The Reveal

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Well, here it is everyone; the reveal. The moment you all have been waiting for. Let Go and Let God has officially been posted online to You can view the film below!

I was going to be submitting the film to the Johnstown Film Festival but I exceeded the 30 minute time limit. That being, I will now be submitting my film to the Great Lakes International Film Festival under the Documentary Short category.  Thank you all for your support!


Showcase Reflection

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Last Saturday, the third of December was our showcase day for the 14 documentaries in my Broadcast Communications Capstone class.  I got there a little after 3:30 to watch Alyssa Hanna’s and Drew Trifelos’ films. They both traveled to other countries as well (Israel and Greece).  Both, I thought, were very well done and I really enjoyed watching both.

My mother and grandmother arrived at about 4:50, which was an adventure on its own, trying to direct them over the phone over where to go and having them arrive only 10 minutes before we were set to go. But that turned out well I suppose. I had about 40 people in attendance for our session (myself and Jeff Houser) including six other Jamaica teammates, Reverend Jim Mohr and my great friends Travis Kelly and Mike Gorman! It was very nice having so many supportive friends in attendance. One thing I wish though is that more classmates from Capstone could have been there to help support me. Nonetheless though, it went very well.

My film went first in the two film session and it received a lot of applause at the end. Normally I would fear that it was just polite applause but I received a lot of praise for it from audience members and I do not think that was the case.  My film did seem a bit dark though, definitely darker than how it always looked on computer monitors.  But, it’s a learning experience and i can expect that for next time. It was very nice listening to the audience laugh at parts of the film that I spent so much time editing, i forgot they were even funny; so that was cool.

Jeff (left) and I after the films showed

After both films, Jeff and I went up front to answer any questions the audience had and I felt very bad that no one asked him any questions.  Looking back, I wish I would have asked him one, because I actually did have a question for him. Over all though, it was a really great experience, although not quite like what I expected.

Hi, My Name is Matt

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Myself (left) and Jeff Houser (right) for the Christian session of Broadcast Capstone

Matt Pereslucha, a senior Broadcast Communications major and Media Art Minor, is the son of Deborah and Rich Pereslucha.  Matt is a graduate of Kiski Area High School and hails from the land of Vandergrift. His film, Let Go and Let God, follows his personal journey on a week-long mission trip to Jamaica with 14 others. The film gives an eye-opening look at the beautiful people of Savanna La Mar, Jamaica as well as the unique personalities that come together in forming a mission team, set out to spread the Good News.  “I think people definitely have a misconception of Christian mission work and I want to people to see the good these people are doing across the world.  We’re trying to change lives for the better, and in the process, our lives lives are changed.”

Let Go and Let God official trailer

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Pay to the Talent

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Prompt- consider the skills and experiences i have develped during my time at WEstminster inside the Broadcasting curriculum and outside of it; identify three skills/abilities/ talents that i deem paramount for documentary producers and directors and how they should be assessed in my film.

Well, the three that I think i have really learned and grown into would interviewing, writing, and editing.

Let’s start with editing.  I think, without a doubt, editing is my strong suit in the broadcasting field. I really do enjoy editing; putting all the pieces together to really tell the story.

with of course the help of a friend

I think people really enjoy some of the timelapses i put into the film and voice over work i think works very well.  I only used audio and video from everything i shot down there, so i could not go back and add something with a voice over that would have been good to say, i must have had to say when i was down there, on camera.  So that was a lot of fun using a limited source and having to have thought that all out while i was down there.  I also think i did a good job of pacing the film with the editing and I do believe that it flows very nicely.

I also decided to go with very basic graphics for the movie because i want the footage i shot to do all the talking. I used a basic white Arial font with a light drop shadow and put a slight movement to all of the titles so that they appear to slowly drift across the screen when they fade in. I really like the way they look.

Secondly. Interviewing. Let’s start with this- I love my interviews. They are absolutely gorgeous. I think people are going to be blown away when they see them. I think. I hope. I believe they are framed up terrifically and the HD really comes into play with these. I love them. In case you did not figure that out.

Grab a kleenex for the tears of joy and then look at that scenery.

Lastly. Writing. The writing for this film came so naturally.  Unlike the traditional news package that I have become used to making, Nat sound, and not interviews, really built the structure of the film.

Normally i would transcribe all of my interviews completely and then pick the soundbites I want. I like the metaphor of brick and mortar to describe this. I would use these soundbites as the brick, and then just use a simple Voice over (mortar) to fill in the gaps between bricks and transition between bites.

But in this film, i do nearly the opposite. For each day of footage, i looked at what the main event or story of the day was and then built that day around it. I used soundbites if i had them from teammates to describe the events of the day and then just simply showed what happened with Nat sound and visuals. And i think it turned out tremendously.

I think people will be very much impressed when they see this film.  It’s 41 minutes long but i sincerely do not think it feels that long.  It has a great flow and i would argue it feels like almost 25-30 minutes. I’m proud of the work I put into it, and even more so of the final result. It is a great showcase of my skills as a filmmaker.

Cover Art and Posters (poll attached)

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poster 1

poster 2

poster 3

poster 4

cover art 1

cover art 2

cover art 3

A Personal Journey

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I want to start this post by saying, today, i finished the rough cut of my film! This is an absolutely huge milestone. I’ve already actually begun the trimming down process as well but I do think I’m pretty close to telling the story I want to tell. It stands right now at 41 minutes and 37 seconds.  Awesome!

Our blog prompt this week is to discuss our documentary structure and presentation style.  To my knowledge, I am the only one in my class whose film is a personal journey.  Most people are telling the story of a place, event, building; going over its’ history and telling the story of something that already happened.

As I was filming my story, it WAS happening. I filmed it then and there. And most importantly, it is my story. It is very point-of-view. Its of my experience down in Jamaica.  I knew to make a good film, it had to be something I was passionate about. I was passionate about this mission trip, so what better subject matter than myself??

My film is presented in a very straight-forward chronological structure.  The beginning of the film is everything I filmed on the first day, telling the story of the first day. The second day is footage I filmed on the second day, and I edited it together to tell the story of the second day… and so on.  I used a simple black fade between days with what I believe to be effective transitions between days.  I really do think it flows quite nicely.  There’s a very definitive beginning, middle, and end. Its nice and clean cut.

A documentary that really inspired me was the film Catfish.  There’s alot of controversy around the film but, if it is a true story, they shot the film as it happened and then showed what they had on film.  There was no going back and shooting things that already happened.  It’s a really great story and a film I very much enjoyed watching.

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