All packed up, ready to shoot…and skate! Jr. Skills Camp

So, it’s that time of year again. Hockey season for Canadian Tire. Last year was awesome because not only did I get to shoot the kids being trained by NHL alumni and of course Jonathan Toews, but I got to go to Calgary for the Heritage Classic Outdoor game. This year proves to be just as exciting, starting off with a shoot at the Powerade Center in Brampton Ontario (15 minutes from my house…which also makes for an easy commute). The idea this year is that instead of being trained by the pros, kids are competing for a chance to participate in the Jr. Skills weekend during the NHL All-Start weekend in Ottawa. And guess what?! Yeah! I’m going! Man I really dig this job!

So tomorrow I will be strapping back on the skates and performing the dangerous feat of “Skateography”. That’s right, yours truly will be risking life and limb to get the shots needed to make the “Sizzle Reel”, sizzle. I’m talking about forwards, backwards, fast and faster! On the ice with my glidecam, a cinematographic vision and the wind through my hair (which is actually all growing on my face for Movember…stopped growing head hair when I was 27). I’ve been waiting to do this again, and tomorrow is the day.

So, the bag is packed and I’m trying to travel light. I have my 3 lenses that I love, plus I am packing a Canon 50mm f1.4. i figure I’ll try it out for a change. I have always had the 50 in my arsenal but I just don’t use it in the run n’ gun scenarios that I find myself in. Great lens for interviews! Especially if you’re using a full frame camera like the 5DmkII. When using the 7D or other Crop Sensor cameras the actual viewable area of the frame appears to be less than on the full frame camera. The 7D actually sees the 50mm as 50mm x 1.6 giving you an actual 80mm frame, but one way or another the image itself looks amazing, regardless of your camera, 5DmkII or 7D. I’m rolling light on the audio today as well, just the Zoomh4n and the Rode Video Mic Pro. I can use the Zoom for handheld mic style interviews if I need to, but I was told that wouldn’t be the case tomorrow. The Zoom has the ability to be used as an on camera shotgun style mic, a hand mic, a table mic as well as a direct recorder for a line or attached mic. There are a million other things that the Zoom will do for you and I think every DSLR Guy should have one. I also think every DSLR Guy should have a Zacuto EVF or at the very least get a Z-Finder. Let’s face it, you can shoot straight, but it’s gotta be in focus. And when you get to using some really wide lenses where the subject is so small in the frame that you cant see his eyes, you need some assistance…Zacuto is that assistance (maybe the Zacuto internet ears will hear my “big-ups” and let me field test some of their cool rigging…do you hear me Zacuto???)

Enough about my gear, let’s talk about something a bit more practical… gloves! So it’s cold where there is ice, and when it’s cold you loose dexterity and can’t operate all of the features of the camera with the speed and accuracy that is needed, so I got these Canadian Tire MotoMaster gloves with the thumb, index and middle finger tips missing. The are perfect for a shooter! They are made of leather on the palm side and padded and a breathable material on the back hand side. This not only allows you to hold onto cold things and not freeze your hand, but you can also handle hot things like lights on set that have to be angles but and hot to the touch. I get a far better grip when moving stuff around and my hands can easily fit into pockets. And yes, I can still use my iPhone! For $25, these gloves are great for video guys and gals that need to shoot outside, especially DSLR shooters since we are always adjusting some setting on the camera.

Anyways, I have to finish editing, charging batteries, hopefully get a game of Halo in, eat some ice cream (small bowl…alright, it isn’t going to be small), kiss the kids crawl into bed beside my wife and get ready for another day in the life.

Shoot straight…and in focus (ZACUTO!!!, can you hear me?!)

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Let the travelling begin…again

So I have got the travel itinerary for the Grand Openings and Hockey Camp circuit for the Fall yesterday and let’s just say that my future has a lot of shooting in it. Looks like my potential destinations are Uxbridge, Bowemanville, Prince Albert, Montreal, Halifax or course the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and there has been talk about Vegas, but we’ll see. This all to happen between September and December this year, so, I am excited! I get to shoot video, travel and bank lieu time! What else can a guy ask for. Also, while doing the camps and Grand Openings I’ll get to interview celebrity personalities and hang with the press and be the master of my domain:) . Oh yeah, and did I mention that I’ll be attending NHL All-Star weekend?! The Canadian Tire Hockey Schools are being set up as Skills Camps this year with the most “skilled” at each camp advancing with the possibility of competing in a Jr. All Star/ Skills competition in Ottawa during the NHL’s weekend.

Perks of the job!

Cesar Millan

I had the cool experience of shooting Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer a couple of times this year and since I’m a big fan I got someone to grab one of my cameras and take a picture of me with him.  At this event I was actually shooting Lanny MacDonald from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames (you remember Lanny…”Stash”).  Anyways, both of them are great people and it was really cool to be able to spend a good amount of time with both of them.  I actually met Lanny at an event in Calgary that I shot in February, The Heritage Classic hockey Game at McMahon Stadium (another post), and ever since then I’ve shot him about 3 times.  Again, he’s such a cool guy!

Anyways, like I said, I did a couple of things that involved Cesar, so I have posted some of the work (a photo and a video).  I should be seeing Cesar again soon, and would love to talk dogs with him, but being such a specialist he rarely talks about dogs with people outside of his work (TV).  Who can blame him?! The guy gets bombarded with questions from everyone that owns a dog.  Poor guy,  Oh well, here’s the stuff!

Shoot Straight!

Me and Cesar Milan (oh yeah...and the Stanley Cup)