Please Check Out foxontheroad.com

15 03 2010

Hey all

Just letting you know that I now have my own website http://foxontheroad.com you can find all my posts plus my portfolio. I will no longer be posting to this blog.

Thanks for reading

Mary





Starting Over

3 03 2010

Wednesday Afternoon

int my cubical

Working on my computer loading that weeks interviews to YouTube. My boss comes over and said the worse six words in the English “I need to let you go”.

Lay-off….getting fired…being let go. No matter how is it said it all means the same thing. You will not be working at your post for any longer. It’s uncomfortable for both parties. DO NOT SAY ANYTHING THAT YOU MIGHT REGET. You never know if the lay-off is temporary or if you may need your boss’s reference. Never burn your bridges.

After hearing the news, I was shocked, I had been working for the station for over a year. Not only I had I learned the work flow, I became a event videographer and field reporter along as a graphic operator and digital content manager. Basically I could do almost everything except host our live show. I liked the people that I worked with and hoped to stay near my hometown.

Now I’m filling out unemployment, updating my resume and roll calling my friends. Not to say I’m not fighting depression and the WTF questions like “What am I going to now?” “How am I going to pay my student loans?” “Was film school a mistake?” are running around in my mind.

Luckily for me I have a non-media job that I’m slowly beginning to hate, that unfortunately provides me my income. I do realize some media professionals aren’t as fortunate. Plus all those damn tech schools piss me off ….I was told too that if I had a degree I would be making a lot more money that working with out one. No one put a gun to my head and made me go to college, but I did it anyway. I loved my college www.fullsail.com and they do offer career support.

I hate the idea that you “have to” go New York City or Los Angeles. Hundreds of film grads and wannabee’s flock to both cities and are run through the “internship” gauntlet. Six months minimal of long hours and no pay for the promise of “connections”. For some people that will be they ticket in to the industry. For others their dreams for fame and fortune will be shattered and they will go back to Des Moines or Lexington and give up. Please don’t. Find what you love and make a movie or tv show or web series.

The Hollywood system has changed and shows little to no chance of returning to the way it was. The faster that people realize this the better off they will be. Filmmakers now need to be PR trained, entrepreneurs with technical skills to sell their films. I hope I can help out by offering advice and technical support.

Find people that share your passion and make it happen!





Is TV dead or is there a better system?

11 02 2010

Hulu, Bit Torrent, iTunes , DVR, Flo TV and TV tuners for laptops and desktops have change how people receive their fave shows.

Now with Hulu to charge to watch your shows online, it faces the long held believe that TV is free.  Granted local tv is broadcast for free, but what some people may not be aware of is that local advertisers pay for the rights to show your favorite episodes. Also your favorites show would not even be made with the networks being to sell time around their latest drama.

This is what you need to watch for your series whether it is a tv or the web.  Think smarter then the big guys.  Use web hits rather then using Nielsen.  Create a buzz. Offer things that  can’t be pirated.

You can use this to your advantage when you pitch your show either for the networks themselves or to individual affiliates.  Call your local station and buy time. The easiest time slots to get are Saturday or Sunday afternoon or late night for the CW or MyNetworkTV stations. You will need to think beyond the basics of just making the show you need think of twitter, facebook fan page, a blog (from the characters, actors, producer,  behind the scenes)  maybe even transmitting your show online.

If done online, you need to keep in mind the length of the commercials and ads that will be on your page.  If you want to charge offer something along the lines of DVD special features. Look at iTunes season pass for inspiration.  Check out http://www.influxis.com/applications/tvstation/ Flash based tv station. Keep in mind you may be able to sell time on your network to other filmmakers.

Pull a George Lucas and license the hell of it.  With sites like cafepress. com and zazzle.com and customink.com you make your own custom t-shirts, bags and mugs.  Also look into props, autographs or contests with advertisers.





Gear Review Samson Tech Zoom Q3

6 02 2010

Hey all I’m doing my first gear review. I will be reviewing the Zoom Q3 Handy Video Recorder from Samson Tech.

Dear FTC, I am not receiving any money or products from Samson Tech.

Dear Samson Tech, I love this camera. If you want to give me free product, I would not mind at all.

With all that out of the way.  I am posting some of the video that I took from the Y100 jingle ball in Ft. Lauderdale.

First video is average to compared to a Flip cam or a point and shoot camera w/ video abilities. It does offer 2x zoom and 2 types of lighting control. An Auto and Concert Lighting.  Auto is fairly responsive but washes out skin tone…(hint…a white balance would be awesome) and the Concert Lighting is darker but provides some latitude when bright lights come up.

Shakira

  Adam Lambert

If you listen…the sound quality is much better than a Flip due to the Zoom Q3 dual X/Y mics on top. The design is based of the popular Zoom H4n Handy Recorder which is strictly a sound recorder. I love the fact is that you have the ability to monitor the audio and the limiter works well.

Samson Tech Zoom Q3 Handy Video Recorder

I can see the uses of this for backpack journalism, for fun (shooting cool stuff @ home and out and about.), backstage interviews, vlogging(aka video blogging) or podcasting.

Overall I do really like it. It’s light, pocket sized with awesome sound. Its a great first draft, greater zoom or a moving lens with white balance just to add some great video.

For more information check out

http://www.soundmakesthemovie.com/





Network or Not work

3 02 2010

Network verb –verb (used without object)
to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, esp. in finding employment or moving to a higher position: His business lunches were taken up with networking.

Crewing up verb movie slang

To find and recuit members for a film crew.

I’m sure you all have heard the expression network or not work. I bet someone in the entertainment industry came up with it.

Getting your foot in the door comes about in two ways 1) you have an “in” someone you know works in the “Industry”  and hires you or 2) this is the most common working as a PA (Production Assistant). PA’s work in all departments from Camera to Production. It’s a great way to find your niche in on a set (Set applies to Film or TV, in a soundstage or on location).  Take note your first gig maybe unpaid.

Check out these rules to make the post of your gig

Rule #1  WORK. Keep in mind if you are recommended , you are putting your friend cred on the line. Don’t screw over your friend. If takes a long time to build a good repuation in the business and it takes only one bad report can destroy it.

Rule #2  Look around. You may find ways to make yourself valuble on set.

Rule #3 Don’t bad mouth anyone. No matter what, you never know who’s listening.

Rule #4 Save the drama for your mama. Shit happens on set. Don’t let it get to you. People may yell at you, you may be insulted and you may have a “what the hell was I thinking” moment. Take 5 minutes and pull yourself together. PA’s are a dime a dozen in NYC and LA. People who can handle pressure will go far in the industry.

Rule #5 Bring integity to every job. All jobs are important on set. If can ace being a Door PA. You will gain respect and more work.

Rule #6 Be friendly. You will be around the crew for long hours and many day. Being a bitch or an asshole is the fastest way to not be called back.

Rule #7  Network!!! Never leave home without business cards. When you make a connection give them your card and get theirs.

A good card has

Your Name

Your Phone #

Email

Online Demo Reel

Your Abilies or what you want to be in the industry.

Also use the Alumi Services or Career Center of your university if applicable.  Create a profile in Linkedin, check out job boards, look at the companies that you want to work for just as MTV, Turner, Sony…etc.  Last of not least roll call your friends and connections to learn about leads.

Rule #8  Have fun- This is filmmaking, the good, the bad and the ugly

Rule #9 Take care of yourself. The long hours, hard work and messed up sleep schedule will wreck your immune system. Plan out time to rest, relax and recover.

Good Luck and see you in the credits





The care and feeding of Clients or How to give great customer service

2 02 2010

I was talking to a freelancer I hired to work on my website. After writing a few emails voicing on concerns on the project, lack of updates I went off. To be honest not one of my prouder moments… here is a bit of the email I wrote.

Me  8:44 PM
ok…so there’s no prob? in the future you may want to make a client/project calendar

Name Protected  8:45 PM
yeah…guess as long as it doesnt happen again

Me 8:46 PM
that’s up to you

But as I think again….I did offer you access my calendar and ask you to add appointments for time at we’re both free to prevent back and forth emailing or im’ing. You did nothing so I took in control. I didn’t know you didn’t have your own calendar (wtf not?)  So I don’t feel least bit bad about happened @ work. Plus why it take so long to finally set up times to work together???  In case you have forgot I’m a client. Please do me a favor nut up or shut up.

Not good…not effective…not professional. We both failed. I let my emotions take over and failed to state communications needs and means.

Name Protected failed to communicate available times and means of scheduling and did not return emails.

Doom on both of us. Please don’t end up writing an email like mine.

Freelancers

Setup communications times and means.  Work with what you’re comfortable with and what your clients needs. Like Tues 10am skype + weekly process reports. You get the idea.  People get nervous once they pay for a service and don’t see anything being done.

Setup deadlines

Manage expectations. If you said you can make the world in 7 days you better done by day 6 hr 23 and minute 59.

If you can’t make it happen, please say so.  That clears your schedule and lets people know that you are busy.

Clients

Do your research.

Ask for recommendations.

Define your needs.

Then if satisfied let them do their job. Emailing your freelancer a million times does you both no good.  It wastes your time and their goodwill.

If you are not satisfied state your problems in a constructive way. If you do not find that works for you ….FIRE THEM.  Life is short to suffer idiots.

I hope this helps





A cheap production Netbook or Notebook

31 01 2010

I was checking all the netbooks at Best Buy.  As I was browsing, I wonder could netbooks be used in production or is a notebook better.

Netbook

Used be used to ftp dailies or used for a dump drive. Is it possible to link a camera to a netbook and run it as drive?

Script writing

Light music or sound editing

Light photo editing or proofing

Budgeting software

Paperwork such location releases, model releases, project costs

Podcasting

Video conversion (promos for youtube)

Notebook

All of the above plus

Dvd burning

Effects design

Heavy editing video, sound and photo

Playback….used for director and script supervisor, as video village

Production meetings through Skype

Recommended programs (some free others not so much)

Open Office (free word doc, spreadsheet, power point…etc)

Avid (video editing)

Windows Movie Maker (video editing)

Adobe Production Suite (photoshop, after effects, soundtrack)

Skype (video chat)

Audacity (sound editing)

An audio/ video converter (mov-mpeg-h.264-avi-mp3)

Google Docs and Calender to coordinate among teams