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Reflections of 9/11

first_imgOur work in the Military Families Learning Network is to link extension and research to the work of military families services professionals–the ones in the military and in government and non-government agencies who are called upon to help military families.Brent Elrod, of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and United States Department of Agriculture, sent us, in the Extension-Military Partnership, the following email to reflect on 9/11 and remind us of why there is an Extension-Military partnership and why we are developing a Military Families Learning Network.He challenges us to continue our personal, professional, and collective commitments to help strengthen and support individuals, families, and communities, particularly those in the military.Reflections of 9/11 (email sent September 9, 2011)With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 upon us, our thoughts return to the events of the day: where we were, who we were with, and the range of emotions we felt.The magnitude of the loss, the vulnerability, and the search for meaning were immediate, collective – and continue to reverberate to this day.Glued to our tvs, tears running down our faces, we sought comfort in the knowledge our loved ones were safe. We exchanged greetings with strangers, and noticed the absence of planes in the sky.I recall renewing my vow to return to Washington, D.C. that day. A personal pledge to do what I could – on a grander scale – to demonstrate that  good ultimately trumps evil.I know that others – I expect many of you – made personal promises of your own.We pause to honor those who lost their lives (or had lives altered) in the terror attacks, at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, as well as those who have sacrificed to protect the homeland since.We recommit to strengthen and support individuals, families, and communities through our research, extension and academic programs. Our efforts help ensure that 9/11’s lasting legacy includes the very clear message that hope will not – cannot – be denied.V/r,Brent ElrodActing Division Director – Family and Consumer SciencesNational Program Leader – Military and Veteran’s ProgramsDivision of Family and Consumer SciencesStrengthening Families, Farms, Communities and the EconomyNational Institute of Food and AgricultureUnited States Department of Agriculturewww.nifa.usda.gov/militarylast_img read more

A bagless approach in early intervention? What is that?

first_imgby Crystal WilliamsImages from R. DiPietro-Wells; Created with AdobeSparkHome visits are a primary form of service delivery in early intervention (EI). During home visits a professional or team of professionals come into the home to provide services, such as speech, physical, occupational, or developmental therapy. In the past, home visits were largely provider-centered.  It was not unusual for professionals to walk into a home carrying a bag filled with toys and materials to be used to address specific goals for the child. This method is more provider-centered than family-centered, with the professional bringing materials to the session based on their priorities for and beliefs about the child (as opposed to the family’s priorities).The concept of family-centered practices began to develop around the middle of the 20th century but rose to the forefront of EI practices in the 1980s and beyond. [1] These practices emphasize the empowerment of caregivers to help their children reach developmental milestones. Recent findings emphasize the importance of caregiver participation in therapy. [2] In this process, the EI provider works with the family to determine goals and ways to embed intervention into their daily routines. This leads to greater generalization of skills which allows children to use those specific skills within many contexts. [3]One way to increase caregiver participation during EI home visits involves an approach called bagless intervention.  This growing method of delivering services in EI uses family routines, activities, and materials that are natural to the child to promote skill development. This method aligns with EI principles [4] and recommended practices [5] and is described in the article What about MY Toys: A Bagless Approach in Early Intervention. [6] A bagless approach includes the family in selecting routines and materials already in the home to address the goals on the Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP). For example, a family may want their toddler to request foods at mealtimes. The provider might work with the family at mealtime to give the child choices between foods and request more by using the sign for “more.”  The goals for the child should be based on the family’s priorities. Families may be more engaged in intervention when they know that their priorities and concerns are being addressed.  For a printable resource to give to families see this blog.  There you will find activity cards to give to caregivers and families to support at-home skill practice using common household items.When caregivers play an active role in creating functional goals for their children, outcomes improve [7]. Functional goals are those that encourage children to participate more effectively in their natural environments, such as home, child care, or community settings. Much of a child’s day is spent with caregivers, thus promoting caregiver competence during home visits is vital. Shifting from traditional, provider-centered therapy to bagless intervention is one way to improve caregiver competence.  When a toy bag is used in a home visit, caregivers may not have the opportunity to practice the skills addressed in the visit because the therapist often takes the toys with them at the end of the session. [2] Bagless therapists are able to teach families how to use every day routines, such as a bath or mealtime, and every day materials, such as a cup or bowl, to increase their child’s skills.Children learn new skills through their interactions with their caregivers [4].  Therapists should strive to convey to parents that it is not a specific toy or two that are the change agents but instead it is the interaction between the child and the caregiver which has a greater effect on children’s skill development. This interaction can occur when using a variety of materials or no materials at all.  In bagless intervention materials should come from the family’s home (i.e., sorting socks, playing with measuring cups or plastic containers in the bathtub). Professionals can help caregivers consider ways to use and adapt the toys and items they already have to promote skill development during adult:child interactions.Bagless intervention is also flexible and individualized. This is especially important for military families who have unique circumstances and needs. A bagless approach provides therapists with the flexibility to meet a variety of military family needs, such as separation, reunification, and PTSD. A therapist who uses this approach can support military families by suggesting ways to include the military parent in the child’s intervention based on their unique circumstances.   For example, as bagless intervention sessions are not dependent upon a set of materials brought into the home, but instead what is already available, the familiarity of the items may bring a sense of security to a military member experiencing PTSD which may increase their self-confidence.  Additionally, when a deployed family member is able to call home, other family members can have the materials or supplies needed to engage the deployed member in an activity with their child to help promote development.Finally, bagless intervention is adaptable. Every home visit should be planned according to a family’s goals for their child.  In order to remain effective, professionals must be knowledgeable about a family’s routines, priorities, and needs. When a toy bag is not present on which the provider can rely, they must instead adapt intervention sessions to align with the routines and materials in the home while still addressing skills that are important to the family.  For example, if a family’s goal for their child is to use 2 word combinations to communicate their wants, a therapist must help the family think of materials in the home and aspects of their daily routines that support this goal. When caregivers are encouraged to embed goals into everyday routines they are able to support their child’s development with increased ease and confidence.1.  Dunst C., Espe-Sherwindt M. (2016). Family-centered practices in early childhood intervention. In B. Reichow, B. Boyd, E., Barton, & S. L. Odom (Eds.) Handbook of early childhood special education (pp. 37-55). Springer.2.  Crawford, M. J., & Weber, B. (2014). Early intervention every day!: Embedding activities in daily routines for young children and their families. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.3.  Johnson, J., Rahn, N. L., & Bricker, D. (2004). An activity-based approach to early intervention(4th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.4.  Workgroup on Principles and Practices in Natural Environments, OSEP TA Community of Practice: Part C Settings. (2008, March). Seven key principles: Looks like / doesn’t look like. Retrieved from http://ectacenter.org/~pdfs/topics/families/Principles_LooksLike_DoesntLookLike3_11_08.pdf5.  Pletcher, L., & Younggren, N. (2013). The early intervention workbook: Essential practices for quality services. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.6.  Williams, C. & Ostrosky, M. (2018). What about MY TOYS? Common Questions about a using a bagless approach in early intervention. Manuscript submitted for publication to Young Exceptional Children.7.  McWilliam, R. A. (2010). Routines-based early intervention: Supporting young children and their families. Baltimore, Md: Brookes Publishing.This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, Ph.D., members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.last_img read more

5 Ways to Clean up Audio in Adobe Audition

first_imgWere these audio tips helpful? What else do you want to know about Audition? Give us your feedback in the comments below. Check out the tutorial below where Maxim Jago from Lynda.com takes us through the step-by-step process of using the Spectral Frequency Display to clean up your audio. Activate your Waveform by double-clicking your audio source in the Files panel.With your Waveform selected, head over to either the Effects Rack or the Effects Top Menu.Then go to Noise Reduction/Restoration > Adaptive Noise Reduction. Now that you know how to access Frequency Analysis (as well as how to apply frequency holds), let’s turn to a full tutorial (once again from Mike Russell) on how to effectively use this feature for audio clean up. Access the Waveform of your audio by double-clicking on the track.Head over to Window > Amplitude Statistics.A new window will open. Click on the Scan option in the lower left-hand corner.Once it scans, find the section that says Possibly Clipped Samples.Click on the small Diamond Shaped Node next the number. This will take you to where your audio is clipping. For an in-depth look at how to use the technique above, check out the great tutorial below from Mike Russell. He’ll run through the Amplitude Statistics process, then show you how to fix distortion in two different ways. 5. Use Frequency AnalysisAnother way to locate noises in your audio is by using the Frequency Analysis option. By activating this window, you’ll be able to see the frequencies in your audio file, which then allows you to find where random issues of clipping, excessive bass, and other noises are located. Here’s how to access this menu option. 4. Remove EchoEcho is another issue that you may hear in your audio from time to time. It happens, especially when you’re filming at a location with a lot of reflective surfaces. Surfaces like concrete, tile, brick, and metal will reflect sound and bounce it all over the space, which in turn can give you some unwanted reverb.Unfortunately, Audition doesn’t include any really polished effects that can handle this issue. However, there are several plugins you can purchase that won’t break the bank. Two great plugins you can use: Acon Digital’s DeVerberate and the SPL De-Verb plugin from Plugin Alliance.In the tutorial below, Curtis Judd gives us an in-depth tutorial on how to utilize both of the above plugins to reduce and remove echo issues from your audio. Now, you should be completing your audio mix in something other than your NLE, but if it’s a quick video project and you have echo issues, know that you can use these plugins with Adobe Premiere Pro CC.center_img Open your audio Waveform by double-clicking it in the Files Panel.As the Waveform opens in the Editor Panel, look toward the bottom of the panel.There is a small divider. Click and Hold to pull that divider up, revealing the Spectral Frequency Display.Now you have a visual reference to find the noises you need to take out. Now that you know how to access the Adaptive Noise Reduction effect, let’s find out how to precisely use the effect to clean up audio. Here’s another video from Lynda.com that runs through the process. 3. Use Adaptive Noise ReductionAnother way to reduce unwanted noise from your audio is through the use of the Adaptive Noise Reduction effect. This effect works really well at removing ambient background noise and wind noise. This effect can be applied in real-time through the Multitrack Editor, which is really handy. Here’s how to get started using the Adaptive Noise Reduction effect. Go to the Window top menu, and click the Frequency Analysis tab.Choose Logarithmic from the Scale drop-down menu.Start your playback. To Freeze, click one of the eight Hold buttons. 2. Use the Spectral Frequency DisplayHave you ever been out on location filming and some secondary interference messed with your audio? Maybe someone on set sneezed or had their cell phone ring. Maybe an airplane flew overhead. Noises like these can be taken out of your audio with the Spectral Frequency Display. There are always going to be imperfections in your production audio. Instead of scrapping it, use these tips to clean it up in Adobe Audition.No matter how experienced your audio crew, there are always issues that will find their way into your recording. It happens. But resist the urge to scrap your audio and go straight to ADR, because you might be able to salvage that audio. There are several options you can utilize in order to save this audio, but one option that’s gaining steam within the industry is Adobe Audition.With that said, here are five tips for cleaning up your audio in Adobe Audition. For each tip, we’ll run through how you can fix the issue and then post a helpful professional tutorial to guide you step by step. Let’s get started.1. Fix Distorted AudioThere may be moments in post when you discover that your field recorder settings were simply too hot. This is a problem that frequently rears its ugly head in documentary film work, especially for those working as a one-person crew. When your audio is too hot, it’s going to distort — but fear not. It can be fixed.last_img read more

What’s in My Bag: One-Man Band Video Gear for Documentaries

first_imgSound: Rode VideoMic ProWhen I’m not shooting dialogue or an interview, the VideoMic Pro lives on my camera as well. It’s the smallest shotgun microphone I’ve owned so far and fits perfectly into my backpack build. The sound quality is great and it’s quite durable.Sound: Rode RodeLink FM Wireless Filmmaker SystemIf someone’s talking, they’re wearing this. A super easy, fast to set up wireless system that goes straight into the camera. You can get seriously far from the receiver and still get clean audio. Support: Benro Aero 4 TripodIts ability to fold up smaller than almost all video tripods on the market right now, paired with its light weight made the Aero 4 an easy choice. It gets the job done without being too much to haul around.Support: P&C Prime Video Shoulder RigNothing beats a good shoulder rig. This can be broken down and fit in the top portion of my backpack when I’m not using it. When I am using it, I keep it small and compact to draw as little attention to myself as possible. It’s kind of hard with the flashy colors — but I’ve got to admit that’s part of the reason I got it in the first place.Note: I do not carry the tripod and shoulder rig on flights, but they both fit on my back when in the field. Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4.0LAlong with an EF to E lens adapter, this lens practically lives on my camera. Its wide range allows me to work quickly and run around without switching out lenses. The f4 minimum aperture is not as fast as I’d like, but paired with the a7s, it works in almost any lighting environment. Not to mention it’s super sharp and can create some great depth of field when all the way in to 105mm.Lenses: Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T*This is probably my favorite lens that I’ve ever owned. I shoot all of my interviews with it, and in situations where I have control over the environment. It definitely doesn’t get used enough, but it’s built like a tank and creates a beautiful image. When traveling the globe as a one-man band, one of the greatest challenges you’ll face is packing light while still bringing everything the job requires.Top image via ShutterstockMy job requires me to travel across the world and shoot documentary footage by myself, only using what I can fit in my backpack. As a single shooter, this doesn’t leave me with a lot of options on what gear I can bring, especially when I carry on everything. It’s taken about three years of experimenting to get to this point, but here is what I consider my (almost) perfect one man setup.Backpack: Mountainsmith Spectrum Camera BagIt all starts with the bag — and this is the bag for me. Half of the bag is dedicated to camera storage, and the other half functions as a regular backpack. When it comes to traveling, I’m easily able to fit a hoodie, snacks, phone charger, laptop charger, and all of my camera gear. The best part of all is that it does’t scream, “Please steal me! I am obviously a camera backpack!”Camera: Sony a7sWhen it comes to size, this thing is perfect. It’s small, has all the video features I need, and can pretty much shoot in the dark. Other than its poor battery life, in my mind it’s the perfect travel camera. Miscellaneous: Macbook Pro 13” RetinaImage via MacworldIt’s light, reliable, and completely capable of handling an edit if I have to throw something together. Not to mention the battery life is pretty great.Miscellaneous: 2TB Portable Hard DriveAt the end of the day, everything I shoot ends up getting dumped here. Out of all the expensive equipment on this list, my hard drive becomes the most looked-after piece of gear on a trip.Miscellaneous: BatteriesSo many batteries. Every kind of battery. Bring more batteries.ConclusionMy rig might not be perfect for everyone, but it works well for me. That’s all that matters — finding a set up that works for your needs. If your gear is getting in the way of you telling a great story, then you might need to look over everything again. And on a final note, if you ever see me at the airport, please do not rob me just because you know exactly what’s in my backpack.What’s YOUR light loadout? Got any travel tips for filmmakers and videographers? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Get the Most out of Your Online Advertising Budget

first_imgOnline ads and reels are essential in the indie production world. Make sure you’re spending your ad budgets wisely.Cover image via Shutterstock. In 2017, promoting your video content is dramatically different than it was only two years ago. Vimeo and YouTube are still the undisputed best platforms for showcasing your work. Vimeo Pro allows you to feature a 4k embedded video clip on your website without any kind of tag or watermark. YouTube has the greatest reach, integrated social features, and a very large community — and you can monetize original content.Both websites embed seamlessly with social media giant Facebook, which has become a revolutionary advertising tool. If you run a wedding videography business, for example, I would go as far as to say that a well-implemented sponsored Facebook post and an ad in the local newspaper is sufficient coverage for your immediate business area.However, when it comes to promoting your wedding videography showreel, or any video content on Facebook, you want to consider uploading your videos directly to Facebook instead of sharing them from YouTube. Why? Your audience will likely miss the post if you don’t.Image via Shutterstock.The Rise of Facebook In 2016, Facebook became a worthy adversary to YouTube. Facebook generates up to 8 billion video views a day, a figure that has grown by 75% since 2015. Facebook counts a view after three seconds, in comparison with YouTube, which counts a view after 30 seconds of playtime. On desktop browsers, videos play automatically by default.Facebook, naturally, will do everything they can to compete with YouTube, which, in turn, may cost you money if you’re spending a portion of your ad budget on sponsoring your YouTube video on Facebook.In late 2014, reports started to surface about a change in Facebook’s algorithm regarding how posts appear. If a user has hundreds of friends and follows many celebrities and multimedia pages, there’s only so much their feed is going to show. As a result, Facebook uses several algorithms to determine what information to show you. For example, posts from a page that you visit often will appear more frequently on your feed than a page you don’t interact with often. The same goes for your friends.Image via Shutterstock.So, what does this have to do with running a Facebook page for your production company? Well, Facebook also wants to keep people on the site as a long as possible because that translates into more ad impressions, which generates revenue. As such, Facebook will favor page posts that keep your audience on the site. A post with a status update or picture will appear more frequently than a post with an external link that will take your audience away from Facebook.More recently, this has translated into video posts. While Facebook isn’t going to kill YouTube videos, they will make sure a video uploaded directly to Facebook appears more prominently than a linked YouTube video. This is how you can begin putting your ad money to better use.Keeping Up AppearancesBack in 2011, YouTube videos would appear in a feed like this.Come 2017, YouTube videos now look like this.The dimension of the video preview became a lot smaller; it’s also square rather than 16:9, which doesn’t necessarily indicate that it’s a video. Further, the YouTube icon is long gone. In fact, text sourced from the YouTube description fills most of the space. Whether your audience is browsing on their phone, a tablet, or a desktop, the YouTube link appears smaller than any other shared content, and if you’ve just dedicated $300 to promote your latest reel, well, it might be wasted money.To expand your reach, and put your budget to better use, you should begin uploading your videos to Facebook directly. This is what a Facebook video looks like.As you can see, it appears more prominently across the display for all devices. As a result, you’re going to see a lot more plays. The preview of a Facebook video is relatively the same size as the preview of a picture, if not larger. Since videos have a 135% greater reach than photographs, you’re going to get a lot more coverage by uploading a video instead of sharing a YouTube link, even if you don’t boost the post.However, what if your company relies on YouTube, and Facebook is just your secondary platform? Well, many creators have worked Facebook’s video algorithm to their favor. Take Philip DeFranco, for example.DeFranco is an incredibly successful YouTuber who has built several companies off the success of his news channel — Discovery has acquired most of them. DeFranco uploads small segments of his daily news broadcast to his Facebook page, and if people want to watch the rest, they go over to YouTube.Many creators will also include the link in the comments or the description. It’s interesting to note that Facebook has recently removed the ability for pages and users to include a “watch more” button, which would direct viewers to an external site. Many who make a living using YouTube used this feature widely.Going ForwardThis isn’t to say you should only upload your content to Facebook and forego YouTube. However, if you are sharing video content on Facebook specifically to increase your consumer base or to promote yourself as a freelance filmmaker, you really want to upload that material directly to Facebook to maximize your reach. Of course, make sure you upload your reel to all of the other video sharing platforms, too. You never know who will stumble upon it.Which platforms do you use to showcase your reel? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

New Filmmaker Tips For Using The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

first_imgIf you’re a new filmmaker taking your new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K out on its first shoot, here are a few settings and tips you need to know.The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has begun finding its way to users who have been eagerly awaiting it. Our take on the camera was 50/50 — gorgeous footage but with a few internal flaws. However, since the cost of admission for this camera is relatively low, it lends itself really well to those who’ve been waiting to dive into filmmaking. But as with any new camera, even if it’s as easy to use as the Pocket 4K, you can find yourself wishing you knew a few more things before you headed out to film.So what do you need to know?Batteries and StorageAs I mentioned in the review, the Pocket 4K eats battery power. With a fully charged LP-E6 battery, you’ll get just under an hour of on-time, but whether or not you’re actively recording during that hour will cause the overall battery span to vary. You’re going to need extra batteries. At least four to be safe. Thankfully, the LP-E6 is a low-cost battery, and there are plenty of third-party brands to choose from. I know it seems obvious to recommend batteries since most filmmakers carry an abundance of them anyway. However, I’m suggesting that you get even more than you think you’ll need.Media storage is a different beast altogether. Filming at 24fps at 4K DCI with CinemaDNG RAW recording format, you will only get 18 minutes of footage on a 256gb card — and that will vary depending on the card’s manufacturer. Like the Ursa, we do have the option of switching to lossy RAW (which is the 3:1 and 4:1 setting), which dramatically increases the available recording time. Changing to cinemaDNG 3:1 will nearly double the available recording time from 18 minutes to 34 (from 18 to 43 minutes if switching to 4:1).I would argue until the sun comes up that 3:1 is a generous and mild compression — and it wouldn’t be a massive disservice to the RAW data if you were to use 3:1 or 4:1. Ultimately, it will come down to the amount of storage on your card, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just a few minutes of recording time because you feel like you need to use RAW.It is important to note that, when recording in RAW, typically because of the fast data rate, Cfast 2.0 cards are a better idea than SD cards.Dual Native ISO SettingsThe Pocket 4K has dual native ISO: at 400 and 3600. If you’re unsure about what dual native ISO is, you can find a clear explanation here, but in short . . .. . . normal sensors have a circuit for each pixel, sensors in cameras with dual native have two.Let’s say our imaginary camera now has a second ISO rating of 3200. As we gain up from 400 ISO, we see an expected increase in image noise. A strange thing happens once we pass 3200, however — the noise disappears. At 3200 ISO, the second circuit’s native capacitor takes over, resetting the noise in the image (or the “noise floor”).Some of the higher ISOs will appear less noisy in low-light situations than a lower ISO. In the case of the Pocket 4K, the camera switches to the upper gain circuit at 1250. Therefore, you would receive a cleaner image using ISO 1250 in a situation when you might be using ISO 1000. Of course, when switching to 1250, you’re going to have that slight increment of exposure to account for.Dynamic Range SettingsThere are three settings on the Pocket 4K that will change how the camera interprets the dynamic range: Video, Extended Video, and Film.Video offers a baked-in look similar to REC 709’s color standard. This gives you a faster turnaround when you need to capture and deliver footage with little to no post-production processing. This is perfect if you’re using the camera just to record home footage.Extended Video is the in-between setting. It offers a wider dynamic range than the video setting, but it also applies a slight contrast. This setting is helpful when you would like to grade but not extensively (perhaps because you don’t feel confident grading such flat footage as you’ll find in the film setting).Film is the setting you need to be working with if you want to capture filmic imagery. However, when using the dynamic range film setting, especially in RAW, you may find the image looking uninspired, which leads us to the next section.Viewing Film and RAWRAW is obviously one of the main selling points of the camera, and as I said above, it would be criminal not to use it. However, if the BMPCC4K is your first introduction to using the RAW format (along with the film setting), you may find yourself a little miffed seeing a lifeless image through the LCD screen. This is completely normal. The following video from Learn Color Grading explains why.However, a common mistake among new filmmakers using RAW is overexposing the image, thinking that it will help brighten it up. Yet in post, with a LUT applied, the highlights have long been blown out. There are two things you can do to improve the process of recording in RAW using the film setting.First, you can activate a stored 3D LUT. A display LUT doesn’t affect the recorded RAW footage (although you can indeed turn on Record LUT to Clip), but it will give you an idea of what your footage will look like when it has been graded, as it simulates standard contrast. To do this, select the LUT you want to display in the LUT menu. Return to the LCD home screen, and press the middle (second button) function button to display the LUT.Alternatively, if you don’t want to display a LUT but want to monitor your footage correctly, you can get a histogram in the lower left of the monitor. At first, you may only see the codec and resolution information, but you can quickly change that in the monitor settings page.Hit the menu button on the Pocket 4K, and head to monitor menu. On the second page, select LCD, and then change the display from codec and resolution to meters. Although it’s jam-packed with professional features, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is an excellent camera for new filmmakers. Keep an eye on The Beat, and we’ll continue to bring you more Pocket 4K tips and tricks.Looking for more production gear tips and tricks? Check out these articles.5 Things to Consider When Buying a New CameraHands-On Review: The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4KBlackmagic Just Released Resolve 15.2 and It’s Packed With New FeaturesWhat Is a Fast Lens, and What Goes into Designing One?Learn to Not Crash Your New Drone: The DJI Flight Simulatorlast_img read more

NAB 2019: Blackmagic Design Announces New Battery Grip for the BMPCC4K

first_imgAt NAB 2019, Blackmagic Design just announced their new battery grip for the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K — and it looks awesome.During their Resolve 16 presentation, Blackmagic Design shared a few heavy announcements. Between “Object Removal,” the new “Cut” section of Resolve, and the Keyboard, Blackmagic is establishing itself as a one-stop production shop. Once they announced all this, they moved onto the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s latest accessory addition: the battery grip.There aren’t many specs or details, as the announcement was pretty brief, so I’ll keep it simple. There are two LP-E6 batteries that can power the camera up to two hours, and two mounting points for accessories — and it’s made of carbon fiber.Here’s what it looks like:Well, I’m sold. The design is pretty simple, and it’s a welcome addition to an already-fantastic camera. For the price, I’ll definitely scoop one up in August (only to probably finally get it in the mail near the holidays . . .).The grip was designed to last “hours,” so this is very exciting news for anybody using the camera for extensive shoots.Images via Blackmagic Design.Looking for more on film and video production? Check out these articles.Adobe Releases New Content Aware Fill Tool for After EffectsThe 6 Best Filmmaking Cameras Under $1,000Cheers to This Film-Developing Beer Made in Collaboration with KodakHands-on Review: Is Syrp’s Genie the Lone Filmmaker’s Ultimate Tool?Gear Roundup: The Top Three Audio Recorders Under $300,Looking for more on film and video production? Check out these articles.Adobe Releases New Content Aware Fill Tool for After EffectsThe 6 Best Filmmaking Cameras Under $1,000Cheers to This Film-Developing Beer Made in Collaboration with KodakHands-on Review: Is Syrp’s Genie the Lone Filmmaker’s Ultimate Tool?Gear Roundup: The Top Three Audio Recorders Under $300last_img read more

Follow Fill: The Simple Solution to Lighting a Difficult Scene

first_imgLighting a moving subject and staying out of frame is always difficult. The solution to this problem is easy: follow fill.The dilemma: you have to get the lights far enough back so they don’t appear in the scene yet close enough to make the subject stand out from the background. It poses an added problem if you’re shooting outside, or in a dark location, or your subject covers a lot of distance.Follow fill is a light (usually a battery-powered LED) on the end of a pole that a grip or gaffer carries above the camera. The light should be as close as possible to the axis of the camera so it doesn’t create extra shadows — and so the viewer doesn’t see movement. To make the light as large (and as soft) as possible, it will usually be in some type of china ball diffusion. This will allow it to get extra light on your subject, making it brighter than the background.Follow fill is a great technique for adding extra illumination when you’re filming in outside locations (such as a city street) and there is no way to rig lights along the pathway of the camera-move. Even if you did rig static lights, they would keep illuminating the background, cutting into that separation you want between your characters and background.The great thing about follow fill is that due to the “inverse square law,” the light only travels at a bright level for a couple of feet. Therefore, if the person holding the follow fill keeps it two or three feet in front of the talent, you’re going to get an actor who pops out of the background and is far brighter.You can see this technique in the movie Deadpool 2 when the protagonist is running in slow motion. There was nowhere for the crew to place a light soft and bright enough that the audience wouldn’t have seen it as the camera pulled back.Images via Deadpool 2 (Twentieth Century Fox).You can see another example in Black Swan when Natalie Portman walks around the city streets at night. The grip holds a light on a boom pole below Portman’s eye-line to create an up-lit, uncanny effect. The only alternative solution for this would’ve been to rig a soft light source twenty feet above the path, which is very expensive, hard to power, and extremely loud. Just by placing this light source in a china bowl, in front of Natalie Portman’s character, you can effectively separate her from the background.In normal filming conditions, there’s usually a boom operator holding a microphone almost at the same place as the Follow Fill, in order to negotiate between both the microphone and the light. You can also shoot these types of scenes without sound, or rely on wireless lav mics. This allows the person holding the follow fill to get as close as possible to the actor while staying out of the frame. Anyone who knows how to swing a boom on set and keep it out of the shot can do this job.On a recent shoot, we used an Intellytech LC-50 on a boom pole for a follow fill. It’s powerful, light, battery-powered, and you can run the cable down the boom pole onto the operator’s belt. This will yield a very bright light that can run for two hours off a 98 watt-hour V-mount battery. You can also use follow fill with a reflector, such as a piece of polyboard. Someone offscreen shines a bright Fresnel-style lens onto the reflector that a grip carries in front of the actor. (This requires coordination.) You won’t be able to move as far with this method, but it removes the wires and batteries from the equation, and it can get you out of trouble. I’ve also seen it used when the actor’s actually holding a flash light, and it bounces off a piece of polyboard to create a fill light.Even though there are plenty of different ways to do this, the central principle is that a light moves with an actor to add illumination, and when the camera swings around, you won’t see anything you don’t want to.Looking for more articles on lighting? Check these out.The Advantages of Hard Light and the Benefits of Using It on SetWhy Filmmakers and Photographers Prefer to Use Soft LightInside the Electric Department: Lighting, Tools, and Safety SkillsEfficiently Lighting and Shooting Product Shots for YouTubeLighting in a Pinch: Five Tricks Using Your Mobile Phonelast_img read more

Why Your Dream Client Refuses Your Request for a Meeting

first_imgWasted Time: Your dream clients refuses to give you their time because they suspect that you will waste it. They have experience that suggests that this is true. Salespeople visit with no plan, no real idea as to what they want, and no plan to create value. So, they refuse you–and every other salesperson possible. Promise not waste their time.Not Different Enough: Face it; you aren’t the only one calling your dream client in an attempt to gain their time and attention. Your request sounds a lot like the thirteen other calls they received this week. The offer is easy to refuse. Share what makes you different and why it matters.Too Much Work: It’s hard to change the tires on an automobile that’s moving fast–and being urged to go even faster. Stopping to meet with salespeople takes time away from the never-ending urgencies piling up around your dream client (with no need in site). Your dream client has too much work to do to meet with members of their own team, let alone a salesperson. Offer to meet them at the time that works for them. Offer a working lunch.No Hint of Value: Your message does’t even hint as to what’s in it for your dream client. Sure, you get to try to do a needs analysis and dredge up some pain that you can use to create an opportunity. But what does your dream client get our of letting you in? If there is no value proposition that they can easily discern, you can look forward to hearing “no.” Tell them what they get out of meeting with you–even if they never buy from you.You Might Bring Real Change: What you say to gain an appointment may be compelling. But real change is scary. Your dream client is perfectly comfortable with the devil that they know; you’re a whole new devil. Even if you have the ability to improve things, what’s the cost of doing so? Build trust and nurture relationships over time.last_img read more

On Snake Oil and Medicine

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The people who sell snake oil stand on boxes and shout about it’s great value, how it has changed lives, how you will never be the same. They promise fast, effective, easy answers to serious problems. They’re great at their pitch. These hucksters want you to believe that the snake oil is going to cure what ails you, just like it has cured all the other people who have tried it.The snake oil itself often comes in a pretty package. Not only do the words sound good; the packaging is amazing. There are excellent graphics, inspiring images, and tons of facts and figures that the snake oil salespeople point to in order to prove that what they sell can and will help you. It’s a compelling picture.And, the snake oil tastes good, too. It’s a happy, bubbly, sugary substance. It’s high octane, and you can almost feel it working at first sip. You try it, and you want more.It’s easy to believe that there are easy answers. But for difficult, important, and serious issues, there isn’t.The medicine that heals you is different. Most of the time, your health is greatly improved by doing things that aren’t nearly as attractive as the snake oil. There is nothing sexy or magical about eating right, exercising regularly, eating well, drinking more water than you want to, and not drinking too much alcohol. There isn’t anything particularly sexy about making your calls, either.When you do need real medicine, it doesn’t come in a pretty package, and it doesn’t taste good. If you wait too long to take your medicine, you can miss the opportunity and suffer worse outcomes from failing to deal with a little discomfort when you had the chance.One of the reasons snake oil is so attractive is that the real medicine you need to take is so unattractive. But the snake oil will cost you time, money, and the overall results you really want.When you haven’t been doing what you should have been doing, you need to take your medicine. You’ve never heard anyone say, “You need to take your snake oil.”last_img read more

Why Johnny Can’t Sell

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Johnny never worked in a bull pen. He was never surrounded by other salespeople, so he never heard their conversations with prospects, and he never heard their conversations with clients. Johnny never listened to how his peers dealt with the friction that is part of business. He also never heard the collaborative conversations that are necessary to winning deals.Johnny works from home. He has to figure out for himself what he is supposed to do, how much he is supposed to do, and how to do it. Johnny is smart, and he is resourceful. But he doesn’t have a very good model of what his days and weeks should look like, so he lives in reactive mode, waiting for things to do to show up in his inbox, and responding as best he can.Johnny’s manager never worked in a bullpen either. In fact, his manager never spent much time in the field with prospective clients at all. He was hired for his experience as a manager, and most of his background is in marketing. Johnny’s manager wants to help him, but a lot of what he does is really about serving the organization, not the salespeople themselves.Johnny makes his face-to-face sales calls by himself. His manager has never been in Johnny’s territory, and he has never been on a ride-a-long. He feels like he does a good job in front of his prospective clients, but he doesn’t really have a frame of reference. He has no ideas what other people are doing differently, and he has no idea where his blind spots are.Johnny spends four hours a week on internal meetings. Well, not meetings, but web meetings. He’s learned to use his iPad to browse the web, so that the meeting software shows him as attentive when he is logged in on his laptop. Most of these meetings are a waste of time, and his long sales cycle doesn’t really require a forecast update twice a week.Johnny wants to do well. But Johnny can’t sell.last_img read more

President arrives to inaugurate Namami Brahmaputra, PM tweets

first_imgPranab Mukherjee has arrived here to inaugurate the five-day ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ festival which is being attended also by Bhutan President Tsering Tobgay.The festival, tagged as ‘India’s largest river festival’ to pay obesiance to Brahmaputra, has been organised across 21 districts of the state and will showcase trade, tourism and cultural possibilities of along Brahmaputra river.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday conveyed his wishes for the festival in a series of tweets.“It is a matter of great pride that the Namami Brahmaputra festival is being launched by the Assam Government. Best wishes for the festival,” the Prime Minister tweeted.Brahmaputra river is the lifeline of Assam and the Northeast and is the source of livelihood for people in the region, he said.Rivers occupy a central role in India’s history and culture.“Let us keep working together to ensure clean rivers for India’s growth,” he added.The PMO released six photographs of Brahmaputra river which Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal shared.Internationally acclaimed actress Priyanka Chopra, who is the brand ambassador of Assam Tourism, tweeted congratulating Chief Minister Sonowal.Congratulating Mr. Sonowal and the entire team for organisisng the festival together, she said “I wish that it’s a roaring success.” Nobel Laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Mahesh Sharma along with tourists from across the globe were expected to attend the meeting.last_img read more

Maharashtra may soon get inter-caste marriage law

first_imgThe Maharashtra government is planning to introduce an inter-caste marriage legislation to prevent heinous crimes like ‘honour killings’, State Minister for Social Justice Rajkumar Badole said here on Sunday.“Many couples and families have had to endure trauma and a litany of atrocities for having challenged regressive social norms, despite the government providing financial incentives to encourage inter-caste marriages. This law is to ensure their security and to protect their children,” Mr. Badole said during a lecture at the Balgandharva Rangmandir. The talk was organised as part of the ongoing celebrations of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s 126th birth anniversary. The plan to introduce the law was mooted in March, with Mr. Badole chairing a nine-member committee constituted to frame the legislation. The law will give inter-caste couples priority during employment, apart from financial aid from the government.“Dr. Ambedkar desired a Maharashtra free of social inequality and caste divide. Despite him giving us the Constitution, the country has never given him his due. The Hindu Code Bill, for which he fought tenaciously, was dropped by the Indian Parliament of the 1950s, and words like freedom, equality and fraternity continue to remain tokenisms,” Mr. Badole said.The legislation is planned along the lines of the revolutionary law enacted by Shahu Maharaj, the reformer and ruler Kolhapur, in 1919.last_img read more

Girl’s death sparks protests in Agartala

first_imgStreet protests over mysterious death of a 16-year-old female tech student continues in the city with activists of students wing of opposition Trinamool Congress staging noisy stir outside Chief Minister’s residence on Thursday. Senior police officers rushed to scene after members of Trinamool Chatra Parishad made surprising appearance in the high security zone and ordered their arrests.Earlier on Wednesday, students from different technical institutes blocked a busy road in the capital to demand the arrest of culprits and swift investigation into the ‘murder’ of Anwara Choudhury, a first year student of Women’s Polytechnic, a state government run institution. The girl died almost a month ago after her relatives admitted her with severe abdomen pain.Anwara was pursuing her education while staying at her maternal uncle’s house in Pratapgarh. Fellow students of Women’s Polytechnic who had spearheaded agitation, alleged she was either poisoned or assaulted to face a tragic death.The cycle of protests resurfaced after investigation made no headway into sensational death the. Two reports – one submitted by a committee that inquired into ‘gross negligence of treatment’ of Anwara Choudhury at the G.B.P Hospital and the other of post-mortem conducted after exhuming her body – were not revealed.The issue has assumed political overtones with protests from various parties including NSUI, ABVP and others.Students affiliated to the Trinamool Chatra Parishad gave staged a demonstration near the residence of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar who also holds home portfolio. “The culprits are protected by the ruling CPI(M) and police are prevented from making progress in the investigation”, Vicky Prasad, state president of Trinamool Chatra Parisahd Parishad, alleged.Security has been beefed up across the city in view of the protests.last_img read more

Rahul promises waiver of farm debt

first_imgCongress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said here on Wednesday that the entire debts of farmers in Gujarat would be waived if the Congress formed the next government in the State.He was addressing farmers near Chotila town, where he climbed a hillock to offer prayers at a temple.“The difference between the Modi government and the Congress government is this: the Congress party will protect farmers, labour and small businessmen and traders, while the Modi government is only concerned about a few top industrial groups,” Mr. Gandhi said.He asked the farmers about their main issues. Their [farmers] debts would be waived within 10 days of the Congress forming the government, he said.In distress“Farmers in Gujarat are in distress, but the entire focus of the BJP government is on helping a select few industrial groups. This is the reason small and medium enterprises, which provide employment to the masses, are in a bad shape. They have no support system.” Mr. Gandhi said the original Gujarat model during the Congress government was promoting small people from the grassroots level.On the last leg of his three-day yatra in the Saurashtra region, Mr. Gandhi toured Surendranagar and Rajkot districts, halting at a dozen places for brief interactions with party workers, youth and women. He visited Khodaldham at Kagvad, a prominent religious shrine of the Patidars and reiterated his party’s support to the community in Gujarat.last_img read more

Mehbooba asks all to join talks

first_imgAs Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Monday that the arrival of the Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma “rekindled hope,” the top-rung separatists maintained silence. However, the lower-rung separatists called for a “tripartite dialogue and inclusion of Pakistan [in it].”In her reaction to Mr. Sharma’s maiden visit to the State, Ms. Mufti tweeted: “I am optimistic that parties and organisations in J&K will not miss this opportunity to be a part of peace parleys. The hope of resolution via dialogue has been rekindled in J&K.”But the mood on the ground, especially among the separatists, did not match Ms. Mufti’s enthusiasm. “Mr. Sharma’s mission should be made clear. On what issues he is going to start a dialogue,” asked Muzaffar Shah, senior vice-president of the Awami National Conference, a mainstream political party.‘Shun rigidity’National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said: “The elected representatives in the State made their stand clear when they passed the autonomy resolution in 2000 with a thumping majority.” “Therefore, the Centre must shun rigidity and take it up in the upcoming session of Parliament,” he said at a rally. He asked both India and Pakistan to take “concrete” steps to resolve the “vexed” Kashmir issue.Pradesh Congress Committee president G.A. Mir said the BJP government’s decision to open talks with all in the State amounted to a U-turn on its Kashmir policy. “If the Centre is open to talks with all, it should come out with a road map.”Though there was a muted response from Hurriyat chairmen Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik, the lower-rung separatists rejected “bilateralism.” “Any bilateral dialogue between India and the Kashmiri leadership will be an exercise in futility. The appointment will not help as history shows India has never been serious about finding a solution [to the Kashmir issue],” Hurriyat Conference State convener Shabir Ahmed Dar said.Speaking after a protest in Srinagar, Muslim Khwateen Markaz chairperson Yasmeen Raja said the interlocutor had come “to rub salt into our wounds.”last_img read more

After 22 years, wedding bells ring in Dholpur village of Rajasthan

first_imgWhen 23-year-old Pawan Kumar brought his bride from Madhya Pradesh to the nondescript Rajghat village in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district earlier this week, the poor villagers had much to rejoice. The wedding bells had tolled in the village after 22 long years because no parent was willing to marry their daughter off to anyone in the village.For over two decades, the pathetic state of Rajghat, situated 5 km away from Dholpur town, ruled out the possibility of its eligible bachelors getting any marriage proposals. The last marriage took place in the village in 1996.Situated on the banks of Chambal river, the small and dusty village – with a population of only 350 – has no roads, electricity supply, water pipelines or basic medical facilities. The lone government primary school has only a few students. When the sun sets, the village is covered in total darkness. Till recently, the villagers living in the vicinity of the river had no access to clean drinking water. Change in the airMuch has changed in the village thanks to Ashwani Parashar, a final year MBBS student in Sawai Man Singh Government Medical College in Jaipur and a native of Dholpur, who moved a public interest litigation in the Rajasthan High Court on the conditions in Rajghat last year and wrote letters to the Prime Minister’s Office. He also launched a social media campaign with hashtag #SaveRajghat.last_img read more

New dress code for madrasa students in U.P.

first_imgAfter introducing modern education in madrasas, the Yogi Adityanath government has mooted a new dress code for madrasa students to end their “demarcation” from other school pupils.The State government is yet to disclose the new dress code for madrasa students, but said it might also fund it.“The aim of the U.P. government is to bring madrasas on a par with other educational institutions in every sense. Till now, students in madrasas have been wearing ‘kurta-pyjamas’ but now this dress code will make it more formal… We might also try to meet the expenses,” said State Minister for Muslim Waqf and Haj Mohsin Raza here on Tuesday.Stressing that it is only the BJP-led governments which have doing justice with the minorities, the Minister said the other political parties have been considering them as only a vote bank.Mr. Raza said the current dressing style of madrasa students reflects a clear demarcation between them and the students of other schools which will come to an end now. The State government has already introduced NCERT books in the madrasas of Uttar Pradesh in a bid to bring their students on a par with their counterparts in other schools and to modernise the education in madrasas affiliated to the State Madrasa Board. “Till now, students in madrasas wear white kurta-pyjama, which reflects a particular faith. We will very soon propose a new dress code for them,” the Minister said. He refused to elaborate on the new dress code. “Our intentions are clear as we work with transparency and believe in ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’,” he said.last_img read more

Uddhav returns; CM says temple issue not political

first_imgAs Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray returned to the city from his two-day tour of Ayodhya as a part of his mission to construct the Ram temple, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the temple issue is not political. Mr. Fadnavis, who was in Karad to pay tribute at the memorial of the State’s first Chief Minister Y.B. Chavan, said, “Shri Ram is a deity for the entire country, he (Mr. Thackeray) will get his blessings too,” he said.Mr. Thackeray, who offered prayers at the Ram Lalla temple in Ayodhya on Sunday, said the BJP government at the Centre “may not last” if the temple is not constructed and demanded an ordinance for it. The Sena chief returned to the city on Sunday afternoon where he was welcomed by a large number of party workers and leaders amidst loud sloganeering and victory chants. At home, Mr. Thackeray and other Sena leaders offered prayers before a photo of party founder late Bal Thackeray. Prior to leaving Ayodhya, in a press conference there, Mr. Thackeray questioned why the BJP had made promises in its manifesto if everything was going to be as per the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, State BJP president Raosaheb Danve said the Sena’s stand on the Ram temple is similar to that of his party’s. “The Sena has not backed the BJP recently, but we have been together for decades. To avoid division of votes, the Sena is going to be our partner for the general and Assembly elections next year,” he said. However, the Sena had earlier said that it will fight all the upcoming elections solo.The Opposition criticised the Sena over its Ayodhya visit. “This is a political stunt targeted at polarising Hindu-Muslim voters. Had this government fulfilled its election promises, they would not need to do this,” said State Congress president Ashok Chavan. Leader of Opposition in State Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil asked if the Sena immersed its letters of resignations from the State government in the Sarayu river while offering prayers. “At a time when Maharashtra is battling drought, such events are like rubbing salt on the wounds of the people,” he said.last_img read more

NSA invoked against three men accused of cow slaughter in M.P.

first_imgAuthorities in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district have invoked the stringent National Security Act against three persons accused of killing a cow near Kharkhali village four days ago. The incident took place three days after the newly elected Congress government decided to open 1,000 gaushalas for stray cattle in the State over the next four months. “We received information about the slaughtering of a cow near Kharkhali village four days ago. When the police reached the spot, the accused fled. But the police team found the cow carcass,” Khandwa SP Siddharth Bahuguna said. Giving details, Moghat police station in-charge Mohan Singore said a police team reached the spot on Friday evening following a tip-off. However, taking advantage of the darkness, the accused fled leaving the carcass behind, he said. In the meantime, the police informed the district administration about the incident, which asked it to slap NSA against the accused. On Monday, the police arrested Nadeem alias Raja and Shakeel from Pardesipura while the third accused, Azam, was arrested from Kharkhali. The three were produced before a local court on Monday, which sentenced them to jail under NSA and other relevant sections of IPC.last_img read more