Category Archives: Spring 2015


Two Aspects from Hollywood


I attended a Q & A session at Lane Community College hosted by Acting Coach Leigh Kilton-Smith, and Film Director Omar Naim.  The event was held on the bottom floor of the Media Arts building on April 24th 2015 at 11am.  I don’t usually attend events such as this and it was an interesting change for me.  Both Leigh and Omar are from Los Angeles, California and have been involved in show business most of their lives.  It was good to actually hear from people with a lot of professional experience and insight.  The event lasted about an hour and a half and was being filmed and photographed by several people, students I assume.


Leigh Kilton-Smith is a professional acting coach, who has been involved in many major productions, and coached many well known actors such as Jennifer Aniston, Sam Rockwell, John Leguizamo and others.  She has a very spunky, in your face personality that is both charming and at times off putting.  She told a story at one point, of a particular actor who was having a very difficult time nailing the shot.  She grabbed him, slammed him up against the wall saying, and I quote, “I am gonna fuckin’ nut punch you!”  Her methods are unconventional, her styles are unique, and her attitude is compelling.  She also mentioned that her and her husband own an orphanage in Tijuana which I thought was wonderful.  I liked this woman almost immediately and I can see how her personality and beliefs have made her successful at what she does.


Omar Naim is a Hollywood Jack-of-all-Trades it seems.  He is best known for his screen writing, having written and directed the major motion picture “The Final Cut” starring the late Robin Williams.  He has had his hands in many films at different levels, such as:  Cinematographer, Director, Gaffer, Photographer, Sound Designer, and Producer.  Though not near as fiesty as Leigh, Omar has a very pleasant and intelligent personality.  He is very passionate about what he does and enjoyed sharing the methods of practice he used with the audience.  He is obviously a very patient, and focused individual shown by the fact that his current film is on it’s 30th revision.  As I listened to him I began to see a very creative man, full of ideas and holding the knowledge to express those ideas craftfully.  He highly recommends storyboards, noting that some of the best directors of our time are adamant on building solid, detailed storyboards.

After the two had introduced themselves and laid down some of their background, they opened the floor to the audience.  I’ve never heard Crickets indoors before but at that moment I swear I did.  Apparently, they have both seen this before and immediately started calling on people.  Though unorthodox, it was quite an effective way to stir the pot and get things cooking.  Leigh gave some insight into what it’s like working with actors.  She describes them as being extremely generous, loving, all around awesome people which isn’t what I expected at all.   Both Leigh and Omar believe that 90% of acting is all body language, though Omar also noted that good lines are extremely important for a film.


I admit, a lot of the information I heard was unfamiliar due to my lack of knowledge and experience.  However, I was able to glean some useful facts simply from observing their demeanor’s and attitudes.  The universally known fact is that show business can be tough.  Making a name for yourself takes time and perseverance.  Getting ahead may mean toughing up and not letting anyone take advantage or walk all over you.  Watching these two showed me a good example of how to conduct oneself in the business.  I enjoyed listening to their stories, and would definitely attend a similar function in the future.

The Best men

I made this project for one of my best friends, that just got married (last August). The video is of his five best men and includes pictures of him with each of the best men (through out his life). I originally wanted to make this for him and give it to him before his wedding, but due to lack of time and due to the fact that I had to wait to get pictures from the other best men it’s going to be a belated wedding gift. Also it worked out perfect when i got this assignment I knew exactly what i was going to do. It was difficult trying to get photos from some of the best men that live across the country (Boston and Maine). Luckily there is social media and email otherwise i don’t know how else i would have gotten the photos.  I really wish I could have used some “copy righted music” because i already had a perfect song in mind that would have fit the movie way better, but what are going to do? Well, i really hope he likes his belated wedding gift, we will have to wait and see.

Side note: For the record I hate iMovie, worst video software ever made!

P5 Image Editing-five dances

My original idea for this project was to ask one question to five different artist/musicians and video tape their response along with added images and footage of their work. I still like the idea and might use it for the final project but i didn’t think it was feasible at this time to work with five different schedules so i relegated the idea. I came up with another concept of having five different dances done by one performer. I pitched the idea to the class and it seemed like the way to go. I had to work with another person’s schedule and didn’t start shooting until two days before the project was due. We created some sets out of whatever we had and I waited in between costume changes to start shooting different scenes. It was a lot of waiting, but I feel it was well worth it. My theme was to pay homage to the silent film era of the 1920s and 1930s as well as the Nickelodeon era where people put a nickel into a Kinetoscope machine to watch a brief segment of a moving picture. I used a tiny Canon Elph 320Hs in B&W mode for the video. This was also my first time using imovie or editing film for that matter so I was learning as I was working. I purposely avoided making precise edits. I wanted the editing to be choppy and rough, not fancy and smooth. I really enjoyed working with video and I know I will be making more videos.


For this project what popped in my mind about FIVE was the 5 senses. I really wanted to go all out for this project and have fun with it.  Once I had the ideas for the different senses I was dead set on going through with them and not changing what I had in mind. I enjoyed this project more than P4-Audio since it was dealing with editing video along with audio. I used Windows Movie Maker which I think was fairly easy to use and effective. I wanted to be as creative and funny as possible to describe each of the senses. This project has definitely sparked my interest in making and editing videos and I plan to gain more experience in doing so.

Sp15-P5 Image Editing

For my P5 project I decided to do the five wildlife around Lane Community College campus. I wanted to get more pictures of the stray cats outside of the Machinery department but, there was the only one. I also got some pictures of the turkeys that run around the campus. I couldn’t get into the pond due to it requiring authorized personal so I went to Amazon Park and got some really nice pictures of the ducks and geese with their babies. For the cougar it was the same with the ducks and geese but, instead I took pictures of the locations they are said to show up when they attack.

I enjoyed doing this more then I did with the audio. I got some really good shots of the ducks and geese which was fun, plus trying to get shots of the cougars was a thrilling adventure and amazing let down when I wasn’t able to get any.

I used Imovie which was a pain to use and the music I used was Gentle Piano Loop from

Ideas for Videos Spurred by Conversation

When I decided to take on this project, it was partially just to avoid having to use a camera and/or actual people for subjects. Neither was I ready to fully dive into video taking and editing. So in a halfway, but nevertheless effort filled attempt at making things difficult for myself I decided to draw my own images. I tried to keep everything I learned in Visual Literacy in mind as I constructed the thumbnails, made referances for the characters, and eventually started making the actual images for the video.
This project in truth became quite simple once I got down to it, but it was the effort in the images and getting the videomaker and me to get along that caused me trouble, besides getting sick.

Five Spazz Exercises

What does five mean to you? Personally I thought of five workouts to do. It bopped into the top of my head and I love to go with fresh ideas and create them. So for my media arts project five, I introduce my workout spazz self to you guys. Showing five super simple exercises any one can do, in the eyes of spazz himself that is. With the help of my two roommates Chase and Jose, we attempt to bring a small workout production to life. Hoping to be comical and show off creative skills in one video, spazz himself takes you through the routines followed up by customer reviews. I hope you enjoy, learn a workout or two and most importantly laugh.

Sp15-P5 Image Editing Derek Purdy

What five means to me is: A five second animation. My original concept was to do a timed animation, I would have 5 minutes to make any sort of animation. The only problem was I didn’t have enough time to making anything good, so I ended up just changing it to a 5 second animation. This wasn’t long enough for the assignment, so I decided to do a time-lapse of me making it.  The whole animation took me 1 hour and 30 minutes, more or less. The recording made me take longer then I thought. But in the end I came out great. This was also my first time using iMovie for editing, it was a good learning curve for me. I enjoyed this project and I will be making more time-lapses in the future.

Carnaval Oruro, 2014

The first idea that came to my mind for this project was to make a slide show of my travels in Bolivia in 2014. Bolivia has 9 major cities, but one of the most important cities related to music and culture is Oruro.  This city is about the same size as Eugene, but it is situated at an altitude of 12,130 feet above sea level. Although it is hard to breath at this altitude, that does not discourage people from around the world to visit. Now Oruro has been declared a World Cultural Heritage site due to the beautiful dances, music and costumes that are typical of this region.  Although Oruro is isolated, it becomes one the most important places in Bolivia for 3 days a year. There is an experience of life time for anyone who wants to be part of the traditional dances and cultural expression during Carnaval.

Draw my Life – Short Story “Annie”

So there was this trend on youtube a while back called “Draw My Life”… where you would draw your life on a whiteboard and then narrate to your drawings! I saw one a few weeks ago and really wanted to try it. It’s a lot harder than it seems and there’s so much editing to do 🙁 Before I was finished I thought “This is a neat project but I’m not doing something like this again.” But when I saw the finished product I thought it was pretty spiffy and might consider sometime in the future of doing something like it with a few different approaches/techniques.

The story I wanted to tell is my own! It’s based on how I got my very first dog Annie and the struggled/triumphs we both went through. As a little kid I only ever wanted a dog, and as a dog Annie only ever wanted a person to love! She’s pretty old now, almost fifteen, and is slowing down noticeably. I’m glad I was able to do a tribute for someone so important in my life!