Monday, December 31, 2007

light up my life

I picked up a job being the light guy for a commercial photo shoot right before Christmas. What a blast. It was ads for sponsors that would run promoting the upcoming NCAA basketball tournaments. The idea was to have a shadow cast across the court at one of the venues ( ended up being two of the venues ) in the shape of the company's logo ( a stag ) that's helping sponsor the events.

Challenging, fun and lots of heavy lifting. For the last picture we shot wide and I had to get six 2k lights out in the stands to light them up, add a splash of interest and then throw more lights up to add some texture to the basketball court.

It was a big enough budget shoot to rent a light truck packed with goodies and have a crew to help carry stuff around and set lights while I was on a two way radio on the other end looking at everything.

Can't wait to see the finished ad in magazines. I forgot how nice it was on photo shoots to not have to worry about making noise and dolly tracks or jib arms. :0)

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Space in the World

When I moved so did my email address ( with a new service provider ) and one of the things I decided to start over instead of try to re-direct was my myspace page. I didn't really use it much before but made a new one and looking forward to repopulating it with friends? Do you have a myspace account? Won't you be my neighbor and add to my puny list of "friends?"

My page is

Click Here to go There.



PS> The studio has walls ( actually two walls built 4 inches apart on the side by the furnace in the other room to cut down on sound ) are up and I'm priming / painting right now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

fresh frozen fish

Saturday I was helping a friend of mine who does a lot of outdoor commercial work do a potential spot for Berkley fishing lures ( and the million other things they make. ) He was the camera guy, I was the tech and digital acquisition. It was in HD so there's a lot of large clunky files to move off the camera and format in Final Cut Pro, etc.

There were some wonderful firsts for my life that day. I've never set up my computer and video gear in a bait shop before. What a hoot. I had a microwave, coffee maker, minnows and a 120 pound stuffed sturgeon share my desk. I also had never seen anyone fish a river with an ambient air temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit ( -18 degrees Celsius.)

During the few hours we were there four boats launched and fished for Walleyes on the mighty Mississippi. One guy commented that he usually doesn't like fishing when the air temperature is drastically less than the water temp. I can see his point.

People seemed to bring their beater aluminum boats because there were large chunks of ice floating around waiting to crack a glittery bass boat. The idea for the commercial was supposed to be inclement weather with snow, wind, etc. but it quickly got to cold to snow so the guy driving the boat had to go out on the river and whip the boat around to look like it was being tossed in a storm. A bit hair raising after looking at the footage but in the end we got some great images and no one died of hypothermia. That's a good day of fishing.

Friday, December 07, 2007

will work for job

Job hunting is an exercise in humility and confusion.

I like writing and like to think I'm a decent communicator but I usually have one or two things defined: exactly what my intended reader wants or free reign to write what I want. The rules of job hunting here in America have changed and resumes have to be adapted and articulated specifically for each position to make you appear to be the perfect and only possible candidate. In my case I have about 350 words to summarize sixteen years worth of work, education and achievement.

That's less than 22 words per year. Tough task if you have to sell yourself but don't really know exactly what the person on the other end is looking to buy. You've also got to figure that someone on their end has condensed who their company is, what it does and what the position should be ( not always what it ends up being ) into a couple paragraphs as well. In fact the space is so limited in job descriptions that they never have room to mention the subtle requirements of superhuman skills, things like fixing problems left by your predecessor who was overworked and left a trail of wreckage as they beelined it through the door, the ability to cram 55 hour work weeks into 40 hours, tackling challenges with the mental strength of ten men and so on.

All kidding aside, it's crazy work finding a job these days. Every HR person and recruiter has a different idea on what your resume should say and look like based on their particular openings. They typically project their expectations onto every company in North America assuming resumes and job specifications are standardized. Crazy.

I might have to go back to school to get some of the positions I'm looking for but for now I've still got freelance work and am paying the bills. I know a lot of people in the media biz who can't say the same so I guess I'm lucky.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I can't hear it

This week is a mix of working on my basement studio, applying for jobs, doing phone interviews and getting wierd emails like "Can you tell me when my Scrapped video will be shipped? I ordered it over a year ago and still have not received it." Unfortunately the US Postal service confirmation records don't go back that far so I couldn't track the order placed last October but I sent this poor woman the receipts showing we sent it out, the tracking info from the post office and said I would send another anyway and sorry for the hassles. Now that's a laid back lifestyle if you email someone a year later... I don't know what magically happens between the doorstep and the inside of the house but I get emails off and on from people that are peeved because they didn't get their dvd so I send them the confirmation info of the time and place it was delivered from the mailperson and never hear back from them again. I'll send extra disks out no problem, I just don't want people to think I'm screwing them.

Highlights of the week are getting to shoot .22 caliber rounds in my house. These were used to drive nails into concrete to secure boards for framing. No actual bullet discharge but still a big bang.

We also were able to get a load of drywall, insulation and big outdoor use doors in the night before it started snowing and eventually dropped about 1/2 a foot. Good timing.

The easiest way we could think of to get these mammoth 12 foot sheets into the basement was through taking the window apart. Good times.

To give you an idea of what a 12 foot sheet of drywall looks like, well it takes up most of the room, but makes a great stepladder.

In an attempt to soundproof as much as possible I'm loading the ceiling and sound booth with R38 insulation generally used for attic spaces. It's not the ideal way to kill sound and is only one step in the process but it's readily available, cheap-ish and lets face it, looks chunky and cool. Hopefully it will help keep the ear abuse of a couple amps and drums down to the lower level of the house.