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3 Years in Vegas

>Run DMZ - I Think I'll Go to North Korea Today

DMZ border of North and South Korea

Wow! Has it been three years since I landed at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas? On July 12th, 2010, I was flying back from South Korea on an ESL teaching job. I only spent 7 weeks there instead of the one year I was supposed to put in. It was a major career turn as I’m constantly seeking ways to make a living. The film business may be easy for some people, but for the majority it’s very, very hard. I used to have larger-than-life dreams about the film industry, but that’s transitioned into making a living in film. And I keep coming back to film no matter how difficult it is. I may not be a master of any one particular job such as screenwriting, directing or video editing, but I love doing them. Sacrifice is a given in this business. For various reasons, I let my first love of screenwriting sit on a shelf for many years while trying to make a living as a video editor.

Ross Directs "The Octo Circus"

Ross Directs “The Octo Circus”

Ross edits TV pilot

Ross Edits TV pilot

My thought was that I would edit film or TV by day and write at night. Directing seems to come with inspiration when I’m totally broke. In 2009, when I was struggling to make a living as an editor, I made a $400 short film, “The Octo Circus” inspired by the Octo Mom. I only entered a handful of film festivals as they’re expensive. The film did not get into any festivals, but has been getting a steady stream of You Tube hits.

At the end of 2009, I took a course in teaching ESL or English as a Second Language course. At the end of May 2009, I boarded a plane from Las Vegas (where my parents live) to Seoul, South Korea. When the director informed me after a few weeks that I wouldn’t be teaching for more than a month, I spent every weekend touring all over Seoul and taking in everything; museums, palaces, tourist traps, the DMZ. It was a great experience.

Viva Las Vegas!

Ross hikes in Red Rock

Ross at Red Rock Cyn.

What am I going to do here? Re-Inventing myself was a topic I spoke on in 2012 at a Delivering Happiness Inspire event. I’m proud of the accomplishments I’ve made here in Las Vegas. Although work has not been consistent, I’ve had some opportunities I might not have had in LA.

Ross writes about Duran Duran for Vegas 7 Magazine.

Ross writes about Duran Duran for Vegas 7 Magazine.

  • Wrote a first person article about my experience attending TribeFest, a gathering of Jewish Federations from all over North America for David Magazine
  • Had a 4 page story about my career in David Magazine
  • Became a RAW Artist as a filmmaker at first RAW event in Las Vegas with “The Octo Circus”
  • Have written and still write concert reviews periodically for Vegas Seven Magazine; Scott Weiland, ZZ Top, Tesla, Matisyahu, Crosby and Nash
  • Have been an active member of the LV Screenwriting Group
  • Incorporated my production company, In Your Head Productions, LLC
  • Founded and was the Festival Director for Social Media Film Festival that took place at The Mirage in 2012
  • Interviewed on various radio stations including the Las Vegas Social Media Show
  • Been involved with various TV pilots as an editor and other film and video projects
Rianne, Rayna & Ross at RAW

Rianne, Rayna & Ross at RAW

SMFF Crew @ Royal House

SMFF Crew @ Royal House

What’s next? Where will I be in the years to come?

Social Media Film Festival was a success, but not the type of success I was hoping for even in its first year. Some more sponsorship and money would be needed the next time around. I do hope to put SMFF on again some day. Currently, I’m teaching myself Avid Media Composer in hopes of making that technical skill and system how I make a living. Either I will find work on TV or film projects back in Los Angeles or some other skill will help me find more work here in Las Vegas. I’m prepping to soon direct a no-budget short film comedy about genetically modified foods. In addition, I am working on a new screenplay. It simply feels good to be writing again and working on a new idea instead of beating my head against the wall re-writing old screenplays.

There are some really cool people here in Las Vegas and I hope to stay in touch whether my work and/or career brings me back to LA or not. We are a little bit passed the half-way mark of 2013. I feel inspired and motivated to make things happen.

Ross Picalum Pose

Ross Picalum Pose

Displaced in Vegas

Wow! It’s been one year since I landed in Las Vegas after teaching English in South Korea for 7 whole weeks. What was supposed to be a back-up plan to my filmmaking career ended up being just another experience. I left Los Angeles after 18 years. I have had a love-hate relationship with my filmmaking career. I’m still struggling to make any kind of steady income. The film business is so hard if you don’t have that full-time position. And I know people whom would love to break into freelance work, but are a bit afraid to leave their full-time job. It’s not easy to give up a steady paycheck. So, I don’t officially have a back-up plan.

My back-up plans need back-up plans.

It’s not all bad! Since I realized I may be in Las Vegas for a while, I decided to make the best of it. It hasn’t been easy making friends in this town, but I’ve manged to make a few. A friend told me I could be like a big fish in a small pond. There’s a little truth to that. I’ve had some great opportunities here in Vegas. I edited a short film, “Come Together” about social media. That’s starting to get out there. In April, I wrote an article about TribeFest, a gathering in Vegas of all the Northern American Jewish Federations that was published in David, a local Vegas magazine. That article lead to a 4-page story about myself and my film experiences; screenwriting, directing and editing in David Magazine. That story coincided with a screening I had in June for an old feature film I produced, co-wrote and co-directed. And on July 28th I’ll be screening my short film, “The Octo Circus” as a part of RAW Artists with all sorts of artists; Art, Music, Fashion, Photography and Models.

So, it hasn’t been a great year, but there’s been some good things that have come out of living in Vegas.

‘Always look on the bright side of life.’

If you’d like to attend the RAW Artist event in Las Vegas July 28th click the following link. Make sure you use the drop-down menu to show my name [Ross H. Martin] when buying tickets which are only $10. http://www.rawartists.org/lasvegas/illuminare

My First Blog…Through WordPress!

Ross with Giants Cap

Hello there! This is my first post using WordPress. I have an old blog site on Blogger regarding the short time I spent teaching and living in South Korea. I transferred those blogs here. The old blog was called Rossman Got Seoul. Well, I still have ‘soul’, so I’m holding onto the name and making a slight spelling change to Rossman Got Soul. In addition, I’ve been posting ‘hubs’ on HubPages for years. HubPages is more of an article-writing site. You can’t just post a vlog from You Tube and say nothing on there. You have to write something extensive on HubPages. I needed a place to share my film knowledge and other experiences. I may want to share a small vlog or a brief thought. I’m looking to this area to be my place to fully express myself, my views, my opinions, my voice. As you can see, I wear many hats. Sometimes I wear more than one hat simultaneously. For instance, I may wear my NY Rangers cap while directing a short film. I might wear my NY Giants cap while editing in front of my computer. Perhaps I might wear my NY Yankees cap while screenwriting or playing volleyball or hiking in Red Rock Canyon. (You guessed it! I grew up in NY.) Yes, I live in Las Vegas. I landed here July 12, 2010. I can’t seem to shake the film industry and in many ways I never want to. It’s a difficult business, but I’m driven to make things happen whether I’m in Los Angeles or Las Vegas or wherever. I’ll be linking to my many ‘hubs’ whenever possible. You can check them out too at: http://hubpages.com/profile/Ross+H+Martin

I look forward to expressing myself, meeting new people and being more involved with the online community. I have a website that will have a link this blog site. If you want to view my website go here: http://www.rosshmartin.com

Thanks and happy reading!

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