Films Resume









  A time-lapse look at a day in the life of a big city called,

Los Angeles


Select the links below to watch "Stop Blink Look"


Film Credits





How did you come up with the idea for “Stop, Blink, Look”?

In 2002 Norwood Cheek was looking for filmmakers to participate in his second annual Flicker - Attack Of The 50 Foot Reels! screening.

The way the screening worked is each filmmaker got one (50-foot) roll of KODAK Super 8 film to shoot with.  The filmmaker shot a short keeping in mind that all editing and cuts were to be made IN CAMERA.  Then, without seeing the footage, made a soundtrack that would include Narration, Sound Effects or Music.  The unprocessed film was turned over to Flicker who processed it and synced the filmmaker’s soundtrack to the first frame of the processed film.  The film was now ready to be screened in front of an audience for the first time.  That's why making an Attack of the 50-Foot Reels film is so cool – you never know what you're going to get.

My entry was called Stop a time-lapse look at a day in the life of a big city called Los Angeles. I wanted to show the things people don’t normally notice like a building's shadow crossing over a sidewalk. A time-lapse film was the perfect way to do this. I had to shoot one frame of film every second to compress the time it took for the building's shadow to move. Today people are so busy running around, they never really stop and look at the world around them. That’s how I came up with the title Stop.

Over 550 people attended the 26 films that had never been seen before.  Seeing Stop for the first time with an audience was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. I was hooked.

The following year, I made my second time-lapse film called Blink. This time shooting it in color. It was the same concept as Stop - started with an empty Los Angeles in the morning before its citizens began their busy day and ended with everyone running around like ants. While shooting the film I made a couple of mistakes that I couldn’t edit out. That’s when I came up with the idea to take Stop and Blink, shot additional super 8 footage, and make a third film called Stop Blink Look.



What camera and film stock did you shoot with?

I needed to have a Super-8 camera available to shoot 24/7.  Renting one would have been too expensive so I bought a Canon 1014XL-S from E-bay for $435.

Most of the film was shot on Kodak B/W Tri-X 7266 Reversal Film.  I like the look of a B/W image and the absence of the color pallet would help focus the viewer’s attention on my compositions.

Since Blink was shot on Ektachrome Vision 200 Color negative film, I had to turn it into B/W in post production to cut into SBL.

How much film did you shoot?

In 2004 I shot seven rolls of Super-8 film equaling 350 feet and cut it down to a 3:00 short.  Since I think of every frame in SBL as a still picture, I guess I shot 4250 pictures.

You’re a film editor.  What made you decide to direct?

I’ve always been interested in directing but shooting on film is so expensive. Buying a house was more important to me.  While cutting a short for a friend I realized that I could shoot my films with the new affordable HD cameras that were coming out.  I bought one and started shooting but I still had that dream of shooting on film.  That’s when I met Norwood who reintroduced me to Super 8.  I shot Stop for $25.

Where did you shoot your film?

The film was shot all over Los Angeles.  While driving around, if something caught my eye, I would stop and film it.  Since I was under no presser to finish filming, I took a year to film the extra footage.  I did cheat a little.  Two shots where filmed in Palm Springs during the summer.  It was so hot (118 degrees) that my Super-8 camera broke.  Those two shots cost me $200 – the cost of fixing the camera.

Your music fits so well with the images.  Is it an original score?

Yes, very original.  I meet Jasper Randal while cutting a short film called Tackle Box. I was so impressed with the score he composed for that film – I knew he would do an excellent job on mine.  I remember the first time he played the theme for SBL on the piano.  Even in its simplest form he captured the mood and feeling of the short.

Jasper recommended that we use live musicians so we rented a small studio owned by Peter Rotter and hired six union musicians.  Thanks to the American Federation of Musicians - Festival Agreement, I was able to afford musicians that have played on John Williams’ scores.  The score was the biggest expense in making the film and was worth every cent!

Any lessons learned while you where filming?

Never use old film even if it’s free.  I did – and when the film came back from the lab, I thought the images looked great until I cut the shots into the footage of Stop and Blink.  My heart just sank.  The grain from the free film was so noticeable. I couldn’t go back and re-shoot my once-in-a-lifetime shots.

What did you do?

I just cut everything together and hoped that no one would notice the grain shifts between cuts.  Oops, now you’ll notice it!


How did you get people to see it?

In 2005 I entered the film into 23 film festivals and was accepted into just four.  I think only 30 people saw it.  Festivals, particularly the small ones, are not a best way to get people to see your work.  I think the internet is superior.  Sites like,, and Yahoo! Videos are great places to upload your films. picked SBL as one of their “Cool New Videos”.  I got over 66,000 hits in one day and now 350 people are subscribers to my films.

What’s your next project?

In October of 2005 I directed a documentary on The Fright Gallery. It’s about a group of friends that get together every year to create an original Halloween spectacle unlike anything you have ever seen or heard.  I have posted a couple of scenes on and have received very positive feedback. I hope to have the documentary done by October 2007 and yes, I shot it with my new Sony Z1 HD Camera.

If you have a question about the making of Stop Blink Look, e-mail Erik at  He will post his answer on this web page.



Feb. 29, 2008

It's been 4 years since I completed SBL and it continues to be seen all over the world. It was placed on the front page of Yahoo! Video today (picture on the left). Thanks Kent for writing SBL's first review (see below).



Select the links below to watch

STOP                                       BLINK


It takes a second to load so get a drink of water and enjoy!


STOP BLINK LOOK was screened at the following film festivals.

San Fernando Valley Film Festival selection 2005Sacramento Film FestivalHearts and Minds Film Festival





Hit Counter

© 2008 Films in Focus


Click on the link below to take you to Erik's FILMS IN FOCUS store.

Support This Site

All profits will go towards finishing the documentary "The Fright Gallery Presents"

Fright Gallery Classic Blue

Fright Gallery Classic Blue

Made Me This Way

Made Me This Way