An Evening To Remember

5801E61E-E3CD-431C-B31C-4E74264C1B37Mr. & Mrs. Berkenkamp, now presenting a lovely couple, of true love found in this desert hideaway in the valley of the sun.  An evening filled with wonderful food, drinks, toasts and dancing.  Here they have joined two amazing families in holy matrimony upon a sunset of golden dreams and a bright future.

UofA Paper on Film Ethics with Enthusiasm

Film Production

Hi. Andrew Berkenkamp here.  Class of 2006 film degree from UofA Media Arts Department and a Bachelor of Arts in the Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Cultural Diversity Expressed Through Film in the areas of Mexican Studies Film Program, American Indian Studies Film Program, and Latin American Studies Film Program.  After which point I went to Los Angeles where I worked on set as a Production Assistant and a Post Production film editor in short films, music videos, feature films and public service announcements.  I am writing a paper on film production, leadership qualities on set and in the production company and department organization on set and the importance of the post production arena.

Basically, we break it down to a simple fundamental approach to filmmaking.  The creative spirit thrives, breaths, grows, flourishes.   You can’t focus on whether your project is a hit or a flop.  Ultimately, the creative process is a journey that one must go through in-order to produce something to walk away with.  And, if your lucky, your film is projected across the silver screen across America.  On a more finite scale, you are lucky if you can touch or even be a part of a project that gets distribution anywhere; through the film festival circuit or otherwise.  And, I certainly have had the opportunity to be on sets that have gotten awards on the film festival circuit like Sundance in Park City, Utah and-also television shows on networks like Vh1 Behind the Music and Country Music Television and for that I am grateful.

Now, depending on the budget your film has a chance of being a versatile organism; a living breathing democratic business system.  On any given set, the cast and crew varies.  There are a lot of people who do work behind the scenes.   Including the producers.  One whom I have met, and I accredit a lot of my career passion for is Paramount Pictures Studio Producer Robert Evens and his book “The Kid Stays in The Picture” is about the life of a studio chief who is subject to a scrupulous amount of criticism and acclaim and now he has converted that book into a play performed on London’s play circuit.  He’s given it all he’s got.  He started at a young-age and worked his way up; working with amazing directors, studio heads, financial agendas, some of the most beautiful talented actresses in Hollywood and is now residing in his mansion in the Hollywood Hills.  I was lucky enough to cross paths with this man and from there I drew from this experience and apply these methods to my life to this day.

It’s as simple as making your bed in the morning.  When you do something effective in the beginning of the day, you can come home no matter the day you’ve had you see that your started the day on the right foot and that keeps you going until you make good moves each day following.  Also, when you get going in the day, be effective.  It’s about salesmanship and leadership qualities.  It’s about communicating to your coworkers, your higher ups.  And, it’s about being honest.  Saying you are going to do something and then following through.  Because, we are as strong as our weakest link on set.   If one person fails to appreciate the value of communication and equal parts of the puzzle, then the set falls apart.  You have got to have these fundamental principles in place in order to have a successfully run film set.Director Chair

“Post-production may sound like a technical word, but, it’s the most essential element in the anatomy of filmmaking.  It’s an art form unto itself that structures the arc of your story.   Film, dialogue, sound, music, and effects are its five major tentacles.  During the post-production process, each of these is structured and edited separately by highly talented artists, whose contribution is rarely appreciated or spoken of.  Frame by frame with precision and skill, your canvas evolves its persona.  Post Production is the key to film magic or film mediocrity.  From it comes your completed canvas, which is presented for all the world to see and critique.  This feels like a structural comfortability mechanism.”

“Whether it be the cinematography, writing, directing, or (for that matter) performances, all become pawns to those who control the magic of post-production.”

(Page 246) “The Kid Stays in The Picture” by Robert Evans

Changing your autopilot.  To change your life, you must change the way you think.  Behind everything you do is a thought.  Every behavior is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude.  God revealed this thousand years before psychologists understood it: “Be careful how you think; your life shaped by your thoughts.”

Imagine riding in a speedboat on a lake with an automatic pilot set to go east.  If you decide to reverse and head west, you have two possible ways to change the boat’s direction.  One way is to grab the steering wheel advertisement physically force it to head in the opposite direction from where the autopilot is programmed to go.  By sheer willpower you could overcome the autopilot, but you would feel constant resistance.  Your arms would eventually tire of the stress, you’d let go of the steering wheel, and the boat would instantly head back east, the way it was internally programmed.

This is what happens when you try to change your life with will power:  You say, “I’ll force myself to eat less…exercise more…quit being disorganized and late.”  Yes, willpower can produce short-term change, but it creates constant internal stress. “

Page 181 The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren-WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?

 

“We ourselves, as physical organisms, are part of that universe, composed of the same basic elements as everything else, and recent advances in molecular biology have greatly increased our understanding of the physical and chemical basis of life.  Since our mental lives evidently depend on our existence as physical organisms, especially on the functioning of our central nervous systems, it seems natural to think that the physical sciences can in principle provide the basis for an explanation of the mental aspects of realty as well—that physics can aspire finally to be a theory of everything.”

The Core of Mind and Cosmos by Thomas Nagel (page255) of The Stone Reader-Modern Philosophy in 133 arguments, Edited and introduced by

Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley—From the popular NEW YORK TIMES philosophy series.”

Universal Studios

Racism in America

Right now, citizens of Charlottesville, VA have brought down the statue of Stone Wall Jackson, a confederate leader of the southern states.  And, honestly, it’s interesting to watch the backlash because you see the reactions of other people.  A friend of mine said, “No one should be racist anymore”.  “Donald Trump doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.”  These are false assumptions.  Truth be told, we all have racist tendencies.  You can’t get away from it.  It’s an inherent trait.  When you are born you learn certain values based on your parents and your family and your friends that stays with you the rest of your life.  But, it’s about being conscientious of another’s human perspective.  Compassion, understanding, awareness, the willingness to find common ground with others; these are all solutions to racism.

Union Station LA

Alright, we’ve had Justices who have made choice and sided with cases from a very “white” perspective in US History.  In higher education professors are saying to students, “everything is going to be all white” in respect to racism, and also concluding, “this is how the legal system is going to play out for us”.  And then you got, even further away from The United States, an international perspective on racism, World War II; where the Nazis were raping and pillaging and changing the culture and dialects in France.  The German people who were committing racist crimes against humanity proceeded to decimate the Jewish people.  The Nazis struck fear into the minds and hearts of The French people to the point where they feel they need to hold onto a peace of this history (in the form of dinner plates with swastikas on the back) to remember the pain that was inflicted upon them.  My girlfriend is from Alsace-Lorraine, France.  It was a tough road of hoe for her family to get to America after WWII and also to remember who they are, having cultural identity and maintain a sense of piece and tranquility after a war-torn tragedy.  America recognizes this war as well.

Drew USA

When you go to Washington DC you can go to the Holocaust Museum and walk into stationary boxcars that were used to shuttle Jews to Auschwitz and you can feel what it was like for the victims.  And then, what they did was they organized the combs and shoes and shaving kits and shoe laces and put them into piles.  It’s a very separatist way of thinking, and also it’s without religion; secular.   That was very devastating and horrible for so many reasons and so many people; you’ve got the “Nuremberg Trials”, “Schindler’s List” and “Life is Beautiful” to remind us of these atrocities.

JCC

And, then you’ve got the German girls who stayed with us in LA for a month teaching us about their personalities.  They felt distraught about their history, ie Hitler. They are kind and caring and nice and beautiful and sweet.  That’s the thing about history, when you pull down a statue of Stonewall Jackson is like pulling down a statue of Pat Tillman in a hundred years.  He was hit by friendly fire, but he was doing good for the southern states.  He was a leader for his army.  He didn’t represent racism; it’s inappropriate because we are all racist to a certain degree.  It’s about keeping ourselves in check.

MLK

For example, amidst the Charlotteville, VA and the Nazis, and calling Trump a racist… Over here in Arizona, a white man, Andrew Berkenkamp is going to go to an entrepreneurial seminar hosted by Damon John owner of FUBU and a shark on The Shark Tank television show.  It’s about being proactive.  And, Trump decides to end business ties with Manufacturing and Policy & Strategy people.  Where is this man’s logic?  Given, after the Obama Administration, the natural progression for America is a white man in office again.  Black and White.  Politics is like a pendulum swinging from blue to red from black to white.

Clinton Bush

First, it’s important to find common ground with people who are different from you.  Whether it be a different religious point of view, skin color, background, place of origin, language barrier, or sexual orientation.  You find common ground.  Okay?  That’s step one.  And then, you can learn the counter punch.  It’s strategic.  Find common ground and then do something proactive for a conscientious observer.  This is a proactive. approach to improving on society’s wellbeing.  Basically, remember we are here to make the world a better place.

Barrock Obama

Housing Urban Development

BMHT

Moving dirt.  When I see those CAT bulldozers moving dirt, it’s like Housing Urban Development.  It’s like master planned communities coming through and providing housing for people from every walk of life, shape and size on down the line.  I learned at a young age about real estate and arid lands and housing and urban development.   You know, one of the key terms you start with is ‘price per square foot’.  How much does your property cost based on ‘price per square foot’.  Because if you know the price per square foot, the lot size, the total square footage of the property, then you can figure out your mortgage payment based on 30-year fixed mortgage amortized at 6% with a 4% interest rate.  Basically, a $480K House will give you a $1,500 mortgage payment a month.  So, you are looking at building equity in your house.  And, these are principles that every home buyer should know.  People, on average only make a few big-ticket purchases in their life, and buying a house is one of them.  Putting property in the retail arena is doing a service to the community at large.   

You can imagine people out there who are struggling making payments; they are not generating enough revenue a month to cover costs, overhead, living expenses and then at the 1st of the month they have to make a mortgage payment and they are not ready to pay.  This puts them in a precarious situation.   They are now up against the wall and are in dire straits.  They need someone to come through and buy them out and save the day with a solution.  And they probably have a family.  The zoning codes are single family dwelling units.  This business becomes a measure of care.  I am concerned about the well being of your family and all these people who are up against the wall and trying to make their mortgage payments each month.  And, HUD could probably be a part of this as well.  BuyMyHouseToday.com

A group of housing investors, buy your house from the bank, and getting out from under this lean agreement.   I am kind of feeling like the modern day Spiderman.  Honestly, I feel like working in this capacity is giving me a new light and helping those in need is a commendable project scope. In the Maricopa County area, there are 20-30 people who are putting their house up for auction and potentially foreclosing on their property with the bank.  If they have to go into bankruptcy, that’s 7 years of not buying a car or house and their credit is shot.  We come through, like the white knight, with a solution at a reasonable cost buy their house.  Our vested interest is to renovate the house and put it back onto the open market and get a new home buyer in there who can make payments and live life to the fullest. 

I am most certainly working for the good of the people.  I have a solution that can keep people on the up and up.  I start with the house.  The estimated value of some of these properties ranges from $110-$1.2M.  You got people from every economic class who are having trouble making mortgage payments on their houses.   There are deals in there that are amicable to our business interests.  I am doing a service and turning a profit; it’s a performance based industry.  I like the people I work with.  I care about the cause.  I am learning a little bit more everyday about the business of real estate.  Salesmanship.  Powerful speakers like Tom Hopkins and Tony Robbins are solid dudes and they I respect their words. 

In conclusion, I am focusing my attention to understanding the business of real estate more every day.  I go to lunch with my friend, Chip Diamond about once a month to talk about property up for sale and work on deals from the past stored in a vault for future use.  Just getting the conversation started is really the best way to get familiar with the business.   I am planning on going to real estate school in Scottsdale to get my real estate license.  Also, I like dropping by open houses that an agent is representing and having a chance to run the numbers and talk deal making.   

Some virtuous truths to live by

Today, in the heart of Phoenix, I am coming to you with an announcement in respect to staying cool in the summertime in Phoenix, AZ.  A lot of people have trouble with the heat.  A lot of people know that it’s psychological.  Honestly, I believe it’s a counter culture to beat the heat by staying cool.  Cool is a state of mind.  It’s a measure of temperature as well.  But, ultimately, if you feel good, you look good, you play good; and that’s what it’s all about.  A long life is based on one’s ability to play.  Not sweat the small stuff. Not take life so seriously.  Keep calm and carry on.  Be good to your maker, your creator, your parents, your family, your loved ones, your children.  Remember that although you may feel monotonous at times, repetitive, there’s always a way to keep it fresh, keep it new, keep it cool.  Watch a movie, start a new application. 

People say, give it to the universe.  Well, in my opinion, installing an application on your smartphone, is as good as asking the universe for guidance.  Perfect example, I put out for dating sites on the AP store and downloaded Tinder, Phrendly, Clover & Bumble.  It was like I was inundated by literally was one swipe away from my future wife.   The thing is, it’s so judgmental, I had to call it quits.  I put enough energy into these apps that the universe must have heard.  You want to know something, women started looking my way, I was getting women undressing me with their eyes, and I went on two dates.  Even though neither date yielded a mate, the truth is that women were responding.  Give it to God and he will respond.  Prayer and meditation and the AP store.  Feel confident, have grace, stay tough, maintain a positive outlook on life in society. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of polarity going on in American Politics these days.  You either love him or you hate him.  I for one have sided with Jeff Bridges.  I believe that {TRUMP} is our President.  He needs to be supported.  Give him some faith.  Trust that he is going to make the right decision.  Lindsey Lohan is saying something like that too.  I look to them because they are in the public eye, and I respect their work and I respect them as people.  You got the Variety Roundtable and the Oscar Nominations and the Hollywood Reporter and the Jeff Bridges interview and Lindsey Lohan going on a little bit of a tangent, as usual, but still upholding the American values that a lot of people identify with.  Basically, the common thread here is, trust our president, stop bullying the guy, have faith that he is one heck of a brand manager, businessman, billionaire.  I do believe that money is going to tell the tail.  Keep an eye out for these actors and their next roles, and hope that their actions speak as loud as their words.  “1 time” means everything.   It’s like my old football coach would say, “4th quarter football”.  It means you got to toughen up, you got to make it work, you got to put on your game face, kick ass and take names.  The anthem for America is about winning.  It’s about understanding how to win, giving it your all, being better prepared, opportunity will arise, seize the moment, seize the day.  You got to capture that victory. 

There is no trophy for second place.  You got to give it your all, you got to win!  And, be a class act along the way.  It’s that go get em attitude.  That drive to succeed.  That desire to win.  That, when in the moment, that pressure situation, when seconds are everything, that talent kicks in and takes over and 1 of many can influence the outcome of any event.  You learn in life that the law of baseball can apply to any situation; you’ve got to give it your all, and then you can adapt, adjust into any situation, a business situation, a social situation.  People are always looking for that Classic American victory.  They either know it or they don’t.  And, subconsciously, it gets people going.  And, if you know how to start that, then you’ve got something, it is valuation.  Literally, that’s people buying your time.  You are selling a concept, like a Hawaiian luau, in the North Central Corridor, like tikka torches, and girls with bikinis, and lays, palm fawn skirts.  This is like true American grit here.  That is what it is all about. 

I for one appreciate my social networking skills.  And, I look to people like Tony Robbins and Tom Hopkins and Robert Kiyosaki.  These people deliver the message.  And, Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, that guy is doing wonderful things with Global Warming.  Tom Brady, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck are working together to start a social movement, fundraising with water.org.   I support it.  To me, that’s cool.  These guys made moves when I was young, and influenced me in a big way, so I am still looking up to them when I get older.   

There is nothing more poetic than a beautiful woman.  Amanda Cerny.  I am her biggest advocate.  When she became internet famous on Instagram and Vine, I instantly fell in love.  Knowing that maybe one day, she could listen to what I must say, very strategically I encourage her and give her advice from one artist to another.  And, I really respect what she’s doing.   I think she has that classic look, that beauty that not only gets 15M Instagram viewers, but also she has to poetic genius of an Audrey Hepburn, or a Natalie Wood, like Ali McGraw.  Some of these women moved mountains in a starlet world in Hollywood during Warren Beatty’s era and Robert Evans’ era, and I think Amanda Cerny has that capacity to do so.  It’s a matter of her finding the right talent management, shopping the script that she can thrive in, and then gracing her presence on the silver screen, winning an Oscar!  I think she has what it takes. I think that’s what Hollywood needs, who’s off the beaten path, physical, athletic beauty, with Latin dancing abilities, confidence, gorgeous body and face that can lure any man into bed with a wink and a smile.  Give it up for Amanda Cerny!  Meanwhile, I will be holding down the fort, and toughen out the Phoenix summer!  And, for all you kitties and kiddoes at home, listen to your parents, they do the best you can to give you a well-deserved life and love them unconditionally because they are doing that for you.  For all intents and purposes, I bid you adieu.  Good day. 

Future Loves Past

Phoenix and some of the amenities that my grandpa Chuck adored  I (c) an could just hear him now, “you’re full of prunes!”, he would say.  He built a birdhouse, a carpenter shop, a den with a beautiful leather chair where he read the newspaper and watched a television for the good bad and the ugly and spaghetti westerns with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and 21 Jump Street with Johnny Depp.  “3 guns and 1 goes off”.  -Alt J wrote a song about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  Imagine the prestige and influence that this movie has had on popular culture. 

Berkenkamps

I am appreciative of my Grandpa John, from my mother’s side, her dad John Wilde.  Gentlemen, this man went the distance.  I mean, have you ever seen the trick shot where two golfers line up and in that line one will chip to the wheelhouse of the other golfer who drives the ball a country mile?  This is basically how my life has been.  Jemima Puddle Duck by Beatrix Potter, and a film produced by Demi Lovato, called “Beyond Silence” about mental health.  This girl just connected with me on social media.  When your stars are in align, your stars are in align.  This happened when I was emphasizing my Grandpa John’s life.  The United States was literally working with horse and buggy when John Wilde was born.  The model T hadn’t come out yet!  Steam engines hadn’t come out yet!  His family was an integral part in laying the Great Northern Railway.  Hudson.  As a result, I just decided this political season to be a voice in the process.  I’ve got US Congress’ phone number.  I called Democrat Al Franken from Minnesota, I called Senator John McCain, from Arizona.  I did this to be an active participant in the political process, but also to keep the wheels spinning.  Politicians are talent, just like film stars.

Son1

I think the difference between Robert Evans and I is that he has been able to bank on the scandals of Hollywood of major motion picture producer.  Imagine Warner Hertzog and his portrayal of motion picture is at its essence scandalous because you are going where no one else goes to capture footage that no one else will capture ever again and compose it, that it is unique, 100% original and then sold, distributed, marketed, it’s input into the psyche of American society and to be able to do it over and over again; The relationships that were built.  The high-octane business meetings, the talks of deal memos and show running and signing the new talent, the new beauty, in all her essence, like Demi Lovato who captivates the silver screen; she is brought onto a project and someone is responsible for making sure she has all her needs met.  If that means putting a wedding ring on her finger and committing to making sure she lives a life of prosperity, then so be it.  The level of commitment that some of these professional men had for the success of this business practice was paramount to any other business like it on the planet.

Mom

When you capture a family heirloom like the railroad spike and plaque that represents Hudson’s contribution to the Great Northern Railway, represents such longevity, the space time continuum seems to stand still.  What I am saying is that lining up major historical events is not abnormal.  Maybe there are more than 1, maybe there are 2,3,4, that coincide with the time, people say that our time is now.  If that’s the truth, if that’s the conviction, if that’s the reality, then some things that are strange, would affect me too.  These are the kinds of things that would send me through the roof when I was younger.  Now though, I let these observations wash over me without a second thought. 

Son2

Because the second I let something strange, like lining up historical events as though there was a greater plan, affect me and take me off course in life, is the second I let another opportunity slip through my fingers.  And I won’t let that happen again.   Mental health is as important as physical health.

Directions

So, you ask me, do things like this happen often?  Yes. They do.  And it’s a sub conscious thing.  It’s like being awake for a dream.  And also watching the NPR “small desk”, new series; an open mic with guests like  Adele and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and some other characters who are in the music industry.  They talk about prime time for writing.  For some, it’s in the depths of the night, they find a quite space in the far reaches of the house where the creative process can occur.  But, for this young man, whom I will keep anonymous; his favorite time to write is right in the morning.  Right when he wakes up.  Because his stuff is in his sub-consciousness and so in the morning he writes because it is still fresh.  The time we are in rem sleep:  6,8,10,12 hours a night.  The smartphone application for health is a standard icon depicted with a little heart, ihealth, has a great tutorial, a short video, and they talk about the importance of meditation and sleep and drinking a lot of water.  These things can make a major difference in our lives.

Dad

I am here to talk about sleep, because my father had a clef pallet, meaning he had a hole in his face when he was born, and like how you can love and like and show emotions and I think my challenge here is to identify with my grandpa Wilde.  I think that will give me longevity.  And my mom is my creator, she gave me birth, and John Wilde is her father, gave her paternal instincts and for her I don’t see that very often, so as the pendulum swings.  Anticipate a new area of love.   

Jim & Andrea