I didn’t go up to Churchill, last year. I thought I’d enjoy an autumn off after 4 consecutive years helping Polar Bears International with their media outreach initiatives but, truth be told, I really missed it. It was rewarding to once again walk the few streets of Churchill in the biting cold, to hear the crunch of snow underfoot as you walk past theRead More
This will be a short post. The video pretty much speaks for itself. I’ll just speak to it’s effect.
Here’s a video that is relatively simple. It is essentially a music video. But…with amazing shots of amazing locations. We see more and more timelapse pieces on sites like Vimeo. It is after all a way of taking us intoRead More
Over the last few years we’ve been fortunate to work for several nonprofits. In June, World Wildlife Fund’s Global Arctic Programme took us to the Canadian Arctic, to the sea ice off the coast of Baffin Island. (About 40 kilometers east of the town of Pond Inlet if you’re looking on a map). Like many other nonprofits with access to unique locations, people, and stories, they have invested resources in helping news and documentary crews get to remote locations to cover Arctic conservation. Like many other organizations they tend to get attention for their issues for just a short time in exchange for their efforts. Production companies sometimes promise access to the footage collected, but in the long run, these sources of content are disparate and outside the control of the hosting nonprofit. And so, like many organizations that we work with, they’ve come to realize the value of developing their ownRead More
One of the things I like to do when time allows is to just take the cameras out and shoot stock footage. Living in the mountains of Montana near Yellowstone National Park gives plenty of opportunity. The other day I went up into the Hyalite basin with our intern to get some morning shots of the sun light streaming through the trees in an area with a small creek running through. It was one of those mornings where no matter which direction you look, everything seems edenic. Beyond being out in the field, ...Read More
Ok, so as a filmmaker I like working with moving images but occasionally I'm forced to work with still photos which can be a challenge to integrate into a film effectively and in a way that maintains the viewers attention. Ken Burns did this well enough to have an actual effect named after him but there's an even more engaging way to add dynamism to still images. It's been termed "The Kid Stays In The Picture Effect" after the film of that name that really brought the effect into the limelight.Read More
In his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson tells the story of Steve learning the importance of imputing information in a product. The idea is that every thing you do, and how you do it, conveys information about your product or brand. That is why opening up the new iPod or iPad box is such a unique experience. The packaging isn’t blister wrap; it is a thoughtful and well designed experience that conveys the message that you have purchased something special, something of exemplary quality.
Online video has become a requisite part of any online presence. With prices falling for video equipment and editing software, the video seems to have been commoditized. The conventional wisdom is that if you have a site, you should have video on it, even if it is just a link to Youtube.
One of the great things about being an owner in a production company is that you have the resources and equipment to pursue independent projects. Another one is the opportunity to meet some really interesting people. This past fall, while on assignment with Polar Bears International up in Churchill Manitoba, I got the unique opportunity to meet a unique individual. Denver Holt is a world renowned owl researcher with twenty plus years of field work under his belt and a thick Boston accent. He’s also a very down to earth, fascinating guy and bases his Owl Research Institute just 4 hours away (practically next door in Montana terms).Read More
Here at RAM we think and talk a lot about how to make our pieces more compelling and engaging. We cover both technical and artistic aspects of the films we see and films we are making. It is not often that we get a chance to isolate one or more aspects for direct comparison. However, last week a short video came across my virtual desk that was epic, cinematic, and stunning technically and one that I found quite engaging from an artistic perspective as well. Sponsored by the Greenland Tourism department of all places, the cinematography was glossy but substantive. I see a lot of glossy stuff where the grips and gaffers have made the images flawless but these were different because it was obvious that they were created without the lights, bounces, and silks available to most commercial productions.Read More
It’s been pretty clear that RED was thinking of feature filmmakers when they designed their cameras. That’s to be expected given the size of the market but I live in the Doc world and we often live and die by the interview. This past week we shot a series of interviews for National Geographic on behalf of the American Prairie Foundation. The shoot was indoors and we used Arri tungsten lights for a couple and available light for a couple. The camera handled the imagery wonderfully as expected but we made some discoveries that had serious ramifications with audio.Read More
I have a huge library of footage from my years of cinematography that I’ve wanted to put up on microstock sites like Pond5.com and so I’ve committed to process at least 10 clips a day for 30 days. I’m now 10 days in and exceeding my daily quotas but I’m also learning a few new things which also happens to be one of the key reasons you should always review your footage, preferably sooner after you’ve shot it than a full year.Read More