Saving Money on Summer Expenses

first_imgBy Sarah Mammarella,  Family Resource Management N.C. Cooperative Extension AgentSummer is a great time to start saving money. Whether it is to beef up your savings account or stow money away for a special trip event or annual holiday expenses, saving money feels good. In order to save money we need to look at what summer expenses we can reduce.Perhaps the most obvious place to start during the hot summer months is with our electric bill. There are many different things that we can become more mindful about in our home that will help reduce our electric bill. Here are a few tips that help me save money on my electric bill every month:Shut off all lights and TVs in rooms that are unoccupied: This may seem like a no-brainer but this wasted energy use happens much more than you’d think.Turn your thermostat up in the summer when you are not home: There is no need to cool an empty home; I normally set mine to 79°. While you are at home, try keeping the thermostat between 76° and 78°, and using ceiling fans to keep cool. Remember to turn fans off in rooms that are unoccupied; their benefit is lost if you’re not underneath or near the fan.Don’t bother turning a thermostat down from 80° to 62° with the intention of cooling your home more quickly; this will only cause your heat pump to overwork and will not bring on cooler temperatures any quicker.Check the efficiency of your refrigerator and ensue the temperature of the fridge portion is between 37° and 40° and the freezer is between 0° and 5° to maintain food safety.Unplug anything that is pulling energy when you are not using it: Items such as cell phone chargers and laptops are constantly pulling energy when plugged in. You can save a lot of money just by unplugging these items.Use a power strip with an on/off switch for your television, DVD player, and other home entertainment items, and turn the switch off to the power strip when not in use: Much like the chargers, these items can still draw energy while not in use.Don’t forget to unplug televisions, lamps or alarm clocks that seldom get used in guest rooms.Weatherproof your home: Seal cracks around doors and windows where cool air may be escaping. You can do this with weather stripping or in some instances, caulk.Insulated drapes can help keep cold out during the winter and heat out during the summer. These can lower heating and cooling costs.Make sure that you change your central air filter every month: This can help your central air run more efficiently and even increase the life of the unit.Another summer savings opportunity is on food and convenience items. By being mindful of how and when we shop, we can possibly save hundreds every month. Here are a few tips that help me save money on food every month:Collect coupons: You can do this either by buying the Sunday paper and clipping them or going to various websites to print them off of the Internet.Match your coupons to the sale items: Look through sale fliers of your most frequented grocery and drug stores and match your coupons to the sale items so you are getting the best price possible.Find out when your grocery store is doing a double or triple coupon day: Most grocery stores will have specific days or weeks that they will double or triple your coupons. This may lead to getting many items completely free.Only buy sale or clearance items that you know you will use. Buying on sale is no bargain is you never use it. This can happen when buying clothes with the intention of losing weight or purchasing a kitchen gadget that you simply don’t have time to use.Buy in bulk: Even if you live by yourself, you can save money by buying certain foods in bulk and freezing individual portions in freezer bags.Although I believe that electricity and food are the easiest places to start, I do other small things to try to leave me more money in my pocket every month. A few extra tips to save include:Reduce drive time: Gas is expensive; so don’t make unnecessary trips. Car-pooling is always a great idea.Enjoy outdoor activities: Instead of paying to go enjoy your summer, try getting outside and taking advantage of free activities such as swimming, hiking and tennis. Here is a list of ideas for cheap summer fun for military families.Get your clothes at second-hand stores: I rarely buy new clothes. Although it may take some time, you can find used clothes that are in great shape at local Goodwill and consignment shops.Saving money can be satisfying because it means that we are attaining goals that we have set for ourselves. Recognizing that there is excess money being spent on such things as electric and groceries can empower us to reduce our spending by using common sense and mindfulness.What are your favorite money-saving strategies?Resources: KeepingCoolrevlast_img read more

Let’s Chat About Culinary Medicine

first_imgBy: Annabelle Shaffer, Dietetics senior at University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignWhat is culinary medicine?Dr. John La Puma is one of the founding fathers of culinary medicine and defines it as “an emerging field that blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine”.1,2 The field focuses on utilizing food to prevent disease and improve a patient’s well-being, but does not disregard the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and conventional medical services.1 Interest in food as preventative medicine has recently grown due to families eating away from the home more frequently, rising healthcare costs, public interest in organic and local farming, increased availability of fast foods, and dissatisfaction with conventional medicine.1How do we use it? Culinary medicine has recently been incorporated into undergraduate and medical training programs. Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA, founded the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine which educates patients and medical professionals on not only what to eat, but how to find and prepare it.2 A randomized controlled study performed by the center using the Mediterranean diet for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus patients found improvements in blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c, and blood cholesterol levels, as well as increases in self-efficacy towards healthy cooking.3In addition to Tulane University, many research groups have implemented culinary medicine to improve a population’s health and nutrition:In Washington, D.C., a study targeting African American women living in public housing decreased caloric intake and caloric intake from fat through seven 90-minute sessions that included hands-on cooking in each lesson and a grocery store tour.4The Los Angeles Sprouts program targeting Latino youth in afterschool programs utilizes gardening and cooking classes. Children in the intervention groups have reduced body mass indexes, blood pressure, the rate of weight gain, and increased fiber intake.5The University of Southampton aimed to improve the nutrition behaviors of South Asian women who commonly suffer from Iron-deficiency anemia. The Break the Cycle Project created hands-on peer-led cookery clubs which resulted in decreased salt, sugar, and fried food consumption and increased fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy, and fiber consumption.6While the field of culinary medicine shows promise in improving a population’s nutrition, more research is needed to establish an effective teaching style, impacts on patient and provider behavior, and training protocol for chefs and medical professionals.7 Additionally, a thorough evaluation of culinary medicine programming’s cost and benefits should be performed to identify their effectiveness and how to best utilize and sustain them.7 One major challenge culinary medicine programming faces is financial. Programs can cost from $5000 – 300,000 and are funded by private donors.7 Dr. Polak and others suggest lobbying for insurance funding and experiments to design a self-sustaining program may be possible solutions.7 Bibliography:La Puma J. What Is Culinary Medicine and What Does It Do?. Popul Health Manag. 2016;19(1):1-3. doi:10.1089/pop.2015.0003Williams J. Culinary Medicine: A Recipe for Better Health. US News and World Report. Published 2019. Accessed January 6, 2019.Monlezun D, Kasprowicz E, Tosh K et al. Medical school-based teaching kitchen improves HbA1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol for patients with type 2 diabetes: Results from a novel randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2015;109(2):420-426. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2015.05.007Shankar S, Klassen A, Garrett-Mayer E et al. Evaluation of a nutrition education intervention for women residents of Washington, DC, public housing communities. Health Educ Res. 2006;22(3):425-437. doi:10.1093/her/cyl092Davis J, Ventura E, Cook L, Gyllenhammer L, Gatto N. LA Sprouts: A Gardening, Nutrition, and Cooking Intervention for Latino Youth Improves Diet and Reduces Obesity. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011;111(8):1224-1230. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2011.05.009Davies J, Damani P, Margetts B. Intervening to change the diets of low-income women. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2009;68(02):210. doi:10.1017/s0029665109001128Polak R, Phillips E, Nordgren J et al. Health-related Culinary Education: A Summary of Representative Emerging Programs for Health Professionals and Patients. Glob Adv Health Med. 2016;5(1):61-68. doi:10.7453/gahmj.2015.128last_img read more

Tidying Up Your Financial Life

first_img Return to article. Long DescriptionHaving recently gone through a household and financial document purge in preparation for an upcoming move, I can attest to the satisfaction that is experienced when possessions and financial records are prioritized and  organized. Sorting and shredding is just one piece. Below is a list of nine ways to tidy up your financial life:Create a Financial Inventory– List key financial data in one document including bank and brokerage accounts, insurance policies, credit card numbers, loans, names of financial advisors, and the location of important documents. A good template financial inventory form was developed by the Vanguard investment company.Consolidate Financial Accounts– Prepare a net worth statement (assets minus debts) and list all your financial assets. Many people have multiple brokerage and bank accounts, IRAs, insurance policies, and more. Identify assets to be consolidated. The objective is to consolidate similar assets to a minimum number of custodians.Close Financial Accounts– Eliminate and replace accounts that charge high fees and/or do not offer high interest rates. Another good candidate for closure is mutual funds with high expense ratios, often because they include pesky 12(b)(1) fees that are assessed for marketing expenses. Compare at least 3 account providers.Review and Update Beneficiary Designations– Identify financial assets that have a beneficiary designation including life insurance policies, IRAs, and tax-deferred retirement savings plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. List them all in one place on this worksheet. Review your beneficiary designations and revise them as needed. Also be sure to list contingent beneficiaries in case your first beneficiary designee predeceases you.Review Automated Payments– Review recurring bill payments that are automatically deducted from financial accounts and cancel those for discretionary products and services that are no longer used. Common examples include gym memberships, Netflix fees, newspapers, “[X] of the month” clubs, and satellite radio fees.Calculate Your Net Worth– Make a list of everything that you own (assets) and everything that you owe (debts). Assets minus debts are your net worth. Update your net worth statement annually to keep track of balances owed to creditors, how much money you have, where you have it, and how it is doing.Purge and Shred Documents– Save year-end statements for financial accounts, such as mutual funds, and shred the monthly or quarterly statements that came before. Do the same for credit cards that provide an annual summary report. Save paper bank statements for up to a year or electronically. Retain tax records for up to 7 years in the event of an audit and records for capital assets (e.g., stock) as long as you hold them plus 7 years.Open Mail Immediately and Act on It Once– Sort mail related to personal finances into three categories: 1. Discard (e.g., advertisements and certain donation requests), 2. Pay soon or immediately, and 3. File for long-term reference. Avoid making piles of mail that require “revisiting” later and can result in late payments.Actively Solicit Price Quotes- Contact your insurance agent(s) and inquire about money-saving discounts on new or existing policies. Do the same with current or potential utility providers. For example, there may be a better cell phone plan that provides the service that you need for less or energy audits that can save money.For additional information about tidying up your finances, review the University of Wisconsin Extension fact sheet Organizing Your Finances. By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, boneill@njaes.rutgers.eduIn April, two things happen that can motivate people to tidy up their financial lives. First, spring is here and the notion of “spring cleaning” in general is popular. Spring cleaning often involves clearing out clutter in the garage, donating unworn clothing and household goods, re-arranging photo albums and items in storage, and other decluttering and organizing tasks. A second motivation to tidy up personal finances in April is that income taxes are due and many people are actively reviewing their financial records at this time.last_img read more

Manifesto – FREE titling tool for FCPX, FCP, AE & Motion

first_imgImprove your video titling and text with the Manifesto plugin from Noise Industries – now avaliable for Final Cut Pro X.Video editing apps have never been known for their great titling features (just see legacy versions of FCP, ugh!).  Manifesto serves to improve upon this weakness by offering up a titling tool that more closely resembles a traditional text editor.If you’re looking to create a title crawl or roll, Manifesto makes it easy.  Simply adjust the duration of the Manifesto text generator and the plugin will automatically animate  the roll or crawl to the duration of the generator, eliminating the need for keyframing.  Manifesto will also apply motion blurring and deflickering to the text motion, making it clean and artifact-free.Manifesto runs inside the FXFactory plug-in engine (also a free download).  You’ll need to download and install FXFactory before you install Manifesto.  More information here.If you often find yourself working with text in your video editing application, Manifesto is a great plugin to have in your digital toolbox.Download Manifesto, a FREE text titling plugin for FCP, FCPX, Motion and After Effects.last_img read more

Visual Homage in Cinema

first_imgLearn how to draw inspiration from the history of cinema while putting your viewing habits to use through the art of homage.Top Image: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story via DisneyThe cinematic machine stays alive by cultivating an ongoing sense of self-awareness and self-reference. Let’s explore the art of homage.What is Homage?American Horror Story via 20th Century Fox and Stephen CollBasically, an homage is an imitation of another work. At first glance, it may seem like an homage is a rip-off or a lesser copy, but an homage actually pays tribute to and honors the source work. Homage is a great way to use the style and content of other filmmakers as a way to crystallize your own unique voice as a filmmaker.Even the smallest visual homage can point to a larger cinematic tradition and connect to your developing interests as a filmmaker. Consider the movie, Breathless (below via Criterion), when Jean-Paul Belmondo’s character, Michel, imitates the mannerisms of Humphrey Bogart.The character within the film announces the homage, but, ultimately, this is Jean-Luc Godard, the cinephile director, paying tribute to the idea of Humphrey Bogart as a cinematic icon while also pointing, with homage, to the film noir ancestry and influence that run through Breathless. It sounds more complex that it feels.Godard is a great example of an international director who constantly points back to the medium with a mixture of love and criticism. Godard would continue to draw inspiration from American cinema while also being a key influencer upon American cinematic style. A symbiotic system of mutual homage.International ConnectionsInternational films and filmmakers can be great sources of inspiration and influence on your own work as a creator. Jim Jarmusch is an American director who has developed a unique cinematic style while forever paying homage to his cinematic influences. A great example of Jarmusch’s use of homage can be seen in his 1999 film, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, which is a direct homage to Jean Pierre-Melville’s 1967 film, Le Samouraï, (above, via Criterion).Jarmusch pays homage to Le Samouraï by using a similar hitman main character and story structure for his film, Ghost Dog. If you watch the films, you can easily find individual scenes, such as the theft of a car, that mirror one another almost exactly.Le Samouraï  isn’t the only film that influenced Ghost Dog. The Japanese hitman film, Branded to Kill, (above, via Criterion) is another key source. Once again, the two films share a similar main character, but the more interesting and fun connections between the two films can be spotted in specific scenes.At a critical moment in each film, the main character is about to act as a sniper — until something lands on the tip of the rifle and stops the murder. It’s a bird in Ghost Dog, and it’s a butterfly in Branded to Kill.Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, (above, via Lionsgate), owes a debt to samurai cinema in general and nods to the samurai code with frequent readings from the Hagakure. The idea of blending various influences has been a key strategy for many up-and-coming filmmakers, and George Lucas, an admirer of samurai cinema, is no stranger to this technique.Lucas has pointed to The Hidden Fortress (above, via Criterion) as a key reference point in devising the narrative structure and characters for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The art of homage has carried on throughout the many Star Wars films.Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (above, via Disney) continues the tradition of drawing from samurai films in the form of imagery, costuming, and even direct character references to older samurai films. Chirrut Îmwe, the blind warrior performed by Donnie Yen, is a direct nod to Zatoichi (below, via Criterion), the blind sword master.Quentin Tarantino is another director whose extensive knowledge of international film history has served him well over the course of his career. In fact, it’s hard to watch a Tarantino film without seeing traces, large and small, of his cinematic taste and inspirations.Tarantino’s admiration for films has helped to fuel his own unique style, as can be seen in the above video compilation by Jacob T. Swinney. Tarantino’s enthusiasm and homage have also helped in the preservation and awareness of rarely seen and often underappreciated films.History on RepeatHomage is a really useful as a way to link points in the history of cinema. Whether the reference is obscure or really well known, the tribute of an homage boosts the longevity and relevance of older cinema. Consider Battleship Potemkin and the famous Odessa Steps sequence.As should be obvious from the video above by Barthesian, the Odessa Steps sequence has been imitated countless times since it was first filmed in 1925. Through the art of homage, the source text takes on an almost vampiric quality, living on through its imitators in its various and sometimes humorous reworkings.Homage can seem to yearn for a not-so-distant past in a very nostalgic way. From the work of  J.J. Abrams to the recent hit series Stranger Things, seen above in the video compilation from Ulysse Thevenon, the films of the 1970s and 1980s are alive and well in our modern media world.ParodyIt’s important to note the difference between parody and homage. The official difference between the two is that a parody pokes fun at the source material while an homage honors the source material. But seriously, it’s actually rather hard to disentangle the two forms of imitation.As you likely noticed at minute mark 6:10 in the video above, Naked Gun 33 1/3 imitates the famous Odessa Steps sequence by way of the Untouchables sequence. It’s hard to deny that, despite the mockery, there is often a fraction of love and admiration in parody. Consider the films of Mel Brooks such as Young Frankenstein (above, via 20th Century Fox).Enchanted (above) is a film that Disney prefers to label an homage rather than a parody, despite the fact that it can be characterized as either. As with much art, homage vs. parody is in the eye of the beholder.However, it’s safe to say that some imitations fall quite clearly within the realm of parody and offer no love to their subjects. Charlie Chaplin‘s parody of Hitler in The Great Dictator (above, via Warner) is a great example.ConclusionHomage is a film tradition that is inextricably linked to the process of making a movie. Your taste and consumption as a film viewer cannot help but play into your creative tendencies as a filmmaker. Acknowledging and embracing homage is a great starting point for crystallizing and putting into direct practice the ways that other film works have inspired you.Homage is really encouraging for the continued lifespan and appreciation of older and obscure films, as Jorge Luengo Ruiz demonstrates well in the above video about references in Pixar films.Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott have recently bemoaned the death of film as they have known it. While attitudes to film change with the times, the history of cinema lives on and homage is a great way to carry the 20th century into the 21st century. Keep the tradition alive by using visual homage, while forging new territory with your own creative vision.What are your favorite examples of homage in film? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Video Tutorial: Exporting Multichannel Audio in Premiere Pro

first_imgLearn how to render a video clip with multiple audio track layers in this easy-to-follow tutorial.Top image via Shutterstock.Sooner or later, every videographer will need to render a video clip with multiple audio tracks. Whether it’s simply to keep video and audio tracks separate for future revisions, or to separate tracks for a live concert, being able to export a video or audio file with multiple audio tracks is an important skill.Let’s take a look at setting up your sequence settings for proper multi-channel audio.By default, Premiere Pro typically renders out videos with a single audio track, and it can be frustrating to figure out the correct settings for export. Rendering multiple tracks is easy to do, but it can be a bit tedious to set up and render properly. If you miss one step then it won’t work.First, you need to create a new sequence and click on the Tracks tab.Once there, you will want to change the master settings to multichannel and the number of channels to match however many you need. You may also need to click the add button if you don’t see enough audio channels.Next you will need to change each audio channel to mono. Then, change the output assignments according to their respective channels. For example, if you have four audio channels, then you will change Audio 1 and Audio 2’s output assignments to Audio 1 and 2. For Audio 3 and 4 change the output assignment to Audio 3 and 4. Finally, you will want to pan each track left and then right. Then name your sequence and click okay.Next, just drag your video and audio files into the sequence. You can even copy any edits you have made in a previous sequence and paste them into your new sequence.  To double check your setup, make sure there are an appropriate number of audio channels and that the correct audio is showing up in the proper channel.Finally, go to File > Export Media to bring up the export settings. Some formats won’t support multiple audio tracks, so you need to make sure you choose a format that will accept them. In this case, I’m going to choose QuickTime as my format. In the video tab, I’m going to change my video codec to Apple ProRes 422 and click Match Source. Next, click the audio tab and make sure the audio codec is uncompressed. I’d also change the sample size to 24 bit. Under audio channel configuration, change the output channels to however many channels you are rendering out. Then hit Export and you are done. Do you have tips for working with multiple audio tracks? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

6 Lifesaving Hacks for Cropping Your Footage to a Wider Aspect Ratio

first_imgBrief Overview of Aspect RatioIn the simplest of terms, an aspect ratio represents the dimensions of your frame. Numbers such as 3:2, 4:3, 1:1, and 16:9 are all standard aspect ratios in video and photography, each one representing the ratio between the width of your image and the height of your image.Let’s begin with the standard aspect ratio of 16:9.For footage that is shot in a 16:9 aspect ratio, your resolution will measure sixteen units in width and nine units in height. In other words, for every sixteen pixels of width, there’ll be a corresponding nine pixels of height. Take for example 1920 x 1080, which is one of the most well-known 16:9 resolutions. The width (1920) is evenly divisible by sixteen. The height (1080) is also evenly divisible by nine. Therefore, the 1920 x 1080 resolution is in the 16:9 aspect ratio.You can scale 1920 x 1080 down to 1280 x 720 (HD-720p), or scale it up to 3840 x 2160 (UHD-4K) and beyond, and the 16:9 aspect ratio will always remain constant.1. Choosing the Right Aspect Ratio for Your ProjectTelevision, web-based content, and many documentary films use the standard 16:9 aspect ratio. It was originally created as a compromise between 4:3, which was the old standard aspect ratio for broadcast, and 2.35:1 (or CinemaScope), which was the standard aspect ratio for films destined for a theatrical release.Today, filmmakers and content creators have the flexibility to choose between the standard 16:9 aspect ratio, or a plethora of wider aspect ratios including 2.35:1 or the more common 2.39:1. Generally speaking, a wider aspect ratio creates a more cinematic look in your images. For example, let’s compare the two shots below. Which one looks more “cinematic” to you?Images via Bud SimpsonFilmmakers began using the wider CinemaScope aspect ratios to more accurately create what the human eye perceives.Be sure to check out these excellent PremiumBeat resources on choosing the right aspect ratio for your project:Choosing Aspect Ratio: A Guide to Everything You Need to KnowAspect Ratio Explained: When to Use the Major Three This article will specifically look at the aspect ratios used in video and film, focusing on the two well-known aspect ratios of 16:9 and the wider 2.39:1.Cropping your 16:9 footage to a wider aspect ratio can instantly add a cinematic look to your work. This is especially true if shooting on DSLRs and camera systems that don’t allow you to record footage at wider aspect ratios, such as 2.39:1 (or scope, as it’s sometimes referred to).However, there are several things you should take into account when cropping your 16:9 footage to a wider aspect ratio. Use this resource as a guide for cropping your 16:9 footage the right way, saving yourself time and major headaches in post and delivery. Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Be Big” by Reaktor Productions from“Influencerz” by Eternity Bro from“Trouble Always Comes” by Grace Mesa from“Night Owl” by Waxwing Music from PremiumBeat.comFor more information about utilizing wider aspect ratios, be sure to check out these PremiumBeat resources:Choosing Aspect Ratio: A Guide to Everything You Need to KnowCheat Sheet for Social Media Video Aspect RatiosThe Many Different Ways to Use the Crop Effect in Premiere ProChoosing the Best Aspect Ratio for Your VideoHow Social Media Has Redefined the Aspect Ratiocenter_img 2. Choose Your Aspect Ratio Long Before You Begin ShootingProfessional camera systems such as RED and the ARRI Alexa series offer recording in aspect ratios wider than 16:9, such as 2.39:1 (or scope). However, most DSLRs and prosumer cameras offer few choices in aspect ratio other than 16:9.So, let’s say for a particular project, your budget constraints force you to shoot on a DSLR or mirrorless camera. However, you and your director decided that this content is destined for theatrical release and would be best suited to a wider aspect ratio. How do you achieve the cinematic look of a wider aspect ratio, if you’re forced to shoot 16:9?The strategy is to shoot at 16:9, then crop the top and bottom of your footage in your editing software.There are several things you should take into account when cropping your 16:9 footage to a wider aspect ratio. First and foremost, the decision to deliver your project in a wider aspect ratio should be made in pre-production — not in the editing room, after you’ve already shot your footage.Your framing influences shot composition, lensing choices, storyboards, and even production design. Therefore, make the decision to shoot wide and crop before you start shooting. Furthermore, communicate this decision with other department heads, such as production design. The decision to deliver in a wider aspect ratio should never be made in post-production, after you’ve shot your footage. This will result in composition flaws — such as reduced headroom — and can create a claustrophobic effect in your images.3. Lens Your Project Slightly Wider to Account for Lost HeadroomIt’s also important to consider lensing when planning to crop your 16:9 footage to 2.39:1.In general, shooting at a slightly wider focal length will produce a more pleasing image, and will help in determining headroom for your subjects. Shooting at wider focal lengths will also accentuate the immersive quality of shooting in scope. Take, for example, this iconic shot below from David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (Freddie Young, DP). When cropping your 16:9 to 2.39:1, it’s a good idea to keep your field of view wider than 35mm. However, there are of course exceptions to this rule.Lawrence of Arabia via Movie Screencaps.com4. Shoot in 16:9 — Use Guides and Overlays to Compose Your ShotsSo, you’ve made the decision to shoot in a wider aspect ratio. You’ve also made the decision to lens your project slightly wider than you normally would. This is to account for the pixels you’ll lose at the top and bottom of your image when you crop in post. So, how do you compose your shots while shooting in 16:9?Most DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and external monitors offer some sort of onscreen guide to help you compose your shots. Here’s an example of the overlays that come standard with the Blackmagic Video Assist monitor:Image via Bud SimpsonTIP: If your camera or monitor doesn’t have guides or overlays, tape two thin strips of gaffer tape over your LCD screen to approximate the crop. This hack works in a pinch, and can always be fine tuned in the edit.5. Use PNG Overlays During Your Edit — Crop Your Footage for the Final OutputYou’ve shot your footage. Now, it’s time to ingest your media into your editing software and crop it to a wider aspect ratio.You accomplish this with PNG overlays. These overlays are simply images of black bars placed at the top and bottom of your frame. The overlays are designed to crop a 16:9 image to that of a wider aspect ratio. These work in the same way as the framing guides that you used on your camera or external monitor.To begin, you’ll need to find and download the appropriate aspect ratio overlays. You can download a set of overlays here.Once downloaded, select the appropriate crop for your project. Import this into your editing software, and place it onto the topmost video layer in your sequence. Once in place, lock the layer and edit your sequence as you normally would. By utilizing these transparent overlays, you’ll be able to see what your final output will look like after you crop it.If you composed your shots correctly during the shoot, there’s no need to make adjustments. However, you can reframe your subject along the vertical axis, if need be. If you’re shooting 4K and delivering at 1080p, you can also scale your image up and make adjustments along the horizontal axis, as well.6. Turn Off Your Overlay Video Layer and Crop Your Image Using Export SettingsOnce your project is complete, it’s time to export.Before exporting, be sure to turn off your PNG overlay layer.Next, navigate to File > Export. In the Export Settings dialog box, select the Source tab, and hit the Crop button at the top-left corner of the dialog box.Check out this video to learn how to properly crop your footage and prepare it for output.To recap, here are the six things you should take into account when cropping your 16:9 footage to a wider aspect ratio:Make the decision to use a wider aspect ratio in pre-production — not on a whim in the editing room.Communicate this decision with other department heads (such as the director, storyboard artist, production designer, etc).Lens your project slightly wider than normal to account for lost pixels at the top and bottom of your image when cropping.Take the guesswork out of framing and use your monitor’s framing guides to compose your shots.Use PNG overlays in your editing software to see what your final output will look like.When ready to export, turn off the PNG overlays layer and crop your footage using your editing software’s export settings.last_img read more

How To Be a Pro

first_imgAmateurs and professionals are different. Professionals do things that amateurs are unwilling to do.Proactive: There may be nothing that better defines you as a professional than your being proactive. Taking action before any action is necessary is what true professionals do. Professionals do things by intention. Waiting is for amateurs.Proficient: A professional has mad skills. They are proficient in what they do. They’ve got the situational knowledge, or experience, to know how to produce results. Professionals bring a level of expertise that brings with it trust.Provocative: There are times when, as a professional, you need a response. You need to shake things up to get things moving and get things done. The status quo sets just like concrete, and there is nothing professional about that. Professionals aren’t afraid to be provocative.Problem Solver: Professionals are problem solvers. They have the ability to look at a challenge and use their experience and their resourcefulness to find a way to overcome the obstacle or challenge confronting them. The amateur looks for a way to avoid dealing with the big, hairy problems. The professional relishes the challenge.Productive: A true professional is productive. They produce. Result after result, always working, always generating new outcomes. The professional has a body of work as proof positive of their productivity. The amateur may show up at work, but the professional goes to work so that they can get to work.Process: The professional has a process. The amateur flies by the seat of their pants, always winging it and hoping for the best. The professional knows that the order in which things get done can have a massive impact on their results. They follow a process that ensures that they attain those results.Profitable: Amateurs work for free. The amateur enjoys what he does, but it’s a hobby. Professionals get paid for their work. The professional knows that when you create value, you are entitled to keep some of the value that you created. Professionals are paid and profitable.last_img read more

I Have Changed My Mind

first_imgIf you haven’t changed your mind about anything significant, you aren’t learning, and you aren’t growing. The more you are open and receptive to having your long-held beliefs challenged, the more you will grow. But that growth requires that you change your mind.Not Being PrescriptiveI used to believe that it was wrong to be prescriptive when it comes to teaching, training, and coaching a sales force. I believed that it was more important to teach the sales force how to think about their problems and challenges and come up with their one answers.All of these things are still true, but sometimes you need to give salespeople the answers along with the questions. You don’t always have the time for the steep learning that accompanies selling well.Everyone Is Ready to Face the TruthAt one time, I believed that if you could show your prospective clients the truth about their problems or challenges that they would be compelled to take action. But this again is only sometimes true.There are some prospective clients who don’t want to know what their real problem is because knowing would mean that they have to act on that knowledge. These prospects believe that not knowing what their problem is will absolve them of the responsibility for dealing with that problem. You can repel contacts who don’t want to deal with their challenges by being consultative.People Are Motivated By MoneyI changed my mind about people being motivated by money. I believed that the right compensation structure would motivate people and that the opportunity to earn more would cause them to do more. Some people are truly money-motivated. They will do whatever is necessary to earn more money.But the vast majority of the people you come in contact with only want more money. They aren’t motivated by the potential to earn more. Offering some people more money doesn’t motivate them, nor does it change their behavior. Many of them like certainty and recognition more than money.Can You Change Your Mind?I’ve changed my mind on more than a dozen other long-held beliefs and ideas, some too personal or too controversial for this blog.What if you are wrong about what you believe? What if something you have long believed isn’t true? Will seek out information that feeds your confirmation bias? Or will you open yourself up to ides with which you have disagreed? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Haryana BJP MP Dharambir Singh says won’t contest next election

first_img: The BJP MP Dharmbir Singh from Haryana’s Bhiwani-Mahendragarh Lok Sabha constituency has said he won’t contest the next parliamentary election as he has not been able to work for people.Mr. Singh told The Hindu that “I find my misfit in the role of MP.. I have not been able to work for people the way I would have wanted and therefore I don’t want to contest next Lok Sabha election.”“I am though willing to contest election for the State assembly,” he added.“Assembly constituency is a relatively small region in comparison to the parliamentary area.. I find my self more comfortable to work with people at the local level and thus have decided to focus on assembly polls rather than contesting parliamentary elections,” he said.Dismissing that his decision of not contesting the parliamentary election has come in the backdrop of any rift within the party, Mr. Singh said ”there’s no factionalism in the party.”Mr. Dharambir Singh had in 2014 left the Congress party and joined the BJP ahead of the parliamentary election. He won the election from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh lok sabha seat.last_img read more

BJP will see demonetisation, GST impact in Gujarat elections: Akhilesh

first_imgDemonetisation woesThe BJP will see the impact of demonetisation and GST in the Gujarat elections as people have “made up their mind against the party”, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav said on Sunday. He said the BJP’s graph was coming down as its policies were “anti-farmer and anti-trader”. “The decision of demonetisation and GST has affected traders and the economy is ruined.The BJP will see its impact as people have made up their mind to vote against it,” Mr. Yadav said at a traders’ conference here. PTIlast_img

Bandh over Kathua rape affects normal life

first_imgA partial shutdown was observed and rallies organised by the Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHCBA) to press several demands including the handing over of the Kathua rape and murder case to the CBI. The shutdown affected the rail services and traffic on the national highway.“We will intensify the agitation in case the government fail to meet our demands. If you (the government) did not throw Rohingya’s out of Jammu, we will make Jammu-Rohingya Muslim free. ” said JHCBA president B.S. Salathia at Satwari.Mr. Salathia also demanded that the case of the eight-year-old Bakerwal girl, who was raped and murdered in January in Kathua, should “be handed over to the CBI for investigations”. The Bar also demanded the roll back of order issued to the Tribal Affairs minister by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti over forest land enclosures. The lawyers’ association organised street protests, which hit the vehicular movement on the Jammu-Pathankote national highway and train services at Hiranagar.The bandh call evoked partial response in Jammu region, as normal life was not impacted in the Chenab Valley or the Pir Panchal valley. Lawyers in these valleys distanced themselves from the shutdown call.last_img read more

13 children killed as train hits school van at unmanned crossing in Uttar Pradesh

first_imgThirteen children were killed and several others critically injured on Thursday after a school van carrying them was rammed by a train at an unmanned crossing at Behpurva in Kushinagar, 325 km from State capital Lucknow..The death toll could increase, police said, adding that the driver of the Thawe-Kaptanganj passenger was among the injured.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reached the accident site and met the victims’ families. He also visited the injured in the BRD medical college in Gorakhpur. Mr. Adityanath said prima facie it appeared to be the fault of the bus driver, who allegedly had his earphones on.He has also raised questions about the age of the driver, who is believed to be a minor.The students belonged to the Divine Public School.Compensation to victims’ familiesIn a statement issued earlier, Mr. Adityanath directed the Commissioner of Gorakhpur to conduct an enquiry into the cause of the accident, which he termed “unfortunate”. He announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh to each of the families of the victims.The railways have also ordered a probe into the accident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh to each of the kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh to those with serious injuries and Rs 50,000 to those who sustained other injuries.Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “I am deeply anguished and pained by the loss of lives of young school children at an unmanned level crossing [UMLC] in Kushinagar, UP. My thoughts are with families of the deceased and I pray for the early recovery of the injured. We stand committed to take all possible steps to avoid such accidents in future.” Uttar Pradeh DGP O.P. Singh has directed ADG, Gorakhpur to supervise the relief and rescue operations.Hundreds of people gathered at the accident site and demanded a higher compensation for the victims. Mr. Adityanath had to use a loudspeaker to calm down the angry crowd. The 13 children were identified as Muskan, Tamanna, Sazida and Ragina, girls aged 7, 10, 11 and 7 respectively; and boys Hariom, Santosh, Ravi, Atiullah, Arshad, Anas, Golu, Miraj and Kamrul, all aged between 8-10.last_img read more

NRC final draft: Trinamool, BJP workers get into scuffle in West Bengal’s Malda district

first_imgTrinamool Congress and BJP workers got into a scuffle in Malda district of West Bengal as both sides took out rallies on the issue of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. Trinamool leaders said the party was opposing the plan for an NRC update in West Bengal and observing a “black day” in protest against the detention of its MPs and MLAs at the Silchar airport earlier in the week. The BJP said they took out the rally to demand the NRC in Bengal. The two parties crossed paths in Malda town.“The situation was quickly brought under control,” Arnab Ghosh, Superintendent of Police, Malda, told The Hindu.CPI(M) State secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said the two parties were pretending to criticise each other for narrow political interests.last_img

Himalayan Queen coach derails in Panipat; passengers safe

first_imgA coach of the Himalayan Queen derailed near Bhodwal Majri railway station on the Delhi-Ambala route in Panipat district of Haryana on Wednesday morning, Northern Railway officials said. No casualty was reported. There were no injuries to passengers. The train was on its way from Delhi to Kalka when the accident happened at 6:49 am. Railway officials have reached the spot. The train departed from the site without the affected coach at 8.01 am.last_img

Gujjar stir leader Bainsla joins BJP, may contest

first_imgGujjar quota agitation leader Kirori Singh Bainsla on Wednesday joined the BJP, giving a boost to the party’s efforts to win over influential leaders in Rajasthan where it had lost Assembly polls. Mr. Bainsla and his son Vijay Bainsla met BJP president Amit Shah and announced their decision to join the party at a press conference in the presence of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is handling his party’s election affairs in the western State. “I have seen rarest of rare qualities in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that’s why I am joining the BJP. The country needs his leadership,” Mr. Kirori Bainsla said, adding that he is inspired by Mr. Modi’s working style. Recently, Jat leader Hanuman Beniwal had also joined the BJP and merged his regional party with it. The BJP has fielded him from Nagaur. The BJP is considering fielding Mr. Bainsla or his son from a Lok Sabha seat, sources said.last_img read more

In Hathras, two villages ‘boycott’ poll over poor condition of road

first_imgShowing a thumbs-down to the BJP government’s development agenda, villagers of two villages in Hathras reserved constituency boycotted the Lok Sabha poll for a major part of the day.Voters of Bijona Bujurg and Sikharan villages said that they wouldn’t vote because despite repeated requests the 1.5 km stretch of road that connects the villages to Jiroli mod of Lodha block had not been constructed for the last two decades.“We have been suffering for a long time. So, we decided not to cast our franchise this morning. The decision has not been taken under any pressure,” said Omkar Singh, a local farmer, speaking on behalf of 1,500 voters. “It has been our demand for many years. We made requests on Facebook and have sent letters to the Prime Minister portal but our demand has not been heard. The PM talks of digital India but we are waiting for basic needs. During rains, it becomes impossible to cross this small stretch,” Mr. Singh claimed. Jitender Singh of Sikharan village said during rains children are not able to go to school for days. “We wanted to register our protest. There is no politics behind it.”The locals said that these are Thakur-dominated villages and don’t matter for the candidates of the reserved constituency. “When the word spread, the wife of the BJP candidate Rajvir Diler, who is also the local MLA, came to the village and said that our votes didn’t matter to her,” alleged Giriraj Singh, another villager. Manoj Kumar, the Block Level Officer, denied the charge. “She made a request, but their demand couldn’t be met overnight.”Rampal Singh, the presiding officer of Bijona booth, said that the District Magistrate also visited the village to convince the voters that their demand would be met but they didn’t heed to his request.“It is a first in my career,” said Mr. Rampal. He added that the villagers had been peaceful and had in fact given them cots to rest. ‘Gandhian protest’“It has been a Gandhian protest. We could have pressed NOTA but it would not have made such an impact. We wanted to show that we have lost interest in the system,” said young Mukesh Kumar. After repeated requests from the administration, by 4 p.m. the villagers of Bijona decided to cast their vote but residents of Sikharan remained adamant. “In our village out of around 1,100 votes, only about 30 have been cast,” said Mr. Jitender.last_img read more

PG quota: Maratha Kranti Morcha backs protesting students

first_imgThe Maratha Kranti Morcha, on Sunday, announced its support to 250 aggrieved Maratha students whose postgraduate (PG) admission in medical colleges has been cancelled.The students have been protesting at Azad Maidan against the cancellation of their admissions following the Supreme Court striking down the 16 % Maratha quota for PG students in the medical stream this year. At a meeting held at the Chhatrapati Shahu Hall near Shivaji Mandir in Dadar (West), aggrieved students said that since they started protesting five days ago, none of the Members of Legislative Assembly had come to meet them and address their demands. A student, on condition of anonymity, said, “This is the start of another protest which will be against the cancellation of reservation for us. We have also approached the Maratha Kranti Morcha for assistance.” Virendra Pawar of the Maratha Kranti Morcha said, “We will head to Azad Maidan to support the students, and we will call our workers from different corners of the State to join us for the protest over the next two days, till May 14, which is the last date for readmission process to these colleges.” ‘Shocking decision’Gaurav Pawar, one of the affected students from Sangli, had got into MS Orthopedics at Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College in Nashik before his admission was declared null. Mr. Pawar said, “I also got into MMIMSR college near Ambala, but when we took admission in Maharashtra, we were disqualified from the other All India and the Diplomate of National Board exams. I then got into VPS college in Nashik where this shocking decision came to us after being there for 10 days.” Mr. Pawar added that there was no rule which states that admissions once given to students can be taken back. His mother, Shaurya Pawar, an advocate said, “My son applied for the PG medical course after the admission notification came out and then was in the college for ten days before this notification came out. Then the Nagpur Bench of the high court said that the admissions are cancelled because this rule of reservation was supposed to be applied the next year. Why did the government say that the examination forms could be filled if the admissions were to be cancelled later?” Dr. Suyash Patil, another aggrieved student, said, “Till we do not get back the 250 seats reserved for the Maratha community, we will protest at Azad Maidan. We want the same college and the same seat.”last_img read more