Time To Be Thankful

I realize that Thanksgiving is an inherent American holiday.  It was started by a group of travelers who had made it to a new land and then suffered horribly.  Many–most really–of them died the first year or so they were here.  When they had a colony established, including houses, they were blessed with enough food to keep them alive.

And they were thankful.

Okay, a lot of Americans don’t really remember or care about the origin of Thanksgiving.  And this is a bare minimum summary of it, at best.  But in the words of my fellow Co-Producer, “I believe that this is the time I was meant to be born.  All the technology…I feel right here.  I belong now.”

So I’d like to take this moment–3 days after the American holiday of Thanksgiving–to list some things I’m thankful for in the realm of technology, artistry, and filmmaking.

1.  The continuing evolution of the camcorder, from RED cameras to my Sony FS100, to the Blackmagic Cameras to the DSLR in all its forms.  I am so thankful that we found a way to record motion.  Thank you French guys who worked on the first cameras.  Thank you to every filmmaker and inventor since then.

2.  Every tablet on the market.  I love tablets.  Read more about my obsession with tablets here or here.

3.  Youtube, Vimeo and every single outlet with which I am able to share my work with the rest of the world, and see theirs.  I don’t know about you, but I think that this time period is the best for opening up our world–Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders, Indians, British folk, Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Egyptians, Italians, etc–to other cultures, artists, technology, friendships and new thinking.

4.  Texting.  Yup.

5.  Books.  In every form.  And the access I have to hundreds upon thousands of them.  There was a time when money, gender and social status would’ve kept me from reading like I do.  And technology, whether or not you prefer to read digital books, is preserving books beyond what mere paper could do.  When all the physical books are gone, I will be the last person printing an entire book from my computer.

That’s my top five technological thank yous.  I’m thankful for a lot more stuff, including you.  But ain’t nobody got time to read all that.

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DP…DOP

I have this friend, ya’ll.  He’s only been a friend since maybe August last year.  And even then, we didn’t talk until….November?  We bonded over going to the same Owl City concert.

Here he is:

DSC06856

Why am I writing about this friend?  Well, ya’ll, he’s my DP.  Director of Photography.  He’s taken on the job without complaint and without ceasing.  He’s met with me a dozen times to work pre-production and then filming.  He’s guided, critiqued, encouraged, protected, advised, and made me laugh a lot at myself and other drama.  This is my friend.

mine from filming

We are filmmakers.  It’s not easy to be a filmmaker.  It’s not that hard either, so don’t go feeling sorry for us.  We love what we do and we get to do it, so we’re ahead of most of the planet.

Sometimes it can be a lonely job.  Editing, for example, is me sitting alone in front of my computer for hours.  And hours.  And hours.

Sometimes it can be a stressful job, especially when you’re independent and have no money.  Actors quit the day of or the day before.  Or crew gets tired of working for food and just doesn’t reply to messages anymore.

That’s okay.

Why?  Because I’m blessed with my DP.  And the rest of my crew, who surprise me over and over with their upbeat attitudes and eagerness to help.

THANK YOU.

Now you, reader, go out and find a crew.  Whether you work as an engineer, an interpreter, an artist (you understand the money issue), a dancer, a lawn mower (lonely job too), a plumber, a dentist (yes, even dentists), or an IRS agent, you need a crew.  People to back you when you don’t back yourself.

(DOP is the British way of saying DP.)