Wednesday, January 6, 2016

MAKING MOVIES ISN'T ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE


When you see the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards show or read of stars in magazines with their expensive clothes, jewelry, cars and hot looks you might be inclined to think what a great life that would be.  What you don’t often see is the incredible amount of hard work, loss of privacy and just plain drudgery involved with making and starring in movies.  Not to mention the cut throat world of getting hired on to star or work on a movie set which is hard enough to make most folks settle for a job at the nearest McDonalds.


Most movies these days are filmed on location or multiple locations throughout the world.  Sometimes lasting for months at a time all those involved are away from home and families for the entire time.  While on a shoot there is time for mostly one thing… making a movie.  Twelve to fourteen hour days are not uncommon.  That goes for the biggest star right down to the craft service people in charge of seeing that everyone gets fed.  When you see a movie taking place in the rain, in the mud or on a frozen mountain side remember that’s where everyone was while making the movie.  Working conditions are sometimes so bad it would make a longshoreman cry.  There is always plenty of heavy lifting to go around as well as safety dangers lurking around every turn.  There are always lights, cords, booms, lifts and all other sorts of heavy and sharp equipment to work around along with electrical hazards and people running around in all different directions. 


What would inspire people to put themselves through these things for months at a time?  Obviously the money is very lucrative for some but not all.  Most crew members barely make minimum wage and those who make a little more than that earn every dime they make.  Anyone involved in making movies will tell you they are there for the love of the medium.  You have to really want to work in this business.


The expense of making a movie be it an indie film or a studio full length feature can be staggering.  Millions of dollars can be spent in hopes of making the next blockbuster only to have it panned by critics and flop at the box office.  There are definitely no guarantees in the movie business.  Thousands of man hours, millions of dollars can all go for nothing. 



So the next time you see an awards show or read that article about a star remember they probably went through nine kinds of hell before taking that walk down the red carpet.  As you go to your regular job in an air conditioned building and draw your regular paycheck at the end of the week keep in mind making movies isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

THE USE OF DRONES IN FILM AND VIDEO


Ever since man invented the camera he has been attaching it to things that go up.  First it was balloons and kites, next came airplanes and rockets. 

 Today’s preferred method of attaining airborne pictures and video is by using unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs) commonly known as drones

Whether they weigh five pounds or fifty pounds, drones have taken aerial photography to places and uses never dreamed of as little as a couple of years ago.  Their relative low cost and the dizzying array of different models make them ideal for big studio and independent filmmakers alike.  They have been utilized in action films, dramas, nature films, real estate virtual tours; the list goes on and on.  It seems film makers find new and exciting uses for UAV’s extraordinary abilities almost every day.  What is it that makes these little machines so popular and useful to the modern movie maker?
Film makers and videographers are constantly on the lookout for new and different angles, platforms and methods to convey their work to an audience that is both previously unseen and awe inspiring.  Drones seem to fit this ticket to a “t”.  Drones provide a quiet, precise platform for both still and video cameras.  Equipped with the proper camera and gimbals stabilizer the images produced are both high quality and rock steady.  Not to imply that drones will ever completely take the place of jibs, booms and cranes but they are edging in on the more traditional aerial platform’s territory.  With modern drone technology making steady leaps who knows but what they won’t eventually be used for all types of “upward” photography. 

One area where drones are particularly well suited is in nature photography.  The ability to fly alongside migratory birds without disturbing them is well documented.   These images can give the viewer unprecedented viewpoints and can provide an almost unreal feeling of actually being there.   Observing cliff dwelling birds, hovering near nests, the list goes on and on. 

What about the law in all of this?  Well, as of this writing, it’s pretty much the Wild West out there.  Technically if you are going to fly a drone for commercial purposes you have to have a registration “license” and adhere to several, mostly common sense rules.  This has many similarities to another attempt made back in the late 70’s by the Federal Government through the Federal Communications Commission to regulate and license users of CB (Citizens Band) radios.  Very few people applied and millions of cb radios were soon in use prompting the FCC to abandon its attempt to “license” these devices and those who used them.  Massive fail.  This may well turn out to be the fate for the Federal Government’s attempt to regulate drones, both recreational and commercial. 

However it all shakes out, one thing is certain, drones or UAV’s are here to stay and their place in film and video will continue to grow and give viewers interesting and often breathtaking views that would otherwise be impossible.  The genie is out of the bottle and it’s magical potential is just now becoming a reality, a reality of unlimited potential…  Keep ‘em flyin’ Seekers!  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NOW BLOGGING FOR FREE MIND FILMS

I have started writing articles for Free Mind Films.  Click on their link under my "links" window to find out what I am writing there and maybe pick up a copy of one of their movies while you're at it.  You'll be glad you did and life will be better for it. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY TO CLONE OR NOT TO CLONE

As a Real Estate photographer I am sometimes asked by the seller or realtor to clone or fix certain imperfections or flaws in the images I provide of the house and property.  I usually have to politely explain that I am governed by the Truth in Advertising law which precludes me from making material changes in the images.  

Usually it is understood that a buyer wants to see the property conveyed by my images in all it's reality, flaws and all.  I have to say that I agree with this concept.  If it were me and I were the buyer I would want to see the cracks and pits that are sometimes present.  For me to cover them up or fix them would be less than truthful.  

I don't know if anyone has ever been sued over images that have been fixed or altered but I know I don't want to be the first.  

FREE MIND FILMS' SHADOW RING TRAILER

Shadow Ring Trailer

Hey folks, our new documentary film Shadow Ring has a new trailer out now.  Click the link above to view a small preview of our upcoming documentary Shadow Ring.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

THE WINTER PHOTOGRAPHER

Being a commercial photographer working for magazines and publicity companies and the like has it's advantages over being a wedding/portrait shooter.  It also has it's disadvantages.  

One of those disadvantages is that in the winter time business can slow down compared to the spring, summer and fall.  If you save your money during the busy times this winter slowdown can be turned into an advantage. 

I use this time to catch up on my office work, networking and forming plans for the upcoming year.  During this time of little or no paying work is helps to keep in mind that it all averages out over the long run.  

Don't get me wrong, I would like to have steady business but when it's not there I try to put effort into taking care of the "no pay" items that are essential to running a successful studio. 

Let's all make the coming year our best yet. 

Randall Green Images 

Monday, October 24, 2011

WHAT IS AN F STOP?... FOR THOSE WHO DON'T WANT TO KNOW IT ALL.

If you compare making a proper exposure to filling a bucket it may be easier to understand what an f stop is.  To properly expose an image at a given film speed or ASA or ISO (why so many names?) two things have to happen at the same time.  The shutter has to open for a given amount of time (shutter speed) and with a given diameter (f-stop).  The f-stop is actually a ratio of the diameter of the shutter opening compared to the focal length of the lense.  The focal length of the lense can be from around 18mm, very wide angle, to 1000mm, very long telephoto.  The larger the diameter of the shutter hole, the smaller the f-stop number expression.  f2= very wide opening, f22= very small opening.
http://www.randallgreenimages.com/



This doesn't explain why you use one or the other, just what it is.  Thanks, and keep shootin. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

ESET SECURITY 4

Unlike most of my counterparts I use a PC instead of a Mac for my Photographic business so I need a security program that will keep me clean and green.  ESET does just that.  After about a year of service not one virus not one operational problem.  If you are using Windows 7 on a pc and have problems keeping it clean and free of viruses ESET is da deal.  http://www.eset.com/

It's not free but it is sure worth what you pay.  I have peace of mind that my computer therefore my business is going to stay up and run smooth. 

ALZO: A QUICK REVIEW

There's a little company called Alzo Digital that makes one of the finest camera/strobe brakets there is.  This little jewel is able to go from horizontal to vertical in less than a second.  It's strobe tower is more than tall enough for any situation and it even has its own umbrella (using it is another thing as it gets a little heavy with the unbrella attached) to soften out those shadows.  

The camera end of it features a slide on base for quick camera removal and the whole unit is built like a tank.  It is an event or wedding photographers dream.  As I said before though if you put a Nikon D700 with a Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lense on it especially with an umbrella you better eat your Wheaties cause it will be HEAVY. 

I get nothing from Alzo for this so this article is my opinion and mine alone but the Alzo camera braket is superior to all others I've tried.  Check it out for yourself and post any comments you have here so others can be more informed.  Alzo:www.alzodigital.com 

The shot of James Marsden for Distinctly Oklahoma magazine was done with a single Nikon SB600 strobe and an Alzo bracket...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

PEC PADS VS. DUST-AID CLOTH

I found the Pec Pads to be a bit rough in texture and very linty.  Whenever I use them they leave behind fibers and dust.  The Dust-Cloth is smoother and less linty even when cut in pieces.  More like cloth texture.  I would have to say that the Dust-Cloth is my preference. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DUST AID PLATINUM- NO

While I like most of Dust Aid's products, the Platinum sensor cleaner I'm not too fond of.  It consists of a silicone pad on the end of a plastic stick that is supposed to pick dust up off the sensor sort of like a lint brush.  Upon the first touch to my sensor I found that it left behind a small amount of some sort of residue.  Even after several cleanings with the cleaner adhesive provided it still left behind a little residue.  I can't recommend this product for two reasons:  The aforementioned residue problem and the fact that you can't tell if you are picking up anything by looking at it.  See all the Dust Aid products here.... Dust-Aid 

If you have had different results with this product post it here.  Thanks.