DAY 2: Vincent Laforet/CreativeLIVE HDSLR Workshop

In case you’ve missed out on one of the greatest opportunities for those endeavoring to make films with the HDSLR.  Did I mention this webcast that goes on for 3 days is totally FREE???  There are so many people trying to capitalize on every aspect of the HDSLR revolution which in my opinion is in conflict with the spirit of it, Vincent La Foret once again, expels the money changers from the temple and puts filmmaking back in the hands of the people. Just tune in at today and Sunday to catch the last two days of the webinar — again FOR FREE!!!

Last night I tuned in just to see what’s on, because even during the breaks they’ve left one of the cameras streaming, and they were replaying Friday’s webinar.  Average number of viewers online has been averaging 2000+.  Also, you can particapate with questions on twitter by typing #creativelive Again, much respect for Vincent Laforet for giving back to the film community by making his knowledge and experience available to everyone who seeks it.  Just as a disclaimer, they are charging for a copy of this webinar that will be available for download next week for about $80.  However, it’s clear to see that the amount of work it took to produce this, they will barely recoup there cost.  Way to give back gentlemen!  Here’s Saturday and Sunday’s schedule.

DAY TWO:  Saturday May 1st. PART I:  Introduction to Cinema Language and Concepts.   9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. We’ll make sure you know what panning vs tilting is and what a locked off shot it.   CU / ECU / Medium Shot / Establishing shot will become part of your vocabulary – as well as a lateral move, a push or a pull.  We’ll define what a hyperfocal is to you and how to use  is to tackle focusing challenges.   We’ll ask the important question of:  how shallow is too shallow in terms of depth of field – especially when it comes to working with actors.    We’ll get into lens choice and discuss compression and distortion. PART II:  Cinema lighting and camera support.  11 a.m. – 1 p.m. We will not be going into complex lighting on this one – in fact lighting is one of the areas we will be spending the least amount of time on during this workshop given the complexity of the concepts involved and time / gear constraints. We’ll discuss how to use a variety camera support tools – at various price points.   Students will get hands on time with the gear and discuss HOW and WHY it is used (and to what EFFECT.)  We’ll start off by looking into a wide variety of handheld rigs and tools.  We’ll also look at a variety of sliders, dollies, JIB, Pan/Tilt Heads and time lapse tools.  We’ll then discuss wireless focus solutions, wireless video transmitters, and video conversion solutions. We’ll be discussing gear from:  Redrock Micro, Zacuto, Arri, Broncolor, GlideTrack, O’Connor, Cinevate, Kessler Cranes, MicroDolly Hollywood, and Porta Jib, Lite Panels, Black Magic, IDX, and Viewfactor amongst others. BREAK – LUNCH FROM 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. PART III:  The Makeup of a Film Crew  – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. We’ll quickly discuss the business of film and also make sure you know what a director’s responsibilities are – as well as what a 1st AC does vs a gaffer or script supervisor.  We’ll also discuss what a treatment is and when film permits are needed and/or clearances. PART IV: First Shoot  – 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. The students will gather to shoot their first min-documentary.    They will shoot a sit down interview as well as some B-Roll and learn how to mix an interview with B-Roll footage effectively. PART V BONUS – Live Video Editing Session  – 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. DAY THREE:

Sunday May 2nd PART I:  NARRATIVE SHOOT – Pre Pro  – 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Students will get back together and work on the pre-production of a short narrative piece that they will shoot in the next section.   We’ll discuss storyboarding, managing a shot list and equipment list – and the concept of shooting a scene / piece in a non-linear manner to save time (and expense.) PART II:  NARRATIVE SHOOT –  11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Students will break up into various roles and shoot a short narrative piece together – utilizing the tools and techniques discussed over the prior two days.  This will give us a chance to see everything come together – and also to pick up on some very common mistakes that first time filmmakers make. BREAK – Lunch 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. PART III:  WORKFLOW –  2 p.m.  – 4 p.m. We’ll discuss converting footage and a variety of editing tools for both Mac and PC.   We’ll cover Final Cut Studio, Compressor, Adobe CS5 (we’re still working on this detail given how new the software is) , MPEG Streamclip, and Plural Eyes.  We’ll also discuss backup strategies, from the Canon/Apple FCP Log and Transfer plugin, to Servers, LTO Tape and Drobo. PART IV:  FINISHING   4 p.m. – 6 p.m. We’ll also get a basic introduction to editing – and bring together the pieces we shot together earlier in the day.  Students will get an introduction to editing by qualified FCP and CS5 instructors (see above- we’re trying to get CS5 in…) The class will culminate with a discussion on how to grade the footage in Apple’s

Color software.  And we’ll discuss how to deliver the final media to a variety of devices – from iPhones, AppleTV, streaming web movies, all the way to BluRay.


Live Interview from NAB 2010 with Dave Basulto of Filmmaking Central and Post Magazine

Special thanks to Dave Basulto, Filmmaking Central and POST Magazine for allowing us to be a part of their live stream from NAB 2010.

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AEtuts+ Interviews Clint Milby Director of Marketing for ikan

Special thanks to Topher Welsh of for paying me a visit at the ikan booth at NAB 2010.

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It was Labor Day in 2009 when I became aware of just how bad things have gotten in the US.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’ve been naïve.  I’ve been a student of free speech and the political landscape of the US since high school, but Labor Day was the first time I have come into contact with a violation of my civil rights in a very real way.

Our office had a loaner 5D Mark II, and I took it for the weekend for a test drive.  I’ve had a fascination with the Houston light rail since they started laying track, and shooting it with the 5D seemed like the thing to do.  So my friend and I were standing on the platform when an angry homeless guy came up to us and starts harassing us for change.  I look to my right, and there was a Metro Police Car.  I waved at him hoping he would keep this guy moving who was now becoming belligerent.  I’m usually not so nervous in these situations, however, I did have $3500.00 worth of camera  strapped around my neck.  The cop yelled out something:  ”NO PICTURES OF THE TRAIN!”

Could he actually be serious?  After several calls to the Houston Metro Police Department, I come to find he was.  However, it seems there is no law on the books prohibiting photography of a train.  Nevertheless, Homeland Security has endowed local police departments nationwide with violating the first amendment rights of would be train photographers by harassing them and/or detaining them.

When I hung up the phone, I knew for the first time, I wasn’t dealing with some rogue cop or an over zealous police captain, I was dealing with the New American Police State.  The kind of police state they warned us about in speeches on Veteran’s Day when I was in elementary school.

It turns out, my experience isn’t unique in any fashion, except I might have gotten off easy.  Last February in New York,  Robert S. Taylor of Brooklyn was taking photos for fun in a subway station. Police saw him and cited him for unauthorized photography, even though the crime doesn’t actually exist.  Taylor states that charge was dropped, however, they also charged him disorderly conduct.  Ironically, Taylor works for MTA.  He was off duty at the time. More recently, on the other side of the country in California, Andrew Cichowski was taking pictures of the Diridon train station in San José.

I was taking a picture of the barbed wire fence, I heard someone shout “TURN AROUND SLOWLY!” I said “excuse me?” confusedly, and then slowly turned around. To my surprise, two police officers were staring at me. They asked what I was “suspiciously photographing industrial stuff for…” After about 30 minutes, they realized I wasn’t some sort of strange train terrorist, but were still asking me questions. A third officer and third and fourth squad car then arrived. Eventually, they copied the entire contents of my CF card to their police laptop and two flash drives, I told them they could have a copy of the photos as long as they didn’t sell any of them. They smiled and promised not to.  Aside from this being a terribly obnoxious waste of time, it was an interesting experience, and I’m now very likely on some sort of terrorist watch list for being a suspicious photographer…

Just today, someone posted the image at the top of this article which is a sign on a train in Chicago.  It asks citizens to call 911 if they see any suspicious behavior, and it explicitly lists photography and video as one of those suspicious activities.  So where does this leave free citizens who wish to maintain their Constitutional rights?  It leaves us with the burden of asserting ourselves I’m afraid.

Sometimes, the only way to keep a right is by exercising that right.  Therefore, take pictures whenever possible of everything possible, especially of trains, planes and buses.  We must report any police officers, security guards or other so-called officials who attempt to infringe upon our rights to their superiors and watch dog groups such as the ACLU.  Become locally active in photography groups in your area and most importantly, talk about these issues.  Post your experiences online using blogs and social media.  Above all, write your mayor, congressman and senators and tell them if they are incapable of stopping these attacks on our civil rights, we will elect someone who will.

The bottom line, there is now a real threat to the rights of free citizens everywhere, and no one is going to rescue you.  If you want to enjoy the freedom to use your camera when and where you want, you’re going to have to fight.  It’s up to you.

Other sites to check out:

Two Cameras at the Crossroads: 5D Mark II or 7D

Two Cameras at the Crossroads: 5D Mark II or 7D.

Check out my latest blog post that details my paranoia in deciding which way to go:  5D Mark II or 7D.



These are just some of the words from Leo Gold from 10/22/09.

This is my membership renewal from the Pacifica Foundation.  On it, it reads:

“When you renew your membership to KPFT you help us to promote peace through everything we do by presenting news, music and VIEWPOINTS that help us to understand more about our world and the people around us, because understanding creates compassion, and compassion creates peace. ”

What has taken place over the past three weeks has not been the rantings of some rogue radio announcer spewing his hatred for all those who don’t see eye to eye with him.  No, every word that Leo Gold said has been backed up by the staff at KPFT and therefore by Pacifica.  They back him up, they support him, and they endorse him.

For these reasons, I will not be taking part in something “special”, and I ask you to stand with me in opposition to this hypocrisy by boycotting KPFT and Pacifica.  The terms of this boycott are simple.

Do not renew your memberships or make any financial restitution for KPFT or Pacifica until such time a time that they regain their integrity and make peace the priority for not only those they agree with, but especially for those with whom they disagree.





leogold headshot smkpftglobe

What you’ve heard from Ernesto is false. What he’s saying about what was said on Thursday’s show is only half true. Listen to the entire show — more remarks to follow.