Technical Difficulties

It seems I’m a bit over-due for an update. As usual, there’s bad news and good news.

First, the bad news: “dojo” will not be in the Wisconsin Film Festival.

I am bummed about this; but, I think the way things worked this past year, there was simply no way to get the film to the state that it really needed to be in to make the cut (so to speak).

Some of you may recall that after eight months of shooting, I dove into editing nearly full time last summer; in trying to get a rough draft ready for Aikido of Madison’s 30th Anniversary party on Aug. 3, I ran head-first into a technical wall: my aging MacBook Pro simply could not handle the amount of data I was pushing and pulling to hard disk as the project grew.

Due to my economic situation, it took the better part of four months (and a little help from my parents) to remedy the situation. But, this left precious little time before the December 3rd festival deadline, and although they allow the submission of “rough draft” iterations, by the time I had the new iMac on hand, I did not have the time to get the film in the proper state for a successful submission. What I submitted was simply too rough.

It has taken the better part of the last two months to get myself over the disappointment and back to a head-space where I could once again tackle the work of completing the film.

And that’s the good news – it will, eventually, be finished. To jump-start the process, I decided that it was high-time I made another trailer, more up-to-date with where the film is currently headed in its present iteration.

I think this new trailer is really exciting; I had a ton of fun making it, and it has really helped me “dust off the cobwebs” and brush aside some of the hurt and disappointment of missing the Wisconsin Film Festival. I am determined more than ever to see this through and edit “dojo” into a really enjoyable and informative documentary.

Give the new trailer a spin, and feel free to leave comments on the YouTube page.

As always, thanks to the entire Aikido of Madison family for their support, patience, and willingness to participate in this project.

– stephen

March 30, 2015

Lower 3rds

Editing has begun! And now, lots of decisions to make – where/when to cut, what to cut-to, and how to make everything visually hold together; one hurdle near completed (I think): design of “lower 3rds” (industry lingo for text identifying speakers):

image of John and Robin sensei's with lower-3rds graphics

first test of lower 3rds, left and right simultaneous w/ two-shot









Graphics created as “titles” in Apple Motion 5, and published to Final Cut Pro with editable parameters.

Is the samurai  sword-blade effect subtle enough?! At this point I think the design will work; I’ll see how it bears out across the rest of the editing process.

Music to my ears…

And we have a composer!

I am pleased to welcome on board Graham Marlowe. A Green Bay area native, Graham has recently come home to Wisconsin, and after a stint in Milwaukee, moved to Madison. He and I connected via a Craigslist post he made seeking artistic connections. With years of keyboard and composition experience under his belt, he’s looking to augment playing with a local band by moving into doing more film scoring.

You can read more about Graham here:

He will be creating original compositions for “dojo”; as a taste of what’s to come, he has given me permission to use his track “Refraction” to underscore the “slo-mo” teaser – just posted to YouTube: .

I’m thrilled to have another artistic collaborator as I move towards shaping the final production of “dojo”!

Here we Indiegogo…

I am throwing my hat into the “crowd-funding” ring – today I’m launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise $5,000 (maybe more?!) for “dojo”!

You can view the campaign here:

Please donate if you are able – but more important, please SHARE WITH YOUR NETWORK! (sorry for the shouting)

And now, back to the footage reviewing (six interviews down, eleven more to go…)