Name: Chris Tempel
Camera: Canon ZR800
Editing Platform: Sony Vegas Pro 7.0, Sony DVD Architect, GIMP photo editor, Blender, Celtx, Acoustica Mixcraft 4.5
Microphone: Sima SZM Shotgun Microphone
Support Gear: Compaq Presario S4200NX computer, Pioneer DVD burner, Kenmark television (for preview monitor), M-AUDIO KeyStudio MIDI keyboard, 6’x10′ homemade greenscreen, 2 work lights, Sunpak 7500 Pro tripod
I’ve been making films since I could draw. As soon as I was coordinated enough to work a crayon, my parents showed me how to make flipbooks. From that point, until I was ten, I made a couple hundred flipbook movies. When I was ten, I received my dad’s old VHS camcorder for Christmas. Using this machine, I produced countless short movies and stop-motion LEGO films.
In high school, I enrolled in a video production class where I was introduced to editing and digital movie making. During this time, I started teaching myself special effects, coming up with ways to add 3-D animation to live action video, painting the laser swords for lightsaber fights, and I even came up with a way to do 3-D stereoscopic video. My first digital short film, Ninja Nerd, was produced during this time and it got some attention from a film festival, along with a write-up in our local paper.
Upon graduation, I decided that I wanted to pursue film, but didn’t want to go to film school. So I purchased a computer and camera and set out learning how to make films the only way I knew how. I also started my own video business. From 2003, when I graduated, to 2007, I produced over 40 short films and promotional adverts.
In June 2007, at the age of 22, I shot my first feature film, a $600, 71-minute slasher flick called Wulf. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do a long form film for no money and have the film actually be watchable. When you’re making a film for no money, you have to do things differently. We shot only seven tapes of footage, and the entire film’s audio was done with ADR, which, in my opinion, enabled the flick to sound better than most of the indie films that are out there. I also used a custom process I created that emulates the look of film, using some filters and converting the image to a progressive scan image. The film has been screened for the public and received a write-up in our local newspaper.
Now at 24, I’ve just finished shooting my second feature film, an 81-minute Christian end-of-times action film. To really keep things exciting, the movie features the art of parkour, which I spent a month and a half teaching the actors how to do. Aside from video work, I also co-host a radio show on blogtalkradio.com about no budget filmmaking and how to make feature films with consumer equipment.
When I’m not making movies, I enjoy practicing parkour and backpacking with my dog.
Chris Tempel, Young Filmmaker
Sidebar: About This Series
Video creation is sometimes a singular business, but video producers are a social lot. Our curiosity about our readers has inspired us to create this new column to introduce you to your fellow video producers.
Interested in telling us about your video producing passion? Send us profile, in 500 words or less, to firstname.lastname@example.org, using “Reader Profile” in the subject line. Please send us useable photos and tell us about your gear. More details here.