Writers and Agents Are Still Fighting. Here’s What We Know

Here’s an update on the industry battle that’s thrown Hollywood into chaos.

According to Deadline, the Writers Guild of America and the Association of Talent Agents have RE-re-opened negotiations, but they’ve hit a snag.

What’s the problem? The agencies have offered to cut writers in on the revenue sharing. The WGA has rejected that offer, because “any offer from agencies must realign agencies’ interests with writers’.” So even if the WGA accepted the offer, the agencies would still have a conflict of interest. No deal.

How Did We Get Here?

If you’re looking for a more in-depth recap, we’ve covered this story extensively, but let’s do a quick review for anyone who hasn’t been following along.

The Writers Guild of America represents Hollywood’s screenwriters. Most of those writers are represented by agents from the big talent agencies: CAA, WME, UTA, and ICM. Those agencies and many smaller ones make up the Association of Talent Agents, which governs how the agencies are allowed to operate.

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New Technology Can Detect Photoshopped Fakes, Even Reveal the Original Images

New Technology Can Detect Photoshopped Fakes, Even Reveal the Original Images

Photoshop is arguably the most powerful tool at a photographer’s disposal. And like many powerful tools, it can be used for either good or harm. The good news is that technology has recently been developed to counter nefarious and sneaky image manipulations.

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“A Dog That Had a Lot of Stress in His Life”: Dog Trainer Massimo Perla on Dogman

Matteo Garrone’s Dogman, a deceptively simple story of a professional dogsitter’s attempt to achieve recognition among gangsters in a small Italian town, reminds me of the great “art-house” films I watched when I was a teenager: The Magician, La Strada, Bicycle Thief, Black Orpheus. A spare story grows and builds and pushes itself until it swells to the bursting point and then: suspension. Viewers are forced to meditate on what they have watched, as all of the mini-scenarios that have built it gain their own weight. Marcello (Marcello Fonte) is friends with Simoncino (Edoardo Pesce), a small-time crook; Marcello is […]

Freewell ND Filters for the DJI Osmo Action Camera

The Freewell ND filters are a comprehensive range of filters for the DJI Osmo Action camera (our video review here, and our GoPro HERO7 comparison here) in a number of affordable kits.

The range includes straight ND’s from ND4 to ND16 and combination ND/PL filters with a built in polariser from ND8/PL, ND16/PL, ND32/PL and ND64/PL. There’s also a separate CPL, and a IR UV cut filter. One of the most interesting filters is the ND1000 filter for long exposures. Freewell also makes graduated ND filters and a light pollution reduction filter.

The Freewell ND Filters for the DJI Osmo Action Camera

These filters are built in CNC machined aircraft grade aluminium housings with a threaded mount. Made from premium optical glass with 16 layer coatings these filters are waterproof, scratchproof, dustproof, and oil resistant. They come with a lifetime warranty.

A budget ND filter kit is available that are built to the same standard but don’t have the optical coatings.

The Freewell ND Filter Kits

  • All Day 8-Pack – ND4, ND8, ND16, CPL, ND8/PL, ND16/PL, ND32/PL, and ND64/PL
  • Bright Day 4-Pack – ND8/PL, ND16/PL, ND32/PL, and ND64/PL
  • Standard Day 4-Pack – ND4, ND8, ND16, CPL
  • Landscape Series 3-Pack – Grad Kit consists of ND8-GR, ND16-4, ND32-8
  • IR UV Cut
  • ND 1000 Long Exposure
  • Light Pollution Reduction
  • Budget Kit 6-Pack – ND4, ND8, ND16, CPL, ND32/PL and ND64/PL

If you’re looking for filters for your DJI Action Camera on a budget, the Freewell ND filters may be just the right solution.

In case you missed our video review of the DJI Osmo Action, you can watch it here:

Have you ordered the DJI Osmo Action camera? What are your plans for ND filters with that camera? Let us know in the comments below. 

The post Freewell ND Filters for the DJI Osmo Action Camera appeared first on cinema5D.

Come See Our Own Charles Haine at the Adorama Inspire Event

Adorama Inspire is happening in New York next week, and our own Charles Haine will be moderating a panel on “Entrepreneurship in Film.” Come check it out!

Entrepreneurship skills are vital to surviving in the film industry. While there are a few “normal” jobs to be found in the industry, the vast majority of us working in media creation are essentially running our own businesses, hunting for clients, chasing down payments, building a brand, and looking to grow.

With business, as with movies, there is always more to learn, which is why I decided to moderate a panel on Entrepreneurship in Film for Adorama Inspire, a 3-day event that will get you hands-on experience with some of the best pro gear and most talented creatives.

The event kicks off today, June 20th. (Check out the Eventbrite for more info.​)

The panel is a mix of company founders, a business journalist turned producer, and a small production company head.

Check out their bios below.

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The Artists That Inspire David Lynch’s Unique Visual Style [Video]

Director David Lynch has created some of the most visually stunning film and TV of recent memory, thanks in part to the art that inspires him.

David Lynch is generally acknowledged as one of cinema’s greatest living directors and has been called a purveyor of surrealism. His unique brand of visual storytelling undoubtedly springs from his very creatively complex imagination, but it was also inspired by the works of some of history’s most famous artists.

In this video essay, VoorDeFilm takes a look at some of the artists and pieces that have inspired Lynch over the years, including expressionist painter Francis Bacon and realist painter Edward Hopper.

Watch the video below.

Surrealism and expressionism

Surrealism explores the unconscious mind and allows for combinations of strange, disturbing imagery, while expressionism distorts and exaggerates for enhanced emotional effect. Lynch employs both in his own work.

Lynch especially liked to draw from expressionist painter Francis Bacon. He says he first encountered Bacon’s work in the 1960s, which was a “thrilling” moment for him.

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An Inside Look at How the Fujifilm GFX 100 Was Born

Last month, Fujifilm announced the GFX 100, a game-changing 102-megapixel medium format mirrorless camera. cinema5D has released a 2-part documentary that gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how this monster of a camera came to be.

Fujifilm granted Johnnie Behiri and cinema5D inside access through several trips to Japan over the past 8 months to witness and document the camera’s development after Fujifilm announced the development of the camera in September 2018.

Part 1 of the self-funded documentary is a 17-minute video that follows the process of designing the GFX 100 with interviews with some of the key figures behind the camera:

Part 2 is a 12-minute video that visits the Fujifilm factory in Taiwa in which the camera is being manufactured:

The second video also follows Fujifilm’s preparations for the May 23rd launch event in Tokyo at which the camera was officially unveiled.

“The idea was to bring our filming community a unique behind-the-scenes look into the camera creation process and also get to know the people behind that, their dilemmas, challenges, and emotions,” Behiri writes. “I would like to thank the Fujifilm team for being supportive in accepting our initiative, opening their doors to show a world we often don’t see and letting us share as much as possible of the lengthy process of making a camera.

“I’m sure you know that this is NOT the norm in our industry and appreciate this kind of transparency, too.”

The announced the Fujifilm GFX 100 is a medium format mirrorless body with a 102MP BSI CMOS sensor, ISO 100-12800, 5fps shooting, 16-bit RAW, a removable 5.76M-dot EVF, a 3.2-inch 2.36M-dot tilting touchscreen, 4K video, pro video features, 5-axis in-body image stabilization, a 3.76-million-point phase-detect AF system, a built-in battery grip, and dual SD card slots. It has announced the a price tag of $10,000.

The Most Essential Premiere Pro Hotkeys for Beginner Editors

New to Adobe Premiere Pro? Then here’s a quick tour of its most essential hotkeys.

Shortcuts, hotkeys, commands…whatever you call them, they’re one of the most integral tools for speeding up your post-production workflow.

If you’re a new Adobe Premiere Pro user and are uninitiated with the software’s keyboard shortcuts, let’s get you all acquainted.

In this video, the staff over at Vimeo runs through some of the more essential Premiere Pro shortcuts, ones that you’ll definitely be using constantly as you edit your film and video projects. Take a look below:

If you’re new to using Premiere Pro, then these shortcuts are definitely going to be a great addition to your workflow. Not only do they include a bunch of tools you’re going to utilize all the time but they’re included in the default keyboard settings.

That means you don’t have to know how to program hotkeys on your keyboard…but you should definitely learn how to do that when you’re ready to customize your keyboard for your own personal editing process. (Go to the “Edit” dropdown and select “Keyboard Customization”.)

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ADG Film Society Presents Close Encounters of the Third Kind

The Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) Film Society’s 2019 Screening Series will present the Oscar-winning classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind  (1977) and pay tribute to its Oscar-nominated Production Designer Joe Alves, ADG, at the Egyptian Theatre on Sunday, June 23 at 5:30 pm. Following the screening, Mr. Alves will explore the making […]

The post ADG Film Society Presents Close Encounters of the Third Kind appeared first on Below the Line.

The Gripping Editing in When They See Us

The Netflix global phenomenon limited series known as When They See Us is based on the true-life events of the ‘Central Park Five’ incident in 1989 revolving around five innocent teenage boys and a rape they were wrongfully accused of. To capture the true essence of the entire event and to rightfully shed light on […]

The post The Gripping Editing in When They See Us appeared first on Below the Line.

How to Make a Movie

How to Make a Movie

If you want to learn how to make a movie, the best thing to do is make one. Yep. By starting DIY, you will get a sense of the big picture and be more likely to become a better filmmaker down the road. In fact, there is no better time to learn how to make a movie. You have tools at your fingertips that your creative forefathers would have died for. If you are reading this article on a phone, there’s a good chance that that phone has a better camera than the early digital cameras with which many people learned and mastered filmmaking. So if you have an idea, what are you waiting for?

Right. But where do you begin? Getting the idea out of your head and onto the screen can be a daunting task, but once it is broken down in steps, it becomes more manageable. Even better, once you master these steps, whether you are making a film with an iPhone or with a full camera kit from a rental house, they are relatively the same — the biggest difference being that the toys are more expensive and the crews are bigger. But let’s start small. Let’s say that you want to use that phone in your hand to make a movie. What would you need? Well, several things, from the creative to the technical, and if you are not technical, do not let that deter you.

In our discussion of how to make a movie, we’ll cover:

  1. An idea/script
  2. Film tools/film gear
  3. Collaborators/crew
  4. Production
  5. Editing/post-production

An Idea/Script

A lot of people are afraid to get started because they don’t think they have a good idea. Trust me, an idea doesn’t have to be good in order for you to learn or even make a good film. All you need is a story. It can be as simple as telling the story of someone who rolls out of bed, stumbles to the coffeemaker only to find that she is out of coffee. The goal with storytelling is to get someone to relate, and with filmmaking, it’s all about the images you use to tell the story. So as you develop your idea, don’t over think it. It just needs to be something you can visualize and execute. What’s going to make it unique is your point of view. Take the example of no morning coffee. How does she feel when she discovers there is no coffee? How does that translate visually? Does she grab her hair in despair or throw the empty pot against the wall?

Whatever story you want to tell, put it in a script. For the most part, screenwriting is what you see and what you hear. Just remember that it’s always more interesting to tell the story visually. Rather than having the character say, “Oh no, there’s no coffee,” show us the empty coffee container, show us her reaction. Another thing you will want to do is get feedback on your script. Have someone read it to make sure it makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense, fiddle with it until it does. If it does make sense, still fiddle with it to make it better.

How you frame the shot is literally what you see in your viewfinder. Different framing can say different things: for example, if you have two Actors placed at the end of each frame, perhaps you are saying that they are not connecting. If you have a wide shot and the character is small on the screen, maybe you are suggesting that he feels powerless.

Film Tools/Film Gear

The most accessible camera these days is on a smartphone. It can be an Android or an iPhone; all you need are the right accessories. In order for you to get the most out of your phone camera, you will need an app called Filmic Pro; this app will get your phone to behave more like a camera. You will also want to get lenses so you can shoot a better variety of shots. There are two ways to go here — you can get lenses that are designed specifically for smartphones – like Moment lenses, or you can use an adapter, like the Beastgrip adapter that will allow you to use regular camera lenses with your phone. You may also want a tripod or a stabilizer to keep the camera steady; all you need is a mount adapter to put your phone on a tripod and there are stabilizers built specifically for phones.

Next, you need sound equipment. Unfortunately, phones (and most cameras, for that matter) don’t record good sound, so you will need a sound recording device, like a Zoom or Tascam. You will also need a good microphone on a boom pole to record the sound. You can also get lavalier microphones – which are the kind that you attach to an Actor to record dialog, as well.

Collaborators/Crew

Alright, technically you can do all of this on your own and maybe you want to start that way — maybe film your cat to get some practice in, but eventually, you will want Actors, someone to record the audio, someone to operate the camera, and ideally someone to help produce it. (Without getting into it, a Producer will help you stay organized and on track. Learn more about the role played by Producers here.) So, finding collaborators is essential to filmmaking. There are many ways to go about this – you can post something on social media, you can go to events sponsored by your local film community, or if you are in school, get to know the film and media students. One thing to keep in mind as you are meeting people is to find folks that you enjoy being around, who have similar interests, and who are interested in learning and mastering skills. If you know nothing about the camera, lighting or recording sound, find people who are passionate about these things.

Once you have your team, get their input about the script and start to plan what you will need to make it. The more planning you do, the more successful you will be. The basics you will need are locations, Actors, and food! You will also want to talk to your team about how things will be shot. Create a shot list, which will be your roadmap during production. Some people like to storyboard, but that’s up to you. It’s just important to have a plan because you don’t want to waste people’s time during production. Something that will help you create a shot list is to remember that each time you move the camera, it’s a new setup, which is a shot. Shots are like sentences, some are long, some are short, but when you put them together, there is a rhythm and a pace. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the different kinds of shots: wide, medium, close up, etc. Understanding the language will help you communicate your ideas to your team.

One thing about filmmaking is the more you learn, the more you realize the less you know. Each new project will present new challenges, and if they don’t, you’re not challenging yourself to get better, which is really what makes all this so fun.

Production

This is the day you all come together to get the job done! You have done your homework; you have food and drinks to keep you energized; now you will spend the day perfecting each shot. Some of the things you will be focusing on will be blocking – how the Actors move through the space in relation to the camera, framing – how the shot is framed, and the performance of the Actor.

When you block a scene, you decide where the camera goes and how the Actors will move through the set. This includes any action they may do like grab a set of keys, when to pat someone on the back or when to sit down. Once you decide these things, you can put tape on the floor to make sure the Actors have reminders of where to stand and when. How you frame the shot is literally what you see in your viewfinder. Different framing can say different things: for example, if you have two Actors placed at the end of each frame, perhaps you are saying that they are not connecting. If you have a wide shot and the character is small on the screen, maybe you are suggesting that he feels powerless. Working with Actors is also important. Actors come to set with some terrific ideas, but it is important to make sure they hit the tone you are trying to achieve, whether it is humor or drama. Actors love to know what they can do to make their performance better

Editing/Post-production

Once you have your movie in the can, you are ready to edit. Well, almost. You will need to sync the sound in what is called a non-linear editing system (NLE), which is a fancy way to say editing software, where you will put the pieces you shot together. Again, this is something that you can learn and I highly suggest you learn the basics, but there are plenty of people who want to master this craft and are hungry to find material to work on to learn and hone their skills. Also, editing is like writing. Getting feedback will make your movie better.

After the editing is done, you still need to polish your film up. You will need to make sure all your shots are color corrected, which can be done in your NLE or you can have a professional do it. Again, always look for people who want to practice. The same goes for post-production sound. Post-production sound involves a lot of detail work, which includes cleaning up the dialog, laying in sound effects, music, and balancing all these elements in what is called the mix.

Once you have gone through these steps, you are a filmmaker! But one thing about filmmaking is the more you learn, the more you realize the less you know. Each new project will present new challenges, and if they don’t, you’re not challenging yourself to get better, which is really what makes all this so fun.

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Would You Buy a Full-Frame Camera If It Had No Viewfinder?

Would You Buy a Full-Frame Camera If It Had No Viewfinder?

With sensor prices dropping and leading manufacturers keen to get consumers on board with their latest mirrorless offerings, increasingly budget-friendly options are expected to emerge. However, would you buy an affordable camera that is cheap because it doesn’t have a viewfinder?

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My Three Years Without a Photography Agent

In September 2016, my photography agents, Vaughn-Hannigan, abruptly closed their doors after 10 years in business. Since then I have been without an agent, representing myself, and I thought I would look back and ask the question which has been lingering with me through this time: to agent or not to agent?

After the news broke of Vaughn-Hannigan’s closure, there was a flurry of activity. Art Department, a major Photo Agency in New York, offered to take on all the VH photographers and some of the staff.

With a roster of 65 or so photographers, Art Dept is a big player and I was a bit reluctant to include myself in a group of that size. VH was the opposite of this with a boutique approach with a small roster of very distinct photographers. We all had different specialties, and since we were a collective of artists, I did feel we elevated each other rather than being competitors.

So I passed on the merger and met with a handful of agencies where I saw myself as a better fit. In the end, however, I decided not to jump into a new agent relationship right away and to give it all a good think. Over the past 18 years, I have only worked with 2 agents and I wanted to make sure my next partnership was the right one for the remainder of my career.

I also kept wondering why VH had shut their doors in the first place. Were they a casualty of marketing shifting away from traditional to digital media?

VH was not the only Photo Rep to close shop, so more importantly; was it a sign that the agent model is not as relevant as it was before digital and social media?

I remember when I first started out in photography. I had moved halfway across the world, from Trondheim, Norway, to San Francisco, to study at the Academy of Art University. 4 years in a learning environment flew by faster than one can imagine, and I vividly remember looking at my portfolio after graduation thinking: “Are these few images all I have to base my future on? Was this it? Was this how I would make a living?”

The idea of approaching magazines and advertising agencies saying “Here are my pictures, will you hire me”? felt daunting and had an almost paralyzing effect on any forward action. So I got a job as a camera assistant, and I started infusing myself in the photo community. Here, the underlying consensus was that if you wanted to find work as a photographer, you had to have someone else handle this for you.

It meant finding an agent.

This was the late 90s; there was no social media and websites had yet to become mainstream, and having an agent was indeed crucial. While photographers were out taking pictures, the agent would take their portfolios to advertising agencies and magazines, present the work, and essentially sell the photographers on their roster.

This direct sale approach, sending out marketing materials and being published in magazines and industry competitions, were the ways for a photographer to get noticed and hired. This is still happening today but to a very different degree.

How we absorb media is in massive change and as we spend increasingly more time on our phones, the places art directors and art buyers find photographers is different today than when I started out.

In the weeks and months after the closing of Vaughn-Hannigan, layouts from advertising agencies with requests for estimates now came directly to me. This was a first in my career, but with great encouragement and help from my longtime producer, we dove in, engaging in the negotiations and estimating process that my agents would normally handle. In what was a case of indecisiveness around signing with a new agent and becoming busy with the work coming in, I decided to go it on my own for a year.

1 year came and went, and suddenly the 2-year mark passed as well. It has now been almost 3 years, and with some time to reflect, I thought I again would ask the big question: to agent or not to agent?

The obvious benchmarks when comparing times with and without representation are revenue and profit. Did I make more or less? When averaging out the gross billings of the past few years, I did slightly less revenue in 2017 and then had one of the best years of my career in 2018.

So on average, the revenue of the past years without an agent is consistent with the years when I did.

But should the revenue still be equal now that I did not have an agent getting me jobs? Wouldn’t the assumption be that without an agent there would be a lot less work coming in?

With revenue in line with past years, my profits surged, as I did not pay the commission a photography agent charges. This has, for me, equaled a significant salary increase, and if you asked my bookkeeper who looks at numbers, she would not at all suggest getting another agent.

And she’s right; Just looking at the revenue and profit benchmarks, one can loosely conclude that an agent is not needed at this stage in my career.

The full answer, however, is not so simple.

A good agent does a lot of work, and without representation, I am doing this job in addition to the other hats I am wearing while running the business of an advertising photographer. The truth is that I am doing less than an agent. I am doing the estimating and negotiating aspect of an agent’s job, but I am not doing the in-person agency visits or the marketing that a good agent consistently does.

To properly assess the effect of an agent we have to look backward and forwards. Looking back at the marketing and brand building that has been done in the past decade and looking forward at how to best continue this effort.

The past 15 years, I have consistently been marketing myself, building my brand. The past 3 years have shown that this long-term marketing effort has been well worth it as my business has continued to thrive without relying upon the support of an agent. I believe this stands as a testament to how important it is for photographers to do their OWN marketing and brand building, and to not rely upon an agent’s reputation and connections to land assignment work.

So with my long-term marketing efforts in place, do I need representation going forward? If I continue the consistent marketing I have been doing, will I be able to maintain the momentum, and more importantly, stay relevant? My fear is that being my own agent is a long tail scenario where I utilize fewer ways to market myself and that I gradually will lose market presence?

I have thought about this a lot, and I think the answer is less in the question of “do I need an agent or not” and more in the question “How do I best reach my potential clients in the current market?”

It has been fascinating to watch the rise of social media, its influencers and the currency that a large online following carries. Photographers now get hired, not just because of their craft, but also because of their own reach as a media channel to help sell the very product they get hired to photograph.

If one believes this trend will continue, which I do, photographers like myself who are marketing through the traditional channels will have to shift most of marketing our focus into creating a solid online presence.

Having been a part of the advertising community for almost 2 decades, I clearly see the shift in how companies market themselves from “here’s our product” to a narrative of what the company is about, what they believe in and “why they do what they do”

We photographers very much need to do the same…

In reshaping and updating my branding effort I want to share and partake in this expanded narrative of my brand. Rather than just showing my best images, I need to share why I so passionately like to create this work, what parts of me that are reflected in each picture I take and the process I go through to ensure that each commercial assignment I take on has the emotional honesty I seek in every one of my photographs.

This effort, however, is a part-time job in itself…

In my efforts in producing great work for my clients, being my own agent and spending time with my young family, something had to give. That something was social media, and it has now been a year since I last posted on Instagram and two years since I shared a post on this blog. It has been a relief to leave social media alone. Unfortunately, it is not sustainable to leave it unused as a marketing channel.

This is where I need help… This type of brand building, however, is not in a traditional agents wheelhouse. It sits with managers and PR agencies.

This narrative shift in how brands market themselves, and the broader spectrum of media we now have, has created a different need for visual imagery.

There are rarely assignments anymore where I just take still images. In the same shoot/production we now create digital assets like cinemagraphs and shoot TV commercials and films.

It has been a ton of fun to expand my understanding of visual narratives through films and TV spots, and I have been thriving in this multidisciplinary production scenario. Creating multiple visual interpretations of a client’s concept across several visual languages is where my forward focus lies.

To be able to create all these “assets” with the same visual esthetic across different mediums is of great value. I see it as one of the few places in advertising that offers great opportunities.

In the past, an agency would hire a photographer and a commercial director separately. The result was largely two different visual aesthetics and two productions, making it neither cost-effective nor great brand coherency.

Today we are seeing more and more hybrid productions, but there are still not a big pool of photographers and directors who do both really well.

I have a lot to learn as a director, but use each opportunity I get to expand my experience to get closer to the few who are perfectly embedded in both the world of still and motion.

The motion, or broadcast, side of advertising agencies, however, are not in the traditional photography agent’s wheelhouse and sits largely with the production companies who represent Directors.

To Agent or Not to Agent?

An agent can be invaluable in a photographer’s career, and I am grateful for both the agent relationships I have had. Being a photographer is at times a solitary endeavor, and there is tremendous power in having a partner when navigating a professional career based on art. Beyond the sales and marketing component, there is also a client services component. Some times I am my best agent. Other times I am not at all and have gotten in my own way when the relationship between the art and the contract negotiations get too close.

My advice to those starting out would be to do everything they can to get in with a great agent. The more ways that you can gain exposure in the market place the better, and an established agent can provide opportunities you won’t get on your own early on.

At the same time, you have to start building your brand in as many ways as possible. This is where the longevity of your career will be rooted.

As I am pondering the answer to my forever lingering question, I am still on the fence about having an agent or not. I need marketing and sales help for sure, so it is not that I don’t need an agent.

What I am unsure about is how the traditional agent fits with the two areas I believe will make a larger difference in my career going forward.

1. A continued push for me creatively into motion, working as a hybrid photographer and director crafting both stills and films with the same visual aesthetic.

2. A solid narrative based branding on both websites and social media of who I am as a photographer and filmmaker and expanding the message from “here is what I do” to “why I do what I do.”

I initially asked if the closing of VH is a sign that the agent model is not as relevant as it used to be, and the answer is yes…

Most photography agents don’t support the areas where I want to improve my relevance creatively and on the marketing side. I am sure they are seeing the changes and are contemplating the same as myself, but I have yet to see agents really shifting. I see them making up for their revenue loss by adding more photographers to their rosters, but I don’t see them shifting into the manager and brand building support role and taking on the production houses on the broadcast side of advertising.

With the belief that we only are in the early stages of the market shifting further to digital media, and possibly another case of indecisiveness, I have decided to give it another year without partnering with a new photography agent.

I’d like to see how the market continues to unfold and if I can keep as busy as I have been going it on my own.

I am also making a push to get representation on the film side. Following my own advice to photographers starting to seek a photo agent, I, as a fairly new director, would benefit greatly by being introduced to the broadcast world with the support of a well-known agent/production company.

I am also exploring the management approach. Bands and actors and other celebrities all have managers who will help shape and build careers. These management companies are now taking on photographers with massive social media followings and I am truly curious if this will shift into the traditional photographer agent model.

So to agent or not to agent? “Maybe next year” is my answer!

This is a live experiment and I am committed to exploring it on my own for another year.


About the author: Erik Almas is a California-based advertising photographer who travels around the world shooting for clients like Kohler, Toyota, Puma, Nike, Hyatt, USPS, Citibank, and Amtrak. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. To see more of his work, visit his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This post was also published here.

Avoid These 8 Common Editing Mistakes [Video]

Editing is one of the most important steps of the filmmaking process, and you want to avoid these mistakes.

Film editing is both technical and creative. It dictates how a film is arranged and whether it makes sense to the viewer. It influences tone, perspective, and pace. With so many cinematic elements depending on good editing, it’s clear that when it’s is bad, the entire project suffers.

But how do you avoid bad editing? What do you look for? What are some best practices?

In a recent video, Creative North’s Jonny von Wallström runs through eight common editing mistakes that editors should avoid and how to avoid them. Watch it below.

Cutting too soon

This is a common editing mistake I tend to notice. A character might deliver an important line, and the scene will suddenly cut less than a second after the delivery, almost chopping into the performance. It’s jarring and annoying when scenes aren’t given “air” or time to breathe.

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ESA Spacecraft to Be First to Intercept a ‘New’ Comet for a Photo Shoot

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced a new mission that will have the goal of intercepting a comet with a special composite spacecraft in order to shoot photos of it.

Called “Comet Interceptor,” the spacecraft “will be the first spacecraft to visit a truly pristine comet or other interstellar object that is only just starting its journey into the inner Solar System,” ESA writes.

The plan is for the spacecraft to wait around at the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L2 about 1.5 million kilometers (932,000mi) behind Earth as viewed from the Sun. The spacecraft will then fly to an as-yet-undiscovered comet for a flyby when the comet is headed to Earth’s orbit.

Initially a single composite spacecraft, the Comet Interceptor will split into three separate spacecraft a few weeks before intercepting the comet. Those spacecraft will then surround the comet and shoot photos from different perspectives.

Those photos will then be used to create 3D models of the comet, which will contain “unprocessed material surviving from the dawn of the Solar System.”

“Pristine or dynamically new comets are entirely uncharted and make compelling targets for close-range spacecraft exploration to better understand the diversity and evolution of comets,” says ESA science director Günther Hasinger. “The huge scientific achievements of Giotto and Rosetta – our legacy missions to comets – are unrivaled, but now it is time to build upon their successes and visit a pristine comet, or be ready for the next ‘Oumuamua-like interstellar object.”

Previous comet missions were all to short-period comets that orbit the Sun in less than 200 years — Comet Interceptor will target a comet visiting the inner parts of our Solar System for the first time. In the past, these “new” comets were discovered too late for scientists to launch a mission to reach and study them, but since Comet Interceptor will be standing by in space, it’ll be ready to meet a new comet when it’s discovered.

Comet Interceptor is designated a fast-class mission, meaning it will be implemented from selection to launch readiness in just 8 years. If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will catch a ride to space aboard ESA’s exoplanet-studying Ariel spacecraft in 2028 before turning on its own propulsion system.

(via ESA via Engadget)

Techart TZE-01 is the world’s first Sony E to Nikon Z AF lens adapter

Chinese accessory maker Techart has announced the TZE-01, the first autofocus adapter for using Sony E-mount lenses with Nikon’s Z series cameras. Techart describes the adapter’s design as having been ‘difficult’ due to the Nikon Z-mount’s flange distance being just 2mm shorter than the Sony E-mount.

The Techart TZE-01 features a PCB sandwiched between the electronic connectors on both sides of the adapter, making it possible to use both the Sony E-mount Auto Aperture and Auto Focus lens functions, even when using the Nikon Z’s Face & Eye detection mode.

The TZE-01 finds room for a PCB to ‘translate’ between the Nikon and Sony communication protocols, allowing Nikon cameras to autofocus E-mount lenses.

Depending on which Sony E-mount lens is used, Techart claims its adapter allows the use of phase-detect AF to offer autofocus accuracy and speed ‘very close to (if not better) [than] native Z-mount lenses.’ The company claims other functions, including lens-based image stabilization are also supported.

Performance varies between lenses but if it’s generally up to a reasonable standard, this adapter considerably broadens the lens choices for Nikon users. It could also significantly lower the barrier to changing systems for Sony users, if Nikon produces a body they’re interested in.

The company says it adapter works with Sony E-mount AF lenses from Sigma, Sony, and Tamron / Zeiss. The adapter is shipped with a lens dock for firmware upgrades that will add additional lens support in the future. The TZE-01 adapter is available to purchase for $249 USD from TechartPro.com.


Techart unveils the World’s First Sony E to Nikon Z Autofocus Adapter with a thickness of 2mm

Guangzhou China, Jun 20, 2019 – Techart, who has previously launched the first autofocus adapter for manual lenses, has unveiled another groundbreaking product, Techart Sony E to Nikon Z Autofocus Adapter (TZE-01). The new TZE-01 is the world’s first autofocus adapter that allows Sony E-mount lenses to retain the Automatic Focus functionality when used on Nikon Z6 and Z7 cameras.

The flange distance of Nikon Z-mount is only 2mm shorter than Sony E-mount. This makes the design extremely difficult, let alone an electronic adapter where a chip and the connector pins have to be squeezed into. Techart has managed to pull it off and develop one which include connectors of both sides and a PCB board with chip to “translate” the protocol of the lens and the camera.

The Techart adapter enables both Auto Focus & Auto Aperture functions of Sony E mount lenses to be used on Nikon Z6 and Z7. AF-S, AF-C & MF mode are supported in both still & video shooting. The incredible Face & Eye Detection of Z-mount cameras can also be used. Other functions like lens vibration reduction and timelapse can also be used. Phase-detect Autofocus is adopted to guarantee both AF accuracy and speed to be very close to (if not better) native Z-mount lenses. Please note that functionality may vary when different E-mount lenses are used.

Nikon Z system is a relatively new system and users do not have a very complete lenses selection. Unlike the system of Sony, most lenses manufacturers have been releasing lenses in E-mount and so the selection is complete. The new Techart adapter currently supports most of the Sony, Sigma, Tamron & Zeiss AF lenses with Sony E mounts including some of the best sellers like Tamron 28-75mm, Batis 25mm f/2, Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM and Sigma 35mm f/1.4, etc.

The new Techart TZE-01 adapter comes with a lens dock for firmware upgrade. Simply connect the PC/MAC via a Micro USB cable (not included) and the firmware can be updated via the Techart App. Techart is currently working to support more lenses.

Pricing and Availability

The Techart Sony E to Nikon Z Autofocus Adapter is currently available for pre-order at our official website (http://www.techartpro.com). The recommended retail price before tax is USD 249/pc. Free shipping will be provided during the promotion period. Delivery will start from late June. 1-year warranty is included.