On-Set On Time: The importance of being early to your gigs

Set Life, Gumbo, early morning coffee

It’s always a good idea to be as early as possible to all of your gigs. Living in NYC has forced me to be early because you never know what sort of transportation malfunction can occur. I live in Brooklyn and the commute is typically a 45-minute train ride into the city. However, you can count on something always going wrong in NYC. After all, the governor just announced a state of emergency for the subway system. I’ve had my share of situations being stuck underground, and when it involves impressing a new client or just being considered as reliable, it’s of the utmost importance to be to set on time.

This is why I like to be on-set an hour before call time. An hour might be overkill, but I would much rather be too early than just-in-time. The anxiety of commuting to my gigs creates a lot of stress for me, stresses that I don’t need in this already stressful career. If I can limit that stress in any way I will, and being early is a simple way to reduce this anxiety.

Besides, being early is sort of fun. It gives you the opportunity to scope out the location, get a coffee and think about the coming shoot. It also helps in the event that you made a typo on google maps and ended up somewhere completely wrong. If you know you might have an issue, I would even recommend taking a UBER or other similar transportation options. I personally have a car and I love to drive it. But when I have gigs in Manhattan, it’s better just to take the train. I’ve taken an UBER before when I was running late and sometimes it takes about the same amount of time than just taking the train. So what was the lesson I learned? I learned to be to set early every time.

Being early is something you can easily do and can solve a lot of issues before they turn into real problems. It helps you look professional and focused and can sometimes mean being hired again on a job or not.

The adventure continues! I’ve been hired to work on a new show for the DIY Network called Big Beach Builds. This show takes place in the beautiful state of Delaware, primarily around Bethany Beach.

This new production has given me the opportunity to immerse myself with new production gear. I get to work with Canon’s C300 and lenses. I have grown to appreciate Canon, I’ve been a devout Sony fan since day 1. It’s my understanding that more DP’s and productions use Canon glass. Although they are far more delicate than the rugged Sony, Canon cameras and lenses give the video images such a unique cinematic look. I have also gotten to learn time lapse photography. With the help of the DP, I have learned how to properly create a moving time-lapse.

A moving time lapse is properly used by framing properly and creating a blurred motion to the focus. I learned that in order to do this effectively, one must use long shutter speeds. The appropriate speeds to use should be around ⅓ and 3 seconds. By creating these long exposures the image will be over exposed if shot in the daytime. You will need to add ND filters to compensate for the long exposures. This is a unique look and cannot be easily duplicated if you just set up a GoPro or a stills camera on auto and forget it. You must be able to add ND filters and adjust the shutter speed to create this look. A motion blur gives it a unique and professional look to your time-lapses.

I’m excited to work on the beach for a whole summer. I’ve always loved the beach and wanted to spend a summer in a beach town and this show gave me that opportunity. The days are long and hot. Working long hours in the elements at a construction site is no easy task. I have an ever growing appreciation for all of the people working to build these beautiful homes.

Camera Decisions Sony A7S Vs. Panasonic GH4

I spent a long time debating on which camera I should buy. There were a lot of factors involved and I ended up going with the GH4 at the time for my needs. Everyone has different needs when it comes to technology etc, and I chose the GH4 mainly because of affordability. The A7S is a great camera and I would have made the plunge and purchased it if it wasn’t so damn expensive. Mainly due to the low light sensitivity the A7S wins, but for a more of a video perspective, the GH4 is king. I will primarily be using the GH4 for video projects so it’s the right choice for my needs.

Final Episodes for Lake Life

 

Filming the guys at an awesome build

Filming the guys at an awesome build

I have never been to Alabama. I didn’t realize how majestic and wonderful it really is down here. They weren’t kidding when they said “Sweet home Alabama”. I had a blast being 3rd Camera, Media Managing, and Gear Managing for the shoot. Although there were some hiccups in the production (there always is) we managed to pull off a successful shoot. I came away with some spectacular memories. I hope I can come back soon to Gulf Shores Alabama

 

 

New TV Series Filmed in Central Illinois (Lake Life)

Lake LifeFor the past summer I’ve been working on a build show called Lake Life. It’s been a blast getting to know the Hermans and their respective families. I had an amazing time Shooting and being Assistant Camera with a solid crew! Come December we will be shooting the last episodes in Gulf Shores Alabama where the Hermans plan to work and play at the Beach. You can catch me in the News working on a floating putting green.

 

First PA Gig: Culinary Beats

I was part of an amazing production for Citi Cards program called “Culinary Beats”.
Although I was just PA’ing for this show, I did learn a lot from the production.
Everyone met and that were a part of the production were all super friendly.
I had a blast working on set and as you can see the final product came out wonderful.