having their first choice in location certainly altered some aspects of the story, such as why the character was even in the house to begin with.
Eugene Film Society is the organization responsible for the event. They pride themselves on being a grassroots film culture and cultivating a growing knowledge of visual literacy among local youth. Other events the Eugene Film Society holds are coming up in the spring, such as the 72-hour music video competition.
These events are not closed off to just students but to any production team willing to sign up. The Eugene Film Society will plan to bring back the 72-hour horror film competition again next October for the eighth year in a row.
I enjoy the monthly “Product People” meetups. They are a great place to come meet industry professionals in the field of Product Development. I’ve found that Eugene’s events also have a large number of related disciplines present, there are often videographers, content creators, digital designers, analog designers, marketers, and developers present at these events.
The meetups focus on topics related to or discussing the professional practices in the field of product development. This is structured as a focused roundtable discussion over design trends, on-going developments, and opportunities here in town. A core goal of the events is honing the product management skills of participants and providing direction to anyone interested in the field of product management.
The meetups follow a set framework that encourages group-driven discussion by using a democratic process to decide topics. The meeting starts with time devoted to icebreakers and introductions. Ideally, this intro time gets everyone comfortable and acclimated before the focused discussion. Following ice breakers, existing topics are reviewed and attendees have 30secs, per person, to raise new topics for discussion. Everyone present votes on what will be in today’s discussion and the meeting then transitions to an open format discussion over the chosen topics.
I enjoy the open discussion style of these meetups. Depending on the participants in the session, you will have a wide range of professional backgrounds presenting their unique perspectives. The product managers present will generally do a good job of keeping the discussion from stagnating too long. Additionally, side topics can be put in a “parking lot” for follow-up discussions after the official meetup.
After the allocated open discussion time has wrapped up, the events are closed with an open Q/A session. This time can also be used to provide feedback or discussion on the meetups themselves. I’ve enjoyed using this time to exchange contact details and explore further opportunities for professional networking. Many participants will also promote other professional practice events that are related to the members or topics present.
I’ve found that the local community meetups with open discussion formats are some of the best ways for me to learn about professional practices and network with industry professionals. I like being able to focus on work while a discussion takes place and hop in when I have something to contribute. I also really enjoy the free-format and ability to branch off into deeper discussion. It is often the case that I remain late after an event as I’ve gotten wrapped up into discussions on related topics. It’s delightful to meet new people and hear about their personal experiences.
I find that local events like these are very important for building a network of current contacts for ongoing local projects. They’re also a great opportunity for developing personal confidence in sharing your knowledge and experience with others in your discipline. I’ve always found that teaching a concept to someone else is one of the best things I can do to memorize information.
These events are open for anyone to attend and there is no cover charge. It is requested that respect is given to the venue. Generally, the meetups are hosted at a cafe or coffee-shop, so food and drinks are available.
PS: I forgot to take a good “in-context” photo of the event, so used the stock photo as it was pretty illustrative of the round-table discussion format. Here is a photo from the interior of a previous meetup, but it only focuses on the ample drink selection available at the venue.
For this assignment at first I didn’t know who I wanted to interview and I thought about Ms. Erin Royse, a high school art teacher, who’s also a professional artist. I scheduled an appointment with her. The day of the interview, I drove to Cottage Grove to meet with her. We met at her classroom which has a lot of really nice art work. We sat down and had a little conversation. After making small talk with her, we jumped into the interview. I wrote some questions I wanted to ask her. The first question I asked her was about when she decided to become a teacher. She told me that when she was nine years old, she was showing other kids how to ride a bicycle and she liked the feeling of teaching someone else. Since an early age she had that capacity for teaching people. It was interesting for me to know that because some teachers didn’t know they wanted to become a teacher until after they graduated high school or while they were in college
Next, I asked her how she decided what type of art she wanted to do. She said she likes to do any type of art. She couldn’t decide what specific branch of art she wanted to go in because there were a lot of choices. When I asked her if art teachers get paid well, she said it pays well and also teachers get paid more over the years. She doesn’t get paid only for teaching art, she is also a PE teacher. She feels comfortable with the amount they pay her.
I also asked her if is easy to find a job as an art teacher or as an artist. Her answer was, as an art teacher it is not easy to find a job because art teachers love their jobs and it is not easy to let go of a job you are happy with. She also said there are many jobs out there, and if I want a job that I will like, I have to look and look because there are a lot of opportunities out there. All i need to do is to look for them. Another question I asked her was how long it took her to find a job after graduating college. She looked for a job for four months. She taught at a small school for awhile after moving to Cottage Grove, but after moving it took her only four days to get the job of the art teacher at Cottage Grove High School. She told me the only reason she got the job was because the teacher who used to teach art decided to go teach overseas. At first they told her she could teach the class until that teacher came back from vacation, but the teacher who was teaching before her decided to stay and teach art to the kids in that area.
The last question I asked her was if she recommends becoming an art teacher. She told me that we need more artists and more art teachers, and it is good to show kids how to make art and how they can come up with their own artwork. She said, “One important thing a teacher needs to have is patience,” and it is true. I learned a lot by doing this interview. I learned what it takes to be able to do what you like. I learned more about Ms. Erin Royse who has experienced a lot in her life, good or bad she still keeps going no matter what. I got advice from her, which is good because she has a lot of experience in the artistic side of life and also she gave me advice for how I can achieve my goals in the future.
For my professional practice I chose to do an informational interview. I interviewed Ian Hall from Web Hosting Northwest. He is the Chief Executive of the company. This is a company that makes a variety of different websites for businesses and personal needs. They have a graphic design team to help you on the creative end of your website and a development team to help you develop the best website possible. I met Ian Hall while working at Hawaiian Time. He’s been a long time customer that we all know by name. He offered me a job working as a Support Service Specialist for Web Hosting Northwest a few months ago, but given the amount of time I have I turned it down. Ian was more than happy to sit down with me and let me interview him at my work.
I began the interview by asking him “What is Web hosting Northwest?” Ian explained that Web Hosting Northwest is a Web Hosting business where they help you create your own business websites or just websites in general. He stated that “Web Hosting Northwest has an incredible graphic design and development team that works hard to make sure you’re given the website possible.” Ian explained that they have up to date tools and website design features that are used to make your life easier. Whether you don’t know how to create your own website or if you would just prefer someone else to handle for you, Web Hosting Northwest is the way to go. I then asked him, “Why do you like working for Web Hosting Northwest?” Ian stated that “I like the freedom that the company gives me. I am able to work in my office or my home if I choose and all of our employees can do the same.” I then went on to ask Ian if he recommends working for the company. I was hoping he would say yes considering he wanted me to work for them. He said “Yes of course I recommend working for Web Hosting Northwest plus we pay well it’s just harder to find people who are willing to work from home than you might think.”
Overall my interview with Ian Hall went very well.He thoroughly explained Web Hosting Northwest and now I know much more about the company than I did before. I was only aware of the customer service positions before and now I feel like I have much more of a grasp on the company. Their graphic design and development team positions are a lot more limited because they try to find people with advanced work. I’m really glad that I got the chance to interview him to learn more about Web Hosting Northwest. I wasn’t aware of all the services they fully offer such as professional web hosting, reselling, and upgrading plans with more advanced features that require more resources. I hope to work for this company at some point if I’m given the opportunity to again. They have really great teams of people who work very hard to develop the best Websites possible for your needs.
I did however forget to take a picture during the interview so I hope that the Website pictures will do.
The event I attended was for something called the lunchtime series that the University of Oregon is doing at the Frohnmayer Music Building. The development series has been going on for seven weeks now and the event I was at was called the Ending the Starving Artist Syndrome by Stephanie Pruitt. Stephanie Pruitt is a known poet who has done Ted talks about this certain topic and is also the founder of the No Starving Artist Academy, a resource/opportunity for artists or creators to make money with the art they create.
The event took place in a very small lounge area, maybe about 25 feet by 30 feet. The interview was conducted over an hour and the entire situation was amazing. Two microphones and two chairs about two to three feet away from each other, the interview felt very personal. Pruitt went into detail about how most artists from musical, theatrical, multi-media, etc believe that to become great, you have to suffer. This is simply not true. Using some basic techniques like saving money but also investing in yourself is what interested me during this interview. Using this idea that by spending money on yourself (In certain situations), can create a better workplace or effort that you put in towards your work is a great way to not put yourself down when wanting to get a gift for yourself or rewarding yourself for the tasks you have completed.
Going into detail about Pruitt herself, she is from Nashville, TN and found her start of loving to write poems young. When trying to just work on her poetry twenty years ago with her newborn daughter, she realized that you don’t need to have to suffer to create art. While it might be hard in some regards, you don’t need to go days without food, or without a place to sleep. One of the reasons that inspired me that she mentioned was the aspect of love. The love for her child and not wanting them to suffer or starve pushed her to become the poet and social practice artist she is today.
The biggest thing taken from Pruitt’s interview was to be yourself and create what you love. Trying to not worry so much about this aspect of money or starving yourself to create better art in the process. Over some time, you learn more about how you want to show yourself to the world. The things you dislike and don’t want to do with clients or your audience, to the things you might solely focus on after some time just because you enjoy it so much.
I think that the University of Oregon is doing smart networking/professional development talks with the students there. I just wish that this was more widely available for the other art students so they could get more inspired and have less worry about aspects they sometimes cannot control. So if I had one thing to change about this experience, it would be to take it out of the music building and put it into a bigger and more welcoming environment for students of all arts to come and learn from. But besides that, this was truly a wonderful experience that not only gives me hope, but it also makes me relook at why I enjoy doing what I do in the first place. For me, that was to inspire, create wonderment, and push my boundaries.