Crazy rates, are they taking advantage?

Maybe it’s because I’ve come into the film / video industry later in life rather than straight out of film school like many newcomers but I can’t help but be astounded by the low rates that are offered by some production companies for camera operators and editors.

I’m not talking about short film productions where everybody is doing the work for the love of film and maybe expenses, that’s a whole different story, one of mutual benefit for all and something that I’m more than willing to participate in myself.

No, the positions that amaze me are the ones for commercial organisations that seem to be taking advantage of a film makers love of what they do to employ people at absolutely crazy rates.

Only today I saw an ad for a position filming and editing tech shows for a well known commercial organisation. The ad brags about how they have backing from well know financiers and industry figures and then goes on to mention what they are looking for…

Cameraman / editor with their own broadcast quality camera & equipment, Mac, and Final Cut Studio to work on episodes of a technology programme.

That all sounded quite interesting, but then they announce that the pay for this position is £50 per episode! How is somebody supposed to be able to afford all that gear when they earn £25 a day!

Preparing Final Cut Pro 7 for use with the Sony EX1 / EX3

Due to an almost full system drive on my mac I took the decision to order a larger drive (a 1 TB Corsair black) and reinstall the mac OS along with all of my other applications. It has to be said that although straight forward, this is a very time consuming task and one which makes you realise how many things you’ve had to set up in the past.

This proved to be especially true when it came to making Final Cut play nicely with my EX1 footage. I installed Sony’s XDCam Transfer application, as well as the XDCAM File Browser and the SxS Driver and thought my machine was ready to go. It wasn’t until I tried to import some footage using Final Cut’s ‘Log & Transfer’ that I realised I still had a problem. When trying to browse by SxS library in Log & Transfer I was getting unsupported Media errors.

After a little bit of searching and trying to remember what I did to make it work previously I redescovered the missing component, a plug-in from Sony called ‘XDCAM EX Log and Transfer Plug-in’. It’s possible to import video without this plug-in by using Sony’s XDCAM Transfer application, but I prefer using the built in Transfer app in Final Cut and this little plug-in is needed to make that work.

So, for the next time I forget what to do here’s a quick run down….

  1. Install Final Cut Studio
  2. Update Final Cut to the latest version (6.0.5 at the time of writing this)
  3. Download and Install the SxS Driver
  4. Download and Install Clip Browser
  5. Download and Install XDCAM Transfer (Includes the FAM driver)
  6. Download and Install the Log & Transfer Plugin

Kuda music video – last shoot

We shot the last part of the band video for Kuda on Saturday. We spent most of the day shooting outside this time which was really nice after the last three locations which were all dark indoor locations.

Working with the guys involved was great, considering that only one of the cast was an experienced actor, I was surprised at how convincing the rest of the guys were, I think we might be seeing some career changes in the near future!

The whole experience of being DP on this project was great, director / Producer Peter Naylor is going to be busy editing the video over the next week or so and as soon as the video is complete I’ll be posting it on the site along with a complete write up about the experience. For now though, here’s some grabs from Saturdays Shoot.

kuda3-31kuda3-81 kuda3-41kuda3-51 kuda3-21kuda3-11 kuda3-91

Kuda band video – update

The band video I’m shooting with Peter Naylor for ‘Kuda’ is progressing nicely, we’ve shot at three locations now with the last one coming up on Saturday. Having shot everything in low light so far I’m really looking forward to shooting in the daylight this weekend.


If you’re interested in finding out more about Kuda, they have a page on mySpace.

Here’s a few more footage grabs.

kuda_band_61 kuda_band_51
kuda_band_41 kuda_band_31
kuda_band_21 kuda_band_11

Silent Disco Promo

A Silent Disco is a new and unique concept sweeping the UK that does away with the traditional speaker systems used in nightclubs or festivals and instead issues visitors with wireless headphones that allow the wearer to choose to listen to one of two live DJ ‘s performing at the event.

SilentArena, the UK ‘s premier Silent Disco providers, asked me to shoot a Silent Disco that was held at the University of East Anglia ‘s LCR on the 19th February.

I used my EX1 on a multi-rig pro to allow me to be mobile and mingle with the crowds. Because all of the visitors were wearing headphones I was able to transmit the music from one of the DJ’s to the camera wirelessly as well as use a shotgun mic to record people singing along to the music on a separate channel.

I hired a Sony on camera LED light to give some fill for the dark scenes, because the light is able to be adjusted in brightness it allowed me to get just enough light onto the crowd without making them look out of place in the dark surroundings.

Click here to watch the video