running washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers during off-peak hours using fans instead of air conditioners in the summer turning the thermostat down just a few degrees in the winter For more information about free, easy ways to lower your electric bill, refer to nrdc.org/air/energy/genergy.asp.Browse more military personal finance blog posts and webinars by experts.Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on August 5, 2013. By Barbara O’NeillHow can military families lower their energy costs in on-base housing when they can’t swap out any appliances or change the house itself?Many service members live in on-base housing that cannot be structurally modified, leaving fewer opportunities to lower energy costs compared to an off-base residence. Still, there are strategies to save some money on utility bills. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), families could save around $10 every month by simply unplugging seldom-used appliances. Unplugging chargers when not in use and using power strips to turn off televisions, stereos, and home theater equipment can also make a difference. Even when electronic devices are off, they are still consuming electricity while plugged in.Other high-impact energy saving strategies include:
I would like to introduce a guest blogger this week and an expert in Diabetes education. Enjoy this new material.Eating for Target Blood Glucose levelsImage from University of Illinois Extension Your Guide to Diet and DiabetesBy Donna Ryan RN, RD, MPH, CDE, FAADEAs a diabetes educator, I am humbled sometimes (okay, often) by what I learn from people who live with diabetes every day. Simple assessment questions can open the flood gates of information, or elicit one word answers. If I listen closely and ask probing questions, I occasionally get a glimpse into the fear, sadness and/or resignation of living with a disease that can cause incredibly high, and paradoxically low, blood sugar. In many patients, these extremes in blood sugars are intertwined and a focused assessment is needed. And though it is counterintuitive, I have found many patients who present with hyperglycemia and high blood glucose values have a history of hypoglycemia events.The body senses hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, as a life threatening event and patients have told me ‘I felt like I was going to die’, ‘I was frozen in my body’ and ‘it’s the worst feeling I have ever had’. Avoiding hypoglycemia is a survival mechanism and can have a deleterious effect on diabetes self-care behaviors. For example, the fear of hypoglycemia drives some people to not take their insulin or pills as ordered and to overeat in an attempt to prevent going low. This then can then lead to hyperglycemia, poor diabetes control, and likely, the label of ‘noncompliance’.I ask patients to tell me their hypoglycemia stories: How does it feel, how do you know you are low? How low does your sugar have to go to feel low? How do you treat it? Who helps you? And, ‘Do you sometimes not take your meds for fear of a low blood sugar or eat extra food to avoid a low’? Some amazing and humbling answers I have received include: ‘I don’t feel my lows until I’m in the 30s’ ‘My cat licks me in the middle of the night and wakes me up when I am low’. Or, ‘Jesus wakes me up in front of the refrigerator and sometimes He wakes me up when I’m on the floor and I crawl to the kitchen to get my juice’. Family members have told me they have to ‘pull grandma out from under the bed’ when she has a low blood sugar, which is where she rolls when she has an attack. I ask if they tell their doctor these stories, and many do not. Why? They believe it’s a part of having diabetes that they must live with, they are waiting until the next appointment to tell them (in 3-6 months), or they ‘forget’ to tell them. Some patients are surprised to learn that a severe, prolonged hypoglycemic event can be fatal.How can we intervene and help minimize the toll of hypoglycemia? Ask, listen and educate.Know who is high risk for hypoglycemiaAsk about signs, symptoms, frequency of hypoglycemiaEducate patients and families how to detect, prevent and treat hypoglycemiaEncourage patients to wear medical alert identificationTeach ALWAYS check blood sugars before taking your diabetes medicines. Why? If glucose is already low, it’s best to treat the low first.And most importantly: Notify the doctor of low blood sugars, as a change may be needed to the medical plan.Technology is now making it easier to detect low blood sugars. For patients with recurring and severe hypoglycemia, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are available to augment checking sugars with a meter. Some CGMs alert the patient when their glucose is going low. See the resources below to learn more about hypoglycemia and diabetes.References:http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/Diabetes/hypoglycemia/Pages/index.aspx http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hypoglycemia-low-blood.html http://dtc.ucsf.edu/living-with-diabetes/complications/hypoglycemia/ http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/Diabetes/continuous-glucose-monitoring/Pages/index.aspx http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/ This post was written by Donna Ryan RN, RD, MPH, CDE, FAADE, Diabetes Educator Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola, FL. and Director American Academy of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter and on LinkedIn.
USS John C. Stennis homecoming by DVIDSHUB CC by 2.0On Nov. 3, the Family Development Early Intervention team held a webinar in which we discussed how professionals could work with families to promote parent-child interactions. A recording of that webinar can be found here. During the webinar, questions arose regarding how a professional might help strengthen the parent-child relationship when that parent is deployed. Here are a few strategies to consider:Build A Stuffed Animal That Talks!When my husband was preparing to deploy when our daughter was four, he recorded a message for her on a device that we tucked inside a teddy bear she made. This was something she treasured throughout that deployment and even still today, seven years later! There are commercial stores where one can buy the recorders and even make the teddy bears. However, the supplies also can be purchased through online retailers.Use Instant Technology!During my husband’s most recent absence we used technology that allowed me to quickly send him pictures and videos of our children. He was able to access these items in almost real time. The kids loved hearing me read back their dad’s responses to whatever funny thing they had just done.Child Directed Videos!If children are old enough, give them access to your phone or digital recording device and allow them to create a video diary for their deployed parent. Some older children can be savvy enough to produce really impressive videos!Read Together!Make use of the program United Through Reading (UTR), through which service members can create a video of themselves reading a book for their child. Find out how UTR works and how to participate today!Make Use of the Moon and Stars!For young children it can be hard to understand how far away their parent is during a deployment. Some children may feel like they are worlds or planets away! With my children, they always felt very connected to their dad when they would focus on the moon or the stars at night. When one of them was having a particularly sad night and really missing him, we would look out the window or even go outside and stare at the sky. We would talk about how bright a star looked or the shape of the moon and I would remind them that their dad was looking at the same stars and moon. It helped to shrink that distance for them and they felt more connected to him even though they couldn’t see or touch him.Celebrate!When possible celebrate holiday or birthday moments together with the deployed parent ‘present’ via online videos. Sometimes this can be done live, but at other times deployed parents can record themselves singing happy birthday to their children. ‘Snail mail’ also will do the trick in helping children connect with their deployed parents. My children really enjoyed receiving gifts and cards from their dad when he was gone. Some years he asked me to buy the kids something very specific and give it to them for Christmas — just from him. I would make a very big deal out of that gift being specifically from their dad. The kids never knew (nor asked) if I had bought it or if he had sent it but they treasured whatever it was because it was from him.This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a few simple ways you can encourage your families to remain connected despite geographical separations. What other ideas do you have? What have you recommended or seen? What has worked? What hasn’t worked? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below!This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and YouTube.
By Carol ChurchI recently received a mysterious medical appointment reminder for an appointment I do not have from a provider I have never seen. When I called to inquire about the situation, I was told that somehow my phone number had been accidentally transposed onto the file of another patient. Although this seems to have just been a clerical error, the situation worried me, because it made me feel concerned about the possibility of medical identity theft.These days, almost everyone is probably familiar with the general idea of identity theft. However, most of us may be more likely to think of having a Social Security card number or credit card number stolen than to consider the concern of medical ID theft.Who is Affected?Photospin/Erwin WodickaUnfortunately, however, this is a serious problem affecting millions of Americans every year. And the aftermath can be just as devastating (or more so) than other types of identity theft. Victims of medical identity theft can end up on the hook for thousands of dollars of medical bills and may be denied coverage and services. Medical identity theft can even put your own health at risk, as when someone else’s health concerns, allergies, conditions, etc. become intertwined with yours and falsely appear on your medical records. Some medical identity theft victims have even been erroneously accused of crimes when criminals used their information to obtain painkillers.Sadly, veterans and service members are at elevated risk of all types of identity theft, including medical identity theft. This is for two reasons: first, their personal information is in many, many systems and frequently requested; second, unscrupulous people know that military medical benefits are highly valuable and wish to obtain access. For this reason, service members and those who work with them need to be informed about this lesser-known problem.What are the signs of medical identity theft?All of the following may be warning signs of medical identity theft:Receiving medical bills for procedures or office visits you do not recognize or that you did not authorizeSeeing charges, procedures, or visits on your EOBs (Explanation of Benefits) materials from your insurance company that are unfamiliarBeing told you have reached a cap or lifetime limit when you are not anywhere close to thisReceiving notices from creditors or being denied credit for medical bills you do not recognizeConfusing information in your health records that seems to not be yours (for instance, about conditions you do not have or procedures you never underwent)What should someone do if they suspect or believe they are a victim?If you suspect that you have been a victim of medical identity theft, the first step is to find the instances. Request your medical records from every provider that you know or think may have been involved. You have a right to these records, but unfortunately, there may be a fee.If you find mistakes, correct these with the providers. You may need to file a report with the police to help this process along.Alert your health insurer to the fraud.Medical identity theft victims may be the victims of other types of identity theft as well, so if you have identified this type of ID theft, it’s time to check other accounts, including credit cards, bank accounts, and your credit report.File a complaint at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or by phone at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338). Visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft for additional information.How can medical identity theft be prevented?Guard all sensitive military IDs, Social Security numbers, Medicare and Medicaid numbers, Tricare and insurance cards, etc. Securely store or shred papers containing these numbers.Always contact your insurance company and/or health care providers about unfamiliar charges, bills, or procedures. (Remember, however, that bills can be confusing and human error can occur. Not all mysterious charges are fraudulent.)Never “share” medical identities with someone, even if they are in dire need. And be careful about who has access to your personal records, even within your family. According to one study, the majority of medical identity thieves are someone who knew the victim.Medical identity theft is yet another type of crime that we need to be aware of in today’s changing world. Staying alert to the risk of this type of fraud is key.References and resources:Andrews, M. The rise of medical identity theft. Retrieved from http://www.consumerreports.org/medical-identity-theft/medical-identity-theft/Federal Trade Commission. (2011). Medical Identity Theft: FAQs for Health Care Providers and Health Plans. Retrieved from https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/medical-identity-theft-faqs-health-care-providers-health-plansOffice of Inspector General. Medical ID Theft / Fraud Information. Retrieved from https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/medical-id-theft/University of Texas at Austin Center for Identity. Medical Identity Theft Targeting Veterans and Active Service Personnel: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://identity.utexas.edu/veterans-and-active-service-personnel/medical-identity-theft-targeting-veterans-and-active-service-personnel-what-you-need-to-know
By Christian Augusto Maino Vieytes, M.S. Candidate, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of IllinoisCoconut OilCooking with oil is a staple dietary custom across an expanse of cultures. The use of coconut oil as a mainstream cooking oil has garnered attention within the last decade and is often labeled a “functional food”. Many have advanced the idea that this plant-based oil is a healthier alternative to butter and other oils, but does the evidence back such claims?Saturated Fat: Are They All Created Equal?The evils of saturated fat have been well documented by academics and the news media. Consumption of saturated fat has been demonstrated to perpetuate cardiovascular disease by increasing levels of “bad” cholesterol, known in the scientific community as the LDL cholesterol level, at the expense of “good” cholesterol, HDL. If such a claim is true then we would expect consumption of coconut oil, which is comprised of up to 90% saturated fat, to deliver an egregious attack on your arteries. Moreover, proponents of coconut oil-use and wholesalers have claimed that the saturated fat profile of coconut oil is “healthier” than that found in animal products. Let’s take a look at what the science has to say.The ScienceNumerous studies have been carried out and arrived at the conclusion that incorporating coconut oil into the diet is associated with an increase in total cholesterol. This includes observed jumps in both “bad” (LDL) and “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels. Compared to other dietary sources of saturated fat, coconut oil was only surpassed in its LDL-raising capability by animal-derived butter. Sticking to a plant-derived oil such as safflower oil or olive oil, which unlike animal fat or coconut oil is abundant in unsaturated fats, was found to not be as damaging and has been suggested, by many studies, to have a profound LDL-lowering effect.Plant sources tend to have a higher unsaturated fat content and provide additional nutritional benefits, such as packing vitamins and antioxidants. Coconut oil provides a rich source of antioxidant compounds called phenolics despite it being very high in saturated fat. However, the same class of beneficial compounds are found in other plant-oils such as virgin olive oil, which pack only miniscule amounts of saturated fat. The methods of oil extraction also significantly affect the levels of these compounds in the oil. Cold extraction methods (you might see this labeled “cold-pressed” on products at your local grocery store) tend to retain higher levels of these chemicals.The Take-Home MessageThe source of your dietary fat is very important. Plant oils tend to be substantially healthier than animal fats and can contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, given that they boast lower amounts of saturated fat. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is always best to cut down on processed foods. Coconut oil and other plant-sourced oils are calorically-dense, refined, and processed products that are easy to overconsume since they have been taken out of the context of the whole food they originate from. Incorporating whole-food fat sources, such as avocados and nuts, is an easier approach for acquiring these essential plant-derived fats and nutrients without the propensity to overconsume them. BibliographyAmarasiri, W. A., and A. S. Dissanayake. “Coconut fats.” The Ceylon medical journal 51.2 (2006): 47-51.Cox, C., et al. “Effects of dietary coconut oil, butter and safflower oil on plasma lipids, lipoproteins and lathosterol levels.” European journal of clinical nutrition 52.9 (1998): 650.Denke, Margo A. “Dietary fats, fatty acids, and their effects on lipoproteins.” Current atherosclerosis reports 8.6 (2006): 466-471.Eyres, Laurence, et al. “Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans.” Nutrition reviews 74.4 (2016): 267-280.Harris, Margaret, Andrea Hutchins, and Lisa Fryda. “The impact of virgin coconut oil and high-oleic safflower oil on body composition, lipids, and inflammatory markers in postmenopausal women.” Journal of medicinal food 20.4 (2017): 345-351.Marina, A. M., et al. “Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil.” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 60.sup2 (2009): 114-123.Marina, A. M., YB Che Man, and I. Amin. “Virgin coconut oil: emerging functional food oil.” Trends in Food Science & Technology 20.10 (2009): 481-487Owen, Robert W., et al. “Olive-oil consumption and health: the possible role of antioxidants.” The lancet oncology 1.2 (2000): 107-112.Willett, Walter C., et al. “Mediterranean diet pyramid: a cultural model for healthy eating.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 61.6 (1995): 1402S-1406S.
Premiumbeat.com is pleased to announce our Canon 5D Mark III Ultimate DSLR Giveaway!UPDATE: THE CONTEST HAS NOW ENDED. Thanks to all who entered.Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for info on future giveaways!Enter to win a new Canon 5D Mark III professional DSLR camera – a $4,300 value! Premiumbeat.com, the online leader for royalty free stock music and sound effects, has teamed up with LearningDSLRVideo.com and B&H Photo Video to giveaway a Canon5D Mark III Camera with lens – a photographer and DSLR shooters dream kit! Shoot high resolution stills and video with this cutting edge digital SLR!Our PartnersNew York based B&H Photo Video & Pro Audio is the world’s leading retailer in photography, video and audio equipment. B&H serves the pro market fromtheir extensive website and NYC storefront location. Their wide-selection of high quality gear and commitment to customer satisfaction, makes B&H Photo Video & Pro Audio well equipped to handle your professional photo, video and audio needs. Visit B&HPhotoVideo.com to check out all the leading gear!LearningDSLRVideo.com is an online community lead by DSLR authority Dave Dugdale. Dave share’s his passion for creating high quality DSLR videos in his frequent video tutorials, product reviews and engaging interviews. Check out LearningDSLRVideo.com and discover tips and techniques to make your DSLR shooting a success.Features of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Camera Kit:22.3MP Full-Frame CMOS SensorIncludes Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L Lens3.2″ Clear View High Resolution LCDDIGIC 5+ Image Processor61-Point High Density AF FullHD 1080/30p and 720/60p FormatsBuilt-In HDR and Multiple Exposure ModesExtended ISO Range (50-102400)Dual CF and SD Memory Card SlotsDurable Magnesium-Alloy Construction
Take advantage of discounted video editing software if you’re enrolled as a student.While the verdict is still up in the air as to whether or not film school is a good choice, one thing is for sure, there are a lot of perks associated with being a student. For one, many software manufacturers give deep discounts to currently enrolled students.In the following post we will take a look at all of the major editing and motion graphic applications and examine what discounts, if any, are available to film students.‘Student’ StatusAlmost all the editing applications on this list require you to verify your current enrollment at a school. This can include a student ID, transcript, report card, or letter from the registrar. The entire process usually takes a very short amount of time. Some applications allow you to download then verify, but be prepared to fill out some web-forms in order to get the software.Note: while almost all these applications are available at a discounted rate to students, you may not be permitted to do outside work on the app that isn’t education related. Read the terms and conditions to know for sure.We’ve structured the article to go from most student-friendly discount to least, so let’s get started:1. AutodeskAutodesk has (by far) the best discount for film students…free. Unlike the other software companies on this list, Autodesk offers a free 3 year license to students. The free 3 year license extends down to most of their professional applications including:Smoke – Video EditingMaya – 3D Modeling3Ds Max – 3D modeling (Windows only)Mudbox – Digital SculptingAutoCAD – Architectural DesignAnd many moreUsing the free tools offered from Autodesk you’re got a full video editing, motion graphics, modeling and special effects pipeline. Word of warning for newbies: Autodesk applications tend to have a steeper learning curve then some of the others on this list.All of the apps are available via instant download and verification is really quick. If you’re a student you can have Autodesk’s powerful app suite on your computer today.2. MaxonAdmittedly Cinema 4D almost didn’t make this list because of it’s rather strange licensing agreement for students. Unlike the other apps in this list, the only way to get a Cinema 4D student discount is to go through your school. That is, if you’re school has an educational agreement with Maxon. In this case, the you’d have access to the application for free.If your college isn’t an approved Maxon institution you would have to pay full price. You can request to have Maxon reach out to your school to become an educational partner, but this can take some time.3. AdobeA few years ago when Adobe announced the Creative Cloud some people were skeptical, including myself, but over time the Creative Cloud has proven to be a very practical way to pay for software. Creative Cloud users have the ability to access dozens of industry-standard applications including:Premiere Pro – Video EditingAfter Effects – Motion Graphics/CompositingSpeedGrade – Color Correction/GradingMedia Encoder – Digital EncodingPhotoshop – Photo Editing/Digital PaintingIllustrator – Vector ArtworkAdobe’s Creative Cloud isn’t free for students, but it is available at $19.99 a month – a deep discount off the normal pricing. eitherfor the entire Creative Cloud. Get the Creative Cloud student and teacher discount on the Adobe site.4. AVIDWhile Pro Tools is the industry standard when it comes to audio software, Avid Media Composer hasthe pro video editing industry split between those that love it and those that loathe it.Avid does offer an awesome student discount on it’s applications including:Media Composer – Video EditingPro Tools – Audio Editing/ComposingThe applications however don’t come bundled so you must get them separately. Media Composer is available for $9.99 a month to students with free upgrades along the way. Pro Tools ‘buy outright’ at $299.99.5. LightworksWhile you won’t find a ton of editors using Lightworks, the ones who do are often working on big-name productions. Lightworks’ slick interface and easy-to-use tools make it a very powerful and underrated editing applications.Lightworks comes in two flavors, Lightworks Free and Lightworks Pro. For everybody, Lightworks Free is, you guessed it, free to use (note: output is limited to a maximum of 720P). Lightworks Pro is available at a 50% discount to students, making it $12.99 a month, $87.50 a year or $219 to buy outright.6. SonyIt is always surprising to hear how many professional editors got their start using Sony Vegas. Vegas and Sony Sound Forge. They’re both avaliable at a discounted rate for students.Unlike most of the applications on this list, you can’t get a discounted student version of Sony Vegas or Sound Forge on Sony’s website. Instead you will have to purchase your copy from one of their licensed resellers (reseller search here). Because there is a third party involved prices can sometimes be inconsistent so we recommend shopping around. Our preliminary searches found Sony Vegas Pro 13 from $234.95 and Sound Forge for $179.95.Non-Discounted Software7. ResolveWhile widely respected as a color editing application, DaVinci Resolve 11 brought a new level of functionality by adding the ability to edit footage directly in the app. Over time we definitely expect this software to get better and better.That being said, DaVinci Resolve is surprisingly not student friendly as there is no student discount available yet. Students are encouraged to download Resolve Lite which is completely free to all users.8. AppleWhile the argument between Final Cut Pro lovers and Adobe lovers wages on, one thing is for sure, when it comes to student discounts Final Cut is in dead last. There are no students discounts available for Final Cut Pro X.Final Cut Pro X – Video EditingApple Motion – Motion GraphicsCompressor – Video CompressionOn the plus side, Final Cut Pro X is relatively affordable at $299. The non-discount also applies to Apple Motion and Compressor which can be purchased at full-price for $49.99 each. As a student you do qualify for discounted Apple computers, so if you’re thinking about purchasing a computer for school check out their online education store.Know of any other discounts available to students? Share in the comments below.
As editors, we are always looking for the best way to tell a story. In most cases, the best possible version is only found after many passes of editing. Luckily, there are many things you can do to increase your editing speed significantly and get to the finish line faster.Editing, like any other part of the creative process can be both highly enjoyable and immensely frustrating. When things are going well, it’s an extremely rewarding experience that allows us to finally see our projects come to life. On the other hand, it’s possible to get into slumps when editing (especially early on in the process) that can prevent us from finishing on time, and even worse – ending up with a subpar cut of the film.I’ve always been a big believer that with any creative process (editing included) the best way to get to the finish line is by having a mold to work from. I’ve never edited a project and simply locked off the first cut that I did, and I really don’t think that anyone should.You always want to challenge yourself to get better results and to tell your story in the most efficient and effective way possible. Many times, this means that you will need to go through many different iterations of your edit – which is completely fine. In fact, it’s encouraged.You might have a general idea of what your film is going to look like, but truthfully you will never really know until you can watch a finished version. For this reason, I suggest getting a first rough cut of your project completed as quickly as possible. After all, if the edit is going to change so drastically throughout the process anyways, you are better off getting the first pass done sooner than later (even if it’s flawed), so you at least have something to work from.Not to mention, you don’t want to spend too much time finessing edits and smoothing over cuts on a first pass of anything, since you are likely to lose just about all of that hard work. Here are my tips for getting through your edit faster, so you can start to focus on the revisions more effectively.Organize like crazy.Organization may not exactly be the sexiest part of the editing process, but if you do your legwork up front and actually set up your project file properly, you will be able to work way faster once you’re actually in the thick of things.Organization includes everything from creating proxy files (so that you can edit quickly, even from a laptop), to logging and labeling all of your footage properly. The last thing that you want to do is get halfway through an edit while on a roll, and then have to stop for 20 minutes to go and look for a clip. Organize your footage like crazy and you’ll thank yourself later.Don’t worry about audio edits.Your audio is going to sound pretty bad during the rough cut of your film. Obviously if your sound recordist did their job properly, the actual audio itself will be high quality. But in the context of your edit, it may not sound great at all. Certain takes will be louder than others, there will be gaps where no room tone is placed, sound effects will be missing, and loads of other issues will arise.It will be tempting to just go ahead and start finessing your audio so that it sounds far more clean (especially if you have to show your producers a cut), but I would advise against wasting time doing this. No matter what, it’s going to get re-done, and let’s face it – you’re probably not that proficient with post-audio. So leave it to the pros, and do what you do best – edit! Even if it means having to listen through some crappy audio during the rough cut/assembly stages.Avoid going through every take.Depending on how you (or your director) shot the project, you may have a ridiculous amount of coverage to go through. If this is the case, I would advise against going through all of it initially, as you simply don’t need to. Some editors like to go through every take first and do ‘selects’ where they will place their favorite clips in a timeline, but in many cases that’s a waste of time, considering you aren’t going to use 90% of that material.Instead, go through the edit intuitively and ask yourself ‘what comes next?’ every step of the way. By doing this, the edit will feel far more organic as you are making choices based on your intuition, and it will move much more quickly as well.Learn your keyboard shortcuts.If you haven’t already started editing with keyboard shortcuts, then drop what you’re doing and learn how to edit that way now. On a really small project (like a 30 second commercial) this may not be as much of a factor, but when dealing with a substantial short or feature film you can save a lot of time by not juggling the mouse and keyboard so much.You wouldn’t believe how much time you actually spend physically moving between mouse and keyboard when editing, not to mention the fact that keyboard shortcuts are in themselves much faster than ‘drag and drop’ mouse editing.Use placeholders.Sometimes you’re on a roll editing a scene or sequence, but then you hit a wall. Something’s just not working creatively. Maybe you can’t find the right temp track to use, or there isn’t a good enough transitional shot to bring you into the next act. Whatever the issue may be, if you start to get stuck on something trivial – just move on.You don’t want to waste an hour of your precious time trying to finesse an edit or work on a scene that just isn’t gelling. Instead, don’t be afraid to just drop in a placeholder (which could simply be a title card, explaining the scene that will go there), and move on. After getting through a few more scenes and maintaining your momentum, it will be a lot easier to go back to that placeholder and figure out what you want to do there, since you’ll be looking at it with fresh eyes.What methods do you use to increase your editing speed? Share your best tips in the comments.
We’re giving away a FREE moviemaking eBook! It’s a fantastic resource for anyone interested in breaking into the film and video industry. Here’s how to get it.Navigate the landscape of modern filmmaking like a pro with 101 Filmmaking Tips & Tricks, a curated guide to working in film and video, courtesy of PremiumBeat! 101 articles. Eight chapters. Almost 300 pages loaded with pre and post-production tips, gear insights, audio/video editing techniques and more. 101 Filmmaking Tips & Tricks is loaded with actionable, easy-to-understand content that will set you up for success the next time you launch a production. Learn the secrets of cinematography, add some motion graphics tricks to your arsenal, and find valuable distribution advice. It’s all here. And it’s all free. Learn which cameras, lenses, microphones, and lights work best for any situation — and learn how to use them. Discover DIY hacks and how-to tips that will keep you under budget. From After Effects to Zoom audio recorders, find out which programs and gear will help you best capture your vision. The many facets of modern filmmaking are explained in 101 Filmmaking Tips and Tricks, a collection of real-world film knowledge written by industry experts and insiders.DOWNLOAD 101 FILMMAKING TIPS AND TRICKS
SmallHD’s latest touch screen monitor is an affordable and practical way to view footage on set.All images via Behind the Screens.SmallHD recently announced their latest touchscreen monitor, the FOCUS, which can improve your videography workflow by allowing you to swipe through software tools. Aside from the excellent improvements to their interface, SmallHD has also made the screen significantly brighter and more accessible with more viewable angles.The FOCUS features more pixels per square inch than an iPad with retina display, and it offers wonderfully simple touch screen navigation.One of the most useful features of the FOCUS is the Tilt Arm. This mount enables users to tilt the screen 180 degrees, ensuring perfect shot composition and lighting from both sides of the camera. This will significantly help solo shooters who need to film themselves on location. The FOCUS also comes with a shoe mount so you can add a microphone to your rig.Specs:2-3x brighter than most camera LCD screensWaveformFalse colorFocus assist3D LUTsPixel zoom180 degree tiltThe FOCUS will be available for preorder in May 2017 and will begin shipping in June. For more updates on the monitor and its upcoming release, sign up here. (Right now, you can preorder at a NAB special price of $499.)Be sure to check out the rest of our NAB 2017 coverage on the blog, and stay tuned for more updates.
We had a conversation with costume designer Catherine Ashton about her approach to each character — from color to texture to how emotion influences style.PremiumBeat: Irene Sharaff, the costume designer of West Side Story, said she approaches design like a painting: everything in blocks of color. Do you have your own “first way in” when you are beginning a new project?Catherine Ashton: I approach design like one big tapestry. Each character is unique in how they look. Every character has a distinct personality, and it is that personality that determines how they are dressed. Once they become alive to me, my characters then mingle and intertwine with each other but are bonded together by one single thread, which holds them together throughout the storyline.Life in a Year (CW).PB: The feature film, Life in a Year, deals with a 17-year-old boy who finds out his girlfriend is dying. How much of your design approach is focused on who they are vs. what the characters are going through?CA: It was a mixture of both. For example, Jaden Smith (Daryn) who plays the 17-year-old boyfriend, starts off crisp and clean. But as his relationship with Cara Delevingne (Isabelle) grows, his look changes. He isn’t thinking about what he is going to wear next because his whole purpose now is to give his dying girlfriend a full life, with what little time she has.Cara Delevingne is a brilliant actress and takes a methodical approach to her characters, and that is why I relied heavily on her input when dressing her character. There is a scene in the movie wherein Cara/Isabelle is standing in a very pale yellow slip, her head shaven. It is in this scene the audience really gets the full glimpse of how fragile Isabelle is — and how fragile life is. For this scene, Cara had her head shaven, and she wanted the palest, loose-fitting slip to show how cancer had ravaged her character’s body.In the Dark (CW).PB: You’ve worked robustly in television. The new series In the Dark revolves around a blind, young woman. How did you develop her fashion sense? Did you feel any obligation to address the false narrative that a visually impaired character wouldn’t care about her looks?CA: I feel no matter who you are, everyone has a sense of pride when it comes to their appearance. Some may be more relaxed than others, but as a whole, we all matter to ourselves. On In The Dark, I had the pleasure to work with Calle Walton, who plays Chloe. Calle — in real life — is visually impaired. Calle was very helpful to me when dressing her character because she explained to me how she shops for herself. During our fittings, Calle would always ask me what color the item was. Together, we would feel the shape of the clothing style, and then I would explain how it would fit her. I tried to buy clothing for Calle/Chloe that had texture to it, so she could feel the fabric and get a sense of the garment and its movement. I used this same approach when dressing Murphy. I looked for clothing that was cozy and had details for her to feel.Beauty and the Beast (CW).PB: Both Covert Affairs and Beauty and the Beast are action-driven and have a very practical-yet-sleek-and-sexy look to the characters. What was involved in conceptualizing the look of each show?CA: I was very much involved in conceptualizing the looks of these shows. Both shows had a lot of stunts, so the costumes had to be designed to look fashionable and sexy, and be able to endure the many stunts.PB: Any genre on your bucket list to design?CA: I love what I do so much, so any show that I get to design, and any character looks I get to create, is an honor. But If I had to make a choice, it would be the ’60s. I feel it would be so much fun to do.Cover image via In the Dark (CW).Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Industry Interview: “Whiplash” Production Designer Melanie JonesInterview: “My Dinner with Herve” Composer David NorlandThe Universal Language of Music: Interview with Composer Jacob YoffeeIndustry Insights: Behind the Scenes with Editor Nena ErbMake Your Documentaries Matter with Awe-Inspiring Material
Need to shoot an interview for a film, documentary, or corporate video project? Here’s a step-by-step guide on making sure you get quality footage.Let’s face it, no one would ever recommend shooting video interviews as a one person crew. But, if you work in today’s modern filmmaking industry long enough, you may have to do it from time to time. And, while it’s no one’s favorite situation to be in (all the stakes are squarely on your shoulders — and a lot can go wrong), it’s doable. If you really know your stuff, it can can look just as solid and professional as any small or medium production crew.Personally speaking, I’ve probably had to do fifty to one hundred of these solo interview shoots (or as I called them — Shreditor shoots). And, let me tell you, they never get any less nerve-wracking. I’d say audio is always my greatest concern, as it seems the most likely for something to go wrong without me noticing. But depending on your personal filmmaking strengths and weaknesses, any number of issues can come up on any solo filmmaking shoot.The key is mitigation. You have to do everything in your power to mitigate any and all variables that could go wrong, as well as plan accordingly to have all backup supplies and safeties in place. Make sure you’re ready to handle any problem or situation.Here are some tips for navigating the many challenges of tackling interview shoots solo.Securing Your ShotImage by KAMONRAT.Let’s start at the point you’re most likely going to be concerned about — securing your shot. Depending on your project’s needs and your available resources, you might be shooting the interviews on a single camera or with a multi-camera setup. Obviously adding more cameras to the mix means more work and more variables to consider, but I’d actually recommend having a second camera — if it’s available — as it can help you in securing comprehensive coverage.(Or heck, if you want to go for broke, a third camera can sometimes reach that next level.)Unless you’re looking to do some amazing run-and-gun feat and you’re shooting your interview from a shoulder mount (or monopod) — which you’ll have to do from time to time — you’re going to ideally want to use tripods and stands for all your cameras, lighting, and even audio gear.Your main (or only) camera should be on a tripod. Spend the majority of your focus on this camera when you frame your interview shot. If your subject is supposed to look directly into or just off of a camera, use this one.Focus Points and MarksYour next concern for your footage is to make sure you have your focus points set and your interview subject marked and in a stationary spot. If you need to, use a C-stand or tripod as a stand-in to help frame up your shot before your interview subject arrives. Again, focus on your main camera and frame up a solid shot. When your subject is there and in frame, ask them to lean forward and backwards at the maximum distance as they would when they naturally talk. Make sure those points are still in focus, as much as you deem acceptable.For marking your subject, use gaff tape on the ground where their feet need to stand. However, if you don’t have gaff tape, a stack of paper or even an apple box can work to help corral them where they need to stay.Lighting SetupImage by MikroKon.Lighting is another huge concern and can be hard to set without your subject on their mark (or at least a good stand-in). However, if you know your available lights well enough, you can set up a basic three-point lighting setup even without your subject there. Just make small adjustments once they arrive.A good pro tip for working solo is to make use of monitors. You might need to check your shot while you’re at different spots on set.Audio RecordingAs mentioned above, audio recording was often my biggest concern in terms of what might go wrong. Audio — like lighting and cinematography — really deserves at least one person solely dedicated to it at all times.One way to help cover yourself in case anything goes wrong is to implement at least two means for recording quality audio. I often found that using both a boom and a lapel mic should give you the security of coverage.For the boom, using a C-stand with a boom mic extension from above should give you solid boom audio.Then, you could use a wireless (or even wired) lapel mic as well. Ideally, you’d be using two separate audio recorders, but that might not always be available. While it does create risks, if you have two lines of quality audio being recorded to one recorder — which you can monitor while recording — you should have all the coverage you need.Wearing All the Hats at OnceImage by guruXOX.At the end of the day, for any solo Shreditor shoot, the biggest challenge is staying focused, adaptable, and in control in the face of adversity. If a camera battery fails or a light goes out, you not only have to find a way to deal with the problem, but it’s also your role to handle your interview subject as any producer would. One problem can quickly become several problems or setbacks.Before you dive into one of these solo interview shoots, try really asking yourself what could go wrong and which parts of the production you particularly struggle with the most. For those parts, having backups, failsafes, and solid game plans for addressing any issues should be your chief concern.For more filmmaking tips and tricks, check out some of these resources below.Practical Tips for Avoiding Stress and Saving Time as a Solo FilmmakerThe Shreditor’s Guide to Film and Video Pre-ProductionThe Shreditor’s Guide to Shooting Videos and Commercials by YourselfThe Shreditor’s Guide to Do-It-Yourself Post-ProductionMaking a Short Film with Little to No Crew: The AftermathCover image by Fedorovekb.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now You research your prospective clients before you call them. You research them before you actually make a sales call, too (right?). You try to learn as much as you can about them so you’re prepared when you finally with them. And there’s a lot of information available. You learn a lot.But that doesn’t mean that you are the only one doing their research in front of a sales opportunity. You are looking at your prospective client, and they are looking back. You Google them. They Google you. You check out their LinkedIn profile. They check out your LinkedIn profile.What do you want your prospective clients to find? What do you want your digital surrogate to sell them?Selling the Fact That You Are a Value CreatorYou want your digital surrogate to sell the fact that you are a value creator. You want your dream client to find a long trail demonstrating that you are a person with deep knowledge, good ideas, and the ability to help.Your digital surrogate needs to point to information and ideas that show you have that knowledge and that you know how to find good ideas. The knowledge you have can be your knowledge and the combined knowledge of all the people that work in your company. The ideas can be your ideas, as well as other people’s great ideas. Knowing where to find good ideas is a valuable skill your digital surrogate needs to possess.Your dream clients are looking for proof that you are a good investment of their time.Selling That You Can Help Produce ResultsYou also want your digital surrogate to sell the fact that you can help and that you can be trusted to deliver results. Your digital surrogate can be surrounded by references and testimonials from your past and present clients.Your LinkedIn profile is a great place for your digital surrogate to build the fact that you can be trusted to produce results. Your personal website and your company websites are also good places for your digital surrogate to sell your ability to help. Digital You can point to your ability to produce those results without being offensive and without being “me” oriented.Your dream clients want to see that you are serious about business.No, You Aren’t a Secret AgentToo many salespeople don’t have a digital surrogate at all. When a prospective client goes to look at them, they find nothing that speaks to the salesperson’s ability to create value or that they produce results. Instead they find incomplete profiles, some pitch from marketing about what the company does, and nothing personal enough to believe that the person behind the profile is in any way human.You may not be interested in social media, but social media is interested in you. You may think that it’s unfair for your prospective clients to judge you because you don’t have a presence on the social web, but they’re going to judge you nonetheless.You may not want a digital surrogate, but that choice is no longer up to you. If you’re going to succeed in sales, you are going to have to adopt the tools of the trade. These tools aren’t a substitute for the tools that came before them; they’re an addition to those tools. And just like you can’t opt out of using the telephone, you can’t opt out of using a digital surrogate.QuestionsDo you have a digital surrogate?What does your digital surrogates sell?How does your digital surrogate prove that you are a value creator and not a time waster?How does your digital surrogate prove that you produce results?If you’ve tried to opt out up until this point, what has to change for you to finally adopt some of the new tools of the trade?
Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Your salespeople are better than you think they are. They deserve more credit than you sometimes give them.The job your salespeople do is more difficult that you think it is. Selling is more difficult now than when you did it. It’s much more challenging, and in some ways, it isn’t the same at all.Developing relationships isn’t what it used to be. It’s tougher and the need to create more value makes opening new relationships a serious challenge. They are trying harder than you might believe, and they need your help.It’s tougher to create opportunities than it used to be because people (and companies) are overworked, understaffed, stressed out, and supremely risk averse. Getting the decision to move forward isn’t an easy commitment to obtain. They need your support.Your salespeople are challenged beyond belief when it comes to pricing. Your margin is under constant and continuous assault. Your competitors are part of that margin pressure. And so are your clients (existing and dream clients). Capturing the value they need to capture isn’t easy—if it ever was. They need more help.Your salespeople are better than you believe them to be. But there still not good enough. Your salespeople need more help than you think they do. They need more training, more development, and much more coaching. They need you to invest more time and energy in helping them to succeed if you want them to produce bigger and better results.Your better than you believe you are, too. And you are going to need bring your game up a few notches to lead your sales force on the path you have chosen for them.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now What you believe has a way of manifesting itself in your life.If you believe that cold calling sucks, that it’s miserable work, that it no longer works, and that it is a waste of your time, that belief will become your reality. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t true, and it doesn’t matter that countless salespeople are winning multi-million dollar deals using the phone.You don’t have to believe the opposite. There is an intermediate step you might take. You might try on the belief that cold calling is an acquired skill, that the reason you don’t like it is that you lack that skill, and that by working to change yourself you can change the results you produce through this one effective way of prospecting.Maybe you hold the disempowering belief that selling sucks. You might decide to frame the fact that some prospective clients aren’t interested as too many vendors calling on too few targets (there is some truth to that, I admit), and you might choose to believe that the only people winning are doing so unfairly, that they are doing something illegal or immoral. If you hold these beliefs, I promise you will stack up hundreds of points of evidence to prove your case. But that evidence won’t result in new business.Selling isn’t getting any easier, and it isn’t for the feint of heart. You need real chops in the way of business acumen and situational knowledge. You need confidence in your ability to make a difference. You need the right language to resolve the concerns you hear form your prospects in a way that allows them to say yes.You won’t change the outcomes you are getting in sales (or anything else in life) without first changing your underlying beliefs. If your underlying beliefs are negative, they are automatically disempowering. If your underlying belief is that you are a victim, that “they” are responsible for your results, you won’t do what is necessary to improve.If you want a change in your results, first explore your beliefs. Identify your negative beliefs and work to shed them.Replace your negative beliefs with positive, empowering beliefs.Recognize that your beliefs are what drive your actions, and your actions are what drive your results.Here is the rub, even if you take action in spite of your negative beliefs, your negativity betrays you and you still get poor results.QuestionsWhat negative beliefs do you hold? Think of something you don’t enjoy? What do you believe about it?What negative beliefs have you swapped for positive, empowering beliefs?What disempowering beliefs do you need to shed now?
It is unlikely that the message in the last email you read was urgent. Only a tiny percentage of your email requires your immediate attention. Most are not urgent, and many are not even important.It is even less likely that the last web page you browsed had information that you needed to know. Regardless of the information you found, it probably wasn’t significant enough to deserve your attention at that moment.The funny, entertaining, or political Facebook post you slowed down to view had nothing of real value or substance to offer you. It likely either confirmed your political opinions or reminded you that some people have very different ideas when it comes to politics. It wasn’t urgent that you receive the message, whatever it may have been. It is likely that it was entertaining, though.The constant drip of information in all its forms is designed to make you feel like it deserves your immediate attention. If your inbox isn’t open at all times, how will you know when you receive an email? If you don’t check the websites you regularly follow, how will you know when something new and exciting is posted? And if you’re not glued to the social media platforms, well then you aren’t very social, are you?None of these things are urgent. Here is what is urgent.UrgentIf you don’t pick up the phone and call your prospective clients now, you will not schedule the appointments that eventually result in new opportunities being created. The work that you fail to do with urgency today won’t hurt you today, but it will hurt you four weeks, or four months, or one year from now. Eventually, it will hurt you.If you don’t nurture your coldest dream clients, the most strategic, high visibility, high-value customers now, they will not know you when they have a compelling reason to change. The longer you wait to begin developing those relationships, the worse it is for you. If you don’t nurture those accounts today, with urgency, you will pay a high price later.If you don’t follow-up on every opportunity now, your neglect will indicate a lack of interest in truly serving your prospective clients. They’re not going to call you to tell you that they recognize your lack of interest. But a year from now, when you finally get around to following up, you’ll find out that they are working with your competitor.Much of what we do each has zero urgency. It’s mostly distractions. There is no price to pay for ignoring these things.What doesn’t feel urgent needs to be done with a greater sense of urgency, because the cost of not taking action now is immense.Responding to an email in a few hours is not going to cause you very much trouble. Not prospecting is going to cost you big time.
With the flood situation in Assam and Mizoram still grim, officials in other northeastern States are on red alert since water levels in major rivers may increase any time with the rains. As Assam is the source of all goods transported to other northeastern States, the movement of trucks and inter-State buses has been hampered. Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh told The Hindu that the government’s long-term plan was to dredge river beds. He said, “As a result of rampant deforestation, there is heavy silting in the mountains and most of the rivers have muddy instead of running water. This will quicken the death of the Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in eastern India.” The flood situation in upper Assam has been officially described as “critical”.
Fresh violence erupted in Bhangar in South 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal after a local Trinamool Congress leader was allegedly shot dead in the Natunhat market area on Sunday. Locals said the deceased, Ashikur Rehman was a panchayat samiti member and a close aide of former Trinamool MLA Arabul Islam. Contradictory versions were given by locals on the incident. “Trinamool goons have been gathering in the area for the last few days to foil our mega rally [against the proposed power grid in the area]. Mr. Rehman died after being hit by a stray bullet accidentally fired by a Trinamool worker,” a member of the Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Ecology and Environment told The Hindu. However, a section of the residents said the incident was an “outcome of the faction feud in Trinamool.” “Armed Trinamool cadres of several factions had gathered at Natunhat and violence broke out among them,” said a resident. Bhangar has been tense for the last couple of months over the setting up of a power grid.
The Supreme Court on Monday declined a plea to take suo motu cognisance of the deaths of children in a government hospital at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.A lawyer made the plea before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, who responded that he should approach the Allahabad High Court.‘HC can deal with it’The Bench reasoned that the incident happened in “one State and in one hospital”, and the High Court was best to deal with the case, in case a petition is filed before it.The court also asked why it should intervene as the authorities had already swung into action.The lawyer wanted an Special Investigation Team to be constituted under the directions of the SC to investigate the deaths of over 60 children, many allegedly due to a disruption in the oxygen supply, at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur.
Two local Hizbul Mujahideen militants, who escaped at the end of a day-long encounter in Kulgam’s Qazigund area on Tuesday, were arrested from two separate spots on Wednesday.A police official said combing operation in the Kund Nowbug area around the encounter site was resumed in the morning. A soldier and a militant were killed in the gun battle on Tuesday. A police official said a local militant, Aqib Iqbal Malik alias Talha Bhai, a resident of Ringet Noorabad, was arrested from the area. Malik, who joined militancy earlier this year, had been injured.Another militant, who is also believed to have fled from the encounter site in Kulgam, was apprehended as he was trying to board a train in the morning. He has been identified as Shams Waqar, said a police official.Meanwhile, the Army has identified the deceased soldier as sepoy Manjinder Singh. Singh, 22, joined the army in 2015 and was a resident of Punjab’s Mansa area.Mirwaiz, Malik arrestedSeparatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, addressed a small rally in Srinagar on Wednesday. They called for a shutdown on November 27 against the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids and ongoing “crackdown of civilian population” during counter-insurgency operations in the Valley.The Mirwaiz and Mr. Malik, along with 30 supporters, were arrested when they tried to lead a protest march towards the city centre Lal Chowk.Earlier, Mr. Geelani addressed a rally on the phone. The Mirwaiz and Mr. Malik were present at Abi Guzar to jointly address the media. “This puppet government has crossed all limits of oppression. If they thinks they can break our resolve and unity, they are mistaken. We are not going to surrender under any circumstance,” said Mr. Malik. ‘Fabricated cases’He alleged that NIA raids and the security agencies’ operation against civilian population in south and north Kashmir “is aimed at forcing us to surrender.” The trio said the shutdown on November 27 was also against the “maltreatment of detainees and the fabricated cases being slapped on leaders and supporters.” For many months now, separatists in Kashmir have been barred from holding public rallies.