Posts Tagged ‘technology’

A Got A Splitting Head…Phone Jack

May 3, 2019

I sometimes will do rough edits on my laptop, with my client joining me in making the decisions about what to keep and what to discard. If we’re working in a space occupied by other life forms, like a bar or lounge, we’ll both use headphones connected using a splitter like this one – works well, very inexpensive, and should be a part of your traveling Producer’s kit

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ACTION ITEM: Take a headphone splitter with you

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Get Some Long Straws

April 5, 2019

This came up on a shoot recently in the SF Bay Area: everyone on your shoot has some basic physical needs that you need to prepare for in your planning, scheduling, and execution. I know this sounds silly, but I can’t tell you how many times a day has been planned with no time for breaks to use the bathroom; no periods, however short, to catch a breath between set or location changes; or to spend 30 minutes contemplating a tuna sandwich and an apple. These are not nice-to-haves – they’re critical for the effective functioning of your crew (I had the DP mention to me, specifically, as we rounded 4:00 pm with no lunch break, that he was getting concerned about making errors). Plan for having humans on your shoot and accommodating their very-human needs.

Protip: have extra-long straws available for your female speakers to use (I snatch one or two from Starbucks when I grab that morning’s cappuccino) when drinking from a water bottle – they’ll appreciate that their lip gloss doesn’t smear while they sip.

ACTION ITEM: Be sure to incorporate the physical requirements of talent and crew in your production schedule

Your Giggle Reel ≠ Your Whole Life

April 4, 2019

Despite my contributions to this blog (and other social media platforms), I’m not generally a big fan of social media for reasons best described a couple of weeks ago by a SF Bay Area-based producer friend. She’s used the example of making corporate videos: our real lives are like the entirety of a videotaped interview with all the glitches and outtakes, hemming and hawing, and derailed trains of thought. Whereas the bits our friends and associates post are their best clips, free of hesitancy, awkwardness, and doubt. I think the real injury is, sometimes, comparing our raw footage with others’ “best-of” clips when the two are not really comparable at all.

ACTION ITEM: Keep your perspective

Just Say Yes

April 4, 2019

When I started in this business like eleventy billion years ago, I worked on a design project where the graphic designer acted tired and super annoyed at any and every suggestion. He just seemed unmotivated and predisposed to negativity, and I vowed to Not Be That Guy; rather, to approach every job with enthusiasm and a you-betcha attitude and, when practical, never say No. Now I often find myself challenged by clients who sometimes ask for work that’s not likely to happen due, usually, to time or budgetary constraints (BTW, you should know that enough time and enough budget can make the impossible possible ;-), and I hate – HATE – having to say no. To Be That Guy. Generally, my strategy is to say “no, but…” so I can at least provide more practical options. But I’m eager to know: how do you handle a client who – almost always coming from a position of inexperience – asks for something that can’t or shouldn’t be done within the constraints they’ve set? Any thoughts? When has your approach been the most creative or helpful?

ACTION ITEM: Try to find creative ways to say “yes” when a customer asks for something

Bill Comes Home (captured in December in Sydney, Australia)

March 9, 2019

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Yes. Yes, he does.

ACTION ITEM: Come home.

This Sounds New: Sennheiser® MKH 416

December 1, 2017

Picked this up a few months ago, and despite the cost (name brands like Sennheiser generally command a premium, but are even sometimes worth it. In the trade, we call it the “Sony Tax”), have loved working with it.

ACTION ITEM: Pay for the best equipment you can afford and you’ll only have to buy it once

Super Happy Funtimes: Video Capture Setup Time-lapse

December 1, 2017

Ever wonder what it takes to set up for a video interview? Wonder no longer – here’s the entire setup, from start to finish, in a 30-second time-lapse video shot with a GoPro camera from about 2009.

ACTION ITEM: Look at it. Look. At. It.

Phillips 66’s Aimee Lohr On The Ease Of Working With Bill Rolland

November 29, 2017

One of my favorite clients (very professional but also funny and thoughtful), Aimee always appreciates that I look out for her interests, mostly by attending to every detail.

ACTION ITEM: I try to keep notes on every project, while it’s in progress, on what I may have missed or could do better. I find it keeps me on the track to steady improvement. Now you try it 😉

Test Fail

October 23, 2017

Boarding my aircraft at London Heathrow, scanning my boarding pass to get through the gate to the aircraft. Took like 10 seconds to do this (if you don’t think that’s a long time, try counting out 10 seconds with a line of hostile Group 2’s behind you) before the scanner let me through. Seems it was waiting for me to confirm that I was okay sitting in an exit row. Took 10 seconds to figure out the boarding pass scanner but I’m good to MacGyver the door in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure and/or engines afire emergency with hundreds of lives at stake. Yeah. Sure. I’m good with that.

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ACTION ITEM: Count on me

There’s My Lucky Penny!

September 26, 2017

I peeled off my mobile phone case while hanging out Saturday in the airline lounge. Must be like finally getting a cast taken off – boy, was it nasty in there. I’m replacing the old one with this one. Prolly not the least bit practical but boy does it look keen.

 


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