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ROVING CAMERA BLOG • VIdeos • Travel • Production

Brazil: My First iPhone Video

Shot on an iPhone 4 in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, and edited in iMovie. . . . CONTINUE READING: Brazil: My First iPhone Video

ROVING CAMERA BLOG • Travel • Production

Eerie Times at USP

In Brazil, our story was based in Ribeirão Preto, (pronounced something like “HEE-bay-roan PRAY-toe,” though all Brazilians laughed at our attempts to say it) a city of a half million, three or four hours inland from São Paulo. Our final shoot was at the local campus of the Universidade de São Paulo. In search of an interview background that was neither a glass hotel nor a slum, our local production assistant Erica took us to the university.

The Ribeirão Preto campus of “OOS-pee,” as USP is known, is spread out, tree-covered, and rural. Driving through campus, Randy chose a spot in front of a blue house with some mottled light coming through the trees in the background, then Erica helped Lori and our Brazilian producer Marcello Bartz get permission to shoot there the next day.

<<See also: Brazil: My First iPhone Video, Continental Drift>>

We pulled up in several trucks and proceeded to unload our cases and set up our gear. A few neighbors stopped by to see what was going on, and after a while a truck came speeding up and three burly guys quickly emerged. They looked around uncertainly, taking in the scene, then called out loudly in Portuguese. Bartz went to talk with them, and soon they were all laughing. “He says he hasn’t paid his rent in three months,” said Bartz, “and he was afraid the university had sent some men to evict him and trucks to haul off his stuff.”

. . . CONTINUE READING: Eerie Times at USP

ROVING CAMERA BLOG • Travel • Production

Continental Drift

I’m hunkering down at home right now after a three-week trip through Europe and South America to shoot a global corporate medical film. Our route took four of us – and 13 cases of video and audio gear – drifting through the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and Brazil. Plus one day shooting here in the San Francisco Bay Area last Monday.

Tomorrow, Sunday, we go to China to finish shooting the project. It will be the fourth continent on this shoot for DIT Jim Rolin and me. Director David Rathod and producer Anne Sandkuhler joined us for the travel legs in Europe. After shooting at three locations in the US, director Randy Field and producer Lori Wright then joined Jim and me for the long schlep down to Brazil.

<<See also Eerie Times at USP, Brazil: My First iPhone Video>>

And what a schlep it was! Nine flights in 19 days: SFO–>Frankfurt–>Amsterdam–>Geneva–>Hamburg–>Geneva–>Washington Dulles–>Sao Paulo–>JFK–>SFO. Nearly 24,000 miles, a real butt-burner. Somewhere over the Atlantic between Switzerland and coastal US, I surpassed 50,000 miles on United this year, qualifying me for coveted Premier Executive status in their mileage program. Only mileage whores like me care about such things. I’m like George Clooney in “Up in the Air,” except without the chicks and without the firings … and the looks …

We’re shooting this job with a Panasonic 3700 camera and Fujinon 16×6.3mm zoom. For our interviews, we’re using a Zeiss 28mm f1.6 DigiPrime. Our interviewees look directly into the . . . CONTINUE READING: Continental Drift


Murse Gone Missing

Sometimes the road home is paved with obstacles.

I got out of Glen’s car in front of my hotel after a massive dose of Southern cooking, stretched, admired the alabaster dome of the U.S. Capitol in the distance, and waved goodbye as he drove off. An instant later, my heart sank as I realized I didn’t have my murse.

I had come to Washington from my home in San Francisco with a small film crew to shoot a quick interview at the Department of Education. Glen was an old friend from California who had moved to D.C. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time, but the warmth of our friendship had quickly re-surfaced as we spent the evening catching up over dinner at Georgia Brown’s Restaurant.

But now — panic! I had an early flight home in the morning, and my murse, my man-purse with my only identification, was on the floor of his car. Or was it?

Years before, I had tired of carrying my wallet, money, keys, and ID in my pockets, especially when I was skinny and wore skinny jeans, and I’d resorted to an army-surplus shoulder bag to hold most of my pocket essentials. Eventually I’d started using a small nylon pack that cinched around my waist.

But one day on a film shoot in New Zealand, I’d announced loudly to my crew that I would be ready to go shoot outside “as soon as I grab my fanny pack.” They were aghast, . . . CONTINUE READING: Murse Gone Missing


The Bus to Maitencillo

Christmas Eve on the other side of the planet, and we had just missed our bus. Raw chicken was thawing in my backpack as we trudged along la Alameda in Santiago’s 85-degree heat, through throngs of late shoppers and sidewalk vendors, from one bus station to another.

Susan and I were visiting our son Danny, who had just completed his foreign study program at la Universidad de Chile. Danny’s Chilean host family had invited us to overnight at their beach house in Maitencillo (my-ten-SEE-yo). They had already left for the beach, but since Danny had visited there once before, he remembered which bus to take for our two-hour ride to the Pacific.

Though we lived in California, we traditionally spent the holidays in Arizona with our extended family. We missed our other son and our son-in-law, our cousins, nieces and nephews. It was hard to be away from my sister, who had lost her husband at the beginning of that year, and our mom, then 95. We came from a Jewish family, but my sister had married a Catholic guy years before, and their three grown daughters had married two Protestants and an Orthodox Jew and produced six kids of their own.

So we had quite a sampling of Judeo-Christian religions. Our family holiday gatherings, which often numbered 15 or 20 at someone’s house or at a restaurant, were warm and gabby, inclusive and nonreligious. Sometimes we got together separately with the Jewish relatives to exchange Hanukkah presents, sometimes . . . CONTINUE READING: The Bus to Maitencillo