Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Teen Career Video Website

Free Tips & Career Advice from Production Industry Professionals

The amazing 26-year old entrepreneur Joel Holland built up this video career advice website called Kidzonline for teens, while still a student attending Babson University. The videos are free to view and quite interesting.

Here's a video spoof he filmed with Charlie Rose.

Here's an interview with National Geographic's Donna Meir. Holland writes that Streaming Futures is...

......a free, web-based show dedicated to helping teens choose the right career path. We have over 90 streaming video interviews on our site with celebrities, business leaders, athletes, musicians, and career professionals from all different industries.

Hollywood Futures is a free series of videos showcasing short 3-5 minute interviews with hit Hollywood producers, movie studio executives, success production company founders, and others who have risen through the ranks to find great success in the production industry. Interviews are conducted by Footage Firm's Joel Holland.

New interviews are added weekly, so check back or subscribe to the video podcast on iTunes.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Coyote Blog

Photo Copyright Shreve Stockton 2007

So here's a super-wonderful blog called The Daily Coyote filled with beautiful photos of one photographer's newly adopted pet coyote. Equipped with a fading Canon Rebel she teaches us the lesson that it isn't the equipment that takes the photo. It's the eye and heart of the shooter.

Shreve Stockton, 30, a Vespa rider, tells us
Charlie came into my life when he was just ten days old, orphaned after both his parents were killed. He lives
with me and a tomcat in a one-room log cabin in Wyoming.

$5/Month Buys a Daily Feed of Coyote Pix
You can order prints or calenders of Charlie for $15.95, or an 8x10 print for $45 or pay $5 a month to get a daily feed of Shreve's coyote photos...

This website is an archive of Charlie's daily pictures and my stories of life with a coyote. I post a new photograph every day, but it is a five month lag behind real-time. Subscribe to The Daily Coyote to get current photos delivered to your email inbox.

I wish Shreve the very best. I hope her blog catches on in a viral manner and these semi-micro-payments earn her enough money to support her rural lifestyle and feed Charlie a steak dinner nightly.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Art Buyers Search Copyright Free Amateur Pix

Adding to my previous post "Anyone Can Be a Photographer" let me show you a query I just received from This art buyer wants to pay someone $1 an image to find copyright-free pix online they can use.

Cheap Art Buyer

Category: Photography / Videography
I need someone whom can search for copyright-free photos on the web. I need simple images of presents for a bride and groom (25 of them). They will need to be reduced to about 80 x 80 without loss of quality, and be png format with the alpha channel set to transparent.

An example of a site is but you can choose other sites of your choice.

I will pay $1 a photo. I need a fast turnaround. Reply only if you know you can retrieve the photos. I have more work in this area for the competent provider.

Scary indeed. But is fright the proper response? Change is good. Right? Or at least Krishnamurti tells us so. The guys shooting daguerreotypes who were frightened probably went out of business. Those that re-tooled survived. Is there a lesson for everyone in all that?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Audio Blogging

Click Here to Hear This Post :

It looks as if my favorite blogging utility, Audioblogger, has been sold or re-cast as a start-up with the new name Hipcast. When I started blogging I often read passages from poets using this easy program. You register, get a code and then phone a number and blog by phone.

Today while singing the praises of this utility I checked out my past posts to send along the info and found that the podcasts didn't work. After searching around I found the Audioblog folks at name...with a much bigger agenda. What used to be free is now $9.95 a month. But you can sign up for a fee one week trial.

Think about it as marketing tool. Blog a thought or tip each day by Hipcast , calling in by phone. Then put that link on your website or in the signature line of your e-mail messages.

Blog By Telephone

Hipcast now offers three new ways to upload audio. By telephone
Call a number, speak your mind, hang up. From anywhere you've got a phone*. From the club, the game, in traffic, at the mall, at a trade show, you name it. Talk up to 60 minutes. Interview someone or even record a conference call.

Record Audio Through Your Web Browser

Have you recorded and produced audio using one of the numerous software programs like Audacity, GarageBand, Soundtrack, CoolEdit/Audition? Are you a musician that's created a new track you want to share? Upload files up to 250 MB in size and publish. It's that easy. We support most audio formats.

Or Upload Audio files

With a simple computer microphone and high-speed internet access, you can record high-quality audio right through the web browser, with no additional software needed.*

Monday, October 29, 2007

Linking Video To Your Website

Do you want to embed a video player into your website without writing lengthy and complicated HTML? One typo in HTML code and it doesn't work, right? And if you're a poor typist like me...

Here's a page on The University of California's website where you can easily create an Embedded Media HTML Generator.

And you can read all about delivering video from your website at EventDV.

Monday, February 26, 2007

My Gifted Dad

I watched the Oscars last night with my father, 86. It's an emotional time as he packs up his apartment to go into assisted living near my brother. After eating Vietnamese take-out we settled into two unpacked office chairs amidst piles of boxes to watch TV.

In 1963, during a brief respite from an illustrious career as a still photographer, my father was Director of Photography for the film, "Lord of the Flies". The renowned British stage director, Peter Brook, asked my father to shoot this award-winning film and gave my father ten days to learn to use a movie camera before film production began on the island of Vieques. My father had never touched a movie camera before.

The rest is history. My father, a genius of sorts, developed a whole new system for tracking and zooming. He created a gate that swung and panned along the actors as they moved. In fact Tyson Kubota, a film student at Dartmouth, recently posted this critique of my father's shooting technique. I don't think he knew about Dad's swinging gate.

First, some technical lessons:
Zooming may not be so bad after all! The cinematographer Tom Hollyman (trained as a still photographer, Lord of the Flies is his one and only credited feature film) claims that this was the first feature ever shot [entirely?] using a zoom lens. He explains an efficient technique used for camera movement: walk at a right angle to the subject and pivot the camera/zoom in slowly to create a faux-dolly effect: this allows one to continually vary the background to obscure the fact that you’re zooming (so you’re not zooming in on the same spot, which is the core reason why static zoom-ins often look ‘cheap’).

Zooming Back to Puerto Rico

Brook and my father worked in the second floor of our apartment in Puerto Rico to develop Dad's tracking technique. If you look to the left of this photo you can see me watching. If I look solemn it's because maybe I felt the production of this movie was a family affair in which everybody but me played a role. Perhaps I took the constant commands for " All Quiet On Set!" too personally.

My brother Burnes, an extra, shown here, behind his father's camera, played Douglas, while my Mother took stills and helped with casting. I flirted with the Surtees twins and did get to play a stand-in for Piggy while my father learned to use a movie camera by making tests. Click here to see a slideshow of some low res pix of my father at work with Peter Brook.

Last Night

During a commercial break in the Oscars last night I asked my father why he didn't get further into film-making after " Lord of the Flies."

He said that after shooting Lord of the Flies he realized how much there was to learn in the craft of cinematography and that he felt he was too old at that time to begin at the bottom, learning the craft.

Kubota on Dad

Kubota continues in his critique:

On improvisation:
Famed director theater director Peter Brook got these non-actor children to convincingly live the experience of their characters—he reportedly shot over 60 hours of footage. Onscreen I could sense the free, wide-open editing process this approach must have allowed him. Each shot, no matter how briefly held, has a unique richness, an eloquence and brevity that comes from a confluence of unpredictable factors: the child performers, the environment, weather and lighting conditions, not to mention everyone behind the camera and offscreen.

The precisely exposed, carefully modulated tonalities contrast with the sense of contingency and spontaneity in the framings and actor movement. The way Hollyman/Brook shoot faces is particularly inspiring: the frequent close-ups on faces with starkly lit sky backgrounds or negative space decontextualize each boy’s position in the narrative, imbuing each image with a mythic weight (I could sense the cinematographer Tom Hollyman’s background in still photography most strongly in these moments).

The film is also a masterclass in the efficient and effective use of location shooting. The film’s power comes from the aesthetic tensions it contains: between the boys’ completely ‘real’ physical ‘performances’ (their physical presence in the actual conditions of the narrative) and the almost-entirely-postdubbed dialogue that they ‘speak’; between the gritty, pocked texture of the hunters’ volcanic rock fortress and the smooth grey tones of the open sky; between the use of unexpectedly disjunctive shot compositions and editing rhythms and the supple gliding camera movements; and between the occasional music (almost always used ironically or as thematic counterpoint, never in a conventional melodramatic sense) and the ambient beauty of the rest of the naturalistic sound design. The overall attention to detail and affect is staggering; I am convinced that Brook’s daring formal approach was the perfect choice to balance the broad-strokes allegory of Golding’s storyline.

Strut Your Stuff Dad @ The Heritage

Hey Dad...Someone's blogging about work done some 36 years ago--if all of us could be so lucky. Kubota says the film is a "masterclass in the efficient and effective use of location shooting."

So Dude, listen here. You may be difficult. But you're also gifted.

You're a true Technoratti presence. Cool enough. The ladies at the Heritage will surely swoon when you show them Kuboda's blog post.

Way to go.

I be proud.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Deadly Fake Anti-Malarial Drugs

Photograph Copyright Stephenie Hollyman

Click Here to View Slideshow on the anti-malarial wonder drug, made from artemisinin. This herb, also known as wormwood is now being grown in Tanzania by Awaarusha farmers. Photos Copyright Stephenie Hollyman 2007.

Indeed my heart sank yesterday while reading In the World of Life Saving Drugs, a Growing Epidemic of Deadly Fakes, in The New York Times Science Times , which says that in Southeast Asia " 53 percent of the antimalarials bought were fakes."

Estimates of the deaths caused by fakes run from tens of thousands a year to 200,000 or more. The World Health Organization has estimated that a fifth of the one million annual deaths from malaria would be prevented if all medicines for it were genuine and taken properly.

“The impact on people’s lives behind these figures is devastating,” said Dr. Howard A. Zucker, the organization’s chief of health technology and pharmaceuticals.

Internationally, a prime target of counterfeiters now is artemisinin, the newest miracle cure for malaria, said Dr. Paul N. Newton of Oxford University’s Center for Tropical Medicine in Vientiane, Laos.


If you click above you can view a slideshow of photos I took in Tanzania of a village where the live-saving herbal plant artemisin annua is being grown in Tanzania.These photos are part of my ongoing multimedia project on malaria called " Fever Zone". Also include ( the white folks) are photos of agri-biz growing artemesin in Tanzania.


In May of 2005 while traveling to document malaria I was thrilled to see how well artmemisinin worked against chloriquine-resistant strains of malaria. In fact I had a chance to try out this wonder drug first hand-- thank god not conterfeit-- in Tanzania after my blood smear proved positive for malaria falciprium on a Friday afternoon. While photographing a woman with malaria who had dropped into a coma in a neighborhood clinic ouside of Dar es Salaam, I suddenly found myself dizzy, sweating heavily, and about to wretch. At first I thought it was a sympathetic reaction. But as I photographed the symptoms worsened. And I recalled that I had been weak all day.

I asked the nurse at the clinic to test my blood for malaria and continued working.

One half hour later the clinic's doctor approached me laughing, saying that I must take my subject matter--malaria-- quite seriously, because I had caught it. " Welcome to Tanzania" he boomed out as he wrote me a prescription for artesunate pills.

My WHO driver took me to a reputable pharmacy where I bought this life-saving medicine before retreating to my hotel to recover. After sleeping around the clock between taking pills during what became my malarial " Lost Weekend" I awoke on Monday. Weak but recovered.

By Tuesday I was back at work. I was lucky. If I had taken counterfeit artesunate I might have died. With excellent reporting Donald G. McNeil Jr. details the peril in which these counterfeit drugs place their users.
Many of the fake artesunate pills found by Dr. Newton’s team were startlingly accurate in appearance — and much more devious in effect than investigators had suspected.

Not only did the pills look correct, as did the cardboard boxes, the blister packing and the foil backing, but investigators found 12 versions of the tiny hologram added to prevent forgery.

In one case, even a secret “X-52” logo visible only under ultraviolet light was present, though in the wrong spot.

Another hologram was forged by hand, Dr. Newton said, by someone who obviously spent hours with a pin and a magnifying glass making tiny dots on a circle of foil to imitate the shimmer.

But the most frightening aspect appeared when the pills were tested. Some contained harmless chalk, starch or flour. But the latest, he said, contained drugs apparently chosen to fool patients into thinking the pills were working.

Some had acetaminophen, which can temporarily lower malarial fevers but does not kill parasites. Some had chloroquine, an old and now nearly useless antimalarial.

One had a sulfa drug that in allergic people could cause a fatal rash.

And some had a little real artemisinin — not enough to cure, but enough to produce a false positive on the common Fast Red dye test for the genuine article.

Those would not merely fool a laboratory, Dr. Newton noted. They could also foster drug-resistant parasites, so if patients were lucky enough to get genuine artemisinin treatment later, they might have already developed an incurable strain and could die anyway.

Such resistant strains could spread from person to person by mosquito and ultimately render the drug ineffective, as already happened with chloroquine and Fansidar, two earlier malaria cures.

“We make no apology for the use of the term ‘manslaughter’ to describe this criminal lethal trade,” Dr. Newton and his co-authors said last year in an article in The Public Library of Science Medicine. “Indeed, some might call it murder.”

Friday, February 09, 2007

Multimedia Dogizens

I just read an interesting post called The Pedigree of Goodness . It's a must read for those involved in working in teams on multimedia projects. It really brings home people's need for validation and the need for team-mates to acknowledge colleagues' contributions.

She writes..

Perhaps you have seen the latest Pedigree dog food commercial? In it, the camera pans on a series of ordinary looking dogs in a dog pound, and the voice-over gives them language. The dogs say things sequentially like "I don't know where I am..." "And I don't know how I got here..." "but I know that I am a good dog..." "And I just want to go home."

She then deconstructs the notion of goodness...

And, like the dog in the pound, at the core place in our hearts all any of us really want is to find whatever reads out as h-o-m-e for us, and to be able to be there.

The dogs in the commercial want to be seen, to be noticed and ask to be acknowledged for what it is they have to give. They are the quintessential Everyperson.