The above photo depicts Afghan and British soldiers being deployed in Helmand province for combat operations in southern Afghanistan, 2009 ©Eros Hoagland. Fast forward to a November night in 2015, and a hushed anticipation falls over the crowd of filmmakers, directors, and producers huddled together on the top floor of The Lookout during the first official screening of CONFLICT – a series of short documentaries about conflict photographers, including Hoagland, and their work – as images from Donna Ferrato’s work about domestic violence gripped the audience through 6 minutes of heartbreak, anger, ferocity and betrayal. Such is the pace of short documentaries. Warp-speed story telling that distills the essence of its subjects into a high-impact narrative.
Virtual reality has been talked about for decades and the technology has always seemed to be a sci-fi “thing of the future.” But Facebook’s 2014 purchase of Oculus for $2 billion sent a strong signal that the technology of the future was imminent, and since then it has been a VR arms race between many of the biggest tech companies in the market. Facebook, Google, Sony, HTC, and Samsung have all jumped into the VR device game (aka Head-mounted displays or HMD) and now Apple looks to be joining in, too. In 2015 Samsung Gear VR came out; Oculus Rift and HTC Vive consumer editions were shipped in the past few months. Virtual reality has officially arrived.
Andy DelGiudice has one of those extremely easy going demeanors that makes for a perfect person to have a beer with. He also has a very serious streak that if you’re lucky enough to uncover, will impress you. Andy is a supporter of truth, especially when it lacks a voice, and that’s why he partnered with fellow journalist Jeffrey Anderson to create District Dig.
There are myriad issues to consider when putting together a documentary. Is the story relatable? Is there an audience? If there is an audience, how do I reach them? How am I going to possibly fund this endeavor? Depending on the subject and nature of the piece, these considerations are in their own ways crucially important to creating a successful documentary but sometimes the most important element can turn out to be the most elusive: trust between subject and the person capturing their story.
Dave Moss, with a voice for radio and a keen mind towards improving the funding process, has just launched the Unfunded List, his latest effort to improve the grant proposal process. Anyone who has worked in the grant proposal process knows that applications can be a sort of blind rubik’s cube of planning, writing, guestimating and hoping for the best without a clear system of feedback or clarification once the proposal has been submitted. Grant applicants devote countless hours of their time to applications that get sent down the pike with two main results; acceptance or denial, with denial being delivered quietly and without an opportunity for clarification or explanation.
Time lapse photography has the unique ability to compress hours of time into just a few moments. It allows us to see patterns and motion that we never see in real time. Capturing a successful timelapse takes technical skill, creativity and a lot of patience. Lookout member, Justin Dent has all of these traits. On a recent trip to Oregon, Justin shot an amazing timelapse video, “Hood to Coast: A Brief Lapse in Time” that captures the beauty of one of the most biodiverse states in the country. We see rainforests, mountain glaciers and beaches from sunrise to sunset.
What do you do when a client asks you to make it rain? You can either run to the bank or make a deal or two (straight cash!) or, if you’re Ryder Haske of Peoples Television, you call up your cohorts at The Lookout to build a bespoke Rainmaker and get the shot done.