Archive for Television

Blu-Ray/HD

In 2006, my Dad and I purchased an HD DVD player. For reasons unknown I felt that that was the better decision at the time. But we bit the bullet on that investment as Blu-Ray won the HD media player battle. Then in 2009 I bought a Playstation 3. I could have gone with an X-Box 360, but I liked that the PS3 had the ability to play Blu-Rays.

Whenever I went into Best Buy I would stop at an endcap display that contained a Sony Bravia TV hooked up to a Blu-Ray player. It was 1080p HDTV with 120 HZ TruMotion capability. Essentially it blurs and smooths motion on the TV. So I eventually bought an LG HDTV with the same features. The new TV and the PS3/Blu-Ray went together splendidly. The picture was so sharp, and the motion was so smooth. I was in awe. Thats when the collection process began.

My first Blu-Ray I purchased was Step Brothers. I used to be intimidated by the higher cost of Blu-Rays and the fact they only came with Blu-Ray discs. But progressively the prices have declined and are coming in Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital Copy combo packs for a little over $20. Plus with my taste in movies usually being big, epic, sweeping blockbusters with beautiful cinematography, I figured it’d be worth the money.

Lately I’ve been on a big Blu-Ray kick. Mainly because I’ve started to get back into movies, having finished marathons of several of my favorite TV Shows. I’ve started to replace some of my favorite movies such as Apollo 13, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Boondock Saints, Kingdom of Heaven, the Transformers trilogy, Avatark etc. I’ve also started purchasing Blu-Ray packs. I bought the 9-disc Star Wars Blu-Ray trilogy, The Pacific, and most recently 15-disc The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended edition. The Blu-Rays I’m looking forward to getting are The Five Year Engagement, Titanic, and possibly the Hunger Games.

TV Shows

I have always been an avid movie fan. However, when I got to college, I realized I had a lot more free time. Coincidentally, my roommate had all the seasons of Scrubs on DVD. I had seen a few random re-run episodes  before, so I decided to give it a shot and start from the beginning. I was now hooked on TV shows.

I was so busy in high school all year, playing four sports, i never had a chance regularly to keep up with any shows. And this was before TV shows and movies were readily available online (at least that I knew of). I also watched a lot of HBO, and Starz, as well as the History and Discovery Channels. My freshman and sophomore years at Drake, I really felt a shift in my desire to watch TV shows over movies.

I think that I started to enjoy TV shows because you get to spend more than 2 hours in the characters world. In some cases I feel that certain shows, especially dramas are like long movies because of their high production value. And the episodes are either 22, or 43 minutes long, which make it more convenient when you’re constantly coming and going in between classes and football practice, etc.

I have grown to like many different types of TV shows. I’ve listed a few below.

Cable Shows/Reality

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,

Network Comedies/Sitcoms

Happy Endings, Scrubs

Network Dramas

The Unit, J.A.G., One Tree Hill, 24, LOST

Cable Comedies

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Premium Cable

Generation Kill, Homeland, Entourage, Band of Brothers, The Pacific

Cable Shows/Reality/Comedy

Tosh.0, Key & Peele, Sports Center, Conan, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, Rob & Big, Nitro Circus, Reno 911, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, Ridiculousness, Reno 911, Jackass

I’ve had a hard time when it comes to starting new shows. I think it has to do a lot with the characters in the shows I already enjoy. You have to start from scratch with a new show, you have to take chance, and more times than not, they don’t come close the characters you already love. I actually think its Ironic, because when it comes to film and cinema, my first priority isn’t Character development and plot. Its usually to shot composition, effects, and editing. Films usually have higher budgets so they can do more with more, where as TV shows have to more with less by spreading the budget out throughout the whole season, so they focus more on story and character development. They’re on opposite ends of the spectrum so I think its a good balance.

Dream Jobs

I have many passions, and have a diverse set of skills when it comes to video production. I’d like to share with you several potential dream jobs i’d love to have. I have been the Video Coordinator for Drake football team for the past 4 years. I have had an unbelievable experience during my time at Drake. I’ve traveled all over the country filming football games. The access that Drake Football has provided me has been second to none for getting high quality video.

I would very much like to continue doing something similar, but on the professional level. My number one dream job would be to work for NFL Films (or HBO Sports). I was inspired by Hardknocks: Training Camp with the New York. I like football, and I love video production, so the combination of the two would be amazing.

My second dream job would be an MLB broadcast camera operator. I absolutely love baseball, and I love watching it on TV. So again, combining the two would be ideal. Also, to work at a Major League ballpark everyday would be perfect, given my love of sports architecture. I can take my experience working on sports broadcasting crews and apply it in the real world. And I would get to travel a lot, which is also something I’m passionate about. I think that would be a very fun and satisfactory.

Having the opportunity to work in the film industry would be like fulfilling a childhood dream. I feel like I have a cinematic vision, I’ve just lacked the proper tools and equipment (i.e. cameras, cranes, etc), so I’ve had to do the best with what I’ve had. As a professional Director of Photography or Cinematographer, you are responsible for the look and feel of a film. To create the look of a major motion picture film would be another dream job.

I’ve been editing video since I was in middle school, to do it on the professional level would be very fulfilling. When editing, its like putting a puzzle together. As an editor, you have a great influence on the final product of a film or video. I like that kind of pressure. Plus getting your name in the credits would be an incredible feeling. I would be proud to show my friends and family my work on the big screen or on TV. Doing anything in the film industry, or getting the opportunity to work with any of my heros or idols would be a true dream come true.

Michael Bay and Ron Howard’s use of camera cranes has inspired me because those are my favorite kinds of shots. You can start high and wide, and drive the camera all the way into a tight close up. The camera crane is so versatile, you can do almost any kind of shot with it. I’ve tried to build by own, and failed tragically. If I had the opportunity to be a camera crane operator either in the film industry, or television or at least incorporate those kinds of shots into my films would be an experience i’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

Aviation is always something I’ve been interested in. I’ve always loved to fly. When I watched Black Hawk Down, part of me wanted to learn how to fly helicopters. Aerial cinematography is often my favorite parts of films and videos. If I could either be a camera helicopter pilot or to be an aerial cinematographer / camera operator will be a thrill of a lifetime. As long as the camera is moving, I am happy. These are a few of my dream jobs. If I am able to do any of these in my lifetime it would be the ultimate satisfaction.

New Camera

SEARCH FOR NEW CAMERA

The official camera of Chris Hansen Productions for the past 6 years has kicked the bucket. It was a Sony HDR-HC3, which captured video at a very crisp 1080i. It was a useful tool for my video productions over the years. However, as I have learned more about cameras I eventually outgrew the HDR-HC3. As a consumer grade camcorder it posed several challenges when it was being used for more professional purposes.

Sony is known for not outsourcing their accessories to be produced by 3rd party vendors. Because of this, for example, the only external, wireless microphone attachment available for the HDR-HC3 was a Sony Bluetooth wireless microphone for over $200. Another issue I had with the camera was the focus ring, or in this case, the lack of a focus ring, which made manual focus almost impossible. In order to adjust any settings manually, you would have to scroll through the touch screen menus, which tended to be very inconvenient. The easiest way to operate the camera was when everything was set on automatic, which wasn’t appropriate for some settings especially in low light situations. Overall, the camera suited my needs perfectly. However, now as a professional I will require more advanced features and settings from my camera.

I am in search of a low end professional camera, with an adjustable iris, and duo XLR audio inputs (among other features). These are important because two of the most common and most difficult parts of producing quality video is capturing quality light and sound. I shoot a lot of weddings, and no two weddings are the same especially when it comes to this. With a consumer camera with fully automatic settings, you loose a lot of control over what you are capturing.

My search for a new camera has only just began. I’ve been fortunate to be able to use Drake University’s cameras during the past two football seasons. I would love to have cameras of that caliber but they are easily over $5000, which is way out of my price range. The picture of the second camera is similar to the kind my roommate had freshman year. This would be a perfect example of what I’m looking for, however, I don’t remember the exact model number. I am open to suggestions from any media professionals who know their way around a camera. As my search continues, I am open to suggestions from people who have good ideas on what model or brand to look for. Please comment below!

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