Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sarah Jones and Crew Safety

theblackandblue.com
When 2nd assistant camera Sarah Jones died on-set last month, the Industry mourned the 27-year-old by honoring her at the at various industry events, including the Oscars (sort of). Her death sparked a debate regarding safety on-set. How far is too far, and how responsible should senior crew members and above-the-liners be when a crew member dies on-duty?

Sets are dangerous places. Lighting alone has a tripping hazard, a fire hazard, a burn hazard, and a heavy object hazard. Sarah was knocked down by debris from an unexpected train, and then was hit by that train. In addition to her death, several crew members were injured. This happened in a state where filmmaking is growing exponentially. Filmmaking is still new territory in the South, and many of the safety regulations set forth by Hollywood are unenforced by the Southern states. 

However, there is an elephant in the room: even among California crews, safety regulations are ignored in favor of lower cost. In other industries, such as construction or shipbuilding, workers are overcompensated for dangerous work conditions, but the employer still has an obligation to follow OSHA standards. Film crews are fortunate to be paid at all. And crew members often do as they are told, in fear of “never working in this town again.” That attitude must change.


Let’s make an Industry-wide pledge to put safety first! Urge extra-Hollywood states to adopt stringent safety regulations. Enforce the 12-hour work day and turnaround. Never put your crew in danger. And when marking your slate this year, do it for Sarah!

Happy Filmmaking!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year, New Beginnings

Happy 2014! The year is already kicking my butt!

This will prove to be a huge year for indies. While blockbusters still rule the box office, several anticipated indie projects were/are greenlighted. Equipment is getting cheaper by the day. By the way, the new iPhone 5S video is pretty impressive for a cell phone. iPhone (or Android, if you prefer) filmmaking is becoming more professional. Check out the raw footage below. I performed a color test using the phone. Warning: if you find Future annoying, don't worry. I turned off the song.



I started this year by shooting an impromptu music video Sunday. I love planning and believe in it immensely, however, impromptu shooting worked out my brain creatively.  I still advocate planned shoots, but now I think everyone should try shooting this way at least once. I'm now editing the results and will be posting shortly.
Sometimes organic shooting is best!

My hometown is turning Hollywood as well. In addition to the other productions shot last year, at least three major productions, including a Mario Van Peebles movie, are slated to be shot in our little Southern city. I urge all indie filmmakers to consider Mobile before hipsters start to hate us. And, Mario, if you need a local with some skills, I'm here! Just kidding. Or am I?

Anyways, I hope you have a great and productive new year! Happy Filmmaking!



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Seasons Greetings

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I will be posting updates shortly!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Product Review: Skullcandy Navigator Headphones

Recently I was in the market for a nice and AFFORDABLE set of on-the-ear or over-the-ear headphones for post-production. Ideally, I would love to buy Bose or similar, but plunking $300+ for a headset is not feasible. And while Beats by Dre continues to be popular, I think they are overpriced for the sound quality. 



I tested several headphones in-store before picking up the Skullcandy Navigator headphones. Skullcandy also can be overpriced, but at least are more affordable than Beats by Dre. For the first time in a long time, I was blown away by the sound quality. The bass was deep and rich, which is good because most of our clients and potential clients for Lagniappe Cinemas are hip-hop artists. The price was even better: $100. I got them for $80, because they were marked down at Target. 

The headset is very comfortable and lightweight. They sit on-the-ear--if I'm editing, I prefer over-the-ear--but I can live with it. At home, I listened to Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman", George Clinton and The Parliament's "Atomic Dog",  Nas and Jay-Z's "Black Republican", Santana's "Samba Pa Ti", and Mozart's "Symphony No. 25 in G Minor". The headphones passed with flying colors. Some of the treble is sacrificed for bass, but voices are very clear.  I'm not complaining for $80. 

The box mentioned the headset was "made for iPod, iPhone, and iPad," but I always think this is weird considering you can use almost any headset with Apple devices. That does remind me, however, that this is still a consumer product, not a post-consumer product. The headset has buttons to control your device, and even works with my MacBook, but it's a feature I most likely will not use. The audio cord is detachable, which is a good thing. 

These will work great until I am ready to move up in my audio game. Happy Filmmaking!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Personal Update

You may have noticed that I am writing less and less. While I am still dedicated to this blog, my work has picked up. I am also attending graduate school. My work has picked up so much, that I am currently updating my equipment and software.

I will be posting a review of Adobe Story soon, as well as a post about shooting in adverse weather. Please stay tuned!

Happy Filmmaking.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stuff People Say: Photographers

Oh, man, does this sound familiar! If you shoot stills as well like me, you have probably heard all of these questions before! But that's okay, because no one understands why you don't shoot "P" for professional!




And as a filmmaker and/or photographer, you probably get a little annoyed at people who believe you can take a great shot because of your camera. Just to mess with those people, here is a shot of a flower from my iPhone 3GS. You're welcome.



Happy Filmmaking!