Aria Pictures Filmmaker Corner

Aria Pictures Filmmaker Corner

Aria Pictures 'Filmmaker Corner'
Aria Pictures News – this weblog, is being downsized in order to concentrate on our new weblog: Aria Pictures Filmmaker Corner.  We may still post news and information about the goings on at Aria Pictures Post Production in Grass Valley, but most of it will be posted and shared on our newer Weblog dedicated to filmmakers of all areas: Actors, Directors, Writers, Editors, well, anything related to filmmaking, and not just about Aria Pictures projects.


filmmakers-welcome-aria-pictures-filmmaker-cornerWe will have guest writers from the likes of Brendan Brooks [Director of Photography, Cinematographer, writer, camera operator, steadi-cam operator, and now actor, just to name a things he can do], as well as, Mark Hoffman [Writer, Actor, Camera Operator, Cinematographer, editor, director, and much more.] that will share their ideas, tips, tricks, and projects, as well as give insights and help if they can.

Not just for the Filmmaker

The weblog is not just for filmmakers, it is also for the film enthusiast and purveyor of fine art, stories, and craftsmanship in story-telling on the visual and auditory medium.  So please join us for the journey and come part-take in the enjoyment that is entertainment.

Still from the same company

The weblog is maintained by Aria Pictures with the intent to share information and the love of making movies, as well as, the love for watching GREAT movies and critiquing the others as what would have made them better and what made them so bad. Aria Pictures Filmamker Corner behind-the-curtain


A Film Maker’s Guide to Completion

this is a continuing and on going Guide and is subject to additions as I think of them.

This is a guide to help up and coming filmmakers who need a little information about the ins and outs of making a movie on a small, low, or no budget.


Start at the end to know where to start

Most people think the important thing when making a movie is having a Camera — and that may have some validity;  Some think you have to have a good story before you start — and yes a good story is a key element; There are those that feel the acting is most important when making a movie — and again acting is also a relevant part in making a movie — good or bad — but none of those compare in importance to knowing how you are going to finish the movie, such as, the media format, the editing system, music, audio and video effects, the output format, and most of all THE EDITOR.

You can have the best camera, box office smash script, and professional actors but without knowing how you are going to finish it and without an editor, a competent editor, you might as well stop before you get started.

An editor — a good one not to mention a great one — is the most important element in the film making process — yes this is coming from an editor and although it may sound biased it is a fact.  And after working on many, many projects and seeing other projects that don’t have a experienced editor on them, the projects that have longevity, look good, or even have a chance at getting finished have an editor that knows what they are doing.


A skilled and experienced editor is the last person that tells the story, the person that puts all the pieces together in a cohesive manner — some may think the Director dictates the story, the edits, and the cuts which may be true, but the editor actually makes them happen — and the editor is the one that has the knowledge of how to export it in the format that was decided upon in the beginning which dictated how the movie was to be recorded in the first place — THE EDITOR IS KEY!

The editor is the one that spends hours, and I don’t mean 2 or 6 I mean 10 – 18 plus in a day, going back and forth on one edit to decide if it is one frame to the left or one frame to the right that will make the difference in the scene — these are the small things that no one will notice or see unless is was done incorrectly — and we as editors know this, but it is our job, our love of story telling, and our need to do things right that sets us above everyone else in the film making world — we have the time to fine tune and try variations.

The editor sets the pacing of the movie and a scene and can do so no matter what the pacing was on set.  The editor can also make an actor look good or bad depending on the takes used — and it is not always about taking the best performance on each camera set up on each actor in each scene it’s about what take works well with the preceding clip and the previous and the two before and after — these are the duties, the responsibilities, and the reverence that us editors revel in.

There are so many things that an editor does to make a movie even get finished let alone be something people want to watch over and over again, it is truly a joke when someone who just bought or has played with a movie editing program for a short time sits in front of it to cut a movie, not a home movie, not some slide show, and not some youtube video of his friend crashing on his bike, but a real movie they want to project onto the big screen.  A real editor edits something everyday, learns something, challenges them self to get better, to be more creative, and to become more useful to a film project than one else or any other equipment.

Without a real editor skilled and experienced editor you’re just pretending your making a movie.

“the WATERING hole” winner of the Producer’s Choice Award

It came as a huge surprise and I am still dumbfounded that my fellow filmmakers chose “the WATERING hole” as their favorite out of all ten movies for the 2011 Place Called Sacramento filmfestival.

I am truly honored to receive such accolades, as is the cast & crew, since there were many great movies up there that could have easily been the favorite of all.

But on Sunday, October 2, 2011 at the Crest Theater in Sacramento after watching Reluctant, The Chozen, CSI: Sacramento, Stalag Sacramento, The Purse, Borrowed Time, Buddies, The Break Up, the WATERING hole, and Lucky Shot, the audience favorite was The Break Up, and truly deserving.

Of course I was not on stage at this time, as I had my 15 minutes of fame last year for THE GOLdEN TREE, as well as, Treasure Chest of South Sacramento that was written by Guy Pace, and this year I was also a contributor to BUDDIES, I meant no disrespect to the other filmmakers, I am not comfortable in front of a huge crowd — I’m not an actor and the reason I am behind the camera.

Anyway, at this time I am saying movie titles to Jim Heck — Audio Master and DP on Buddies and the WATERING hole — that could, should, or might win when Ron Cooper says “The Producer’s Choice Award goes to the collaborative team work of Rob Tillitz and Gerald Martin Davenport”

“WHAT!?”  I said with confusion, disbelief, and a sense of fear — I knew I would have to go up on stage after that.

I was blind sided by the outcome and being chosen by my peers to recieve the Producer’s Choice Award for 2011 for “the WATERING hole” — yes three days later it has not registered that it really happened.  Something we all do is day dream that our name or projects win awards and entertain people, or be super hero and save the day or the world, and when it happens we step back and wonder if it is real.

Granted it’s not a major life changing experience, but it is one nonetheless.  And I am very aprraciative of everyone for enjoyong my work — that was my main goal to begin with when I started this journey, and lets me know that I am on the right track and I do have the talent and sklills — something we all question and second guess ourselves in life.

Contratulations to the cast & crew for winning such a presitgious award, in the Sacramento fim comminuty, and for giving me such great performances to work with and mold into a award winning movie. 

Truly a team effort

DATELINE: Saturday, October 1, 2011
LOCATION: On set of Petite Chardonnay at Lucchesi Vineyard & Winery, Grass Valley, California

I have spent over an hour contemplating a philosophical essay to explain my life and what this movie means to me; but it either was too sappy, to psychedelic, or just a bunch of rambling from a crazy person — which this may well end up being anyway.

Saturday was a defining day on this journey we take together — hand in hand and side by side — to complete a project we all hope, pray, and dream will be an epic, break out, life and career changing film.

At the helm of the ship, so to speak, I have a responsibility to keep abreast of everything, but that is not possible when we are spread out and with the amount of souls we have involved, so I rely on a few people to keep everyone in line, but mostly I rely on each persons own inner conscience to be self motivating, disciplined, and caring and no one has let me, the other members, or themselves down — the attitude, the feeling, and the excitement on everyone’s face, in their eyes, and their body language shows me that we have an energy, a buzz, a camaraderie that is truly heartwarming.

I am touched that we had people step up to take on new jobs, positions, and responsibilities and to have the rest of us welcomed them into their new role or position with open arms — that tells me that everyone is giving their highest standard to give this movie the best chance it can have to be great.

As always, thank you for being you and everyone was beyond compare; however, there were a few noteworthy people to mention this week that went outside their comfort zone.
Lisa West for taking on the 2nd AC position when McKenna Whiting took over the Script Supervisory role because Krystina Mae stepped into the Marilyn role with flying colors.
It was also the first time we got to see Gretta Sosine, Gary L. Conover, and Michael Klemp, bring their characters to life that allowed Karly to be Chardonnay.

Not forgetting Rob Tillitz and Cynthia Gatlin for their special moments.  Oh my gosh I am tearing up now. 

I hope no one is offended they were not mentioned this week, but there is plenty of time for that and if you know me at all, you know you will get your toast as big as the sun, on top of which thanking each person every week will kind of lose its meaning and power. but you were all fantastic from the photogrpahers to the PA’s; the Make Up Artist’s to the craft and Audio, the only one who honetly did not do much was me.  you honor me by give me the ability to do my job, which I have not yet figured out what that is.  Maybe I’m the weakest link.

God Bless and thank you for another memorable day, it was truly a team effort.

– gerald martin davenport
your most humble writer, editor, and director of Petite Chardonnay.