Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shooting and Photos

I did a freelance job Thursday and Friday for a Canadian production company. I don't think they want me to share a lot of details but it's a demo for a reality show that was one of the more unreal experiences I've had in video production.

Granted, my background is news so I'm not accustomed to staging events for the sake of the show much beyond asking people to interrupt an action so that we can re-set the camera in a different place so we can edit the shots together in a sequence.

That wasn't the case here. I know that there's precious little that's real about reality TV shows but I felt bad for the subject because she's not going to come off in a way that even remotely resembles how she really lives. And I'm not sure she'll be flattered by the portrayal, though to a lot of people there's no such thing as a bad appearance on television. Being seen is flattery enough.

They paid at the end of the second day of shooting and I got to work with a Sony HVR-Z1U camera and came away impressed.** Good picture, easy to use, not too heavy but enough heft to hold reasonably steady and the image stabilization worked well. Overall it was a good experience and proof that among all the spam and scams there are legitimate paying jobs to be found on craigslist.

Today I took another Sony camera, my A100 DSLR to a local BMX racing track and shot a few frames. The photo group I shoot with plans to go there next Saturday and the folks at the track say they'll outfit us with passes so we can go into the infield to get a greater variety of perspectives.

**Yes, I was actually hired as a camera operator and it surprised the people on site that videography comprises very little of my paying work. But they weren't disappointed. "The footage looked great," the field producer told me on our second day. They had reviewed the first day's tapes and sent some of the video back to their bosses in Toronto before our second day of shooting.

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