Hello! This is the site of Kayla Jeanson, a dancer-turned-videographer in Winnipeg, Manitoba. One day I’ll have a real site. For now, enjoy my WordPress blog. Cheers!
It’s amazing how side-projects can take over your life. For the past week, I’ve been doing nothing but work on a show that I created for the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival with PO-MO Inc‘s Meghan Athavale. It’s called Trashbot Apocalypse: A Love Story and it features a super cool combo of dance, animation, and electronic music.
The dancers we’ve taken on are some superb ones from the School of Contemporary Dancers, and the choreographers come from a variety of backgrounds, from modern dance to voguing. The animation includes both 2D and 3D, and it is a truly collective effort.
We’ve been having so much fun promoting the show. During Winnipeg’s Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition (MEME) we pulled out all the stops we could and converted a shopping cart into a party cart to draw a crowd. Check out the video of our adventures!
We also have been raising awareness through our IndieGoGo campaign. We plan to get our friends to help us out by yelling to Fringegoers on street corners about the Apocalypse.
I have been learning so much through this process about people management, about publicity, about animation, and about merging dance and video in a live scenario. We are less than two weeks away from showtime, but we are so close to some really amazing stuff.
The show runs July 18 thru 29. If you’re in the Peg, you must come see this cool show!
This weekend was one of the craziest I’ve ever experienced. I was referred 3 shooting gigs on top of the one that I’d already booked and assisted in getting 3 other videographers to the right places with the right equipment (at the right time, too). It was a challenge, but it was a relief to be able to delegate tasks to others.
All this, while I direct a Fringe play.
Bring it on, world!
Christmas is a time for spending money, and this year I did so mostly online.
Not only did I buy my family’s gifts on Amazon, but I decided to treat myself with a few games from Steam and a new Vimeo Plus membership. Soon, you’ll be able to watch my Vimeo uploads on this very site! I just need to work on this blog first. Supposedly, I need some plugins and things. In good time!
For now, please enjoy this Youtube video I made for a friend as a Christmas gift:
Expect more updates in the near future! It’s been a busy time for me and my camera…
PO-MOs latest project, the Kildonan Place countdown clock, has been largely a success. Mallgoers can post messages to the clock on Facebook for all their friends to see. It’s impressive that so many companies are incorporating this interactive element to their business.
On a rather unrelated note….
In my search for decent Christmas music, I came upon this band called Sleigh Bells, whose music isn’t actually Christmassy at all. They’re pretty wicked, though. Check them out.
PO-MO Inc. will soon be presenting some new architectural projects for the Santa Claus Parade here in Winnipeg. I threw together a quick video of their test run in preparation for the occasion. Looking forward to grabbing some more cool footage from the event.
When I found out that Layne Arceta, beloved choreographer for UN1TE Dance Company and director of Filthy Gorgeous, was leaving this fair city for her hometown of Edmonton, I conceived a seemingly perfect parting gift for her.
A friend graciously lent me his Canon T2i, so I was equipped to give her possibly the prettiest video I have shot to date. I had never gotten the chance to get footage of her up close and personal, so this was a real treat. Editing was tough – so much of the dance was golden that I didn’t know which shot to pick. Here’s what turned out:
True to my Winnipeg heritage, I shot in the Exchange District, home to artists and designers alike. We tucked into a colorful back alley to escape the glances of passers-by; some stared anyway. I tried using a tripod (really, I tried!) but, as usual, abandoned it to allow myself to get swept into their dance.
I don’t know if I had the right ISO setting or whatnot, but what turned out looks pretty darn good to me. Constructive criticism is encouraged in the comments.
Cudos to Mandy and Brock for accompanying fair Layne in this video. Long live Filthy Gorgeous!
I’ve been struggling to put out the newest edit of PO-MO’s demo reel. It proved to be a hassle to obtain the necessary footage and then convert it. Yes, I could blame my slowness on that particular obstacle. However, a more substantial problem, the one that truly slowed and nearly halted production, was a creative block.
See, I knew that the video I’d already created wasn’t my favourite ever. To update it felt wrong – I wanted to start from scratch. So I hummed over it until I just sat down and hacked away at it.
And you know what? The video is pretty okay.
I guess what I’m learning with every project is what is “good enough” – to me, to my client, and to my audience. I’m coming to accept that I’ll never attain the perfection I seek. I am thankful to have met people who support me (and patiently wait for me) as I develop my skills as a videographer.
Need to stop hesitiating. Less anxiety, more action.
In early August, I took on a project with no idea what it was I’d be shooting. I ended up with more work than I’d expected – producing, directing, shooting, editing… Even though I can see that this video can be greatly improved, I had to cut myself from working on it any longer. Is it still summer outside? Can I go swimming soon?
Other than Wedding Dress, I’ve been working on videos for UN1TE Dance Company, including this short one. New PO-MO Project demo on its way, also.
Finally, after a couple months of gathering footage from a variety of events, I present to you the 2010 demo reel of PO-MO Incorporated (formerly known as “PO-MO Project”).
The handheld isn’t super steady (I’m working on that), and the quality isn’t equal across the board (the Wonderland footage, which was captured through iMovie, looks rather grainy), but the heart is there. Meghan and the rest of the PO-MO crew impress me constantly with their ingenuity and openness, and I consider myself blessed to have been given the opportunity to document their travels in this critical phase of operation.
One of the biggest challenges with shooting this kind of footage is managing the focus and exposure. PO-MO’s works look coolest in the dark. Often, the screen would go blurry for no reason and the push auto focus button became useless. Then, I’d either fumble with the awkward focus dial or simply zoom in then out again (which prompts infinity focus). I’m not complaining, though - I was lucky enough to stumble upon a camera that shoots great in low light and captures beautiful color, so all of the deep pinks and blues of the VJ shows turned out beautifully.
One final note. The music, by the Lytics, was used with the band’s gracious permission. All the problems I’ve been facing lately have been circumvented by the simple task of asking permission. I just may use this tack in the future.
On July 7th, UN1TE Dance Company‘s Youtube channel was suspended indefinitely (see my first post about it here). As one of the primary video content creators for the channel, I am sad to see the over 300 videos and 1000 subscribers go down the drain.
We received an email saying that one of our videos contains a portion of the song “Billionaire” by Bruno Mars. I can’t recall anyone ever using that song in a UN1TE video.
Youtube helpfully provided a link to the offending video, but when I clicked on the URL, I was redirected to a page that said the video had been removed. I have no other details of what video this might be, and I can no longer log in to figure it out. How am I supposed to file a counter-notification if I have no idea what video has been accused?
TechDirt’s Michael Masnick blogged about UN1TE’s experiences with regards to Youtube’s new three-strike policy. In digging around online, I came across many others who are equally pissed off about their channels being removed under this new system. And rightfully so! Why, if only three of a user’s videos contain claimed content, are all the videos then removed?
There are many reasons to dislike this new policy.
- Videos are removed. Instead of disabling them, Youtube now removes videos completely and instantly, along with user comments, view counts, and carefully crafted video descriptions. My wasted work!
- Putting up a video involves a risk. In her TED Talk on Youtube and Copyright, Margaret Stewart speaks positively about how record labels like Sony and Warner are given the option to either approve or reject videos based on their content. One commenter then writes, “How can any single user be expected to know which content owners have allowed what content on YouTube until they get a warning and have their video taken down?” It seems like Youtube is punishing users who attempt to take advantage of those labels who accept user-created content containing their work.
- Use agreements for copyrighted works can change over time. What’s being taken down online now may be restored within a year – and vice versa. One of our warnings was filed over two years after the video had been uploaded. We thought we were in the clear for that song. If a user can no longer securely believe that even their past videos are safe from removal, then how can they trust the system?
- ANYONE can flag your video for copyright infringement. Our second warning was caused by a claim made by someone named Andrei Rosca for the song “So Magical” by Lil Wayne. In hindsight, I should have filed a counter-notice. I have no idea who Andrei Rosca is, but I doubt he has anything to do with Young Money or any of the labels that Lil Wayne has worked with.
- There is danger in filing counter-notices. Since anyone can file a DMCA claim, when you submit your personal information, you don’t know where it’s going. In a video about MyRealityBytes’ struggles with a wrongfully filed DMCA claim, TheMaskedAnalyst points out that this is unsafe and spoils the whatever privacy you may have left online. To regain UN1TE’s channel, I have to submit a scan of my signature. Doesn’t this enable identity theft?
I hope Youtube recognizes the detriment this causes to user experience and looks for a way to keep all parties happy. Because right now, I (along with the Winnipeg dance community at large) am not.
Now, back to filing the counter-notification. UN1TE may be out now, but who knows what the next inning will bring?