LOST? Coldplay Music Video

My daughter and I made a great music video for the Coldplay LOST? contest this weekend.  It involved three days of shooting, mostly because of a minor continuity mistake.  One of the scenes had the main character holding a scarf after a pivotal point on the story.  However, that scarf made it into a few too many scenes.

We shot on the second day, however, that day turned out to be much sunnier than the first. After a lot of color correction it was decided by the Director, Miura Hawkins, to re-shoot the scenes on the following day which turned out to be cloudy like the first day.

Well we live in Michigan so you’re nearly guaranteed some cloudy weather at least after a sunny day.  Not too much sun here.  It was much better for shooting since we didn’t need to match lighting when it’s overcast.

We made this movie in HD and it turned out great.  I will post a link once it uploads to youtube.  Actually, I post a link to vimeo because I think the quality will be better.  The Coldplay contest requires an upload to youtube.

Miura put together a story board with times for each scene this made the process run really smoothly over all.  I have to give her a ton of credit on the story board.  75% of the people in my video classes had little or no story boards for their videos and she’s in 11th grade. Go Miura!

This is Really Cool – Extreme Sports Videos in a Blog

I’m totally psyched by this one!  You’ve gotta check out this new blog I found called ExtremeSportsBlog.com . There are fifty (50) different categories of extreme sports with over 20 videos in each category.  I never even heard of some of these things before I saw this blog. 

You’ve got your Base Jumping, Winged Suit Flying, and Zorbing (huh?).  Zorbing — you know, rolling around in a human sized hamster ball down a gentle hill.  Geez, now I know what the pet hamster must have felt when the neighbor kid rolled him down the stairs.

How about Ski Joring or Jumping Stilts? Wow. Now that’s new to me.  There are at least 1,017 videos on the site and many will get your heart pumping just imagining doing it.  Put yourself in the place of these guys who not only jump off 1,000 ft cliffs but do a few back flips off a launching pad in the process.

Need a rubberneck fix?  Take a look at some of these nasty crashes and be glad it’s not you. Yikes. Check out this one BMX Video Crashes.  Have fun and forget the coffee!

The Trailer — Water Born

Here’s the trailer for a film I may make.  The project is called Water Born and it’s about a a girl that ingests poisoned water because her local water system was poisoned by a very confused individual. Just who this mal-content is and how he relates to the girl is a terrifying surprise. I can’t wait to make it.!  This trailer is in HD (high definition). So I’ve chosen to load it to Vimeo.  Vimeo is a site that hosts HD videos and they don’t compress your video so much that it looks like a bunch of square pixels like youtube does. I’ve posted Water Born here. So take a gander. If you want to help me  produce this project send me an email, lana@lana-hawkins.com.

Video PSA Fluorescent Light Bulbs Save Money

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve completed the Public Service Announcement for the fluorescent light bulbs and you can watch it by clicking this link Lana Hawkins’ PSA on Compact Fluorescent light bulbs.  The file is coming from youtube.com, FYI.  Compact fluorescent light bulbs are a great energy saver.  They burn much cooler than an incandescent bulb.  Make sure if you use these to recycle them because they contain mercury, nasty stuff for the landfill. 

Dogheart Video and Walking Your Dog Without Pulling

This Thursday we shoot the 60 second web video spot for the Dogheart one on one dog training program.  To quote John Speiser, owner of Dogheart, ”Dogheart has set out to raise the bar of cultural canine consciousness.” 

When I first spoke to John about my dog Sadie I was frustrated about walking her, or basically having a tug of war contest down the street.  If another dog showed up, which was frequent, I’d better hope there was no ice beneath my feet because I was sure to go flying.

It was getting to the point where I was dreading taking my dog for a walk. I had so many types of choke chains, halties and other restrains that my neighbors had given me, but none worked very well.

It turns out the Sadie is a very neck strong dog.  She’d pull herself ’till she was dead.  She was starting to choke and cough a lot from the pulling on her trachea.  Not good.  John showed me how to properly use a pinch collar. While it looks like a dreadful torture device, when coupled with the correct words and pulls at the right time it is actually much more humane than constantly pulling on her throat.

Now when we go for a walk I use a 20 foot piece of nylon rope and the pinch collar.  She responds to my voice commands and will walk next to me, or out in front a bit, with no tension on the line.  We take walks without the collar on too and she does well, but occasionally begins to revert back to the old ways so I go back to the pinch collar for reinforcement.

We’ve been working for a couple months and making good progress.  Working with your dog is a lifetime commitment, I think.  My plan is to get her to the point where she doesn’t need a leash.

New Photo Assignment

We received a new assignment in the digital photography class. I’m going to make a book of about 10 pages of composited images.  Since I’ve rehabbed several old houses I thought it would be cool to put together a book on one of them;  it’s the before and after pictures. However, the images have to be “blended together” and I’ll have to create a bunch of new ones.  (No side by side images.) Hopefully the old ones of before will work.

I also have a large folder of historical documents, letters between the architect and the person who was paying to have the house built, that I will scan and add to the collage.  It should be an interesting project. 

 I’m using my house, the latest in the old house rehab projects.  It was built in 1912 so it’s nearly 100 years old. I’ll be sure to provide a link and post this project on the web as I think it would be interesting to the old house junkies like me.

Video Today

Today we have Hatcow Productions at my house shooting a movie, or at least part of it.  They are really shooting too, using a blank gun.  I can’t believe my dog isn’t going ballistic with the rounds I’ve heard.

Well that’s what you get when you live in a cool old house (besides the extremely large tax bill). Lot’s of people want to film their movies here.  This will be about the fifth or sixth one.  One day I was driving up and I saw a group of students in my alley with a very nice looking HD movie camera.  Apparently, in the 1970′s a Chinese scientist, famous to some now, lived in my house.  It was part of their documentary on the guy.

I have pictures of this house before I saved it from the wrecking ball. Not a pretty site. But now that I’ve spent about every last dime on it I have a place to stay.  Well, it will hold it’s value better than drugs, I hope (becuase houses are like addictions to some). And if I could just get someone to pay me to use my house, now that would be enterprising.

The 60 Second PSA is in the Rough Draft Stage

Who likes to edit video? It is a very addictive process.  You can keep tweaking for hours at a time.  After some point you have to stop. And I have. I’ll take it to my group for a review tomorrow and make any final adjustments, then publish it for all to see, probably on youtube. The next step is to make a 30 second version. Hopefully that doesn’t take several days. 

On a completely different note, a friend of mine and I are putting together a plan to save your money if you are in retirement and sick (nursing home sick), and not rich. Usually Uncle Sam would like you to spend just about all your money on health care, leave about $100,000 for your spouse, then live the rest of your life in one of their sponsored take care of you until you die places. 

Sounds pretty scary to me. If your spouse isn’t sick I’m sure the stress of having no money left will fix that. There is a way to protect your hard earned assets.  And you’ll have an opportunity to read about at a later date.  Stay tuned. 

Incandescent Bulbs are Energy Wasters

Currently I’m putting together a sixty second and a thirty second Public Service Announcement (PSA) for my web video class at Washtenaw Community College.  Did  you know that in the USA 8.8% of all the electric power usage is for lighting? That is about 101 billion kilowatt hours of energy used per year on lights.  That energy for lighting alone costs roughly ten billion dollars per year, $9,958,600,000.00 based on a cost of $0.0986 per kWh (in March 2006).

In a given house the lighting bill (only the lights) might add up to $300 per year. If all the incandescent bulbs in the US were changed to compact fluorescent bulbs there would be a potential savings of $7,800,000,000.00 per year.  In that given house this might be $235 per year savings. That’s a nice lunch out!

The light given off by a 60W incandescent bulb is about equivalent to the light given off by a 13W fluorescent bulb, hence the huge energy saving.  The fluorescent bulb saves about 78% of the energy of the incandescent bulb.  Most of the wasted energy in the incandescent bulb is given off as heat, so those people living in warmer climates can also benefit by changing bulbs because their air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the house down.

Of course not every bulb can be replaced with a fluorescent.  Most fluorescent bulbs are not dimmable. However, there is a low energy LED bulb that is dimmable. 

The fluorescent bulbs cost more than the incandescent bulbs, however, they last years, not months.  This is great because they pay for themselves in the long run, plus you’ll spend less time shopping and replacing them. And, less trips up and down the ladder.  This is great for the keeping tottering old folks off ladders and safer.

One more thing about the fluorescent bulbs, they need to be recycled properly.  They contain mercury which I know is nasty stuff, so please take those to your waste recyclers for proper disposal.