11
Nov

In rainy and cold Buffalo, NY shooting at the Rosina food plant for a client fromCalifornia. Paul and Tom on another road trip.

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Had to post this picture taken by Alison Collins on a recent trip to the Hollywood Museum. I’m standing by an old Moviola film editing machine just like what I learned on at UCLA film school. Funny how I didn’t forget how all the knobs and dials worked! The more things change the more they stay the same, basic editing techniques still work.

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Sam

Our local politicians know where to go when they want to make a great on-camera presentation!

Councilman Sam Liccardo recently came to WMS studios to film a quick talk. The right image depicts Alison Collins applying a touch of makeup and hair spray to make Sam look just right.

Filmed by Tom Wohlmut and edited by Paul Morgante.

Sam On Camera




09
Sep
Written by WMS Admin. stored in: Announcements

We are working on a new project with Heron Innovators. Paul Morgante and Tom Wohlmut did a preliminary scouting trip to an on-location factory in Sacramento. Should be a fun job where we get to show off some great AfterEffects animations!

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Alex Kirby with clapboardSummer is just about over. Back to school commercials are playing, the days are getting shorter,  people are wrapping up their “Summer 2013” photo albums on Facebook and everyone seems somewhat gloomy about the impending doom that is the next nine months of our lives, including me. Not only do I have to say hello to my sleepless junior year of SATs, AP classes, inevitable social drama and the realization that I’ll soon be cast off into the real world; but I also have to say goodbye to one of the greatest experiences of my life.

My internship this summer was everything I hoped for and more. Some jobs I didn’t enjoy as much as others (cough, cough…transcriptions), but every day I left with a smile on my face, reminiscent of everything I had learned that day. Not just lessons in film, but lessons in business, research, Zumba, charity, technology and public transportation (which I previously knew nothing about). So many great moments I will never forget include working with an amazing camera, dancing around in front of a green screen, hearing the touching stories of guests at Martha’s Kitchen and getting spoiled by Tom who loaned me equipment, treated me to lunch many times and took me under his wing.

I’m going to miss everyone so much, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Tom, Alison, Paul, Michele and everyone else who made this experience possible. A few upcoming projects we were all excited about I won’t be able to participate in, but I wish all of you the best!

This has been my final day and my final blog this summer at WMS media. I’ve learned so much and been so inspired by all the people I’ve worked with . Thank you for this truly unique and memorable experience and one of the best summers of my life!

“Goodbye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory and there you will always be.” ―Walt Disney

The crew at WMS media will always have a special place in my heart.

-Alex Kirby




Apple store setToday we shot an informational video for some Apple and G-tech products. It was really exciting because we got to work with a lot of expensive Apple equipment, which we used to create the illusion of an Apple store. Although a lot of fun, the day was not without its challenges and left me ready for a nap right when I got home.

The first challenge was creating a set that looked like the inside of an Apple store. Luckily I was not involved in the actual building of the set (which I imagine was just a joy to participate in), but there was still plenty to do when I arrived. The biggest nightmare was the lighting. In order to create our Apple store, we had to use a large piece of stainless steel for the background. As you can imagine, that piece of steel reflected EVERYTHING. People’s clothing, the lights, the equipment and everything else in the room showed up in the shot on account of the steel. However, under Tom’s extremely thorough guidance, we were able to move lights and set up pieces of white poster board to balance the reflection of the steel.

Compared to preparing the set, the actual shoot was fairly easy. I learned how to use a clap stick, teleprompter and anti-shine (a type of makeup that neutralizes the shine on actors’ faces). Although it was a struggle to stay quiet and listen to technology lingo I didn’t really understand, I gained a lot of new knowledge about computers, based on what I heard in the script.

I’m really excited about all of the new things I’m learning this summer. I am already dreading the day I have to say goodbye to WMS media and return to the monotony of everyday high school. I can’t wait to see what my last few weeks here will bring!

-Alex Kirby




Alex-and-cameraI learned many lessons today — not just about film, but also about compassion and empathy. Today we filmed a few short, promotional videos for an organization called Martha’s Kitchen, a nonprofit similar to Second Harvest Food Bank. They offer free dinners on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to those having trouble making ends meet. However, it isn’t just the meals that draw  people to Martha’s Kitchen; the open-arms attitude and family-feel keep them coming back through their doors.

It was so inspiring hearing all the stories of the volunteers and clients at Martha’s Kitchen. I was particularly touched by the story of a woman who can no longer support her children who currently live with her sister. Dinner at Martha’s is the only time they can see each other. Another man said he loved going to Martha’s Kitchen because he felt Martha’s gives him a sense of dignity through his financial hardships. Martha’s Kitchen not only helps people, but inspires them, too. One volunteer has started her own charity because of her experience at Martha’s Kitchen.

While we filmed, I learned a lot about preparation, cinematography and film etiquette. I learned how much set-up is required for an on-location shoot. I learned how to arrange lights around your subject to make the shots more appealing. I also learned about how important it is to respect the opinions of those who do not wish to be filmed.

I’m extremely grateful to participate in this shoot and help share the experiences of those involved with Martha’s Kitchen. I’m considering volunteering there myself, so I too can say “I’m a part of Martha’s family because…!”

-Alex Kirby




Paul with new camera

Paul working the new camera

I think Paul has a new best friend — our new 2.5k camera! No one was more excited to try it out than Paul, who acted like a kid on Christmas Day when it was delivered this morning.

This new camera requires a huge hard drive space and a ton of time to import, but it’s all worthwhile because it takes Hollywood-level shots. These shots are so dynamic you feel as though you’re actually in them! We tested it out this morning, and I have never seen a container of Clorox wipes or a can of Xtreme Clean Duster look so beautiful on screen.

Tom let Paul and me work with the camera some more when we went to City Hall to take shots. While there, I learned about the importance of prioritizing my shot list and the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a technique to help position the subject of your shot in a dynamic, interesting way.

Today was so much fun, and I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.

-Alex Kirby




20130708-170619.jpg Had a great shoot today with Paul and Alex at San Jose City Hall. Our B-roll reel will come in handy, plus we had a super time trying out our new HD gear. Stay tuned for more details soon.

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20130707-210244.jpgAnimation has come a long way. “Monsters University” is a real state-of-the-art film, or I should say digital file.

A couple of things to look for are all the details in each scene. Each hair and blade of grass is an individual polygon in the animators’ world. Wrap around a skin with reflective properties and you have a single element. Each scene probably has hundreds of thousands of individual elements. Couple that with motion and now you have a scene with lovingly created details. When you watch this film, try to spot the leaves rustling in the trees in the backgrounds. Thousands of elements have individual instructions on how to move! Now that’s a lot of math!

No doubt computer animation dazzles the eyes with intense color and composition. Another component is a good story line, and this movie has one. It’s the “underdog makes good” theme. I appreciated the most the very beautiful scenes that aren’t all in-your-face crashes and scenes of mayhem. Also the quiet moments help you appreciate the quality of the work.

And don’t forget to wait to the end of the credits for the special Easter egg for an extra treat.

5 stars out of 5.

-Tom Wohlmut