Wow, where did this week go? I really am going to try to do this once a week (as long as I have new stuff to talk about) - but I guess I need to get into the habit of doing that first.
Since my last post I have:
1) Made significant progress in editing the full recording of CCCT's performance of Titus Andronicus from this past summer - of course the full video won't be available publicly (music rights are different for live/vs recorded) but I do hope to pull some of the nicer scenes from it to post on Clear Creek Community Theatre's YouTube channel, and...
2) Gotten our 48 Hour Film Project Behind The Door posted to YouTube (click here to watch it) - I am really proud of how this turned out even though we didn't win any of the major awards. Its very impressive to see what we (and all the other teams) could pull off in just a weekend and it makes you think, "well why don't we take two weekends and make something bigger and better?" I've talked about this project so much in my vlog and in social media I've lost track of what I've said about it, I might give it its own blog post at some point when I've got more time to write (and think)
At work, I finished some 3D work that's in a commercial currently airing for Pinkerton Law - I'll do a separate post about that a little later. (after they get the videos posted online somewhere) and we've been up to our eyeballs in liveshot support. This week we've got 2 other studios shoots already on the calendar so it looks like busy is the name of the game right now - which is great because I like money, but then I'm not working on my own projects either.
More on what I've been focusing on in my "personal project time":
We shot a full recording of Titus Andronicus with three cameras: 2 cameras shooting mediums and close shots from the sides of the second row and one wide shot from the back of the house. Pretty much the same setup we used to shoot the recording of The Tempest back in 2014 (watch some of that here) with one main difference:
We shot the tempest with 2 Canon 7D's and one Canon 70D - 3 generally nice looking DSLRs, but they have some shortcomings in an environment such as this and you really feel it in post.
We shot Titus with a Sony EX3, a Sony F3 and my Sony a7s recording into my Atomos Shogun Flame - aside from the three cameras being a major jump in video quality period, the other big difference in how it edits is that those three cameras have timecode sync capability (though that forced us to shoot 30p instead of 24p, but that was a sacrifice I was willing to make)
What that means is from the word go all 3 cameras have been locked together and I've got matching audio and video to start with, rather than more steps/more time consuming workflow from Tempest in which I synced it all with pluraleyes, but then had to make single layer clips of the multiple clips from each camera (because the 7D's only record in 12 minute chunks) which I could then take into multicamera mode for "quick" editing.
Its part of why I sat on Tempest for a couple years before finding the time to finish editing it, the idea of syncing the three cameras and the audio and then finding a way to edit it all was just a daunting task. And then when I did sit down to work on it I think I logged about 3 weeks of editing time in it when all was said and done.
In comparison, I've been working on Titus for the equivalent of 3 or 4 days and I'm already fine tuning the edit - I hope to be done with it in the next few days so I can move onto my next project - a proof of concept for a different approach to the ghost hunting genre that I shot, hosted by Brian Treybig.
To wrap up, I leave you all with a picture I took on my iPhone from The Pixel Forest an installation piece that just closed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston - it was a fascinating experience and executed beautifully. The hanging lights were synced to the video displays (4 nearly seamless projections) on the far walls and standing among them was a unique feeling.
You can see more of the pictures (and video) I took at the exhibit on my Instagram account @tomameek
Until next time - thanks for reading.
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So I decided it was time to build myself a website - two main reasons:
1) as a place to show off and organize my work.
2) to give me a platform for a blog.
I thought I'd try out Weebly for a bit to build the site. I've played with Wix and Wordpress on other projects, and I thought it'd be worth giving this one a shot on a (currently) non-critical website.
That all said, its a work in progress - right now its only the main page and the blog, most of the pictures are placeholders, and the rest is... in progress - In time it'll have this, my blog, along with other fun things like a reel that I haven't had time to make in 5 years, a place to show off some of my photography that I'm proud of, and more of my video work in a clean organized fashion, so keep an eye out on my social media for updates. (I might even eventually get a sign up form and be able to email you when I post new things to the site, if thats something you'd be interested in, let me know!)
Of course the primary purpose of a website for any artist is to help in getting their work shown. My problem is that most of my work is "a work in progress" - I've got two shorts shot - waiting to be edited, a 48 hour film project that I have yet to have time to upload to YouTube (coming soon I promise!), a music performance I shot for Overtone that is almost done, a full recording of CCCT's production of Titus Andronicus to edit, other promotional material for Clear Creek Community Theatre, theres I-don't-know-how-many scripts written (or half written) sitting on this computer, and of course then there's the work that I'm actually being paid to do... so its fitting that the website is a work in progress as well.
So for now we'll stick to the main page and blog. And add the rest later.
I'm hoping that by publishing this, and getting it out into the open, I'll have another reason to focus on the projects that aren't yet done. I'm hoping you, my friends and family that follow my work, will follow along with me as I work through the old project and get started on the new ones.
And then there's the blog - some of you may know I started, or attempted to start, a vlog a few months back - the primary purpose of the vlog being to give me practice talking on camera - since its something I've never been too fond of, but is clearly a needed skill in today's independent world. The other reason I created it was to try and keep myself focused on my work that needed to be done. Of course, what happened was I focused too much on needing to get the vlog done, trying to make a point of shooting whenever I felt like being on camera rather than whenever I felt like I had something worth sharing.
That's where the blog comes in - I've decided that I'm far more suited to writing than talking on camera - I love writing and its something I can do from wherever, in whatever time I have in multiple sittings (I actually started writing this blog post three days ago) - rather than finding myself a window to sit and talk on camera and then edit it.
Of course, the vlog won't go away entirely - I even plan on adding a page for it here on the blog, it had just become too much work to keep up with, and then I'd get behind and then I'd be so far behind on it that I wouldn't work on it and it just sat there till I found time to get on camera again - in short, it was getting in the way of itself. So here's what I'm going to do - I'm going to try to write at least one blog post per week, what about I'm not sure yet - behind the scenes tidbits on projects I'm working on, my thoughts on whatever movie I just saw (by the way, The Hitman's Bodyguard is a blast), or something else entirely (though I will try to avoid politics whenever possible).
And then I'll try and get the vlog back onto a more reasonable schedule of once per month, rather than the more amorphous "once every week or so" that I was attempting.
So - stay tuned to the website for updates, and I thank you all with your patience as I slowly build this out.
Thomas Meek is an independent filmmaker living and working in Houston, TX