Many people do not understand what sex-trafficking is. I explored this crime, and interviewed the two co-founders of Breaking the Chains, a Fresno non-profit. One of the founders was a victim herself and now helps those who have suffered the agony of sex-trafficking. I also interviewed a woman who is on her journey to emancipation. She was once a prostitute who was forced into sex-trafficking. I do not explore much about her past, but focus on the positive of her well-being now and her future. Breaking the Chains help women get back on their feet. This mini-documentary sheds light on sex-trafficking and shows the support of Breaking the Chains.
Today I get the chance to tell a brave soul’s story. A story that is hard to hear about, but needs to be told. I will be working on a mini-documentary and will explore the wonders a nonprofit organization is having here in Fresno. It is important to me to get these stories out, so that people can help and people can be aware of what is going on locally. Nonprofits are great organizations that do not get much recognition for the work they do. My hope is after I capture this story and present it to you, that this organization will be on its way to becoming recognized more for it kind acts.
I have already scouted the location, so I know where I will be shooting. My plans to interview the subjects are already put in place. Shooting the broll will be somewhat difficult since I will be shooting it before the interviews. Interviews are usually shot first so that you can use what the interviewee says as a script. From that script you have a better understanding of what needs to be shot for video. However, this is a special circumstance where I will be shooting broll first. Because I have met with the CEO of the organization, I have a pretty good understanding what will be said during the interviews which will allow me a better understanding of what needs to be captured by video.
This is the first time I have created a look for a project. By look I mean a color grade, an emotional landscape that will help convey the message of the mini-documentary. I plan on finishing this project by Saturday. I am off from my full-time job, but love storytelling so much I can’t keep my hands away from the camera, especially when I can help an organization get their word out.
Gangs, water shortage, and other things plague the city of Fresno. Trash is another huge issue in this city. Our gutters, streets, sidewalks and freeways are full of garbage. Just imagine if each one of us picked up one paper cup or one piece of paper, Fresno would be spotless. I think that some people feel it is not their problem so they do not bend down and pick up after others. No one likes to do it, but we need to come together as a community and either stop throwing our garbage in the street or pick it up. My son does just this, picks up trash and has adopted it as his own ministry. He picks up trash near our neighborhood and once he is done the street looks really nice and clean but it only takes a few days for it to look bad again. This fourth grader cannot do it alone, so either stop littering or pick some litter up!
Speeches that are captured during a wedding can really make a wedding film stand out. The words that are expressed by the priest, family member, best man, and so one can have an emotional impact. Cards that are read by the groom and bride are also very popular. I like to base my short wedding films around speeches. Lyrics from a song are good, but when you have family members telling great stories about the bride and groom you have really struck gold. What better way to tell a story than having those closest to you to the stories! So think about who you want to give a toast at your wedding, and also be creative…you only get married once.
Whether you are capturing a live event, broll or an interview; there are some precautions you can take as videographer that can make your job easier. Whenever I am recording both sound and video at a live event and I am moving about, I like to plug in my Tascam field recorder directly into the sound source. If that sound source is a mixer I will plug into it. Field recorders run off of batteries or AC. At my shoots I do not have the opportunity to plug into the wall so I am forced to use my batteries. One thing that is nice though, is that if your recorder can accept usb, then you can use a usb battery pack to run your device. The usb battery pack supplies the recorder with enough power that I do not need to check on it every hour like I would if it was running off of AA batteries. If for some reason the usb battery pack loses power, the recorder than receives its power from the AA batteries. This is a huge success for me and my video production workflow.
Using the usb battery pack can save you many headaches. For one, you can rely on it for a whole day for recording. Two, there may be times when you can’t check on your device because of certain situations. You may be in a church for a whole hour and you can’t leave your spot to check on your recorder, or you may be at a convention where the device is behind the stage. The price of these packs are not bad either. I bought mine for around $40.
When you have the ability to record on two separate SD cards at the same time do it. I am fortunate enough that my Canon C100 allows me some really cool recording options. I can place two SD cards into the slots and have just one record and once it is finished the recording starts on the second card in the second slot. This type of recording method is called relay recording. The camera also allows you to record to both cards at the same time, which is called simultaneously recording. By recording this way, you are assured that if one card goes bad you have a backup.
My son asked me the other day, “Dad, how did you get so good at video work?” I thanked him for the compliment and sat him down. This was a great time to witness to my son regarding my God given talent. I explained to my son that God gives everyone at least one gift. A gift that comes natural, a gift that can help others, a true gift that is given to help serve others. Did I study video production? Yes I did, however, it wouldn’t come to me as naturally as it does if it were not for God giving me the gift to create via video and sound. Did I have to work at getting good? Yes I did, and I am still learning my craft. Many years as a news editor and news photojournalist has helped me become the storyteller I am today. I told my son that when someone obeys God by giving a hundred percent, and working not only for your supervisor but for God, the outcome of your work will surpass others. When you put God first in all things that you do, especially when using your gift, the work is so much greater. You are working at a level that others do not, and because of this you’re work will always stand out from others. The work will be exceptionally well, not because of your ability alone, but because God gave you this gift. Have you ever wondered why some things come easy to others and some do not? Those tasks or skills that God gives us and he allows us to excel in that field of work. This is why it is important to share your gift with others, so that they can benefit from what God has given you. It’s all about sharing. Once you discover your gift, it is up to you to use it to glorify God. Practice your gift, excel in it, and always try to be better at what you do.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.