What’s up with Leveen?

It was 8th grade, I had just gotten my braces off and Sandy Kaplan finally noticed me! The space program was in full swing, it was heady and exciting times and I was hooked. Science was going to be my thing, that’s what I wanted to do when I graduated from college. I knew the results from my Iowa test that I had a taken a week before where going to confirm my career choice. When I sat with the guidance counselor, whose name escapes me, but not what she said, “David, your science and math scores are average, but your English and Creative skills are near the top!” I was stunned, my dreams of the space were dashed, what possibly could I do for the rest of my life, and then Advertising popped into my head! Of course, if Daren Stevens could do it and be married to the beautiful Elizabeth Montgomery on “Bewitched” that was for me and my 8th grade brain.

As it turned out, it really was the best decision I ever made. I didn’t end up in an advertising agency, but working with almost all of them as an editor/director of TV commercials. Not only commercials, but TV news, TV programs, Music Videos and Movies and along the way I used an ever increasing array of technology advancements from 16mm b/w film to 3/4”, 2” and 1” video tape to Hi-8, to HDV and to HDSLR. I edited and directed with them all! I cut film by hand, used the first 3/4” editing system by SONY, also CMX, Montage, Avid and Final Cut Pro programs.

From $1,000,000 dollar edit rooms to a $1000 laptop one thing has always been constant, it is what made me a successful editor and director. It has nothing to do with the technical skills you need to learn but everything to do with your heart and soul. Who you are as a person, what makes you tick, what you feel and what you think. I’m going to offer up my experience in what I call “movie making” both the technical and the gestalt of it. That undefinably something that differentiates a picture from a photograph, a cook from a chef and a craftsman from a genius. It’s going to make you a better film maker whether you’re shooting your daughters soccer game, making a video for your band, selling a product, or baring your soul! Stay tuned!

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Welcome to all of you who have found your way from Rick Sammon’s website. Rick and I are partners in our DVD/Training company, Rick’s Pixel Magic. Not only is Rick one of the best photography teachers I’ve ever met, he’s also a great creative partner and most importantly, he’s a great friend! Rick and I will be hosting a 3 day workshop session in the Spring in Croton on Hudson, NY for HD Video. So whether you’re making a movie, recording the kids soccer game, or promoting your business our workshop will teach you the mechanics of movie making, the thinking process and workflow behind a successful video project. Happy movie making….

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