2012: A Post-Mortem

02Jan13

Since it’s the time of year when companies summarize the year they’ve had, and it’s been a while since I’ve done a check in, here’s my post-mortem on 2012. Last year I kept it under 600 words; there’s no way I’m going to be able to that this year.

2012 was a busy year. Had a lot of work, got some awesome new gear, went to my first NAB Show, relaunched Widen Media (widenmedia.com) with new branding; and biggest of all, got accepted to and started grad school in Chicago.

Site Relaunch

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 2.20.04 PMAt the beginning of the year Loretta Robinson (lorettamaydesign.com) and I relaunched my portfolio site with a new layout and branding. We revamped my logo and color schemes. We moved the site from a Dreamweaver build to a Muse build. But, we’ve been having some difficulties with Muse. So, we’re working on moving everything over to a WordPress build that will also support my blog. So, coming up in 2013, look for a move to the new build.Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 2.20.27 PM

Loretta and I are also launching a few new blogs in the coming year. One will be food related (The Weekly Nom) and will highlight the really good and really bad food we experience. The other is going to be based around our soon to be had corgi puppy, Zero. Once those launch I’ll let everyone know.

New Clients

beyond_pixI started the year out working full time at Beyond Pix Studios (beyondpix.com) in San Francisco. BP was my home for just over a year, and I was sad to say goodbye to them when I left for Chicago. They’re a great company that I hope to be able to work with again in the future.

bacon 1
2012 also brought some new clients for me. I did a lot of the standard corporate interview setup stuff that were nice paydays, but not super noteworthy. But, I got hooked up with Sharp Entertainment (sharpentertainment.com) to work on a couple episodes of United States of Bacon, a new show on Destination America. Before I left SF I worked on the pilot episode as a PA and got to experience some amazing bacon based restaurants in the city. When I moved to Chicago, they contacted me to shoot some b-roll for a few other episodes based in the area. And I once again was able to have some AMAZING bacon.

logosmallWhen I got to Chicago, almost immediately I got hooked up on a couple of reality show pilots; but, being new to the city I wanted to find a way to network and learn who the players are in Chicago’s film scene. I ended up getting an internship at Magnanimous Media (magnanimous.biz). Perfect placement for me. I got to learn the city and network, all while playing with gear.

With all the work I was able to get in 2012, I have really high hopes that 2013 will be even better.

GEAR!

2012 was another year full of getting more gear. I added to my lens selection, added a matte box to my rig, and picked up a monitor. Before the move to Chicago I picked up a car mount and intervalometer so I could shoot a timelapse of our drive across the country (see video below)(blog post). And, more recently, I got to play with some new stuff from Ikan (see the review here: widen media blog), and got a jib from a Nice Industries’ Kickstarter campaign (kickstarter.com).

Cross Country Timelapse: Our Move to Chicago from Jeremy Widen on Vimeo.

For Christmas, Loretta got me a GoPro Hero3 Black (gopro.com); not to mention the new computer I got that kicks ass as an editing station. My gear list is getting pretty stacked and I’m only going to keep growing it in 2013.

NAB Show

imagesFor the last few years I’ve been following NAB (nabshow.com) coverage via the internet. And the things I was seeing astounded me. So, when I got an opportunity to get free floor passes for the NAB Show in 2012, I couldn’t refuse. I actually made my plans to go to NAB long before I knew I was going to move out to Chicago. But, by the time the show came up in April, I did know, and NAB became the ultimate networking event for me. I mixed and mingled with as many Chicago filmmakers as I could. I ended up spending a lot of time at the Zacuto/Kessler (zacuto.com, kesslercrane.com) booth. widenmedia_selfpromo2Loretta made up these awesome promos for me that highlighted my skills and showed a little personality, they were basically my business card, resume, portfolio, cover letter, references all rolled into one. They worked out great and I came out of the show with an amazing new contact list; and a ton of new filmmaking friends (much of which I owe to Kira MacAlpine (@kmacalpine, ravnproductions.com), who became like my NAB Big Sister).

The show itself had me awestruck. I was only there for three days so I didn’t get a chance to see absolutely everything, but it was a good introduction. And now I know how to plan for future shows. I plan on spending the entire week at the show in 2013, assuming I can spare the time from class that is. BTW: I’m looking to split hotel costs with someone for the show if anyone is thinking about going.

Grad School

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 9.04.12 PMHands down the biggest thing for me in 2012 was being accepted to the Creative Producing MFA program at Columbia College Chicago (colum.edu). I applied at the beginning of the year, not expecting to get in; so when I got my acceptance I was a little lost. This was the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make. If I went, it meant moving away from my friends and family, away from my work network, to a city I loved but had never lived in before. I literally could not make a decision; so I left it up to Loretta. If she was willing to go with me, then we would go… and here we are. We’re now 6 months in and we’re loving it. A little homesick and we miss our friends, but Chicago is amazing.

panddI started school in August, and have been non-stop since. I’ve got a great bunch of classmates, and the staff if phenomenal. I’m learning a lot more than I expected to, and I couldn’t be happier. The next big step before graduating is our “Semester in LA” where we spend two months in LA taking classes and learning, so I’m really looking forward to that.

I’ve been trying to do a weekly play-by-play of my experience at Columbia, but the semester got really crazy. 2013 will see me staying a lot more on top of those posts.

A Look Ahead

So, I’m expecting some big things in 2013. More time at NAB, hopefully even get to SIGGRAPH (siggraph.org). A full year ahead of me at Columbia. And what will hopefully be a busy year full of work, gear, and projects. I’ve got about 10 projects in various stages of production and I hope that I can get even more on the docket.

012 (1)2013 will also see the migration of my portfolio and blog to a new wordpress build. And, I’m going to be a lot more strict with myself on making sure I stick to my blog schedule. We’ll also have the two new blogs launching soon.

Loretta and I should be getting our puppy soon and we’re really looking forward to it!


I hope everyone has a prosperous year; and if you need any video production keep me in mind.

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