Student Portfolio Reviews

The Lookie Lookie at your Bookie Tour will take place during the month of June. I want to make myself available to review any student portfolio and offer suggestions or feed back on your work. This is a great way to a real-world perspective on your student work. Gain the edge as you move into the job market with these informative one-on-one feed back sessions. To schedule your appointment please email me your information at with the subject line “Portfolio Review”. Only a limited number of spots available so sign up today.


5 Questions with Hueline Pictures

I first came across Mike and Steve via twitter when they started to follow me. I checked out their site can was impressed with their work. It wasn’t until a week or so later that I realized that Steve was actually one of my students in my class. Only good things can come from this pair. They have tremendous talent and I’m still in shock that they have really just started out. The level and quality of their work is impressive. I’m pleased to have Hueline Pictures as this weeks 5 question interview. Enjoy.

Mike: What more can I say? We are Hueline Pictures. If I remember correctly, the name came from the color spectrum (hue), as it’s a line (line). Something like that. But back to the question. We are cinematographers. Every experience is a learning process. So in this past year especially, Steve and I have been working to define who we really are and what we really do. We’ve made a point of telling people we are NOT videographers. Videographer’s collect footage and line it up together. We strive to, instead, capture meaningful moments, and link them together in a way that makes sense — to tell a story.

Steve: Hey internet, I’m Steve and together with Mike we make up Hueline Pictures. I think we officially started Hueline during our sophomore year in high school. That would sometime in 2007 or so. For the record, neither of us remembers how the hell we came up with the name. Best guess is that it just sort of happened. In the summer, we shoot wedding cinematography as our main projects. But when things are slow, we try and do as many personal/passion projects as we can. I know that sometime in March or April I’m driving up to East Lansing to shoot a short film with Mike and a few others.

Mike: our 9-5 job is…student. Steve is a Junior at Valparaiso, and I am a Senior at Michigan State. Hueline is a joint venture that started in high school. We have since evolved into a wedding cinematography company over the summers. On my end, I enjoy another part time job at The State News, Michigan State’s campus newspaper. There, I work as a print and web coordinator, designing print advertisements and promos. Though I try to give myself a break from behind the camera, I usually end up shooting a short film every once and a while. To no one’s surprise, Steve and I pick apart the cinematography in many of our favorite television shows over the summer. Check out “Downton Abbey” (I-TV UK). The subtle tilt-shift they often use is awesome!

Steve: As far my “9-5” job at Valpo, I have a few. I give tours a few hours of the week for the admissions department. Like Mike said, it’s a sometimes needed break from the camera. That said, my other two jobs involve the usage of creativity and cameras. I shoot a few stills for our campus paper, “The Torch”, but I also do (primarily) video production for our Integrated Marketing and Communications department. I touch anything that hits the web outside of the student community. Besides classes, my other most time-consuming activity is swimming for the University. I’ve been swimming competitively since I was probably 6-8 years old or so, and both my parents swam at UALR in Little Rock (along with my paternal uncle), so the chlorine definitely runs deep in our family. Like Mike, I spend a decent amount of time “researching”; that is, watching videos. Anything from the superb “Downton Abbey” to this amazing film from Sherpas Cinema, “all.i.can”.

Steve: Well, in our area (St. Joseph, MI–just north of South Bend, IN about 30 mins), we are pretty unique as far as the services we offer our clients. Our packages are listed on our website, and we leave the option open for upgrades in services after the fact. We take a super personal approach with every client and go over the specifics of what each client must have in each video. Maybe there is a father-daughter dance and they want the whole thing–we make sure we know ahead of time. This approach makes certain that every client receives the product that they expect.

Mike: Steve’s said it all. We want create a personal experience in the process of creating a wedding film. A lot of other companies sugarcoat it. We tell it straight. The bride and groom are really the core of the film. If they are not in love, per say, there’s no way the film will depict that. We aren’t trying to sell the couples love, we are trying to sell them a story. Some like their films more quirky. Other like it traditional. Some want a gritty feel, while another might ask for something with “edge”.

Mike: This one is tricky, seeing as we’re both young individuals trying to break into the industry. Steve and I each have very specific career goals, but Hollywood and the television industry are both at the end of our maps. The best advice we can offer is to those who are young, and are looking for work experience. The answer is simple: make your own experiences. Don’t wait to hear back from that big corporate interview or that super prestigious studio in New York. Definitely give it your all and apply! But entrepreneurship is also a great option. Steve and I have learned a lot over the short course of time we’ve been running Hueline. Managing finances, client relations, trouble-shooting on the day of the wedding (yikes). Take initiative, and find a way to market your passion. Do your research before you begin. Want it as bad as you want to breathe.

Steve: I’m on par with Mike. Everything he’s said is definitely accurate, but what I can say is pursue what you want to do with the zeal of a hungry chimp running about a grocery store looking for the one and only banana left in the county. Lately, I’ve dumped everything and focused purely on creating and coming up with new and fresh ideas. So take creativity and make it a constant part of your life–everything you do can become a exercise in creativity. When you do this, life becomes more colorful and the things that you dislike doing become just that much easier to tackle. Please excuse my hippy-speak, but embrace life fully and set out to be creative in everything you do, you will always enjoy what you do and always have fresh, new ideas.

Mike: It’s difficult to listen to music when cutting a highlight reel. Every sound that is associated with these moments is equally as important as the visual. I typically spend a few hours going through all the footage, and populating the timeline with all the shots I think I can work with. Once I have a good idea of what’s there, I will mute the computer and throw on some headphones. A couple of Gershwin tunes are always customary when ordering shots. My personal favorites are the peppy piano tunes from his various musicals (“Tell Me More”, “Tip-Toes”, etc.). This songs, along with a few other classical pieces, help me find the emotion and purpose in each reel. Anything with words is usually a bit distracting.

Steve: On a daily basis, I visit a number of websites, but the most influential websites usually come from the other creatives that I follow (on twitter). Chase Jarvis (yeah, Mike, you were right) is a big name in my book. He does commercial work, both still and moving. His blog is updated roughly twice or three times a month I’d say, and he’s always got something awesome to say. The other blog I look at quite often is Zach Arias’ blog. He has this saying, “GOYA” as in “get off your ass” and shoot (or create, or design, or whatever it is that you do). That’s definitely something I’ve taken to heart, and I’m glad that he’s shared his nuggets of knowledge. I’ve also just discovered your blog, Joseph and I read your post about the 60-second sketch you do everyday. I’m definitely “borrowing” that idea. Twitter is an awesome tool to discover more creatives and like-minded folks that share a similar passion. I can’t tell you how many valuable contacts I’ve made via twitter.

Mike |     Steve | Check back in March/April!

Twitter: @mikesmiy  |  @skbooth  |  @huelinepictures

It’s magical when done right

I have always been drawn to creative copyrighting; prior to entering the creative field. To write such messages takes true skill and craft that only comes with a keen understanding of word choice, tone and pace. Pair those with stunning visuals and a thought provoking underscore and magic is truly born. You know it when you hear, it’s something that hits it’s mark instantly, but its impact is everlasting. I’m constantly taken off guard when a commercial hits that sweet spot. Movies and TV shows have their moments, but commercials are in a league of their own. They have a much harder hill to climb in achieving the impact that I’m talking about. Their short time frame and intrusion into our busy lives, make their jobs a lot harder, falling to the realms of the old “if a tree falls in the woods” life cycle. I’ve come across a few that stand out as real winners in my book. Check them out below.


Friday Picks

I’m changing my Inspiration Friday’s to Friday picks. Not as sexy, but after thinking about these posts, I think the content may or may not be “inspirational”, the content is cool stuff that interest me. With that said here are some things that caught my eye this week. Check them out and share your thoughts. Have  a great weekend. Enjoy.

Save the Internet

Thanks to for putting me on to this.

Beautiful tees in this great Lookbook

Great recap with links and insight from Jacob Cass

Type-tastic: Guest post by Teresa Zorzi

Here are some awesome examples of type to get your wheels spinning and the week going. Thanks to Teresa Zorzi for sending long these images to share with you from the Chicago History Museum. You can follow on twitter at @tzorzi. I encourage you all to always have your camera handy and take photos of anything you find interesting or creative. It’s a great way to stock pile inspiration when you need it for your next project and more. Have fun and thanks again for sharing these images with us T.

5 Questions with Shawn Stuckey

I meet Shawn through a good friend of mine Kevin Bruinsma, he told me about Shawn and his work and how he was a pretty cool guy. Once Kevin handed me his business card I was sure that it was going to be a great connection. I checked out his site and learned a little more about him, then shot him and email and said what’s up. And just like that the conversation started to flow and now I will be meeting him today to discuss who really has the hottest hair in the game ;). This week I share with you my connection and now yours; Shawn Stuckey. Enjoy.

My name is Shawn Stuckey, and as a matter of fact I answer this exact question on my site. Here’s the link.

If you don’t feel like leaving this blog, (and I don’t blame you) I’ll summarize. I’m a self-motivated graphic designer constantly learning and growing so that I can expand the language of design. I work in identity, print, Illustration, informational web, large format signage, and video.

I am also a husband, father, home brewer, Blackhawk fan, and nano reef (small marine aquarium) hobbyist. If you click on the Nemo sketch on my homepage, it will take you to my Tank thread on a site that I frequently give advice or witty left-handed remarks to fellow hobbyist.

Every other Monday I try to make the Pint Ride from the Trek store in Schererville  to the Crown Brewery in Crown Point. It is getting cold out, so I  may just board up until April. On Saturdays you can find me at open skate at Midwest Ice Arena in Dyer trying to build my hockey skillz back up so I can keep up with my son, who was named “Hockey Student of the Month” in September.

I am currently working with the non-profit “The Sunny Project” to develop their corporate identity. It started out as an illustration job for a children’s book. As that book made its way into other countries and languages an idea was born. Now it has become “The Sunny Project” which ensures that disadvantaged children have the resources they need for educational success throughout the world.

Well, no one likes a braggart. That, and the truth is I don’t know all the creatives in NWI to confidently say I am all that different.One thing I do know is I have the best hair. I challenge you (the reader) to show me one NWI creative with a better hairstyle than me. Some of the ladies have come close. The guys, forget about it. No one can touch my mad style in the rat nest department.
Shawn Stuckey :: 1 | Everybody else :: 0.
Keep your eyes open, Keep learning, challenge yourself, and never allow your ability to grow stagnant. Protect your work environment to facilitate your creativity. Then find a way to “turn off” at the end of the day and decompress. That way you can stay hungry and excited.If you work in Photoshop, learn how to make a selection. Learn several ways to make a selection. Learn the best, most efficient way to make that selection, and then be willing to change and adapt those methods.Look at movie posters and magazine covers from the mid 90’s compared to now. It amazes me that the mask job around the subject’s hair was ever acceptable back then. But fact is, the designer had a limited amount of time and made the most of it with the capabilities of the tools at the time. And that looked good… then. Now we have “refine edge” in our pocket, which is great, but don’t rely on it. It won’t always work in your favor. Try the alpha channel technique, onOne has a pretty sweet plug in, dive into the 3rd party bag of tricks. Don’t limit yourself. Push your tools past their own capabilities. At least try.You’ll never grow stagnant. You’ll stay hungry and excited.Well in Photoshop anyway. We won’t dive into the rest of the creative suite today.

1. (well at least weekly)
2. (obviously)
3. (when the budgets tight)
4. (I love these books, nice brand education and inspiration)
5. (especially after a loss… Toews better tell me what happened!)
6. (as stated above, see question 2)
7. (ahh… vacation come February)
8. (for inspiration… Come on now, that’s how you got here) At least, that is what Google Chrome currently has listed as my top 8…

Friday Inspiration

Here are a few things that caught my eye, inspired me, and are just flat out cool. Enjoy.

Light field camera that allows you to change focal points after taking the picture.

I love Nike commercials. The writing is always spot on as well as the edit and visuals. Love, love.

think netflix but with art. very cool concept and idea.

This little girl drops a serious message on the UN Earth summit. Very inspiring and eye opening.

The week isn't right without a little S. Joel Norman in it. Check out a couple songs from his new album. And see him live Nov. 25 at Goose Island

A week isn't complete without some type goodness found on Pinterest

And lastly a shameless plug. Check out my teaser to my 2011 promo video.