Dreams DO Come True…with some persistence

Filmmaker Philip Bloom

Filmmaker Philip Bloom

I thought I’d take a few minutes and type out my tribute to Philip Bloom as a way of saying “thanks” for some amazing work and to congratulate him on his recent success.

I’ve been following fellow filmmaker and blogger Philip Bloom for a couple years now. Ages ago I stumbled into an interesting blog while searching for affordable 35mm adapters and he had a post on his website reviewing two of the market contenders (both of which at that time were pretty much brand new – the brevis and the letus). He owned them both, and had sample footage of both. He wrote at length about their pros and cons. What an amazing resource!

What really got me though, was his sample footage. Here was a guy after my own heart shooting stuff I had previously only imagined – and he was shooting on gear that was within the realm of affordability! Cheesy as it sounds, it was nothing short of a revelation to me. So I emailed and picked his brain about lenses, cameras, rigs, etc, and he sent patient and detailed responses back. What a champ!

At the time I was living in Las Vegas, and every year I would head down to NAB (more out of tradition than it actually being a good show – it’s pretty much the same crap year after year – and I’ve been going for the last 6) to check out the latest wares. He posted on his blog that he would be in town if anyone wanted to hookup (he’s from London – I appreciated the effort to head to the middle of the desert), so I shot him a response and long story short we got together with some other guys downtown, and then the next evening I showed him a great place for a time lapse (the EX1 was just out) on top of the Red Rock Casino’s parking garage. The entire valley is in view from there. It was short and sweet but certainly good times. I joked with him that he should write a book or do tutorials or something, because the content was very valuable and absolutely worth paying for (Philip, if you’re reading, you can make the check out to Nathaniel Hansen).

Fast forward 2 years. Bloom is still cranking out work (honestly, I don’t know where he finds the time) and I’m all geared up and out shooting, but now living in Boston. Bloom’s work is taking off and he has a virtual following online. To say he’s busy would be an understatement. And this is where the story gets interesting and starts to sound like a script…

His website brings in thousands of requests for “more information” and he misses an email from Lucasfilm LTD producer Rick McCallum and a phone call from head of post production Mike Blanchard. Turns out they’re fans of his work and want some advice on an upcoming project (!) (This is the part where I would think to myself “Oh Crap. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.”)

He heads out to Skywalker Ranch, ends up screening his work for Lucas, Quentin Tarantino (who happens to be there for a meeting) and a slew of ‘behind-the-scenes’ geniuses whose names you wouldn’t know but whose work sits in homes around the world on every DVD shelf.

It really is an amazing story, and I encourage you to check out his work and read about his incredible experience here.

I share this story not because I can say, “hey, I hung out with that guy once” (even though it’s kind of fun to say it), but to say that this is an amazing age we live in where a talented filmmaker can have a humble website (it’s come A LONG way since I first stumbled into it) where he posts his short videos and musings gets noticed and ends up hanging out with some of the greatest cinema talent of our day.

Thanks for sharing the post (it made my day) and for all your work Philip – and most of all, thanks for inspiring me to get up, get out, and get shooting.

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Talk about inspiring! How many of us video and film makers have been the ones emailing the guy with the Letus or the RED One or whatever it may have been, asking questions and aching for a mentor to guide us out of the bleak murk that is crap-quality video and into the world of beautiful and meaningful filmmaking? It’s common for me to feel like I’m the only one struggling to get things off the ground, but then I read about some dude in Boston “geared up” and shooting some pretty amazing docs, and I realize that we’re all on the same journey, moving at our own pace.

    Just yesterday I started my own blog as a place to post my work, talk about my projects, and share tips and knowledge with others out there. It’s great to know that passion and practice is still enough to get somewhere, even in today’s competitive market. I can only hope that someday my blog will be graced with the likes of that day’s Chris Nolan or Tarantino or whoever. Very, very cool.

    Speaking of mentors, I’d love to chat more about your current projects. I’d also love to hear your take on what I’m working on. Thanks for the great post!

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