Demo Reel Update, Video List Update, and more

It’s been a while since I updated my video list tab, so I updated it with all the films and visual effect videos that I made in the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013. Lots of gems both good and bad, and a lot of stuff that has been unlisted on my youtube channel. I also uploaded and posted a demo reel from 2012 to 2013 that I made for a class at the bottom of this blog post.

I also would like to apologize that I haven’t been true to my audience. I know that many of you have subscribed to my channel and website thinking that you were going to be seeing a load of amazing visual effects and be able to learn how to do them. I’m greatly sorry for my YouTube leave of absence. A new school year is upon me and I have been granted a very special opportunity again to reignite the flame and blow the minds that have watched my videos. Stay tuned because there’s some good stuff in store.

When do you upgrade your equipment?

There’s a saying out there that goes, ” You are only be as good as your equipment is.” I highly disagree with this statement but it brings up a good topic, when as an artist do I upgrade my equipment? My answer is, the best time to upgrade is when either society demands you to upgrade or when you need to upgrade to make artistic change. I guess the only way I can explain this is by giving examples of when I actually upgraded my equipment.

I first made videos on my parents’ Sony Cybershot camera that recorded in like a 360×280 setting which I uploaded and edited everything on an old desktop computer on Windows movie maker. A majority of these crappy videos that I made are private now on Youtube but all the equipment was perfect for the time being. I was solely making videos for fun and didn’t need anything special. You first have to determine what you need as oppose to what works for you. If everything runs perfect why would you ever upgrade?

You begin to upgrade when you know modern technology is beyond you. The age of high definition cameras were coming out and I finally had some birthday money saved up for an HD camcorder. I had a desire to make my videos higher quality and to make them better and more enjoyable. I watched thousands of videos on YouTube studying what camcorder I wanted and finally purchased a Canon HF20 over a Canon HF10. I still use the HF20 today whenever I’m on the go and don’t feel like using a dslr. Switching from a camcorder to a dslr wasn’t really a hard upgrade thanks to many resources such as Dave Dugdale that help you understand dslrs. I knew the benefits that dslrs had over camcorders but the reason I got a Canon Rebel T3i was because my HF20 was acting up and I needed a camera for a job. A need.

The issue I’m finding now is when do I upgrade my lenses? I got a perfectly good Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens off ebay for $160, the kit 18-55mm lens and a 55-250mm lens. When I upgrade lenses will I go full frame and get a 5Dmark III? I probably will once the raw video gets figured out completely with magic lantern because that quality rivals the Black Magic Cinema Camera . I do think that will be my breaking point where I’ll upgrade again and start to buy L lenses. Once all my lenses from my wish list are purchased I’ll probably go for a red epic or scarlet with a Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95. Who knows…

I think that it’s important to realize that once you’ve maxed out your potential with your equipment then I think you’ll be ready to upgrade to make a better artistic change to better yourself. My T3i and I have a long way to go still but below is my wishlist for the future when I get more money.


-A Canon 5D Mark III for quality boost, low light performance boost, and full frame. I’ve played with one and they are nice.
-A White Canon EOS M w/ 22mm lens for convenience with EF Mount. I fell in love with the white version of this camera. It’s so cute for a nice date camera. A T3i or 5D Mark III would be crossing the line a little bit on a date.
-GoPro Hero 3, I’ve played around with a GoPro Hero 1 and now with the Hero 3, I’m excited for the boost in quality and everything.
-A Tamrom SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens for walk around. All purpose travel lens. The image stabilization/ vibration control makes it worthy.
-A Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens. For sports, nature, and animal photography. One of the best on the market.
-A Canon EF 50mm  f/1.2 L USM Lens to replace my f/1.4 lens.
-A Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens. Known as one as Canon’s sharpest lenses. Could get into portraits or just about anything.
-A Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens. For Macro Photography.
-A Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye USM Lens. Fisheye, a toy lens for fun.
-A Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L Lens for landscapes and nature.

Busy Schedules Again

Alrighty so let me bring you guys up to speed on what I’m doing. I heavily apologize if I don’t upload very many videos this semester. I’m taking 16 credits worth of classes, and I’m working part-time at WGVU, the local PBS station, doing shows and whatever else they tell me to record such as sporting events.

One other big thing that I’m doing right now is that I’m working on a documentary with some real professionals that could potentially reach platforms outside of PBS such as ESPN. Details can be found here, but the general idea of this documentary is the story of the second baseball team in American history that was given the opportunity to go over to Cuba to play against Cuba’s baseball team. This documentary is counting as an Independent Study so I will receive 3 credits when all is said and done.

I’m not saying that this schedule is hard or impossible for me but it really limits the time I have to make videos for the YouTubes. Again I’m sorry but what I’m doing is for the best interests of my future career. I’d love to just make videos on YouTube and do that full-time but while I’m at college I must take advantage over the resources and opportunities that are available.

Video To Do List

Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy New Year from your filmmaker pal Ryan Rakowski. Lots of stuff is in plan for these next couple of months. My work schedule and class schedule are a little more flexible so more videos will be uploaded. The New Years resolution is a video a week. I hope I can keep to this resolution, here are a few videos that I have lined up for 2k13.

-Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens Disassembly and Reassembly- I made a half hour long video on how to disassemble and reassemble the lens however I need to re-edit and re-record audio for it to make it less than 10 minutes. A half hour is a bit too much. I also believe that being able to take apart an EF lens is good to know so you don’t ever have to go to Canon if you ever have a problem with your lens. Fix it yourself!


-Visual Effect tests for work- I’ve been doing some VFX tests for work and I’ve been needing to upload my work.

-How To Change Multiple Video File Extensions Quick Without Converters- This is a remake from a video I made on my other channel. Something that I think every film and video person should know how to do.

-Super 8 Lens Flare Project- This is a project I started last year but stopped after Janurary, the link is to my old blog so you can see my post about it:

-FumeFX Tutorials: I have 3dmax and Fumefx now I just have to start some tutorials and post my  results.

I leave you with one last video that I did for Please Promise, a local Christian Punk Rock band from Kalamazoo, Michigan that I did a video for. It’s a music video that puts you into the life of the band on a typical holiday day:

Old But New Update Video

This video is not an actual update. It was originally suppose to be uploaded before the forth of July but due to circumstances I couldn’t upload it. However, I still think it’s a pretty sweet and informative video so here it is, an update on what I’ve been doing in Colorado.

Be sure to check out Dave Dugdale’s Channel. Thanks again Dave for taking the time and meeting with me this summer!

Dave Dugdale’s Channel-
Dave Dugdale’s Website-
Video Tutorial I did for Dave-

Busy for 3 Months

I haven’t told anyone on Youtube this, I’ll make a video about it soon, but I’m currently doing an internship in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The internship pays well and I’m getting academic credit for it too. The internet speeds here are awful, worse than dial-up. What does this mean? It means that I can’t upload weekly videos. The company has a limited bitrate and I can’t abuse it by uploading videos. I can probably do a monthly video but I can’t promise anything. I’m still making videos though! In August, when I’m done with my internship there will be a new video uploaded like everyday! I’m recording amazing scenery of the mountains and wild life. Maybe I’ll do giveaway to ensure that my subscribers stay subscribed on my Youtube channel. Anyways don’t just freak if you don’t see any videos from me for a while.

Ryan Rakowski

New Site,

We’re gradually making a change from blogger to wordpress. Once I figure out how to change my domain on this thing I’ll change it to the domain that I purchased that’s There will no longer be any posts regarding life situations, all posts on this site will revolve around video, media, special effects and that jazz.

About Ryan Rakowski

Who am I? 

I’m Ryan Rakowski, a filmmaker/Digtal Compositor/Sports Videographer who’s sending an SOS to the world through media. Filmmaking is my passion, without film and video I would not be where I am today. I have spent the past five years recording, editing and publishing videos for local communities. I’ve edited and recorded weddings, high school and college sporting events and made highlight DVDs for the coaches and players. I’m highly proficient with the Adobe Suite products but I am also learning 3dsMax and NUKE in hope to soon incorporate more 3D elements into my videos.

During high school I took over seven classes on Graphic Design which I apply many aspects to film. I have a great deal of knowledge about what looks appealing to the eye. I was awarded the departmental award for graphic arts among my graduating class when my senior year ended. I worked on the yearbook staff for my high school as the photography editor and brought new ideas to better create a yearbook and make it more visually satisfying. One of which was the idea of the “page number people.” Students stood in front of a green screen and made poses with a small white board in front of them. I keyed out the green screen and added numbers to the white boards and each page of the yearbook had a student that represented a page number on the yearbook. In 2010, I created a t-shirt design for the Community for the Cure football game in Otsego, Michigan and over $9,000 was raised by my shirts for Cancer Research.

I am currently attending Grand Valley State University studying film and video. In 2011, I worked for Grand Valley’s newspaper recording video for their online website. The number one thing I love when I make my videos is watching the reactions I recieve from people that watch my videos. I strive every day to become more professional so I can one day fulfill my dream of having my name on the big screen.

Phone: (269)929-8623