Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Playing With Lenses.

I recently did a quick shoot where I tried out a bunch of borrowed Nikon lenses on my 35mm adapter. I used a wide assortment of lenses to portray how they uniquely depict the image. Any of you guys who have a 35mm adapter or are considering investing in one can get a better idea of which lenses give off the image/look you want (distorted image, wide DOF, shallow focus, flattened space, etc.). I personally loved the shallow focus on the 180mm and the 105mm, but I also loved the cool effect the lensbaby created. There's a time and a place for every lens, but here's a rundown of a lot of common lenses one might have to choose from on set.

I've Got the Pug Fever!

I GOT A PUG!!! Anyone who knows me knows I am crazy about pugs! From the collection of stuffed animal pugs, to my pug calender, to my hand sewn pug pillow that my girlfriend made me... It's hard to ignore that I have an obsession.

While visiting New York, my aunt took me to a pet shop, which had an assortment of very cute puppies for sale. Admist all the barking and yapping, I saw the cutest docile pug eyeing me from across the room. I went over to her, and instant chemistry. I played with her for a bit before leaving to head back home. I had no intention of getting a dog, especially not while I was in New York. Something about this dog I could not get out of my head. So for the next 3-4 days I weighed the pros and the cons of finally getting that pug I've always wanted. In the end, the pros outweighed the cons, and long story short, I am now the proud owner of a 5 month old pug puppy. She's the best dog anyone could ever ask for. Friends for life.

Here's a short film I made on the first day I got Coco the pug!

So guess who won the "Wish I Had an Ikan" short film competition?

Ikan, a company that makes external monitors for video cameras, came out with a short film competition entitled "Wish I had an Ikan." The whole point of the competition was to make a short film with this concept of wanting one of these external monitors. Because I had already invested in an Ikan monitor, I knew I would have an advantage over the other contestants. I cranked out not one, but two entries to better my chances. One was a live action action/thriller while the other was a romantic comedy stop-frame. Sure enough, a few days after the contest had closed, I received a phone call from Clint Milby, Ikan's Director of Marketing, notifying me that I had won the contest with the stop-frame that my girlfriend and I had worked on. If that wasn't enough good news, he also told me that my other film had won second place. Considering there were so many great and creative entries I was very excited to say the least. Nothing beats getting a check for three thousand dollars in addition to a lot of cool film toys to play with all for doing something that I love. Thanks again Ikan for creating this amazing opportunity!

If you haven't already done so, check out Ikan's awesome line of camera monitors and accessories I can vouch that these guys do an awesome job when it comes to making great products that aid in the filmmaking process.

1st place: "I-KAN LOVE"

Meet "Cammy" the Camera! He spends his days longing for the company of an Ikan Monitor. One day, Cammy stumbles upon a short film contest in which the winner receives a free Ikan monitor. Cammy embarks upon a mission to make the greatest film ever!

2nd place: "The Ikan Difference"

When shooting HD projects, it is often hard to compose and focus properly, especially when using 35mm adapters. Trusting the resolution of a 1080p image to a small low-res camera LCD is a risky move. The only way to be sure your image is as good as it possibly can be is to use an Ikan monitor.

For this short film, we took the same concept for a film and shot a version with and without an external monitor. Please enjoy or comedic exaggeration of how much an IKAN monitor can affect your final product!

NYC meets my Letus Extreme.

About a month ago, I traveled with my family to the lovely state we call New York. I spent the majority of my time with relatives, but I always had my camera on hand. Wherever we went (Woodstock, Rhinebeck, New Rochelle, NYC, etc.) I tried to record something that would portray that location in such a way that would show the beauty of the location. My mother and brother were very patient with me when they had to wait for me to setup my equipment in order to get a shot. In the end, I feel it was worth it. New york is beautiful and magical place I soon hope to return to and make yet another film. Until then, here's a short film documenting my travels.

Thoughts on Social Networking.

It's been awhile since I've updated my blog. Blogs and I just do not "clink" (as my 10 year old brother would put it). It's been a very eventful summer and part of me wishes I had recorded every event so that I wouldn't forget all the fun things I've done and all the friends I've made. The other part of me fears that if I get too caught up in the digital social networking craze, then I will do things to write/blog about them rather then do them just because I want to. As the days pass, I seem to entangle myself deeper and deeper into this mess of online networking sites (i.e. facebook, youtube, flickr, myspace, twitter, etc.). Sometimes I read my own posts and think to myself does anyone actually care, and more than not I answer "probably not." I've thought long and hard about what causes me to constantly update my statuses, pictures, videos, etc., and I've come to the conclusion: I do it for myself. These sites for me are simply a data log of my everyday occurrences. To go back ten years from now and read old facebook posts is a way for me to hold on to memories. I wouldn't be surprised if 50 years from now, our grandkids were checking our facebooks to see the interesting lives we've lived. A virtual diary log that will live on forever in this digital infrastructure we call the web. Like all things, many people abuse social networking sites by notifying the world about every meal, bathroom break, and TV show/movie watched, myself included. In the end, it all boils down to "why." I do it for me and no one else.

Doug Smith