Work(s) in Progress

Just got back from a great long weekend away with friends. Some sweet spring skiing and barbeque on the lawn. Classic USA.

Here’s what’s up in the world of me:

  • Today finishing up a five-day shoot for Teldon Media Group. I’ll post some samples once they’ve run through the presses.
  • Editing on Rwanda: Hope Rises. Steve Plitt has recently joined the team and brings some much-needed editorial expertise. We’re working towards a mid-May screening in Fresno.
  • Some potentially big news on the RED side of life… will post more when it’s official.

Gallery – 2002: First Shots

Exit Sign

Over the last few weeks I’ve been scanning in old film negs… a fun reminisce for me, relationally and photographically. I started with a Pentax point & shoot and Costco bulk film. Then along came my first SLR, a Canon Elan II. Soon after I started shooting on professional film (Fuji NPC) and using a better lab. Can you spot which is which, and where things changed? Have a look: “2002: First Shots

One Beer and (4k) Pixels

Last night Digital Film Central hosted the first “Beer & Pixels” night. Jim van Dijk and I presented the RED One camera as part of the launch of our new rental business. We showed some footage shot last week by Jim and local DP Greg Middleton, comparing the RED to various film stocks. I also provided some RED footage from Rwanda. The shots were graded at Central and projected in their 2K Baselight DI suite.

I was blown away by the images. “This is awesome,” and “Central rocks” are soon to be pull-quotes on Central’s website…. Especially seeing what we shot in Rwanda up there looking so great next to film…

The two have a different aesthetic. Film has a nice crunchiness with slight shifts in colour as it goes towards black, and more room to play down in the shadows. RED has less range and highlights don’t clip as cleanly, but the overall image is crisp & clean, with lots of room to push the image towards different parts of the spectrum. Seeing them next to each other is like lifting the veil – we’re so used to film grain in our images… but the RED is super clean.

Initially we were thinking 20-30 people would show… turned into 50-60… and then I lost count. The interest was high, and there were all kinds: Producers, Directors, Production Managers, DPs, Post Supervisors, Camera Operators… any part of the production that touches the imaging workflow was represented, from both high and low budget filmmaking.

Overall the night was a great success. I’m still playing those images back in my head…

Dorothy Day on Love

It is not love in the abstract that counts. Men have loved a cause as they have loved a woman. They have loved the brotherhood, the workers, the poor, the oppressed – but they have not loved man; they have not loved the least of these. They have not loved “personally.” It is hard to love. It is the hardest thing in the world, naturally speaking. Have you ever read Tolstoy’s Resurrection? He tells of political prisoners in a long prison train, enduring chains and persecution for the love of their brothers, ignoring those same brothers on the long trek to Siberia. It is never the brothers right next to us, but the brothers in the abstract that are easy to love.

— Dorothy Day, “Meditations”

Photo Neg – Branches

Trees neg scan

I’m finally getting around to scanning the pile of negs & slides sitting beside my desk. (I’ve been wanting to do this since… well, for-freakin-ever.) Some of this stuff goes waaaaay back, before I even considered myself a photographer. It’s fun to look through… see where I’ve come from, where my visual side got its start.

Editing Begins

The pre-edit checklist:

  • New burr grinder, for consistent, tasty quality
  • Slightly leaky but functional coffee machine
  • nearby coffee shop for emergencies
  • 7 terabytes of data neatly organized and backed up
  • Workstation set up and monitors calibrated
  • Post workflow researched and tested
  • Slide scanner prepped for distraction during long renders (yes! finally get to bring in some of my slide film from 2006)

… and I’m ready to start editing! Here’s where I’ll be spending the next six weeks:

Not the greatest picture, I guess… ah well. I’ve finally been able to set up a standing editing workstation, something I had back at my old job. I had the maintenance guys find an old countertop and install it at standing height. It helps keep me alert for the long stretches… this isn’t quite as fancy (two cardboard boxes and a leftover shelf) but it’ll do the trick.

Editing is my favourite and least at the same time. I enjoy seeing the story form from the raw, but the long hours without fresh air get to me… and my attention span has decreased with my approach to old age :)

I’ve found a nearby river for some peace, and I’m within walking distance of an old heritage home with a coffee shop inside. I feel well prepared and I’m looking forward to tackling the story challenges ahead of me.