Photo to Movie User Profile - Jeffrey White

Jeff is a multimedia artist who struck up a partnership with comic Bruce Garrabrandt. Together, the two used Photo to Movie to create wry, witty slideshows of Bruce's drawings -- sometimes slowly zooming out to reveal the perfect punchline. We interviewed Jeff on his background, his work, his passions, and how Photo to Movie aids his and Bruce's comic vision.

LQ Graphics: What kind of work do you do?

Jeffrey White: For years I'd helped friends and family with photo retouching, video editing and multimedia DVD creation. My background is in Graphic Arts and Printing, but I have a lot of skill sets that are in-demand more than ever since the advent of digital photography. What began as a hobby is slowly turning into a small, but exciting side business.

LQ: How did you get involved with Bruce Garrabrandt? What drew you to his work?

JW: My parents owned a printing company when I was growing up and they worked very closely with Bruce producing lithographs of his art. I recall how fun it was each quarter that he came into town with new piece. One day I asked my parents whatever happened to Bruce and they said that he and his wife had purchased a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania. As far as they knew, he was still adding to his library of whimsical, colored-pencil drawings. Having tried numerous trials of various motion effects software up to that point, I really liked what I was doing with Photo to Movie so I mustered the courage and reached out to Bruce and said that I had the experience to bring his art to life in ways never available to him at that point. Intrigued, we began talking and came up with a neat idea for a DVD. Bruce is also a prolific writer and does well in front of a camera, so we quickly partnered and came up with theme for "Nature With a Twist, A Playful Look at Life, Art and other Turmoil."

LQ: How do you use Photo to Movie?

JW: After photographing nearly 80 of Bruce's drawings, we bundled them into sets that had common themes. We then used Photo to Movie to show a portion of the art, slowly revealing the entire piece, and then revealing the "ironic" title of the art. This was all set to music that I arranged with the help of Apple's Garageband. There were 12 slideshows in all, and each acted as an intermission between comedic storytelling segments featuring Bruce telling funny stories injected with self-deprecating humor.

LQ: How has Photo to Movie benefited you in your work? Has it allowed you to do anything you couldn't do before?

JW: Photo to Movie is a major player in this DVD. There are only 5 hardware and software companies mentioned in the credits. In addition, Bruce and I are the are the only human beings involved in the creation of this DVD, along with a talented graphic designer friend who helped with the cover art. While we clearly have not produced a "Hollywood scale" production, I would say that Photo to Movie holds a 50% position from a software standpoint as the 12 slideshows play a substantial role in the DVD. In addition, the titles of many of Bruce's drawings are obscure, so Photo to Movie also trains the viewer to look for the irony in each piece as they're only displayed for 10-12 seconds each. In fact many people have commented that they really liked the slideshow portion because it became somewhat of game to try and figure out what each piece was called.

LQ: What feature(s) in Photo to Movie do you use most often?

JW: Simple pan and zoom were used mostly. But Photo to Movie's ability to help me keep timing was huge. I needed to maintain a rhythm and that was a great feature of Photo to Movie.

LQ: Do you use any additional software with Photo to Movie? Talk about the process between Photo to Movie and other photo, video-editing or DVD-authoring programs (such as Aperture, Final Cut, DVD Studio Pro, etc), as well as music programs (such as Garageband).

JW: Photo to Movie for the slideshows, Final Cut Express for final editing, Garageband for music, and in this case, iDVD for final burning of the master. They worked seamlessly together. While most of the software was Apple-based, the basic motion effect in iPhoto didn't cut it. Photo to Movie stepped it up a notch which is exactly what I needed.

LQ: In many cases it seems your editing style determines the pacing and the cadence of the comedy on Bruce's DVD (such as the zoom outs which slowly reveal his artwork). Do you have a background in humor at all?

JW: No, but I have a very good sense for what makes people laugh and what doesn't.

LQ: How has Photo to Movie helped you communicate Bruce's humor to a home viewing audience?

JW: Total Control was really our key to success here. While this is my first foray into formal video and DVD production. My role was different in that, I was the photographer, lighting guy, sound guy, videographer, collaborator, director, producer, post production, and sales guy. We began shooting pictures and working in Photo to Movie well before we began filming, so we already knew how things were going to look by the time we started filming. Couple this with Bruce's immense creative genius and it was a perfect match. We never once had an argument or major disagreement while producing this piece. We simply fed off of each other's creative energy all the while learning as we went along. Two things to note for anyone kind enough to purchase our DVD, no script, screenplay, production notes or tele-prompter were ever used, and what's more fascinating is that the entire 52 minutes were done in one take on a rainy Spring afternoon in a quaint town in Lancaster County, PA. It took longer for me to setup and breakdown the equipment than it did to film the piece. Bruce has no formal on screen experience, he's simply a disciplined, highly-creative individual filled with very large library of content waiting to be freed from his brain. Our partnership was somewhat serendipitous and Photo To Movie was clearly the software that gave me confidence to propose this idea to Bruce in the first place.

LQ: On that note, what have been some notable reactions to your work?

JW: Virtually everyone really likes the DVD. As I mentioned, it's clearly not of "Hollywood Scale," but that's precisely what we were looking to avoid. This is simply good, wholesome, humor that is sure to please most audiences and we're working hard to gain national exposure for it. Bruce's work has been compared by some as a cross between Norman Rockwell and Gary Larson's "Far Side," so we know we have a much larger audience out there.

LQ: Do you have any future plans for using Photo to Movie?

JW: Absolutely, DVD #2 is in the works and Photo to Movie will play the same powerful role it did in Nature With A Twist! Photo to Movie has taken decades of expensive mechanical still motion studio effects and bundled it into an easy-to-use software that caters to people of all skill levels. You'll see a lot more of us using Photo to Movie in the future!

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Jeff. If you'd like to learn more about Jeffrey White and Bruce Garrabrandt, visit the movie's official website here:

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