November 21, 2013

November 21: The Day Before

Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination,
a day when the world as we knew it irrevocably changed...

Talking Eyes Media presents our experimental short TOMORROW: The upturn still will be sizable (but not as exuberant as otherwise).  Our video -- which riffs on the snappy tone of advertising from the era -- draws from archival imagery and audio to explore the incongruity between the popular notion of Camelot and the crises that were brewing the day before Kennedy was assassinated.

This piece was commissioned by the Hermitage Artist Retreat and was created in collaboration with composer Daniel Levy.  It premiered at Symphony Space in New York as part of a group show titled The Day Before, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Kennedy's assassination.

Watch It Now:

November 14, 2013

Do We Value Documentary Work?

As documentarians, we are constantly grappling with our own identity. Are we journalists? Are we artists? Are we just fatally earnest people, so consumed with capturing our subjects’ stories that we confuse merit for worth? Wherever we fall in the universe of visual media, we increasingly feel undervalued and under siege.

(top: Francis Bacon; bottom: Ed Kashi)

As the art world celebrates the highest sale ever for a painting (Francis Bacon’s study of Lucien Freud sold for $142 million this week), every photojournalist I know has the sinking feeling that he/she won’t be able to survive in this profession. Day rates plateaued years ago, and image resale rates are so low that they occupy a level near plastic jewelry from a vending machine. It seems the value of photography has eroded with every instagram image and snapchat, making a profession that requires tremendous skill, maturity and courage seem as simple as point and shoot.

On that note, I want to share an eloquent quote from Klaus Honnef, head of the jury for UNICEF’s Picture of the Year. He reminds us of the integrity and worth of documentary work. This passage should be circulated as a mantra for dedicated documentarians who take great pains so the rest of us can witness the human condition.
While art photography seems to become ever more boring, oscillating somewhere between worthless securities and wall decoration, another genre often declared dead is at least aesthetically on the rise: reportage photography. Nowadays, the best photojournalists no longer content themselves with only describing what they see but often manage to condense the facts and analyze the situation. They use the extraordinary to identify the underlying general conditions. The documentary becomes a photographic essay. I rarely saw so many compelling photo sequences as during this year’s jury session for UNICEF’s photo of the year 2013. A dozen of them would deserve to win the award and they are all more sophisticated, visually more original, thematically more illustrative and also more moving and reflecting than most of the art photography on display at galleries and museums today.

November 11, 2013

Meet the 2013 Purpose Prize Winners

Since 2009, Talking Eyes Media has had the honor of filming/photographing's Purpose Prize, and we are excited to once again introduce you to its newest winners....

Meet the 2013 Purpose Prize winners! These seven individuals may all have different stories and causes but they all hold one thing in common: each is using his/her second act for the greater good and changing the world.

Although the winners' videos will not be released until's Purpose Prize Gala on December 5, you can learn about the winners by clicking on the links below. Get ready to be inspired!

This year's winners:

Ysabel Duron, 66, taps into her own experience as a cancer survivor to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. ($100,000)

Vicki Thomas, 67, rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. ($100,000)

Carol Fennelly, 64, runs a unique summer camp behind bars that is transforming federal prisoners into involved parents. ($25,000)

Elizabeth Huttinger, 63, is on a path to eradicate human schistosomiasis, a disease infecting millions of the world's poorest. ($25,000)

Reverend Violet Little, 61, is redefining the concept of "church" as she pastors Philadelphia's homeless in a church without walls. ($25,000)

Edwin P. Nicholson, 71, mentors disabled veterans, healing emotional wounds through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. ($25,000)

Barbara Young, 66, went from immigrant nanny to passionate advocate, giving her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers' rights across the United States. ($25,000)

"The Purpose Prize, now in its eighth year, is the nation's only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good. The Prize awards $100,000 to at least one individual in his or her encore career creating new ways to solve tough social problems."  

To learn more about the Purpose Prize:

October 29, 2013

Hurricane Sandy - One Year Later

One year ago today on October 29, 2012, photojournalist Ed Kashi (VII) set out to document Hurricane Sandy.  Posting to TIME's Instagram feed, Ed, along with other photographers, created an up-to-the-minute documentary feed of Hurricane Sandy's impact. A culmination of these images can be see in TIME's Lightbox from October 2012. For the one year anniversary of this Superstorm, Ed Kashi will be working with NBC News to revisit the locations he documented last year.

Starting at 1:00pm today (Tuesday, October 29, 2013) Ed will be retracing his footsteps and photographing the same locations he was at one year prior, down to the exact hour.  A project highlighting the recovery, change and continued suffering present in some of these places, Ed will be taking over NBC's Instagram feed and posting images from last year followed by new photos of the same places one year later.  

Follow Ed's journey on NBC Instagram's feed @NBCNews and on their blog:

You can also follow Ed on his own Twitter and Instagram feeds @EdKashi.

Photo©2012 Ed Kashi/VII

October 17, 2013

DOC NYC Lineup Announced

DOCNYC, the New York Documentary Film Festival, announced the 2013 lineup of more than 130 films and events. The festival screenings and events will be at the IFC Center and the SVA Theatre from November 14-21, 2013.  Tickets and Passes are on sale now at

We'd also like to highlight Andrew Hida's short film, Follow My Steps, which will be premiering in the Shorts category, The Kids Are All Right, at 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, November 20.

October 13, 2013

Eyes On This: 80,000 Frames

In his epic stop-motion video, Pictures, photographer Gioacchino Petronicce has achieved a visual masterpiece. Using 80,000 still images, he has taken the concept of the flip-book to new heights and created poetry out of glimpses into ordinary lives. Particularly impressive is the sound collage that brings this stream of consciousness to life.

October 11, 2013

Eyes On This: It'll Be Better Next Year

VII Photo Agency members Ed Kashi (TEM videographer/photographer) and Ashley Gilbertson recently completed a project documenting the Cimarron County, Oklahoma community as they suffer through the worst drought the area has seen in 50 years. The project, titled "It'll Be Better Next Year," was published last week by The New Yorker's Photo Booth blog.  Kashi and Gilbertson's work culminated into a multimedia piece (see below), highlighting the struggles and resilience of this Midwestern farming community.

Click here to read more on the story: It'll Be Better Next Year

October 10, 2013

From The Field of the 2013 Purpose Prize Production

Videographer/Photographer Jessey Dearing
bringing shooting to new heights
Videographer/Photographer Ed Kashi
filming the renovation of a house
We're in the midst of production for the 2013 Purpose Prize awards.  The Prize is "the nation's only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good." The number of winners varies each year from about five to ten winners, but with at least one individual receiving an award of $100,000.

For the past four years, Talking Eyes Media has had the privilege to produce the videos on each winner and this year we're at it again.

Although we can't tell you who the winners are yet, we can take you behind-the-scenes with Producer Julie Winokur and videographers/ photographes Ed Kashi (VII) and Jessey Dearing.

Winners will be announced end of November / early December,
so stay tuned!
Videographer/Photographer Jessey Dearing
filming some marine creatures

October 3, 2013

Welcome Justin & Reiley!

While TEM has been busy at work this Fall, we haven't had a chance to give our new interns the proper shout out that they, drum roll please...

We want to formally welcome Justin Philalack and Reiley Wooten -- our new multimedia interns who joined our team in September!

We're thrilled to have them! From the moment they started, they have been a big asset to our team and we're lucky to have them.  Meet Justin & Reiley!

JUSTIN PHILALACK is a senior at Western Kentucky University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism, with a minor in sociology. During his time at WKU he has interned as a videographer for Teach For America, Interlochen Camp of the Arts, and a photography intern for Out & About Newspaper in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn. Justin's work has been recognized by The Kentucky News Photographer Association and The WKU Film Festival. Currently he is living in Brooklyn, interning for Talking Eyes Media in New Jersey this fall.

Until joining the Talking Eyes Media team, REILEY WOOTEN worked as a freelance photographer, videographer and editor in Denver, Colo. Prior to pursuing a freelance career, she worked as a staff photographer at the Gillette News Record in Gillette, Wyo. Reiley graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010 with a degree in photojournalism and a double minor in chemistry and biology. During her time there, she interned as a sports photographer, videographer and editor in the athletic department, participated in the LIving Galapagos documentary project and interned as a staff photographer at the Durham Herald-Sun.

Check out their work!
Justin's website:
Reiley's website:

September 13, 2013

Calling for Applications for Pan-African Journalism Competition & Activist Awards

We want to let you know of a couple photo competitions:

1) The African Media Initiative (AMI) is hosting a pan-African journalism competition, calling for applications now! The African Story Challenge is a competition that seeks to fund the reporting of Africa-based issues, in hopes to make positive changes in the African community. This round of submissions calls for health narratives that are innovative and investigative. AMI wants to promote awareness about fundamental African health issues by supporting engaging stories that engage the public through a multi-platform approach.

“Without good health there is no wealth. This competition is aimed at encouraging journalists and media organisations to break away from the routine issues on the daily agenda and pitch to us bold and creative ideas on health.” -Joseph Warungu

To pitch your story or learn more about the African Story Challenge visit

2) PhotoPhilanthropy will have a call for submissions for their annual Activist Awards starting October 1st and closing on November 15th, with prizes ranging from $2,000-$15,000. The Activist Awards are looking to identify outstanding work done by professional, amateur, and student photographers collaborating with non-profit organizations.  Photo essays should describe a body of work that seeks to affect positive social change. Accepted work will grant each photographer a page on the Photo Philanthropy website and exposure to a growing audience.

Submit your work! View the submissions guidelines and photo essay tips provided on the the PhotoPhilanthropy website to prepare your entry.
PhotoPhilanthropy is an organization that believes in the power of photography to tell a story and inspire change. Connecting the photographers and nonprofits who share a passion for creating social change through their work is a key part of PhotoPhilanthropy’s mission. Bringing these groups together makes for a powerful platform for change. PhotoPhilanthropy provides lots of great resources for photographers. Check out their website to learn more.

September 11, 2013

In Memory...

Today, on September 11th, as I hold in my thoughts all who were lost on this tragic day 12 years ago as well as their loved ones who continue to grieve, I also think about Elizabeth and Stephen Alderman.

I had the opportunity to meet Elizabeth and Stephen in 2009 while filming for the 2009 Purpose Prize award videos.  Elizabeth and Stephen lost their 25-year-old son Peter C. Alderman when he was killed in the World Trade Center.   As part of their grieving process, they found a new purpose and decided to create an organization in their son's memory: The Peter C. Alderman Foundation.  The Foundation helps to foster homegrown mental health systems around the world in order to heal the emotional wounds of survivors of terrorism and mass violence.

The Aldermans' story is both heart-wrenching and extremely inspiring.  I feel blessed to have met them and to have helped document their work and their son's legacy.

To learn more about the Peter. C. Alderman Foundation:

To read their Purpose Prize article:

September 10, 2013

The Aftermath Project 2014 Grant Cycle Is Now Open

The Aftermath Project is a non-profit organization committed to 'telling the other half of the story of conflict' and that holds yearly grant competition open to working photographers worldwide covering the aftermath of conflict.

The 2014 Aftermath Project grant cycle is now open and accepting submissions.  The organization will be giving one $20,000 grant for 2014 as well as naming four finalists.  The work of the grant winner and finalists will be published in "War is Only Half the Story, Vol Seven."

The application deadline is November 11, 2013.

To learn more about The Aftermath Project:

To apply for the 2014 grant: 

September 6, 2013

The Table Is Goin' On Down To PHOTOVILLE!

Bring It to The Table will be at this year's PHOTOVILLE -- the Brooklyn-based pop-up photo festival built from freight containers transformed into exhibition spaces.  

Bring It talk/screening:

Date: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Time: 1:10-2:10pm
Location: Photoville Talk Area, located at the storefront of One Brooklyn Bridge Park at 360 Furman Street, Brooklyn, NY

Since 2012, TEM's Producer/Director Julie Winokur and the Bring It team have travelled across the US with a small Table, inviting people to sit and share the roots of their political beliefs.  The project has grown to include a participatory online website, community engagement campaign, webisode series, and documentary.  Julie's talk at PHOTOVILLE will not only discuss the idea behind Bring It to The Table but will also show excerpts from the project and engage attendees in live 'Table Talks.'

PHOTOVILLE's other festivities include exhibitions, lectures, hands-on workshops, and night-time projections...all the while right around a beer and food garden.

To learn more about Bring It's talk at PHOTOVILLE:

Use see more of PHOTOVILLE's programming:

August 22, 2013

New Addition to Our TEM Team

This month TEM (along with our partners Ed Kashi Photography) are excited to have Mallika Vora join us as our Digital Imaging Technician.

Mallika recently graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU with a BFA in Photography & Imaging and a minor in Web Applications & Programming. She works on various aspects of digital imaging (archival printing, image toning, file management, graphic design, technical maintenance) for Ed Kashi as well as video color-correction for TEM. 

Prior to joining the studio, she spent two years interning for documentary photographer Susan Meiselas and the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, helping with physical archiving, print handling, design projects and research. She learned the ropes of digital imaging at Tisch's Photography department where she worked for three years assisting the digital coordinator.  She has done some freelance web design for documentary artists and on her own time is working on an ongoing photography project on working-class minority families and the effects of gentrification in her neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Welcome Mallika! We're thrilled to have you join our team!

To check out Mallika's work, visit her website:

August 9, 2013

Eyes On This: Portraits of Survival

For nearly a decade, photojournalist Michael Kamber covered war zones from Iraq to Afghanistan for The New York Times. In the "lull between battles," he used his camera to capture quieter moments of the civilians impacted by war. These photographs have been assembled into Kamber's first solo show in 25 years, Portraits of Survival. The show opens August 14th at the Bronx Documentary Center.

Kamber, who has seen more destruction than most people could endure, has spent the last few years trying to lend order to the chaos he has witnessed. Earlier this year, he published Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq, a book that features harrowing interviews with 39 intrepid photographers who covered the war.

Kamber's commitment to analyzing the emotions and humanity surrounding war are a welcome contrast to the steady diet of carnage we have come to expect. His thoughtful probing forces us to  better understand the intricacies of war, from the perspective on the ground.

August 8, 2013

Donate to #SANDY

In October 2012, the treacherous Superstorm Sandy rolled onto the east coast leaving a wake of destruction in her path. Relentless, Sandy destroyed thousands of  homes, ravaged the Jersey Shore, and left millions without electricity. The effects of this monstrous hurricane were documented expansively, especially through the medium of mobile photography. #SANDY is a book project compiling about 100 iPhone images from the work of 20 photographers, including Ed Kashi (VII) who braved the storm to capture history in the making. 

This unique collection of photographs shows many facets of the storm including the violence, devastation, sadness, hope, and human elements. Interpreted through the various styles and approaches of these acclaimed photographers, the world watched as up-to-the-minute storm updates unfolded on their Instagram feeds. 

"Keyport,  NJ - October 30, 2012"
Photo©2012 Ed Kashi/VII

In order for this book to get published, the project needs your help.  This week, Wyatt Gallery launched the IndieGogo campaign to raise funds for publishing this timely and historic photography book. If the funding goal is reached, #SANDY will be published this Fall and distributed in 2014. All of the royalties from #SANDY will be donated to Occupy Sandy to support rebuilding efforts in the New York City area and Sandy Storyline. Although there has been great progress in restoration, there are still so many struggling to return to normalcy after the deadly storm. 

“This book is important because it will remind the public that many people are still in need of assistance in order to rebuild their lives and homes.  Together, we can make a difference and be the change.” 

Help get #SANDY funded by donating and spreading the word.

August 6, 2013

American Politics from a Different Perspective

Working as an intern at Talking Eyes Media, I have had my finger in many pies, but certainly one of the most interesting projects I worked on was the documentary Bring It to The Table. This is an ongoing project that aims to break down partisanship in America and promote free, unfettered discourse on the political issues that sit at the heart of this country. It proved a particularly interesting experience for me, as unlike my native-born co-workers, I am a London-born, British national. Though I am a close follower of American politics and I certainly hold my own personal beliefs, I cannot profess to have any real stake in the issues that are so important and consequential to millions across this nation. While this might not have given me complete objectivity in approaching this documentary, I do believe I was in a unique position to understand and appreciate the range of beliefs that occupy the American political spectrum. In the same way that the spectator, unlike the player consumed in the heat of the action, sees more of the game.  

A key aspect of my work was researching not only examples of partisanship being perpetuated in the media—by news anchors and politicians alike—but also evidence of why we should really be concerned. Though Bring It can be identified more as a campaign to encourage the voting populace to engage in active conversation with each other and examine their own beliefs, it is undeniable the role the media and politicians have in shaping and defining that discourse. I found an abundance of videos of senators bravely standing up in Congress against partisanship. Their rhetoric was inspiring and hopeful, but their actions rarely mirrored their sentiments and, more often than not, went in direct contradiction. Take this video of John Boehner passionately arguing against partisanship on the floor and then here shamelessly admitting he believes Congress should be judged by the laws they repeal rather than the laws they pass. The inertia of the legislative process, the polarization of party politics, and the dramatic rise of the filibuster, were the consistent, gloomy headlines that came across in recent studies and statistics of the Capital.

In researching American media and news organizations I was perhaps most struck by the unashamed theatrics of it all. There certainly seemed an equal, if not weighted, duty to entertain rather than inform across all news stations. Of course I was familiar with the stridently partisan Fox News before beginning this research, but what shocked me the most is that this was not unique to the right. MSNBC clearly promoted a left wing, partisan agenda. Although with my liberal sensibilities the talking points of MSNBC felt a lot more reasonable, one can certainly hold them guilty to much of the same editorializing and partisanship as Fox. Even if organizations such as CNN can be excused from being partisan, too often the content and quality of their discussions still left much to be desired; as Jon Stewart said in this historic indictment, ‘you guys are hurting America’.

So from this you may conclude that my research drew for me a hopeless picture for the future of American politics, with polarization in Washington and a mainstream media lacking in integrity. But that is truly not the impression I was left with. Yes the system is broken in many ways but for me this just underlined the importance of the individual in the political process. And that is what I feel Bring It to The Table is all about: Taking responsibility of one’s own beliefs, not just owning them, but rigorously challenging and questioning them. If this mindset can be instilled in the young minds of this country, I believe American politics still holds much promise. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose when it comes to concertedly sitting down and listening to the other side.

July 30, 2013

Eyes On This: Heartbeats of Fiji

The Beat Making Lab, in partnership with PBS Digital Studios, recently released an episode about their beat lab in Fiji. This piece is produced by Jon Kasbe, a friend who I've worked with since we were students together at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Over the years, it's been amazing to see Jon grow as both a shooter and editor, and I'm now thrilled to share his recent work with you.

In this video, Jon uses the budding friendship of two BML participants as the vehicle to capture the Fiji lab.  Check out this first installment of the Beat Making Lab's Melanesian campaign Heartbeats of Fiji - the first in a series of 5 episodes.  Touching narrative complete with beautiful imagery, montages, and scenes from Fiji.

More about the Beat Making Lab:
The Beat Making Lab is an electronic music studio small enough to fit in a backpack. We build Labs in collaboration with communities all around the world; donating laptops, microphones and software. Our goal is to create positive social impact by giving youth the tools and training to make beats and songs.

July 29, 2013

Upcoming Deadlines

A reminder that two important deadlines are arising this week here at TEM:

1) The Kickstarter deadline to support "GAYS IN THE MILITARY: HOW AMERICA THANKED ME" by Vincent Cianni (a TEM fiscal sponsee). Deadline: July 31st at 11:59pm EST 

About: Over the past 3 years, documentary photographer Vincent Cianni has traveled across the US documenting the personal stories of 120 gay and lesbian veterans and service members.  His project, Gays in the Military:  How America Thanked Me is an oral history and photographic project representing the men and women who have suffered from or risen above injustices they faced in the US military due to their sexual orientation.  The non-profit publisher Daylight Books has agreed to publish Gays in the Military in the Spring of 2014 as a 160-page hardcover book, but in order to get to this final stage, Vincent needs your help.  By contributing to his Kickstarter campaign, you will help in raising funds to cover the costs associated with publishing his book.

To learn more about the project and to make a tax-deductible donation, please go to:

2) TEM's deadline to apply to our 2013 Fall Internship. Deadline: July 31st.  

About: TEM is hiring a Multimedia Production Intern. This is a paid, advanced-level production internship. Applicants must not only have strong Final Cut Pro skills, but must also be looking to expand and develop their storytelling skills, and work collaboratively with our production team. 

To learn more about this opportunity and how to apply, please go to:

July 19, 2013

Canon 5D Mark III RAW forced crop in video mode

You may have noticed that if you take a photo with the Canon 5d Mark III while filming or in video mode, the CR2 file opens in Photoshop with a forced 16:9 crop. There appears to be no simple way of fixing this and keeping the file in RAW.

If you use Lightroom, Tim Jagenberg created a plugin called DeAspect that will remove this crop using ExifTool to make a duplicate of the CR2 file. I'm not sure if there is a similar plugin for other software. I tested this and it works, but we don't use Lightroom here so I don't have an appropriate workflow for Lightroom.

If your cataloging software (Lightroom, Bridge, Aperture, Expressions Media, etc.) shows the image in 3:2, but opens as 16:9 in Photoshop, then you can probably export the image(s) as a TIFF (or JPEG) in your catalog and work from the TIFFs. However, if the image is showing as a 16:9 crop in the cataloging software, then you may have to use Digital Photo Professional to remove that crop, see below.

You will need Digital Photo Professional (the software that comes with the 5D).

1. Open Digital Photo Professional and locate the files you want to convert using the browser on the left

2. Click on the photo you want to convert and select "Trimming Angle." A new window will open

3. You will see the crop lines on the image. Click the "Clear" button in the top right. It should clear the crop marks

4. Click Ok at the bottom right

5. Save your changes (File > Save)

6. You can convert to TIFF by selecting File > Convert and Save

*You can set Photoshop preferences to open TIFF files straight to Photoshop or in Camera Raw.

July 16, 2013

Bring It to The Table Receives Fledgling Grant

We are honored to announce that The Fledgling Fund has chosen to award a grant to our project Bring It to The Table.

Bring It to The Table -- a short documentary film, participatory online platform, and community engagement campaign -- aims to help bridge America's political divide.  It challenges people to examine their own role in polarization, dismantle our assumptions about the political 'other,' and elevate our nation's political dialogue and debate.

The grant money will be used towards our outreach campaign and will enable us to develop a screening toolkit and bring the project to college campuses around the country.

In addition to funding films' outreach initiatives and audience engagement campaigns, The Fledgling Fund also shares its knowledge, experience and lessons with filmmakers in order to help them navigate through an evolving field and advance their projects.  The Fund has supported many notable films including Inocente, Hell and Back Again, Made in L.A., The Interrupters, and The Bully Project.

To learn more about Bring It to The Table visit:

July 12, 2013

Eyes On This: Spilling Over

This month marks the anniversary of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Although BP promised the affected communities that they would make them whole again, now three years later, many families and communities continue to struggle.

The documentary project Spilling Over, by Lauren Frohne and my colleague Jessey Dearing, captures one family's plight to redefine their future in the aftermath of the spill.

Unlike other films about the oil spill, Spilling Over (currently in production) is about one family's personal story -- taking the viewer through intimate moments and difficult changes as the Arnesen family struggles to take back their lives. Marked by stunning imagery (both video and still photography) and powerful narratives, Spilling Over is about what happens when one family is pushed beyond their limits.

To learn more about this project visit:

Spilling Over from Powering a Nation on Vimeo.

July 9, 2013

VII Launches New Website

The VII photo agency has a new website that does justice to its incredibly talented photographers. (Full disclosure: our founding member, Ed Kashi, is a member in the agency.) But even if we weren't biased, it's impossible not to be awed by the work of some of the most accomplished photojournalists in the world today.

There are too many accomplished photographers in the agency to name, but be sure to check out the work of such veteran journalists as Ron Haviv, Marcus Bleasdale and Lynsey Addario. Watch Seamus Murphy's new film Snake, which combines poetry by Afghan women with sumptuous imagery. And look at David Monteleone's images from Chechnya, which just won the Carmingnac Gestion Award.

July 3, 2013


Although "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) was repealed in 2011, the effects of America's ban on gays in the military continue to this day.

Over the past 3 years, documentary photographer Vincent Cianni has traveled across the US documenting the personal stories of 120 gay and lesbian veterans and service members.  His project, Gays in the Military:  How America Thanked Me is an oral history and photographic project representing the men and women who have suffered from or risen above injustices they faced in the US military due to their sexual orientation.

The non-profit publisher Daylight Books has agreed to publish Gays in the Military in the Spring of 2014 as a 160-page hardcover book, but in order to get to this final stage, Vincent needs your help.  By contributing to his Kickstarter campaign, you will help in raising funds to cover the costs associated with post-production, pre-press design, and printing.

Please watch the video below and click here to donate to the campaign.  By donating, you will ensure that this important historical record will be both preserved and used for advocacy for years to come.

*Note: Talking Eyes Media is the fiscal sponsor for this project.  As a result your contribution is tax-deductible.

July 2, 2013

Eyes On This: Inocente

A year ago this month, a couple of us here at TEM donated to the Kickstarter campaign for the short documentary Inocente.  The film not only reached it's $50,000 Kickstarter goal but also went on to win many awards including Best Documentary Short Subject at the 2013 Oscar Awards (making it the first Kickstarter-funded film to win an Oscar).

Embarrassingly, I admit that although I received the DVD for the film several months ago (as my Kickstarter reward for donating), I only was able to finally sit down and watch it this week. I am now kicking myself for waiting so long to have watched it.

Inocente is about a 15-year-old homeless and undocumented girl who refuses to give up her dream of being an artist despite the many obstacles she encounters.  This inspiring coming-of-age story is not only beautifully told but also beautifully shot.  

Stop by the film's official website to view the trailer and learn where you can see the film in its entirety: 

"My work is colorful because I believe if there were more color in the world, more people would be happy." - Inocente

June 26, 2013

Workflow guide to the C100 and FCP 7 - Part 2: Transcoding

Part 1 of this guide details archiving and the reason why we do not use Clipwrap.

We've recently transitioned to using the Canon C100 as our primary camera and a 5d Mark II/III as our secondary. We are still using Final Cut Pro 7, so we needed a workflow that meshed with our DSLR workflow. The C100 records in the AVCHD format, which means you cannot use MPEG Streamclip to transcode these files like we do with the H264 files we get from the Canon DSLRs. This is a workflow that works for our archiving process and our DSLR workflow, however, we will most likely be transitioning to another editing software soon.


1. Open Final Cut

2. *Set Scratch Disk to your project folder* 

3. Create bin with same name as the disk image you will be working with (Example at right is 052013_OSF_KASH_A01) 

4. Right click bin and choose Set Logging Bin (It will have something like a final cut logo next to it seen at right)

5. Open Log and Transfer window (File > Log and Transfer) 

6. Hit the Add Volume Button 

7. Choose the disk image (.dng) file you want to transcode. This is located where you saved the SD card in the Archive to Disk Image process. 

8. It should load the Canon directory with the clips underneath 

9. Select all the clips (Edit > Select All)

10. You can preview different clips and write notes for each clip. You can also set in and out points for your clips. This is where your workflow might deviate from ours, just be consistent.

11. You can use the Name Preset to decide how each clip is named as it is transcoded. There are many ways to set up custom naming. We set ours to add an underscore and three digits after anything we type in the "Reel" box.

12. In the Reel box, we copy and paste the exact name* of the disk image file (from the archiving process) that we are converting. In the example at right, it uses the disk image 052013_OSF_KASH_A02, and adds _### to the end of each clip.

*Why do we work like this? We delete our transcodes when we are completely done with a project, but we keep the disk image file in our archive. If we ever need to revisit the project, we re-transcode our files and reconnect the media in FCP. To do this, the files need to be named exactly as they were before. This is why we transcode all of our files and name them consecutively using the naming convention established in the archive.

13. After the name is in order, you can then (with all clips selected) hit the button Add Selection to Queue. The clips will enter a queue below the button and it will show you as it makes progress through each clip. 

14. When you are done, the queue will be empty and there will be a solid blue dot* beside each clip. You can then select the Canon disk image and hit the Eject Volume button.

*If there is a half shaded blue dot or an unshaded dot, then the file did not properly transcode and it needs to be done again. 

15. When the files are done transcoding, they will be located in the Capture Scratch folder. We  move our files to our transcodes folder where our DSLR files are located. Then we import everything back into FCP.

Changing the Codec

1. Select the little gear in the Log and Transfer window. Select Preferences...

2. The C100 uses an AVCHD Codec, so you can go to the AVCHD selection and click the drop down under Target Format. Here you can change to a couple of other codecs.

June 25, 2013

Artists Summer Institute opportunity

Creative Capital is hosting an Artists Summer Institute, August 7-11, that sounds like a fantastic opportunity. This is a five-day professional development workshop aimed at developing financial sustainability. It includes sessions on creating a business plan, financial planning, website development and social media.

The workshop is open to New York City artists and submissions are due by July 2nd.

June 24, 2013

TEM Hiring Fall 2013 Production Intern

We're currently accepting applications for a Fall 2013 Multimedia Production Internship

This position requires a five day per week commitment in our New Jersey office from September through to December.  We are based in Montclair, NJ, located 35 minutes by train from New York Penn Station. 

This is a paid, advanced-level production internship. Interns must not only have strong Final Cut Pro skills, but must also be looking to expand and develop their storytelling skills, and work collaboratively with our production team.

The primary responsibility of this internship will include helping to edit short 2-3 minute videos.  Other responsibilities include:
  • Editing
  • Importing and organizing media content
  • Transcoding video
  • Scripting
  • Transcription
  • Assisting producers and editors with story development
Desired skills & experience:

  • A passion for multimedia storytelling and social issues
  • Strong knowledge of Final Cut Pro 7, Photoshop, and Expressions Media
  • Ability to execute, multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Must be self-motivated, a team player, and prepared to work independently. We will work closely and provide regular input and feedback, but we expect the right candidate to take a project from raw media to an assembly stage
  • Familiarity with After Effects is not required but is a strong plus
  • *Please note: this internship will most likely not include shooting
Application Process:

Interested candidates, please send your application to Elissa Pellegrino ( with “2013 Fall Internship” in the subject line. No phone calls please.  Applications will be accepted until July 31, 2013.

All applications must include:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Links to pieces produced and/or collaborated on, with indication of what role you played
  • Available start and end dates

June 21, 2013

Microfilm - The Reel Deal

Entering the New York Public Library I am overcome with a grand feeling of importance. The building, constructed in the late 19th Century, is an astonishing and empowering work of architecture and understandably a major attraction for those visiting the city, however I am here with an ulterior motive.

As I purposefully march past the wide-eyed tourists and down a long marble hallway, I find a sign that reads ‘microforms/editorials’. This particular wing of the public library, which has nearly 53 million items in total, is devoted to the storing of thousands of newspapers, magazines, and publications, ranging from the pre-Civil War era until the present day.

I am at first perplexed at how a relatively small room could possibly hold so much, but this confusion only reveals that this is my first encounter with the genius of microfilm. Microfilm takes documents and reduces them to one twenty-fifth of their size, imprinting them as negatives on long reels. Each reel can hold many hundred imprints of these documents, and so in essence a whole month of daily newspapers can be physically stored in a container smaller than my hand. As a young man who can only faintly remember a world not consumed by the Internet, it is incredibly liberating to be working in the tangible. Trawling through real archives that do not rely on the latest PDF update or monthly subscription.

This is where I am to begin research for our latest project “The Day Before...”, a short piece which intends to explore November 21, 1963, the penultimate day of JFK’s life. I am looking to find an article, a photograph, something that is emblematic of this pivotal moment in history, however seemingly insignificant. What it will be I do not know, but it is there, hidden deep within this reservoir.

I hook up a reel of the New York Herald Tribune to the antiquated machine, and after a few mishaps, it’s rolling, projecting tiny negatives brightly onto the screen. With one hand I manually adjust the zoom, focus, and angle, and with the other I slowly begin moving through the reel.

And like that, I am back in time to 1963.

Pundits argue that a contentious civil rights bill will hamper Kennedy’s 1964 re-election campaign. A press conference with Defense Secretary McNamara concludes there is an encouraging outlook for objectives in South Vietnam and American advisors can begin to be brought home. And Cassius Clay and Liberace will be on the Jack Paar show on NBC at 10pm tonight! They’re poignant, ironic, and give an incredibly revealing picture of society at this time.

For those of you historically inclined, who are in need of research material, photographs, or are simply filled with curiosity, I encourage you to pay a visit to your public library and if you’re lucky there will be a wealth of microfilm resources for you to delve into. It really is more rewarding than a Google search.

June 20, 2013

EYES ON THIS: 12 and Awesome

Unlocking The Truth - Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

They may be 12, but they were born cool. Unlocking the Truth, about two sixth-grade metalheads, hits a high note from the incredible characters to the great shooting to the wonderful storytellling. We love seeing all the elements come together. Kudos to the production team at The Avant/Garde Diaries.

June 19, 2013

Internship Openings at MediaStorm

MediaStorm, a Brooklyn-based award-winning multimedia production company, is currently accepting applications for its Fall 2013 internship program and a new motion design internship.  Applications are due July 15, 2013.

For details and to apply, use the following links:

Fall Internship:

Motion Design Internship

June 18, 2013

Workflow guide to the C100 and FCP7 - Part 1: Archiving

We recently purchased the Canon C100 and used it on a client project in Kenya. The C100 was our primary camera and we used a 5d Mark II as our secondary. We are still using Final Cut Pro 7, so we needed a workflow that meshed with our DSLR workflow. The C100 records in the AVCHD format, which means you cannot use MPEG Streamclip to transcode these files like we do with the H264 files we get from the Canon DSLRs. 

The first question to answer is: why not use Clipwrap

Clipwrap seemed like the right solution at first, but it has a slight bug with the C100 (possibly all AVCHD cameras) that doesn't work for our archiving workflow. The Clipwrap problem is a little complicated, but I discovered that it actually drops the last 2 frames of every clip. For a longer explanation, see the bottom of this page.

At Talking Eyes, we archive all the files from the camera as they were shot. We do not archive the transcoded files. We generally media manage our projects then delete the transcoded files a few months after we have completed the project and it is delivered to the client. 


Click the staggered tab to see the directory for the files.
1. Insert SD card into card reader 

2. Open FCP 7

3. Set your scratch disk

4. Open Log and Transfer window (File > Log and Transfer) 

5. Choose “Show items in a hierarchical list.” This will allow you to see the directory (Canon) for your clips. FCP should automatically detect the SD card.*

6. Right click on the Canon directory and choose Archive to Disk Image... 

7. FCP will prompt you to save your file. We have a specific naming structure that I will detail here, but everyone has their own workflow and the most important thing for us is that we are consistent. Our naming convention is MMDDYY_SLUG_A##.dmg

MMDDYY = Date shot 
SLUG = Descriptive slug for project or shoot
A## = A is the camera angle. If there are two cameras, the second camera is B.
## = The number of each SD card used that day. First card is 01, second is 02, etc.
.dmg = This is a disk image file. This preserves all information on the card, so that when you open it in the future, it loads in Finder like an SD card.

8. After selecting the folder and name, you’ll get a progress screen and an Archive Complete screen. This will take around 20-25 minutes for a full 32 gb card

Once the file has been archived, it will show up in the folder you assigned it to. I like to check the size to make sure it is roughly the same size as the PRIVATE folder on the SD card (in the card reader). The file size will not match the SD card, in fact, it will be slightly larger. Don’t worry about this.
*If FCP does not detect the card, and you are sure it is being detected by the computer, then try clicking the icon to Add Volume and select the SD card manually.

The Clipwrap Problem

We have two issues with the two-frame drop caused by Clipwrap. First, it loses content, though an admittedly small amount. Second, if we were to rewrap the clips (it rewraps the clip to H264 format) from the SD card in the field, then transcode them when we are back at the studio using MPEG Streamclip (as we do with the DSLR content), the transcoded clips will have three freeze frames (of the last frame) at the end of the clip. These freeze frames change the length of the clip and could effectively mess up syncing with external audio. So essentially, to use Clipwrap, I would need to rewrap the files and also transcode them to Apple ProRes 422 (using Clipwrap) while in the field, which would require a lot of storage space and time, and losing the two frames of each clip. I told Colin over at Clipwrap and he is working to fix it.