Tag Archives: Pop Rocket

Featured Member: Kyle Bailey

Welcome to the first Filmpunch Featured Member interview! We plan on picking a new member from the community every month and get all up in their stuff in order to gain a little insight on who they are and what they are up to.

October’s Featured member is Kyle Bailey. You may recognize his handsome bearded mug from a guest blog post we featured a while back on his experiences on the set of Olan Roger’s Pop Rocket. Kyle has been with Filmpunch since the very beginning and has been a huge support and help for Andy and I in various ways throughout the last year. He has graciously agreed to be our guinea pig this month. So let’s get to know this Kyle Bailey, shall we?

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name’s Kyle Bailey.  I grew up in southern NJ. I’m a 4th year Film student at Asbury University.  My favorite color is blue.  I love pizza.  I have Type 1 Diabetes.

 

What got you started in filmmaking?

What got me started in filmmaking?  What got me started was a complete and utter mistake on my part.  Originally, when I came into college as a Freshman, I was a Music Education major.  For most of my life, I’d been that kid in middle school and high school who sort of did everything (except sports).  I sung in choirs, did school plays, had decent grades, was friends with everyone, and generally had an all-around good time with myself.

I’d been told by so many people to focus on my musical abilities, and that when I got to college, I should major in something music-oriented.  After talking to my parents, my friends, and my teachers, I decided to pick music education, partially because my music teacher in High School had a big impact on my life, and partially because it seemed like a safe bet.

I was wrong.

Music Education is one of the hardest majors at any school, but it’s especially difficult at my university.  I didn’t know that coming into Freshman year, and I immediately started to struggle with my workload.  It was terrible.  I couldn’t keep up with anything, and I felt like I was drowning.

So, I sat myself down and decided that I needed to switch gears.  I still wanted music to be a part of my life, but I didn’t want it to be the focus.  I ran through what I enjoyed doing most in my spare time, and one of my first thoughts was watching movies.  To this day, there’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting in a darkened theater, popcorn in my lap, friends by my side, watching a movie I’ve never seen before.  It’s fantastic.

Strangely enough, my university has an utterly fantastic Media & Communications program.  Seriously, if you’re at all interested in becoming a Film student, check out Asbury University.  There’s my one and only plug for my school.

So, after taking two days to really think about it, I switched my major to a Media & Communications track, with a Film & Production Emphasis.

I’ve never looked back.

 

Do you think it’s necessary to attend film school to have a successful film career?

Nope.  If you look at some of the most revered, celebrated filmmakers today–Tarantino, Cameron, Fincher, Nolan–many of them never went to a film school.  One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from Tarantino, and I’m paraphrasing but it basically says something along the lines of:

“I didn’t go to film school.  I went to films.”

Simply watching and trying to understand films is one of the most effective ways to become a better filmmaker, in my mind.

However, there are benefits to going to film school that can’t be denied.  Being able to surround yourself with other filmmakers of varying levels, and to be around a culture like that, is an inspiring place to be.  Everywhere you go, every class you take, every conversation you have at 4AM on your hall will help shape the way you create films, whether you know it or not.

Also, going to school allows you to make friends.  It seems simple to state it that way, but being at a school will give you opportunities to make life-long friends who will support you and stand by you when you want to create a film you’re passionate about.  Some of those friends will even be your most trusted allies, your go-to DPs or ADs or PDs or Producers or Actors.

But I think the biggest thing that going to school for Film has taught me is an appreciation for film history.  I never would have gotten interested in Film Noir had it not been for the American Cinema class I took my Sophomore year.  I never would have known about the advancements in camera and audio technology from the early 20th century to the present.  I never would have known about the Kuleshov Effect, or the Dogme 95 movement, or how the French New Wave and Truffaut inspired an entire generation of filmmaking that can still be felt to this day.

Having an appreciation for the past is the only way to make a better future, and that holds true for film.

Do I think everyone needs to go to or should go to film school?  Nope.  If it’s not in the cards financially, don’t do it.  If you just don’t feel like you need to be at a school for something you can pretty much teach yourself how to do, don’t do it.  If you hate school, don’t do it.

But if you’re willing to stop and wait for four years, and practice your craft, and learn from other students, and make mistakes when it’s OK to do so, then look into going to film school.  Just make sure to pick the right one.

 

What do you find inspires you the most?

Watching movies is probably the easiest answer for me, but that doesn’t make it any less true.  Watching a good movie, one that understands it’s own elements and can take you on a journey seemingly without effort is so inspirational to me.  It pushes me to make better films, to tell better stories.

 

If you could be a part of any production/movie, past or present, what would it be and why?

I’d like to have been a part of the team that Christopher Nolan built when he made his first film, Following.  I’d like to have been able to see how he managed everything on that production, from beginning to end, and to see how he’s grown from that point.

 

What has been your most memorable moment so far in your journey to be a filmmaker.

My most memorable moment is actually my worst moment.  I was making a short film for a class last year, and at one point, everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong.  Actors cancelled, crew never showed up, equipment broke–the whole nine yards.  I sat down at the location we were filming at, and decided that I was going to have to deal with the situation somehow, to try and remedy it.

I remember thinking “This is it.  This is filmmaking.  Am I really going to do this for the rest of my life?”

I honestly couldn’t answer for a few moments.  Then I stood up and said “Yes.”

And I made it work.  I figured it out, as best I could, how to salvage what I had lost.  To this day, I’m proud of that short.  By any means, it’s still terrible, but knowing what I had to go through to get it where it is now, I’m still proud of it.

That solidified in my mind that I wanted to make films for the rest of my life.

 

If there was one piece of advice you could give a new filmmaker, what would it be?

Stop procrastinating.  I’m a massive, MASSIVE procrastinator.  It’s bad.  I put so much off to the last minute, and it does nothing but hurt whatever it is you’re working on.  So stop stalling and start doing.  Just get up make something.

 

You are currently working on a personal project. Tell us a little about the project and why you’re doing it.

ROAM was an idea I came up with this past summer.  I had wanted to do an action film for a long time, but never had a reason to do one, or the means to.  But when I came back to school for my senior year, I realized that this was my last chance to have all of my friends and people I trusted together in one place.  I could use all of my school’s fantastically expensive equipment, and I wouldn’t have to pay for any of it.  I could find great actors to believably play the characters, and they’d do it for free.

So I thought “Why the heck not?  It’s my last chance.”

I guess you could say that I wanted to go out with a bang.  Hopefully, it’s a good one.

 

What interests you about the post-apocalyptic genre, and why did you choose it as the setting for ROAM?

Post-apocalyptic movies have always interested me.  There’s something about telling a story after the world, as we know it, has ended that excites me.  Seeing how people would survive, what cultures would remain or how they’d change, and trying to find humanity after it’s fallen–those ideas are incredibly evocative and ask big questions.  That’s just awesome to me.

I drew a lot of influence from films like The Road and The Book of Eli.  I come from a Christian background, so I wanted to try and meld specific spiritual elements into a realistic, post-apocalyptic world in a way that felt natural.  You don’t see many films these days taking on spiritual ideologies, and then mixing them in with stylized violence.  It’s not normal.  It doesn’t really fit together.  But if you want to be true to the world and the story you’re trying to tell, you can’t sacrifice realism in the story for the sake of wanting a “happy” or a “Christian” outcome.  Real life isn’t like that.  Film shouldn’t be either.

 

What would be a piece of advice that you wished you would have gotten when you first started your filmmaking journey?

If someone had come up to me and said, “Kyle, filmmaking is going to be the most difficult, exhausting, and relentless experience of your life.” I’d be a lot better off.

You don’t see how much work goes into making films, whether it’s the next Avengers film, or a two-minute short made by three people.  Each step in the process can feel like a lifetime, and each choice you make represents a huge risk that your project could fail.  It’s not easy.  It’s not pretty.  Heck, it’s not even enjoyable at times.  It’s hard work.  It’s a lot of late night and early mornings.

But when you show someone the finished project, and they smile, cry, or laugh because they understand what you’ve been communicating to them…that makes it all worth it.

 

Editor’s Note: Kyle is currently running a crowd funding campaign for his short film, ROAM. He has already made great progress. Let’s help get his project funded so he can make his short. Go over to Seed & Spark and take a look at his campaign.
 
Donate if you can, or at the very least share his project.

 

ROAM – A Film by Kyle Bailey
After a calamity decimates the world, most of humankind has been destroyed. We follow the path of a young boy who escapes from the clutches of a group of bandits, and must defend his right to live on a desolate, destroyed Earth.
 
Contribute to the project on Seed & Spark.

 

The Greatest Two Weeks of My Life

Kyle Bailey is a film student at Asbury University in Kentucky, and most importantly, a member of Filmpunch. Not only that, but he’s one all-around amazing guy with whom we had the pleasure of working side by side on the set of Olan Rogers’ Pop Rocket this past summer. Here’s what he had to say:

The Greatest Two Weeks of My Life by Kyle Bailey
Filming Pop Rocket was my very first independent movie making experience, and my first experience working with professionals. Meeting Olan Rogers, Jake Sidwell, Thomas Gore, Brett Driver, and a few other YouTubers I’ve looked up to for years was an experience within itself (getting to work with people you look up to always is). But it didn’t take long for me to realize that what I had seen in their videos didn’t even show half of who they were in real life; they’re real people with hopes and aspirations, just like you and me. Lots of friendships were made over those two and a half weeks, including Andy and O’Ryan aka the Filmpunch Guys. You two are some of the most talented and humble people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Thanks for being amazing.

I had decided that once I got down to Nashville, I would keep a journal detailing everything that happened each day and night we filmed. It’s a very unique feeling to be in the midst of something special and know that you’re recording it for others to see. So much happened during my two and a half weeks of filming, and hopefully, I’ll do a good enough job of recounting my favorite parts. I’ll start off with my impressions after being there for a day:

“I’ve looked up to Olan and Jake as both being creative powerhouses, and it’s nice to find out that there are actual people behind the videos—people who care about their work and their friends more than getting views or being famous. They’ve both got something special and I’m blessed to be a part of it.”

Like I said before, that’s one of the things that really impacted me—I was working with real people who had real talent and heart, and that made a difference in how work was accomplished on set. In fact, this next entry talks about just that:

“I know that this is a budgeted production, but I’m used to stuff like this at school.  It’s almost bare bones, but there’s a vibe in the air that’s much more friendly and open than any I’ve ever felt at school. This is how sets should be run—messy, wild, rugged, with laughing at the forefront of the seriousness of what’s going on. I love it.”

I’m a film major at my university, and there’s a huge, state-of-the-art media facility at my disposal. I’ve directed TV shows, worked cameras, and been in musicals in that building, but none of the productions I’ve worked on can come close to having the same sense of camaraderie that the set of Pop Rocket had. Everyone got along with each other while getting things done quickly and efficiently. If there was a problem, we talked about how to fix it the quickest and easiest way possible, and then we did.

Filmmaking Sucks!
A large number of entries I wrote talk about how tired I was after each day of shooting. I did a lot of different things on set, including setting up green screens and soft boxes, making countless tracking markers, and about a hundred other odd jobs that needed to be done, oh and lest I forget cooking heaps of hotdogs. One of the things I enjoyed the most was getting to take behind the scenes photographs and videos. But I’m not going to sugarcoat it: filmmaking is hard work—seriously hard work. Late nights and early mornings for two and a half weeks will take their toll on your body and mind, and there are moments when you question whether or not what you’re doing is really going to make a sound once it’s released. Here’s an example:

“Today was definitely one of the more exhausting days. I got a bunch of experience shooting on a full green screen set that I helped build. Aside from that, I got to help out with the actual filming. I swept lights across Olan, Jake, and Thomas when they were on the hover bikes to make it look like they we’re racing down a city skyline. It’s something subtle, but I’ll be able to show it to people in the video and say that that’s what I did…if it makes the final cut, of course.”

You do so much work to make a five or six second shot look the absolute best it can, and even then, sometimes it’s not good enough. The simplest little problem can seem like a mountain that will never be climbed. But those moments can and will pass. Any problem can be solved with the right amount of thinking…and duct tape. And Reese’s. Always Reese’s.

Here’s the last things I wrote in my journal:

“I learned so much in such a short amount of time, and I’ve been influenced by so many people, Olan and Jake in particular.  My time with the crew and cast has been just amazing. I’ve made so many new friends and memories with people I never thought I’d get to work with, and those memories will undoubtedly last for the rest of my life. It’s been a crazy two weeks of filming, fun, hardships, and work. I’ve never been a part of something this big before, and it’s staggering to think that I was even able to come down and help out. I wouldn’t trade these two weeks for anything in the world. The relationships I’ve made with people, the experiences I’ve had, and the product that’s been created have all had profound impacts on me. I can’t wait to start making movies of my own. It’s the only thing I want to do, and it’s the only thing that will satisfy me. So I’m going to do the absolute best I can to make that dream a reality.

Here I Go…
Making movies isn’t just art. It’s not just a career path. It’s something that can literally change lives. Movies are one of the easiest ways to bring about that change, and creating them is one of the things I cherish most in my life. If what I help create can change someone’s life for the better, then I’ve done my job right. I have no doubt that Pop Rocket will change people for the better; it’s got heart to it. I’ll leave you with this: if being on the set of Pop Rocket has taught me anything, it’s that working together on a project everyone loves and wants to see succeed will bring those people closer together. And a group that works well together can accomplish just about anything. Don’t let the little things get you down, and never ever stop looking for inspiration. That’s the key to making something you believe in a reality.

You can follow Kyle’s work here.

Olan's gotta gun

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Fellow Filmpunchers,

Now, I know we’ve seemed a little distant these past couple weeks, what with posting inspires, blogs, and new video content, but rest assured, we have been very busy preparing for something quite epic.

O’Ryan and I are pleased to announce that in a few minutes we’ll be hopping in our spaceship aka the Dodge Magnum “Maggie” and lugging all our gear down the East Coast to Georgia. What will be doing there, you ask?

We’ll be filming with the one and only Olan Rogers on the set of “Pop Rocket”. Now, we’ve seen the scripts, we’ve talked to the man in charge, and boy are you guys in for a treat! And as for us—we’ll be in for a long, tireless week of work . . . and fun . . . and fun work. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and we’ll be sure to keep you guys posted.

When we return, we’ll have some new blogs, new inspires, new video content, including a new Weekend Challenge, as well as a featured Weekend Challenge submission from the previous. And we are ecstatic to announce that Olan has asked to feature the Behind the Scenes specials exclusively on Filmpunch! *giddily sneaks dragon-shaped firework from back of cart, lights it, runs, Gandalf stares angrily as the sky explodes with magic*

Well, peace out for now, we are about to enter the event horizon and the space-time continuum may affect coms for the next day or so, but we’ll see you on the other side . . . in Prime City!