Telestream Takes Home NAB 2019 Best of Show and Product of the Year Awards

Telestream walked away from NAB 2019 with several awards for OptiQ and Vantage Cloud Port. Award details include: IABM BaM (broadcast and media) selects OptiQ as the BaM Award winner in the “Publish” category BaM […]

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EOSHD Gear Sale ֠Nikon Z7, D850, Canon 1D X Mark II and more treasure!!

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Comment on the forum Part of the parcel of doing a blog about cameras is that occasionally, my bag gets full! Now is time to part with some treasures, so that other people can get some enjoyment out of these ex-EOSHD review cameras. All the cameras are in tip-top condition with extremely low shutter counts due to being used for video. There are no marks, scratches or dings on any of the cameras unless stated, because they have experienced low use – some being bought just for the purpose of one project or EOSHD articles. FREE postage if you are …

Read moreEOSHD Gear Sale – Nikon Z7, D850, Canon 1D X Mark II and more treasure!!

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How to Deal With Notes

The Art of Dealing With Notes_Mentorless

How to Deal With Notes

A few days ago a friend who got hired to write a show called me after the very first meeting with the TV execs during which she got to know how much they approved/disapproved her Bible and hear their “notes”.

Notes-taking is a tricky business when you’re in a hierarchy, and if you’re paid to write or direct, you will get notes. Most notes will probably make you want to puke or scream but what do you do once your “boss” tells you: “You should do this! You should change that!“?

To Follow or to Ignore?

I think the first important point is to recognize that to handle a note the best way possible and to be able to discern if it’s a note worth following, one must let go of their ego.

The hardest hardest hardest thing to do when receiving notes, is not to answer in your head (and then out loud) to justify yourself. And yet that’s a very important skill to master:

-listen to the actual note.

And the same way we should refrain from opposing notes, we should also refrain from nodding to everything. As I was talking with my friend I realized that one of the thing I have internalized came from a similar advice shared by Shonda Rhimes and Steven Soderbergh.

Three people I highly respect and who’ve demonstrated great skills at developing original work within a studio system have come to the same conclusion:

The note might be wrong, but there’s something underneath
it that you might want to dig deeper.

The Middle Path

As with most things in life, the answer is in the middle path. It’s neither about rejecting or fully agreeing with a note for the sake of it but rather listening to find out what’s underneath the note.

The job of the storyteller is to tell a story the way others can’t. The person who gives the note is giving it with the words and imagination they possess and that will likely feel frustrating and out of tune. But if one can swipe shoes and try to understand what bugs the note-giver, one can really decide if it’s a note worth following or discarding.

Here is how wiser people said it better:

Christopher Nolan about Steven Soderbergh’s Approach

When you get into that Studio environment where there’s a hierarchy and people whose jobs it is literally to being paid to give you notes to turn things around; he (Steven Soderbergh) had developed such a reasonable attitude to it that in no way compromised what he was trying to do creatively. It was all about respectfully hearing a person’s point of view, it was all about saying “Ok, the note might be wrong, or the suggestion might be wrong, but they’re saying it for a reason“.

And you have to figure out what that reason is. Sometimes that reason is ego, or trying to impress someone or whatever that is, but very often there is a creative reason. And you can either get it all out, or you can internalize it and think about it yourself.

Shonda Rhimes

I have to say the first year there were times that were really heard because my response, maybe that’s a good response, I don’t know, my response to what I call “stupid notes” from the Network is always silence, because my whole thing is that if you don’t have something nice to say, you don’t say anything at all. So they’d give me a note that I would find horrifying, like really horrifying, ‘Can’t Meredith just be nicer?’, ‘Can’t Meredith and Christina just hug?’ and my response was always, you know you’d be on the phone on this big conference call, and my response would always just be total silence, because there was nothing I could of to say, that wouldn’t be insulting.

And in that silence, what would happen for me, and still does, is after a minute or two, when they’re wondering if you’re still on the line, it gets filled with nervous chatter, because they are just as scared as you are, I mean that’s the reality. They are just scared that they don’t know what they’re talking about, and what you have on your side is that you have the vision, at the very least you feel like you know what you were trying to achieve. So it gets filled in with this nervous chatter on their part, that sort of comes around to something, and then it enables me in that silence to try to figure out what it is that they are trying to say.

Because I think that even the most stupid note is a note that is coming from something, no matter what the note is. And sometimes they are painful, sometimes they are really painful, but every note has a point. There is something underneath it that they are responding to, they may not have a way to express it, they may not have a way to verbalize what they are trying to say, but if you really let them talk long enough, you will figure out what it is that is the problem.

I’m pretty positive Neil Gaiman said the same thing but was unable to track back the quote and source, so you’ll have to either believe me on this one or prove me otherwise.

Bottom line, my conversation was a good reminder that every professional (no matter the profession, really) will have to deal with notes as soon as their work involves either collaboration and/or hierarchy and the best way to leverage a note’s potential is to remember that under the first layer of possibly clumsy words something much more important and interesting might be hiding.

Perfect Travel Tripods

If you are on the look out for sturdy but very small when folded and lightweight tripods then check out these iFootage Gazelle tripods I’ve been using.

These new tripods from iFootage are build just as well as all of their other products. They have two version both aluminum and carbon fiber. The tripods also come in different sizes.

You can get the tripods here:

Also you can find the Komodo K5 Fluid Head here:

By the way iFootage is also holding a really cool video competition where you can win some really nice and expensive video gear, including a brand new Red Raven camera!

You can enter the video competition at

Below is more info about all of the tripods from iFootage

Fastbowl feature

Centre pole feature

This patented and unique feature allows rapid removal of the camera and 75mm bowl head by a simple turn and push button operation. No more endlessly turning the the ball head screw to release the head- easily and quickly move the head onto other camera support equipment such as a crane. More traditionally, it also allows you to instantly level your camera too!

Easily adjusted center pole with simple and robust locking system allows for tripod extension and increased height. Center pole is quick and easy to remove. Also comes with handy hook for additional weight stability. Also features a 75mm adjustable bowl head. Center pole can be reversed to support an under slung camera…great for rostrum based work!
TA7 – 2.37kg
TC7 – 1.9kg

TA5 -2,42kg
TC5 -2.05kg
TA6 – 2.45kg
TC6 – 2.02kg
Super lightweight (TC7 is around 1kg without the 75mm ball head). Compact and very strong. Excellent weight for all methods of travel.

Super lightweight, compact and very durable. Great strength for weight ratio.
TA7 – 7kg
TC7 – 9kg

TA5 – 5kg
TC5 – 6kg
TA6 – 6kg
TC6 – 8kg
TC7 will take a whopping 9kg if needed!. Excellent size to weight ratio, handling many of the larger cameras and lenses.

Uprise series carries from 5kg up to a massive 8kg depending on model. Excellent size to weight ratio, handling many of the larger cameras and lenses.
Maximum extended height

TA7 – 1550mm
TC7 -1550mm

Perfect maximum height for interviewing our taller friends and colleagues.

Excellent reliable working height when fully extended.
extended height
TA7 – 180mm
TC7 -180mm

The leg spread on this means it offers lower shots than many other competitor’s tripods-useful when you are on location and need a steady low angle shot.
Length folded

TA7 – 670mm
TC7 -670mm

Compact and portable. Can be packed into a standard suitcase if required, avoiding the need to have special handling at the airport.
Legs and buckles

A choice of lightweight and durable aluminium or carbon fiber tubular three stage legs which are easy to deploy with just one hand. Precision engineered lightweight, aluminium leg adjustment buckles, ergonomically designed to lock securely time after time without palm pinch.
3 stage leg locking system

TA7 & TC7
22° 55° 77°

22° 55° 80°
Each leg has an automated locking system, operated at the top of the tripod providing a choice of three leg lock angles for set up. Again, single hand operation is all that is required. Simple, ergonomic and very efficient.
Rubber feet and spikes

As you might expect, the tripods have non-slip, soft but hard wearing rubber feet and once turned these reveal tough metal spikes….ideal for all terrains, conditions and climates.

Available in either aluminium or carbon fiber. Superior design and build providing durable, resilient, long lasting materials and components suitable for all weather conditions.