Posts By Brad Moore

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Hey everyone, we’re Oxen Made, a small production company based in Tampa, FL. We wanted to start by saying that it’s a privilege to be asked to be a part of Scott’s blog as we’ve been a follower and admirer of his for probably 10 years or so.

Oxen is a small company that focuses on commercial and branded content with a few corporate films thrown in from time to time. We choose to be small intentionally and put a focus on growing and supporting the local filmmaking community by using the tremendous freelancers available in the area. Everyone has different levels of experience or specialties and we love the challenge of finding fresh talent specific to each job; it helps keep us on our toes. Finding a new crew can sometimes mean we aren’t the most affordable option, but by finding exactly the right crew for each job we always offer the best final product.

We tend to handle projects from creative conception all the way through to the final edit. Although we work the full spectrum, we can also work in anonymity along with other video partners assisting as a standalone production or post-production collaborator. Tampa is a small market and we’ve been fortunate to meet some of the most creative individuals in the industry. Those connections help us get the job done right while allowing us to help others as well; It’s all about collaboration not competition. We’re only about a year old but are very proud of what we’ve put together in that time.

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One of our favorite parts of the job is experimenting with new equipment. Since camera technology is changing so fast we have yet to commit big money to a camera system, mostly because it’ll be obsolete in a couple years. When we started the company we purchased a Sony FS7 as a basic in house 4K camera to have for internal and lower budget projects but find ourselves renting for the majority of our projects. Renting is especially rewarding because it allows us to test cameras without sinking a small fortune into them. Recently we’ve used the Canon C300 MKll, the new Panasonic VariCam LT and we just got back from a week long shoot in Colorado where we tested out the Sony FS5 recording 12-bit RAW to Convergent Design’s Odyssey 7Q+.

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We also make an effort to use new technologies to make the filmmaking process easier for both ourselves and our clients. Two of our favorite things we’re currently using are for the pre and post production processes are StudioBinder and Frame IO. StudioBinder is our go to resource for creating and managing our call sheets. If you’ve has ever made a call sheet and used any kind of cringe worthy excel spreadsheet then stop reading this (right now) and go sign up for StudioBinder (right now), trust us you won’t be disappointed. Our second essential resource is Frame IO; it’s used to collaborate with our clients during the edit process, which cuts out a lot of time. Think of it as a cross between Dropbox and Basecamp, it allows for a streamlined method for the client to provide their feedback. One of the most notable features is that they can make frame accurate comments as well as make annotations, download, share and invite other collaborators. Recently the awesome people at Frame IO made it possible to integrate feedback and comments directly inside of Premiere (our NLE [Non-Linear Editing software] of choice) which is HUGE (they do have something for Final Cut Pro X also). They also just released a standalone iOS version of Frame IO which took home a 2016 Apple Design Award.

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Providing value in addition to the content we create is what we go out of our way to do with all of our clients. Since we know all of the in’s and outs of multiple camera platforms, NLE’s and more, we can offer incredible value by implementing our knowledge to specifically meet the unique needs of every client.

Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye on our blog where our next post will be discussing our experience shooting RAW with the FS5. Feel free to reach out with any questions and give us a follow on Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

https://vimeo.com/153010618

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Streamline Your Workflow with the Adobe Lightroom Mobile APP with Josh Haftel
Streamline your mobile photography workflow with Lightroom Mobile! Join Josh Haftel, senior product manager at Adobe, as he teaches you how to use Lightroom Mobile to import, organize, edit, and share your mobile photography, as well as how you can synchronize it all with Lightroom on your desktop and Lightroom Web.

In Case You Missed It
Your photography is going places. Now you can finally free yourself from the desktop with on-the-go, pro-grade photo editing. Take Lightroom Mobile anywhere, and master your skills with KelbyOne. Unlock the App’s full potential with Lightroom expert Matt Kloskowski and learn how to view, organize, edit, share and sync with useful tips and tricks so you can start using Lightroom Mobile right away.

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Photo by Justin Bettman

surviving as a freelancer

I’ve been working surviving as a freelance artist since 2010.

I attended Kutztown University and was enrolled in their Electronic Media program. Going into my final semester at Kutztown, with 12.5 credits remaining to graduate, I had (what I thought was) my ‘golden ticket’ to becoming a true freelancer.

I can remember the night like it was yesterday. I was in upstate New York filming a live concert for a singer-rapper duet on my winter break. I got a phone call from one of the artist’s managers who was also a film director/producer in Texas. He offered me an opportunity to direct/film a behind-the-scenes documentary that was going into production that April, which happened to overlap with finals at school. After returning from New York, I approached my professors about the opportunity and they insisted that I should take a leave of absence from the university to pursue my dreams.

At 21, getting my professors approval to just leave school and being offered $15,000 to shoot a documentary without a degree, gave me this overwhelming sense of entitlement. Not good, considering my work at the time didn’t show that kind of value.

That was the death of my life as a college student.

After filling out the paperwork to take my leave of absence, it became a waiting game. The waiting game then became a game of cold calls and being ghosted by the producer that was offering me this once in a lifetime opportunity.

This was single handedly the best lesson I learned as a freelance artist. Sometimes, the only person you can trust is yourself.

The film never ended up going into production.

I spent the following year refusing to go back to school, but instead trying to make a way for myself, and ‘survive as a freelancer’ without a typical day job. I did a lot of free work that year, slept in my car and on a lot of my friend’s couches. It was not glamorous.

SWADE – Highway 27 // Music Video (contains strong language)

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Behind the scenes of SWADE “Highway 27” video

When you’re first getting started, sometimes you need to do free work just to get your name out there and let people know that you exist. There is a time and place for everything. It would be foolish to expect $15,000 without a single completed project to your name. Do you see where I’m going with this? I played the fool. I played the fool and learned a lot from it. So instead, I made it a point to get as much work under my belt as possible to a point where I could put a demo reel together and give people a reason to pay me to do work for them.

During that time, with the evolution of DSLR cameras, I was able to shoot both videos and photos. So I thought it would be wise to really attack both fields with full force. I would offer to shoot wedding videos, wedding photos, music videos, band promotional photos, concerts, senior portraits, commercials, and just about anything and everything that could be done with a camera. I didn’t consider myself a specialist in one particular field or another, in actuality; I was quite mediocre at all of them.

Exactly one year after I left school, I was approached by an agency that wanted to hire me for a freelance job in Indonesia. That opportunity is what truly got me started as a “freelancer.” The company I was hired to do work for was Mars Chocolate (M&M’s – Snickers – Twix – Skittles), and this gig in particular was a 9-day job; with 6 days of flying, 3 days on the ground filming.

Regardless how qualified or unqualified you think you may be, if people are approaching you to do work for them, you’re qualified.

After a successful trip to Indonesia, I continued to do freelance work for Mars for another year and a half, and I learned so many invaluable lessons during my time with them.

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Stills from upcoming BROTHER CEPHUS “New York” music video

A common belief in freelancing is that there are rainy seasons and dry seasons. I don’t believe in the latter, in fact, as a freelance artist, the second there is a “dry season” – I think you’ve given up on yourself. There is and always will be opportunities out there for you, and they can be paid or unpaid. Unpaid doesn’t mean you’re not getting anything out of it. Those unpaid jobs will likely give you opportunities to show your value, open other doors, and give you the chance to network. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Give value. Give value. Give value. And then ask for business.”

The work with Mars slowed down, but I refused to let that slow me down. If there is one piece of advice that I could give to any aspiring freelancer/freelancer, it would be to have some stability in your life. By stability, I mean financial stability.

It is extremely uncommon for someone that’s just breaking into the freelance market to be able to make a living and survive as a freelancer, myself included. What I’ve seen work best is to have and maintain a stable 9 to 5 job in a field that you love and that you’re passionate about, and pick up freelance jobs outside of that. The goal, if things go well, is that you will be able to transition into being a full-time freelancer. One thing you have to understand is that it won’t happen overnight.

Sacrilege right? Working a full-time desk job in order to do freelance work? Well, that’s exactly what I did, and it’s one of the best career decisions I’ve made.

LIMBS – Behind The Scenes // Photo & Video

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Behind the scenes on set of upcoming LIMBS music video

I moved from Pennsylvania to Michigan and started working full time at the University of Michigan as a videographer, photographer, and editor. That job afforded me the stability I needed to pay for my everyday expenses, like rent, electric, phone bills, and groceries. Consequently, I was able to be selective with the clients I was choosing to work with and it also gave me the headspace to be a little more creative with the projects I was working on.

I was no longer stressed about getting a gig, finding new clients, or even surviving. Without the life or death pressure, it allowed my freelance business to grow more organically. Client’s were finding me and approaching me, instead of me searching for jobs in desperation. You can stop chasing the money, but instead focus on following your heart and the things you WANT to create.

After years of freelancing, I’m still working a 9 to 5, but now in Tampa, Florida. I moved here blindly, not knowing much about the area or the people here. I did everything I could to dive into the community and into the culture here in hopes that I could create a name for myself, and my work.

It may sound silly, but one thing I chose to do was to challenge myself to post at least 1 photo a day to my Instagram account for 365 days starting December 23, 2015. This was one way I was hoping to get connected with the community and start networking. By taking and posting photos each day, I was able to curate a lot of photos from the St. Pete/Tampa area and turn around and sell them at a local market in Tampa. By selling prints and canvases at the market, it allowed me to network and create relationships with a lot of makers and doers in the area.

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Stills from upcoming commercial “UNDER” for an eyewear company

As a freelancer, networking is everything.­­­ So many doors opened from that single action of putting my work out there. Challenge yourself, take some risks, and let people know you exist.

You can see more of Dan’s stills and motion work on his website and YouTube channel, and follow him on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

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10 Essential Post Processing Techniques Every Landscape Photographer Needs to Know with Scott Kelby
Building on his previous landscape photography class, Scott Kelby uses the photos he captured at Cannon Beach to teach you 10 essential post processing techniques every landscape photographer should know. Starting from a simple example to get oriented to the tools, Scott takes you step-by-step through his Lightroom and Photoshop workflow to learn increasingly more advanced techniques. In this class you’ll learn how to evaluate each photo before processing, different ways to boost contrast, how to stitch multiple frames into a panorama, how to process realistic looking HDR images, how to sharpen to bring out detail, how to enhance washed out skies, and so much more! Be sure to watch the landscape photography class first so that you can see the process through from capture to finish!

In Case You Missed It
Learn how to harness your software to process your landscape photos the way you felt in your heart when you took the photo. Join Moose Peterson as he shares his favorite techniques, tips, and ways of thinking, to help you get the most out of your post processing workflow. Using primarily Photoshop and Camera Raw, with the occasional trip through Nik plug-ins, Moose helps you understand the connection between your camera, your software, and light, so that you are in control from the moment the shutter clicks to when you move software sliders later on. From bringing out the best in dramatic skies to making black and white photos with impact, Moose focuses on both the technical and the inspirational components you need to address to not only make your photos look great, but to infuse them with passion and romance. By the end of the class you’ll be thinking more about how you capture photos with your post processing workflow in mind.

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Today, I would like to invite you to a journey through the surreal photomontages I create to confuse people…

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Behind The Scenes

All the photos I use in my compositions are from my own portfolio (holidays, trips, family, friends, myself), except from a few space images I took from Google (like planet Earth and galaxies). My method of work is quite random; I have all these pictures I took and I try to combine them in a cool, surreal way. I especially love creating images that distort the actual sizes of things, for instance my miniature mum waterskiing in a coffee cup…

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…and my cousin skateboarding on a miniature Switzerland (where I’m from).

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 I also love playing with the materiality of things, i.e. my white towel becomes the foamy waves of a seashore…

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The real world appears finite to me, whereas the surreal world is infinite, has so much more potential, is so much more fascinating!

Stale Sheep

Empty The Bins

My ultimate aim is to create the perfect optical illusion. I have to say I would not be able to do it without Adobe Photoshop, which I have been learning how to use throughout the years.

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The 8th Extinction

In the process of creating my photomontages, I have absolutely no idea how the final composition will be read. My work is open to all interpretations. Like I said before, I almost randomly juxtapose images; and my aim is to create an illusion, not necessarily a feeling. But I love how people feel something different for each image. I am often asked why I choose such random titles for my artworks; and the answer is to confuse people even more. I believe it doesn’t make sense to give a descriptive title to a surreal artwork, because the latter means something different for every single person.

Irreducible Markov Chain

Customs Regulations

Godfather's Candle

You can see more of Monica’s work at MofArt.wordpress.com, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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Advanced Compositing in Adobe Photoshop CC with Corey Barker
Get ready to take your compositing skills to the next level! Join Corey Barker as he steps you through the creation of a fantasy composite image, from extracting the subject though the final touches. Whether you are using an older version of Photoshop or the latest, you’ll learn how to cleanly extract your subject from the source image, how to build a background environment around your subject, and how to blend all of the elements together using lighting and atmospheric effects to create a believable composite image with impact. Corey will show you ways to use Photoshop that you’ve never thought of before, and he wraps up the class with cool tips for adding text and blending non-human objects into your composite.

In Case You Missed It
Ideally, every photo we take would be perfect: perfect exposure, perfect white balance, no backlighting, no harsh shadows. Of course the reality is that some images need to be fixed, and in this course Dave Cross will look at ways to deal with common problems. In each lesson Dave will fix a problem image, real-time, step-by-step.

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