Tag Archives: cameras

Photos of the Days – A Tremendous Lot

The last few weeks have been filled with business, as one can assume. I’ve been working and interning and enjoying the weekends fully.

My place of work sent me to do some shooting on Martha’s Vineyard. I had a great time and got a good sense of the island – that is a less stereotyped version of what I was expecting. It’s not all rich people is what I mean. Also, it’s probably one of the most beautiful beach/town areas I’ve ever been to. There are lots of farms and cute beaches, beautiful stone walls, fields, light woods, and small businesses. And the ferry ride was relaxing.

At my internship, I moved up from transcribing audio files, to checking audio files, to also writing grants in my spare time, and (get ready, hear it comes) all the way up to script syncing footage to the transcripts. Basically what that means, is I get to sit at the Avid and sync the recorded footage for the documentary up with transcriptions of the corresponding footage. It’s a bit of a tedious task, but I’ve already learned something new, which I don’t have the opportunity to do, and it’s a good skill.

Stay tuned, Maine puffin action is coming soon…

June 29, 2010

Garden sun.

June 30, 2010

 

Field sun.

July 1, 2010

Yes, that's a puppy holding a stuffed bunny.

July 2, 2010

Lilly with an aperture of 1.8, yes.

July 3, 2010

Cow affection in Hadley, Massachusetts.

July 4, 2010

This was once a nest with birds.

July 5, 2010

All the gear I had to carry to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

July 6, 2010

Clay Gay Head cliffs on Martha's Vineyard.

July 7, 2010

Probably the hottest apartment in Northampton, Massachusetts.

July 8, 2010

Probably one of the best pictures I've taken of my friend's puppies.

July 9, 2010

Casino signage.

July 10, 2010

Thai pizza.

July 11, 2010

Garlic top.

July 12, 2010

Milkweed.

July 13, 2010

11 years, going strong.

July 14, 2010

Really, this was boring.

July 15, 2010

Honestly, the balloon just floated right over to us.

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Being extra prepared when things go wrong

Tis the graduation season, and about 4,200 University of Massachusetts undergraduates recieved their diplomas Saturday.

This entry was originally supposed to be about what happens behind the scenes and leading up to commencement day.

But, now, it’s about being prepared for the worst.

UVC-TV 19, UMass’ student-run TV station spends months preparing for the taping of the university’s undergraduate commencement.

Hauling equipment out of the station, into a truck, and to the football stadium.

 

The real meat of the operation begins a month or so before commencement when crew is finalized and the equipment is piled together and checked out for what is probably our most important shoot all year.

Preparation of the crew begins around two weeks before the ceremony when there are one or two meetings on what everyone should do. Someone has to remember the cash box for DVD sales. Someone has to set up equipment. Someone has to operate a camera. The list is never ending.

The camera that saved our lives.

 

The commencement shoot begins the day before commencement when a small portion of the video crew goes to set up and spool out hundreds of feet of video cable.

Back of the video monitor and switcher.

 

We spool out cables, tape them down, stand around and wait for an audio test, set up and wire a portable monitor and editing-on-the-fly system, turn cameras on and off, talk with special headsets, sweat in the sun, and go to bed early.

The audio setup before disaster.

 

The only technical difference about this year’s commencement compared to the last two years of commencement was that the university chose not to have a jumbotron and rather asked UVC-TV 19 to hook up a feed to the football stadium scoreboard. So we did. And it looked awesome.

The monitor unit was to direct and edit from.

 

The day of commencement began at 5 a.m. when all crew members telephoned each other a wake up call. We later met at the station at 6 a.m. By 6:10 a.m. we were at the stadium ready to go.

The crack of dawn.

 

Everything was looking good. Everything was going smoothly. Everyone was happy. It was sunny. The sky was blue. 

We were all happy and ready to go.

 

At 10 a.m. the graduating class and their professors and teachers were marching their way in. We hit record. The footage was up on the scoreboard.

When everything was on the scoreboard.

 

Then the power went out.

Everyone in the press tent suddenly panicked and scurried to find a new source of power or back up or something while the band still played and the happy graduates marched in.

The power-outage killed the portable monitor in which I, as the director, could see our three camera operator’s footage.

What was also killed was power for our recording unit. The digital file recording unit was powerless. The SVHS tape backup unit was powerless.

But what still had power was our field cameras.

I told my guys on camera to keep rolling. I couldn’t see any of the shots they were getting but having worked commencement two previous years, I knew exactly what to expect and what shots were important.

Soon, audio power was restored from some sort of alternative source. Audio had another source set up and ready to go. Let me put it this way – they have enough money to afford to have a back up. UVC – well, we are always looking for donations, but that’s another story. Anyways, commencement wasn’t ruined.

A power source wasn’t restored for UVC.

But it’s a good thing for camera batteries!

And it was even better that our camera operators were recording on a third backup with tape. And a fourth backup on compact flash cards.

Our recording was saved.

My assistant director got me a chair so I would stop pacing like a mad woman outside the press tent. 

I sat in the chair, watched commencement for the third year in row and directed my camera operators blindly.

I spoke into my headset, ‘Camera 1, slow zoom into the chancellor for a close-up. Camera 3 I need a wide shot of the stage, slow zoom out. Camera 2 we’re going to need some graduate reactions, they’re going to be clapping soon.’

We did this for an hour and a half, at times arguing over who had the best shot of the chancellor, even though no one could see what anyone had. But the beauty of having three cameras, is the alternative angles and shots, and the ability to change tapes and recording units at different times so not a moment of action was lost.

When the ceremony ended, it was a success. Everyone was thrilled we pulled it together despite losing power.

Our success was truly about having a backup – and several of those backups having backups because you never really know when the power will go out.

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Photos of the Days – Tech to Wilderness

As usually planned, here are my last few days of Photos of the Days, due to my only and inconvenient access to dial-up.

May 13, 2010

Greasy and greasy, yet so much fun.

 

May 14, 2010

This is the monitor and editing-on-the-fly unit we (UVC-TV 19) use for big field productions.

 

May 15, 2010

This is the morning of the UMass Commencement... at 5:55 a.m.

 

May 16, 2010

Old and dusty wilderness and hunting items.

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The Ambush Interview: Emil Lager

If you follow my video  and documentary work, you might know I happen to do a lot of ambush interviews. If I see something interesting and I can get a camera ASAP or have one in my bag, I will more likely than not, start interviewing the subject.

I try to be nice and unthreatening by all means. I don’t want to scare the subject off. I haven’t had an ambush interview go extremely wrong or get out of hand. But one day in London’s South Bank, I definitely stumbled upon one of my most unique subjects and perhaps awkward interviews.

What resulted was the following video costarring musical artist Emil Lager and his friend Amy.

Lager has a number of well-recorded, yet raw recordings on his MySpace music page and has a few shows set up for the summer. He is also an actor, playing a role in a French indie film called Cassie and playing in a fringe theatre company called Scandimaniacs.

And, according to his biography, he, “Is currently appearing in season IV of SKINS on E4 and as the lead guitarist in the Japanese mega star Ayumi Hamasaki’s two latest music videos MICROPHONE and SEXY LITTLE THINGS.”

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Hey Buddy Music Video Shoot

This is my Photo of the Day.

I was a Runner on a music video shoot for Hey Buddy TV. I also got to be an extra, which is always fun. The shoot was for a song called “Something Special” by a singer named Al Brown. Hey Buddy has previously made music videos such as Jay Sean‘s “Down.”

March 28, 2010

A Sony EX3 of course!

 

This is our star, Al.

 

This is the bar, where I was an extra with my buddies on the right.

 

The crew and stars at work. Emily, center, plays the girl Al the singer is following.

 

Colored lights always add a nice touch.

 

This is the bar tender, who, obviously isn't an actual bar tender.

 

The 'DJ' hanging out.

 

This entry was last updated March 29, 2010.

 

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