Friday, 19 October 2012

Sinking, swimming, flying, climbing .... (AKA "Green Screen Adventures in Chicago")

Bummed out I havent updated this for a while. I'll try and explain:

Apart from the beauty of the city itself, my two weeks in Chicago were, honestly, something I'd rather forget. When I started learning photography it felt like flying. When I started this trip it felt like swimming. In Chicago I was climbing a rock face.

After a few days in Chicago I hired a space to film an interview and picked up all the gear - doing my first green screen. All went swimmingly well until I was about to turn the camera on and it started raining. Wouldn't be that bad but the rain was hitting the outside of a huge air conditioner and it sounded like a drum > no interview.

My interviewee was fine about it but left without bothering to offer to help pack up or give me a lift, so I packed up and called a cab. It was raining so it took ages to come, meanwhile the hire place was waiting (doing overtime) for me to bring the stuff back. I eventually told him to go home.

Cab came, the hostel (thankfully) stored the gear; next morning I took it back by taxi and the owner said he'd charge me an extra $35 for keeping his guy doing overtime and not having returned the gear. The studio had already cost $90 and the gear $120 + taxi $60.

After dropping the gear off the cab took me to my next interviewee to film, but he was changing his mind so I had to spend two hours trying not to emotionally blackmail into doing it, but trying to to give up on him either. I left with no interview but a maybe for when I returned in Dec.

Spent a few days trying to find an alternative venue for my last interview - got something that was slightly dubious: hot and stuffy and people walking past and dogs barking .. but it all went fine, except for a slight echo - hopefully I can take that out in post production. The interviewee was awesome - I talked about her in my blog before. But altogether those two weeks had cost me $1000 USD, for just one interview.

I did, however, work out how to take photographs of the Assyrian reliefs in the Oriental Institute without having to go through official hoops, so that will save me some dosh and stress. Anyone heard of a "string tripod"? No, me neither. A hokey DIY method of taking photos without an actual tripod. But if it works, all good.

And the green screening was fun, if exhausting setting up all the lights and screen. But I think I did well. Well, that's the story I told myself.

So back to Toronto to lick my wounds. I feel ok now; it's really nice being back. I missed the hostel and Toronto. The hostel owners have opened their new French cafe and I have been patronising it with great kindness and generosity on my part.

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