18
May 11

Finding America – John Van Hamersveld

American graphic artist and illustrator John Van Hamersveld who designed record jackets for pop and psychedelic bands, since the 1960s including the Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles, Crown of Creation by Jefferson Airplane and Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones is profiled by Sinuhe Xavier for the Finding America series.

Enjoy
TrVZ


 


16
May 11

Handmade Portraits: Greg Beauchamp

Here is a great video portrait by Pascal Perich for the folks at Etsy.  This video profiles California-based artist and art director Greg Beauchamp who’s simple yet profound philosophy’s on life really resonated with me.

“The simpler you can make something, the more universal it becomes.  This idea that if you can reduce something to it’s core, it speaks louder than layering something.”

How true, Enjoy.
TrVZ


Enjoy

 


13
May 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 11 – Intangible Interview Tips

Pulling off an effective interview isn’t as easy as you may think.  It is often the most challenging part of the production and usually makes or breaks your piece.  In the past 5 years I’ve probably done as many interviews as anyone in new media and I still learn new things every time.  Last week I shared some tangible interview tips that has helped me over the years.  Today I will give you some of the intangible elements that contribute to a better interview.

6. Dress The Part:

As I get older I am learning to appreciate how dressing like an adult helps in the respect ctegory.  Gone are my days of tilted baseball caps, ironic Tees, and shorts.  You don’t have to dress like you are working on Wall Street although it really can’t hurt, but you should wear something that says I take myself seriously.  My rule of thumb is if I can’t wear it on a dinner date, then I probably shouldn’t be wearing it to work.

7. Master Your Domain:

The moment you enter an interview space you have to make that environment yours even if you are an invited guest.  There are ways to do this without being rude or territorial.  Ask the hosts for permission to scout the location to find the best interview setting.  Once you have that permission take the opportunity to collect your thoughts, get comfortable with the space, and to shift into director mode.  Every single person I’ve ever interviewed from celebrities to my folks has looked for direction from me, embrace that responsibility.

8. The Push & The Pull:

One of the skills that come most naturally to me is being able to read people.  A very useful trait as a director.   The bottom line is that you want your subject to be comfortable and to feel confident.  If your subject is talking to fast, repeatedly asking you how they are doing, restarting allot, chances are the interview won’t be very good.  When you see these signs shift gears and take the pressure off.  I usually do this by talking about an unrelated topic and weaving my way back to the related subject matter.  There are dozens of ways to shift gears, many just come with practice. That being said, the interviewer’s best skill is to know when to shut up.  If the dialogue is flowing don’t feel the need to push your agenda, act more like a moderator.

9. Don’t be a Douche:

It helps if you are a likable person and that the person you are interviewing is also likable.  If that isn’t the case a producer or an assistant can be an invaluable asset acting as a buffer between you and any bad vibes.

10. Manage the Energy:

If the energy is cool and artsy, then be cool and artsy.  If you need more passionate energetic answers then you should try to encourage that in your tone and your body language.

Next Friday: Prospecting for Clients.

Thanks

Trevor “Trevz” Bayack is a Brooklyn-born filmmaker who approaches his web pieces as mini documentaries. Recognized as a member of the 2008 URB magazine Next 100 for pioneering the “video blog” Trevz continually makes his pieces shorter, sharper and ever more shareable” Follow our twitter feed for more.


 


12
May 11

Wayback Thursday’s – The Pussy Party

This week we take the Wayback machine back to August of 2008 at the height of thenewpop party days.  The New Pop triple threat of Tone, Texas and myself (Trevz) covered a party at Rebel called The Pussy Party.  As was our custom back in the day I showed up with no real script in mind and came up with video ideas on the fly.  On this night I thought it would be great to do a silent film in which The New Pop Sticker would play the role of the protagonist. Texas led the way placing stickers on everyone and took the video over the top.  It’s funny how some of the folks we put stickers on ended up becoming such an integral part of the New Pop story in later years, including Contessa and Louisa who were a part of our huge drama filled SXSW Road Trip that signaled the beginning of the end of our party days.

Wayback Trivia: This night Wesley Clouden (who is a friend today) was also shooting something at Rebel (You can see him in this video).  After being the only videographer on the scene for a couple of years, Wesley was the first videographer I started to run into covering similar events.  At first I would hear about him and see him on occasion but no one could figure out where to find his movies.  To this day I still have no idea where Wes is hiding those movies.

 


11
May 11

NYC Dining Car | A 6 – Course Dinner Party On The NYC Subway

One of the items I left out on my recent Videographers Guide post of top cliches in New Media was the good old NYC subway stunt.  From the Ride the Subway With No-Pants day, to Subway Improv to just good old fashion spontaneous group songs, I have had my fill and even contributed to quite a few on this site.  However this latest one NYC Dining Car is so well executed that I thought why not?  According to The New York Times article…

[The Dinning Guests] had been lured by the promise of a clandestine dining experience. (“Please go to the North East Corner of 8th Ave and 14th St,” read the instructions e-mailed early that morning. “There will be a tall slender woman there with jet black hair who is holding an umbrella. Please just go up and introduce yourself. Her name is Michele and she is quite lovely, but no matter how hard you press she won’t tell you about the adventure you are going on.”)”

CK Swett who we featured on our video profile of Anthony Sneed and is probably as eccentric as anyone we ever interviewed on this site was perfect in his role as maître d’hôtel.

Enjoy
TrVZ


10
May 11

SoLost – Chainsaw Samaritans

It is a sad truth that it often takes some sort of crises or disaster to appreciate what it is that we have.  This video taken by Dave Anderson shot the day after the Tornado’s hit Alabama focuses on some of the folks who used their chainsaws to help in the cleanup effort.  It really makes you proud to be an American.

TrvZ


09
May 11

Etsy – Butch Anthony’s Museum of Wonder

This video titled Butch Anthony’s Museum of Wonder directed by Eric Beug features the artwork, architecture and quirky interior designs of the artist Butch Anthony, who along with his neighbor John Henry Toney create a charming environment where artifacts, oddities, and folk art take root.  What really caught my eye was Butch Anthony’s home. It goes against everything you would expect from a collector of Junk living in Alabama. It almost makes you want to move to the deep South and build one of your own. Almost. You can read more about this amazing place on the Etsy blog.

Enjoy
TrVZ

 


06
May 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 10 – Tangible Interview Tips

Pulling off an effective interview isn’t as easy as you may think.  It is often the most challenging part of the production and usually makes or breaks your piece.  In the past 5 years I’ve probably done as many interviews as anyone in New Media and I still learn new things every time.  Here are 5 tips that can help you out.

1. Audio:

As mentioned in Chapter 2 – “Nothing screams amateur like shoddy sound.  It’s the easiest thing to take for granted, and the hardest thing to fix in post.  If you are using a DSLR camera at the minimum buy an external mic.  Some clients are so picky that you are probably better off budgeting for a sound guy.

2. Location:

Choose a location with an interesting background.  Consider the subjects distance from the wall.  If you want a more intimate feel place your subject close to the wall.  If you want to emote something more grand, move your subject away from the wall.  And when outdoors please don’t shoot with the sun behind the subject.

3. Eyeline:

Whether the subject looks into the camera or not determines the directness of the message.  Staring directly into the camera is more jarring and takes on a more dramatic tone.  Looking off camera feels more conversational and also gives you more to work with in terms of different camera angles and 2 camera shots.

4. Interview to Output ratio:

My interview to output ratio is about 10 to 1 meaning for every minute of soundbytes I plan to use I schedule 10 minutes of interview time.  Due to time considerations on the editing side, the output ratio often goes down, rarely goes up.

5. Rapport and how not to ruin it:

This is probably the most important element of your interview and also the most intangible.  It is why some photographers and videographers have “it” and some don’t.  How one manages the energy between the subject and the camera is hard to define and I won’t try here (I will cover that next week), what I will do is make suggestions on things to avoid.

  • Don’t be late to an interview. We had an old adage on film sets, “early is on-time, on-time is late, and late is unheard of.”  If you’ve ever worked on a film set everyone is early.  I worked on sets for over 10 years and was about 5 minutes late twice.  I got reamed both times and one time I would’ve gotten fired if I wasn’t needed to drive the truck to set.  My counterparts in new media haven’t seemed to grasp this one yet. (Note: L.A. doesn’t count they are much more laid back about time.)
  • Don’t interview for over 30 minutes without a break.  I learned this one the hard way when after 30 minutes of not getting what I needed on a recent interview, the subject got restless but I persisted because I thought I was finally making headway.  Well after pushing the subject he became openly hostile to me and the client and pretty much threw us out of his loft before we could get the b-roll we needed for the video.  Live and learn.
  • Keep your questions short: Subjects usually know where you’re going with your questions, no need to over-explain.
  • Don’t let the client step on your questions.  Remind the client to pause between your question and their answer.  This one is for the editors.
  • Write down your questions.  Even if you don’t know exactly who you will be interviewing, you should know beforehand what the angle of your video is and what kind of questions to ask.
  • At the end of the interview, allow the subject to add anything that you may have missed during your questioning.

Next Friday: The Intangible Interview Tips.

Thanks

Trevor “Trevz” Bayack is a Brooklyn-born filmmaker who approaches his web pieces as mini documentaries. Recognized as a member of the 2008 URB magazine Next 100 for pioneering the “video blog” Trevz continually makes his pieces shorter, sharper and ever more shareable” Follow our twitter feed for more.


 


05
May 11

Wayback Thursday’s – King Stampede/Shut NYC

This week we go back to an event that took place at the Red Bull space somewhere around July of 2008. It was an event thrown by King Stampede and Shut Skateboard.  The event was pretty cool but not something I would cover today.  Mostly because it involved not much more than people standing around having drinks looking cool.  There were no performances, no art, nothing to really discuss on camera, not even many people dancing.  As a result I fell back on the old getting to know you strategy and introduced just about everyone in the place to the camera.  I already knew half the room so it was pretty easy.  Today I would die if I had to shoot something like that again.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: There has only been one person that I can remember that hasn’t paid me for work.  It was for the gig posted above and his name was Todd and he worked with RedBull.  You can see him at the end of the video.  He bailed on paying me for additional editing and raw footage, even after seeing me a couple of times and giving me his “word” that he would get me paid. It wasn’t much, just a couple of hundred in OT.  Todd I guess your rep isn’t worth much.


04
May 11

Trailer – Page One: Inside The New York Times

Over the past year or so I’ve had the privilege of seeing some really good documentaries.  From Radiant Child to Exit Through The Gift Shop, To The Bill Cunningham film.  Hopefully this next film about our favorite topic (New Media) titled Page One Inside The New York Times and directed by Andrew Rossi can keep the streak going.  It looks promising.

TrVZ

“With the Internet surpassing print as our main news source, and newspapers going bankrupt, Page One chronicles the media industry’s transformation and assesses the high stakes for democracy. The film deftly makes a beeline for the eye of the storm or, depending on how you look at it, the inner sanctum of the media, gaining unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom for a year. “

The movie is slated for release on June 24.