Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Email: Emotion

This is an email portion written to a friend about the importance of emotion in my coming film:

I worry about my film..how to do it? I think I need to fall back on honest emotion it has always served me well. Whether through the photographic work or in speeches like the eulogy I did for dad, pure emotion, heartfelt honest emotion works best...
I have always been pretty good at finding emotional connections on my trips, crying bar workers, telling me about their lives (1999 Bkk), doped out drug rants (oakland), impassioned  half crazyed man (volunteer), poor fly covered sickly children (Dump).... orphan boxers sadly explaining their lives (klong toey slum)...a different kind of love (3 hearts project)...etc etc...the trick is to get that emotion on film! and to communicate it in a effective, coherent, truthful way....it will be the hardest artistic challenge of my life

If my film has emotion and makes viewers tear up, even cry, if that happens I have probably done a good job with the message.. I also want to put in a bit of humour...not sure on how to do that. Need to do it in a way that does not undercut the seriousness of the project.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Quote: President Barack Obama

"Democracy can buckle when it gives into fear. So just as we as citizens must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are,"

Bought Me 2 Extra External Batteries

Just bought 2 extra external batteries for my Blackmagic Pocket cameras. I got 2 already with the eBay sale but they are older (how reliable?) and these batteries take 12-16 hours to charge fully. If I am shooting in the dump or other locations daily and using up lots of battery power I will need to recharge them daily as well. A high work load on 2 old batteries, also I am not sure I will have 16 hours between shooting sessions. I would hate to go out into the field with only partially charged batteries. So today I swallowed hard during my work shift, went on eBay and paid $103 USD to get the 2 extra batteries. That is around $27 USD cheaper than buying the same items from USA sellers.

I can now take 2 external batteries with me (1 new and 1 old) and leave 2 charging in my room each day I go out to shoot. This way I will always have fresh battery power ready to use. I will also have backups if 1 or more batteries fail. I have learned that I need backups to pretty much everything when working in Asia. Reliable gear and backups are absolutely vital. That is one of the reasons I bought 2 BMPCC bodies not 1.

Note* I also have 19 mini batteries (inside camera) that I could use with difficulty if needed (each battery might only last 20 minutes). I will save them for emergencies and for shooting on the fly with just the BMPCC body. They are useful for when I am shooting with the BMPCC alone and a small light lens, no cage, no external battery.

Update* Just over 200 days until I go to Asia to make my movie. It is a LONG way away, the bright side is that I can train to make movies in the meantime. Will  be doing more stuff with mom this week.

Externl 12V YSD-129080 Battery made in China

Audio Diary

Found a new use for my editing HP EliteBook, making "Audio Diary" sound files. The idea is to make short audio recordings over the next year plus (did my first tonight) recording the process of making this documentary and my life in general. I can be more up front and honest in these things as they are private without the world reading in (yes that means you!). A side benefit is they might be used in the actual film or at some later date for some other projects. I always thought it would be cool to write a autobiography, so maybe these recordings could fit in there somewhere. One of my old photo contacts told me she was writing a novel, that opens up possibilities in my mind all round! What would be a good autobiography title how bout, "Ain't Life Grand!"

Anyway will see how these "Audio Diary" things go, they might be easier than writing, more fluent and honest. The voice can be more effective than the pen, at least for me, you can hear so much more nuance. You can feel the life experience of the person speaking to you.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Documentary Notebook

I need to get a single large notebook to organize all my documentary ideas, thoughts and studies. Over the last month I have been writing stuff all over the place, in different sized note books, found papers, white papers, scrap papers, it is all so confusing! How the heck am I going to benefit from any of these writing if they just disappear into a mass of misplaced mishmash. I need to write everything down in one large notebook then take that notebook with me to Thai to make the movie. I can add to it there and refer to it for past ideas etc.

Will pick up the book next week at Staples.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Quote: Mel Gibson

Speaking about his controversial films and the reasons behind them.

"That's what were supposed to do, your supposed to, as an artist, your supposed to do that, your supposed to shove the bounderies and your supposed to do stuff thats out there and your supposed to do stuff that makes people uncomfortable maybe.  I mean that's your job I think"

Most Exciting Time Of My Life?

I feel so filled with anticipation and happiness. Could this be the most exciting time of my life? Not being with dad, is very difficult, I want to share so much with him. But even without my beautiful father, could this be the happiest most exciting time of my life? My photography has steadily improved through the years, I feel I have my best best work still ahead of me. Now I am facing the ultimate challenge, making a movie. I got a 6 month leave from work to chase my  art, everything seems to be lining up nicely.

I believe my departure to Asia will be in September (did some calculating tonight), after my responsibilities to the Art Gallery of Saint Albert are complete. Until that time I will learn how  to make movies, print my photography exhibition and plan for my first documentary film. It is all so exciting, daily my mind fills with ideas and hopes. When September comes I get to live out those dreams, I get to go to Asia for 6 months and create. This is not all just thoughts, wishful thinking, this is ACTION!! What a challenge awaits! I get to become involved in the lives of many good and interesting people, then try to tell their stories in effective ways with both photographs and video. Wonderful, simply wonderful!

"Ain't Life Grand!!"

Friday, January 27, 2017

Bought Me A Triple Hot Shoe

I also picked up this little hot shoe adapter. The little unit turns 1 hot shoe into 3. The idea being I can attach 2 mics and a video light to it. The video light will allow me to shoot in the dump at night when the people are working the garbage. I am thinking of shooting that work up close to get a more surreal feel to it, showing the depth of their hardship. Children also wander in the nightime garbage working and with their parents. The bright video light spotlight effect in combo with the garbage and youth will be a strong graphic that tells an important part of the story effectively.

This unit cost a bit more, $20 USD plus $13.50 USD shipping but I liked the lower profile of it. I wanted something that would allow me to mount everything to the camera unit but also that would not look like deer antlers. I want to be as inconspicuous as possible in the dump, so am trying to keep my video gear compact and hopefully a bit less flashy and noticeable.

Triple hot shoe adapter

Bought Me A Mini Desktop Tripod From China

I picked up a $37 USD aluminum MINI tripod today (.99 cent shipping). I wanted something that was very small but somewhat adjustable and stable. The idea for this thing is that I can carry it everywhere, all the time, and mount my non caged second BMPCC video body to it. The camera is extremely light depending on the lens it is configured with. The problem with the unit is not the image quality which is outstanding but the movement you get when hand holding it (can be unwatchable). I wanted to use the camera with a gimbo steady cam device but also mounted to a tripod. With this mini tripod I can now quickly set it up for low angle shots in the dump, or for shots inside peoples shack homes. The tripod could also be used in interview situations, set up on a table in front of the seated subject etc.

This could be one of those minor buys that could turn into a very important piece of gear. If I get one good shot in my movie with it, then it was money well spent.

Mini desktop tripod
Here are the tripods specs:

Max height 17.3 inch
Min height 9.4 inch
Max load 11 lbs
Weight 28.5 oz

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Video Field Set Up

Now that I have moved from away from the Canon 5D Mark 3 to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) for the movie, I thought I would update you all with my current field shooting gear setup. Here it is:

My BMPCC camera with microphone, follow focus, viewfinder and mono-pod
I might be changing out my mic (to the Rode stereo I own), might add a cheapo Matte Box ( to stop flare) but other than those 2 possible changes this is going to be my main field shooting setup in Asia. I will take this into the dump to work on a pretty much daily basis.

- BMPCC body.
- Zacuto viewfinder.
- Rode mini mic with grey dead cat (yes they call them "dead cats").
- EF Canon 24-105 F4 Lens with image stabilization.
- Sirui mono-pod.
- External battery.
- Quick release with rig rails and follow focus.

Update* Just tried a variation on this field setup. I removed the follow focus and rail gear. Then attached the camera directly to the montopod with a quick release. I might go this way. The follow focus is nice but not entirely necessary, without it I will be lighter and also can use the standard lens hood (no need for the big ass and frightening looking Matte Box). It would also be a bit easier to go handheld on the fly. I need to work with the gear both ways to see what feels best to me.

Free Polaroid Filter!

Managed to get a nice Polaroid graduated neutral density for FREE! I ordered a 77mm NEW Polaroid filter off EBay, with shipping the cost was $45 USD. A hefty price for a filter but most videographers have these little items so they can shoot at wider apertures ( creating a shallow depth of field look) in bright light. I got mine, paid the price. It arrived a few days back, the plastic filter package was opened and there were some smudges (not sure how bad) on the backside of the glass. I wrote an email to the seller telling him of the NOT new status of the glass asking for a partial refund. The seller refunded 100% of the filter payment. I got my slightly used Polaroid 77mm graduated neutral density filter for video FREE!

My Husky Tool (Video) Bag

This is the bag I got with my BMPCC gear. It is a 14 inch rolling tool heavy tote bag made by Husky. The bag sells for around $80 USD plus shipping on Ebay, because it is designed for heavy tools it is made very well. It should stand up to lots of abuse. I saw a version of this item several years ago at Home Depot and almost bought it. Now I own one in great condition, I plan on using it as my main carry on (airplane) bag next trip. I will put all my more fragile camera gear in it, Canon 5D Mark 3, 2 BMPCC bodies, various lens etc If there is room some film as well thou I might carry all my film and laptop in a seperate carry on backpack.

I might buy the 18 inch version of the Husky at some later date to haul some of my Large format gear. Hey that's a thought! What if when I get to Thai I unload and store my smaller gear in my rental room then load it up this 14 incher with large format tools. I could use it to haul my 8x10 Deardorff body (a present from my father), holders, lens, meter, darkcloth, loupe etc. Would not/could not use it in the dump but in places like Bangkok it might work very well. Using the wheels to move about instead of hauling everything on my back would be way easier.

Here is what the 14 inch Husky bag I got in the EBay package video gear sale looks like:

14 inch rolling tool heavy tote bag made by Husky

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Learning My Video Gear Thoughts

Been playing with my Blackmagic pocket cameras the last two nights, and been doing some editing in Premiere. Some thoughts:

- There is a big difference when use a lens with IS (stabilization). When I hand hold my 24mm f1.4 I get all kinds of bouncy movement in the picture but with the 24-105 f 4 with stabilization I get a much smoother image. If I am not shooting in low light, the IS 24-105mm will be my lens of choice.

- My refurbished 64GB Scandisk 95mg/s card ($20 USD a piece) seem to work as well as the non refurbished I got in the EBay sale. I have a 128GB card coming as well, if that works properly I will probably by a second one of thse. This testing was when the camera was set at ProRes HQ. I still need to test the cards in the RAW setting.

- My bigger Chinese Sirui mono pod with larger feet seems more stable and easy to use than the Manfrotto mono pod I got in the EBay sale. The larger Sirui made of carbon fiber is also lighter than the aluminum Manfrotto.

- Love the combination of the Zacuto viewfinder and the focus peaking (image has green highlights when in focus), this allows for precise fast focusing even in lower light.

- Zebras are a nice feature. I had to learn what it is but basically as I understand it Zebras are black lines on overexposed white areas of a image. When I see the zebras in my viewfinder I close down the lens to allow less light in. This feature might work great in teh dump where there are lots of bright white bags reflecting sunlight.

- My 24mm lens are wide but not quite wide enough for every shot I want to shoot! They are probably about 30-35mm lens (35mm equivalent on the BMPCC size sensor). I will need a wider lens. I am looking at 2, a 11-16mm f2.8 Tokina and a 7.5mm f3.5 prime fisheye Rokinon. Both lens would give quite a bit wider point of view. I want to use my wide lens inside the dump shacks filming family life. I need to have this wide option for certain filming situations.

RAW Video Or ProRes?

I have spent a lot of time tonight trying to get my head around RAW versus ProRes video. Both types of video can be recorded on my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras (BMPCC) but editing RAW footage is difficult. It involves very large file sizes and a heavy workload Color grading. The recorded RAW footage has a 13 stop dynamic range (good for the high lighting contrasts in the dump) but is extremely flat coming out of the camera. The ProRes format has much smaller file sizes, still very good quality and little color grading.

My older laptop PC has Premiere Pro CS6 in it which cannot import RAW BMPCC files easily. There are work arounds that allow you to do it but at lower bit rates (which I think means less quality). What to do? Shoot in Raw or ProRes? RAW video which uses tons of SD cards (20 minutes of video on a 64GB card) and hard drive space.  ProRes has smaller files sizes and uses less battery power but is slightly less quality. Even thou ProRes has less quality than the RAW format it is still more than 2 times better in quality what I would get out of the compressed video shot in a Canon 5D Mark 3 ( The Canon was my first choice for this project). This is all very confusing, sometimes too many options is a bad thing!

Many shooters record and edit in the ProRes format, it is the format the Cinematographer I bought the video gear from recommended to me. If I recorded in one of the ProRes Codecs (don't you love all this film maker camera lingo!) I could then import it directly into Premiere CS6 and edit from there. I guess that would be the best-easiest way to do things but I am leaning another way.

Instead of recording at the lower quality compressed ProRes I could record and store the video in RAW then convert it to ProRes before editing. My computer came with Adobe After Effects which allows you to convert RAW video to ProRes for an easier edit and work flow in Adobe Premiere CS6. I am still figuring this all out but this might be the best solution. My raw shot footage would all be in the RAW format and I could then convert it and edit in ProRes. I would only store ProRes files on my laptop, no RAW.

Later on when I am more film maker literate I can decide what the films editing footage format will be. The only down side I can see with my plan is I will need lots of hard drive space to store 6 months of dump video. I have 7-64GB and 1-128GB SD cards that can handle the BMPCC high transfer rates 95MB/s so that should not be an issue. At the end of each shooting day I can transfer the RAW video to my hard drives then reformat and reuse the same SD cards during the next days shooting. I will need to buy a bunch of 4TB portable hard drives thou to store everything.

Not sure this will all work yet but I think it should, and it might be the best way to do things. I will always have the RAW footage to fall back in. If I eventually get a higher end desktop video editing computer with 2 screens etc and the latest Adobe Premiere editing software having the RAW footage to work from seems right In still photography terms it will be like having all my negs in 8x10 format instead of medium or 4x5.

Note* Just did some math, a 4TB hard drive should hold about 12 days of raw shots if I shot 320GB (100 minutes) of video a day. I would need to have 2- 4TB hard drives for every 12 days of shooting (a main drive and a backup). That is one hell of a lot of hard drives by the time I return to Canada.  Perhaps I need to rethink the RAW thingy. I have no idea how much video I will shoot a day, 100 minutes might be too high a number.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BMPCC Gear Bag Looks GREAT!

Been playing with my new video gear all night work. Everything looks in good working shape. Besides the 2 BMPCC bodies there are a ton of extras, 2 camera cages, follow focus, tripod rig rail set up, 2 EF Speedboosters, an couple of C lens (one huge!), small Tascam sound recorder, SD cards with 2 Pelican cases, Rode microphone, lots of other stuff and a great wheeled Husky red tool bag.  I will probably take the tool bag as a carry on for all my various camera gear/film, the thing is built very tough.

Got the gear, now I need to figure out how to run everything, how to do all the tech stuff. After I learn to do everything technically, I need to forget all the gadgetry and tool thinking and concentrate on telling my story effectively. That is the big mystery to me, what to shoot with the cameras, what to record with the audio recorders and then how to put it all together in some kind of coherent story. Filmmaking is hard and I have not even really started yet.

Email: How To Make My Film?

Just wrote this to a friend. It is about my fears of making the movie, and what I feel I have to try to do creatively. How to make the the movie? The things that might work out best.

got my bag of film making gear today, will it help make the movie? Yes...but I need to find the heart of my story and tell it effectively, that is the key. Am quite frightened by what confronts me, going into a totally new world here. Most likely I will fall on my face with the attempt. I think I need to follow my heart, to allow the story to become very personal. Let my true feelings come through. Whenever I have been successful in the past with my photography that has been the case, just hang everything on truth,emotion,feelings, heart...guess that is the way to go..When I did dad's eulogy it was the same idea, heartfelt stories, fun stories, feeling and emotion won out the day. It worked out well and got a lot of positive emotions back from the guests at the time and later..one older lady even said it was the best eulogy she ever heard (and my moms/dads older friends go to LOTS of funerals!)..

So that has got to be my film making trick, be true, be heartfelt, be emotional but also put in a bit of humor.

Kind of ironic, my father is still helping me figure stuff out! Thanks dad.

I Shutdown www.gerryyaum.com, For Now

I let gerryyaum.com go down. Wanted to save the money on fees. Not sure it is the right move, but am saving funds, so I let it run out. That's what happens when you start making documentary movies, you have less money for other things!With all the free site availability and net presence I was not sure I wanted to spend the money any longer, seemed a bit wasteful, especially considering I had not updated the page in 4 or 5 years.

Will probably start it up again or a version there of at some later date, possibly after my return from Asia and the doc film is completed in a year-2 years or so.

For now my Internet friends, I still have the following FREE websites. I will try to update the photo site more often, and as you already know I obsessively update this blog 25 times a day :)).


and my main photo site now

Note* The contact@gerryyaum.com email will also not work any longer. No big loss there as as 99% of the email I received was annoying spam. I can be reached through my gmail account, gerryyaum@gmail.com I might eventually have to sign up for second free account somewhere.

Link: My Blackmagic Camera Gear-Bag Is Here!

I got my Blackmagic camera bag of goodies today.  The case made it through customs with a a very heavy charge at my end of $142 CAD, that is par for the course for the amount of gear I got sent to me from the States. The seller was a very nice American fellow, a real live working pro cinematographer complete with an IMDB page. Thank you Mike for keeping your promise and getting everything to me today. I was a worried that the camera had been lost in transit as it took a full 8 days longer to get to my door than the the first package with a tripod/mono-pod did.

All is well now thou, the cameras are here! (2 BMPCC bodies etc) I will take everything to work tonight to open and play with. It should be lots of fun! Hopefully my limited skills and luck with this camera system will be 50% of its previous owners and I can film something of consequence. I so want to tell the stories in the dump with effectiveness, compassion (love?) and care.

Here is a link to the world I will be working in, this video was shot on a little point and shoot hand held camera in 2013 during my first trips to the dump. I have been entering and leaving the lives of these families ever since.

Note* The opening motorcycle ride  was my first time to the dump, a shocking moment for me. I have since been back dozens of times through the years. When I return next time it will be with my Blackmagic gear, thanks again Mike. Now I just got to pay all my credit card bills, probably close to $4000 CAD!! Will use my vacation pay, my Xmas, New Years STAT pay, and regular security guard pay. I have to pay off everything before any interest costs are charged to my credit card.

2013 Dump Video, Originally Used In My Still Photography Exhibition 

Video: Toning Dads TripTych Prints

Shot this film yesterday and worked on it using Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 tonight in the guardhouse. This was basically a training exercise for me. Tonight I created my first complete Premiere edited video. Was able to work on a timeline, make and insert titles, transitions (sort of!) and export in various file sizes and format types.

The audio on this recording was very harsh but did some work on it in the Adobe audio editing program Audition. Because I was doing toning with with the carcinogenic selenium toner I was wearing gloves and had my exhaust fan set on maximum. The fan created a loud buzzing background noise which I was able to clean up some what in in Audition, I also raised the gain on my voice audio (recorded ont the cheap Zi8 internal mic) by about 25%.

The most difficult part of this little project was learning how to EXPORT video/audio. I had to try 5 or 6 times to get it right. There are a ton of exporting options available, different formats, sizes, bit rates etc. It was all rather confusing but I am slowly improving in Premiere. Brick by brick builds the might cathedral!

The one thing I do not like about he Kodak Zi8 handheld recorders is the narrow angle of view they provide.
Kodak Zi8 1080p Video Camera
I want to be wider than I am in this video but do not have an option at present to do so. I ordered some cheapo Chinese made wide angle lens that should stick to the cameras body, will give them a try when they arrive. There are also some more expensive wide angle adapters (higher quality glass?) available on EBay. So that is another option for me.

Overall this little video project turned into a good little learning experience. Now on to the next one.

Note* Selenium toner is carcinogenic, where gloves when using it and do it in a well ventilated area.

Note** Tripych? Should be TripTych, will fix that title tonight.

Here is the toning clip (11.3MB):

Monday, January 23, 2017

Putting Your Heart Out There

As I was doing the toning of the triptych prints just now I got to thinking about how much you put on display when you put your work up in a gallery. An artist usually puts his hear on those gallery wall, that is a risky and vulnerable thing to do. Your putting your inner feelings and thoughts, your emotions on a wall for the whole world to see, analyze and be critical of!

I think that is one of the major reasons why many art folk are afraid to exhibit. They might not be showing the work because it is not of a creative quality a gallery/curator thinks is important. The second reason is the one listed above. Putting your heart on a wall, your innermost feelings is tough,  sort of like walking naked on a city side walk, everything is hanging out! :)

I think that's one of the reasons most artists say bad things about their work BEFORE they show it to you (this is bad, this is not the final version, I was only practicing etc), sort of a defense mechanism. Another thing that happens is people go into techno talk. They speak of cameras and lens, filters and shutter speeds, they do not allow the viewer to feel the emotions of the work, soak it in. It is just because the artist feels uncomfortable letting the print stand on its own. I am guilty of some of this defensive talk.

Many photo/artist folk are also extremely sensitive to any kind of criticism. I have had that problem in my photo club history. When I gave too honest OPINIONS, people freaked out, especially the older club members who are much more set in their ways. Older people tend to be more sensitive especially when you point out the obvious truth, a truth they may have been hiding from.

The truly brave artists create what they feel is right, dismiss criticism easily and have no fear of showing their emotions on any gallery wall. They listen to opinions of others then brush it off, they show all work without fear of being too open and honest.  I feel I have traveled partly down the path of the brave artist, I still have a ways to go. Hopefully that courage and honesty will develop with time (pun intended) :)).

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Night Of Secondary Printing

Well it is on to the secondary printing for the 3 11x14 photos I will make into my dads face triptych. Tonight I will finish up those prints after doing the bleaching, 2nd fix, hypo clear, toning and washing.

Monday and Tuesday I need to gather up the 2 earlier made 20x24 images along with these small photos. I also have also grab all my mat cutting equipment, mat boards and spotting stuff. as well as the large white frames (which still have last sex worker images in them from an exhibition several years back, see link). My hope is to have 3 of the AGSA August exhibition prints, spotted, matted and framed by the end of next weeks security night shifts. If I can get all 3 completed by weeks end that would leave me 3 or maybe 4 prints short of completing the exhibitions photographs.

One of the advantages of working nights security is I can take my spotting brushes, mat cutter, framing gear to work and do the cutting/spotting/framing in the security guardhouse at night. It is a multi tasking type thingy. I get paid as a guard and get to do my photo work as well! Of course I still do all my regular security duties but in between guard stuff I can do the photo stuff.

Here is the link to the earlier mentioned exhibition, the show at the VAAA gallery in 2012. My father is still very healthy in this video, long before we knew he had cancer. He is the man walking in the gallery with mom at 1:55. Now I will be using these same frames for dad, for the exhibition about the last year of his life and our relationship of sharing.
VAAA Sex Worker Exhbition 2012 "Human Voices" 

Email-Quote: From A Friend About Forgotten Brothel Workers

From an email discussion with a friend about the lives of the forgotten brothel workers of Asia. I thought he hit the nail on the head with this section and wanted to share it here. I am happy the work I did back then still has power now. Need to make up a portfolio of these images, to continue to raise awareness and to educate.
Here is his quote:

"For me your photos of the young women of K11 evoke a cultural dimension.... A place nobody acknowledges or wants to admit exists. These young women are human beings. They exist in a context that is so brutal and dehumanizing but they exist. The disaster if their lives overwhelms me. I cannot trivialize these images away into some convenient rationale. There is nothing convenient about looking at the young women. They deserve my respect for a tenacity they possess to somehow survive in a brutal world."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

3rd Triptych Image

Here is the 3rd triptych, the one I plan to place in the middle of this series. This is a very dense negative with blur-motion. I think the blur helps the feel of the photograph. Printing exposure is 100 seconds at f2.8 with a 3.5 filter on Ilford warmtone fiber photographic paper. Each eye is dodged 20 seconds with a small round tool and the upper and side head is given an additional 50 second burn.

Update* Ended up printing 6-7 or so versions of this negative. I did lighter versions with various eye dodge times at filter 3 1/2 and also 3 versions of the print at filter 4. One of these prints should work quite nicely in the triptych.

1st attempt at 3rd Triptych photograph, Dad in 2014

Quote: Edvard Munch

"An artwork comes directly from man's inner being."

Video: Making Dads Triptych

Here is a quick video. Just wanted to try out my new used 1080p recorder the Kodak Zi8. I hope to use this little camera in the field for both my doc film and general blog reports. The unit is so small-light I can easily carry it everywhere in a shirt or pants pocket.

Here is the VIMEO link to a higher quality version:

Quote: Roger Ebert

From Rogers review of the movie "Munich" by Steven Spielberg.

"The task of the director is to transmute fact into emotions and beliefs -- and beliefs, we need to be reminded, are beliefs precisely because they are not facts."

Friday, January 20, 2017

Email: Art Is More Than Beautiful

This is an exert from an email discussion with a friend about art. He was promoting a local guy who carves in ice and creates beautiful ice carvings (for weddings and events). I was making an argument that there is a difference between good craftsmen who makes beautiful things and the true artists and the goals they are reaching for.

My friend wrote :

It is amazing what some of these folks can create
 with their own hands.

I wrote:

yes artisans and craftsmen can do amazing things...usually thou it is copy cat stuff not original work, with a unique viewpoint. I have seen craftsmen in Asia that could carve wonderful pieces but it is the same stuff over and over...nothing besides being beautiful...art is more than beauty...it should reach inside the viewers soul and trigger memories and emotions beyond "THAT IS PRETTY"...that is why I made the soul reference earlier. B---- is skilled at what he does, he can make beautiful things, but there is so much more to art than that...I wish he would have the drive and the courage to create truly powerful work, work that challenges and questions...work that makes people both angry and happy...work that is multi lingual if you will...that speaks to all of us in a variant of ways...that is the challenge to being an artist..that is what I have been facing all my creative life....How do you do that? How do you create works like that?

2nd Triptych Photo

Here is the 2nd attempt at the 2nd triptych photo. I will wash it, let it dry, re-evaluate, then continue working on it tonight. Now I need to take a bath and head down to the a local police office, will get a clearance to renew my security guard license which expires every 2 years (about $200 to renew it). Wish I could continue working in the darkroom instead of this time consuming paperwork stuff of life, which I hate, but some things you got to do!

2nd attempt of 2nd triptych eyes closed shot of dad, photo made in 2014

Back In The Dark

 Well I finally made it back in the darkroom tonight, it has been a long time, too long. I t was nice to smell fixer again :)). Tonight I am working on the first of 3 pictures I plan to combine in a triptych. All 3 images will be close ups of dads face. There is motion and blur in these exposures which was intentional, it adds to the feel, helps I think to express the emotions dad was going through.

The print has a big burn on the right side and and dodges on the left and right eyes, filtration is 3. The photo paper is 11x14 Ilford warmtone fiber.

Update* The printing of this image went fine. Ended up making 5 versions including 2 at filter 3 1/2. Am now working on print 2 of the triptych a shot made a few exposures later with dads eyes closed. I am thinking these will be the end shots of the triptych, the middle shot will be a full head, wider , blurry photo of dad looking directly at the viewer. It will be as if he is fading away, receding inside the 2 closer compositions end pictures.

I remember dad looking me straight in the eyes those last few days of his life. He would just look straight at me, through me with piercing wide eyes.  I wanted to duplicate a bit of that feeling in this triptych. It is hard to print these photos, but it needs to be done. Dad left us almost 2 years ago now, February 22, 2015.

The 2md attempt at tonight's dad photograph in the fixer
1st and 2nd attempt side by side in the wash, photo made in 2014

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Photo Story: Tak Brothel Worker 1999, Cambodia

I was recently contacted by a writer from the States who was moved by a picture I did back in 1999. The photo is of a young Vietnamese brothel worker named Tak who worked in the notorious K11 area near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  The writer who reminded me of this old photograph is cultural anthropologist (not actually sure what that is), he wrote a book on tattooing, and the history of tattoos in Asia, their culture significance etc. Will try and get his book as I find that subject fascinating.

After receiving his emails a flush of old memories came flashing back. I had not thought of Tak for a long time. I thought I would write a little about her now on the blog. Not sure if I have written about her before, maybe so. Here is that story:

I had heard about the K11 area online and from sex pats in Cambodia and Thailand. I was frightened to go there but decided it was worth a look. My hope was to make pictures there, that is my hope and motivation with most everything. I got a local motorcycle guy to drive me to K11 from Phnom Penh. It was a fairly long and eventful bike ride of around 30 minutes. We traveled through rural Cambodia, and it was exciting for me. We passed all kinds of farms, people on local transport, trucks, animals etc. Fascinating shit all round, everywhere. Eventually we came to a slightly more rural area and we stopped near a group of buildings and a big sign on the main road He dropped me there and I walked in by myself.

K11 was a series of concrete building like you see everywhere in Asia with these large steel doors that could be closed down and locked over the various store entrances. In most places the products being sold might be vegetables, furniture or clothing but here in K11 it was flesh. The place was a market that sold women to local Cambodian men and some visiting sex pats-tourists from round the world. Along with the brothel areas there was regular businesses and homes intermingled. It was a strange strange depressing scene, never been to any place like it in my life before (later I photographed a similar location in 2003, in Poi Pet Cambodia).

I was very uncomfortable and hid my camera from view so as not to attract unwanted attention from the local toughs or to scare people in general (they do not like folks they think are journalists). I walked about a bit, unsure what to do or where to go.  Was sort of just wandering about aimlessly and uncomfortable when a young woman came up and took my hand. I was in the middle of the street, not really near any of the brothels when it happened so she surprised me. That young Vietnamese woman was Tak. Why did she take my hand? Was she going to drag me into a building? (that happens outside the gogo bars in Bangkok Thailand).

She took my hand and led me away from the brothels and to an isolated place, around the corner and down the road. That location was bustling with older men, talking loudly and carrying things in cages. I looked closer and saw they were transporting roosters. Tak then led me further and we came to an enclosed barn like building and inside was a ring where rooster fights (GAI CHON in Thai) and gambling took place. It was interesting to be there and my nerves settled somewhat. We were too early and the fights were not starting yet so after a half an hour we went back to her brothel (this time without the hand holding). I sat and we talked there and I bought a $5 USD coke from the mama-son who did not seem to mind that I was staying out front instead of taking Tak out back for sex. I took out my notebook and started to learn a few words of Vietnamese from here, would write it down as we went. I also learned a few words of Khmer (the Cambodian language). After a while I asked Tak if I could take her photo. She took me took me to the back area of the brothel reclined on a bed and I took a photograph, the photograph that the writer commented on in the resent emails. Here it is:

Tak Vietnamese Brothel Sex Worker K11, Cambodia 1999
Not much more to the end of this story. I went back to K11 a second time, met Tak again and sat with her and a friend of hers. I remember they sat together waiting for customers. They also had a wild bird that they let out of a nearby cage and they would play with it as it jumped about, feeding it little crackers. I learned the word for "Bird" that day but have forgotten it now.

I never went back to K11 after that second visit, only ended up taking the 2 or 3 pictures of Tak. I was basically too frightened to go anywhere else. That time with Tak thou was the inspiration for me returning to that world and making the 2003 brothel images. Because of the memories of Tak I felt compelled to go back and tell more of those stories. That lead to pictures like the one below of Fok another Vietnamese sex worker (probably sold into that life). Tan also worked worked in a Cambodian brothel, this time in Poi Pet.

Fok Vietnamese Brothel Sex Worker Poi Pet, Cambodia 2003
I always think back to those women, some were closer to girls then women. What happened to them? Did they die of AIDS? Were they beaten or murdered? Or are they happily living in Vietnam somewhere with families of their own. I so hope for the latter scenario. So hope they were able to eventually live happy lives.

Should I go back into that world and try to do the "Lost Innocence?" photo or documentary film. I don't know, it is so difficult. Still the faces I met their, the lives I shared for a brief time, call out to me from the past. I can see their eyes in my minds memory, hear the young women's voices. Their stories need to be told, their lives CANNOT be forgotten. I am not sure what to do. I probably have to go back at some point, have to try yet again. It seems to me that sometime no one cares, that the photos have no impact. Every now and again I will get an email (like this last week) that reminds me that people do care, that the photos I made of those lives are important and can have a positive effect towards meaningful discussion and change. I hope this blog post furthers that discussion and continues to help raise awareness about the lives of these poor young women. Here is a link that explains my on and off "Lost Innocence project":

Note*  I should mention that at that time the police who controlled the K11 area were bought off. They were bribed and even thou they would make occasional raids it was more for show than substance. The police would often visit the brothel for free as customers and then take a big money bribe after that. The brothel owner would pay the bribes or be shut down. If anyone was arrested it was usually the sex workers who did not have the proper paper work to be in Cambodia. They would be arrested, fined and shipped out as illegals. This information is based on what I learned  through speaking to local people including victims like Tak, exploiters like the mama papa-sans, sex pats and through online stories, newspaper reports etc.

It is sometimes such a terrible world, how can people do these things?

Update* Maybe I need to dig out these old negs and try to get them exhibited again. Maybe I should make up a folio of that work (was asked in the resent emails if I had one), and try to sell them to collections/collectors. I could then donate the money earned to aid organizations that help the brothel workers. Maybe I could use the money to help fund a major project. Then donate the money made from that project (picture folios or a doc film) to aid organizations. Too many things to think about, too many thoughts fill my mind now, need to distract myself before my head explodes. Will get back in the darkroom tonight, will do some printing for the dad show in August. That should help focus me again, clear my mind. I can think of my father again.

Update** My new writer friend from the states is going to send me a FREE copy of his book, great guy. It is nice to meet folks like this online. So often you meet only the angry types in the comment sections of YouTube and elsewhere. It is a great change of pace to meet a friendly, generous human being.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dream: About Dad

Dad was at his homes kitchen table, sitting with mom. I asked "Why are you here dad? You died!", my father said "I don't know" I replied "You died in February 2015, now it's January 2017." He looked straight ahead confused and did not answer."

Email: On The Making Of Art

An email exert discussing the making of art with a friend.... me being a tad pompous but I think the thought is right.
My friend wrote:
I have created art purely on my own (most people have).  It is a cool
thing, no doubt.
I wrote:
like with everything there are levels...meaningless art, good art....profound/important art...until you throw your heart into it full time and devote many years of life to it, your probably not going to rise above the meaningless type...until it is truly important to you, you will not make the commitment, thought, effort it takes, just like with all things..most people create some kind of art, just as most people can run...but...How many folks are world class runners? How many run world record times? Art is harder to classify, is more subjective as compared to running times but the point is still valid I think.
I have created tons of meaningless art, some good art, as for profound/important? not sure on that, hopefully with lots of hard work and continued devotion for the rest of my life, there will be some of that as well!!
Some of the better stuff was judged (by a jury before being accepted) , curated and will be hanging in a relatively important gallery in August at the AGSA. Come down with Mela and tell me if it is meaningless, good, important or profound :)) All opinions are welcome, to some the work will be meaningless to others profound. To me it does not matter what others think so much (a care a bit but not a lot). I want the work shown, when it gets shown I have paid my debt to my subjects, their voices were heard. That is all that really matters to me in the end.

Email: Screw Them! :)

This is a section from an email with a friend. He was telling me that I should be careful what I say because others might think bad of me.
My friend wrote:
I am telling you that, as a friend I wouldn't want people to get
 the wrong impression.

I wrote:

I do not really care too much what others think, have not most of my life, as I get older I care less and less. Too many people worry about what their friends and family think. I only have 3 people (plus myself) in my life (4 before when dad was around) that I worry about in regards to what they think of me...the rest? who gives a fuck...life is too short to try to suck up to everyone...Right now I am getting peer pressure to conform and fit in by not taking my leave, making my movie...etc...screw them, screw those with such a limited peer pressure driven vision.. going to do what I want to do. The film and my photographs, and the lives I could and will help are more important to me than conforming to societies norms.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Got My 14mm Lumix Lens

Just got my Panasonic/Lumix 14mm lens from the mail lady. Gosh is this thing small and tiny. The lens was shipped to me from Japan (cost was $148 USD with free shipping), in 5 layers of bubble wrap. I kept cutting away the layers and the package got smaller and smaller and smaller yet again. Finally I got down to the end and there was this tiny, itty bitty lens in the last section.

The 14mm Lumix converts to about a 43mm (35mm camera equivalent) on the BMPCC (Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera) without any converters and has auto-focus/exposure features. I want to use it mounted to my Blackmagic pocket as a quick point and shoot grab video tool. I will keep it in my pocket, for my entire 6 month trip. All the other lens I use with the BMPCC are way to big to slip into a pocket. Have to do some searching to see if I have a 46mm Hoya UV filter somewhere to protect the lens, if not have to get one off EBay. I expect this thing to get heavy use, I need to protect the glass.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Email: Documentary Help?

Got this email today, maybe some possible assistance on the documentary.  Very nice of this fellow to offer to help, Thai people are quite often very giving and kind.

hello Mr. GERRY YAUM
my name is s-------  nickname J--
i follow your blog  i live in   Bangkok Thailad  my  hometown Maesot 
and i shoot film photograph and videomakker
i can help you make documentary

Quote: Nelson Mandela

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Email: An Emaiil To A Local Film Group

Just found out about a local film group, sent them a message, hoping to learn and make new friends. Gosh I have lots of time to write long long emails! Got to love security nightshift for that. The pay is not great but boy do I have more freedom than most folks.
To the --- Film Group
Hi, found out about you folks tonight while doing a search here in Edmonton during my nightshift. I was very happy to see your page. Will research it more tonight but wanted to send you this note first.
Your involved with film making in Edmonton? Hold meetings? Classes? General exchange of ideas between members?  I have to check for when and where you meet, would love to come down and see you all.
A bit about me. I am brand new to film, video, film making etc. Being brand new and of semi sound mind I have decided to jump in head first and make my first documentary in South East Asia later this year (hope this does not conflict with your groups only Edmonton angle). I am taking a 6 month
leave from work to go to Thailand and make my film.
I was wondering if I could come down and talk to people in your group, to gain knowledge and experience before I go. I would love to become a member and learn from you all. I have about 7 months before I leave and need to become as proficient as I can in regards to film making, shooting video cameras, recording audio.
I picked up a package off EBay that included 2 BMPCCs and  various other gear. Also got a field recorder to do audio separately, then sync in post (Adobe Premiere CS6). My thinking is to shoot everything in the BMPCC RAW mode to get as much range as I can (I have read the BMPCC gives 13 stops of dynamic range).
My project is Burmese refugee families living and working in a garbage dump in Thailand. I am going to try and tell their story.
Now I am not a complete newby when it comes to documentary work. I have been to Thai over 20 times, speak some of the language. I have been doing still work (film,darkroom) for over 30 years (am 52 now). I have been photographing the families in the dump since 2013. Now I want to do a documentary film on that same subject, those same lives (many are friends now).
What do you think? Could I come on down and meet you all? Learn from your vast experience? Anything at this point that I learn is a huge positive and will make later shooting that much easier.
Thanks for taking the time for reading my long email, working nights (security) gives me time to be rather verbose!

(included some links of the dump and previous still efforts).

www.gerryyaum.blogspot.com (10 years of blog photo and other writings)
www.gerryyaumfilms.blogspot.com (brand new film blog about only this years doc film project)

Quote: Lupe Velez (Actress)

"The first time you buy a house you think how pretty it is and sign the check. The second time you look to see if the basement has termites. It's the same with men."

Video Days? Film Days?

Tonight at work my thoughts go forward to the 6 months I will have in Thai and how best to use them?  I will make or at least attempt to make my movie but I also want to find time for my true love still photography. I will take both types of gear with me (big loaded down bags) and try to work out a schedule where I do a bit of both, each day. Some days will be stills dominant others would be video. I am trying to do lots here, but it is the way I am, got to make an effort to do the most I can, while I can. There will be missed opportunities on both sides, when shooting film will miss video moments, when doing stills will miss important video moments. Such is life thou, we can only do what we can do.

My days might go something like this:

Day 1 - Saying high to everyone at the dump, shoot a bit of hand held BMPCC video and some 35mm film.
Day 2 - Bring all video gear and do a full fledged day of shooting with tripod-monopod, mics, sound recorders. Also take take a 35mm film camera, for some general still shooting. Perhaps use the Leica R lens for both my 35mm and BMPCC gear (I have an BMPCC Metanone Speedbooster for R Leica lens).
Day 3 - Shoot 8x10 portraits in the dump with some grab hand held BMPCC video.
Day 4 - Bring all video gear and do a full fledged day of shooting with tripod-monopod, mics, sound recorders. Also take take a 35mm film camera, for some general still shooting. Perhaps use the Leica R lens for both my 35mm and BMPCC gear (I have an BMPCC Metabones Speedbooster for R Leica lens).
Day 5 - Shoot 35mm film, some audio recording on a boom mic set up (garbage trucks, people singing, general conversation, dogs fighting and barking etc)

It would go on like that a mix of both and everything for 10-14 days or until I got worn out. I might then take a break or go to Bangkok for a short time before returning and doing more video/still work. I would also be doing nightly post work, editing, copying files to hard drives etc.

Anyway just thinking out loud here, trying to figure the bes way to do this thing, the best way to be the most productive and do the best work.

Email: To A Friend About My New Video Cameras

Here is my very long winded reply to a friend about my cameras. I tend to blab on and on about this type of thing in our emails. He is a good sport to put up with me.

He Wrote:
"You Must have one of the best collections of cameras in Edmonton."  
I replied:
I guess...for film cameras I might...but they are all mostly for shooting. I despise the idea of collecting cameras. Putting them on a self and looking at them with awe and wonder is simply wrong. A cameras destiny is TO MAKE PICTURES, not sit as a display piece.

This may sound strange but I feel it is a responsibility to shoot a camera and to use film properly. I think of film and cameras as almost living beings, I want them to fulfill their destinies and make great art. It is like I owe it to them.  I owe them chance to make something important and beautiful. Strange but true.

The latest buys of gear are modern video cameras which are totally different than anything I own. They are not designed for stills but instead for shooting RAW HD 13 stop dynamic range video. Never owned anything like these babies before. Still only tools, got to find the heart of my subjects to make the video sing! I see tons of beautiful video on YouTube and Vimeo made with my cameras the BMPCC but very little of it has any heart to it, they’re just trite superficial pretty time video footage. I used to see that all the time in my photo clubs, pretty pictures with no inner resonance or emotion. Done over and over again, week in and week out. All style no substance stuff. (Note to self-don't tell photo club members your true feelings about their work or they will lose their minds! Your honesty is not what they are interested in).

I want to use these new filming tools to not only capture video with wonderful clarity and tonality but also to find the underlying humanity in my subjects. Video that captures the hearts of my people, and tells their stories with compassion and power. Only then will the work be a success and have any lasting importance. That is the goal anyway, not sure it can happen.

Anyway, nuff philosophizing...:)....still a long time before I can make the movie, lots to learn.

Thanks for your thoughts and email.

Quotes: Joseph Conrad (Writer)

"We live, as we dream - alone."

"A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Link: Cool Glidecam 2000 With BMPCC, Video

This cool glidecam/BMPCC footage was done by SixteenNine Films. I will try using some kinds of steadycam devices with my version of the camera, it creates such a beauty look-feel, especially with the right music.
Cotopaxi Equador - Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera & Glidecam 2000

Link: Wide Angle Lens Use And The BMPCC

I plan to use wide angle lens with my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras (BMPCC). Wide angle lens create a unique look and feel in a image, and have a wonderful depth of field. I will be able to use my modern EF Canon 24mm F1.4 with the cameras and might be able to use some of my wider old style Canon FD lens (not sure they will work with the EF adapter, probably will need a separate adapter). With a little bit of luck I should have many wide angle lens options. If I hook the lens up to my Metabones EF Speedbooster I will also have the bonus of faster lens. A f 1.4 might be might be like a f 0.75 lens or faster a f 2.8 a f 2.

Check out this wonderful short video made by Lander Denys, great quality-tonality and a beauty wide angle BMPCC view to the video.
BMPCC Sigma 19mm f2.8-Walk In The Woods

Note* The linked video is graded in Premiere Pro, which is what I will be doing. There is no reason I cannot get a similar quality look in the dump. I wonder how the camera will handle the harsh light and reflections of white off plastic bags in the garbage. It's 13 stop dynamic range should give plenty of information to work with, allowing for a good picture. 

RAW Video Footage Sample

Here is a sample video of RAW footage made with a Blackmagic Pocket camera. The camera captures a beautiful detailed look, that I find very attractive. I wonder what it would look like contrasty b/w. With this camera I can do a b/w high contrast film and also a nicely color graded version, then compare them side by side in a theatre setting to see what works best.

Here is the link to the video, it was shot by Marco Schott.
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera RAW Performance

Blackmagic Pocket Camera, My Main And B Cameras?

I keep watching videos touting the amazing picture quality of uncompressed RAW footage that you get with Blackmagic cameras (BMPPC). I keep hearing how the RAW image is so much more adaptable in post and far better than anything coming out of a compressed DSLR.

What to do? Should I go with my two new(used) Blackmagic cameras as my main and B cameras for the coming film?  It seems to make sense to me, compact size, lighter, RAW files, and lots of adaptability in post editing. I am bound to make a ton of mistakes shooting this film, maybe some of those mistakes can be corrected and fixed up in post if I shoot RAW 13 stop range video.

Since I have these 2 pocket cameras, and since I have multiple lens, both Leica R and Canon glass to use with the them (also a compact Lumix 14mmm and a few tiny C lens), why not go this way? I can adapt my current rig set up to use with the Blackmagic bodies. I can also carry one of these little gems in my pant or shirt pocket for instant shooting, anytime, anywhere, for the entire 6 month trip.

I will of course still take my Canon 5D Mark 3 with me. I can use it to shoot stills, and also as a video camera backup. It might also be effective doing the talking head stuff  with the Canon, as it allows for longer shooting times. Compact battery power and card storage on the Blackmagic run down-fill up very fast, 20 minutes or so. Having the Canon 5D for doing longer interviews makes sense.

Friday, January 13, 2017

It's A GO!!!

I heard from the last of the 4 in my leave request. The Security company I work for is OK with the idea. The 6 month leave to Thailand to make my documentary film is a GO!!!

Now I need to decide on my departure time. I am thinking as of today of mid August or early September. If I leave Canada then, I can take care of a number of responsibilities before hand. I have to deal with my exhibition opening night on August 3rd at the AGSA. I need to get two dental crowns (4-6 dentist appointments). I need to settle and prepare everything in my home and moms. I want to take mom on a trip to Radium Hot Springs again, possibly in April or May. I also need to prepare myself. I am not a film maker I need to learn as many technical things as I can before I leave Canada. I also need to prepare the film in my mind, make up a story line I will follow including story board visuals I need to capture. I can start with some voice over work (not sure I will use voice overs yet). There is much to do, I expect that a mid August or early September departure is best.

I was hoping to shoot the rainy season in the dump, flooding and the like. I think thou if I go in August I will miss that, not quite sure but I believe most of the heaviest rainfall occurs in June/July (possibly May).

Anyway, the trip is a go, the LEAVE has been approved. The film is going to happen!

Email: Webpage For The Film, Film Work

Here is an email about the reasons behind my new website (blog) for my coming documentary film.
Update* I think this site will help focus on the film. I can send the site link with the film festival submissions or to reviewers or to film people or what-who-ever. They can see the blogs-info-stories-trailers-video files-photos made for the documentary film and only the film. It will be a less confusing, focused site about the film and only the film.
I am going to do up a FREE web page documenting-promoting the coming film in Asia. One of the books I am reading on documentary film making recommends a film website. The idea is to promote the film, to start a buzz etc. I will be post info, back stories, film trailers and short film sequences here.
Lorne if your interested you can follow the creative process, good and bad, difficult and easy that I will be going through. You can enter the lives of the families of the dump. You can see that world almost first hand. Maybe the viewer will see and learn and understand that world and the film I am making about it a bit better.
Hopefully this site will also help generate some donations for the families. Many folks talk of helping but do not, maybe seeing the film made, maybe seeing the eyes of the children head on, will get them off their non-donating, non-helping asses!!:))
It will probably take me a couple of years to complete everything. Please pass it on to those you think might find it interesting (family/friends/others). I just have the address so far, will be creating a more decent looking page in the coming days. I hope I can make a movie of enough quality that it can be submitted and accepted at some lower end film festivals.
Here is the films website.
I will also of course keep my regular blog going which I have been writing on for 10 years now

A Movie Website?

One of the recommendations in a wonderful how to documentary film book I am reading is to create a website for your film. The idea is to post updates, trailers, general info etc. which will hopefully start a positive buzz about your movie. This seems like a good idea to me. I have received positive buzz about my photographs, several sales and a show as a result of this blog. So why can't a site totally devoted to my film do the same?

My current thinking is to do up another free (can't beat free!) blogspot page then fill it with info, shooting stories, trailers and clips about the film I am making. I could double post the blogs both here on my Yaum Photo Diary page and on the film website blog. If people want to learn about the film they can go to the focused film blog instead of having to wade through all the other things I place on the diary blog (poems, quotes, photo stuff etc).

Seems like a good idea, I will follow through with this idea, possibly starting up the website tonight. I need to think of a film title to name the blog (thou that can be changed up later).

Update: Here is the address to the page, got to do some work on it yet.

Quote: Carrie Fisher

'Take your broken heart and turn it into art."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Got My Chinese Made Monopod Today

I got my large Chinese made monopod today. It looks like a quality piece of gear. I will compare it in size, weight, ability and need to the Manfrotto mono-pod I have coming in the big Black Magic camera EBay buy.  Which ever monopod works better I will take with me to Asia, one is enough. I will not have room to bring two with me. I think the Manfrotto version might work better because it is a bit smaller and lighter. Will have to see! After I receive both pods and complete my testing it should become more obvious.

I did not mean to buy 2 mono-pods, that was an accident. I had just bought the Chinese version and then found out about the large Black Magic auction with the Manfrotto mono-pod included. So it was sort of a oops got too many those things now, thingy. Still it might work out as these 2 units are quite different. I can choose and test the best one for my film making purposes. I will use the extra mono-pod I am sure at a later date. I have so much gear, something gotta work on it :)) Will try to make the best of my mistake.

Training A Guard And Editing

Spent last night training a new guard at work for 12 hours, tonight also another 12. We have started the process at work of finding a replacement for me if (seems it will happen) I go to Asia for 6 months to make the documentary film. Training is difficult but necessary, it has to be done.

Did manage to sneak in a bit of editing last night. I was able for the first time to combine 3 elements into a little film moment. I got 2 camera feeds (wide shot and close up shot) and a separate audio recording all connected, synced and working together (synced the enlarged audio wave files). I converted the video footage into a nice contrasty b/w image.The flat CINESTYLE picture profile converted nicely to the type of look I wanted. Overall it looks good and I am quite happy at how it looks on my 17 inch monitor. I need to burn a disk and put it on my 60 inch big screen TV to see what the quality really looks like.

The hardest part of this process is to find all the clips that fit together. I have a folder full of camera 1 video, a folder full of camera 2 video and then many audio files (recorded off 2 mics). Finding all the right files you need seems like the hardest part of the process to me. I have to develop a better way of organizing it in the field. When I am shooting in the dump under physically very difficult conditions then later copying all that audio/video footage to 3 or 4 hard drives could lead to mass confusion. I will have all the footage stored but finding what you want and editing it many months later could be a real MESS! How to find the right files, quickly and efficiently when you need them?

Anyway, when I did find the right footage I was able to put it together in a reasonable way for the first time. Yesterdays editing efforts were a success!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

From The Book "Documentary Storytelling For Video And Filmmakers"

Filmmaking is about choices, the choices you choose and do not choose. You need to decide, you need to ask yourself " What are the most essential elements I must have on film to tell this story?"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Things I Need To Do PRE-LEAVE

With the 6 month Work LEAVE seemingly going to have I need to prepare for it. Here is a list of things I need to do before I depart Canada, probably in mid August.

1) Get in better physical condition. I need to cut down my weight and improve my overall strength and wind.
     - watch what I eat.
     - raise my night shift workouts to a higher level. I need to do more push ups, sit ups, chin ups,
     stretching and stairs.
    - I need to start swimming first slowly eventually at a higher level.
    - I need to bike again when weather permits.

2) Learn to be a film maker.
     - Continue to study and improve on the editing software, Premiere Pro and Audition.
     - Learn my audio recorders, and video cameras, lights and other tech stuff.
     - Read every book on film making I can get a hold of.
     - Watch a ton of documentary films, take notes and learn!

3) Finish printing-spotting-matting-framing my AGSA exhibition photographs.
4) Take care of some preventative dental stuff.
5) Save money, I will need $10000-$20000 CAD. I need to save at least $10000 before I leave.
6) Prepare everything at home for my 6 month time away (lots of things to coordinate).

LEAVE From Work Looking VERY Positive

My LEAVE from work is looking very positive right. I have approval from 3 of the 4 folks I need to say yes (site rep, site gm, site security supervisor), I just need to get clearance now from my security company. It looks to be the longer 6 month LEAVE.

I am elated at this point, filled with optimism and hope at the creative possibilities in front of me. Imagine, 6 months to make my documentary film, 6 months to make photographs. 'Ain't Life Grand!" "Ain't Film Making Grand!!" "Ain't Photography Grand!!!".

I think I need to figure out a way to take my 8x10 view camera with me this trip, so that I can do available light portraits in the dump and elsewhere. My check in bags will be weighed down with all the video and other film gear as well as a big laptop but I got to figure out a way to do this. 6 months in Asia will allow me so many wonderful opportunities, finally after all these years, shooting 8x10 Tri-x film in available light, what a joy that would be!!! :)))))))))))))))

Art Gallery Of Saint Albert (AGSA) 2017 Exhibition Catalog

Got a bunch of nice AGSA exhibition catalogs sent to me yesterday. These catalogs are for me to hand out, dads group show is scheduled for August 3-September 2, 2017 and is titled "Healing Process". The opening for the show is August 3 from 1800-2100 hrs. There also might be some press interviews connected to this opening.

Moving up in gallery weight class does have its benefits. A nice little catalog, a CARFAC exhibition fee and possible press interviews. Plus you get to show at an upscale space and have a more important addition for your CV.

I will have to work my LEAVE to make my documentary film around that August 3 date. I might have to leave after the  photo shows opening night.

Everyone is invited to the opening night and and to the exhibition. Please come on down!!! I would love to talk to you all, this looks to be one of the best shows I have been lucky enough to be a part of. I am so happy to have the opportunity to bring dad back again for all to see. I get to spend time with in the darkroom as I print the work and then get to show it and talk about his life to everyone. What a joy photography is. "Ain't Photography Grand!!"

With all this recent documentary film making talk-study-work, I cannot lose sight of my first love "Still Photographs"!

Note* The other members of the exhibition "Healing Process"are, Sima Elizabeth Shefrin from BC and Darian Goldin Stahl from the USA. Looking forward to meeting them. HMM..wonder if I need to invent a middle name to go along with the invented Gerry Yaum name, Gerry "Vonderkonglongdilolibaumlaum" Yaumhas a nice ring to it!

Here is the catalogues write up for "Healing Process".

The creative process is a healer. Healing Process brings together three artists who each use their artistic practice to explore the illlnesses of their loved ones, to shed light on treatment, pain and tragedy, and reconcile their own emotions and understanding of their experiences.

Social documentary photography Gerry Yaum, seeks to tell the stories of forgotten and marginalized people. His deeply personal series My Fathers Last Days documents the final 13 months of his father's battle with pancreatic cancer. Through a series of poignant black and white portraits, Yaum attempts to understand and capture his father's struggle and create a memorial for him.

British Columbia-based artist Sima Elizabeth Shefrin's innovative series the Embroided Cancer Comic Chronicles her journey with her husband following his prostate cancer diagnosis. The embroidered-fabric pieces focus on the couple's day-to-day and life changing events as acquiesce and experience the unexpected impacts of cancer treatment.

Darian Goldin Stahl's intriguing installation, MRI IN USE includes a series of life-sized suspended hospital gown prints. These transparent forms seemingly hover between the gallery space and the viewer. The print-based installation emerged from an ongoing collaboration between the artist and her sister---a clinical bioethicist diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Stahl's work offers a glimpse into the experience of navigating a medical diagnosis and living chronic illness.

AGSA Exhibition Catalogue for 2017, with my dad in it :))

Monday, January 9, 2017

Link: How To Sync An External Audio Source Using Adobe Premiere

I found this short and simple video on syncing audio using Adobe Premiere. I was playing around with it all yesterday and I finally think I got it working for me. You got to love the internet, all your problems and all the solutions to your problems are out there with a simple google search.  Hope I can use this solution to sync all my future external audio to my captured video.

Here is the link that helped me.
Sync Audo/Premiere

Email: From National Film Board Of Canada

Yesterday I wrote the National Film Board Of Canada and they kindly responded to me today. It is a rather bureaucratic reply, but it was still nice of them to try and help a naive newby film maker like myself.

They sent me several links which I will check out more thoroughly tonight during my security night shift. I thought I would share the email here on the blog, hopefully others can benefit from the links provided.

Dear Gerry Yaum,

Thank you for visiting our website.

The National Film Board appreciates your inquiry and welcomes the opportunity to serve your needs.

In response to your inquiry, we do have the Filmmaker’s Assistance Program which includes equipment loans and technical and professional services directly related to the production of a film.  Please click the following for additional information: 


You can also submit a film project to the NFB Documentary Program in your region at the following: 

http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/studios/ .

I would also like to suggest that you visit the Telefilm Canada Website regarding funding and grants at:


I trust you will find this information to your satisfaction.

It is our pleasure to serve you.

--- -------
Client Services

National Film Board of Canada
3155, Côte-de-Liesse Road, Montreal, Qc H4N 2N4
Government of Canada