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About Me

A Little About Me

by Clif Johnston
I love to create, and I love technology… and when I can combine the two, I’m in heaven!

I’m excited to be living in a time when advances in personal technology are rapidly democratizing and decentralizing the creation and distribution of art and media. I’m extremely passionate about mobile technology, specifically iOS devices and apps, and the amazing ways developers are enabling more people to achieve their creative potential.

It’s my goal to test and push the limits of what can be accomplished with the tools now in reach of every artist or storyteller with the willingness to make something.

Music Background

I’ve been making music since I was 11 years old. I’ve played first chair violin in a school orchestra, gigged solo and with a half dozen bands, taught close to 60 students how to play guitar, and released over 120 albums of original music. I’ve operated a digital label with over 20 artists from all over the world and published 2 books on iOS music production.

Technology

I’ve worked in technology and application development for 20 years, in roles ranging from web developer to senior software architect and director of technology. I’ve built everything from WordPress blogs to high-traffic e-commerce sites, streaming broadcast players, and iOS apps. I’m a veteran ColdFusion developer and a recognized expert on iOS devices and apps, especially in the areas of music and video creation.

Filmmaking

My journey into film began several years ago as an organic extension to my music. Wanting to upload more than just static cover art with my music, I began experimenting with video and different forms of audiovisual collage on my iPads. Every new video effects app released was a new direction to explore, and I was soon hooked on putting sound to image, or more often, image to sound.

With an idea to do a documentary film on iOS music making, I took the next step and began taking classes, online and off, and reading whatever I could find on the subject. I was lucky to stumble upon TheFilmSchool by way of a class on Guerrilla Filmmaking taught by Josef Assi at Shoreline Community College. I began attending some of the monthly meet-ups and joined Josef’s Advanced Filmmaking Techniques class during TheFilmSchool’s 3-week summer intensive program in 2016.

Through TFS I got my first job on a film crew, recording sound on TFS alumni Serena Berry’s short film, Shards. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Since then, I’ve crewed up several times as a sound recordist and I expect to do a lot more of that in the future.

 

In 2017, I attended a handful of workshops and seminars at the Northwest Film Forum, including Recording Audio for Film and iPhone/iPad Filmmaking. I also completed some online courses, including Werner Herzog’s filmmaking MasterClass. Most recently, I completed Shonda Rhimes’ MasterClass on Writing for Television.

The Future

In 2018, I plan to attend TheFilmSchool’s 3-week Summer Intensive and as many workshops as I can fit in and afford. I also plan on completing the MasterClass offerings from Aaron Sorkin, Hans Zimmer, Steve Martin, David Mamet, Samuel L. Jackson, Dustin Hoffman, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and Herbie Hancock before my all-access pass runs out!

I’m also working on developing a short documentary project, adapting an audioplay I produced into a short horror film, and writing my first feature-length screenplay.