Filmmaker Case Study – Create a voice acting portfolio
Jorge Campos, better known to the machinima community as act3scene24, was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He’s of Mexican descent, and has an amazing array of voices, which he uses to get freelance voice acting work. He also writes and makes short films, when he’s not helping out with his father’s watch and jewelry repair shop.
Although he started a university course in Information Technology, Business and Communications, Jorge’s real passion is story-telling. “After growing up to want to be a ninja and a baseball player,” he grins, “my passion was always story-telling. I wanted to write and direct in Hollywood. I got serious about it when I was about 15 years old and started writing stories in play-format because I didn’t know the screenplay format. When I was about 16, I started buying How-To books to learn writing screenplays and story format even though storytelling for me, was natural. One of my favorite memories growing up was about 3rd or 4th grade. An assignment was to write a book report about a certain book. I didn’t know what the term “book report” was so I tried to write a book instead, assuming that’s what it was, so I wrote about a 9-page story. Even though I did the completely wrong thing, the teacher gave me an A anyway!”
Jorge started making films in his teenage years. “The first things I made that I was serious about were with my brother. I saved up money to buy a G5 Canon video camera before HD was out – it cost me thousands but it was my passion. A couple years later, I saved up for a more professional Canon XL1 camera with a steady cam and a pretty cool lens yellow-tinted filter. We did a short film I did called “Domino, Foo’!” inspired by the Pixar short “Geri’s Game”. It was about a gangster in a suit and cane and slicked back hair playing chess with a seemingly crazy person with a Cat-In-The-Hat type hat and a dirty stained shirt and it turned out that by the end, it was the same guy playing dominoes with himself. I liked that one. Next we shot a black and white mockumentary inspired by a mockumentary called “Where’s Marlowe”. It was completely improvised and my brother was the star. I was the camera man and also the interviewer, so you heard my voice throughout asking him questions and commenting. Although it was coming out very well, we didn’t get to finish it because it got late in the day and my brother had to go back to college the next day in Santa Cruz where he lived at the time. I edited what we had together though, and it was fun, though seemingly headed nowhere and incomplete – the problem with improv, I guess!”
Even at this stage, Jorge was yearning to find his own unique forms of expression.
The format says there should be something like 12 to 16 scenes in a screenplay’s 3rd act. I wanted to create a username as kind of an ‘F you’ to the Hollywood people!”
Watch on of Jorge’s first Moviestorm shorts
(Warning: adult language)
In about 2004, Jorge experimented with the game “The Movies” as a filmmaking medium. “I was hoping I’d be able to have creative freedom to make whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true.” A few years later, he was idly looking for movie-making programs, and ended up on tmunderground.com. “They showed movies made with The Movies (which I knew I didn’t want anymore), iClone, Moviestorm, and some programs that don’t exist anymore. iClone cost money which I didn’t have, but I saw that the base version of Moviestorm was free. I started making these little Christmas shorts, and my series The Clarks was born.”
Since then, he’s made over 50 movies with Moviestorm.
“I love the creative freedom you have with the program. I love how quick it is to work with and learn. I’m a big writer of dialogue, always have been, so it’s perfect for me.”
“I started with characters just standing and talking and using the Moviestorm’s audio recording, to having my own mic, using the footage from Moviestorm and using After Effects to make it look how I want.”
There’s a huge diversity in Jorge’s work. So far, he’s done comedies, Westerns, and movies tackling social issues. He’s reluctant to talk too much about his own work, but when pushed, he admits to some favorites. “I like “anonymous” because it gets personal with people with drug and/or alcohol problems and “Thawing In December” because it closely resembles how I feel like my near future would be. But I also like “The Big Event”, “Ad Hominem Attack” because the writer of the original short story personally let me make it and posted it on his website after it was done. His name is Jordan Harper and he’s a writer for the TV show “The Mentalist” which I love. Another I like a lot is “The Bone Orchard” because I liked the atmosphere I was able to make without having much for western movies in Moviestorm.
Watch Jorge’s ‘The Bone Orchard’ Director’s Cut
Or visit Jorge’s YouTube channel to see more of his films
Making a lot of movies is just like anything in life. Practice makes you better, learn more things, makes you want to be better, and you learn your limits. I know what I can do. I’m not patient enough to be a Phil Rice – everything he makes is so professional and he pays great attention to detail with everything within it. But I’m me, I have my own style. I like the look I’ve made in things like “The Big Event”, “The Bone Orchard”, and even “Truth & Lovers”, written and co-starring the very talented Allie Manasco, which was the first and only Moviestorm movie I made using the cel shader.”
Jorge is a regular in the various 48-hour film challenges, and has become an expert at turning out finished films in record speed – often despite major hardware or software disasters!
They give me motivation with the pressure and it makes me feel good. Also, I’ve suffered from insomnia for years, so it makes it that much easier for me!”
Jorge’s been quiet for a while, but he’s got several projects in development. “What I’ve been writing lately is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure type Clarks movie. I plan on making all the scenes. And whenever someone has a choice to make, they click on the video link of their choice and so on. I’m also working on a crime drama called “California Soul” that follows the stories of several people in different dilemmas that end up being connected in some ways, inspired by 70’s soul music and crime movies.”
Watch Jorge’s ‘The Clarks: Looks Like’ promo
Or visit Jorge’s YouTube channel to see more of his films