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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Video Contest Winner announced.

Congratulations to Jeremy Rovny and his cast and crew for submitting the winning video to the Exiled Video Contest!

Watch this incredible submission below.  After you're done, scroll down and read the interview with Jeremy.

Congratulations, Jeremy, great work on the video.

Where do you hang your hat?  Simply based upon some of the accents in the video I would guess south of the Mason-Dixon line?

Indeed, we're all from Texas! I was hoping that wouldn't show, but once I met Kenny Harris (Master Ammoncourt), I thought, "Well, so much for the Gandalf sounding wizards." Haha, that's actually how I imagined his character sounding at first--like Gandalf. But Kenny is a true Texan. So just imagine...cowboy wizards.
It looks like you gathered quite a collection of actors to shoot your video.  Are they friends, volunteers, family? How did you bring everyone together?

Actually, this was the first video I've made where I sent out casting calls and such. Previously I would just use my family (which was great as I have 5 siblings), but since we're growing up, getting busy, and going to college, that doesn't really work anymore. Also I wanted the experience of directing people I've never met. It was actually really great; they were so easy to work with!
What is your background in film/acting? Are you in school for either currently?

So far, I'm totally self taught. I realized at a young age that I really want to be an actor/filmmaker, so I just started doing it. I totally took over the family camera and started making videos of every vacation or major event in our lives. But I'm in school for filmmaking right now. I'm finishing up my basics and just transferred to UT Arlington to get a BFA in Film/Video/Screenwriting.
How did you hear about the contest?

I found the contest through onlinevideocontest.com (OVC). I had won 3rd place in an international Ihop contest video in the summer of 2012, so I was encouraged by that.
What made you decide to enter (other than the obvious winning prize, that is)?

The contest stuck out because it was for a fantasy video. I love the fantasy/sci-fi genre, and hadn't made a video like that yet, so I really wanted to try it out. Yes, I'm a nerd. I love the Lord of the Rings films and books, and I've read nearly all of Terry Brook's Shannara books.
Is that Final Cut Pro you used to edit the film?

I did use Final Cut Pro!! My first few videos (some of which are pre-youtube) were made on iMovie, then I used Final Cut Express (which was actually my brother's copy--he was into making videos at first too, but then went off to do physics for some reason), then I switched over to Pro not terribly long ago.
In hours, how long did it take you to shoot versus edit?

Shooting was comparatively way shorter, which is saying something considering the first shoot (the council chamber one) was about 11 hours non-stop. I was expecting that shoot to be maybe 3 or 4 hours...I still feel bad for everyone that came to set that day...So shooting over all took about 17-22 hours.Editing itself--like splicing the footage together--didn't take too terribly long. Probably longer than shooting though. But then I got to color grading and vfx. Oh man. That took forever.
I read on your youtube channel that you’ve been involved in filmmaking since you were fourteen.  True?  

Not entirely true--I've been into filmmaking since before 14. I loved movies in general, but that's not saying much--many people do. Then my siblings and I discovered the home video camera, and we started making videos with it. I began my main youtube channel and the name "TorchFire Productions" around the age of 14. Like, it was probably around then I decided it was for sure what I wanted to do. I made many videos before that point though, most of which were funny family videos--sometimes not even anything resembling a story, but just experimenting with the camera and learning what I could do with it.

I just watched your Life of a Villager video…hilarious. I used to play Age of Empires all the time. So funny.  I guess you play (or used to)?

Haha, yay for Age of Empires fans!!! Man, AOE II the Conqueror's Expansion is one of the greatest games of all time.
You have quite a bunch of creative videos on your channel, do you write?

I did write most of these videos. Some of them my siblings have helped write though.

About the cast…You played James, correct? How long have you been acting?

NO! I didn't play James!! None of that happened! He was played by...my evil twin!! Okay, yeah, that was...me. I just don't like admitting it because that's easily the worst acting I've ever done. As I said before, we've mostly just done comedic videos, so that's what I'm used to--comedy. Even all the plays I've done have been comedic. It's natural for me. So when I saw this role I thought, "Hey, now I can finally try to act serious!" I had only really done that one time before in a short film I made with one of my brothers when I was 15ish called "Knife Hunt." I think I just over thought it and tried too hard while acting for Exiled. WAY too hard. My worst scene is where I looked shocked after seeing the memory orb thing. The script was originally written to include James's master getting consumed and killed by fire. So when I acted that I thought, "Okay, you just saw a guy who was like a father to you get burned alive. Also, you're an angsty teenager who's being falsely accused of murdering your own master. Go long." 
As a young filmmaker, I always struggled to find older cast members. You were able to find two great actors to play Ammoncourt and Akil.  Where did you find those guys?

I'm pretty sure I found Kenny (Ammoncourt) and David (Master Elder) through shortfilmtexas.com. They responded to the casting calls I wrote. Yeah, I was a little afraid of directing people so much older than me at first! Also, I don't know if any of them knew that their director was also acting... But I was so happy they all took me seriously considering I was the youngest one on set. Plus, I don't know why anyone would listen to a person wearing such a ridiculous wig. They never even saw me without it. In fact, I ran into Eric Weiss (Red Guard 1) in a later production we were in together, and he didn't recognize me at first without the wig! But they were all so courteous and compliant.
As a writer, I was shocked when I first saw Charles Johnson (who played Akil). Based upon the description in the book, he was a dead ringer.  Were you able to cast him simply based upon his appearance?

Yes, Charles was a friend from church--I had no idea he could act, yet he probably did the best of all of us!! If you recall, I emailed you early on asking what Akil looked like, as he wasn't described at all in the first chapter. You responded with a description that perfectly matched this guy I knew. Charles instantly popped in my head when I read that email. I laughed at the idea of him playing the character because I don't think he'd ever acted before. But he totally killed it..
David Eaton (played Master Elder) was very creepy.  I think he pulled off his role so well.  His facial expressions alone were enough to make my skin crawl.  Did he require much direction?

Yeah, David Eaton did great with playing a total creep...which was funny considering he was the kindest guy on set!! He was super cooperative. I actually gave him (and Kenny, really) a lot of direction. David was so nice and subdued I guess you could say, that in reality I think it was difficult for him to become a maniac. Most of his expressions actually came naturally, but I worked with him a lot on how he said the lines, especially volume-wise. My method of making the actors feel comfortable was to act out what I wanted them to do except twice as exaggerated. I think that helped them relax a little.
Kenny Harris (Master Ammoncourt) looked very comfortable in front of the camera.  How much acting experience does he have?

I don't think Kenny had a whole lot of experience before this role--he had maybe acted in a few projects before this one. He has insisted over text that he's much better now and wants to do something else! Haha, obviously I am eager to take him up on that offer.
Are you working on any other projects right now?

Oh goodness, don't get me started. Okay, I'm editing a wedding video right now, then I have a short video to make for one of my brothers, then I have to finish the behind the scenes video for the Exiled video, I have to make a video for the gym I work at, a video for the parkour program I'm starting there, a video of a parkour jam I attended recently, I want to get another short comedy sketch made soon (I have about 50 different ideas to choose from), and there's a feature film I've been trying to work on. 
Any plans for the prize money?

Well, I gotta tithe some of it, provide promised pay to some crew members, and then see how much is left. I'd also like to keep some to offset the budget of making the video...which ended up being a little bit more than I'd like to admit. If any substantial portion remains, I'd like to put it toward purchasing more film equipment. I still need an external field monitor to attach to my camera--if anyone knows of a good one to buy for a 7D, let me know!

Jeremy Rovny is co-founder and owner of TorchFire Productions. His goal is  "to make awesome feature films." He works as a  tumbling, parkour, and freerunning coach at Maverick All Star Tumblers, and more recently have begun work as a freelance filmmaker/videographer. 

YouTube channels: 
"Rovnys" My old channel; hardly worth visiting unless you want to find some of my older stuff.
"MavsTumblers" Containing only tumbling, parkour, and freerunning videos. Cool stuff. I believe you'll find them different than other videos of the same genre.
"TorchFireProductions" The main channel which I hope will soon be consisting of quality and entertaining videos of all different genres.

Facebook (Jeremy Rovny) 
Twitter (@JeremyRovny).

From Jeremy;
Thanks for the interview, it was my first time to do one!!! It's been fun! More, BETTER videos and films to come, I promise!

The entire, unabridged interview is available HERE (on my website, TheNeverChronicles.com)

~In the book world, word of mouth is king~

Coming soon....
the second book from The Never Chronicles

Available now from J.R. Wagner...

The Never Chronicles, YA, Young Adult, social issues, novel, book, abuse

A tale of perseverance, strength and redemption.

the never chronicles, j.r. wagner, ya fantasy novel, fiction

In bookstores

the never chronicles, j.r. wagner, ya fantasy novel, fiction, exiled

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Jeremy! My mono actor videowouldn't've ever stood a chance. Bravo!
    I couldn't upload my video anyhow, because after I faked my death, my computer activated preservation security measures to keep international organizations from taking advantage of the programs and artwork I spend my life on. Basically what it does is refuse to turn on for anyone, or do anything else you would expect a computer to normally do.

    Congratulations to everyone else who also entered!