DAEL affiliation: I was a graduate assistant in DAEL starting in my second semester. I did undergrad equipment check out. The lab was just gearing up for the graduate filmmaking program, buying lots of equipment and setting up the blue screen studio and equipment room, so I also helped with that, too. Eventually I ended up working in the graduate check out room.
– March 15, 2012Posted in: Portfolio
Randy Hill, GSU alumnus and industry editor, shares a bit about his experiences: at GSU, at DAEL, and as a working professional.
Graduation year: 2007
Most memorable project during the academic years: About the time I started grad school I was writing a feature length screenplay, “Dumpster Baby,” with a friend of mine. We raised some money from friends, relatives and anywhere else we could get it and shot it on weekends over the course of a summer. Gary Moss, who was running DAEL at the time, allowed me to do the film as an independent study project. This gave me access to equipment (lights, grip equipment, etc.), and we hired another GSU grad, Bill Burton, to be DP. In fact, I think most of the crew were either GSU graduates or current GSU students. ”Dumpster Baby” ended up screening at the Atlanta Film Festival and was eventually distributed by Troma Entertainment.
Reflection on DAEL and the GSU Film program: DAEL has been an industry leader since its inception. Even when I was in school they were doing cutting edge effects work, had the only Cineon special effects system outside of California, have been and continue to be very involved in the film community in Atlanta and beyond. Perfect examples are the Window Project, the new music project indieATL, and the Cross Stitch project, not to mention attracting many important filmmakers to come speak to students, including Francis Ford Coppola and Ken Burns.
A day in the life: I currently edit a show for the DIY Network, Mega Dens, now in its third season. It’s a nationally broadcast show in which homeowners help our crew renovate an under-utilized room or rooms in their home and end up with a great custom space the whole family can enjoy. I basically have eight days to edit a rough cut of the show, including all the music and effects. This involves taking all of the show footage, typically in excess of 15 hours, and a script and assembling a 20 minute show. Then it goes to the producers and the network for approval and I have another day to make whatever changes they want to make before it goes to online. It can be very intense but it’s a lot of fun. I also edit a show called EcoSense for Living, which is an environmental series, for Public Television. We’ve produced five episodes so far. It’s a really great show that just won an Emmy. The skills I learned at GSU, from the basics of filmmaking to Avid and Final Cut Pro editing to how to tell a story, have been essential in my development as a filmmaker and an editor.
Of what professional project are you most proud: Since I am freelance I work on a wide variety of projects. While I love doing television, I also love working on independent films since they present the most challenges. With a movie, especially one that has a very small budget, you have to reinvent the wheel every day. Things never go as planned so you have to be creative, resourceful, make footage work that in the big budget world would have just been reshot, fix audio problems, you name it. It’s as exciting and challenging as it is maddening, and you are usually doing it for relatively little money so it’s definitely a labor of love. Makes for a very interesting day.
Where would you like to see yourself in the future? I love what I do. When all the pieces fall into place I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.