Want to feel like you’re playing more than just a game? The man behind D&D Next! has accomplished just that! Joe Fontaine, known as dareddragon to us Zoopers, took the time this week to answer some of our questions. He offers up some very helpful information for beginning filmmakers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I am the eldest of 4 brothers (one being a twin that I beat by 2 minutes). We grew up in Rhode Island. I currently live in Utah where I am stationed. I’m an enlisted member of the United States Air Force. I have enjoyed film ever since I was little. My brothers and I annoyed my mother growing up by constantly repeating our favorite movies like Ghostbusters and the Goonies. Seeing how films are made interests me greatly.
And how about a little of your film making experience?
I have been making short videos since I was in high school. Most of them quick and just for fun. Later on my friends and I got a bit more in to it and we won some contests now and then. Not all of them would turn out great, but I love creating little stories. So regardless of how big or small, how good or bad a project would turn out, we all had a blast. It would make a great career, but for now it is a fun hobby.
What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
That would have to be Dirt Road. Unlike all my previous shorts, it was my first horror. It was a contest entry I did shortly before joining the military. We won and were shown on the Chiller TV station on Halloween night. I was in basic training when it aired, but I was very proud of not only my hard work, but all the work my friends put into it as well. Of all my short videos, I have only been in front of the camera a few times. Here I got to play a larger part. I loved making a horror and would enjoy making more. A sequel to Dirt Road would be real fun.
As a contest winner, do you have any tips for other filmmakers trying to score their first win?
Pay close attention to what the judges are looking to see. Making your project look great can be a big help, but the subject matter is where you should start. So ask yourself “what do they want?” and “How can I best get that point across?” From there, brainstorm some ideas and put your own flare to it. Listen to the people your working with. Sometimes they come up with some great ideas that would never have crossed your mind. Most importantly, have fun. This way, win or lose, you have a good time. Of all the videos I have made, some turned out great, and some turned out horrible. But with all of them we had a blast in the process. That’s what I love about it and that’s why I do it.
Itching for a little more excitement? You don’t have to look far, head over to Joe’s YouTube Channel for a few extra laughs and some really creative videos.
To enter a contest of your own, check out the Zooppa Contest Page.