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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to everyone out there today! I hope this Halloween proves to be a good one. Out here on the East Coast it is cold and sunny but still a pretty good day to go out trick or treating/party. I myself am going to make tonight low key and enjoy some Buffalo Wild Wings with an old friend.

So some news for everyone, today I am expecting a call in regards to my first ever photo gig. This Saturday I believe I am going out to a lacrosse game to take some photos for about three hours. All the details are not worked out yet but it should be about 200 for 3 hours of work which isn't bad especially considering I am still getting my feet wet in the photo world.

In addition to that I am still talking to a friend of mine who has a cool new project coming up entitled The Cat in which I am still working out what I am going to be doing for crew but it should prove to be fun. This will be the first time in like 2 years I have been on a set other than my own; which should help me learn more from other filmmakers. I am hoping this leads into a lot more work with the director.

Finally today I leave you with a few pictures from the Funky Formal gig I did two weeks ago...so enjoy!

Have a safe Halloween,
Daniel Hess

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Well unfortunately yesterday I was only able to go to the football game and film. The game went a lot longer than expected and I didn't even get home until close to 7pm which was a lot later than I thought. I was hoping to be home at 5:30 giving me enough time to get ready for the Brass Monkey show I had at 8 but the turnaround was too short so I couldn't make it.

So today is kind of a miserable day outside so I am editing pictures finally from the trip to the Statue of Liberty I took a few weeks back which is fun, and I have so far found some pretty unique ones. Other than that it is a slow day with work at 2.

If people out there are still interested in the cinematographer position I am open to it but since I discovered the open directory on the Maryland Film Office I now know where to go for future film projects. Another reason to feel a lot better.

Pictures soon,
Dan Hess

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cinematographers Wanted

Well today I am going to be filming a football game at Gilman which starts at around 3 pm, and then maybe filming a friend of mine play at the Brass Monkey Saloon at 9 pm. However that is not the big thing on my mind today...

I am really looking to start working with a local cinematographer or at least someone who is trying to get into the field. I feel as though I have people who have a real grasp of every other part of the cinema experience except for that. I posted an ad up on craigslist last night and as per usual with craigslist people are taking it the wrong way.

I am not going to lie and say I can pay someone right off the bat, I am just looking for someone that I feel comfortable working with and can rely on...think of it like an extended job interview. I have scorched too many times with people acting like than can help and they can't, so I am not going to pay someone to come to me for a job interview.

That being said if I find someone and it works out really well, and I really like them then I will be able to get them on a paying gig, which is forthcoming. Sorry if anyone got confused or thought of this in the wrong way...

Dan Hess

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Hunt is Over

So in what feels like forever I have finally gotten things straightened out with my camera set up.

This morning I was super depressed because after all the research I put into a separate Digital Video Recorder for my HXR I found that it was not going to do all that I thought it could plus the HDMI output is very finnicky which can be a problem if I am doing any sort of movement with the camera.

After deciding not to go with that the next step was thinking that I would need a new camera, so I immediately starting looking into the Sony EX3 which a lot of broadcast people use and it was used to make the movie Monsters which I loved to death. However it is about a 9,000 dollar camera. At that point I was lost without a clue of what to do next.

It was on my mind all day and finally I talked to a professor of mine about it and he had made my situation a lot more managable. I told him the deal and also that I have access to a T3I which is when he said well just use the HXR as a high quality sound recorder and use it for a side angle, then just use the T3I as the main camera to shoot the film on. He said the only difference between a T3I and a EX3 is something an engineer would be able to see.

So now I am going to cut my losses and just use my HXR for sound only and then just use my T3I as my main camera, I already have a dolly and crane for it anyhow so now I feel a lot better. No more spending anymore money and I can have a high quality camera.

As much I may think school is pointless one on one I can really learn a lot, that is what school should be I tell ya, one on one interaction.

Thanks guys...I feel so much better,
Daniel Hess

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Information

So yesterday a friend at school told me about an amazing device that may finally give me the edge I have been looking for with my camera.

Apparently there are devices known as Digital Video Recorders but for camcorders which can record the video outside your camera at a higher bitrate than what a camcorder is really able to do. Apparently my HXR NX5U is not performing what I need it to because the bitrate is way too low (24 megabits per second) which is far from true HD. For example the Canon T3I does about 44 megabits a second, which is why it has better picture quality. So far I have been researching it like crazy and have narrowed it down to two possibilities.

On one hand there is the Atomos Ninja which is under a grand but is an older device which is about to really be phased out by the newer device the Samurai...which I don't know when it is coming out. On the other hand there is the Fast Forward Video Sidekick HD which is newer and comes with a little bit more however it is 2,000 brand new.

I feel as though the Sidekick is the way to go but on another hand there is the fact that many have been saying that even with these devices the NX5U still manages to under perform which I hope is not the case but I won't really know until I get the thing. At this point I am confused as what to do and cannot find any videos which demonstrate what the ninja or sidekick can do with the NX5U.

If anyone can provide some insight or knows something I am missing I will greatly appreciate the feedback but for now I will keep researching and try to find a solution.

Thanks as always,
Daniel Hess

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Pictures To Go

So even with this recent influx of pictures I am still not done, and still have a bunch more to get through. My last series of pictures to go through is from my trip to Ellis Island two weeks ago, which was pretty awesome. If you get the chance to go see the Statue of Liberty don't hesitate, just go...

Besides that I am also on the verge of getting a Polarizing filter for my L lens so when I do outdoor stuff it won't be so blown out, especially considering that the majority of my work is outdoor photography/videography anyway. Once I get my finances straight that is forthcoming.

Scheduling is underway as of right now for the final day of shooting for Love is Undead which I am expecting to be about mid to late November. From there I am going to edit it up, add original music, and then color correct. So a rough estimate for the film is to be finished in December hopefully mid to late December...maybe earlier at this point it is hard to tell. After that I want to submit it to the Maryland Film Festival which I think the deadline is late December (December 15th to be exact) for entries.

So again think positive thoughts for To Tony Productions, we are growing and maturing every day, slowly we will make our mark and people will see the potential that exists in this small company.

Thanks for the love,
Daniel Hess

Monday, October 24, 2011

Webers Farm

This year me and my girlfriend Ashley decided to go up to Webers Farm for a day just to see it again. The last time I went I was a young kid and barely remembered it so it was nice to see it again. Ashley had never been so it was her first time. While the place is made for kids and we really only got a few hours out of the trip it was still a lot of fun. I think what made it was the intense fall theme on the farm, I usually am not a big fan of fall but this year I see how great it can be. Of course while I was there I took a ton of pictures just to keep raising my experience up and decided to upload them here for everyone to see. Let me know what you think and if there are things I can improve upon let me know as well.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Baltimore Humane Society - DogFest 2011 Pictures

I went to the BHS DogFest this year as part of a corporate video project I am doing with their company. I was only there for two hours on Saturday from about 9 to 11 am but still had a cool time and grabbed a bunch of awesome pictures. If you have a chance to go next year you should. There are cool stands with all kinds of information on helping dogs, dog food, toys, and even dog blood donations. If you own a dog and want to bring it, they have all kinds of fun things for them to do, like a dog obstacle course, swimming pool, etc. I had fun and it was awesome to see all the different animals. Here are a few that I liked the most and wanted to share with them.