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My blog is back online… finally!

But here’s the thing… This blog is currently being manually restored. Yes, each post (except for the more than a dozen posts left in my workable backup file that only backed up my 2006 posts) is being copy-pasted back as blog posts — the entire blog that started in 2006, being copy-pasted back one by one.

With thousands of posts to work on, it would take a really long time to have everything back online. Lesson learned the very hard way: ALWAYS BACKUP EVERYTHING PROPERLY and MAKE SURE ALL YOUR FILES ARE UP AND RUNNING WITH NO TECHNICAL PROBLEM IN YOUR ENTIRE PLATFORM.

A big part of the problem was my hosting issue. I changed my web hosting earlier this month as part of the decision to overhaul everything, since I don’t even get a decent customer support from my prior hosting. This, alongside my own irresponsible way of maintaining my blog through the years, has caused my WordPress files to fail, leading to the impossible means to backup my blog from the prior hosting — I can’t even open my cPanel from my old hosting and it’s taking forever to get a response from technical support.

I’m taking the relatively clean slate to overhaul my entire blog: a much better, cleaner, and more strategic theme, design, and layout; and more organized categories, tags, and links.

I stopped blogging in 2012, the time when I had A LOT of writing stints from about a dozen of U.S. and Philippine writing platforms, which included websites, other blogs, and broadsheets. I didn’t want to stop, but I had to pick my priorities. Since I really needed a lot of money for lots of expenses back then, I stopped blogging to allot more time for all my work loads (imagine shooting, teaching, and doing at least 10 articles per day — everyday).

Now, I want to focus more with my own… I am still doing writing gigs alongside my primary works in advertising and the academe, as well as my polishing of scripts for my future films, but I also want to build back my blog, which I am writing for my own, not just for commissioned works. It’s my very own. I should start loving it again.

So in a nutshell, how has this blog evolved? Read my About Blog page for the short and sweet details.


Hello world, it’s March 2015 and my blog is finally back online!
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You don’t shell out thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions just to let the film bury itself inside the can, that dusty DVD container, or the inner workings of your dying hard drive.

Whether you intend the film to be watched for commercial purposes or you want it to be merely seen and touch lives of people for non-commercial film screenings, festivals, and other artistic endeavors, you need to let the people know there is something to watch out for.

Creativity and networking are crucial to effective marketing. From PR materials to merchandising items, they play significant roles in making the film better known; while actually earning additional money from sales through branded materials.

Classic examples of a film franchise’s merchandising items include books, shirts, button pins, bookmarks, keychains, bags, caps, paperweights, and school supplies (especially for children’s movies like “Harry Potter”and “Ice Age”) — where the film’s title or its sample art work gets branded into specific merchandise items. Sponsors also receive product placements in movie projects and their logos and contact details can even be placed at the film credits. The major sponsors can even be provided advertisements and write-ups in newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and sometimes, even the film’s poster. Events and advanced screenings to further create buzz also become welcome sources of sponsorship goods.

Press people are invited to conferences and advanced screenings. They are provided physical and/or digital press kits containing publicity photos, production notes, poster, bonus articles about the film, film trailers and other media files. There are also fun stuff sold to a number of stores and Internet sites, where more than just merchandising materials, actual props used in films get auctioned or sold. Sponsorships and ex-deals on children’s films are also common in fast food chains and other commercial establishments where merchandise items are sold or given as freebies.

Marketing sounds pretty commercial, but even independent films practice marketing in one way or another. It is quite clear how the marketing arm of a mainstream production goes. Now, taking the idea of marketing in an independent production: a person talks about the film with friends, then friends-of-friends, and so on. The filmmaker and his/her team build profiles of the project in various online networks, create a website, a blog, or a Facebook page, put trailers on video sites like Youtube, and even collaborate with certain musicians for the scoring and coming out of music videos with mutual benefits for both parties. They promote the movie posters or even create memes and even artistic and viral calls to action in as much venues as possible. People get screening invitations through post cards, phone calls, text brigades, emails, e-groups, and social networking sites.

More often than not, a motion picture clings on to reviews and words from those who watched it in advanced/press/block screenings. The idea is, “if the film is really good, people will start talking about it.” With Hollywood productions and even independently-produced films like “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Once,” words coming out from those who initially saw the films affect their box office power.

In the Philippines, the main difference between Hollywood films and most of the country’s local films is how the value of marketing gets practiced and taken into account. To compare, it is still Hollywood and other developed countries with successful film industries that are able to market their films effectively, as they have ample budget and they have the support of their own governments, as well as many private institutions. However, this doesn’t mean that Filipinos should hamper their creativity in marketing strategies. Being creative and resourceful people, Filipinos, whether involved in commercial or independent films, can come up with great ideas and innovations on how to go about it. This also applies to struggling independent filmmakers and small production companies anywhere in the world. In fact, by this time and age, basic marketing strategies abound with or without a big budget. In this era of fast-paced communication and information technology where it is already very feasible to reach the greatest number of people through viral campaigns in the internet, film marketing is just a matter of setting priorities and putting effort and creativity to it.

It is as simple as: “If you have a film, you have to let other people know about it.” You have to reach out and let others share their thoughts about it. It is a storytelling medium anyway… so just tell them you have a story that they may want to check out, and hopefully, they enjoy it and tell more people about it.

Marketing as a Vital Part of Film Production
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How to Use the JVC GR-SV3 Camcorder

Photo by eBay selle shirtmaniacali

 

In the early 90’s came the first prototypes of LCD screens for video cameras. One of JVC’s pioneer offers, the JVC GR-SV3 Infocam Camcorder, was released during that time. Back those days of the Viewcam bandwagon, the market for cameras like the JVC GR-SV3 was quite comparable to the inkling for the latest consumer HD cameras of the 2000’s. But this doesn’t mean that the “in” gizmo then which is the “outdated” gadget now is of no good use anymore.

So, for those who want to start using their old camera models again such as the SV3, there is still a very good chance to keep things up and running.

How to Use the JVC GR-SV3

Load the battery and check the power. Make sure the charged battery is properly attached to the camera. Find the power/mode selector knob on top of the JVC GR-SV3 Infocam. Turn the power on and check if the battery jumpstarts it. If everything is generally functional, time to test drive further.

Under a little flap, you can find the tape transport, various secondary controls, and a small LCD information panel. Make sure you have your compatible VHS-C tape loaded into the camera. Follow the signs in loading the tape accordingly.

The good thing about older video cameras is that their features and functions are very basic and considerably easier to explore and discover. So ideally, if you can scrutinize the functions of the latest computers, mobile phones, and HD cameras these days, you can definitely go over this camera and find your way through.

Familiarize yourself with the screen/monitor and the buttons. Check the screen in front of the camera. This screen displays the moving image and you can actually record yourself and readily see the footage on the screen. You can opt to switch off this feature.

At the back panel, there is a main start-stop button. It doesn’t have a safety latch, but it is recessed to avoid accidental pressing.

Behind the tape loading hatch at the back, you can find another set of buttons for selecting recording speed, setting the clock, among other features.

Do a test recording. Record within the best range of this JVC camcorder’s fixed auto-focus and auto-exposure capabilities.

On the front, just below the lens, there is a pair of buttons for the zoom. The camera has a simple 3x zoom lens, along with features like time/date recording, message recording, self-timer, auto indexing, and 5-second record mode. The mono linear soundtrack and the built-in mic record the best sound from subjects up to three or four meters away.

When done recording, press the same button again to end. The machine goes on standby mode.

View the recorded footage. The screen acts both as a viewfinder (the SV3 has an optical viewfinder for normal use) and a playback screen. It is mounted on a hinge that allows it to swing up. It is visible from behind the machine. The screen can be used for playback in either position. The image inverts accordingly for you to get the right perspective. It also has a small built-in speaker for the sound.

As it uses the VHS-C format for recording, it is easy to take some footage with you and play them on a full-size VCR using the supplied cassette adapter. Maximum recording time is 90 minutes on a 45-minute tape, and 2 hours for a 60-minute tape — when using the LP recording mode.

Tips

The video resolution for this camera is just over 240 lines. The LCD screen struggles to resolve much more than a couple of hundred lines than when recordings are played on a TV monitor. The screen itself isn’t very bright and is easily washed out in daylight. Recording color fidelity is generally fine for its range. However, like most older camera models, indoor shooting with minimal lighting does not provide good enough recordings.

The 0.25-inch image sensor and the small lens offer low-light performance when shooting. As expected, noise and grain are more evident in low-light conditions. So, it is best to make sure that the area where you plan to shoot is well-lit. At its best, in good lighting conditions as with exterior day shots, noise levels are considerably low and the picture looks crisp and bright enough for its range.

Make sure the camera, along with its accessories, is cleaned with a camera cleaning cloth. The lens and LCD screen are extra-sensitive parts and should be cleaned with the right material, which are generally available in camera and gadget stores).

Warnings

Be extra careful when using a tripod, especially the small and consumer-type ones. The tripod mount is located way over towards the camera’s side. This design is most likely to protect the internal deck mechanism. However, the downside of it is that it makes the camera quite unstable with smaller tripods.

Rick Maybury. Video Camera 1993. Rick Maybury Ltd.

How to Use the JVC GR-SV3 Camcorder
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