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Imagine a world where miracles happens all the time. Fun, right?  Lucky you. This world is yours already. You just have to open your eyes to its magic.  Welcome to Imagic Films, a Bay Area video production company. 

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Hi, my name is Mila Martysiuk

I'm a creative thinker with a zest for knowledge and self-expression. At the same time I'm very organized and I love managing the creative process. 

Why I  filmmaking

Filmmaking is probably one of the few things in the world that have the ability to seize the moment. How many times in your life you went “Oh, if only this moment could last forever!” Even movies shot a while back still live in the present moment.

Why I  journalism

Journalism has been my life time gig because I love how it involves curiosity. One has to be curious to write about something, and one has to be curious to read it. Curiosity drives progress and makes big things happen. Curious people with zest for knowledge and growth are successful and happy people, according to Maslow.

Why I  philosophy

I wish they taught in schools some practical philosophy. Stuff like our perception of the world and stories that we create about our lives and surroundings. In the end, it’s not the acquired scientific knowledge that makes people happy. It’s our attitude and beliefs.

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  • Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating

    David Ogilvy
  • I don’t dream at night, I dream at day, I dream all day, I’m dreaming for living

    Steven Spielberg
  • Great art stretches the taste, it doesn't follow tastes

    Steve Jobs

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Heart-to-Art


I’ve recently come across a very riveting article from one of my favorite bloggers Mark Mason. In his post “The most important question in your life”, he views our dreams and inspiration from a totally different angle. While we might have a clear vision of our ideal future, we often fail to consider the struggles and sacrifices that we have to overcome in order to get there. “The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life, ” argues Mason. This is not a novel idea, of course. In economics and behavioral psychology, people’s tendency to prefer avoid losing to acquiring equivalent gains is called loss aversion. In other words, the pain of losing your beloved car feels stronger that the joy of winning a car of the same value in a lottery.

What does it have to do with art? Lots, actually.

First ask yourself why exactly do you want to be an artist. Dig deep for the answer because this answer might save you the best years of your life. What associations do you have when you hear a “graphic designer”, a “film maker”, a “photographer”, a “writer” or whatever else you are into? Can you visualize the end result – designing a great product for Apple, receiving Academy Awards recognition, becoming next Tim Walker or being a NY best selling writer? Close your eyes, imagine yourself in your dream house, enjoying the lifestyle you want, being the person you want. Get very present to your feelings. Feels great, doesn’t it?

Next visualize the pain you will face to get there. Sleepless nights and zombie existence. Telling your kids that you are in the middle of something amazingly creative and they have to wait. Why? Well, tomorrow you might not have the inspiration. Filming a movie for six months, thousands of miles away from your spouse, which might significantly stress your relationship. Sure, there are some understanding partners who would be fine with letting you go fly a kite. Like Darwin’s wife Emma who managed to preserve a happy family for her super busy husband and their ten kids. Keep in mind that was a different time, and nowadays it’s unrealistic to expect it.  Not being able to provide for your family because you are still stuck with entry level creative jobs.

I’m in no way trying to discourage you from pursuing art. I believe that even though all people are creative, some are such that they have no choice but to devote their life to it. But just as with any other important decisions in life, art comes with sacrifices. I wish I came across this insight ten years ago when I decided to become a journalist and went through hell to finish my degree. I was so in love with the idea of being a heroine who braves war zones and publish work that could change the future of the civilization. Was I willing to give up having a family, a stable mental state, or – no kidding – my own life for that end result? No way. Nevertheless, I let this fantasy run my life for all of my early adulthood.

Say, you are clear with yourself on what you have to go through while heading towards your dreams. That’s a great starting point. Now you have to learn to love the pain of getting there. “People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it,” notes Manson.

They make it NOT because they have clearly visualized the image of getting to the top, but rather because they enjoy the pain of getting there.

Show me a creative person who wouldn’t dream of working remotely while diving through the world and having fun. Ok, maybe you are not into traveling and prefer to work from your cozy couch to avoid 9-5 boredom. Or perhaps you are finally ready to walk out on Silicon Valley traffic jam.

Fiverr Fever, baby.

The Fiverr idea was born in 2009 in the mind of two tech entrepreneurs, Shai Wininger and Micha Kaufman. Wenninger, also a co-founder of Lemonade Inc., the first Peer to Peer insurance company, came up with a way to create a digital platform which would allow people to buy and sell digital services. Graphic design, digital marketing, video and animation, music and audio, programming, writing and translation – Fiverr currently offers millions of Gigs most of which are fulfilled by freelance contractors. Services start at $5 (that’s where Fiverr got its name from) but trust me, if you are good and you know it, you can make up to a thousand of dollars per gig. And I’m saying it as someone who once paid $600 for a Fiverr Gig.

I don’t like counting someone else’s money but – for motivational purposes – some Top Fiverr earners Reddhorrocks, Actualreviewnet and Linneas88 are making about $100,000 a year. This is the very top of all sellers, of course. Other benefits include polishing one’s skills and growing as a professional, making business connections and forming creative partnerships.

You can find amazing success stories on Fiverr blog. Charles (Silberma1976), who writes and successfully sells content for the web on Fiverr, was able to bring many of the skills he learned on Fiverr to his career. “I’ve developed an e-course for the top physical education company (PE Central), I’m a contributing blogger for a top physical education supply company, and I’m working on a blog to help newly hired PE teachers. These are just three projects Fiverr has helped me have the confidence to do, and using my body of work on Fiverr has given me the credibility to be tasked with any job. It all goes hand in hand.” Or a story of Gal and Marianne (WordAndRecord), professional animators, who work on Fiverr Gigs while escaping Canadian winter in South America. “With Fiverr, we went from working part-time jobs to traveling the world in just a few months after opening our current account,” says the couple. And there are tons of people like that on Fiverr.

If you are not into selling your marketable skills, consider buying them. I’ve been using Fiverr as a buyer since 2015, and to be honest, continue being amazed how professional, skillful and trustworthy most of the sellers are. Fiverr rating system and a huge business potential definitely encourage sellers to take their job seriously.

Here are the three Gigs that I ordered from Fiverr for my film projectst.

Animation

During the post-production for a post-apocalyptic video commercial, we lost our animator to urgent family matters. I decided to search for a Fiverr artist who would be able to create some post-apocalyptic scenes as well as a closing logo animation.

There are not that many Fiverr animators who would take on a job of creating a 5-6 sec complex animation from scratch. Most of the animation gigs offer to modify existing templates to fit your needs, which can be done for $5. For example, one can get a whiteboard animation video for $5 per 120 words of text. If you want to create something more sophisticated, keep in mind that animation takes a while, and extra time means bigger costs.

Most of the animators that I contacted said that the scope of work was too big for them and bailed out. Two of them gladly accepted the challenge and made me very satisfied with the results. The custom order from E_samurai included 3 shots of a space ship. One of them didn’t make it but you can see two at 00:02 – 00:03 and 00:37-00:38 min. I also received a post-apocalyptic shot at 00:01-00:02 min. I paid $600 as a custom order for all 4 videos.

You can see the video here:

Logo animation at 01:16-01:17 was crafted by Kanidaking for $50. Both of the orders were made by scratch and were completed within 1-2 weeks. In comparison – the animators we worked with before could only deliver in a couple of months.

Of course, ordering Gigs that cost much more than $5 comes with risks. An artist might be trying his absolute best to create great animation but fails to cut the mustard.

When ordering animation Gigs, I suggest the following.

  1. Communicate the desired look as precisely as you can. Show the artist inspirational videos that might be similar to the look you are going for. Communicate to him the desired color, feel and mood. What is your project about? Show them any edits that you already have so that they gets a sense of the current cinematic choices.
  2. Discuss the number of revisions will be made.
  3. Discuss the format of the video. I asked for 4K resolution for my animation, and E_samurai happily provided it.
  4. Be patient. Remember that you are working with an artist who – just like you – can encounter such technical misfortunes as rendering problems, creative block or family issues. Would you want your art to be produced by a happy person whose creativity is not constrained by your criticism? Or by someone who is stressing out because they are a day behind the deadline and you are making fuss about it?

Voice Overs

My very first Gig was a voice over from Rocketsound that I used in promo purposes for a growing software business. It turned out to be exactly what I was looking for, and I started ordering voice overs for video purposes. It turned out to be so much easier to pay a professional $15 for a short narration than finding time and money for inviting an actor into a studio and recording the audio myself. And then what if the actor just doesn’t get it right? The money and time have been wasted, you have to set up another appointment with another actor and record again. With Fiverr, even if you are not satisfied with the result, you might lose twenty bucks – your precious time is not lost though.

I usually send a copy to a several voice over artists, have them read it and use the best version for my project.

Below is the example of a $10 voice over work from Ikwelsh used for one of the spec reel projects I did for fun.

Graphic Arts

My most recent video, a short documentary film about Maya, a brave happy teenage girl who was born three months premature and survived. It needed some artistic touch in the opening scenes. In other words, I wanted to introduce Maya as a happy beautiful girl who loves art and loves to laugh. I thought that perhaps I could make someone draw Maya’s portrait in a time-lapse video format. Even though I couldn’t find any takers for this Gig, I found a vector artist and illustrator Makemebark who has been specializing in creating pop art portraits. I thought she was very unique. A week and $30 later I received two gorgeous portraits, with different background color (and I didn’t even asked for it, it was a nice gesture on the artist’s part).

You can see how the image came in handy at creating a little intro animation – at 00:25-00:29.

What makes some startups successful? Of course, it starts with a big idea. What makes an idea a BIG IDEA? Giving users an opportunity to do what they love to do and to be rewarded for it. Fiverr knows that it’s just that simple.

When Napoleon offered 12,000 francs to someone who would discover a way to keep his army food supplies fresh, he hardly even knew that he pushed packaging design off the industrial rails. Someone called Nicholas Appert made such a discovery by stuffing the food in glass containers, sealing them with cork and wax, and boiling them after. This guy got himself a nickname “father of canning”, but his part in the history is much more than that. Along with other important industry discoveries (commercial paperboard in 1817, rotary printing press in 1847, folding carton in 1879), cans made it possible for the commercial packaging to start feeding the world of consumerism.

Since then we’ve been packaging pretty much everything. Some of the designs are so insanely cute that they are worth mentioning.

Tobacco Lunch Tin

In the 1860 -1880s, during the second wave of Industrial Revolution, dual use packaging became in huge demand. How can a cigarette pack transform into a convenient lunch box for the whole family? Easy as pie. Premium tobacco product Dixie Queen’s Tobacco Tin was designed with two handles and a lithographed design pattern featuring a Victorian Queen. Back in the times, male workers used these tins for their lunch, which was a sign of poverty rather than showing off with a cool lunch box (they simply couldn’t afford buying a hot lunch). Nevertheless, tobacco lunch tins were quickly picked up by their school-aged kids, until much playful roly-poly canisters won their hearts a bit later.

1

Cellophane Kids

After World War II, America experienced a tremendous economic growth. Growth in capitalism means growth in consumerism, and latter meant a better lifestyle, more sexual freedom and tastier food. Some packaging designs combined kids and food motives, which resulted in something similar to DuPont Cellophane ad. This cute piece featuring two twins sitting inside the cellophane bag looks more like a shot from the horror movie. Keep in mind though that it was designed back in the times when smothering in a cellophane bag was just a crazy imagination.

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Popsickle Shower

Korean-Germany company Ahhaproject with their collection Stitch milk soap hits customers like a bolt from the blue. They created soap popsickles made of organic goat milk powder that are aimed to make bathing an exciting experience for kids. While the ivory packaging reminds of a case of soft milk ice cream, the soap itself melts in little hands with the flavors of avocado, jojoba, camellia and calendula. Great idea but…what if a popsickle is too good to resist?

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Pure Honest Spine

Spine Vodka, a packaging design concept that won a German Design Award in 2015, is a horse of a different color. Chasing a stylistic visual metaphor for integrity and trustworthiness of the brand, designers integrated a spine with the ribcage straight inside the bottle. The products claims to be pure and honest about its intentions. Buy me, drink me, and come out of your shelf. In a literate way.

4

Fruit Monsters

Want to grab a bite during a lunch break? Packaging for Kiss, a fruit and veggies puree, will knock your socks off. Kiss partners include a hungry scull, a flirty young man, a green monster with a long purple tongue, a tribal man, a vampire and a sheep. The concept is fun for sure, and is focused mostly on a female audience.

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Hazelnut Boobs

While girls are joyfully kissing fruit monsters, guys are also in for the new treat. Meet Titses Chocolate,  provocative chocolate bars that are a spitting image of boobs, designed by the Tondo agency. Each boob of this milk chocolate contains a hazelnut. And, of course, they are only natural.

6

Rye Bread Boobs

Graphic design is commemorating female beauty again. Danish bread manufacturer Kohberg launched this campaign to raise money for the Danish Cancer Society in 2011 and to increase breast cancer awareness. Rye bread rolls (Rugbrødsboller) turned out to be extremely popular. Who would doubt?

7

Sad Reminder

Ukranian design company Reynolds and Reyner came up with quite an existential idea to present a cigarette case. They tickled our funny bones with a case that looks like a coffin. As the designers notes, smoking has become such a huge problem worldwide, and they wanted every smoker to acknowledge that every day they “carry death”.

8

Fit Buns

Do you know the feeling of light sadness when you eat something totally unhealthy? Well, high protein Fit Buns are made to make you feel less icky. Designed by MEX agency in Ukraine, these gorgeous six packs actively encourage a healthy lifestyle by offering a coupon for a free visit to a fitness center. You eat a bun, you hit the gym. Or vice versa. Producers claim that 2996 packs of buns sold the first month, while 658 people came for a trial gym session and 217 purchased membership cards. In other words, 22% of the buyers made a move to burn the bun calories. Not bad, right?

9

Hit and Eat

I love when people get their inspiration from the politics. I think it means that we, busy modern folks, are not ignorant about where we are heading towards as a society or humanity in general. Graphic designer Caty Aguilera was inspired by Trump’s racism comments and threats to build a great wall to stop illegal Mexican immigrants. “Astonished and appalled about so many things, the racism, the ignorance, and the fact that people would support Donald Trump as an actual president made me want to counter act. I wanted to come up with a designed based response to what I was hearing and feeling,” says Caty. Her response was a paper piñata called Revenge of the Mexican featuring Donald Trump.

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Salut creative packaging design. One day you might change the world.

 

3

According to the recent income studies, film making is among the university majors that parents should advice their kids against. It is low paid, highly competitive, and only a few lucky ones will actually get to enjoy their glory. Luxurious mansions in Beverly Hills, Oscar Statuette and, of course, a sleek Aston Martin. Only a few know, however, that lots of film directors don’t reside in LA. That some of the famous directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Tim Burton, David Lynch, and Christopher Nolan never won the Best Director. And that some of the “lucky ones”, like Steven Spielberg, prefer to drive modest S Model sedan.

Film directors travelled a long way to fame; they have ambitions, beliefs, bizarre habits, and internal struggles. During Cannes  2011 press conference,  Melancholia director Lars von Trier basically called himself a Nazi and expressed his feelings of sympathy for Hitler. I don’t think he would be ever forgiven by the film industry or the general public. This incident only illustrates that film directors can also be morally questionable.

Ready to get your brain tickled with more examples?

James Cameron Confronts Ignorance

When James Cameron was shooting The Abyss, a studio executive arrived at the location pampered up with an expensive suit and a limousine, ready to boss him around. Cameron found a clever way to show the unexpected visitor that he is not the one to mess with. The director put on a diving helmet on the visitor’s head and observed its arrogant owner practicing basic survival instincts, as the oxygen level in the helmet was rapidly decreasing. After the executive was finally set free, Cameron compared his interference with running out of air in deep water during the shoot (which happened to director that day).

Cameron has guarded the set from ignorance.             

George Lucas Lets his Characters Live his Dreams

George Lucas cherished three dreams. Two of them failed, and one of them, which he is known for, came true. First – becoming a race car driver – went out of picture after a bad accident. Second – becoming a pilot – vanished after Lucas was turned down by the Air Force as a result of multiple speeding tickets. But his third dream did come true, which made it possible for the director to have Anakin and Luke Skywalker live out his unfulfilled childhood dreams.

Steven Spielberg Films Pro Bono

Schindler’s List directed by Steven Spielberg is considered to be the most pricey black and white film in the history of film making. Guess what? The director refused to get paid for his work! He explained his reasoning in Today Show by saying, “It is blood money. Let’s call it what it is. I didn’t take a single dollar from the profits I received from Schindler’s List because I did consider it blood money.” Spielberg kindly donated his earned money to the Shoah Foundation.

Spielberg also turned down the offer to use Auschwitz concentration camp as a shooting location, as it might have been disrespectful towards the Holocaust victims.

Oliver Stone Gets Wild

Oliver Stone is one of those directors that require patience to deal with. This is especially true when the whole crew are stuck together in the wild Philippine jungle shooting Platoon for 10 weeks.  Oliver Stone, tortured by sleep deprivation and paranoia, created a fuss when he accused the film editor Claire Simpson of stealing the footage from one of the scenes. He was gently reminded that the only reason he couldn’t find the footage was that he hadn’t shot the scene yet.

Some of Them Skip School

For some reason we just love to dig around for the lucky exceptions. Yes, yes, yes. Many famous film directors, such as Spielberg, Cameron and Kubrick never made it to a film school and actually even advise against it.

Spielberg couldn’t get to the elite directing program at USC because of his C-average. He was accepted at California State University but he dropped out in 1968 to shoot a short film Amblin.

Stanley Kubrick not only didn’t go to college but also pretty barely handled high school. In 1945, university admission was skyrocketing because lots of veterans were returning home. Kubrick became photographer for Look magazine and started reading books at a rapid pace. High school curriculum, he says later, contains nothing but the “rote memorization of characters in books and plays”.

Martin Scorsese Says No to Smoking

Want to go up in flames during your break on Scorsese’s set? This ain’t gonna happen, my friend. Smoking was banned by the director during The Last Temptation of Christ mostly due to Scorsese’s asthma. Another possible reason for that was to protect the image of the biblical characters from the unnecessary public judgement. Jesus trying to kick his habit in front of the cross does sound a bit disturbing, doesn’t it?

Alfred Hitchcock Doesn’t Settle for Cheap Thrills

How much are you willing to pay to give your film a novelty ending? Well, Hitchcock paid about $9,000 to buy all the copies of the original novel Psycho, so that people who would watch the movie didn’t know how it would end. As Guardian describes, “He also filmed on a closed set and forced cast and crew to sign an agreement promising not to mention the ending to anyone. There were no advance screenings.”

Stanley Kubrick Makes the Worlds Collide

The world of 2001: A Space Odyssey collided with reality when Stanley Kubrick had the idea to ask Lloyd’s of London for an insurance policy that would cover damages caused by the alien invasion. According to Arthur C. Clarke, Kubrick wanted to protect himself if a latter event happened before the movie release.

Tim Burton Can Relate to Monsters

Tim Burton is one of the kings of dark and scary Disney stuff aimed at young folks. In the 80s Disney was a bit skeptical about introducing these murky visual to kids. However, they later gave green light to Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Alice in Wonderland.

Burton puts his creative choices in a very simple way. “I don’t know why but I always related to characters like Frankenstein. I think a lot of kids do; its easier to relate to the monster in the sense of he’s alone. Growing up, you could feel those feelings and the way you felt about your neighbors is like they’re the angry villagers.”

Quentin Tarantino Hates his Fantasy Creation

You got to have such an unique and vivid imagination to create a fiction character that you will then hate with all your heart. Tarantino definitely has such an imagination, and Calvin Candie, the main antagonist in Django Unchained is this type of a character. Candie, a racist brilliantly executed by DiCaprio, is the only character ever written by the director that was hated that much. As Tarantino himself notes, “I hated Candie and I normally like my villains no matter how bad they are. I can see their point of view. I could see his point of view, but I hated it so much. For the first time as a writer, I just f*cking hated this guy.”

David Lynch Likes to Get Lost

What unites all these people, besides that they are all famous Hollywood film directors? They are dreamers, and most of the stories above are a result of them being dreamers. Out of all witty phrases about film making, I particularly like this one by David Lynch: “I like to make films because I like to go into another world. I like to get lost in another world. And film to me is a magical medium that makes you dream… allows you to dream in the dark. It’s just a fantastic thing, to get lost inside the world of film.“

Do you dream in the dark?