P2 Crash, No One Hurt

Yesterday’s shoot went really well in terms of execution, lighting, photography – all of that went without a hitch, more or less.

The one big problem was that the camera’s computer system crashed, badly, in the middle of the second-to-last interview. Not to get too technical, but Panasonic’s P2 card recording system that allows us to film in HD suddenly decided to stop working. By a stroke of luck and surprising foresight, I had packed some mini-DV tapes as a backup. So we were able to film the remaining two interviews in Standard Definition. Not ideal but better than nothing.

So, major crisis averted but still – gah. Our great HVX200 camera, only 4 years old, will have to go the the doctor for the second time. Terrible.

But we got some great interviews and our Visual Law Project Year 2 film is underway!

Equipment returns tomorrow.


Directing Photography

Tomorrow (Saturday) we’re shooting our first round of interviews for this year’s Visual Law Project film. Which will be a lot of fun, and work, especially for me. Generally speaking, even though I do shoot a good amount of my own stuff, I usually work with the esteemed Matthew Blute, Professional Cinematographer. I hope his work has soaked into my brain enough so the shoot goes smoothly. We’ll have a lot of lights and stuff and I have to manage them as opposed to just telling Matt what to do. My respect for him will likely increase after tomorrow.

It’s just interviews, but we have to make one big law school class room have some variety for the four different people speaking. Anyway, fingers crossed! And don’t tell me what happened in the Michigan-Purdue game because I’m TiVo-ing it to be my reward for after we wrap.

Overlapping Post and Prep

Right now, I’m attempting to wrap up post production on the Boston Prep Charter Public School project while also prepping for our first small production outing for the Yale Visual Law Project shoot.

Thanks to the incredible Sanjeev Brar, we’re putting together a really great 7-minute score for Boston Prep. The man works fast, at a professional level, and, for now, cheap. See Sanjeev’s previous work with sound on Worker Drone (including sound effects!) and the VLP’s first year films, as well as music on a spec commercial I shot (click to the Challenge Everything clip).

Meanwhile – we’re also getting ready to shoot this weekend a handful of interviews and some b-roll. Complete with a handful of new equipment courtesy of the VLP – wide angle adapters, a sound kit, etc.

Anyway, should be fun and a good way to dip our toes into shooting this project. More serious production will happen later with a more professional camera person who is not me.

Updates and links to videos when we’re all good and done.

Oh – also I have a new title: Visiting Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Sounds serious, right?

What Goes On

Okay – so I have this other fancy website, with clips from my movies and photographs I’ve taken and laudatory statements about my work. It’s a pretty cool website; I’m happy with it. But I also wanted to have a page where I update you all – the six or seven people who are curious – about what I’m doing work-wise. (Hello mom!)

So, I’ll do my best to keep you, The Curious or The Vested, up-to-date on the goings-on.

Right now, I’m editing a new promotional short documentary I directed and co-produced for the incredible Boston Preparatory Charter Public School. The school takes kids from all over Boston, enrolls them in the 6th grade and says “you are going to college.” It’s open to the whole city, but the students are mostly minorities and poor, and begin two or three grade levels behind.Within a year, most students catch up to grade level.

Four years ago, we filmed the school to make a promotional documentary (see it at SharatRaju.com) just as they were starting their first students in the Eighth Grade. We returned in May to film their first ever graduation. All of them were accepted into a four-year college.

Graduation was incredible. And some of the best footage I’ve had the privilege of shooting (with the great Matthew Blute and Don Presley).¬† I’m editing the final cut right now.


Also this week Worker Drone will screen this Sunday October 23, 2011 at the Orlando Film Festival! If you’re in the area, check it out – our second film festival!


And finally, we’re in the throes of serious pre-production for our second year film at the Yale Visual Law Project. Our incredible team of Yale Law students are conducting pre-interviews, doing extensive research, and brainstorming on story and visual elements for our film. We’re hopefully going to shoot something in a few weeks with a handful of new toys thanks to our expanded budget after a sucessful year one.

More updates to come!