Dis/ability, Race, and the Power of Language: Part II

first_imgName Label from Wikimedia Commons, Open SourceIn this post, Dr. Maggie Beneke extends the discussion around language use that began during her virtual conference presentation on Dis/ability[1], Race, and Equity.  In part one of her blog last week, Dr. Beneke discussed person-first vs. identity-first language.  Here in part two, she covers her own position in relation to language use and the use and consequences of the term “colorblind.”What We Say MattersThrough language, speakers construct identities, roles, and relationships. Language is bound up with power in any interaction, because language use, in context, has ideological consequences. Indeed, language choice not only impacts moment-to-moment communication, but also who is recognized by whom through language (Alderman, 2016) as well as how meanings are attached to words over time (McLaren & Giroux, 2018). To be clear, I write this post as a white, nondisabled, cisgender woman. I state these identities and others (i.e., I am a U. S. citizen, I speak English, I have a regular income, and it goes on) not to simply declare my unearned privilege and move on, but to take responsibility for undoing power inequities that continue to be played out in my own realm of influence. It is important I explicitly state how, whether I am conscious of it or not, my own identities are regularly centered and upheld in institutional spaces. Therefore, in discussing language use with regard to identity groups that I do not belong to (i.e., people with disabilities, people of Color) – and especially given the ways powerful groups have historically used naming/labeling as a way to secure the oppression of marginalized groups (Alderman, 2016) – I take seriously the question, “Who gets the power to name?” In what follows here and in part two, I respond to this question by focusing on the voices and experiences of individuals who are directly affected by dis/ability and race talk. As I discuss language use in relation to dis/ability and race, I intentionally cite (and suggest literature written by) people of Color and individuals in the dis/ability community.From “Colorblindness” to Color ConsciousnessThe use of the term “colorblind” can be traced back to Justice Harlan’s Plessy vs Ferguson 1896 dissent (Stafford, 2015). The idea of being “colorblind” has regularly been applied today as a way in which individuals signal their rejection of overt racism (Wingfield, 2015). Well-intentioned individuals who embrace this popular ideology may believe that the best way to end racial inequities is to ignore race and treat everyone equally (Perez-Isiah, 2018). Yet, many critics of such an approach argue that claims to be “colorblind” actually perpetuate racial inequities.First, to claim “colorblindness” is contradictory, because in saying one does not see race, race has already been acknowledged (University of Kansas, 2017). Additionally, taking a “colorblind” approach allows individuals to ignore how racism has operated historically and in the present day (Stafford, 2015). For professionals, taking a colorblind approach may mean avoiding conversations about race with children and families. By willfully ignoring ways that racism continues to be perpetuated in the lives of children and families, taking a “colorblind” approach does little to disrupt the status quo (Bonilla-Silva, 2017, Marcano, 2016).  Moreover, the term “colorblindness” is problematic in that it equates “blindness” (i.e., lack of eyesight) with lack of knowing (i.e., ignorance; Annamma, Jackson, & Morrison, 2017). Instead, Annamma and colleagues (2017) suggest that “color evasiveness” more accurately describes the ways individuals intentionally choose not to recognize race and racism. As an alternative to evading race and racism, color consciousness or race consciousness can better support movements toward racial justice (Park, 2018; Tatum, n.d.).  Directly engaging in conversations about race can lead individuals (and even very young children!) to better understanding and ownership over the realities of structural racism, encouraging shifts in everyday actions (Narjala, n.d.; Wingfield, 2015). I provide additional resources for understanding perspectives on language use and race below.Further Reading: From Colorblindness to Color ConsciousnessThe myth of ‘colorblindness’: The problem with making race invisible by SMarcano (2016)Why colorblind isn’t the goal when teaching kids about diversity by Susan Narjala  The myth of colorblindness by Rosa Perez-Isiah (2018)Talking about race and the importance of parent communications by Susan Park (2018)When you say you ‘don’t see race,’ you’re ignoring racism not helping to solve it by Zach Stafford (2015)Color blind or color conscious? by Beverly Daniel TatumClaims of being ‘colorblind’ implies race does not matter, leads to unequal education, professor says from The University of Kansas (2017)Color-blindness is counterproductive by Adia Harvey Wingfield (2015)ReferencesAlderman, D. H. (2016). Place, naming and the interpretation of cultural landscapes. In B. Graham & P. Howard (Eds.), Heritage and identity (pp. 195-213). London, UK: Routledge.Annamma, S. A., Jackson, D. D., & Morrison, D. (2017). Conceptualizing color-evasiveness: using dis/ability critical race theory to expand a color-blind racial ideology in education and society. Race Ethnicity and Education, 20(2), 147-162.Bonilla-Silva, E. (2017). Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield.Marcano, S. (2016). The myth of ‘colorblindness’: The problem with making race invisible. Daily Kos. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/1/27/1475695/-The-Myth-Of-Colorblindness-The-Problem-With-Making-Race-InvisibleMcLaren, P. & Giroux, H. A., (2018). Writing from the margins: Geographies of identity, pedagogy, and power. In P. McLaren (Ed.), Revolutionary multiculturalism (pp. 16-41). New York, NY: Routledge.Narjala, S. (n.d.).  Why colorblind isn’t the goal when teaching kids about diversity [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.mother.ly/parenting/speaking-to-our-kids-about-diversityPark, S. (2018). Talking about race and the importance of parent communications [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.raceconscious.org/2018/06/talking-race-importance-parent-communications/Perez-Isiah, R. (2018). The myth of colorblindness. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/identity-education-and-power/the-myth-of-colorblindness-9ee6604766d1Stafford, Z. (2015). When you say you ‘don’t see race,’ you’re ignoring racism not helping to solve it [Blog post]. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/26/do-not-see-race-ignoring-racism-not-helpingTatum, B. D. (n.d.). Color blind or color conscious? Retrieved from http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=14892University of Kansas (2017). Claims of being ‘colorblind’ implies race does not matter, leads to unequal education, professor says. Retrieved from https://specialedu.ku.edu/claims-being-color-blind-implies-race-does-not-matter-leads-unequal-educationWingfield, A. H. (2015) Color-blindness is counterproductive. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/color-blindness-is-counterproductive/405037/[1] Following Annamma (2018), I use the slash in dis/ability to highlight ways in which this label is connected to socially constructed values through everyday processes (including language) and which re-inscribe “ability” as a normative, desired standard. This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells, Program Coordinator for 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, onTwitter, and YouTube.last_img read more

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14 New Cinema 4D R16 Features You Should Know About

first_imgMaxon is updating Cinema 4D to R 16! We’ve rounded up some of the best new features.We are extremely excited for the Cinema 4D R16 update, planned for a September 2014 release. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of updates included in this version, so we thought it would be awesome to share our favorites. So in no particular order, here are the 14 new features that we are excited to use in the Cinema 4D R16 update.1. New Cogwheel SplinesA cogwheel spline allows you to create gears and cogs that perfectly fit into each other. The updated cogwheel splines are supposed to be so accurate that they will be fully functional when 3D printed.2. Bevel DeformerThe bevel deformer allows users to bevel without being destructive to your model. Models will now retain their editability even after you apply your bevel.3. Sculpting ImprovementsMaxon has added more control over various sculpting details including parametric objects, curves, masks, stamps, and stencils. Along with these helpful updates, Maxon is allowing users to create their own sculpt brushes.4. Team Rendering ServerWith Cinema 4D’s new team rendering server you can share your complex rendering tasks with your project collaborators online.5. New Content LibraryNew presets including stairs and house generators have been added to R16. The new update also includes many helpful presets for MoGraph designers who work with infographics.6. Packaging DesignerCinema 4D now allows users to design functioning packaging for product demonstrations.7. Annotation TagsWorking with multiple designers? You can now add annotation tags to your models. This is great for critiquing and collaborating with a team.8. Brick Shader DisplacementThe new brick shader displacement will allow users to create brick textured displacement maps on flat services with ease.9. Motion TrackerPerhaps the coolest new update in Cinema 4D, a motion tracker has been added to help designers drop 3D models into their footage. This feature works very similarly to the After Effects tracker, so if you have experience with AE trackers this should be easy to grasp.10. Interaction TagA new interaction tag allows for custom scripts to be added to your model movements. This is going to be really great for character animation.11. Reflectance Material EditorThe reflectance material editor is a great update that replaces the reflection and specular material editors. The new Reflectance editor is designed to create more life-like textures when working in metals and fabrics. This new feature works a lot like VRay or other reflection based material editors.12. Polygon PenThe polygon pen is an exciting new feature that will allow users to “paint” on a polygon path right into their scene. This Polygon pen can also be used to paint polygons on irregularly shaped 3D surfaces.14. Intelligent snappingCinema 4D now has predictive snapping between edges, vertices, and points. Modeling will subsequently be a much faster process.These are only a few of the new features announced for Cinema 4D R16. If you want to get more information on Cinema 4D R16 we recommend checking out Maxon’s new features page or view this video created by Maxon outlining the new features:Want to learn more about Cinema 4D? Check out the Cinema 4D section of the PremiumBeat blog, where we post 1 exclusive Cinema 4D tutorial every Thursday.What features are you excited about in Cinema 4D R16? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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Life After ‘Life After Pi’: The VFX Industry One Year Later

first_imgHas anything changed in the year since Life After Pi exposed the business model issues facing VFX houses like Rhythm and Hues?Released in February of 2014, the documentary Life After Pi chronicled the demise of major VFX studio Rhythm and Hues due to the non-sustainable practices existing between VFX houses and movie studios. Did the issues exposed in Life after Pi lead to positive change in the VFX industry? Let’s take a look at what we learned in the doc and what lies ahead. For your reference, here’s Life After Pi, directed by visual effects art director Scott Leberecht.1. Billing and Predicting are Never an Exact ScienceEvery time a bid is created for a client you have to look into a crystal ball. Several years ago Debra Kaufman wrote in an article on Creative Cow:VFX facilities have operated for years without standardized contracts and viable bidding practices. They have been and continue to be vulnerable to changes in technology and studio policy.As Life After Pi asserted, many VFX studios use a process known as a ‘fixed bid’. This means each bid is constructed based on the production company (Universal, Disney, WB, etc.) giving the VFX studio a rough ‘blue print’ of the film. So, essentially the production company is saying, “here is what we want to do, and we know changes are inevitable, so you’ll need to account for those changes and include them in the bid.”There is a lot of estimation and guesswork that goes into trying forecast the future for a bid like this. Right off the bat we should see that using a bidding system such as the current fixed system is not a solution for large scale VFX projects.Image from Western Post2. The Problem with CostNext up is the cost of creating visual effects. At present, VFX are more than likely going to be one of the most or the most expensive item on a budget sheet. Unfortunately that cost wont go down, because in order to house the people, hardware, and software needed for VFX work, it will cost large sums of money. Mike Seymour, co-founder of fxguide, said in a recent article:The early days of the studio system looked much like all the big VFX companies which are folding on a daily basis. They would build huge sound stages, buy expensive equipment, hire employees (actors, directors, tech) and keep them on staff year round to produce movies. The problem was, when they weren’t producing movies, they were wasting money.This dead money can happen two ways for the VFX studio. One is not having work. When you’re in between projects or bidding on a new project, there is a lot of dead money out there with no revenue coming in. A way to fix this is to have the VFX studio maintain a much smaller staff that consists strictly of managers and directors. You then contract work out and create a bidding process for contractors to come in and work on specific projects while reducing your overhead cost considerably.Another way VFX studios have dead money is the overages on current projects. As expressed in Life After Pi, VFX studios have to complete several revisions which takes them beyond the time and material budget in the fixed bid. So the tab for all of this extra time spent on revisions is being picked up by the VFX Studio. So, the real question is why are VFX studios having to process so many revisions in the first place?Image of Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor from theonering.net3. Lack of Visionary LeadershipAs a filmmaker and visual effects artist, I agree with Life After Pi‘s assertion about a lack of visionary leadership. More times than not, I hear VFX supervisors talk about the lack of face time with the director. It’s hard to complete anything on time when there really isn’t any one-on-one time with the director. The smart move for directors would be to bring the core VFX team in during pre-production and keep a running dialogue going throughout production. By treating the VFX team as an invested collaborator, you reduce revisions by a large margin.Kristy Barkan made a great observation in her SIGGRAPH article when she quoted the film saying:Studios would not permit a director to shoot for a week or two on set, and then say — ‘Eh, tear down this set and build a new set.’A great example of this type of collaborative process is the relationship between Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop. Jackson has always been good about getting Richard and his team involved early in the process. This is an approach that George Lucas had with ILM and the Star Wars franchise.4. Who Exactly Have We Lost?As of 2015, each one of the fifty highest grossing films have used some form of visual effects. Nineteen of the top fifty earned more than one billion dollars. Surprisingly, several of the studios that worked on many of these projects are no more. In fact, betwen 2003 to 2013, twenty-one VFX studios either declared bankruptcy, restructured, or closed their doors for good. This list includes Rhythm and Hues, Digital Domain, and Modus.In the 1970s and 80s, hot on the heels of successful VFX-heavy films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars, there were four VFX powerhouses: Apogee, Boss Films, ILM, and Dream Quest Images. Today, only ILM still exists. At present, VFX companies are relocating due to increased tax incentives outside of Hollywood. Because of this, artists are having to uproot their families and move to new cities regularly.Bryant Frazer stated in an article for StudioDaily that the current landscape is, “leaving many U.S. VFX artists out of work, in transit to new Canadian offices, or leaving the industry entirely.” Scroll down to the bottom of this Creative Cow article by Phil Feiner for an eye-opening list of VFX houses that have shuttered since 2002.5. How to Stop the BleedingMany industry insiders have different opinions on how to curtail the financial issues facing VFX Studios. Many have called for Unions or a Trade Organization to help level the playing field, but each one of these come with their own set of obstacles – and in the case of the Trade Organization, fold because of lack of funding.The first right step might be adopting a time and materials model over the problematic fixed bid method, as suggested by Mike Seymour in his article on FXGuide. The time and material model is often used in other professional industries like construction, architecture, and design. The model is easily explained: a buyer pays a contractor based on work performed. All time and material spent constructing said work is covered by the buyer.Magnopus is one such VFX studio that is utilizing this type of business model. Heading up this venture are Rodrigo Teixeira and Alex Henning whose credits include Shutter Island, The Amazing Spiderman, and Star Trek Into Darkness, among others. Seymour weighs in on Magnopus’s chances of success:The team have worked both sides of the fence, supervisor and supplier, they know all the top studio production executives and many extremely influential directors. In other words, if anyone can pull it off these guys can.Given the fact the MAGNOPUS has already had success working on projects using this model, a solution to the financial pitfalls of the VFX industry may finally be at hand. Are you working in the VFX Industry? Do you have thoughts on what might turn things around?Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.last_img read more

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Lighting A Scene Solely With Practicals

first_imgDo you know other practical lighting tips? Let us know in the comments. Looking to save money on your next project? Learn how to light a scene solely with practical lights for a dramatic (and affordable) look.A practical light is an actual working light that appears in a scene. This can be a household lamp, a TV, candles, Christmas lights, or any number of other light sources, and in this guide, we will look at lighting an interior scene solely with practical lights — which will cost you no more than $30. This approach is perfect if you’re in a pinch and can’t access your lighting setup or if you are part of a project improvising scenes as you go.Before we jump fully into the tutorial, let’s have a look at a scene. The scene doesn’t rely only on household practicals, but they feature prominently. I want to emphasize the importance of three-dimensional space when solely using practical lighting because, as I said, they’re not ideal for fully illuminating an actor like a Fresnel kit or something similar.However, when you can separate layers of the composition with practical lighting, it can create a much more interesting dynamic. At the top of the previous image, we see flat space — there is essentially just one surface plane. The shot wasn’t coming together, but we didn’t have the space to bring the sofa forward make it work in this room. Therefore, we moved this shot into the kitchen, as you can see in the bottom image, where we created compositional depth along the z-axis. The result is much more aesthetically pleasing, and the household lights work great.This is crucial when you’re lighting solely with practicals. Give the image breathing room, and your final lighting setup will improve. In the perfect circumstance with proper lights, we would aim for something like the following:We have a 1×1 softbox behind us, a very small Fresnel just off to the side, and a practical in the background. This is how you can make the best use of a practical light. If we wanted to enhance the mood, we could remove the softbox light, and just keep the Fresnel as our key.The difference between the Fresnel and household lamp as our key light is that because it’s a hard light, the Fresnel creates a much more defined texture, which I think works better than the soft light from the lamp. We could, in theory, remove the lamp shade and create a hard light, but we would have no way to control the intensity without proper film tools, and this is a tutorial on how to light without them.I’m going to use just three household lamps. If you have a directional lamp, that can helps direct light to a particular area.Since practical lighting isn’t going to give you the full range of illumination that any working film light would give you, you want to work within your limitations. This is such an important tip. Work with shadows, don’t try to light the entire scene, and don’t turn on the room’s main lights. You want to remove as much light as possible instead of adding to it. There’s only going to be so much leeway with a practical light until the image turns nasty and starts to look like a home video.So, we’re going to work with a low-key, chiaroscuro lighting setup. We have a lamp to the left of the subject, which will be our key.Then, we will position our second practical lamp in the background for some background lighting. The cut-outs in the lampshade also lend texture to the wall.Then, we will use a non-diffused lamp to create a rim light, which will look as if it’s coming from the background practical. This separates our actor from the background.To see the final result, check out the video tutorial above.The key points to remember when lighting a scene solely with practical lamps.Work with your limitations, and don’t try to overextend.Move away from flat space to make your image more aesthetically pleasing.Work in a low-key setup — don’t try to illuminate the entire set with practicals.Try to work with practicals that share a similar color temperature.last_img read more

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How To Create a Blinking Eye Transition in After Effects

first_imgSome projects leave more room for creativity than others. If you’re looking for some out-of-the-box elements, check out this blinking eye transition.Some media, like music videos, aren’t constrained by the usual narrative filmmaking conventions, which allows filmmakers to create something unique that would be out of place in a narrative production. If you’re working in an experimental or free-form medium, here’s a little something to make your project unique: a blinking eye transition.The effect is simple enough. It primarily involves masking out the eye area, subtracting the mask, and then placing the footage behind the eye layer. Basic After Effects. However, upon further inspection, there are a few elements of the transition that may be a small challenge. What happens to the eyelashes mid-blink, as they would be a nightmare to mask around? How exactly do you time the blink? Let’s have a look.The MethodFirst, bring the footage of the blinking eye into After Effects and create a new composition.With the footage on the timeline, find the blink that works best for your transition, and trim the footage to start just before the blink, and then end when the eye is fully closed. We only want to use one blink in the composition. By using just the one blink, we can control the transition, so we can cut in the specific place (more on that later). Moreover, masking more than one blink would be a tremendous amount of work.With the perfect blink selected, find the spot in the timeline when the eye is fully open, and create a mask. Then change the type to subtract.We now need to animate the mask path, which we can do by clicking the keyframe stopwatch for the mask path.This is where I initially expected to stumble. How was I supposed to mask around the eyelashes as the eyelid closes? Well, you don’t. While we, as editors, will be watching the eyelashes enter the path of the mask frame by frame, the audience won’t see it because the transition will be over in a blink of an eye — quite literally. Since I captured my footage at 24fps, the eyelashes are caught up in motion blur, so they’re not very visible anyway.So, when you adjust the mask path as the eye closes, don’t worry about masking over eyelashes. Your primary goal is to make sure all of the sclera (white area) and the iris gets masked. To slightly remove the harshness of the mask, we’re going to introduce a soft feather of just 2px.For the eagle-eyed readers, you may have noticed in the second picture that the mask expansion stopwatch was also active. This was to remove the mask when the eyelid closes completely.It’s also a good idea to keep the eye quite dark and out of focus. This will help keep the focus of the composition on the scenes behind the eyelid, rather than the eye itself. To fix this, we’re going to do three things: decrease exposure, add a vignette, and add a gaussian blur. Since they are creative factors, the exact settings will depend on the darkness of your eye footage. I’m also going to increase the scale, so the eye itself takes up less of the composition.Now, the actual transitioning from scene to scene.The reason why we are only going to use one blink is that we need to be able to control when we want to cut to a different scene. If we allow the eye layer to freeze-frame before blinking again, we can allow our scene to unfold for a few seconds, and then play the blink footage again, but in reverse. This creates a transition that’s entirely under your control, rather than working according to the restrictions of the pre-recorded eye.This is how it looks on my timeline.Finished result: As I said in the introduction, you will mostly find this kind of transition in experimental or free-form work. Perhaps in a dream sequence or in a scene wherein somebody gets hypnotized. When you have the chance to work outside of the box, take advantage of it. Show your audience something they’re not used to.last_img read more

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You Can Pull Off These 4 Amazing Camera Shots with Zero Gear

first_imgShots feeling a bit limited? Check out these five techniques to improve your cinematography using only a camera and your brain.One of the biggest mistakes many beginning filmmakers make is limiting their shots because they don’t own enough gear.  The fact of the matter is that there are many dynamic shots you can pull off using only your camera. In the video below, I share my five favorites and how to get the best results out of them.The Slow RotationThis is one of my favorite handheld camera moves. The key is to slowly push your camera toward your subject while simultaneously rotating the body into a Dutch angle. To pull this off this successfully, your rotation must be equivalent to your forward movement. For example, if you move forward (or backward) quickly, your rotation should be at the same speed.The Human SliderKeep your camera at hip level, then slowly move it from one side of your body to the other as if you’re using an invisible slider. The key is to slide your hands and your arms in one fluid movement. Be as robotic as possible.The Walk InThis trick is very easy, but it can bring a lot of additional drama to your scene. Simply walk toward your subject while simultaneously tightening your frame and scaling in your subject. The key is to keep whatever you’re filming in focus and in the same spot in your image.The Slow Push ForwardThis is a hybrid between the “Walk-In” and the “Human Slider” shots. Put one foot ahead of the other as if you’re about to take a step forward. Then, while keeping your camera in the centre of your body, step into your leading foot. To continue the motion, slowly push your camera away from your chest.To successfully pull off this shot, pretend you’re in slow-motion. Every shot should be as smooth as possible, so by slowing down your body’s movement, you’re creating a smoother image.Looking for more video tutorials on filmmaking? Check out these articles.Homemade VFX: Create and Film a DIY Meteor Strike5 Ways to Improve Your Workflow with Client FeedbackLearn How to Enhance Your Film with Ambient LightLearn How to Create 2D Motion Graphics with After Effects3 Ways To Create A Shallow Depth of Fieldlast_img read more

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The Biggest B-Roll Mistakes to Avoid When Shooting on the Run

first_imgCover image by REDPIXEL.PL.For more B-Roll and videography advice, check out some of these resources below.The 5 Tenets of Capturing Good B-Roll for Your DocumentaryQuality vs. Quantity: What Should You Record While Traveling?Tips for Shooting B-Roll for Digital News PackagesHow to Approach People for Interviews or B-Roll ShotsDocumentary Editing Tips for Working with Lots of Footage 4. Flat Backgrounds and CompositionsAnother problem many videographers face when trying to get B-roll on the run is treating the camera as a recording device. While the inner voice is saying, “Oh great, these two people are talking, let me make sure I capture this.” Just “capturing” something isn’t the same as shooting quality B-roll.Shots aren’t meant to just be checked off a list; they’re meant to be artfully constructed and composed. Know where lighting sources are at all times, then use these lights to help paint your subjects. Look for other things in the foreground and background to create a multi-planed composition.Here’s a good article on mastering the layers of composition.5. Sticking to One Depth of FieldDepending on your camera selection, rig setup, and available lighting, you might feel that choosing depth of field is simply a reaction to the environment. However, you really should be treating your DOF as just another tool for shooting creative and beautiful shots.Try mixing shallow and deep depth of field compositions to see which looks right for your project, how it affects the other elements of your shots, and how much they push your camera. 3. Not Giving Style OptionsBy the same token, once you do add some entrance and exit moves to your B-roll shots, consider trying out some different options. I’ve often found it best to do at least three different camera moves for any B-roll shot (as long as the action/subjects aren’t leaving).Try starting with a simple pan move, then maybe a trickier rack focus from foreground to background. Then, if you have time, maybe a more complicated reveal, slide, or dolly across the room. This way, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from in the edit.center_img Here are 5 of the biggest mistakes filmmakers and videographers make when shooting B-roll — and how to avoid them when you’re on the run.It’s sad to admit, but for many of us, B-roll is often an afterthought. Whether you’re shooting documentary content, corporate or commercial video work, or even creative shorts or features, your filmmaking focus will often be on getting the best footage of a main subject or character — and their voice and actions.However, when you get into your edit, you’ll often find yourself wishing that you had better (and probably more) B-roll footage. B-roll not only helps flesh out sections or sequences to make them more dynamic (and better paced), but you can also use it to cover cuts, pauses, or mistakes.1. Not Holding on Shots Long EnoughThe biggest sin in B-roll shooting is to not hold a shot long enough. This happens more often than we’d all like admit, especially when running and gunning. But if you cut a B-roll shot short, you can render it useless, so don’t waste your time.A good B-roll shot should be at least ten to fifteen seconds long for short videos, and around a minute if you’re working on slower-paced shorts or features. Anything less than that, and you’ll find some frustrations in the edit.2. No Entrance or Exit to the ShotWhile not quite as big a sin as not holding a shot long enough, just shooting a plain static is boring. Consider starting your shot either to the left or right (or above or below) the action in question, then pan to reveal what’s going on. Also, consider rack focuses, reveals, slides, dollies, or other camera moves to make your shot more interesting.The following video is a good lesson on the importance of adding camera movements to your shots.last_img read more

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Leaders Don’t Hire Weak People

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now There are a lot of things that a leader can get wrong, but not many can cause as much damage as hiring poorly.New leaders, young and old, sometimes make the mistake of hiring people who they believe to be weaker than themselves. Some leaders are afraid that by hiring someone equally as strong as they are, their personal worth and value will somehow be diminished. Some are afraid that if someone on their team is a star, that person will eventually take their job–or worse, take their boss’s job.These same leaders try to be the “keeper of all knowledge” and “the holder of all relationships.” Knowledge is power; if your team doesn’t how to do anything well enough to do it on their own, you are never uneccesary. If your people never have relationships within the organization, there is no risk of anyone learning just how good they really are, and your position is safe. So thinks the weak leader.A leader’s performance is the sum total of the result of his team. The weaker the team, the poorer the results. By hiring weak people who don’t threaten his power, the weak leader assures that he is the indispensable man. But he also assures that his results are less than they should be, that he creates dependents, that his people are viewed poorly, that he deprives people of meaningful work, and that his team eventually grows to resent him.A strong leader hires people who are as strong or stronger than she is. She finds people with runway to join her team so she can build them up, creating the future generations of leaders. She gives them ever-increasing responsibility and opportunity for growth, helping them to perform at the highest level and giving meaning to their work. She makes sure to praise their work to others, knowing that this recognition will help them now and later. She may have high expectations, and from time to time she might be tough on them, but no one will ever say that she didn’t expect their best work, that they didn’t grow when they worked for her, or that she didn’t care about them.Great leaders hire strong. Weak leaders hire weak.last_img read more

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An Open Letter to Digital Natives

first_imgDear Digital Native,How fortunate that you were born with these all these technologies, technologies that we could have only imagined. The Internet and the technologies you use to reach it and communicate have changed the world like nothing else in a Century or more, and we are just getting started.Let’s outline a few responsibilities you have as a condition of being born in this time, and let’s also look at some of the challenges you face.Go Create: You have access now to tools that creators in the past could have only dreamed of. The Beatles didn’t have access to the recording equipment you can buy for a few thousand dollars. Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese didn’t have access to capture video as cheaply or as easily as you do now. Lorne Michaels didn’t have the ability to shoot sketch comedy as easily as you can now. There is nothing stopping you from creating. There is nothing stopping you from expressing yourself in whatever way works best for you.Market Yourself: No one before you has had greater access to the global marketplace at such a low cost. Literally, you can sell whatever you decide to offer to anyone anywhere on Earth. Because you can so easily communicate with people from around the world, you can offer services to people who live in far away places, creating value for the exact people who need you. To succeed in business, you will need to learn to capture the attention of the people who would benefit from your offering, and you are going to need to learn to sell.Develop Real Human Relationships: You have already spent too much time behind the screen. While you were communicating with people over your gaming platform, like Xbox, we were in the street with our friends from the time the Sun came up until our parents forced us to come inside. For us, there was nothing to do inside. For you, there is nothing to do outside. The difference is that we developed deep human relationships and people skills, and you haven’t developed these skills to the same level. You aren’t as comfortable in your own skin. You don’t look people in the eyes. You aren’t as confident dealing with difficult people. You are going to have to come out from behind the screen and get uncomfortable until you have some chops.Be A Force for Good: You can use the tools that have been here since your birth to do good. You can use them to help people, to build them up, to make a difference. Many of the people that have come before you believe that these tools are a place to spread fear and hate. They believe that the social networks are a place to share their political opinions, not recognizing that they are not making a difference, but that their energies directed in some other way could produce real change. You have a chance to do good. Do it.Create Real Wealth: You are growing up in an age where people have a strong misunderstanding about building a business. There are many, especially in the technology space, who believe that you create a business so investors can fund a project that you will flip for billions of dollars. In your lifetime you are going to more than a few stories where this will be true. But you don’t start a busy to gain investments from venture capital firms or angel investors, and you don’t start a business just to flip it. The real path to wealth is to create a business that serves a customer so well that you can grow that business over time. Build something that you will be proud of, and don’t dabble around the edges.You were given the tools and the opportunity to make a difference. Take this opportunity and do good work.last_img read more

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How Procurement Can Fail Their Company

first_imgA procurement executive recently wrote a post on LinkedIn about how salespeople aren’t good at cold calling.The first half of his post suggests that salespeople use poor opening lines and waste time trying to build rapport, and he’s not wrong. Needless to say, if you are cold calling procurement, you have a lot to learn about selling, about who you want to call, and where you can create value.“Where you create value” bring us to the second half of this procurement executive’s post, and it explains a lot about the disconnect between procurement people and salespeople. This procurement professional suggests that when you call him that you should tell him what you are selling, how you are different from your competitors, and specifically why you think his company would benefit from what you sell.Then he suggests you mail him information and wait for him to need you when he lets an RFP. But he adds two things that he wants you to know: 1). He doesn’t sit around waiting on salespeople to sell him stuff, and 2) He doesn’t share business information with strangers.No Value Created. And None Accepted.One could argue that this procurement person isn’t creating enough value for his company. By refusing to talk to salespeople when he isn’t buying something, he is intentionally cutting himself from new ideas, learning about what other companies are doing to improve their businesses, exploring new products and services, getting to know potential suppliers who might serve him better at a level that generates trust, or proactively working to improve his company.No one knows everything they need to know. No one has a monopoly on good ideas.Ideas Come From Everywhere. Even Outside.Refusing to take calls or meet with salespeople is a myopic view for someone in a leadership role. It’s a mistake for procurement people not to meet with salespeople and get to know the people and the companies they are hiring are well enough to make a decision that’s more than the result of canned responses to boilerplate questions and a price quote (speaking of scripts).The more strategic the decision, the more salespeople you should meet. And the best of the salespeople you meet will do more than sell you a product; they’ll help you shape your strategy.last_img read more

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You Need to Execute What You Already Know

first_imgIt is rare that I use my Sunday newsletter as a blog post, but this idea is so important, I don’t want you to miss it if you aren’t subscribed.Every week I receive emails, direct messages, and LinkedIn messages from salespeople who ask me questions. They want to know what book they should read to next, the book that is going to finally give them the one thing they need to produce breakthrough results. They ask me to tell them what the most important stage of the sales process is, and how they can get better at that one thing. Sometimes they ask even more specific questions about what the three most important discovery questions might be.They’re searching for the single answer that will generate better results as if there is a single book, a most important stage of the sales process, or a set of three perfect questions that cover discovery in all situations, all industries, and universally applicable to all prospective clients anywhere. These things are situational, and there isn’t a single answer.Because there is so much noise on the social channels and so very little signal, there is a growing tendency to believe that the next piece of information is going to be better and more important than the last, that what is missing is another idea, another concept, or another approach.For most people, better results in sales (and almost anything else, as I have yet to find an exception) is execution. But execution isn’t sexy. It doesn’t allow you to believe that there is an easier way to produce the result that you want. Nor does execution suggest that there is some piece of missing information that would solve your problem, allowing you to produce the result you want with less effort, in less time, and with greater ease.Execution doesn’t set up a straw man as a way to seduce you into believing that the reason you struggle to produce the results you want is because the most effective way to do what is necessary is old, outdated, and has been replaced by new methods (most likely, technology). That type of noise reminds me of the time management programs that promise to help you find 8 more hours in your week, somehow providing you with 176 while the rest of us make do with 168.What if you don’t need new information? What if there isn’t one part of the sales process that is more important than the others and requires more of your attention? What if you know everything you need to know and the real gap between your goals and your current performance is that you are simply not executing what you know you need to do and are instead allowing yourself to be seduced by promises that it could be easier for you?Your 2018 results are going to be made up of how well you execute against what you believe to be most important. If you need more information, go get it. But if you aren’t executing what you already know you need to do, don’t do anything before you execute.Happy New Year! One week in the books already. 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 Nowlast_img read more

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Rahul Gandhi to launch Congress campaign in Gujarat riding a bullock cart

first_imgCongress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is set to kick off his party’s campaign in Gujarat, riding a bullock cart while embarking on three-day yatra beginning with offering prayers at Dwarkadhish Temple.The local authorities declined permission to hold the road show in an open jeep in this historical town, but that did not deter him from choosing to ride a traditional bullock cart in a village and interacting with farmers in this OBC-dominated Dwarka district.Mr. Gandhi will have brief halts for interactions and meetings with farmers, fishermen, and party workers around a dozen places during the day, covering two districts, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar, with seven assembly segments. In Dwarka, he will be given a traditional welcome by women dressed in local traditional attire of Ahir and Rabari pastoral communities.“He will ride a bullock cart to enter the village and then hold an interaction in traditional sitting arrangements. There will be around 1200 people, mostly villagers and a few others,” said Pala Ambalia, a Congress leader in Hanjrapar village on Khambhalia Dwarka highway.Starting with prayers at the temple, Mr. Gandhi will end his day with interactions with small businessmen and traders in Jamnagar, a hub of small factories of brass parts employing thousands of people, but recently hit hard by the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST).After Jamnagar, he will move to the Patidar belt Dhrol, Tankara and Rajkot where he will meet local businessmen, traders and small industrialists in the city, a hub of small and medium engineering units, auto parts manufacturers and agro industry products.last_img read more

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New British Deputy High Commissioner takes charge

first_imgCrispon Simon assumed charge as the new British Deputy High Commissioner for the Western Region on Thursday. He succeeds Kumar Iyer and has been appointed Director General for Trade, Economics and Commercial Diplomacy with overall responsibility for the U.K.-India economic and commercial relationship. Mr. Simon will be responsible for diplomatic engagement in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa. His focus will be on delivering a strong trade and investment relationship across India and South Asia.Mr. Simon said, “I am delighted with my appointment and the prospect of living in India. I’m eager to utilise my experience in the corporate world and with the British government’s Trade Department, to take the India-U.K. business relationship to the highest possible level. “It is an exciting time to live and work in India: with its boundless energy, talent and potential. My wife and I are eager to build new friendships, travel extensively, and absorb the rich Indian culture and heritage.”He is married to Georgina Brown, renowned writer and theatre critic.last_img read more

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Imphal newspapers run blank editorials in support of ‘Poknapham’

first_imgProminent Imphal-based newspapers, including the daily that was burned down by alleged members of BJP’s youth wing, left their editorial columns blank on Monday in protest.Copies of vernacular newspaper Poknapham were set on fire by unidentified miscreants in front of the BJP’s party office at Nityapat Chuthek here on Saturday over allegedly disparaging content against the Prime Minister.“The editorial column has been left blank today in protest against burning of an Imphal-based newspaper by BJP’s youth wing,” the editor of Sangai Express said.Widespread condemnationThe president of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, W. Shyamjai, condemning Saturday’s incident, told reporters that “the act of burning the paper amounts to promulgation of mob culture”.“If the parties involved are unable to settle the matter at the level of AMWJU, they can approach the court,” he said.The BJP Manipur Pradesh Yuva Morcha did not discuss the matter with the editors and the publishers of Poknapham, Mr. Shyamjai added.‘Right forum’Echoing similar sentiments, president A. Mobi of Editors’ Guild Manipur said the members of the political party should have approached the right forum instead of burning editions of the vernacular.A BJP party functionary said the “Vox Populi” column in Saturday’s edition of Poknapham earned the wrath of his party members. “The content which appeared in the ‘Vox Populi’ column of the daily is being considered derogatory against the Prime Minister,” he said.Case headed for PCI?The functionary, however, did not confirm if the copies of Poknapham were burned by his party members. “The case might be taken to the Press Council of India,” he added.last_img read more

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Odisha Braille press fails students

first_imgDue to lack of manpower, the only Braille press of Odisha situated in Berhampur has not been able to print textbooks for class VIII students since 2016. As a result, visually impaired students in different schools have suffered. Principal of the ‘Red Cross School for the Blind’ in Berhampur, Nabin Chandra Satpathy said their students had to toil more because Braille books were not available.Textbooks for class VIII had been changed from 2016-17. “We could manage to get the English textbooks typed in Braille by a social organisation in Bhubaneswar. But for other textbooks that are in Odia, students were asked to write them down in Braille. Teachers had to put in extra effort to make students understand the changes in course,” said Mr. Satpathy.The situation is the same in more than 60 such schools in Odisha.last_img read more

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Trinamool announces names of candidates for by-polls

first_imgRuling Trinamool Congress on Friday announced the names of candidates for the upcoming by-polls for the Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency and Noapara assembly seat. The party nominated Sajda Ahmed for Uluberia. Sajda is wife of former TMC MP from Uluberia Sultan Ahmed whose death earlier this year has necessitated the election, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said. In Noapara assembly constituency, TMC fielded Sunil Singh, he said. The seat fell vacant following the death of Congress MLA Madhusudan Ghose a few months back. The by-polls would be held on January 29 and counting of votes will take place on February 1.last_img

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March in Patiala on January 6 to demand arrest of gang-rape accused

first_imgAccusing Punjab police of a sluggish approach towards arresting the accused in the alleged gang-rape case of a 13-year-old Dalit girl, the National Scheduled Castes Alliance, an NGO, has decided to organise a march in Patiala on January 6. Meanwhile, a special investigating team has been set up to investigate the case.NSCA president Paramjit Kainth said the incident took place in SAS Nagar district on July 3, 2016, but the three accused in the case are yet to be arrested. The police say they are “absconding” as of now.‘Political pressure’ “This march is to raise our voice against the injustice meted out to the 13-year-old gang-rape victim and her family because of political pressure on the police to shield the culprits,” claimed Mr. Kainth, adding, “In a sensitive issue such as this, the government is maintaining a silence. We are coordinating our efforts for justice to prevail in this case.”On Thursday, the Inspector General of Police (Patiala Zone) constituted a special investigation team under Kanwaldeep Kaur, Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Patiala. The three-member all-woman team has been asked to investigate the case thoroughly and present its report as soon as possible.No arrest“The girl belongs to the Scheduled Caste community and hence no organisation or government official has been taking the issue seriously,” alleged Mr. Kainth. He said the NSCA had met the IGP (Patiala Zone) in December to impress upon him the fact that the police had not charged the accused under Section 376 D of the IPC (gang rape) and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. “Later these sections were added, but the accused are yet to be arrested,” he said.last_img read more

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Probationary IFoS officers assaulted

first_imgFour probationary officers of the Indian Forest Service (IFoS) were allegedly attacked by a group of goons. Former lawmaker Mahipatsinh Jadeja was allegedly behind the attack, which took place near the Ribda village in the Rajkot district in Gujarat. A group of 47 probationers from the 2017 batch was returning to Ahmedabad from the Gir National Park in Junagadh to catch their flight to Delhi on Monday, after completing a 23-day study tour. The probationary officers allege the local police tried to dissuade them from lodging an FIR (First Information Report) naming the former legislator. The officers received serious injuries following an altercation at a fuel station on the highway.Mr. Jadeja operates a fuel station and a restaurant at Ribda on the highway. He faces several criminal cases. His son, Anirudhsinh Jadeja, is serving a life imprisonment sentence after he was convicted for murdering a sitting MLA in Gondal. “I am in shock. It was totally unexpected. How can this kind of goondagardi (hooliganism) happen? The culprits should be brought to book,” Vipin Kumar Singh, who was hit with a rod and a stick laden with metal rings, told The Hindu.last_img read more

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Respond positively to Imran Khan’s offer of friendship, Mehbooba tells Centre

first_imgFormer Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday asked the Central government to respond positively to the friendship offer made by Pakistan Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan.“Pakistan is getting a new government, a new prime minister. He [Mr. Khan] has made an offer of friendship. I want to appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to respond to the offer positively,” she said.Ms. Mufti congratulated Mr. Khan on his victory in the Pakistan elections.Alliance with BJP like ‘drinking cup of poison’Claiming to have faced “immense pressure” during the two years of her alliance with the BJP, she said, “It [alliance with the BJP] was like drinking a cup of poison. I did not compromise. As many times I met the Prime Minister, I asked him to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat. I asked the Centre to release Hurriyat leaders from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody so that peace will prevail in Kashmir.”Ms. Mufti was addressing the party’s foundation day in Srinagar. It was her first public appearance since the BJP pulled out of the alliance in June.Referring to the death of civilians in a street agitation in 2016, she said she felt the pain of the pellet victims.She said Article 35-A, which is up for a hearing before the Supreme Court in August, “is a challenge for all Kashmiri political parties”.“All the parties should set aside differences and defend the Article the way we did in the past two years,” she added.last_img read more

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