I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Holiday and New Year - now we're a few days into 2019 and life can start returning to normal. Lets see if I can find the time to get back into my personal projects - including this website and the blog - so lets get caught up on the last few months and dive right in:
Wow, where did the last part of 2018 go? It's just been a bit of a blur, you see - the week after my last blog post (October 19th) I began working basically non-stop on Border Live on the Discovery Channel in the role of "Field Technical Supervisor". Actually we did a test run back in September, but then I shifted back to other projects until everything came together. In October they sent me out to one of the locations on a scouting run to make sure things would work, and then starting in November I was traveling down to the border basically once a week until we got up to the holidays. Unfortunately I can't go into much detail behind the scenes, but basically my role in the production was to make sure that the video from the field teams made it back to the main studio on the east coast in the highest quality possible.
So I spent every show (including multiple full scale rehearsals) watching the action play out in little preview thumbnails accompanied by real time encoding data - bit rate, packet loss, latency, etc from each of the cameras. In a way it kind of felt like staring at the code for the Matrix, watching all these different things happen at once. Of course I had some remote control to jump in and make minor tweaks to settings to keep the video signals streaming well. (Or as well as can be expected given the cellular environment at the border.) All in all, it was a great experience and I learned a lot, but needless to say it was a lot of work and when I was back in Houston, I was basically catching up on sleep and supporting other projects at TPC. (With a tiny bit of theatre work thrown in at CCCT).
So much for getting back in to weekly posts...
As some of you know, I've been very busy the past month or so. Clearly, its been harder than expected to find time to write a weekly blog post, while also juggling multiple projects at work, volunteer projects I committed to at CCCT (sorting out the blank gun for the show and lighting - more on that below), decorating for Halloween, and still leaving time to relax now and then. And yet, so many of these projects are either in various stages of completion or aren't sharable for one reason or another, that I also haven't had all that much to talk about.
Here's a couple recent ones I can share though:
The other day, I edited an updated reel for an actor friend of mine, Jesse Merrill. One of the projects we decided to include in his reel is an episode of Stop the Threat that he was in, "Crime Spree" (one of my favorites) - you can check that out here:
Short post this week, as I just realized that I'd never shared the final versions of the scenes from Titus Andronicus that I edited from the performance recording done at Clear Creek Community Theatre in 2017.
For any new readers, last year Clear Creek Community Theatre selected Titus Andronicus as it's 2017 Summer Shakespeare production. It was directed by my brother Robert Leslie Meek, and I made an awesome teaser trailer for the show (which you can check out here). During the final weekend of the show, we recorded the whole show from beginning to end with three cameras (a Sony Ex3, a Sony F3 - borrowed from TPC - and my Sony A7s recording 4K into my Atomos Shogun Inferno).
Unfortunately the music rights the theatre has for live production don't extend to distributing recordings of the show, so the full production is only available to the cast and crew of that show. However, I was able to pull some really great scenes from the edit and have packaged them up as individual videos on CCCT's YouTube Channel.
I've embedded the ones we've pulled below - please enjoy (if enjoy is the right phrase to use for Titus)
Short post this week - I posted my SHOUT! teaser video to a mobile filmmakers group I'm a member of on facebook and got into a conversation about the Movi in the comments - shortly afterward Simon Horrocks of the Mobile Motion Film Festival reached out to me and asked if I would be up for writing a post for their website, so that's what I did with this week's "blog writing" time.
As you may have noticed over the last few months worth of blog posting, I was quietly agonizing over which mobile phone stabilizer to buy myself when it was finally time. I finally settled on the Movi, and this article sums up my main reasons for that. Click the image above to read it or you can check it out here.
Wow, its been a few months since my last post. For starters, I hope all of you had a great Summer! I decided to take some time away from the blog and the website to work on some other projects, but also just to take some time and relax, the first half of this year was very busy and I needed the break.
As I mentioned in my last post, I was going to start digging into The Getaway, which I have. I've also made some more progress on the "Ghost Hunt" project, and I hope to have something to share from that soon.
Aside from that, I've been keeping busy at work - I recently wrote a blog post on their website about one of the bigger projects I was a part of over the Summer - you can check that out here.
Over the summer is Clear Creek Community Theatre's summer program, as well as their annual production of a Shakespeare play. This year it was Macbeth, again directed by my brother Robert Meek. The show was fantastic, and I recorded a few key/popular scenes that I plan to edit soon and be able to share with everyone.
I also made an awesome teaser trailer for that show - check it out below:
Meant to get this post out last week, but I was sick and work got really busy. So lets jump in - NAB is now long behind us, and as usual I jumped right into something new as soon as I was back in town. This year, it was the teaser trailer for Clear Creek Community Theatre's production of Beauty and the Beast. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out before we go any further:
So I made this teaser entirely in Adobe After Effects using Video Copilot's Element 3D plugin (along with some other plug-ins), lets start by breaking down the pieces at play here:
So last week I went into some detail about the gear I got to see and play with at National Association of Broadcasters Convention last month in Las Vegas - if you missed that post, check it out here.
The other thing that's really fantastic about NAB is the knowledge you can pick up. Like last year, I participated in Post|Production World (P|PW) this year too and the sessions were just as interesting - and then there's "all badge" access sessions like the Star Wars talk where they went into detail about the character design of those crystal fox things from The Last Jedi (I'm guessing they talked about some more than that, but I came in late - if someone can remember what those cool creatures are called, let me know in the comments below).
Of course the tough question - where to start? Last week I told you I'd go into some detail on DaVinci Resolve 15 - so lets start there:
A couple weeks ago, I traveled to Las Vegas for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention. It’s held every April and all the major gear and software vendors (and countless smaller companies) show off the best of what they’ve got in the world of video and film production. And then on top of that there’s the educational elements, this year I took part in the “Post | Production World” (P|PW) set of sessions, and I also traveled out there with a good friend from school, Jared. It’s always interesting to get a different perspective on what we see at the show. As most of my experience is video production and most of his is audio, we look at different pieces of the convention through a different lens so to speak.
Of course I could go on forever about what I learned at any one year of the convention, but I'm going to try and keep as concise as possible and limit it to just this week and next week's posts. Lets see how well I do at that. This week I'm going to focus on the gear, next week I'll dig into some of the other stuff I learned out there.
So as you know, last week I was out at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention in Las Vegas. Though NAB has long ago stopped being just about broadcasting, its filled with sessions about all kinds of film and post techniques, and of course all the major gear manufacturers for all kinds of products related to "the industry" - plus networking opportunities.
And as usual, when I get back from being away from the office for a solid week, I hit the ground running Monday morning and haven't hardly had time to breathe, let alone collect my thoughts and go through all the information I picked up out there. So instead of a full blog post I'm going to start with what I guess could be called a "teaser".
Basically, in this post I'm going to post pictures of some of what stood out to me while I was out there at the convention, and if you want to know more about any particular image/piece of gear let me know and I'll include it in my blog post for next week which will have more pictures, and more detail (and some video too!) - I apparently just didn't have time to write a "real" blog post this first week back. So scroll down and let me know in the comments below if anything catches your eye:
I'm going to Las Vegas this weekend for NAB 2018!
If you don't know what NAB is, its the National Association of Broadcasters convention, and its held annually in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Its basically a big convention where all the newest toys in film and television are shown off, as well as serving as a major networking event where you can talk with the sales and tech people from different companies. You can get questions answered and put hands on some really awesome gear. (and there's a fair number of parties too!) All that aside, it also has a significant educational aspect to it.
Thomas Meek is an independent filmmaker living and working in Houston, TX