CineSkool in CA


WOW. That was an amazing experience.

Back in 2011 I attended a Sandy Puc tour, that’s when I first heard about Drew and Chad. Sandy said that these guys are really cool (she showed a short clip they did) and we should check their work out. I came home and went online and found their vimeo clips and I was hooked!

In the effort to learn to use my Canon 5d Mark II to take video, I started to accumulate quite a few of equipments,( Zoom H4n, Manfrotto Monopod, Steadicam Pilot, Zacuto Z finder…), but I had no idea what I should do with them. Being extremely busy with two girls and just starting a full time job as a software developer (after taking break to stay at home running my own photography business), I didn’t have much time to browse online to learn the techniques. So when I first saw the CineSkool on Shade Tree Film’s website, I thought that would be a great learning opportunity.

A CineSkool workshop was announced to be held in Chicago in 2011, I kept emailing Chad about the detailed location so that I could plan the trip, Chad kept on promising me as soon as he got the details down he would let me know. But unfortunately the workshop got canceled.

Then our family decided to move out the small town Athens, OH that we were living in and to North Carolina RTP area. Things got so hectic with the job hunting, moving and settling down. I didn’t even touch my camera for 4 months. As soon as I saw another CineSkool workshop announced, I decided to attend. And I begged my husband David to go with me, he is a software developer and has always been my help when I have photo shoots. He reluctantly said YES.

Then, worried sick about the kids at home and not knowing what to expect, we went on the trip to Redlands, CA on March 7th. When we were at Atlanta airport, we were talking about the first day’s schedule, a lady sitting next to us turned around and asked us”are you going to the film workshop”? That was how we met Melanie. 😛

The first day, every attendee got introduced to each other in a funny, clever way, we played a game where each person holds a card on their forehead with a word someone else wrote and they have to ask one question per person to find out what word was on the card. Then Chad and Drew took turns explaining every aspect of the film making. We were divided into smaller groups and learned camera, lighting, audio, business branding. It was so refreshing to see them trying to tell us as much as they know and held nothing back.

The second day and third day went by so fast doing a film project and editing the clip. The Shade Tree Film crew found these incredible individuals ( a motocross player, a rock climber and a metal sculptor). I was in the group to watch Drew and Geoff film Corey on the motocross track. I learned a lot and was very impressed by how dedicated they are to the film making. The end product was only going to be a 1-2 min clip, yet we spent the entire afternoon filming the interview and B roll. (:P I didn’t know what B roll was before attending the workshop)

CineSkool ended with a fun party, Shade Tree Film hired DJ and converted their new studio into a cool party place with WII games and music, we only had a sneak peek since we had to catch the 9:30 PM flight. We regretted that we couldn’t spend a little more time with the new friends that we made.

The workshop was only three days, but I felt that those three days are one of the highlights of my life. We learned, not only the technical stuff, but also the attitude towards life, the “Be True to Yourself” motto and refreshing “try your best to help each other in this business”. Everyone at the workshop was so grateful and helpful.

Dave Doeppel at the workshop wrote this article after the workshop, he said, “It’s long!!!!! I was rambling!!!!!”. I feel that I am rambling here too.  Another thing in common is that we can’t speak highly enough of the CineSkool. If anyone out there is thinking about it, stop thinking, just GO. I don’t believe anyone who attends will regret the decision.

I am so glad that I am now part of the CineSkool Family…

Shade Tree Film CineSchool


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