Feeling pretty good about things.
Well… not quite at the moment. I have a terrible stress headache from the first day back at work since I went to NAB.
Things are looking good for me right now. I expect to be under contract shortly for a huge project. How big?.. well … Big enough to fund my studio build. I will finally make it out of the 11×12 foot room in the basement, and into 600 square foot studio. Not huge, but at 450% more room, it is going to be amazing. Plus it will be mine, on my property, no rental, no fees, mine mine mine.
I have my work cut out for me though. I have to build 3 moco robots that will accommodate the request from the production company. These robots are build upon my years of experience filming plants and playing with robotics. I have them all designed out in 3D, parts priced out, materials selected, I’m just waiting on the check to get to work. They will each have 7 degrees of motion with a spare motor for a turntable or to move/pull props etc. The design is solid, not overly complex, and they are not quite like anything out there. I have to build 2 within the next 2 months and number 3 will be due a month later.
This project will likely keep me busy throughout 2018, but the good news is that Otto is only going to be helping on a part of that project, and should be free again for my use pretty quickly, as it is just not a good fit for a majority of what I will be shooting.
And then after that….. well… its something big. that is one of those career defining moments that has the ability to put my life on an entire new trajectory.
I spoke with quite a few people at NAB. Honestly it never occurred for me to go to attend. I can thank Michael Sutton from Kessler for pushing me over that edge. Over the last 5 years I have managed to become online aquaintences with many people who are true professionals in the field. I do not consider myslf a professional in this industry, I am very much a professional in telecommunications, but when it comes to film making, cinematography, timelapse, etc, I have no professional background, no formal education, no internships. I am just some dude who is good at figuring stuff out and doesn’t know when to quit. The people I spent time with /and talked to all seem to feel I already am in this industry. MI remain unconvinced for now.
NAB 2016 and 2017 both had over 100,000 attendees. I would expect the same from 2018. I was probably the only person there that specializes in botanical timelapse. A lot of that is thanks to my day job. Telecom has been very good to me. It provides me a comfortable life, pays my bills, provides insurance for my son, and has given me plenty of room for growth and development. It also afforded me the luxury of a small basement studio that I did not have to keep booked to pay my bills. I have had years to learn how to do this, without making a sacrifice on my paycheck. However, my telecom life does not provide the creative outlet that I need.
The Chronos Project LLC is a company I own and the entire Biolapse thing is not a hobby(as much as I love it). I do work to sell footage and pick up work. I have already shot for a documentary and sold some footage here and there. It has always been a goal to be able to do this full time, and I was figuring if i really keep at it and keep pushing the boundaries, that maybe in the next 5-6 years I might be able to make that move. But suddenly that timescale has changed, and it seems like it may be a very likely possibility in the next year. I don’t plan to rush in and resign from my current position anytime soon. But its pretty cool seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
So about NAB.
It was awesome!
I got to NAB on Monday and stopped by the convention center while my hotel room was being prepared. That place is huge!
I spent about an hour there before getting setup in the hotel, then made my way back for a while. The place was jam packed with all sorts of cool equipment from hundreds/thousands of vendors. Everything from tiny mini cameras to broadcast vans. Robots to chroma-key systems. Everything you could imagine. I was really like a kid in a candy store.
I met Brian from eMotimo on the first day. Funny, I thought he would be taller(hahaha). Brian was doing a demo of the spectrum at the American Grip booth where they had some Spectrums setup on some Dana Dollys. It was great to get a chance to finally meet. I had talked to Brian plenty of times over the years, stretching back to The Chronos Project days when Kyle and I were still making Chronos Rails and Lens Apparatus’s. About a month back he sent me a Spectrum demo unit to play with, they have been hard at work on integrating with Dragonframe which is a particular interest of mine.
I also had an opportunity to meed Dustin Farrell, I have been a big fan of his work for some time now. we have spoken a few times on social media, but it was nice to put a face to the name. He was hanging out with Pete Cole who was a pretty cool dude I have started following, and another fellow who I hate to say I cant remember his name. I have always been really shitty at names, but luckily nobody reads this blog so my secret is safe. It is always nice to meet professionals in the industry, especially that they are willing to give me some of their time.
Not long after the show was shutting down for the evening, and I headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up from the travel and headed out to the strip to check things out and find some dinner. This is actually the first time being in Vegas. Well, as an adult that is. I am not much of a gambler but couldn’t miss the chance to check it all out. The opulence is just mind blowing. The hotel I was at (I was being cheap) was near Circus Circus, maybe a half mile up from where things start to get interesting.
Up and on the way back to NAB by 9am. I stopped by Dennys…. wtf is with Dennys and Vegas? We have them out in colorado but holy crap, they have a Denny’s on virtually every corner.
After a solid breakfast I made it to NAB and got to check out BOLT.
They actually had quite a few of these beasts at NAB. They make Otto look like it is right out of the stone age. This one was setup with a button you could press and it would film you and move the camera around, same sort of setup as at the Emmys. Did I?… yes. But there will never be any evidence.
They had some really sweet chroma-key setups going. Zero Density had an impressive setup that was a mic of chroma-key and augmented reality.
There were quite a few setups that were setup like full television sets, complete with actors and setup with camera systems you could use to film them. I have no idea how long it takes them to set these up, but the displays are fantastic.
I managed to connect with Adrien Oneiga and get lunch which was a real treat. He does some really amazing work. Its really cool to meet an artist that is so passionate about his work. Especially that he was willing to hang out and give me some of his time and some industry advice. I don’t really consider myself in this industry yet, I feel like somewhat of an outsider, and it is very humbling to get a chance to talk to professionals that have spend decades dedicated to film making.
I don’t want to share his work without permission, but do yourself a favor and go check out his website. His work is phenomenal and I am hoping that someday we may be able to work on a project together. He has an excellent sense of vision and really manages to nail down the execution and bring it to life, which is not an easy task.
Lets rewind to 1997. I was in the USAF and living in Japan and working on telecommunications. We had a DMS-100 switch from Nortel, and I was working in the switch room with SSgt Mark Jacobs. That was a great time, I learned a lot from him. When I got to Vegas I put up a message on Facebook about it, and Mark hit me up, turns out he lived in Las Vegas.
After the show ended we met up and he took me up to fremont street. Holy shit. That was a lot of fun. It was a great time catching up and people watching over some beers. There were tons of people out there, street performers, and several stages with live bands, and it was only tuesday. I could imagine what that place is like on a weekend.
Next day I made some more rounds and found this.
Its the Laowa 24mm f/14. Since the first time seeing this lens years ago online I have been in love with the idea of this lens. I had assumed it would never make it to production but they had it at the show, and looks like they will start taking orders in june for about 1,500usd. It has a waterproof slip on covering for the end with a USB powered ring light right at the tip. This is now on top of my list of toys to buy.
The 3rd day my goal was to get out and meet as many people as I could. First on that list was Michael Sutton from Kessler. I have spoke with him on many occasions online and it was a real treat to get to know him. It was actually his suggestion that prompted me to go to NAB in the first place. I found him outside the Small HD booth during their monitor giveaway hanging out with Lenny Mordarski. It was a real pleasure to Meet Lenny as well. We stood outside during the raffle in the sun and baked at least 3 shades of sunburn together.
I also had a chance to meet David Katz and spend some time with him. He has a very extensive background in shooting documentaries and was more than happy to give me some advice over lunch. He does some beautiful work, his work has allowed him to travel the world and is deeply entrenched within an area of photography I have always wanted to engage in. David was a blast to hang out with and I hope to see him again. While having lunch with I also had the opportunity to meet Jeremy Caldwell and pick his brain a bit. Real nice guy! I hope our paths cross again sometime.
When it comes to this industry I have always felt like an outsider looking in. It was an awesome experience getting to meet so many people that have spent their lives in photography and film, and that they were willing to give me some of their time. Wish any luck one day I will be doing this work full time.
Mostly Vendors after that. I managed to meet quite a few more people, and by the time 5 pm came around I was beat. Got back to the hotel to rest for a few then took an uber down to the strip for some taco’s and a few drinks. Managed to see the fountains at Bellagio and the rest of the stuff.
Ill add some more photos and stuff, but I think its about time to wrap this up. I am back at the real world now and have a lot of work ahead of me.