Adventure: VanLife Episode Two

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Enough about me. What about you? What do you think about me? Too much me here but simply continuing the great filmmaking experiment. Everything you see and hear was done in less than one day. Would I choose to work this way? No, but the reality of job, life, and weather are what they are. Consequently, I have to think guerilla.

The journal is a major part of my creative process. With me at all times, the pages of my notebook serve as the backbone of all of my visual projects. The copy comes to me in the most unlikely of times and places. Alone in the woods and suddenly my mind is writing copy about something else or somewhere else.

They say that humans have “power spots,” where their brains come alive. Mine can be being the wheel, suffering on the bike, or alone in the wilderness. I’ve had moments of clarity on metro rides, law enforcement ride alongs, and while listening to music. I just never know. But when it comes it comes and I have to be ready.

Comments 18

  1. Less than one day? Wow, those film making skills have leveled up fast! And as usual, absolute poetry! You already know I love your photography but your writing is just sublime. It’s also the way you deliver your copy in the films, it seems to just flow of the tongue effortlessly.
    I don’t have any problem with my photography for my personal Japan project but I am struggling so much with the copy. I write then erase, write then erase. I think I will buy a journal today and taking your advice here just write things bit by bit as it comes to me.

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      Very kind of you. The writing is the baseline for me. I can’t seem to do anything without first having that script/journal entry. However, I’ve been doing this for decades. Writing these little things for myself. I wouldn’t call it practice. I would call it essential for my existence. Don’t overthink it. Don’t worry about how it looks. And truly write whatever comes into your mind. Another tip is to just observe the details around you. People, conversation. From this film, it was the elk dressed out in the back on the Dodge 2500. That was something I saw out the window as I drove by. The chimney smoke, etc. Not things I photographed but things I noted and jotted down. And the end of a day of doing this you have your outline.

    2. Thanks for the advice again Dan. A problem with living in Japan is that I’m trying to listen to conversations to journal but it’s hard trying to understand and translate what I hear people saying. Although I can speak basic Japanese listening to two Japanese people talk together is a whole other ball game, they speak at 100mph!
      I just bought a nice little journal today and have had my ears pinned back all day! Really enjoying it to be honest!
      Thanks again buddy!

  2. What a piece of art this short video, and all this in just one day. The images, the editing and texts. Inspiring, thank you!

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      I had a lot of coffee! And my wife is helping me round out the content. I could not do it without her shooting as well. It’s a bit of a fire drill in the field but learning the process is worth it.

  3. I really love when film makers make films out of photo stills. It kind of blends motion and still and makes the viewer really focus on the details. Very nice Dan.

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      Stills and sound are my favorite combo, with a good script. And so much more doable than adding motion on top.

  4. I am enjoying the shorts. Sometimes the lack of time enhances focus. I have a new relationship with responsibility, Paul Hedderman says all the time, we are not responsible, but we are accountable here in the dream. David Eagleman’s research pretty much verifies that, a good read if you haven’t found it yet, Incognito: The Secret Life of the Brain. He’s originally from ABQ. The neurons fire in the brain, the decision is made and then we claim it as our decision, kinda changes your perspective on things.


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  5. This film, like your other recent ones, stay with you in a way most YouTube vlogs never do. They linger, and they spark new ideas. Thank you for this. I hope you have the chance to make and to share more of them.

    1. I agree with Tim 100% If I ever get organized I am going to nuke 99% of my subscriptions on there. I really dislike that site and like the opportunity to view it through Dan’s Shifter site, but I still go to the YT site to click like for the algorithm. I know that’s not Dan’s main incentive, but I reckon if he makes some YT money off it, chances are we’ll see more projects.

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      I’ve made dozens of dollars so far. If you factor in my time I’m going backward at an alarming rate but I AM learning how to make films!

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      Thanks Tim,
      I have many, many more planned. And, I hope to keep you guessing as to direction and range of content.

  6. Cool, meditative Piece of work. I connect with both style and sentiment. If only I could arrest my over thinking. It’s tantamount to a craving, where ones mind buzzes around like fly with no place to land. Journaling I assume, takes discipline and then comes the wretched self doubt. The wasted time convincing ones self not of the value but the futility. I often try and turn negativity into melancholy where it can then in turn be transformed into creativity, but this then turns back on you and the process begins once more. Well, I guess I’ve just written a journal entry, and I didn’t even know it. Thanks Dan, for squeezing the juices just a little.
    I enjoy your writings and cinema. The narration over the visuals has a deeper penetration than the ‘piece to camera’ …. which is great when the narrative is factual. Using voice over has a more profound and philosophical quality.

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      Thanks Neil,
      The voicover style will remain. I still cringe at on camera when I’m in the field. At home, no worries but out I’d rather write a script then fill with visual.

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