Introducing the Camera Crew for IG4

This year marked the 4th time Merc Media sponsored Ignite Guelph, a speaking event similar to TEDTalks where each speaker has 5 minutes to speak about what their passionate about.

And so for this year the camera crew and scope of the video series expanded to a slightly larger-scale production. This meant more cameras and more crew.

Thanks to Joel Mieske and his photography skills, I can introduce you to the team that helped capture the evening for the video series.

Tyler Sloane and Tom Robitaille lent a hand by manning camera angles off-stage while I controlled three cameras (two on tripod, one GoPro remotely via my iPhone).

Thanks to them the videos have the benefit of more angles to cut together which in the long-run makes it easier to edit (more choices to choose from, better angles to use based on the action on stage) and will boost the production value of the video series (more angles used = bigger production). When you cut between 5 solid camera angles, it ultimately makes for a better viewing experience to your audience and shows the extra effort that went into capturing your event.

Check out some behind the scenes shots of the camera crew in action. And check out the links for Ignite Guelph to catch news of the next event when it comes out. Plus news of the video series to see what went down at IG4.

Ignite Guelph Official Site for event details

Ignite Guelph Facebook Page for news and announcements

Follow the excellent eye that is Joel Mieske on twitter

Acoustic jamming with The Vanishers (VIDEO)

One cold, winter night I got a call from my friend Paul. He and his band, The Vanishers, were lined up to play at a place downtown (the eBar is a popular place for live music) and wanted to record an acoustic set quickly before the show. Myself and two other camera operators showed up, armed with our gear and after a handful of minor technical issues (a broken field mixer being one of them, good thing I had my Zoom H4N recorder on hand), we were able to record two quick takes of them performing Mother Goose.

Also to give you an idea as to why I enjoy downtown Guelph so much, we recorded at the back of The Bookshelf (a popular place for...books) and they welcomed us in with a smile and wave as we setup and shot without disturbing any of their business. In fact, I'm pretty sure some of the customers sat in to watch the show.

The Vanishers
The Vanishers

If you ever get the chance to, I highly recommend checking out the band. If you're a fan of throat-punching, country-fried rock 'n roll...well, you're in luck because that's what they play. Follow The Vanishers on their Facebook page and catch their next show.

A Gathering of Gamers in Guelph

The time is rolling over midnight on the eve before Day 1 of what will undoubtedly be a rigorous, sanity-testing production. Hmm, shall I call it a night, get some good rest and wake up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to tackle the day? Or will I blog about it first? Evidently, I chose the latter. But I will keep it brief as each hour of sleep will be invaluable over the next few days.

This feels like the Avengers assembling: Zombie Orpheus has flown many of its cast and crew members (including Scott C. Brown, Christian Doyle and Trinn Miller of Gamers: Hands of Fate, not to mention Ben Dobyns, Matt Vancil, Andy Dopieralski and Tony Becerra) as well as some other familiar faces (Joanna Gaskell, Daniel Johnston, and Vanessa Driveness from Standard Action) into town to work alongside Synndicus Studios (Thomas Gofton, Tom Brown and Aaron Soch, with whom I worked on Mind's Eye: The Series) on two spinoffs in The Gamers universe: Natural One and Humans & Households.1

That was a long collection of names to list off. And I doubt there are many people who would recognize any of those names (unless you happen to be a fan of web series). But it was worth typing each of them out so that one could see the scope of this production. It unites many different groups of actors and crew members under one tent and is funded primarily (and generously) by a devoted fan-base through Kickstarter.

Some of these faces I haven't seen since shooting Gamers: Hands of Fate in Seattle last fall. Some I'm meeting for the first time (I creeped out Daniel Johnston with the line "I've watched you many times." He didn't know I was referring to both the vfx work I did on Standard Action Season 3 that put his face on my monitor for many hours at times as well as the reviews of the show I did for the Limited Release podcast...and it was more fun that I let him believe I was a creeper). But all are a super talented bunch in their own right, so to bear witness to this gathering gives me goosebumps.

Not since The Expendables have I been so excited.

My roles on set will be camera operator (occasional steadicam operator), visual effects supervisor (consulting on shots that I'll be doing visual effects work for later, ensuring that we shoot what I need to do the effect properly) and otherwise assisting with some lighting and cinematography wherever needed.2

Well, time to head off to bed and rest up for tomorrow. It's going to be equally fun as it will be energy draining.

1 To know who any of these people are, you should be listening to my podcast Limited Release. Go subscribe and catch up! I'll wait...

I'm sure at some point somebody will try to ask me to also get them a coffee...key word is try.