The Shawn Lights Filmmaking Handbook

On this journey to becoming the best filmmaker I can possibly be I’ve come across several tips, tricks, and guides. I’ve been keeping a journal of sorts, outlining the things I find most useful. The handbook is forever growing but I figured I should share what I’ve written down so far. Hopefully you find this helpful and share it with others. The journey continues…

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Rewrite, Rebuild.

Hello there, long time no write. First post in this 2014.

If you all remember, I’ve posted about my short talkies film project whichis like The Sunset Limited by Tommy Lee Jones? In this time, I’ve rewrite that script with new concept of the story. The idea and the message still the same. Now I try to give more context and giving more realistic set at the script. Plus, I give it to a new writer, Bawuk Respati, to make this story have refreshment. Two head is better than one, isn’t it?

For the story, we still have two man who debate about their believe in heaven (and GOD) and about their faith. We try to make all this scene in Hospital set, which mean, this two man (and in this rewrite version, we make them Old) are sick. We named them, Peter and Thomas. Peter is the belive one, Thomas is otherwise. If you all realized, Peter and Thomas is name of Jesus disciple who follow Him.

Peter have a strong faith. He like to pray. He just believe even he can’t see God. Peter is kind and polite.

Thomas is don’t have any faith. He can’t believe in what he can’t see or feel. He just know all the realistic thing is exist. There is no God or Heaven, because it is unrealistic. Thomas is skeptical and bitter.

The story will goes at the ward when they are treated. In the morning, when a nurse open up the curtain and let the sunshine in. At the breakfast, Peter and Thomas who treated in the same ward, sit together and do conversation during that breakfast. Peter is talk about the heaven and his faith. Thomas just listen and feel bitter about it.

Well, it’s just a simple story in a short conversation between that Old Man. I hope, all the message in their conversation can deliver well to the audience who watch this short film later. Wish me luck for this script, and let the script writer finsih it soon, so we can watch the film as soon as possible.



24th in 27th

24 is a number, 27 is a date.

It’s all about age. It’s all about life.

It’s about thanksgiving.

It’s about blessing.

It’s about new phase in a life of a mankind.

24 years has been life in this earth.

Born from a great lady, called Mom.

Have a great man, called Dad.

Later, in the 3rd year of life have a great girl, called Sister.

All the bless in life of mankind.

Life is about breath-taking.

Life is about health.

Life is about social life.

Thanks GOD for the oxygen that I breath.

Thanks GOD for the healthy me as long as I live.

Thanks GOD for all for the family, relatives, friends I have.

Thanks GOD for all the oppurtunity I’ve been had in my life.

For the school, for the job, for the knowledge, for everything.

Thanks GOD.

24th in 27th.

24 years this day, December 27th, 2013.

Wish I could be better in all way of my life.

Wish the best for my future, my works, my dreams, my partner-in-life.

Wish everything that I could wish.

Dreams and hopes, all thing would happen, just believe in GOD.

24th in 27th.

Thanks GOD.

Untitled Own Project – 2nd time of shooting with random people from school

from director of photography to director, and (again) with some random people that is ngehe*

(Again) I did retake the  Integrated Practice class at this semester. In this class, the student will be grouped with some random people to make a film together. For the second time I take this class, and (again) I was grouped with some ngehe* guys. A slow-minded guy, a stubborn guy, and a never-shown-in-class guy. Well, what a fuckin’ complexity in my group. This time, I decided to be a director for accomplishes this class (in last semester i took Director of Photography position). Then it will be a very hard work to get this assignment of film making done.

So far, we have finished our script to the final draft. Then I did my first counseling with directing counselor, he told me to revised the script because of my script was to much inform not important messages and he told me to revise it my self, but still to tell the script writer to respect him. So, I revised the script my self and I’ve told my stubborn-script-writer. He just like being mad at me because I did revise the script my self. He feel like I was stepped over him to did his job. Well, again, I’m the director and I need to interpret the script my own-self. The director counselor told me that is so OK if I revise the script, because in the film industry, we can often find the director revise the script their-self. Until know, I have finished my directing concept with director’s statement in it. I have sent it to my directing counselor and soon we will meet to discus about it. I hope everything will go in the right path to get all this things done.

Well, let’s talk a lil’bit of my short film for this assignment. My film is in black comedy genre. It tells a story of three thieves who try to rob a widowed Old Lady. As time goes by, these thieves get some unfortunate things. The Old Lady is also kind. Slowly, kindness from the Old Lady makes these thieves realized that thing they are doing is wrong. They decided to stop and get out from Old Lady’s house. They left a letter to apologize at the side of the Old Lady while she asleep and they go out.

I think its enough to talk about my untitled own project for my school. Just hope and pray the best for me, wish me luck! Let’s beat this thing!

The Beauty of the Backlight

Well… This Thing Works!

As a filmmaker I always knew that backlight was important. It is of course apart of the three-point lighting setup we all have come to learn. It separates the subject from the background and gives them a sort of pop.  However, it took me a while to truly see, not only the beauty, but the magic of the backlight. One of my favorite cinematographers, Bob Richardson, ASC has filmed some of my favorite films and I noticed something one day. My team and I went to go see Hugo in theaters.  As the lights dimmed and the film started, I leaned over to one of my friends and commented about how almost every scene was backlight heavy.  Hugo went on to win the Oscar for best cinematography and I must say it was a beautiful film. I went home after seeing Hugo, and skimmed through some of my favorite movies…

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A List

There is someone told me to make this list, a list of presents I wished for.

So, this is its:

1. I wished for a new Gadget so I can work on mobile easily.

2. I wished for a Black Magic Camera with all it accessories.

3. I wished I can get a full-set-up band instrument, so I can make my own music studio.

4. I wished for a MacPro.

5. I wished I can trip around the world.

6. I wished I could write a book, at least about photographs I did.

7. I wished I could make a gallery of my photography.

8. I wished there is a chance to get me in to The Sorbonne to learn about movie art.

9. I wished there is a chance to get me in to New York Film Academy to learn about movie business.

10. I wished You.

11. I wished JOKER action figures.

12. I wished to do The Perks of Being Wallflower tunnel scene.

Just a list. Please read. I would appreciate if one of you guys can help me to fulfill those list.