Cameron Blout – Lighting Production

Posted on November 8, 2014 by


Rarely do most consider the pieces that must come together to create a finished film. Sure, there are the writers, actors and directors… but there’s also the crew. Lighting, sound, and setup rarely amass attention yet play integral roles in bringing films to fruition.

With an eye to the importance of production, our Makers of the Virginia Film Festival series attempts to put focus on not just those who earn top billing but the people who tend to stand in the shadows, guiding the spotlight.

Cville Niche caught up with current VCU student and Goodish lighting production crewmember Cameron Blout. Amid classes and other projects, Blout shared some behind-the-scenes stories from the making of Goodish.

Cameron Blout

cameronHow did you get into production?

I’ve known Michael Leonberger (one of the writer/directors of Goodish) for a long time, he graduated from the VCU Cinema program in 2010 and I started there in 2012 when he and Amanda Patterson (other writer/director) were prepping and looking for people to work on their film, we sat down and just talked about VCU Cinema and all kinds of stuff and we were all very enthusiastic and about two weeks later we were living in a house shooting Goodish with about seven huge cats.

What drove you to pursue a career (and education) in film?

I grew up on movies and books – they moved me to worlds outside of my own. When you’re a kid it’s not within the realm of your world that you understand the stories were crafted by someone, out of their imagination. So, once that hit me, there was no stopping me from trying to do the same.

Any advice for the next generation of filmmakers?

Anyone interested in making films should absolutely take in every story they can, you have two ears and one mouth so take in way more stories than you tell, and tell only stories you want to hear. It’s a muscle that requires training, so just never think you’re done learning. I’m surely not done learning, and I doubt I ever will be.

Describe the film and your role.

Goodish would only work with Michael and Amanda behind it, they take you on a journey of self discovery wherein two friends reflect on their lives and what they really want – it comes down to friendship or sex. I’m definitely of the belief that those aren’t exclusive and also don’t have to collide, but the way they put it together was really fascinating. I was one of a small, very small crew that lived with the cast for about a week of shooting in a house in Richmond’s North Side. There were about seven cats that Amanda was tasked with taking care of while we were running around making Goodish, so if you can imagine a filmmaker who would take on that duty in addition to crafting narrative, it’s a nice glimpse into the wacky characters I was working with. It was really fascinating to go to sleep late, wake up early, redress where you were sleeping and get back to work. We worked some long hours and there was never any sign of fatigue, we just kept moving along, it was fantastic.

How many Virginia Film Festivals have you attended?

I have not been to many film festivals, sadly, and I am excited for my first Virginia Film Festival!

What sets the Virginia Film Festival apart from other film festivals?

If there’s one thing I think is great about this festival, it’s that a home-cooked film like Goodish can play along with these huge movies like Foxcatcher and The Imitation Game.

Finish this sentence (be creative!). Film production to me is …

An acrostic poem; it’s really easy to do, but it takes talent to make it good.

What films are you excited about seeing this year at the Virginia Film Festival?

Goodish, definitely excited to see Goodish. Going to have to check out the short films, too. Everyone should see more short films, they’re wonderful little pockets of story. I saw they’re showing Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), which I just saw a 35mm print of in September, which was gorgeous, and you can never get enough Kubrick. Also, Dead Poets Society, because I was in Boston when we lost Robin Williams, and while he was there for Good Will Hunting he was so kind to that city, and growing up he made such a huge impact on me, so any chance to see that wonderful man on the big screen.

Where would you go for a quick bite in Cville between screenings?

I actually have not spent much time in Cville, but Christian’s Pizza just opened up a location in Richmond, and if you’ve eaten there you know that pizza isn’t half bad.

Where would you go for a post-film screening drink?

If they’ll have me, I would follow Michael and Amanda into the grimiest saloon. So whichever bar is the dirtiest … expect some patronage from the Goodish gang.

— Brandy Stearns