Sit N’ Sessions With Walter Earl: The Interviews

Meet the man behind the sound, Walter Earl and the Walter Earl Group. It all apart of T3AM's "Sit N' Session with Walter Earl. Special Thanks to all the talented musicians, Walt, Arlington, J Stone, J Paul, and Ross. And also to R.W., Roman, and J.I, we appreciate you guys making it all happen.

Keys: Walter Earl
Bass: Arlington Houston
Guitar: Jason "J. Stone" Collins
Trumpet: Ross Plunkett
Drums: Jerwayne "J. Paul" Macklin

Location provided by Roman @ 663NectarSF
Executive Producer: Rudi Williams

Subscribe and Follow @T3AMProductions

Special Thanks to:

Sam Flores - Upper Playground - SF (wear)
Jerry "J.I." Imboden - KartArt Photography (pics) 
Stanford Milburn - Blue Planet Media Group - Dallas Tx (luv)

Sit N Sessions With Walter Earl

T3AM was honored to work with the super talented Walter Earl for a brand new web series "Sit N' Sessions". We have released the first two videos "Happy Place" and "Feeling The Rhodes" recorded live at 663 Nectar in San Francisco, CA. We can't say thank you enough to everyone who made this possible, RW, Walt, Roman, J. Paul, Arlington, J. Stone, Ross, and Steve. T3AM is very grateful and appreciative, you guys made it all possible.

Keys: Walter Earl
Bass: Arlington Houston
Guitar: Jason "J. Stone" Collins
Trumpet: Ross Plunkett
Drums: Jerwayne "J. Paul" Macklin

Location provided by Roman @ 663NectarSF
Executive Producer: Rudi Williams

Subscribe and Follow @T3AMProductions

Special Thanks to:

Sam Flores - Upper Playground - SF (wear)
Jerry "J.I." Imboden - KartArt Photography (pics) 
Stanford Milburn - Blue Planet Media Group - Dallas Tx (luv)

Watch Videos Here

J Paul.jpg

Westworld - Keeping 35mm Television Alive

Paul Cameron is widely remembered for shooting the first major digital feature film. He helped usher in the digital revolution with his cinematography in the 2004 Michael Maan film Collateral. Ever since then we have seen the change away from shooting on film which has rapidly gained momentum. As we all know, film isn't dead, thankfully. 

Paul Cameron is helping keep film alive, despite his involvement with the start of its decline. Westworld is the new hit from HBO which Paul Cameron is the cinematographer on. It is based on the Michael Crichton film of the same name. Cameron, despite all of the advances in digital cinema, still chose to shoot Westworld on 35mm film.

In an interview with Filmmaker Magazine, Cameron talked about why he chose the look of film versus digital.

Filmmaker: So much of the look of many films shot digitally isn’t actually baked into the original image. For example if you’re shooting Alexa in LogC, you need a LUT so that you’re not monitoring with a flattened image on set. When you’re shooting 35mm, what is the image like that you’re seeing on the monitor?

Cameron: Specifically for Westworld I had Arricam Lites retrofitted for HD taps. Quite frankly, if directors and everybody else saw the video taps that we used to use on film cameras they’d flip out. Jonathan [Nolan] is actually very experienced with shooting film and looking at classic video taps, but still I thought it was important to establish a set protocol to get a better image for both Jonathan and various department heads so that they could see what we were doing. We dug up a bunch of video taps from around the country and put them on the Arricam Lites. The problem was we were shooting in Santa Clarita, California in the middle of the summer at high noon, when it’s about 195 degrees. So we tended to have a few problems with the HD taps. Just picture these Arricams with ice packs wrapped around the video taps all the time to keep the temperature down. (laughs)
— Filmmaker Magazine

Cameron also discussed with Movie Plot about his choices in regards to the medium.

MP: In the past you’ve talked about how much you love shooting on film, so what was it about Westworld that made you feel that it was so important to film the show using that medium?

PC: The point of view of filmmakers like Jonathan Nolan and myself is that you really need to figure out what the right medium is for every project. With the shift to video and digital capture, the assumption is that film would suddenly go away, but I don’t think that was ever the design of the new paradigm. I don’t want to shoot film or digital for everything, just because I like one or the other — it really comes down to the medium and the craft.
— Movie Plot


The interview with Filmmaker Magazine goes on to talk about why he chose the stocks that he utilized and what issues that accompanied them in regards to the large amount of light needed.

Filmmaker: What stocks did you ultimately use for Westworld?

Cameron: We used Kodak 5219 500 ASA for the night interiors and exteriors. I used 5245 for day exteriors and day interiors and that’s a beautiful 50 ASA stock. Using the 50 ASA stock presented challenges in locations like the saloon, which had these big windows. We’d be shooting at high noon in the summer in California, where the exposure is extreme outside and then you’ve got this rich, beautifully luscious interior. There wasn’t the possibility of ND-ing windows or netting things down for the exteriors, so we had to come up with a system for the saloon and other day interiors that would raise the light level to an extreme volume to compete with the exterior light. When there’s a lot of volume of light, you tend to trade off quantity of light for quality of light. Not making that tradeoff was a big thing for me.

In a location like that a lot of people may have just gone in and loaded up a softbox with downlight to bring the light level up, but then the light would have no direction to it whatsoever and for me direction of light is incredibly important. So we had this square rig with maybe 24 [Arri] M40s on it with Chimeras. We tended to use the Chimeras on the big wide shots and then on the close-ups we’d rig diffusion underneath the rig.
— Filmmaker Magazine

Take a look at both interviews below as well as the trailer for the season. They are some interesting reads and it is quite the series.

Paul Cameron's Filmmaker Magazine Interview

Movie Plot Interview with Paul Cameron

Round 2: No Punches Held Back

In case you haven’t been following any public news source, social media, or “locker room talk”, you might have missed the news!  This past Sunday night we had our 2nd Presidential debate between republican candidate Donald Trump and democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  The debate was blasted to 64 million viewers on television and over 120 million on YouTube surprisingly, and was held at a town hall forum at Washington University.  We’ve discussed the ludicrous tactics involved with both parties in our prior BlogV’s, but this event had some fireworks unique to itself!

The night seemed to start off with respectable and restrained manners from both opponents, but that was clearly just the calm before the storm.  It’s been well documented that these two political candidates have been showcased negatively through the media-- though “negatively” may also coincide with “accurate”, if you were not familiar with the accusations levied on each party, then they both made sure you knew about the night’s conclusion. 

Be sure to CHECK OUT the Washington Post's Winners & Losers's ARTICLE!

However, I will give credit where it’s due, Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper tightly moderated the event.  They each kept the political opponents to their time limits for responses and held them accountable for dodging the issues, for the most part.   What was clearly evident during the debate, from America’s current political environment, one skill that has not been lost, is the art form of finding a way to degrade your opponent whenever possible. 

To me, no matter what accusations were slung during the 90-minute forum, the policy stances and strategies of each candidate were clearly advocated.  Take a moment, and decipher amongst yourself what truly matters.  I won’t use this particular BlogV to sway your opinion and hopeful vote on Tuesday November 8th towards any candidate, but I will say, I think it VITAL we don’t take this election lightly.   Though it may seem like a clownish affair at moments, the policies that are to be put forward in the next 4 years are going to greatly influence the progression of our nation.  Meaning, this election is something we as American citizens cannot afford to take lightly.

Let's See the Facts!!!

And here is for your entertainment!lol

Karma: The Next Big Thing?

A few weeks back, Go Pro announced the release date of its latest creation, Karma. It was only naturally that Go Pro would have their own drone. Karma They have made their cameras compatible with other companies drones, so why not have their own. Check out these reviews and videos.

Great for everyone, limiting for experts
GoPro has created a drone that’s easy to use, right out of the box. CEO Woodman said GoPro is about helping people capture and share experiences, and in that sense, Karma does achieve that.
However, there are many new drone technologies that Karma lacks, like subject tracking, auto-follow, and object avoidance – features you can find in DJI’s Phantom 4, which also offers other advanced features and longer flight time. Update on September 22, 2016: The Karma Controller has “No-Fly Zones” info that lets you know if an area is restricted, using GPS; we originally reported incorrectly that it didn’t have such a capability.

Read the full article Here

TechRadar Review

Go Pro is about the ease of use for the everyday person. They try to simplify complicated technology for the everyday person. Once again they have achieved their goal. Karma is like a one-size-fits-all. The drone itself, collapses into one piece, propellers and all. Everything you need fits into a backpack. Making it that much easier and portable when traveling. I think the biggest thing is the stabilization system. Instead of the gimbal and camera being underneath the drone body, it has been placed out in front, almost eliminating any chance of the propellers being in the shot. The grip handle is also removable from the drone itself, giving people on the go even more options and maintaining smooth operational control.

Overall I think it's a great new product. Another solid product for prosumers and consumers at an affordable price. Not to be outdone, DJI has its own product to go up against Go Pro.  It will be interesting to see how it will stack up against DJI Movic Pro. Read More about that here.

Let's Debate: 2016 Presidential Debate (Recap)

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So after much anticipation, Americans were finally given the opportunity to see their two presidential candidates face off in the first of three internationally televised debates.  Democratic candidate Senator Hilary Clinton and her opponent Republican candidate Donal Trump, didn't seem to hold back any punches during the live ABC broadcast at New York's Hofstra University.  

We have heard an array of unwarranted comments from both parties (maybe one a bit more than the other), over the past year and a half, and our summer was filled with sound bytes of ridiculous statements that I for sure never anticipated hearing from U.S. presidential candidates.  This debate really showcased the distinct differences between both candidates and party strategy, and was also effectively moderated by NBC's Lester Holt, though at times the candidates did seem to get a bit out of his control.  Looking forward, the state of our nation has not always felt promising these past few months, and this event was important for Americans to see who truly has the best temperament, experience, and intelligence to take on this immense responsibility.

In an effort not to be bias, I'll just say that there were some really important issues to me that I'm glad were discussed.  I understand that there are moral issues that both parties have differences over, but to be honest, I feel those will always be topics of debate (i.e. abortion, gay marriage, etc).  In my opinion, there are some more pressing matters that I wanted each candidate to address:

1)  The economic strategy from both candidates and how they would like to proceed with taxes, etc.  

2)  Race relations and how the nation will go forward with handling instances of brutality, specifically against minorities.

3)  Foreign relations, what areas can we improve in trade and how do we continue to enhance our foreign relations while combatting terrorist threats. 

My opinion on Trump vs Clinton when it pertains to economy, I have to side with Clinton.  I have studied for may years the effects and constructs of Reagan's "trickle down economy" strategy, and that is what Trump would like to implement to a degree.  Personally, I feel that giving tax breaks to the wealthiest of Americans has proven time and again to not truly benefit the middle class or lower class families that are in need, which is why the gap between wealthy and middle class has risen since the late 70s to now.  We should never again assume that wealthy individuals will have a since of moral and business obligation to help their employees or those that are in need.  Trump was honest, when he said "that's business" when he was accused by Clinton of showing malice when in 2008 he said it was a good benefit that the real estate market collapsed.  To me, statements like that help me to see the true character of the candidates, and I thought that moment really helped my decision for the November elections.

Regardless, whomever you found favor in during the debate, just be sure to go out and do your duty as an American citizen and vote!

CHECK OUT this article by ABC about "Fact Checking" each of the points the candidates made.  I felt this was really helpful to read after seeing the debate in full!

ALSO, CHECK OUT the article by Washington Post, for another viewpoint on how the first debate went!

Continued Sadness....

I had a whole post written up about the new Magnificent Seven remake that is coming out. That was until I watched the Cell Phone video that was released by the Keith Lamont Scott family. After watching that, it just didn't feel right to post about a movie or about anything else. We have discussed about the issues going on today quite frequently and this time isn't much different. This may be the shortest post that I write but I still wanted to say something.

With that being said, my sentiments echo the posts of my fellow T3AM members recently. It is hard to watch all of this continue to happen in our society. Losing friends, family members, neighbors, acquaintances all to senseless violence by each other and by individuals who are supposed to serve and protect us. These incidents are sadder and sadder each time because we are still seeing it happen. 

I have posted the video below. It is very hard to watch, but please watch it. There is still a huge issue going on in America today and we can't keep burying our heads in the sand. We all have a voice and if it is not seen as a problem, then that is a big part of the problem as well. There is a family who lost someone and the City of Charlotte is on edge. I understand that being a police officer is difficult job and it is a potentially deadly job but that doesn't excuse their actions. There are non-lethal means of de-escalating a situation. Those means should be used and deadly force should be a last resort and not the initial action. 

For Us By Us: Atlanta & Insecure

With the end of summer nearing and fall upcoming that only means one thing, Football is back. But besides that there are a couple new shows that I wanted to highlight. The intelligence of the television viewer is ever increasing. And with that audiences want to see shows that are a reflection of them. Shows aren't allowed to get away with typecasting and generalizing characters, genders, races, and cultures the way they used to. Audiences aren't wasting time on these generic shows. They want programming with depth and story, Shows that are a reflection of their life and struggles, happiness and failures. Shows with characters that look, act, and talk like them. That is what both Atlanta (FX) and Insecure (HBO) are doing. Hopefully this trends continues not only on television cable networks, but across all platforms. Its good to see faces like mine and my friends when watching TV or a movie.

Donald Glover created and stars in the series as Ernest "Earn" Marks. It also stars Brian Tyree Henry, as Paper Boi (Earn's Cousin), Keith Stanfield, as Darius (Earn's Friend), Zazie Beetz, Earn's best friend and Mother of his child. All these characters are more than what they have been typically portrayed as. They are more than just "a rapper" or "drug dealer" or "baby mama". They are people, with depth and intellect. Glover says in an article with, "I wanted to show white people, you don’t know everything about black culture". The Atlanta writing staff is completely Black, re-emphasizing the need for real Black voices to be heard. Not just one Black writer, but from multiple perspectives and experiences. Because everyone's experience is different and their own. It will be exciting to see how people react to the show when it premieres and how it is received not only in the Black community, but the mainstream as well.

More articles about Donald Glover and Atlanta

"Atlanta is an upcoming American single-camera, semi-autobiographical comedy series created by and starring Donald Glover. The series is about two cousins navigating their way in the Atlanta rap scene in an effort to improve their lives and the lives of their families The 10-episode season is set to premiere on FX beginning September 6, 2016."

And another promo for Atlanta for you to enjoy.

Insecure was created by and stars Issa Rae. She is well know for her hit Youtube series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. From what I've been told and read, Insecure seems to be an extension of the hit web series. It is going to be a first for a Woman of Color to not only star but also be the creative behind the scenes.

The Los Angeles Times writes "The half-hour series explores the friendship between two African American women who deal with their sometimes stormy relationship while also grappling with conflicts inside and outside black culture. Much of the humor has a raw flavor, and does not hold back on sexually frank situations and dialogue."

I think this show will provide someone that many Black Women and Women of Color can relate to. It is rare that a Woman and even rarer that a Woman of Color to be front and center in television on a major network.

Here are a few articles about Issa and her new show.

USA Today

Los Angeles Times


"Oct. 9 at 10:30PM, something extraordinary and new is coming to HBO. Watch the half-hour comedy series Insecure, starring Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis and Lisa Joyce, that looks at the friendship, experiences and tribulations of two black women."

The Long Take Again - Children of Men

A little bit ago, we took a look at the long take. We all know about the impact that it can have in a film especially with the rise of movies being shot completely in the one take vain. We talked about Creed and the impact that it had on the film with the walk up to the boxing ring. We've seen films such as Gravity, The Revenant, and Birdman utilize this technique to the fullest.

Children of Men by Alfonso Cuaron utilizes this technique throughout the film in very memorable fashion. While there are still stitch points for each take, they are hidden well throughout. They help bring you into the action and without the cuts, it provides a seamless integration to the scene. When you look at some of the greatest Long-Takes of all time, I find it hard to not include Children of Men. The take doesn't carry any gimmicky weight and definitely lends to film. Take a watch below:

As you can see, when planned out, it can help heighten any movie. It provides you with a real-time look of what they are experiencing as well as forcing you to be a part of the scene. They also utilized it during a different part of the movie below.

The film still sticks with you and those scenes especially stand out. Take the time to watch the entire film or at least these scenes and the trailer below.