To everyone who made this possible:
Those of you who signed up to participate in this experience and believed enough in us to take time off from work, to leave your homes, your families, some of you traveling from as far away as Croatia, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turks and Caico and Brazil. We understood fully that you were investing your hard earned money, time, and energy. We feel a huge amount of responsibility to deliver on our promise to you. That we will always use the best of our abilities and resources to try to create the most dynamic, interactive and best possible environment to foster our growth as artists, filmmakers and storytellers. We consider you all family.
We worked hard over the last 8 months to make sure we had everything organized and in place so things would run smoothly and everyone could focus on learning, networking and enjoying our journey together. We could not have done this without the support of a lot of people. This is our attempt to thank you all. Without each and every one of you this could never have been what it evolved into.
You guys sacrificed sleep and were willing to do anything we asked of you without hesitation. When you are working as hard as we all did, you have to have fun or things can and will unravel quickly. You all kept your sense of humor and incredible dispositions and had a great attitude no matter how exhausted we all were. You went above and beyond the call of duty. So a huge thanks to Karen Abad, Tyler Gorrell, Dustin Bennett, Jared Levy, Justin P. Hamilton, John Miller, Chad Nickle and Melissa Ransdell. There isn’t enough space, time or words for us to fully explain how much we appreciate everything you did. Beyond your hard work it was great to see you all there as friends. You are some of the coolest, nicest, funniest, most talented people we have ever had the pleasure of knowing. We look forward to hanging out with you all away from the event, collaborating with you on film projects, having conversations and just being around such genuine, down to earth people. Thank you a million times.
The Variable Crew
When Shane Hurlbut ASC, told us his idea for his hands on workshop we were 100 percent behind it. He wanted to make it more interactive and customizable by allowing attendees to vote on which scenario out of 12 possibilities they wanted to learn about. When we got the list for the amount of different types of lighting required to make it feasible, we immediately knew who to turn to for help. Khalid Mohtaseb from Variable was an absolute lifesaver. He is an incredibly talented DP and through working with him on set he has taught us so much about so many different things. He really showed us the importance of a higher level of work ethic and a mentality referred to as NGAF. He helped us make sense of what we needed not only for Shane’s session but also helped us to figure out the lighting rentals required for every other session. Khalid, along with Jon Bregel, Nick Midwig, and Daniel Stewart headed up a massive early morning load in of a 3 ton grip truck in addition to a ton of DIY lighting rigs that Shane had shipped to Austin. They worked hard all day and had everything dialed in. They absolutely crushed! Then at the end of the day they saved us again and just completely owned the load out. It was an exhausting day but they just kept smiling and were an unbelievable morale boost. Without them along with the help of Derrick Johnson and Jack Chen none of that would have been possible. What they were able to pull off with such a small crew is unheard of. They were setting up lighting from scratch to recreate feature film scenes in 10 minutes! It’s a testament to their talent, hard work, knowledge and ability to perform under pressure in crunch time. Hats off! You were unbelievably amazing. We took a calculated risk and without you all, what could have easily been a disaster, instead was an incredible success. We are so proud and honored to know you!
Without the support of Kessler Crane, Rule Boston Camera, The Music Bed, Manfrotto, Zacuto, Lens Pro To Go, Cinetics, Rode Microphones, Marshall Electronics, Edit Share and Letus: there is no way we would be able to keep our ticket prices affordable and still keep the production value and caliber of educators we had. We salute you for believing in the value of education and supporting Masters in Motion.
Tatjana Green, Joe Simon, Alex Buono, Vincent Laforet, Shane Hurlbut ASC, Ian Vertovec, Mike Sutton, Preston Kanak, Eric Kessler, Sean Stiegmeier, Jon Bregel, Nick Midwig, Justin P. Hamilton, Konrad Cystokowski, Ondi Timoner, Erik Aadahl, and Philip Bloom. Your honesty, passion, knowledge and willingness to “take the gloves off” was appreciated by everyone. It was humbling to see so much talent gathered in Austin. Every time we thought it couldn’t possibly get better you managed to step up and deliver the goods. Our brains were crammed full of information, constantly.
We live in an incredible time. Camera technology has reached the point where it no longer needs to be the focus. It plays a role but we sincerely thank you from the bottom of our hearts for believing in our vision of a workshop experience that transcends camera specs. While reflecting back on your presentations your collective body of work is mind-blowing. For those of you that had a hands on session we also want to thank you for your tireless energy. In order to keep things more intimate we decided to break up into a lot of small groups and for you all to take on group after group with the same enthusiasm was inspiring. As tired and exhausted as we were, to see you all pull together and perform at such a high level without a complaint really give us the boost we needed. We also want to thank those of you that were able to come out and interact at night. It really means a lot to us that without us even having to ask you wanted to be part of this experience on all levels. We can never thank you enough. You inspired, motivated, educated, and blew a lot of minds. We are so proud of all of you and it truly was an honor to have you be a part of this.
The photo booth pictures are so good! There are so many classics. A quick calculation of the amount of photos you delivered means that even if you didn’t delete a single one you were taking 2 photos a minute for the entire wrap party. That’s amazing. You worked it and captured images that will forever embody the insanity that was this years event. We love working with you and just wanted to make sure you knew how much we appreciated what you did for us all.
The videos you made for the event are absolutely incredible. You captured the essence of what was going on to a tee. We can’t thank you enough for your hard work!
Many of you met Cristina’s brother, Carlos, but for those of you that didn’t have the pleasure, he was a very integral part to the success of this event. The amount of different ways he helped us was unbelievable. He started early in the morning and just kept going. We can’t thank you enough for not only all of your hard work but also for just being awesome and holding it all together behind the scenes. You kept our spirits up, you got everyone where they needed to go, you just did an all around stellar job and all we heard from everyone that crossed your path was how amazing you were. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of expressing how grateful we are for everything you did and for you just being yourself but it was extremely important to us to at least acknowledge it.
Collectively something happened in Austin. Some intangible experience that we’re having trouble putting into words. Maybe it’s just one of those things that can’t be expressed in this medium. Maybe you just “had to be there” to fully appreciate it or to understand it. Everyone was sent a survey and one question asked you all to rate your overall satisfaction with the event on a scale of 1-10. The average rating was 9.06 out of 10. We can’t even begin to tell you what that means to us. It reaffirmed what we believed all along and we will try to sum it up briefly.
No matter what you are trying to accomplish in life whether it be to run an event filmmaking company, to craft narrative shorts, to produced commercial work, to make a feature film or to run an event like this. We believe that there are some things that will make your chance of succeeding exponentially higher.
Anything that is worth doing is worth doing right. Never accept mediocrity. This means you have to constantly evolve. It means it is going to require hard work, sacrifice and dedication. You are going to have to get your hands dirty and accept the fact that the perception of filmmaking being glamorous is largely misconstrued. The only way any thing gets done is to do it. YOU have to make shit happen. No one is going to hand you anything in this life.
That being said, you can’t do it alone. You need to surround yourselves with a talented group of like minded creatives that believe in you and vice versa. Passion is contagious. Negativity is too. The situation you are in is largely created out of personal choices. If you are surrounded by negativity it will create a toxic environment where creativity goes to die. Don’t accept that. Make sure you are around genuine, talented, hard working, and down to earth people. We met a lot of them this week.
Sometimes, you have to do things that might not benefit you financially. If anyone was under the impression that Masters in Motion was created with the primary objective being us making money we hope through our actions and dedication you know that now to be false. We all have bills to pay. We need to make money. If that is the only thing you ever focus on though, we believe you may miss out on something bigger. Do what you have to do to survive but please don’t forget that passion projects are important too. Who knows what the future holds for Masters in Motion but if we only looked at this from a financial standpoint it wouldn’t exist. We are doing this because we believe in something more important than money, more important than gear, more important than ourselves. If we don’t help out one another and strive to collectively better ourselves than we should call it a day because that’s a shitty way to go about life.
In conclusion, we just want to once again thank each and everyone of you. You are all a part of the Masters in Motion family. We will promise you this. We will never get complacent. We will always strive to evolve and improve. We will always take risks and try to push the envelope. We may fall on our faces but with such an incredible community behind us now, we know we can never fail. You have touched us deeply and made us want to be better filmmakers, better storytellers but more importantly than any of that, better people. We hope you feel the same way. We would love to hear what all of you think. Also, if you have links to any photo galleries, blog posts, or videos please leave links in the comments section. There were a lot of aspects of the event we missed and would love to see how it all unfolded through your eyes.
One last nugget we discovered at Masters in Motion. This little note expressing our gratitude isn’t the least we could do but there must be something more we could do, so on that note.
This is the medium we could do. Thank you all for creating memories and an experience we will never forget.
Cristina + Jon
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