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Entries in John-Clay's Projects (21)


Motion University - Pre-launch

Build a career, not a hobby.

This is a new film training project that I'm very excited to be part of!

Motion University will give you access to an entire new ecosystem of online training. Learn from industry professionals through lectures, interactive Q&A, and weekly assignments. By the end of the program you will also create your own promo video and get an in-depth critique by seasoned filmmakers.

Sign-up to Stay Updated -


Family Ties - SHORT FILM

Follow the journey of a young man as he discovers the importance of being grateful.

We put together this short project for the Fatherhood CoMission video contest.

Canon C100 MKII (C-LOG)
- Canon 70-200 L f/2.8 IS
- Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS
Edited and color graded in Adobe Premiere


Johnson Strings - Music Video

I've been working with The Johnson Strings on their next set of music videos. "We Three Kings" has just been released! (Role: Editor & Colorist)


MWCFA - 2015 Promo

I had the pleasure of teaching at the 2015 Midwest Christian Filmmakers Academy!

This year we worked with the students to produce a practice promo (view here) and later in the week they  worked with us in the production of a promo video for a real client.

We are pleased to present the official project for 2015 "Memories."


John-Clay & Sarah

Well...there has been a long bout of silence on the blog, and I have a very good reason!

The Short Story

My family has known the Ferraro family for several years, and I got to spend time with them while working on the Serve India Ministries project last year. Sarah and I worked together a lot that week and helped each other on some other projects for several months after. Behind the scenes there was much praying and council being sought. In March of 2015 I started talking to her dad about taking the relationship further, and on April 8th she agreed to begin a courtship with me.

We spent a lot of time talking and also visited both families, and on May 9th I proposed...and she said, "Yes!" We are both very excited and are praising the Lord for His blessings in our lives.

More of the story and wedding details will be coming, along with the wedding website.


Wait Till It's Free

This is a feature length documentary directed by Colin Gunn. I'm super excited to say that I had the privilage to be the Editor and Colorist for the project!

During the filming I also helped with a couple interviews and directed some scenes at the diner.

Here's the movie trailer, check it out!


'Wait Till It's Free' is an entertaining and provocative look at the current healthcare crisis. Coming at the healthcare issue from a non-partisan but none-the-less conservative and Christian outlook, this film takes a hard and honest look at the way we do health care in America. The film looks at every relevant aspect of modern medicine, from the escalating cost of health insurance to the move towards universal government healthcare. The film asks what kind of alternatives there are to families caught between expensive insurance based coverage and the "free" government solutions. The film explores the alternatives for individuals, churches, and families and offers moving and enlightening stories about those that have chosen to follow innovative and independent approaches to healthcare.

Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Wait Till It's Free

“Wait Till It’s Free” is an entertaining and provocative look at the current healthcare crisis. This film takes a hard and honest look at the way we do healthcare in America by looking at every relevant aspect of modern medicine, from the escalating cost of health insurance to the move towards universal government healthcare. The film asks what kind of alternatives there are for families caught between expensive insurance-based coverage and the “Free” government solutions. The film explores the alternatives for individuals, churches, and families, and offers moving and enlightening stories about those that have chosen to follow innovative and independent approaches to healthcare. We journeyed to Washington, D.C. and across the Atlantic to Glasgow, Paris, and Brussels to bring you extraordinary information you won’t find anywhere else. Along the way, we met authorities like Dr. Ron Paul (former U.S. Congressman), and John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods), as well as British experts Theodore Dalrymple (journalist and retired physician) and MEP Daniel Hannan (a British representative to the European Union). We engage a host of other experts from both sides of the gurney, meeting patients suffering the burdens of socialized medicine and doctors isolated from their patients by crippling regulation. This film goes miles beneath the surface of ObamaCare to expose the 100-year progression of socialized medicine in America. Traveling to my home country of Scotland, I ferret out the eerie truth about waiting lines, death panels, and total disregard for human life in Great Britain’s socialized healthcare system.

 DVDs are also availabe at the movie website:


Twas The Week Before Christmas

An unexpected discovery leads a young boy to set out to honor the true King of Christmas! But will he be able to raise enough money, and will he find what he is looking for? A heart-warming short film about the true reason to celebrate Christmas!

This is a short film that I made with my family back in 2006-2007! Enjoy!!



Creation Proclaims

In June I had the privilege to produce and direct the filming of the next Creation Proclaims series with Dr. Jobe Martin and his family. I was able to take a crew of five crew members with me to California where we were filming at an animal sanctuary with the Martins and Dan Breeding. It was a growing and stretching experience in many ways, but God was very good to us and answered many prayers during the week!

We used two Canon C-100s along with my Canon 60D as a 3rd cam for animal close-ups. Alex Lerma, Andrew Garcia, and Micah Austin did a fantastic job as the camera ops.

We rented a small lighting package from a local company for the project. I was super excited to have Philip Bolzeman as the Gaffer/Grip along with Micah Austin who pulled double duty between grip and cam op.

Joseph Santoyo was our on-set sound man, and did a great job even amids the squawking birds, howling coyotes, and planes/helicopters flying around!

Due to the heat and wind in the afternoons and staying ahead of schedule, we were only filmed in the mornings after the first day. On one free afternoon we were able to take advantage of being on the west coast and took a trip to the Cayucos beach! However it was rather windy and the water was super cold...but we had a relaxing and enjoyable afternoon!

We also had some seafood at a local restaurant which had been recommended by some friends.

It was indeed incredible!

During the week we also had some fun with Lemurs!

Here are a few still images from the footage we captured!

When the videos are released DVDs will be available at the Creation Proclaims website. They also have other resources and episodes already in the series.


Serve India Ministries

This summer I had the opportunity to oversee the post-production of a series of web videos for Serve India Ministries. We had a team of 9 people (plus siblings) all working together in one location for a week to finish 7 videos. To start the week we all worked on editing and for the last coupld of days a few of the team members transitioned over to sound, color correction, music, and motion graphics. It was a great time of film-making, fun, food, and fellowship!

Check out the trailer for the series and visit the website to see all the videos!

The people of India sit in darkness. They face incredible difficulties – socially, physically, and economically. No matter the difficulty, the Gospel is the answer. When the Gospel comes to these people, it truly changes everything.


Twas The Week Before Christmas - BTS 2



I asked Caleb and Daniel Morris, the composers for this project, to give me some insight into how they go about writing music, and then to give me some specific details about writing for this project.

1. How did you get started writing music?
John-Clay asked us if we wanted to do the music for his first movie “The Price of Freedom” and we said yes, not really knowing anything about composing music, much less composing for film. We had done some arranging in the past, but composing was a whole new world to us. So basically it all started by just jumping in and trying to do our best.

2. Who are some of your favorite composers? Who do you study?
John Williams would definitely be on top of that list, also James Horner, John Debney and Jerry Goldsmith. I guess the “big J’s” are the favorites! As far as studying goes, we study who we like best so the list would be the same with John Williams being the one we study most.

3. If you could describe the way you write music in 5 steps what would the 5 steps be?
1. We normally try to come up with a main theme that captures the heart of the film.
2. Playing on the piano along with the movie or sometimes after we have watched a scene trying to come up with ideas and find the music that conveys the feelings and emotion of the scene. At times this can be very difficult when it is not really obvious to us what the music should be. It is essential at times to just trust our instincts in this part of the process.
3. After we have an idea of what we want the music to do with the video, we go back and organize our ideas laying out the temp track and deciding what shots we want to hit and points to emphasize.
4. Now it’s time to lay down a prominent part that we know we want, like the bass line, melody, or rhythm of the section. This gives us something to work off of, something to build the orchestration on. This brings us to the last point, orchestration.
5. This is where we add color and emotion to the basic outline, themes or motif. Deciding on what instruments make the music feel dark, light, happy, sad, or whatever mood we are trying to convey. Choosing the right instrumentation is a crucial part of how the music will sound. We play different instruments along with the main line of the section to decide on what instruments work for that specific scene, sometimes it’s just like trying to “fish” for different things to get just the right sound.

This is a high resolution screen capture of the Cubase program. (click to enlarge - it may take a second to load)



I had the guys describe what each window is used for:
1. The main project window all the colored tracks that you see are the midi tracks
2. The effects window with EQ and reverb plug-in
3. Video window
4. Mixer
5. Stereo enhancer plug-in window
6. Reverb plug-in where we can edit everything pertaining to reverb.
7. Transport panel, this has time code on it also has play, stop, record etc. It has info about the temp track where you can turn the metronome on or off, you can also set left and right locators, there is also a little dial that you can zero in on exact frames.
8. Just a little Mac widget, wasn’t supposed to be in the picture.

4. How do you write music with two people?
What we normally do is have one of us picking out ideas on the keyboard and the other working the computer. As we work through the scene sometimes what we’re playing on the keyboard just seems to fit. Like that’s just what it needs. Other times whoever is playing the keyboard will get a little bit right, but some parts just aren’t quite there yet. When that happens we switch. It seems to work quite well because we can give each other input and thoughts as we compose. With two people we’re able to see different things sometimes and it sure helps out when you get stuck and can’t figure out what comes next.


5. Are there any special instruments that you used for ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas’ and why?
We used a variety of chime sounding instruments to create a “Christmas” atmosphere. To name a few - Celesta, Hand bells and a Glockenspiel.

6. Any special feeling or emotions that you wanted to convey and what techniques did you use to do that?
At the very beginning you will notice high tremolo on the strings, we used this to create a “cold night” kind of feeling and brought in the high hand bell to let you know it’s the “Christmas Season.” On the part where he sees the note we used some lower strings on some dissonant chords to create a darker confused feel and ended the scene with sort of a minor chord. On the working scene we used a light feel with flute and horn doing a faster repeated note version of the theme. Also the guitar was used in this scene to give it a more motivated, diligent sound. We wanted the end to have a bigger “Christmas” feel so we used a larger orchestral setting still using some of the chime sounding instruments that you hear at the beginning with the theme coming in really slow before it says “Merry Christmas.”

Here are a couple of incomplete music samples from the project. I find it fascinating to hear music at different stages of completion.

Clip 1

Clip 2

7. How long does it take? (on average)
It all kind of depends, but I would say one minute takes us about 5-6 hours. (Lot of hard work).

8. Why do you write music? What is your purpose?
Our ultimate purpose in writing music is to glorify God. We want to write music for films that accomplish this goal. Music is a powerful element of film and can be used to communicate a message to the audience in a very compelling way. We want to use this powerful element of music to compliment and uplift Christian films that exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and hold up a standard of solid biblical truth.

-Thanks to the Morris boys for the great information, and all their hard work!


WATCH - Twas the Week Before Christmas

WATCH - Behind-The-Scenes