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ROVING CAMERA BLOG • VIdeos • Muse

Incense Cedar

As we pass the 30-year mark in our home next week, the tall tree in the right rear corner of the yard, an Incense Cedar, stands tall and true, more than twice the height of the house.

When we moved in, there were two tall trees. The left rear corner held a Monterey Pine, so enormous and overgrown that many low branches reached 25 feet across the yard to touch our deck. Others extended over our neighbor’s fence, then across her yard, to rest on the opposite fence on the far side.

The pine was a happy, magnificent, giant forest tree, but clearly it lived in the wrong part of the world. The neighbor remembered that the pine had been a smallish living Christmas tree that the previous owners of our house had plunked into the ground just a dozen years before. The neighbor and I removed 20 huge, low limbs with a pruning saw one day shortly after we moved in, then we had a tree guy come in and take off another 15 higher limbs. A few years later, another tree tried to remove the pine, which by then was over 60 feet tall and continuing to grow rapidly, but he couldn’t deal with its massiveness in our smallish suburban backyard.

Eventually a different pair of tree guys—who climbed like monkeys, wielded wicked chain saws, and lowered limbs with pulleys and ropes—vanquished the pine. It ended up as a scatter of stump seats, a pile of firewood, . . . CONTINUE READING: Incense Cedar

ROVING CAMERA BLOG • VIdeos • Travel • Production • Muse

Showcasing ‘Showdown at Shinagawa’—The Video

Video of a presentation by Bill Zarchy at Northbrae Community Church, Berkeley, California on 2/3/16.

The author reads excerpts from four of the stories in his book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil.” He also discusses the ins and outs of self-publishing, as well as his background as a globe-trotting cinematographer.

The stories read:

  • “Starstruck at Cannes: Morgan Freeman on the Red Carpet”
  • “21st Century Village: Telemedicine in Rural India”
  • “Dog Years: Sophie, Pop, and Bill Clinton”
  • “Shanghai Lunch”
  • Please note: Video is from an iPad. Sound level is low, but audible. Crank it up!

    ROVING CAMERA BLOG • VIdeos • Production

    Temple Beautiful—Part II of Chuck Prophet’s Musical Tour of San Francisco

    San Francisco rock musician Chuck Prophet has released a new video—Part II of a musical tour of San Francisco, named for his newest album, “Temple Beautiful.”

    After recording his last album in Mexico City, says Chuck, “I was looking to make a record closer to home.”

    Part I of Chuck’s Temple Beautiful video tour was released in February. In Part II we visit Chuck’s home and studio and many of his old haunts in the Mission and North Beach. . . . CONTINUE READING: Temple Beautiful—Part II of Chuck Prophet’s Musical Tour of San Francisco

    ROVING CAMERA BLOG • VIdeos • Muse

    My TEDx Talk: Problem-Solving and Adaptation in a Digital World

    Recently I was honored to give a TEDx Talk on creative problem-solving.

    Using examples from three different film projects, I talked about thinking on your feet, adapting to change, and improvising solutions—valuable skills in any era, especially our digital age. It’s not just about mastering the gear, I tell my students. It’s about releasing your creativity. The ability to acquire and propagate images with ease doesn’t make you a Spielberg, any more than learning to write turns you into Shakespeare. But creativity, inquisitiveness, and collaboration will never go out of style.

    TEDx programs are independently organized TED-like events. . . . CONTINUE READING: My TEDx Talk: Problem-Solving and Adaptation in a Digital World

    ROVING CAMERA BLOG • VIdeos • Production

    New Video from Rocker Chuck Prophet: ‘Temple Beautiful’ Tour of San Francisco

    Rock musician Chuck Prophet has released a new video, Part I of his musical tour of San Francisco.

    The video features scenes of Chuck playing cuts from his new Temple Beautiful album and chatting about songs inspired by various iconic settings in the City by the Bay.

    “If ever Cain and Abel went into business together, it would probably be something like the O’Farrell Theater,” he says in front of the Mitchell Brothers’ porn paradise (for “The Left Hand and the Right Hand”). Other locations include the Geary Street site of both Jim Jones’ People’s Temple and former Punk club The Temple (“Temple Beautiful”), Harvey Milk Plaza at Castro and Market (“White Night, Big City”), and various downtown corners (“Who Shot John”). . . . CONTINUE READING: New Video from Rocker Chuck Prophet: ‘Temple Beautiful’ Tour of San Francisco

    ROVING CAMERA BLOG • VIdeos • Production • Tech

    Traffic Study—Timelapse with GoPro & 5D

    The amazing little GoPro HDHero cameras can record full 1080p HD video, as well as timelapse and single shots. They’re tiny and easy to rig anywhere, as in the setup below where we used them on a corporate shoot, mounting six on laptops for a video chat, instead of the built-in iSight cameras.

    But camera movement is where the GoPros shine. The HDHero comes with helmet mount, auto mount, body mount, or wrist mount, with both waterproof and non-waterproof housings. I recently bought the HDHero camera, helmet rigging, suction cup for autos, tiny clip-on LCD monitor, extra batteries and clip-on battery pack. In Timelapse mode on the GoPros, you can only control the interval between shots (2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds). Everything else is automatic—shutter, aperture, video gains, etc. . . . CONTINUE READING: Traffic Study—Timelapse with GoPro & 5D

    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