I've been very busy the last couple weeks, and yet I feel like I've done so little - strange how that works out. Probably just a side effect of winding down from a larger project and going through the holidays. I have worked on a few little things recently, one of those being promotional photography for Agatha Christie's Verdict - check it out:
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)
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:
One more project off the list! I've finally finished my edit of the Titus Andronicus production at Clear Creek Community Theatre from summer 2017.
It took a littler longer than expected, partially because it kept getting put on hold to work on other things, but I finished it the other day, and I'm glad to be moving on to the next project. Unfortunately I can't post the full show here, because of some rights issues with music. (The theatre has different rights/rules for stage than video), but they will be posting a few different scenes in the near future. However, I've got a sneak peak here for you all who follow the blog - check it out:
Along with the crazy couple weeks I've had at work, I've also had a few fun, but quick projects I did for Clear Creek Community Theatre that I thought I'd talk about a little bit:
First of all, there's the early publicity stills I shot for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] last week, which is the next show on the CCCT stage. The director, Steve Sarp, had an idea for publicity to put the Groucho Marx glasses prop on Shakespeare, I then suggested actually photographing the image on the Shakespeare bust that sits on the piano in the lobby at CCCT.
The pictures turned out better than I had hoped:
Okay - the teaser's out now, and since I promised we would, this week we're going to take a look behind the curtain at this one:
It turned out better than I expected. My mother, the director of CCCT's production of Black Coffee, came up with the concept and I shot this with only about half of a plan and no idea of how the pieces were going to come together. Not to say the concept was bad - but while I was shooting it I was having a little trouble seeing the final edit - unlike the Christmas Carol or the Titus teasers where Robert and I had some pretty detailed discussions far in advance (we even storyboarded Titus to the music track we ended up using) or even compared to the last Agatha Christie Trailer I shot, Towards Zero, which I also planned out and scripted in advance, this one was very much "shot from the hip".
Okay, so it’s been a little while - Christmas was crazy and I gave myself a bit of a break where I could, but now we’re into 2018 and it’s time to buckle down again. I've got a lot to cover, so let’s just jump in.
My original plan for this post was to have a new vlog ready to accompany it and talk about some of the newer projects I've got in mind and the new progress on the old ones. However, between helping Robert on Christmas Carol and then helping my mother with her show, Black Coffee, I've had little time to work on my own projects. (Let alone get my office cleaned up enough to be "camera ready")
That said, working promotional for both shows has given me some new little projects to work on - you’ve all seen the Christmas Carol teaser I shot, and now I’ve got a teaser for Black Coffee that I’m editing (and hope to have out in the next couple days) I'll probably go into more detail on the behind-the-scenes for that trailer next week.
Thomas Meek is an independent filmmaker living and working in Houston, TX