March 22, 2016

I’ve come to realize I haven’t been posting anything about life lately, just anamorphics and and technical things. Time to fix that!

Langara has gotten less worrying than it was in the beginning and we’re heading towards the end of the first semester. – I wrote this sentence a week and a half ago and I couldn’t have been more wrong. These last few days have been an overload of essays and research and editing at full speed. Anyway, it’s the end of my first semester and I’m not taking any classes during the summer. It’s time to hunt for work and shoot lots an lots of amazing footage. I’m not yet 100% sure of how I’m going to achieve that, but it will happen.

The end of Winter and start of Spring were incredibly (and unpleasantly) rainy. It rained almost every day. When a day started out sunny and warm, I decided to take the bike outside. At my furthest point away from home, rain would start and soak me to my soul. Even waterproof clothes weren’t enough and I had to wash my waterproof shoes (see the contradiction there?) at least two times and dry them on the heating system for a minimum of two times per week. Truly annoying stuff.

On the less annoying side, I replaced the chainring on the bike, making it harder to ride. It actually just made it better, since the original chainring already felt too light for flat stretches of road. I struggle a little more while going uphill, but I’m much faster going down and straight. This is also good because it encourages me to explore different paths, trying as hard as possible to avoid steep hills. It’s an unusual way to explore the neighborhood, I admit, but it’s very efficient, and riding is so much fun that I don’t even bother with the rain while it pours down my face. The post-biking stage is when the complaining starts.

Enough of rain and back to Langara: we’re shooting some short films in one of my classes. I didn’t expect this at all when I enrolled and I’ve been having a blast with it. Being on set is an amazing feeling that I had been away for too long. We shoot a short per week, in a 3-hour interval, and every week I realize something I needed and forgot. This led me to buy lots of tape, clothespins, a foldable knife and a decent box-cutter, a voltmeter, zip ties, spare lamps, pins to threads adapters, rope, an extra dimmer and a couple adapters for connecting several lamps to one outlet. Thankfully none of these items costed more than $5. Now I have a box in my closet full of electricity and gaffer stuff, something I promised myself I’d never have back in Brazil (but that I also had, even in greater volume).

Being on set so constantly switched back on my cinematographer side and I’ve been studying cameras, lenses and stabilizers a lot more recently. I’m putting together all the stuff I need to sell, organizing what I’m selling here and what I’m keeping to sell back home. The goal is to reduce the overall gear count. Later on I’ll start planning about optics and start considering upgrading my lens kit (which hasn’t changed much over the last few years and it’s not that amazing).

I’ve also been shooting many things for YouTube and bringing up the complexity level, so they take longer to be completely done. This ties into another thing I was observing recently, which is an unhealthy habit of cramming too many challenges at the same time into one single project and having nightmares both in pre and post-production because I’m still learning how to sort out either the files created in the process or a different software package I decided to experiment with, or something weirder. Realizing this has allowed to drop some of the major issues that came up due to unnecessary experiments. It’s a moment of clarity that happens in which I think “which one of these two clashing things is more important for this project? Is it the lighting or a shady camera setting? Is it the new software and processing or the camera and resolution?

ALSO, we got a cat! His name is Finnegan and his the cutest, sweetest and craziest cat ever. At first he was scared of everything and everyone, but now he’s quite familiar with us and the house. I think he’ll start appearing in some of my test videos soon enough so you get to meet him in motion, not just in pictures like this one.

It was weird writing this post. Deal with it.