From Ross:

Sometimes, we get to break away from wedding videos and TV commercials. It’s very refreshing when those opportunities arise because, we are given full creative control with very little agenda.

A few weeks ago, we were approached by a committee at Lubbock Christian University to produce a short film for their Out of the Darkness week. In short, it is a week devoted to raising awareness for the on-campus counseling center.

All we were given was the four topics (guilt, anxiety, anger, and self worth) and told to keep it under 10 minutes. From there, it was up to us. Due to some other irons in the fire, we really only had 2 weeks to complete the job.

So, once we decided to do this, we jumped in face first and didn’t look back. Between Jacob and I, we spent quite a bit of time on the phone, Skype, and the Facebook instant messenger working on pre-production.  It was the most hectic project we’ve taken on. The way it had to work was, we started shooting before pre-production was completed. We only had a solid script for the first shoot (guilt) before we shot it. The rest was pretty much developed on the fly… We had general ideas, but, with the time constraints, we really didn’t have a good grasp on what we could or couldn’t accomplish until we got to the shoot.

The toughest shoot was definitely Anxiety. We had no idea what we were going to do for that story. So, Jacob and I sat down on a Sunday afternoon with our father (Lonnie Hamil) and our brother (Reed Hamil) to get some consultation on the topic. Once we had finished talking to them, we drew up a scripting idea and shot it about 2 hours later.

Anger and Self-Worth, were no picnic either. Between our deadline rapidly drawing near and having to deal with the workday schedules of our actors and actresses, the shoots had to be planned to a “t.” All things considered, I think that everything went extremely smooth.

This project took about 2 solid weeks of 18-hour days on location and sitting in front of my computer with a really bad bug in the middle of it that had me on NyQuil for about 3 full days. On top of that, Jacob’s involvement in school really limited the amount of time he was able to be involved in post production, but, he didn’t let that stop him from really putting in a lot of effort. He admits that I had to do most of the work on this project, but, he was really the glue that held this thing together. He kept a lot of the little things in order and kept them from turning into big things (aka: production delays). From continuity on set to putting together the ending credits, Jacob did a smashing job.

Between, 9 Locations, 72 visual effects shots, 2 green screen shoots, 16 3d animations, 5 edits, 5 color grades, and 15 songs, this was the single biggest production we’ve done and did it with no budget and no time.

I don’t brag on my work, but, I’m darn proud to have been a part of this.

I really can’t thank everyone involve enough, either. If you watch the film, please watch through the ending credits as there are a ton of people who helped, and, frankly, I’m completely wiped out and don’t think I have it in me to type anymore.

If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you. I hope to have another blog soon with a breakdown of the film from start to finish.




From Jacob:

I have really been blessed with this incredible opportunity! I loved working with the LCU Counseling Center and the Out of the Darkness committee on this great venture. With school stress at an all time high for me, it was a little overbearing to accept another large bit of work and without Ross none of this would have happened. I learned a ton from this film and this experience and it’s been a great three weeks.

I can’t tell you how much Ross did. He’s a genius mastermind of visual effects and camera work. I enjoyed doing the more tedious things in production like working on set cosmetics, lighting, running back and forth from the car to grab different things, getting lunch, script writing, and being comic relief. I really wish I could have done more, but due to computer restrictions and school engagements my work was pretty limited (hopefully the computer will be solved in the near future). All of that to say, if Ross didn’t put the time and effort into this film, it was sure to be a disaster.

I’ve been really blessed to work for Ross since May, 2012. The fluid work that we do is really owed to the great work environment. I was told last week that we work “too well together.” I love my job!! All the experience is much appreciated and I look forward to doing more outside-the-box jobs like “Out of the Darkness.” It was a fantastic venture and I hope to get to be as creative in future jobs.





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