ARCHIVES

NOMINATED FOR AN EMMY AWARD

July 27th, 2011

When I walked into MediaStorm, on my first day, I saw the golden Emmys resting on the window sill and decided I wanted one. Not because I covet a trophy, but because I wanted to have the opportunity to help create something powerful and important enough to rise above all the others. And have an impact.

“What do you know about Pakistan?” Brian asked.

“Well, that they’re complicit in the war in Afghanistan but they’re also nuclear armed and an important ally in the region?” I shrugged.

He nodded, then told me he likes to walk into projects with very little knowledge so he can digest the content with an open mind. I made a mental note.

I spent three months working on this project, through several reviews, then handed it off to Eric Maierson when I left; he went through a couple more reviews. Doing a crisis guide on Pakistan is complicated. During that time I sat in on several meetings with the Council on Foreign Relations team, explaining and sometimes defending the edits I’d made. I wanted powerful and dramatic, but also true and factual. I made both.

The script I was working with came from the Council’s team–some of the smartest, most knowledgeable people on Pakistan’s history and politics. And, if they wanted General Petraeus for an interview, they could get him (and they did). The images and video I sourced were from the world’s best photojournalists and news videographers. It was awesome, inspiring, and I wanted to do the story justice.

And so, a year later, it turns out this project was nominated for an Emmy. That very same golden trophy sitting on the window sill at MediaStorm.

In late September, we’ll see if it wins.

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HDSLR CAMERA “RIGS” – STORE BOUGHT (then modified)

April 11th, 2011

Part of shooting good video means capturing good sound, which is nearly impossible using an HDSLR. The solution I’ve chosen is to record audio to an external device and then sync the sound in post production using the Singular Software application “Pluraleyes” with Final Cut Studio.
The ergonomics of an HDSLR aren’t very conducive to shooting video. Add an audio recorder and microphone(s) to the mix and it’s even tougher–but it’s opened up a great market for accessory manufacturers who design HDSLR “rigs.” You can definitely do it yourself, but I’m not a terribly handy person. So I decided to go with a store bought solution.
I’m listing my kit as well as those of a couple other videographers whose solutions look quite workable (and which I might emulate if the situation calls for it).
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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, gear, multimedia, technique, video Comments Off on HDSLR CAMERA “RIGS” – STORE BOUGHT (then modified)

I’M GOING: A CELEBRATION OF LIFE

April 6th, 2011

It seemed important to record the events that ended up in this piece. First, I was visiting my Grandma last year, and she’s got some stories. We’re celebrating her 90th this month. Second, it was Carol, who’s 60th we celebrated last year. That said, it is family, it is informal, and I wanted to participate. So, while I took my camera out, I was making snapshots and “snapshot” video.

But there is a short story here, one I wasn’t anticipating creating. It’s about family, love, and strength in the face of adversity. I pulled this together, from those “snapshots,” for myself and for everyone else who’s been in a similar place.

For the tech-types: I used a tripod while recording Doug. I had the mind to use a tripod and an audio recorder for sync-sound while interviewing my Grandma. Everything else was hand-held, using the camera’s audio input and, sometimes, the just camera’s mic. You’ll hear the automatic gain control overwhelmed.

I’m Going from timmatsui.com on Vimeo.

Family and friends gather from across the country to celebrate my aunt Carol’s 60th birthday in April of 2010.

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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, family, love, multimedia, video Comments Off on I’M GOING: A CELEBRATION OF LIFE

HDSLR CAMERA “RIG” SOLUTIONS: BUILD YOUR OWN

March 31st, 2011

In my search for what I think is my “perfect” way to shoot video and dual system audio, I’ve paid attention to a lot of other people’s solutions. What quickly becomes apparent is there is no single answer. Your needs will change with the situation, and there’s any number of ways to address it.

For instance, are you running after subjects? Maybe a Glidecam would be best. Can you “eyeball” it or will you need a monitor? Can you take a tripod with you? Do you need to be discrete? Do you have a sound person?

To make a climbing analogy (sorry, I can’t help it), documentary still photography is like free-soloing or climbing without a rope. There’s minimal equipment. Shooting HDSLR video is more like aid climbing, where every inch of vertical is gained by using highly specialized equipment. If you don’t have the right piece, you’ll have to find a different path.

When HDSLR videographers realize the need for dual system sound, because the cameras cannot record good sound, one of the first questions is where to put the microphone quickly followed by where to put the recorder.

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Posted in audio, Canon 5D Mark II, gear, multimedia, technique, video Comments Off on HDSLR CAMERA “RIG” SOLUTIONS: BUILD YOUR OWN

FROM JAPAN’S TSUNAMI

March 16th, 2011

Matt Allard, for Al Jezeera, and Dan Chung, for the Guardian, have filed some video reports from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

Allard for Al Jezeera (more newsy):

Japan Earthquake, Natori from Matthew Allard.

Chung for The Guardian (more cinematic with a lot of dolly shots):

Aftermath – The Japanese Tsunami from Dan Chung.

Courtesy of DSLR Shooter.

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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, media, video, work of others Comments Off on FROM JAPAN’S TSUNAMI

AIRING ON LINK TV: SREY NETH, CROSSING THE GENDER GAP

March 15th, 2011

Several months ago I entered the Link TV ViewChange contest, looking for another means of distribution for a story I felt needed to be told. As a finalist, I found Srey Neth’s story would see the distribution I hoped for. I think it is a great example of independent distribution leveraged by social media.

Yesterday, Link TV told me they’ve compiled half-hour episodes from the ViewChange entries. Srey Neth’s story will air in the “Crossing the Gender Gap” episode.

The film will air Wednesday, March 16th at 8:30pm PT/ 11:30pm ET and Saturday, March 19th at 6:30pm PT/ 9:30pm ET on DIRECTV 375 / DISH Network 9410. Srey Neth: Victim to Survivor will be part of an episode featuring inspiring stories of women fighting poverty, disease, and oppression in the developing world.

The film is also available to watch at Hulu.com/viewchange and Link TV is planning to disseminate my film through other outlets as well such as Snag Films, WGBH’s “World” Channel (which is carried on 150 PBS stations), and other international stations.

Many thanks again to Transitions Global and Srey Neth who offered me access and their trust to tell an important story.

www.linktv.org/programs/viewchange (where the “Crossing the Gender Gap” episode will be available online, starting later today)
www.viewchange.org/videos/srey-neth-victim-to-survivor (Srey Neth video on ViewChange.org)

@ViewChange (twitter)
@LinkTV (twitter)
facebook.com/viewchange
facebook.com/linktv

And don’t forget my Facebook Page and Twitter Feed!

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Posted in activisim, advocacy, articles, award, coolness, events, human trafficking, media, multimedia, publishing, recognition, social justice, video Comments Off on AIRING ON LINK TV: SREY NETH, CROSSING THE GENDER GAP

FROM AFGHANISTAN

March 4th, 2011

This is a series of shorts that I feel tells a story about a place I’ve never been, through the eyes of a military that I do not know. However, as a viewer, I found these shorts had impact and provided me with a sense of what it is like to be a foreign soldier in what is now the longest war fought by the United States. Sadly, it is just one of many wars the Afghans have fought over the decades.

I don’t have a real comment nor a proposed solution. Staying the course means more lives, more money, and more trouble with our relationships to Pakistan and India. To withdraw will likely mean more Afghan lives–especially those of women–and, again, Pakistan and India. Much smarter people than myself have run the scenarios. They know the players and possible outcomes, so I’ll let them speak about it. Either way, we’re there.

I compiled these clips is because I believe we cannot forget what our country is doing and we cannot forget the people who are doing it. In our name. Regardless of how you or I feel about the war itself. I have also compiled these clips because of the journalists who are there, and the risks they face to bring this war home to their viewers.

This first clip is in French. I don’t speak French, but in a way that makes me pay more attention to what is happening. I think the film crew did a good job of capturing some of the life on base, but the reason I’ve put this in here is because of what happens at roughly 06:15. It’s news video, not multimedia, but make the time to watch it. Let the moments build.

There are six more clips in this post. See them after the jump.

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Posted in afghanistan, articles, conflict, journalism, media, video, war Comments Off on FROM AFGHANISTAN

TIMELAPSE CINEMATOGRAPHY

March 3rd, 2011

Thanks to the Twitter Feed, I came across this time lapse work by Tom Lowe. Aside from getting in some climbing and canyoneering, I can’t thing of a better way to spend a summer than to travel across the American Southwest and shoot amazing footage with all this gear. Yes, I do like gear, and I can’t wait to have a shoot where I get to use such a long dolly shot or incorporate a crane! Here’s a behind the scenes video of this shoot.

TimeScapes: Rapture from Tom Lowe @ Timescapes on Vimeo.

Says Tom Lowe (included in total because I know how important sponsors and assistants are!):

“This is production footage I shot over the summer for my debut film, “TimeScapes,” a modern portrait of the American Southwest. I used Canon and Red MX cameras.

“Follow the production of the film at: http://twitter.com/timescapes

“Also here: http://timescapes.org and here http://timescapes.org/blog

“A huge thank you to my assistants/Associate Producers who helped me film this, Dustin Kukuk (http://twitter.com/drkanab), Nilo Recalde (http://twitter.com/nilomr) and Chris M (http://twitter.com/visceralway). And, as always, my most sincere and humble respect goes to Ron Fricke, Mark Magidson, Terrence Malick and Godfrey Reggio.

“Thank you to my sponsors: Kessler Crane, camBLOCK Canon USA, Vinten, KATA & Cinevate.

“Music is by the film’s composer Nigel “John” Stanford: http://johnstanfordmusic.com Make sure to turn the volume and bass way up!”

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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, coolness, gear, photography, RED, technique, video, work of others Comments Off on TIMELAPSE CINEMATOGRAPHY

EBAY: THIS IS HOW I SHOP

February 18th, 2011

shot_1296176000907In January, I spent 14 days on assignment for eBay and PayPal. The work was through the multimedia agency Aurora-Novus.

We had a firm–and close–deadline as the video would lead eBay CEO John Donahoe’s presentation at the company’s Analyst’s Day. “This is How I Shop” is about the convergence of online and offline shopping and how eBay and PayPal are well positioned to support this trend. I learned a lot about the company from the client, who traveled with us to interview the customers. I had no idea about some of the technologies being integrated into daily life; as the client said “the future of shopping is now.”

Our itinerary evolved as we worked. We shot in San Francisco, LA, New York City, Houston, and New Orleans, sometimes buying flights only a day ahead. I was Director, and I shot video and stills, but I couldn’t have done this without strong second shooters. It was a pleasure to work with talented people like Dane Henry of Deep Roots Media, Andrew Hida, and Wes Pope. Each joined me on a leg of the journey, bringing their own skill set and creative eye to the project. I would love working with all of them again. (iphone photo by Wes Pope)

I then spent a long weekend of long days working with Aurora-Novus video editor Jason Bosch, eating take out Indian and Thai food in the editing suite as we pulled select clips, hashed out the stories, and began building what became the final piece.

It was exhausting, but it was fun; I just wish I’d been able to enjoy each city a little more!

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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, client, clients, media, multimedia, photography, video Comments Off on EBAY: THIS IS HOW I SHOP

INTERVIEW WITH BENJAMIN DRUMMOND ON “HOZOMEEN” MULTIMEDIA

January 7th, 2011

I love looking at other people’s work, especially multimedia. Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele, a husband-wife creative team, recently produced a piece on chert. “Chert?” you might ask. Yes, chert. It’s a rock that’s easily shaped into stone tools historically used by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest, and there’s a stash of it in the heart of the rugged North Cascades.

Benjamin and Sara are using the new tools of today’s evolving media industry, and I was noting the techniques they used, the pacing, the music, and how the story gets told. Afterward, I wanted to know about the business end of it; how did they get the work? How did they budget it? How did they manage the multiple roles?

While it’s still a tough time for the editorial market (and commercial, too), it’s also exciting because of multimedia, social media, and the hardware and software allowing small teams to become full production studios.

It’s about tools, style, and…chert. Read the interview and learn about the tools from today, and days gone by.

Watch the video and click through the jump for the interview! Post to comments if you’ve more questions.

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