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Dear Leader Film

My editor at Time sent me a link to blogs about the “The Dear Leader” short…

Just wanted to say Hi… And thanks for enjoying the work…

How do I find the link to the Lightstalkers postings…?

Thanks Christopher…

by Christopher Morris at 2008-11-21 01:13:36 UTC Tampa, Florida , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Here it is:

http://www.lightstalkers.org/our-dear-leader-christopher-morris

by Jasmin Brutus | 21 Nov 2008 01:11 | Visoko, Bosnia & Herzegovina | | Report spam→
Chris…Thanks for speaking up on LS. Super work!

by Gregory Sharko | 21 Nov 2008 02:11 | Brooklyn, New York, United States | | Report spam→
That was fast… thanks…..

by Christopher Morris | 21 Nov 2008 02:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
By the way I a big fan of Iggy Pop…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD_XCECbAEU

And I use to be an assistant to Andy Levin… Who is a mad man….

by Christopher Morris | 21 Nov 2008 02:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
Would love to see more of your films.

by P. Money | 21 Nov 2008 04:11 | | Report spam→
It’s amazing that Iggy was rocking out 40+ years ago, and he’s STILL at it. The man must be carved out of stone, with pure, undiluted rock & roll running through his veins.

“The Dear Leader” was/is a truly fantastic piece of work. It struck a chord with me that I haven’t connected with in years. It really complements the way you see. I hope to see more. Truly inspiring.

by Jethro Soudant | 21 Nov 2008 14:11 | Buffalo, NY, United States | | Report spam→
Good stuff – thanks, Christopher!

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 21 Nov 2008 14:11 | Fort Worth TX, United States | | Report spam→
Yes, I’ve seen the “Dear Leader” film too and loved it !
It’s so different of the things we usually see… and that’s great !
Waiting to see more of your work, Christopher !
Cheers,

—Heimana

by Heimana | 22 Nov 2008 08:11 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
If anyone is interested here is a small video made with the new canon 5D. Had just received the camera the day before. So it is a bit rough… But there is much potential with this new camera. Also just returned from a two week road trip in the states while shooting video with the camera… Hopefully you can get it to play.. The Time Magazine site has issues…

http://www.time.com/time/video/?bcpid=1485842900&bctid=1898293090

by Christopher Morris | 28 Nov 2008 04:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Chris. Always interested. I had the camera for a few minutes in my hand and found very difficult to mantain the focus. So all the experiences interest me to understand how this camera can be used. Many thanks.

by Hernan Zenteno | 28 Nov 2008 05:11 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
For some reason i can’t load here.

by Hernan Zenteno | 28 Nov 2008 05:11 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
Chris-= we met at VII seminar in LA last year. Nice to see you on LS, and as always great work. Ive been perusing the 5D II videos posted by various folks online, and they all have a similar, unique look. Having worked in video a bit, to me they dont look the same as traditional video- perhaps its the Canon lenses, not sure what it is about the footage- its super crisp and clean but also looks kind of unreal/surreal. Were you shooting with primes ? Trying to put my finger on it. Great work with the sound as well. Question- Ive been told its tough to hand hold the camera and shoot with any stability in video mode, w/o a tripod- Im assuming you didnt use a tripod and this looks wonderful. Any words on this ?
And myself and other LSers are wondering- are you going to release a book/monograph with your powerful Chechnya work any time soon ?
e

by [former member] | 28 Nov 2008 06:11 | Salt Lake City, United States | | Report spam→
Herman, I can’t get it to load either… Try going to Time.com and on the lower left click on more videos in the multimedia section. Then click on U.S. and scroll down you will see “Last Days on the campaign, McCain”. Hopefully that will work…

The video was shot with the 85 1.2 and the 50 1.2 All was on manual focus which is a must with the camera.. With it mounted on a mono pod. Not a tri-pod. I like a very subtle movement in my videos, tri-pod is nice but to rigid for my taste.. A little movement gives the life to the images… But to much and can kill the frame….

by Christopher Morris | 28 Nov 2008 14:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
Excellent Christopher. Many thanks. To tell you how screwed up that site is I found it under the “World” tab, not the “US” tab. However, it seemed to be all election stuff. A bit tricky to find but it did work.

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 28 Nov 2008 14:11 | Fort Worth TX, United States | | Report spam→
So Christopeher, what did you shoot the “Dear Leader” film on?

by BignoseTW | 28 Nov 2008 15:11 | Taipei, Taiwan | | Report spam→
Yeah, more great stuff…

It seems that the tabs to navigate the videos does not work in Safari. I was able to find it in the “U.S.” section via Firefox browser.

by Jethro Soudant | 28 Nov 2008 15:11 | Buffalo, NY, United States | | Report spam→
loved it, great video, I’m supposing you recorded the sound with an external mic and recorder right?

by [former member] | 28 Nov 2008 15:11 | Lisbon, Portugal | | Report spam→
You have very good pulse to frame and focus with a monopod. The sound is from the camera mic or a post processing edition? The prototype i saw recorded some noise from the autofocus device like a “click,click, click”. Maybe Canon fixed this. I like the video very much.

by Hernan Zenteno | 28 Nov 2008 16:11 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
The sound is from the camera mic with a small shotgun on the hot shoe… The audio is for sure a real issue with the camera… I would not recommend using the autofocus at all… Not only does it affect the audio… It’s just easier to manual focus…

Here is a direct link to the McCain video http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid3451377001

by Christopher Morris | 28 Nov 2008 22:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
Christopher:

I wrote long enough on the brilliance and insight of Dear Leader (see here: http://www.lightstalkers.org/our-dear-leader-christopher-morris ), so i won’t inundate this thread with more comments, only this:

you are not simply an extraordinary photographer, but an important, compelling and essential filmmaker. This is not hyperbole but, simply stated: fact.

besides all the gorgeous deep focus/off focus, the remarkable off-sync soundtrack, which heightens the intensity of the imagery because of their incongruity, the time-shift with the slightly sped up frames (the hands clapping, like a depression-era rally, the ant-movement of the depression), the behind the character point of view, the disconnect between the young faces and the tired, cliche’d message, but most importantly, these 2 films capture the political biology of our times: which is our own failure to see more rightly past all the applause and our own national fever….

remarkably powerful work, as document and as aesthetic…

keep on keepin’on, we need this work

cheers
bob

by [former member] | 29 Nov 2008 00:11 | toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Chris….thanks for remembering!

Its really been way too long! Who would have thought that from that back room at Black Star? And Nachtwey?

It would be great to hang out! Think about coming down and hanging out for Mardi Gras. I have a workshop going…last year Stanley Greene and Kael Alford were here along with Alan Chin, and some others. If you can believe it, Shelly Katz printed for us!

It would be great to see you…

by [former member] | 29 Nov 2008 00:11 | | Report spam→
Yes Andy, We do go back… Learned much from you…. From your Signature and Bankers Trust assignments… It’s nice you didn’t abuse me as an intern but abused me as an actual paid assistant…

by Christopher Morris | 29 Nov 2008 00:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
Does anyone here think they are falling pray to techno corporate marketing ploys of the major camera companies? I just don’t understand the mind set of a photog who wants to shoot stills and video within the same situation. Two different creative approaches altogether. For the price of a Leica m8 (body only) you could buy an HD video camera that would surpass the still camera in video and audio quality. Pulling stills off an HD video camera seems to be a better option than creating a video off a still camera. Of course the PR suits would disagree.Any thoughts on this new photo schizophrenia? Chris? Others? Just a thought.

by Gregory Sharko | 29 Nov 2008 00:11 | Brooklyn, New York, United States | | Report spam→
My two pence…I have talked to a few conflict photogs and they just don’t want to carry those big HD cameras, along with still equipment (including mike), in a tricky situation (like with bullets flying around and they are in a ditch!). I agree the approaches are a bit different, but, hey, life is full of compromises.

by [former member] | 29 Nov 2008 01:11 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→

I just don’t understand the mind set of a photog who wants to shoot stills and video within the same situation.

It’s just darn difficult to do both. I’ve tried doing both stills and sound & also stills and video on assignment and it makes me crazy. And then when shooting video there’s the “sound” issue which is so important. There’s only so much one can do. And THEN there’s the issue of editing. On the whole I think the M8 is probably a better investment. :-)

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 29 Nov 2008 01:11 | Fort Worth TX, United States | | Report spam→
Look.. When I shoot stills.. I shoot stills … When I do video… I do video.. I don’t try doing them at the same time… I may set aside 30 min to an hour to concentrate on the video… Then I put it away… To concentrate on stills…. In that time period I do miss images.. That’s a sacrifice that I have to accept…
As for equipment.. The Canon 5D is revolutionary… For we are able to use a full frame 35mm chip with prime lenses… Something that is unheard of in this price range. I have access to many formats in pro consumer cameras and this by far beats all of them hands down, for image quality… Not for audio but for the image… Audio can always be recorded in another format and assembled into the final piece later… With the “Dear Leader” short I used the little sanyo xact camera, that is the size of a pack of cigarettes.
Also I would like to point out that when I use the 5D it is dedicated as my video camera. Not to be used for stills.. I shoot my still with the Mark III DS…. Trying to mix video and stills on the same camera really does not suit me very well… Plus all chips from the different cameras have a completely different look and feel… So I don’t want to mix 5D stills with my Mark III stills….

Look.. When I shoot stills.. I shoot stills … When I do video… I do video.. I don’t try doing them at the same time… I may set aside 30 min to an hour to concentrate on the video… Then I put it away… To concentrate on stills…. In that time period I do miss images.. That’s a sacrifice that I have to accept…
As for equipment.. The Canon 5D is revolutionary… For we are able to use a full frame 35mm chip with prime lenses… Something that is unheard of in this price range. I have access to many formats in pro consumer cameras and this by far beats all of them hands down, for image quality… Not for audio but for the image… Audio can always be recorded in another format and assembled into the final piece later… With the “Dear Leader” short I used the little sanyo xact camera, that is the size of a pack of cigarettes.
Also I would like to point out that when I use the 5D it is dedicated as my video camera. Not to be used for stills.. I shoot my still with the Mark III DS…. Trying to mix video and stills on the same camera really does not suit me very well… Plus all chips from the different cameras have a completely different look and feel… So I don’t want to mix 5D stills with my Mark III stills….hope this helps

by Christopher Morris | 29 Nov 2008 02:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
sorry for the double text…. You can tell I’m new to this blogging shit….

by Christopher Morris | 29 Nov 2008 02:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
I’m planning on putting together a DC workshop for the spring. That will deal with these issues.. A workshop to explore different ways of seeing… The workshop will be inexpensive and limited to 10 students…. With the two instructors and one editor. Jean-Louis Atlan formerly from Sygma & Paris Match, Gaia Tripoli who is my editor from the Italian magazine AMICA and myself.

by Christopher Morris | 29 Nov 2008 02:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
That sounds great Chris! If you are curious this is a link to the MG360 Workshop….you might find it interesting.

by [former member] | 29 Nov 2008 04:11 (ed. Nov 29 2008) | | Report spam→
that sounds very very good Chris, i want to explore video but still haven’t moved really into it because i haven’t been able to set my mind as you did, when to shoot one thing or the other. Although i think that the power of storytelling combining stills, video and audio as great creative potential. so, How do we apply for the workshop? :)
best to all

by [former member] | 29 Nov 2008 12:11 | Lisbon, Portugal | | Report spam→
Wow Chris I’m really amazed at what you did with an Xacti! Considering it’s only running about 12 to 14mbps, I would really not have thought the images would hold up so well. Great work man.

Tobie Openshaw

by BignoseTW | 29 Nov 2008 13:11 | Taipei, Taiwan | | Report spam→
Chris, thank you for sharing your recent video on Time.
I love the experimental way you compose most of your shots.

I would agree that it is a bit rough,
particularly with the pace/timing and the audio transitions.

Many film/video editors (particularly editors w/backgrounds in animation) will tell you
that all it takes is one frame, 1/30th of a second, to make or break a shot.

It is, however, very time consuming and tedious to scrutinize over every single cut and transition in a film,
and the more cuts/transitions you have – the longer it takes (as I’m sure you’re well aware).

I’d be willing to bet that Time was not able to budget you enough money to take the time needed
to finish-up many of these cuts and transitions.

With their recent staff reductions, I bet they don’t have the resources necessary in-house
to assist in perfecting these edits.

Hiring an editing-assistant to help tighten up these compositions might help you save a lot of time in the long-run
if you plan on doing many more of these types of videos, which I hope you do.

by P. Money | 29 Nov 2008 19:11 | | Report spam→
It was cut right after shooting using imovie… Very fast put together in under an hour to make an online deadline… A real pain…. Thats where all the rough audio cuts come through…. The dear leader was able to put together on a 6 hour plane ride to london… Having the someone that is proficient in Final Cut would be great… For myself I have never been able to wrap my head around it….

by Christopher Morris | 29 Nov 2008 20:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
Very impressive considering such a stringent deadline.

If you are interested in learning Final Cut then I would suggest using Lynda.com:
http://movielibrary.lynda.com/html/modListing.asp?pid=346

Subscriptions to their entire online library of software-training tutorials start at $25 a month.
The way it works is you view computer-screenshot quicktime movies while you hear an instructor instruct.

Show-and-tell, essentially.

The ability to pause, rewind, and skip ahead to different topics
helps allow people to learn at their own pace.

I am pretty dyslexic, or used to be, and Lynda.com really helped me to learn many software titles very quickly,
something that would have been much more difficult for me to do using traditional printed how-to books.

It’s also really good for people who can’t afford the time or money for college,
because you can teach yourself dozens of software titles in less than a year (if you’re self-directed)
for less than the cost of one 3-credit hour college course at most US universities.

by P. Money | 29 Nov 2008 21:11 (ed. Nov 29 2008) | | Report spam→
Thanks… Will give it a look…

by Christopher Morris | 29 Nov 2008 21:11 | Tampa, Florida, United States | | Report spam→
Christopher, meet Patrick Yen. I just happen to have FCP open on the other computer, working on a slideshow for which it is really using a gorilla to accomplish what should be a simple task…….I am really not that crazy about FCP for a bunch of reasons, but as Patrick says, its not that hard once you get down the initial settings and techniques for selecting clips, etc. I also suggest reading Lisa Brenneis excellent books, I cut this piece on 9/11 with FCP, and although its not on the level of “Dear Leader” its has a lot of cuts and its moments. I sold the GL-1 and promptly forget most of it, but it seems to be trickling back. If you want to learn FCP I really suggest that Brenneis book, and the LAFCUG which always seems to come up with answers when all else fails.

But Patrick’s point is very well taken, and if you can hook up with a good assistant/intern (I want no part of that discussion anymore) its a better way to go….but its always good to know enough about the editing terminology so you can collaborate. For example, nesting sequences is a really cool FCP trick, and unless you know what a sequence is, its hard to talk about that….

by [former member] | 29 Nov 2008 22:11 (ed. Nov 29 2008) | | Report spam→

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Participants

Christopher Morris, Christopher Morris
Tampa, Florida , United States
Jasmin Brutus, Photographer Jasmin Brutus
Photographer
Sarajevo , Bosnia & Herzegovina
Gregory Sharko, photographer Gregory Sharko
photographer
Brooklyn, New York , United States ( JFK )
P. Money, Creative & Futurist P. Money
Creative & Futurist
(See That Which Cannot Be Seen)
[undisclosed location].
Jethro Soudant, Photographer Jethro Soudant
Photographer
Buffalo, Ny , United States
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Photographs
Spring Lake, Michigan , United States
Heimana, Moment catcher Heimana
Moment catcher
(Freelance Photographer)
Leh Ladakh , India ( IXL )
Hernan Zenteno, Photographer Hernan Zenteno
Photographer
Buenos Aires , Argentina ( EZE )
BignoseTW, Videographer/Photographer BignoseTW
Videographer/Photographer
(Tobie Openshaw)
Taipei , Taiwan


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