By: Caitlyn Brown Pexels[Happy Kids by Maggie Zhao, CC0]Humanity has a fascination with longevity and health. There are hundreds of stories of individuals searching for eternal life and a way to conquer death. In reality, humanity is constantly under attack by ailments, diseases, and other threats to our well-being. While we have made significant progress over the years in our research and understanding of health (we know to avoid certain substances, limit particular foods and steer clear of dangerous things), there has been a large gap of acknowledgment and understanding regarding the potential impact studied by the ACEs.Dr. Nadine Burke Harris describes her entry into the medical profession. Like many other physicians fresh out of their residency, Dr. Harris wanted to do the most she could for the most amount of people. Her practice in San Francisco saw 10,000+ children and despite the top quality care, Dr. Harris and her team continued to encounter a problem between the presentation of symptoms rooted in behavior, like ADHD, and actual diagnosis. It was not until Dr. Harris was given the study by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC, The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, that she was able to see a solution to her practices problems.The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study tested over 17,500 adults to see if previous exposure to something traumatic in childhood was correlated with health and well-being as adults. The results of this study were not only statistically significant, but had a significant impact on how doctors and medical professionals understand exposure, health, and development. This study found that exposure to adversity has a lasting impact on the brain, changing the structures of areas that control impulses, behaviors, executive functioning and many others. These structural changes, caused by the constant exposure to adversity, have long-term effects on the health of an individual. Some of the potential correlated health problems that that could originate from an individual’s adverse experiences are: hepatitis, heart-disease, depression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and many others.If you would like to hear directly from Dr. Harris about this topic and her experience, you can view her TED Talk here:Unfortunately, while this study is widely accepted, it is not necessarily widely known. Dr. Harris, like many others, believes that in order to have the best clinical practice you must be aware of the most effective clinical treatment protocols. The impact that adverse childhood experiences have is too great to be overlooked. If you would like to know more about the ACEs study, Dr. Harris or what your ACEs score is, check out our other resources and our upcoming webinar on August 17th at 11am Eastern.This post was written by Caitlyn Brown of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
The Family Development Early Intervention Team is excited to announce initial details for our 2018 Webinar Series! Click the image to learn more!
ReferencesMayo ClinicNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)Stepney, C., Kane, K., & Bruzzese, J.-M. (2011). My Child is Diagnosed with Asthma, Now What? Motivating Parents to Help Their Children Control Asthma. The Journal of School Nursing: The Official Publication of the National Association of School Nurses, 27(5), 340–347. Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.Diagnosis: Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute [NHLBI], 2018)A primary care doctor will diagnose asthma based on your child’s medical and family histories, a physical exam and test results. Asthma is determined to be intermittent, mild, moderate or severe. The level of severity will determine what treatment your child will start.Most children who have asthma develop their symptoms before five years of age. Asthma is children younger than five years old can be harder to diagnose. A young child who has frequent wheezing with colds or respiratory infections is more likely to have asthma if (NHLBI, 2018):One or both parents have asthmaThe child has signs of allergies, including the allergic skin condition eczemaThe child has allergic reactions to pollens or other airborne allergensThe child wheezes even when he or she doesn’t have a cold or other infectionSymptoms Asthma symptoms vary from person to person (Mayo Clinic, 2018). Children may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times or have symptoms all the time.Asthma signs and symptoms include:Shortness of breathChest tightness or painTrouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezingA whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the fluReacting to DiagnosisThe initial diagnosis of a child with asthma may generate an emotional crisis for parents. Dominant emotions include denial, grief, self-doubt, powerlessness, anxiety, and guilt (Stepney, Kane, & Bruzzese, 2011)Denial: Initially parents may refuse to accept the diagnosis as a way to adapt. However, prolonged denial can negatively impact child’s treatment.Grief: Parents may grieve the loss of the ideal child, their perceived normal future, independence, previously established normal routines and changing roles within the family. Grief is not finite for many parents’ coping with a child with asthma and may occur over the life-span.Self-doubt and powerlessness: Parents may feel inadequate at managing asthma or doubt their ability to control environmental triggers or to juggle multiple medications, both of which can change with the seasonal nature of asthma.Anxiety: Parents may also experience anxiety about how to care for their child, the uncertainty of the severity and timing of the next asthma episode, medication side-effects, and/or potential lack of communication by health care professionals.Guilt: Another emotion parents may cope with in this phase is guilt. Parents may blame themselves for their child’s asthma and may feel as if they neglected their duty as parents when the child is diagnosed with asthma.Coping with DiagnosisParents coping with diagnosis, may consider the following:Seek information on asthma management strategiesUse strategies that are most effective. For instance, to increase the likelihood that the child takes daily medication, try keeping the medication with the child’s toothbrush (ie within plain sight and incorporate into routine).Practice identifying potential triggers and plan for availability of medication.Establish new routines that incorporate asthma management strategies.Establish and repeat family rituals such as dinnertime and bedtime so that stability and organization is restored.TreatmentTo control asthma, parents will need to partner with doctor to manage the child’s asthma. Children aged 10 or older—and younger children who are able—should take an active role in their asthma care. An active role to control child’s asthma includes:Arranging for treating other conditions that can interfere with asthma management.Avoiding things that worsen asthma (asthma triggers).Encouraging physical activity – although this can be a trigger, staying active is an important part of the child’s healthy lifestyle.Creating and following an asthma action plan for child both at home and school.An asthma action plan gives guidance to child on taking his or her medicines as prescribed; avoiding asthma triggers, incorporating t physical activity; tracking their level of asthma control; responding to worsening symptoms; and seeking emergency care when needed. For a detailed look at an Asthma Action Plan.
Boris Continuum Complete is a cutting edge effects and filter pack for video editors and motion designers. We’ve got 3 copies to giveaway!If you’re looking for a full featured visual effects tool kit, Boris Continuum Complete has you covered. Now on it’s 8th version, BCC packs in over 200 filters and effects to use in your video editing.Boris has provided us with 3 copies of Continuum Complete to give away – EACH valued at $995!UPDATE: THE CONTEST HAS NOW ENDED.Thanks to all who entered.Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for info on future giveaways!Highlights of BCC 8 include:“3D Objects, image restoration tools, time-based effects such as Optical Stabilizer, distortion and perspective effects such as UpRez, generators such as Snow, Rain, and Fire, lights such as Glint, Glare, and Glitter, wipe transitions, keys and mattes including Motion Key for automated foreground object removal, colors and blurs, and film, glow, and cartoon effects.”Boris Continuum Complete gives you the option to choose from one of 1,000 presets or create your own (great for customizing your own looks to use in multiple projects).Demo of Boris Continuum Complete 8 Effects:At NAB 2013, Boris released Version 8.2 of Continuum Complete, an update that incorporates some new features for dramatically faster rendering. This current version of BCC supports Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion (FXPlug), as well as Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro. An Avid and Sony Vegas release will be available sometime in the near future.For more info and to purchase Continuum Complete visit Boris FX.In the following videos you can see Continuum Complete in action:Creating Film Looks with Continuum Complete 8Streamline Your VFX Workflow in Premiere Pro CS6 with BCCAnimate Effects Across Multiple Clips with Beat Reactor
Expert marketeer Mark Steven Bosko shares some great tips for promoting your next film project.Resources like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have revolutionized the way filmmakers raise support and interact with their audiences, but successful films require much more than good fundraising. They require good marketing. As indie filmmakers we stress over the subtle nuances of production but when it comes to selling our film we are often clueless.To assist us with this problem we’ve asked Mark Steven Bosko, the founder of the Bosko Group and author of The Complete Independent Movie Marketing Handbook, to answer a few questions we had about marketing indie films.Q: Let’s start with the basics – the state of indie film. What’s the outlook right now for new filmmakers?A: We are in an extremely competitive era offering a vast array of entertainment options. Not only do filmmakers have to compete for audiences against other films, but also against offerings such as the Internet and vastly expanded cable offerings blasting content 24/7. The days of gaining eyeballs simply because you finished a feature length film or documentary are over. Everyone has access to the technology, making this situation even more complicated. Thus, the filmmaker that understands marketing – the whos, whats and wheres of their intended audience are those filmmakers that will succeed. A filmmaker who knows how to tap into his/her audience will be better at creating a film that address that audience’s needs, and more importantly, how to get them interested in the film.Q: How important is marketability when choosing a film to create?A: Well, an artist always has to stay true to his work, so I wouldn’t promote creating a film specifically for commercial reasons. That being said, however, I can stress enough how vital saleability is to a project. There are so many great interviews with storied directors that note they do some films for money and some films for themselves, so if they get this concept, an indie producer should, too. I am constantly seeking marketable films. I get 10-15 films in our office every week, and less than 10% of those have what it takes for me to get the film into the distribution pipeline.That doesn’t mean that many of the movies aren’t great – I enjoy many of the movies that I can’t sell. But I run a business, and to stay in business I must offer films to my buyers – the retailers and Internet platforms – that are attractive to their buyers – the audience. When a filmmaker understands how to combine marketability with their vision – that’s when it works great. Those are the films I want to have in my catalog.Q: Should filmmakers wait until the film is complete to begin marketing a film?A: No. A filmmaker should start selling their films the moment the decide to make one. That doesn’t mean a filmmaker should start calling folks like myself when they write one page of a script, however, I track many films from inception-through-completion, with the producers checking in along the way to ensure they are on track with something marketable. Additionally, to get a film completed, a filmmaker has to constantly market the project to keep folks excited and involved. Selling your vision is a tough job, and requires a lot of energy and work. A dedicated filmmaker gets that and those that can keep the marketing going usually succeed in creating a project that finds its audience. Read about Coppola or Corman – they are the greatest filmmaker/producer/salesmen ever.Q: Ok so you just finished editing your first feature length indie film, what now?A: Have an objective audience view it. Not friends or family but people who don’t know you. Let them criticize it, take notes (or have them make notes or record their thoughts). Even if the comments seem ridiculous or nasty – it’s a great learning process and exposes the filmmaker to ideas and views about their project that usually end up being true weaknesses in the story, acting, direction or production value. Its not fun, but a necessary task.Also send the film to a couple of folks like me who are willing to take a look and offer insight from the business side. I’ve seen films in early cut stages that I could tell with a few changes would make a huge difference in my ability to sell it. Even a change in title can make or break a movie.Q: What are the most important marketing resources filmmakers should utilize?A: The Internet and social media. Filmmakers can connect to their audiences like never before through this medium. From finding buyers and potential audiences to access to building fan bases and targeting direct sales, the possibilities are literally endless. Also key art, metadata and the trailer. These are VITAL. I cannot stress that enough. Audiences still judge a book by its cover and make viewing decisions based on a movie’s trailer, and many times simply on its key art and description (metadata). Do not try to create the key art yourself. In 18 years I think we have only used three designs that originated from the filmmaker. Movie posters look great (and similar) for a reason.Q: In your book you write about the importance of networking as a filmmaker, What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers that aren’t great at networking/communication?A: Find a team member or champion who can do this. I am a promoter/distributor/salesman – this is what I do. But I meet so many filmmakers that do not have that skill set (much like I don’t have their skill set). So many movies never reach their potential because of the person representing it. They either are too shy, too demanding or too protective. There is a lot of finesse in a sale and making the connections that will get a film sold, and if your front man doesn’t understand how it works, they will simply turn off buyers (or we will forget about you).Every filmmaker has someone they know or that is working on the film that can be a salesman. Many times I have spoke with an actor, as these folks are naturally outgoing and friendly. Being honest is very important, as is delivering on time. Nothing will squash a deal quicker than missing a deadline. So whoever is out front, be sure they can back up what they are telling people like me.Mark Steven Bosko is the founder of the Bosko Group a company designed to help filmmakers find distribution and promotion. Mark is also a regular presenter at film festivals and industry events including SXSW, AFM, Moondance, an Reel Inspiration, among others. Thank you for sharing your insights Mark!Have an indie film marketing question? Ask in the comments below.
Create a reflective emblem or badge using the latest R16 features in Cinema 4D.The latest Cinema 4D R16 update is scheduled to be released within the next few weeks. This is a major update to Cinema, so we’ve got new video tutorials lined up to get you up to speed with several of the new features!Curious what’s included in this new update of C4D? Check out our previous post: 14 New Cinema 4D R16 Feature You Should KnowIn this tutorial we’ll show you how to create a reflective badge in Cinema 4D – great for company or sports logo designs. This tutorial will utilize a few of the new features included in version 16, including the bevel deformer and reflectance editor. You can still create these effects in earlier versions, but will require extra finesse. Fundamentals covered include:Working with Illustrator and Cinema 4DBevel DeformerReflection ToolsBoole EffectWe’ll update this tutorial with a corresponding project file when R16 is available to the public. You can download the font we use (Langdon) by checking out XLIntelecom’s website.If you have any questions regarding this tutorial or any new features in R16 please feel free to ask in the comments below. If you want to learn more about Cinema 4D and get some free project files check out our the Cinema 4D section of the PremiumBeat blog.Have any questions regarding this tutorial? Are you excited about R16? Share in the comments below.
1920 x 108023.98 fps264 Mbps176 Mbps117 Mbps82 Mbps36 Mbps Frame DimensionsFrame RateProRes 4444ProRes 422 (HQ)ProRes 422ProRes 422 (LT)ProRes 422 (Proxy) 1440 x 108025 fps236 Mbps157 Mbps105 Mbps73 Mbps32 Mbps 960 x 72025 fps118 Mbps79 Mbps52 Mbps36 Mbps16 Mbps 1920 x 108029.97 fps330 Mbps220 Mbps147 Mbps102 Mbps45 Mbps 720 x 57623.98 fps88 Mbps59 Mbps39 Mbps27 Mbps12 Mbps 720 x 57625 fps92 Mbps61 Mbps41 Mbps28 Mbps12 Mbps 720 x 57629.97 fps110 Mbps73 Mbps49 Mbps34 Mbps15 Mbps 2048 x 115225 fps315 Mbps210 Mbps140 Mbps97 Mbps43 Mbps 1280 x 72025 fps138 Mbps92 Mbps61 Mbps42 Mbps19 Mbps 1440 x 108023.98 fps226 Mbps151 Mbps101 Mbps70 Mbps31 Mbps 1440 x 108029.97 fps283 Mbps189 Mbps126 Mbps87 Mbps38 Mbps 720 x 48625 fps79 Mbps52 Mbps35 Mbps24 Mbps10 Mbps 1280 x 72023.98 fps132 Mbps88 Mbps59 Mbps41 Mbps18 Mbps 2048 x 115223.98 fps302 Mbps201 Mbps134 Mbps93 Mbps41 Mbps 720 x 48629.97 fps94 Mbps63 Mbps42 Mbps29 Mbps12 Mbps 720 x 48623.98 fps75 Mbps50 Mbps34 Mbps23 Mbps10 Mbps ProRes has gained in popularity as an intermediate codec. In this post we share tips for using ProRes in your video workflow.When I began my career I was editing a lot of video in Final Cut 7, so ProRes naturally was my best friend. When I made the brief jump to Avid and then quickly turned to Premiere Pro, ProRes came along for the ride. With more and more high-end cameras shooting RAW and programs like Premiere having the ability to read those RAW files natively, as of late ProRes has been dwindling within my workflow. However, if you’re shooting a project with a short turnaround time, you can’t go wrong with ProRes.1. Know Your FormatsThere are a total of six ProRes formats. These formats range from extreme compression to minimal compression rates. It’s important to note that each ProRes format supports all of the current frame sizes such as SD, HD, 2K, 4K & 5K. So lets take a quick look at each codec and the data rate specs for each frame size. 1920 x 108025 fps275 Mbps184 Mbps122 Mbps85 Mbps38 Mbps 960 x 72029.97 fps141 Mbps94 Mbps63 Mbps44 Mbps19 Mbps 960 x 72023.98 fps113 Mbps75 Mbps50 Mbps35 Mbps15 Mbps 1280 x 72029.97 fps165 Mbps110 Mbps73 Mbps51 Mbps23 Mbps 2048 x 115229.97 fps377 Mbps251 Mbps168 Mbps116 Mbps52 Mbps 2. Encoding with Variable BitrateVariable Bitrate (VBR) allows ProRes to be economical with video storage, without damaging the visuals. This type of damage will sometimes occur when max bitrate is exceeded with codecs that are fixed. So for instance, if we encode an action sequence, ProRes can use a higher data rate which will ensure that image loss is negated and the detail of the video remains. Then say, we have a simple two-shot dialogue sequence. ProRes reallocates only the bitrate needed. Being able to vary bitrate based on the material is pretty impressive.3. Question of Storage and RAW UsageWhile ProRes is a larger file size than H.264, it falls well short of the storage cost of RAW formats such as RED RAW. With that said, for most video professionals ProRes is the codec of choice for any work relating to a project that needs a quick turnaround time.However, many professionals agree that if you are working on a project where more time can be devoted to the project, you’ll want to go with RAW. Even though ProRes 4444 retains a wealth of image information, this data is still far less than what you get with RAW.RAW assures you that you are getting the least compression. I’ve found that by using RED RAW over ProRes I have far more flexibility in post. If not much time can be devoted to post, then I’ll transcode to ProRes 422 in order to speed up my editing process. Working with RAW 4K footage can be taxing on your editing system.Here is a nice video comparison of ProRes going head to head with CinemaDNG through a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (video by Tom Majerski):4. You Can Edit Outside of Final Cut Pro XWhile this seems like a no-brainer it’s a misconception that I’ve found with quite a few inexperienced video producers and filmmakers. I’ve heard “I thought you could only use ProRes in Final Cut” a few more times than I care to admit. ProRes is supported by all of the major editing softwares such as Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer & Lightworks.5. ProRes is a 10-bit CodecThe basic train of thought is the higher the bit number, the higher the quality of the video. Bits give us an idea on how many colors are being captured during filming (for most DSLRs you’ll be capturing 8-bit video). But ProRes is a 10 bit codec, so that means it can process a lot more color data. It’s a good rule of thumb that even if you capture 8-bit video using a DSLR (like a Canon 5D Mark III), you can convert that to ProRes and take advantage of the 10 bit encoding, which can make the color correction process easier.The folks at Atomos put it like this:Even if your camera only outputs 8 bit video, it’s still better to work with a 10 bit codec, because all subsequent editing and processing will be done at the higher resolution. Imagine, even if your original was only 8 bit, adding a subtle colour tint. If you did that at only 8 bit resolution, you’d be adding contours to contours, whereas with 10 bit per channel resolution, you’ll get a much smoother effect. The bottom line is that it’s much better to work at 10 bit resolution than 8 bit, whatever the source of your video.What do you think of ProRes? Is it your codec of choice? Share in the comments below.
Filmmaking can be an expensive career, but there are certainly deals to be had. Come in under budget with these 10 filmmaking tools that are as affordable as they are essential.We can’t say it enough: working as a filmmaker often comes with a hefty price tag. To help ease the strain on your wallet, we’ve done some bargain shopping and found some filmmaking tools that you can put in your kit without breaking the bank.Note: the links below are examples of where you can purchase this filmmaking gear. These are not sponsored or affiliate links. We encourage you to purchase at your favorite gear store!1. Canon 50mm F/1.8 IIPrice: $8750mm lenses are a great investment and can be had for those on a budget. The Canon 50mm F/1.8 II is probably one of the most affordable lenses out there and the image it produces isn’t bad either. Yongnuo is also on the verge of releasing an affordable 50mm lens. You can find it for pre-order at B&H Photo.2. Spider RigPrice: $90-$100Most filmmakers like to have their camera mounted to some type of shoulder rig or grip system. For DSLRs, you can essentially have both mount styles in one Spider Rig. These rigs are really affordable and have a wide flexibility range.3. Camera CagePrice: $45-$100Maybe you don’t need the whole rig and you just want a sturdy and tough camera cage with a top handle. There are a wide variety of options here. A simple search on Ebay brought back a number of cages that are below $100.4. Yongnuo YN-300-II LED LightPrice: $95Sometimes you need more light to really capture a great shot on the fly. There are many options out there to help solve low light problems, but one of our favorites is the YN-300-II from Yongnuo. It’s sturdy, bright, and exceptionally affordable.5. Hoodman Compact Collapsable Viewfinder (For Canon LCD)Price: $70-$100In some situations, there can be so much light that you really can’t see the LCD screen on your DSLR. For those moments, you’ll want to grab an LCD Viewfinder. We found a Hoodman Compact Collapsable Viewfinder at B&H Photo that looks to be a solid option.6. Benro A48FD Series 4 MonopodPrice: $89On documentary film shoots where the pace is quick and frantic, using a tripod is really out of the question. Instead, I run with a Benro Monopod, which I’ve found to be a really quality product at a great price7. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro HeadphonesPrice: $75You can never go wrong with a great pair of headphones like the Sennheiser HD 280. These headphones were recommended to me by several musicians, as well as a composer I frequently work with. They produce a nice quality flat sound, which is what you want when capturing audio or mixing.8. Rode VideoMic GOPrice: $90 So now you have headphones. Check. But how are you capturing your recordings? We recommend Rode if you’re on a budget. While it doesn’t capture the kind of audio as Rode’s NTG line of shotgun mics, it captures quality sound for the price tag.9. Tascam DR-05 Portable RecorderPrice: $99.99Okay, we have our headphones and we have our mic, so what are we recording to? For that solution, we suggest looking at the Tascam DR-05. This portable recorder is great for those on a budget and it’s fairly easy to use.10. Lowpro Photo Sport Sling 100 AWPrice: $69Well, now we have all of this new gear… Where are we storing it? Let’s look at the Lowpro Photo Sport Sling. It has dual compartments and plenty of space to hold all of the new equipment we’ve picked up. Bonus: You can also tie your Monopod to one of the bungie straps on the side!For more in-depth info on filmmaking gear and tools, take a look at these articles:12 Essential Filmmaking Tools Under $20Haul Your Gear: Review of 3 Camera Sling BagsBuying Tips: Tripods for VideoKnow of any other essential filmmaking tools for $100 or less? Can you point us in the direction of a sweet gear deal? Let us know in the comments below.
Here’s how to protect your camera from dirt, dust, and sand with inexpensive items you’ve got sitting around the house.Images via ShutterstockDavid Fincher once said, “If I do my job right in prep, I always feel like the shooting should be boring.” It’s an excellent statement to embody. If every shoot could be ‘boring’ because it has been so well prepped, then a lot more fantastic films would be getting made every year. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many filmmakers, and as you descend the ladder from professional budget to no-budget, you will have less chance of a dull shoot as more things are going to go wrong.Preparation in filmmaking is half the battle. The beauty of working on a soundstage or inside is that you will likely have control of everything. When filming outside, that isn’t always the case — especially when it comes to dealing with the wind in a dusty or sandy environment.A pinch of dust isn’t going to do much other than cause a smear on your images, and it will be an annoyance rather than a certified problem. Dust can quickly be removed in post-production, and physically with a lens pen and the sensor cleaning application found on most DSLRs. Sand and dirt, however, can have a much more detrimental and long-lasting effect on your camera. It can degrade the efficiency of the mechanics, it can scratch your lens, and worst of all, the sensor. A sensor clean isn’t going to rid you of a scratch. It will be back to the repair house if you encounter that dilemma.Six years ago I once had sand find its way into the middle of my variable ND filter, and to this day, I can still hear the sand grind against the filter.In the perfect circumstance, you would have housing to protect your gear, whether it be a designated cover or case or even underwater housing (underwater housing works perfectly in sandy conditions). Regrettably, you might be in a circumstance where you do not have professionally designed protective gear available to you, and will have to make do with what you have.If you ever find yourself in a situation where the sand is starting to blow, or you need to place the camera down into the dirt for a specific shot, this easy-to-follow DIY hack is an excellent way to protect your DSLR. The items needed are more than likely always going to be found on a set, whether it be a no-budget or professional shoot.You will need a sandwich bag or a plastic bag, a cable tie/elastic band/tape, and screw-on filter. There is no preference for the filter you use, as long as it is cheap and replaceable.Step 1Take the sandwich bag and place the camera inside. You want the zip or the tied end to be on top of your camera so you can see the LCD screen and control panel.Step 2Very carefully pinch a hole on the front side, and pull it apart just enough so the front of the lens can fit through. You want this gap to be snug. Using the cable tie (or tape), close the hole tight.Step 3Place a UV filter or protective filter onto the front to better protect the lens.Step 4Shoot away in the dirty/sandy location.An optional precaution to take: wrap electrical tape around the lens-to-camera connection.This useful tip cost next to nothing. Although it will limit your function at the control panel (and ultimately devalue all of the work of the camera designers), it will stop dirt and sand from entering your camera. It’s recommended to set your camera settings before placing it into the bag because of the limited functionality, especially with touchscreen LCDs. If you’re aware of a shoot taking place in a sandy location, perhaps look into acquiring professional housing. The above method does have drawbacks and should be used when you have nothing else available.Do you have any useful hacks that have saved the day? Let us know in the comments.
Keeping your sound in sync with your footage is critical. Use these techniques to improve your editing workflow.Top Image via Red Giant.As simple as syncing audio to video might sound, this crucial process can be very time-consuming. This is especially true on extensive, multi-camera shoots. In the already-tedious world of filmmaking, the technology to simplify this process is invaluable.Recording audio and video separately on set ensures you get the highest quality sound for your project. As you may have experienced, built-in microphones on even the best cameras will never capture sound that’s clean enough for professional work. So using an external shotgun microphone and syncing your audio with a slate, snap, or a clap is essential.Image via Shutterstock.While that’s easy enough to do on set, once you get into post production and are organizing footage from multiple camera angles as well as all of your audio files, syncing can become daunting and tedious. But you have options.Your three main options for syncing audio to video are Red Giant’s Plural Eyes software, Premiere Pro’s “Merge” or “Synchronize” options, or the good old-fashioned way of doing it manually.Red Giant’s Plural EyesVideo via Red Giant Tutorials.The best option by far (but with a price tag of $200) is Red Giant’s Plural Eyes. This software makes up for the price with the amount of time and energy you will save — especially if you work in documentaries with long interviews involving multiple camera angles. Plural Eyes allows you to import an entire project (clips and audio) and handles the syncing for you.To synchronize, simply open Plural Eyes and click “Add Media” or drag your clips directly into the app. Next, hit the “Synchronize” button and watch the program do its thing. Successfully synced clips will show up in green, while clips with errors are red. If you get a red error, navigate to the “Sync” drop-down tab and make sure you’ve selected “Try Really Hard.”Once everything is synced, click Export Timeline and drag the exported project directly into Premiere Pro. As an added bonus, Plural Eyes also can help correct audio drift in your project.Premiere Pro CCImage via Shutterstock.If Plural Eyes isn’t in your budget, or if you only have a few clips to sync, Premiere Pro CC offers two different options. The first is merging. To do so, click the video file and its corresponding audio file in your project bin, right-click, and select “Merge Clips.”A menu will open up, allowing you to name your newly synchronized clip. Select “Audio” as your “Synchronize Point” and make sure to select “Remove Audio From AV Clip.” Hit “Ok,” and you’re all done. A new file will appear in your Project bin that you can drag into your timeline.Another option for syncing in Premiere Pro is dragging both your video file and audio file into your timeline and stacking them on top of one another, roughly aligned. Select them both in your timeline, right-click, and select “Synchronize.” In the menu that pops up, simply make sure to select “Audio” and hit “Ok.”ManuallyVideo via Corey Machado.The final option is to sync clips manually, which I did for an entire painstaking year in my filmmaking infancy. If, for some reason, the previous methods don’t work for you, lining audio and video up manually is very straightforward and surefire way to synchronize.To do this, pull your video file and corresponding audio file into your timeline and loosely stack the two. Ideally, you have clapped or used a slate, and all you need to do is zoom in on your audio tracks in the timeline and find the spike in the waveforms representing your slate. I find this spike in the video file’s audio and put a marker directly on that clip and then do the same with my audio file. Then I just slide the audio file until both markers line up.Play your clip, and make sure it worked properly. Occasionally, a little tweaking is necessary, so I simply click the audio file and hold the Shift key while I hit my left or right arrow keys on my keyboard to make frame-by-frame adjustments.At the end of the day, all these options can take care of your syncing. While Premiere Pro does a great job syncing individual clips to individual audio, it still doesn’t compare to the ease and speed of syncing entire projects in Plural Eyes. And when you really need to, you can always dig in and do the work by hand.Do you know other tips for syncing audio to your footage? Let us know in the comments.
4. Sony a7S IIBest usesWeddings and events filmed in low-light environments, timelapses, excellent low-cost alternative for filmmakers seeking the “cinematic look.”ReviewBoth the a7S and the a7S II garner praise for their low light sensor and for good reason. Perhaps the best low light sensor in this price range, the a7S II has a max ISO of 409,600 — though the footage, in my opinion, is unusable at that point. But you can push it to 12,800 and still have usable footage — though I’ve shot at 3200 with negligible noise.The SLog-3 profile is an excellent profile to work with when color grading, and it gives you a nice flat image to work with in post.The a7 series in general is a dynamite favorite for timelapse photographers. I would recommend the a7S II for those who are specifically looking to capture timelapses while traveling and still have a photo camera that takes great images.Rental price (4-day rental) — $160.00Click here for the LensProToGo Rental Kit for the Sony a7S II.Cost-to-rig — $400-$600Portability — 5Highly portableProsCompact form factor makes it a highly portable and less intrusive option.5-axis internal stabilization makes it a great choice for travelers who don’t have gimbals on hand.SLog-3 picture profile is one of the most popular profiles for its flat image, and it gives you lots of room to color grade.ConsShort battery life (30-40 mins continuous use) and therefore need spares on hand.Sony menus are less intuitive than the ARRI, RED, and Blackmagic menus.Can overheat when shooting 4K for longer periods of time.Limited high frame rate options; no high frame rates at 4K.In-depth ReviewsCheck out this in-depth review of the Sony a7S ii by Caleb Wojcik.Inspiration 5. Panasonic Lumix GH5 3. Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6KBest usesLower-budget short films and commercials with little to no graphics, shoulder mount ergonomics makes it a favorite for documentaries; very versatile camera.ReviewI love the Blackmagic series. I’m a big fan of the Pocket Cinema Camera, which I mention in this post — Build Your First Filmmaking Kit for Less Than $5,000.The form factor of the URSA is personally the largest form factor that I’ll travel internationally with. In daylight, the Blackmagic sensors work wonders, colors are balanced, and I prefer the skin tones of Blackmagic sensors over RED’s DRAGON sensor.Rental price (4-day rental) — $366.00Click here for the LensProToGo Rental Kit for the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro.Cost-to-rig — $800-$1,200Portability — 3Somewhat portablePros4.6K resolution; best option for the price.Internal ND filters.Swap between EF, PL, and B4 lens mounts.Programmable buttons on the exterior of the camera for quick access to functionality.Ergonomic design, and weight distribution is great for shoulder mounted shots.ConsNoise present at low ISOs, not recommended as a low light cameraIn-depth ReviewsInspiration 2. RED RAVEN 4.5KBest usesBudget features, short films, and commercials that are graphics-heavy and shot in artificial light environments; a favorite among high-end wedding videographers.ReviewAn excellent choice for DPs who want to enter the RED playing field.Rental price (4-day rental) — $750.00Click here for the LensProToGo Rental Kit for the RED RAVEN.Cost-to-rig — $800-$1,500Portability — 3Somewhat portable.ProsModular design makes it versatile and integrates nicely with drones, MOVIs, and Ronins.120fps at 4.5K is great for the price point.16 stops of dynamic range, plus HDRx (2 frame recording, letting you shoot two exposures), which allows for great flexibility in post.User friendly menu and interface.ConsYou have to use RED mini mags.Change of crop factors for different resolutions (4.5K = 1.87x; 2K = 3.74x).No built-in NDs.Noise present at 3200 ISO.In-depth ReviewsInspiration We take a look at choosing between the ALEXA Mini, RED RAVEN, URSA Mini Pro, a7S II, or GH5. Here are the 5 best cameras to rent or buy for video production.Top image via Blackmagic Design.Lower prices and new top-tier features make choosing the right camera difficult. This roundup will help you find the right camera for the job.Like never before, camera manufacturers are tuning in and intently listening to their customers’ feedback. That means companies like ARRI, RED, Blackmagic, Sony, and Panasonic are pushing out some of their best models to date, and packing them with the features and improvements we’ve been begging them for.ARRI overhauled the form factor of the ALEXA, moving toward a more modular design with the Mini at the behest of MOVI and drone pilots. Panasonic’s GH5 is rocking the DSLR/mirrorless shooter industry with powerful in-camera stabilization and high frame rate options for 4K, making it a great option for travelers and small-budget documentaries. And Blackmagic took a bold step away from functional minimalism with the URSA Mini Pro’s programmable buttons and sought-after ENG functionalities, such as internal ND filters.In this camera roundup, I’ll be sharing my recommendations for how (and when) to use these stellar cameras:ARRI ALEXA MiniRED RAVENBlackmagic URSA Mini ProSony aS7 IIPanasonic Lumix GH5I’ll cover their most popular features, pros and cons, price points, best-use scenarios, and even share the inspiring work by DPs who are using these cameras to create truly cinematic work.My Process for Rating and Reviewing These CamerasWhen researching this camera roundup, I used several benchmarks to help compare these models. I grade each camera in the following areas:Rental priceEstimated cost-to-rigPortabilityPros & consBest usesI based all rental prices and cost-to-rig estimates on a four-day rental period from the rental house LensProToGo (my personal go-to rental company for about 99% of my projects).I based the portability rating on my own experience with the cameras — as well as from user feedback pulled from B&H and Amazon. My ratings use the following scale:1 — not portable2 — difficult to transport3 — somewhat portable4 — portable5 — highly portableI’ve also included a link to the best in-depth reviews of each camera, as well as finished films shot using these cameras.Let’s get to it.1. ARRI ALEXA MiniBest UsesMid-range budget feature films and short films, commercials, or music videos shot in low or natural light environments — and anything in true anamorphic.ReviewFar and away the most expensive option in our review today — but rightfully so in many respects.The ALEXA Mini was originally a companion camera to the larger ALEXA unit. Its modular design makes it an extremely versatile camera. Designed largely based on user feedback, the form factor was a highly sought-after improvement suggested by MOVI and drone pilots who wanted the excellent quality of the ALEXA sensor, but in a smaller form factor.A recent firmware update allows DPs to shoot full gate on ALEXA’s 4:3 sensor, making it an excellent choice for cinematographers who want to shoot true anamorphic without cropping the sensor.Rental price (4-day rental) — $2,365.00Click here for the LensProToGo Rental Kit for the ARRI ALEXA Mini.Cost-to-rig — $1,800-$2,450Portability — 4Portable (Note: Depending on your rig configuration, the ALEXA Mini can be very portable, or downright stone-like.)ProsModular design makes it extremely versatile, and it integrates nicely with drones, MOVIs, and Ronins.Unparalleled color science and beautiful skintones.4:3 full sensor license allows you to shoot true anamorphic without cropping the sensor.Can be stripped down and highly portable or rigged to the hilt, depending on your needs.ConsDoes not shoot true 4K (3.2K upscaled in camera)In-depth ReviewsLooking for more on the ALEXA Mini? Check out this in-depth review by Atlanta-based filmmaker, Brent Zaffino.Inspiration Best usesLow-budget documentaries and travel.ReviewThe GH5 lets you shoot 4K at 60 fps. No doubt this is the functionality that has the DSLR/mirrorless filmmaking community most excited, and rightfully so: no other DSLR/mirrorless camera for the price has come close to this.Another feature that has me thinking seriously about purchasing the GH5 is the dual SD card slot. Mostly seen on higher-end production cameras, this feature means backing up footage, or recording full output to one card, and proxies on another saving time in post.Rental price (4-day rental) — $124.00Click here for the LensProToGo Rental Kit for the Panasonic GH5.Cost-to-rig — $400-$600Portability — 5Highly portablePros60 fps at 4K resolution.Compact form factor and 5-axis internal stabilizer makes it a great option for travelers.Dual SD card slots.ConsMicro four-thirds lens mount; you’ll need adaptors if you’re using Canon, Nikon, or Sony glass.Short battery life and therefore you need spares on hand.In-depth ReviewsCheck out this in-depth review of the Panasonic GH5 by Michael Maher on Premium Beat.Inspiration
If you already own a GH5, is the V-Log activation code worth your money? We break down its value for the filmmaker on a budget.GH5 V-LogIn 2015, Panasonic finally released the hotly anticipated V-Log picture profile. At the dismay of many, Gh4 users were not happy with the additional price point of the update. Firmware upgrades that cost the user are nothing new in the realm of camera tech. It felt like Panasonic was mimicking the likes of movie production companies releasing the “real” cut on home release, or video game companies hiding content in-game under the guise of downloadable content. I.e., this V-Log picture profile should have been included with the camera at launch, or at the very least, offered for free.However, it wasn’t, and as of today, it remains an additional £89.99 or $99.99. For production companies who use the GH5 as a b-cam or for stunt orientated shots where losing a GH5 is an expendable option, the likelihood of spending an additional $100 for V-Log is next to nothing. For the aspiring filmmaker, student, or newbie to the craft. Every cent counts and sometimes $100 can be enough to add a new accessory, sometimes a lens, to your arsenal.Ultimately, there’s only one question that matters. Is V-Log essential for your GH5? Especially if you’re a low-budget filmmaker? As a member of a 27,000 member strong GH5 group, it’s a question I see often. Panasonic has done a great marketing push because members feel like they are at a disadvantage without V-log, but at the same time are not quite sure what it does. This isn’t necessarily going to be a guide on using log (I’m sure the internet doesn’t need another one), but more an insight into Panasonic’s Log addition to the small camera market.What Is V-LogOne of the fundamentals to cover first is, well, what is log? That in itself is perhaps an entirely different write-up, and a lengthy one at that. That said, we do, at the very least, need to know what the log profile will bring to your GH5.Logarithmic (log for short) is a curve (picture profile) that preserves the dynamic range and tonality of your image by redistributing the exposure across the entire image. Which is a lot different from how a linear curve operates. As such, a log image will often flat and devoid of color. As put by cinematographer Shane Hurlbut:A Log image is going to have a grey color overall with limited saturation and contrast, and it will look “washed out.” What you are seeing is the camera telling you that there is a lot of “room to move” and that there is information in the camera that you just cannot see at the moment. When you import the footage and take it into DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Creative Cloud, you can adjust that footage by adding contrast, color and even moving the black level, midtones and highlights to what you feel is appropriate for the look you want to achieve.Note that this quote is from Shane’s 2016 GH4 V-log test. He extensively covers the latitude of V-log on the GH4, and while the GH5 records in 10bit instead of 8bit, a lot of Shane’s findings hold up for GH5’s V-Log. Although, before proceeding, it should also be said that it seems since the age of the DSLR, aspiring cinematographer’s seek to learn everything about the science and technology of a camera. However, many Oscar-winning cinematographers have previously stated this isn’t always practical. For example, three-time winner Emmanuel Lubezki said in his interview with DPReview.I think you have to know a little bit about your equipment, at least in the way I do, in an intuitive way. You need to be able to test it, and you need to know what you can do with it. I don’t know if you necessarily need to know that the chip is connected with 27 cables into… I don’t know if that’s imperative. I wish I could learn it. I haven’t had the time and the passion to open up a camera and go through exactly how it works, but I didn’t do that on film either. To me, the results were more important.Therefore I don’t think it’s necessarily important to learn about the history of log when you just want to see if need log on your GH5. If, however, you do want to learn everything there is, this write-up from David Alder at B&H covers everything from where log came from to why it’s useful.At one point, a camera touting log was like finding out a DSLR supports RAW video. It was a game changer and something that would add cost to the price of a camera. Now it’s available for a mirrorless camera built for stills for just $100.The name of the log profile, V-log, is just Panasonic’s branding for the log curve. Most brands have their own versions, such as Sony’s S-Log or Canon’s C-Log, and so on. Despite the different preceding letter, the function from each brand remains the same with a slight variation from each.It’s worth noting that this version of V-Log is the lighter version of the original used on the Varicam 35. In fact, you’ll actually see the profile as V-LogL in the GH5’s menu system as it’s the lite version. The V-log for the Varicam boasted 14+ stops of dynamic range, whereas V-log for the Gh4/Gh5 will increase the dynamic base range from 10 to 12. Although, in Shane Hurlbut’s report he suggests that the dynamic range increases to 11-11.5, rather than 12.V-Log was met with mixed reactions when it was released for the GH4. This article from Sol March “Why I Said No To The V-Log On The Panasonic GH4” sums up the disappointments many users had. However, with the GH5’s 10bit, 400mbs, All-I recording, and LUT display, quarrels with Panasonic’s log profile was kind of put to rest. With the basis of Panasonic’s V-log covered, let’s have a look at the profile in action and how it can assist you.This is a still from a video captured with the V-log profile. The shot was taken within a dark interior facing out into a bright exterior. This type of composition is always challenging as on a budget, and without lighting, you have to facilitate to capture either the interior or the exterior. Rarely will a DSLR/Mirrorless camera be able to do both when recording video.As you can see, the colors are sparse; contrast is lacking. In other words, it’s flat. However, what is not initially apparent in what looks like a dull image, is that the extra two stops of the dynamic range have captured quite a few details within the shadows without the highlights in the sky clipping. You also have the extra latitude to push and pull the details in the shadows and the highlights. Latitude references how far we can push the highlights and shadows before we get unwanted artifacts and noise.This is the same shot with the Rec.709 LUT applied. While I exposed to keep the front contents of the shelf visible, we still have the details in the bright sky.This the same image, corrected, shot in Cine V with the recommended settings by Noam Kroll.The first noticeable difference is, of course, the sky. The clouds and even the blue sky have totally clipped. The top part of the towel has also become indistinguishable. In the image below, I’ve reduced the levels (which destroyed the image) to see what retained in the highlights. On the CineV profile, they’ve clipped so much that there’s little to no data available. Again, this was a composition that was exposed more for the contents on the interior shelf than the exterior, but V-Log has given me enough dynamic range to produce a filmic image. Meanwhile the CineV profile is has the contrast ratio one would expect for a mirrorless or DSLR camera.When comparing V-Log to Cine V, or any other neutral profile, you’ll often find the shadow details are a lot clearer and the highlights have been retained. We can also push the image quite far without any banding which was a persistent problem with the GH4. Although, that’s not to say you have RAW-like capabilities with V-Log. There is still a limit to how far you can push and manipulate your image as you’re still working with a compressed format. V-Log on the GH4 had numerous problems regarding skin color. GH5 fixed them, but only if you record on 10bit and not 8bit.As you can see, the skin on the 8bit V-log with a Rec.709 LUT is very blotchy and breaks apart. Whereas the 10bit is quite consistent in its appearance.Wait, Isn’t It Hard To Expose Log?You may have heard about the difficulties that come with trying correctly expose log footage. As the shadows and highlights have been neutralized, it can make monitoring your actual contrast a little tricky. Many new users to the profile find that when they attempt to grade their footage and apply the correct lut, the shadow areas turn out to be too dark and you’ve incorrectly underexposed the image. That’s why there are so many YouTube tutorials on how to expose for log. With the GH4, this was a persistent issue, and one way to make sure you were consistently exposing correctly was to use an external monitor or EVF that had the function of displaying a Rec. 709 LUT. In the GH5, this issue is resolved. You can directly load the Rec. 709 profile from Menu>Creative Video>V-LogL View Assist>Lut Monitor Display>On.When you return to the preview monitor, you’ll be able to see the shot with the Rec. 709 LUT applied, giving you a better understanding of where the exposure values properly sit. You may have also noticed that there were options choose which LUT to apply. Rec. 709 is the only LUT in-camera, but Luke Neumann of Neumann Films has a short 3-minute tutorial in which he explains how to add custom LUTs to your GH5.The LicenceAdmittedly, buying the V-log code isn’t as fluid as one would want the process to be. In fact, when V-Log was first released for the GH4 I was unable to purchase the V-log update as Panasonic sends the code via snail mail. At the time, it was for US citizens only, and I’m overseas. Thankfully, you can now buy the upgrade from most countries, although that that still doesn’t seem to be worldwide. Unfortunately, Panasonic is still using snail mail instead of a direct download of a unique code. Therefore, please take into account that there can be up to several business days for the activation code to arrive.The code arrives in a snazzy black matte envelope akin to that of a royal invitation, but the process of activating V-Log is anything but regal.Step 1With a formatted and clean memory card, head into the settings, and select the wrench (spanner) icon. Activate and hit Export Serial Code, and press Yes to start processing. The process will then export a SERIAL.LST file onto your memory card. Do not touch this.Step 2Insert your memory card into your PC, and head to the activation site. From there, select the SERIAL.LST file and hit upload.Step 3On the next page, you now have to enter the serial code found in your V-Log envelope, and hit register. With the V-log code registered, you hit Save to SD Card which will export the activation file.Step 4Remove the SD card and place it back in the camera. You then need to follow the same steps as step 1; head into the settings, select the wrench (spanner) icon, and activate. But, this time you choose import activation code instead of the export serial number. Turn your GH5 off, and upon restart, you’ll find V-Log in the picture profile settings.It is also important to note that the V-log activation works for only one camera. If you have multiple GH5s and require each camera to use the V-log profile, you will, unfortunately, need to buy an equal amount of V-log activation codes. Likewise, you’re unable to transfer the activation to another camera. It’s a one-use code.ConclusionI think it’s easy to assume that without V-log, you’re at a disadvantage; that your Gh4/5/5s is incomplete. That is not true. These cameras capture beautiful images regardless of whether you have V-log or not. Look at V-log as a tool that allows you to further push the images your camera captures. However, the benefits of V-log cannot be downplayed. Those extra two stops of dynamic range edge this small camera closer to capturing film-like images. The short of it? If you’re a budget filmmaker with a new GH5 and you are edging towards the end of funding pool, skip V-log. CineV will serve you well. But, if you have the extra $89 it’s well worth your money.
If you start a sales conversation with your company, your offerings, and your won logos, you are starting in the wrong place. You need to start with “why change?”
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now I have had a long love affair with work. Starting when I was 13 years old and my first job washing dishes to the present day, work has always been a big part of my life. It has been such a powerful, positive force that I have never dreaded work, looked forward to the weekend, or hated getting up on Monday mornings. Work has:Fed me: Very early on, work fed me. Even while raising four children by herself, and even after refusing to take welfare or food stamps, I never went without food. At 13 years old, I started washing dishes at an Italian banquet center, and my diet changed. Each day I worked, I was provided with prime rib or lasagna, salad, and chocolate mousse. I also had money to eat when I wasn’t working.Shaped character: When you work, people count on you. You show up and do your job. I have called into work one time in my life, and that was the day after I had a Gran Mal seizure and required brain surgery (I still haven’t gone back to that job). You also notice that some people avoid work that they build up in their mind as being particularly unpleasant. Those tasks are never as bad as they make them out to be, and I learned to volunteer for work that others avoid.Provided me with an income: In my teens, I worked more hours than some adults. I didn’t have any money, and I wanted things. So, I worked. Work provided me with the money to provide for myself, even when I spent a whole paycheck buying tickets to see Kiss, Def Leppard, and Whitesnake. Money provided experiences that would have otherwise been out of reach.Provided opportunity: Work has always delivered opportunity. When I did well at one job, like washing dishes, I was promoted to better jobs, like chief bellman. When I worked as a recruiter, I was provided the opportunity to sell. Success there provided the opportunity to lead salespeople, then whole companies, and then entrepreneurial endeavors. How you feel about work and how much of yourself you give to it determines what opportunities you create.Insisted I grow: Work forced me to grow. In almost every case, it required more of me than I thought I was capable of at the time. It stretched me and caused me to change my beliefs and change my actions to change my results. It forced me to study, and to learn the skills that could shore up my deficiencies. Your work is an opportunity for growth.Taught me to understand people: One of the best things about work is the ongoing training you receive in understanding people and human behavior. You rub against all kinds of people, from all kinds of places, with different ideas, different beliefs, different attitudes, and different experiences. Work will teach you to understand other people and to see the wide variations in human behaviors.Actuated my purpose and meaning: Over time, and taking longer than I should have to recognize it, work actuated my purpose. It helped me recognize the contribution that I am here to make, and that sped me on my path. If you want to make a difference in other people’s lives, your work will allow you to do so—if you are willing to give that part of yourself over to it.Take care of and feed other people: Work can help you take care of people, and not just your family. If you start or grow a business, your success can create work for others, and that work can help them provide for their families.
The digital tools we use are augmentation, not a replacement for better communication mediums, ones that indicate caring.The fact that you have the ability to use email to communicate with your prospective client does not make that the right choice for many of your client communications. If there were no email, would regular mail through the post office be the right medium for that communication? Would you choose to communicate using an asynchronous medium, or would an asynchronous medium, like the phone or a face-to-face meeting better serve your outcomes?Tools like Zoom.us, Skype, FaceTime, GoToMeeting, and Google Hangouts allow you to video conference. This medium is synchronous, so it is much better than an asynchronous communication (even though sending asynchronous video is worth your time and attention). The test as to whether this is the right choice comes down to the intention behind using it. Is it because you can’t be face-to-face? Or is it because you don’t really want to be inconvenienced?Digital is generally more transactional in nature. Human to human communication is more strategic, and of greater value and efficacy. Real life relationships need to be augmented by the digital tools, not reduced to them. This makes your physical presence a strategic initiative and a way to create a preference.If you show up when no one else does, you have demonstrated that the relationship means more to you than it does to the person who sent an email. When you go out of your way to visit your client at their location, you create a competitive mismatch with the people who have never stepped foot in your dream client’s building, who haven’t met the people who work there, and who haven’t taken the time to sit across from the person who is trying to decide who they want as a partner.Presence is a strategic advantage. Showing up, for many of us, is how we compete and win. The digital tools and digital channels dominate the attention of sales organizations and many sales leaders now, often as a way to reduce the costs of selling. But there is still nothing more expensive than losing, and when winning matters, it’s best to show up. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
The Chhattisgarh police said on Tuesday that Maoists had been killed in an encounter in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh.P. Sundar Raj, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Dantewada range), said, “We received a tip-off that a group of 15 to 20 Maoists were present in the forest near Jongeras village under Kukaknar police station [of Sukma]. We sent a Special Task Force team led by Inspector Salim Xaxa and they conducted a search operation on June 4. There were Maoist casualties in the exchange of fire last night.” The STF team recovered seven backpacks, four black uniforms, three detonators and some IED-making material from the area. The STF team, could not recover any bodies or capture any injured Maoists.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday ordered an internal inquiry into the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent investigation which found that U.S.-based construction firm CDM Smith paid bribes worth around $1.18 million to the National Highways Authority of India during 2011-15 to bag contracts.The U.S. Justice Department’s investigations found that CDM Smith, through its employees and agents, and those of its wholly owned subsidiary in India (CDM India) paid approximately $1.18 million in bribes to government officials in India.The alleged bribe was paid “in exchange for highway construction supervision and design contracts and a water project contract resulting in approximately $4 million in net profits,” the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice said in a letter to CDM Smith dated June 21. ‘Code of Ethics’“CDM Smith has a clear Code of Ethics and core values that drive our behaviour every day,” CDM Smith CEO Stephen J. Hickox said in a statement. “Any breach of these values or improper business activities is counter to our culture and will not be tolerated,” Mr. Hickox said.The Department of Justice has closed the investigation after CDM Smith agreed to “disgorge” $4 million, which the company earned as profit due to the bribery, to the United States Treasury.The employees of CDM Smith’s division responsible for India and CDM India paid bribes to NHAI officials in order to receive contracts from NHAI, according to the Department of Justice. “The bribes generally were 2-4% of the contract price and paid through fraudulent subcontractors, who provided no actual services and understood that payments were meant to solely benefit the officials,” it said.Additionally, CDM Smith India paid $25,000 to local officials in Goa in relation to a water project contract. “All senior management at CDM India [who also acted as employees and agents of CDM Smith and signed contracts on behalf of CDM Smith, including CDM India’s country manager] were aware of the bribes for CDM Smith and CDM India contracts, and approved or participated in the misconduct,” it added.Mr. Gadkari has taken a serious note of the allegations and asked the NHAI Chairman to hold an inquiry into the matter, a senior Ministry official said.The NHAI said in a statement on Tuesday that CDM Smith was debarred for a period of three months from participating in future bidding of projects “because of deficiency in services in one of the projects.” It added that the U.S.-based firm has no ongoing assignment with the NHAI.(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
In a freak accident, a Class 9 student accidentally cut his friend’s throat with a knife while rehearsing a scene for a play to be enacted during the school’s annual drama competition, the police said on Sunday.However, the boy survived and was taken to a hospital in south Mumbai after the incident on Friday, where he received six stitches, a senior police official said.No complaints filed “The incident took place when the students were rehearsing for a drama competition. The victim’s parents were also present when it happened,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Manoj Kumar Sharma said. “The boy’s parents have given us in writing that what happened was a mistake and unintentional. Hence, they do not wish to file any complaint,” he added.
The 15-year-old girl who alleged that three men gang-raped her in Mumbai. (Accused of gang rape, abduction and wrongful confinement)In March this year, a 15-year-old girl, resident of Ikri Basiyani village in Budaun’s Allapur area, alleged that she was abducted by three persons, identified as Shivender Yadav, Madan Lal and Ravinder Singh, from the same village and taken to Mumbai where she was raped by them. She was later brought back to Budaun after which she approached the police and narrated her ordeal. Based on her complaint, the police registered a case under Section 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366 (abducting a woman to compel her for marriage), 376D (woman raped by one of more persons), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) of the IPC and the POCSO Act.On March 7, the girl’s parents registered an FIR stating that one of their relatives saw Shivender taking the girl away on a motorcycle on March 6. They hadn’t mentioned presence of Madan Lal or Ravinder.The girl returned to Badaun on March 10 and the next day she was taken to police by her parents.Inspector R.P. Sharma, Station House Officer of Allapur police station, said that the girl, in her statement under 161 CrPC (examination of witness by police), said that she had gone on her own and wanted to be with Shivender as the two were in love. “She said that they had gone to Mumbai. They came back because of their families’ pressure. The whole conversation was recorded,” says Mr. Sharma.However, four days later, when the girl was produced before a magistrate for her statement under Section 164 CrPC, she allegedly changed her statement and said she was abducted in the afternoon and taken somewhere in a four-wheeler. “I lost consciousness when I was abducted, but when I woke up, I saw Shivender, Madan and Ravinder. They had raped me. They told me we were in Mumbai. I don’t remember anything else happened with me till I came back home,” she allegedly told the magistrate.Shivender surrendered on March 31. He is behind the bars.However, the police did not arrest Madan Lal and Ravinder because “investigation revealed that they were not present in Budaun or Mumbai from March 6 to March 10,” said Inspector Navi Hassan, the investigating officer in the case. Ravinder’s mobile phone was traced to Hapur and Madan’s phone was in Noida, where they work as labourers, at the time of the alleged crime.How are the three connected? People in Ikri Basiyani village said that Shivender and Madan are close friends and the two know Ravinder as they all grew up together before moving to different cities for work. Inspector Hassan says “secret investigation and informers in the village also told us that the victim was in a relationship with Shivender, and Madan and Ravinder weren’t in the village”.Over a month later, in the third week of April, the girl, staying at her elder sister’s house 6 km away from the village, said, “If he (Shivender) too was a Muslim, there would not have been any problem. We could have got married in court.” However, the girl is unaware that it wouldn’t have been possible as she is a minor.Incoherent in her version of events, the victim says she was in a relationship with Shivender for over two years but for the past few months, she had decided to end it. When questioned about her ordeal in Mumbai and the subsequent statement to the police, the girl said, “Mera dimaag kharab ho gaya tha, mujhe kuch nahi pata, par maine un teeno ko dekha tha (I wasn’t in my senses. I don’t know what happened, but I remember seeing the three of them)”.After her return, she says, her father cried in front of her for hours and “made her understand”. “He scolded me for what I’d done,” she says hinting at a monetary transaction of ₹2 lakh that took place between her family and Shivender’s.In the village, the residents alleged that the reasons behind slapping charges against Madan were personal and against Ravinder politically motivated.Ravinder’s father Mulayam Singh says that two adjoining villages vote to elect one village pradhan. “Our village is Muslim dominated and the adjoining village is Hindu dominated. The Hindus from both the villages vote for the Hindu candidate. The Muslims of this village don’t like when we vote for the Hindu candidate of the other village, resulting in the defeat of the Muslim candidate of our village,” he says.Mr. Mulayam claims that he has a significant clout in his village, therefore people vote according to his advice. “This is the reason they named my son as an accused,” he alleges.As for Madan, the villagers claim he was Shivender’s close friend and had come for his sister’s wedding in February after which he was there till the first week of March. “The girl (complainant) knew Madan very well,” says Madan’s brother Ajay Pal.Shivender’s mother Somvati says she was aware of her son’s relationship with the girl and had asked both to end it but they didn’t listen. “I caught the two on our terrace last year and thrashed both of them before taking her back to her house. Even when Shivender and the girl eloped, her father came to my house and asked me to make them come back; he just wanted the girl back,” she says.It was Madan’s father, Ms. Somvati claims, who spoke to Shivender and persuaded him to return to Budaun from Mumbai after which he handed the girl over to her parents.Madan and Ravinder could not be contacted.Satish Singh (53), Ravinder Singh (58) and Rambeti (50) At the office of Budaun’s Senior Superintendent of Police, a list is being displayed every Monday for the last three weeks. The header says, “Vivechna me jhoote paye gaye aaropiyon ka vivran” (List of people who’ve been found falsely accused during the investigation). Simply put, the officers, during the preliminary investigation, found that these people were wrongly accused by the complainants for various “motives”. So far, the number stands at 284.SSP Ashok Kumar, who joined the district in March, says that he is aware of a lot of false complaints, motivated by personal enmity or monetary gain. This was one of the reasons for coming up with such a list, he says. Eliminate corruptionAlso, another reason, he says, is an attempt to eliminate corruption in the force and bring in ‘transparency’. “People get falsely accused in cases and then turn to investigating officers to clear their name with the help of money. By this list, they already know that their names are cleared and they don’t offer anyone money to save themselves the trouble of coming to police stations or go for court hearings,” he says. “The middlemen who throw their weight around saying they’ll help them in the case will also be eliminated,” he adds. The investigating officers are given a week for the cases registered during the seven days to conclude if they’ve found any persons who were wrongly accused. However, if their role surfaces in the crime later, they can be arrested, says Mr. Kumar. The Hindu spoke to victims and accused in three such criminal cases on charges of gang rape, murder, kidnapping, abetment to suicide among others. Two of these claimed that the motive behind the alleged framing was caste and religion. In the third case, however, the victim’s family alleged that the police had been bribed to turn the case in favour of the accused. The cases also show how the Uttar Pradesh Police conducted the investigation.Prashant Arora (30)(An accused in the gang rape and murder of a 15-year-old in 2014)Sitting on a plastic chair in his two-storey house, Prashant Arora looks at his three-year-old daughter and says he was in the district jail when she was born on November 25, 2014. His wife was seven months pregnant when he was arrested.Prashant was arrested on charges of raping his neighbour, along with two unidentified men, at his residence and subsequently poisoning her. The police had registered a case under Section 376D (woman raped by one or more persons), 302 (punishment for murder), The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act).After the victim’s family approached the police on the day of the incident on September 23, Prashant was picked up the same night and arrested the next day. The two unidentified men have not been traced.Widely reportedThe story made it to the headlines in the regional papers and was widely followed for the next few days.Circle Officer (City) Virendra Singh Yadav, who, at first, was surprised to see Prashant’s name in the list as a DNA report is awaited in the case, said that the victim’s father, in a written complaint, told the police that Prashant, along with two other persons, locked the girl inside his residence, took turns to rape her and then poisoned her. “The girl’s brother heard her shouting for help and ran to call their mother. The family came, rescued the girl and took her to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries,” he said, reading from the complaint signed by the father.An Inspector, on condition of anonymity, said that Prashant was arrested “because there was pressure from the media to solve the case”.During the course of investigation, the police claimed, Prashant’s boss was questioned who admitted that the accused was with him in the afternoon. Prashant’s wife Sonam, who was away at a relative’s house on the day, told the police that she was with him till around 5 p.m. doing household chores. “His location, through his phone, was also traced in the city area,” Mr. Yadav said.The girl’s post-mortem report, seen by the reporter, states: “No internal or external injury on the vaginal wall. Blood with froth from mouth.” The doctors told the police prima facie the victim wasn’t raped. However, the report stated that the cause of death could not be ascertained after which her viscera was sent for examination. The viscera report, which came a few months later, stated that no poison was found, Mr. Yadav said, adding that during further questioning of the neighbours, another story of the girl being bitten by a snake came to the fore but there’s no evidence to support it.Over three years later, the girl’s family continues to believe that she was raped and want Prashant behind the bars. They allege that the police fraudulently took the signature of the girl’s father on the complaint. “They came in the evening and asked me to sign on a paper. I am illiterate. I later came to know that it was the complaint,” said the 50-year-old father, a sanitation worker.The victim’s 17-year-old brother told this reporter that he heard his sister screaming for help and went to the other side of the house to see if she was inside the Arora household. “I saw that Prashant’s father Manohar Arora was pushing my sister out of his house and putting her inside ours. I immediately went to call my mother. By the time we came back, she was lying on the floor in our house. I thrashed Manohar and took my sister to the hospital,” he claimed, adding that this is what he told the police as well. Mr. Yadav, however, denied that the victim’s family mentioned Manohar Arora’s presence. “I don’t know why they did not question Manohar,” said the 17-year-old.The reason for the girl’s death still remains unknown and what happened with her is still a mystery.Prashant, on the other hand, says that his life turned upside down because of the case. He was lodged in jail for nearly three months and after his release under Section 169 CrPC (release of accused when evidence is deficient), he is finding it difficult to get back to normal life.Life affected“My friends had completely cut off with me. Our relatives were constantly calling my mother to ask if I had done it. Eventually, I got my relatives and friends back but it’s still not the same,” he says.The 30-year-old says that he received the news of his daughter’s birth a day later and his biggest regret is not to be there with his wife at that time. “I saw her photograph when my mother came to visit me in jail. I remember throwing a party that day; gave samosas and cold drinks to all the inmates,” he smiles with tears rolling down his face.His mother, 58-year-old Chandrakanta Arora, a government employee, claims that the reason the neighbours accused Prashant is the regular fights between the two families. “They belong to the Scheduled Caste and we are Punjabis. Most people in the area are SC. For some reason, this family always held it against us. We didn’t like that they used to leave cattle right outside our house. There were a lot of fights over that,” she said.Ms. Chandrakanta says that due to the disgrace, all of them had to move out of the locality and live in the government quarters allotted to her a few kms away at the outskirts of Budaun. “We came back around Diwali on the insistence of a few neighbours who had also given their statements in our support,” she adds.Madan Lal (25) and Ravinder Singh (24) (Accused of abetment to suicide)On February 6, 28-year-old Usha Devi was found dead at her residence in a village called Aamgaon in Budaun. Her husband Ankit Singh, whom she had married eight years ago, and his family alleged that she committed suicide by pouring kerosene and setting herself on fire. The woman’s family, however, said that she was murdered by Ankit’s family allegedly because they couldn’t meet their demand for ₹2 lakh.Two days later, the police registered a case of abetment to suicide and arrested Ankit. However, three accused in the case – Ankit’s uncle Satish Singh, father Ravinder Singh and mother Rambeti – were let off the hook after preliminary investigation. They are now in the list of people who were “falsely accused” in this case.Demand for moneyUsha’s brother Dharmendra, a driver in Nagla Shikari village, says that the victim had visited their house a week before the incident and told the family that she was subjected to immense torture by Ankit’s parents and other family members who used to beat her. “They demanded ₹2lakh from us for construction of their house. We told them we don’t have that much money. Then Ankit came and took Usha back saying we can discuss it later. Within a week she was murdered,” he alleges.Dharmendra claims that Ankit’s family did not want to inform Usha’s family about her death. “My daughter stays close to their house. She called us and we reached within an hour,” he says. Mr. Dharmendra and his family then approached the police the same day and alleged murder. “The police told us that they’ll first get the post-mortem done. The next day, the post-mortem was conducted but they said their computer wasn’t functional. They registered our FIR only two days later and that too under Section 306 (abetment to suicide), not murder or dowry death,” he alleges, adding that the police were bribed by Ankit’s family.Responding to the allegations, Circle Officer Mr. Yadav says that they had checked Satish’s location and he was found to be away in Ujhani. “The neighbours were questioned. One of them admitted that Usha had come to take kerosene from her. Another said that she saw Usha setting herself on fire and rushed to the house to save her,” he says.Ravinder and Rambeti say that they weren’t present in the house at the time of the incident. According to them, on the day of the incident, Ankit had come home for lunch. When he asked Usha for food, she allegedly said she hadn’t cooked after which he slapped her twice and left the house. Satish claims he wasn’t in the village. His claim is corroborated by the police. Mr. Yadav says Ankit was arrested because he slapped Usha right before she allegedly committed suicide.When the neighbours were asked by the reporter whether anyone saw Usha setting herself on fire or whether the family tortured her, their response was, “We don’t know anything”. (Clockwise from Left) Satish Singh, Ravinder Singh and Rambeti, relative and parents respectively of Ankit Kumar; U.P. police personnel arranging the list indicating the names that have been deleted from the accused list; Prashant Arora, who was accused of raping and killing a minor in 2014; the 15-year-old girl who alleged that three men gang-raped her in Mumbai.
The State Forest Department’s decision to carry out trimming of trees in a sprawling area of about 55,000 square metres in Darjeeling district in alleged violation of the guidelines and Supreme Court order has generated concern within the Department. A letter issued by the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Silviculture (Hills) Division in Darjeeling noted that “silviculture thinning” is “being undertaken by the Research Division”. Silviculture is done in a plantation to ensure growth of trees but the rules are being violated.Denying the allegation, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) N.K Pandey said that “no silvicultural thinning operations were undertaken” in the area. The DFO’s letter prompted a senior Forest Department official to write to Mr. Pande where she claimed that the Department was violating regulations for scientific management of forests and a Supreme Court order. Scheduled time The official also pointed out that the thinning or trimming of trees in the Kurseong Forest Division was not conducted in the scheduled time — when the trees were 30-year-old — but instead the operations were to be carried out when the trees are about 50 to 51 years old. She described the decision as “major deviation from the Working Plan prescription”. “Such disguised commercial thinning/felling of timber stage trees during the 51st year is against the objective of thinning and scientific management of plantation forests in high altitude areas and the orders passed by the Honourable Supreme Court regarding silviculture operations. It is therefore requested that a detailed enquiry into such operations in older plantations at high altitude areas should be undertaken urgently,” Minakshi Prasad, Deputy Conservator of Forests, said in her letter, a copy of which is with The Hindu. According to the State government’s sixth working Plan (Volume II) for the Forest of Kurseong Sub-Division thinning of trees can only be undertaken during the 10th, 15th and 20th year of their lives.