Jamie Vesay Work and Wanderings 2017

A great benefit of my job is to be working during sunrise and sunset. It’s a best-time to snap a photograph thing. Yes, I have been paid to watch the sun rise and set. The photo above is from mid summer 2017 while LOCATION SCOUTING large fields of corn for a commercial.

Turns out – 2017 ended up being much about chasing the sun.

In February and March I was my own client. WRITING, scouting, and making more connections for my project Fauna’s Thread. I am parallel-writing (a word I made up) a BOOK and SCREENPLAY (a process I do NOT recommend). The status of the project is in DEVELOPMENT but it’s awesome to see the cranes each year. The photo below is from a blind on the river—at sunset.

July was busy with more scouting the sun. A good one was for FX company Ring of Fire. ROF needed low-light landscapes for a Lyrica commercial. All action was shot months prior – elsewhere. I was the Scout / Production Manager. The crew was small and the shoot was positive. New professional relationships established. Great pros in John and Jerry.

Chasing the sun became literal with a career highlight in August; experiencing and working during the ECLIPSE. It was truly a remarkable and humbling event. I worked on a project for Volvo as a LOCATION SCOUT to start, then as a Production Assistant for the shoot. We shot 360 VR LIVE as Volvo sponsored CNN’s Eclipse coverage.

We were in Beatrice, Nebraska – one of four live set-ups under the path of totality. See it all via Facebook. Our clip is at about 52:00 (or – 44:00). Pan around – especially during totality; the only time you’ll ever see (what looks like) sunset all around you. A cool bonus was meeting writer Andy Weir (below w/me). Fancy eclipse glasses included.

The road trip of the year was a ride and relish through upper central/northwest/western NEBRASKA. Despite the fact that everywhere I go I am #alwayslocationscouting – this trip was a pleasure cruise with my better-half Sue

Hiding right under my big nose were floats trips on lazy rivers, lodging in a cowboy camp and an Asian vibe motel, crash courses in paleontology + geology + more unreported history of Native Americans getting the shaft. This trip was educational and inspirational.

In December I was in the polar opposite of wide-open landscapes; Los Angeles.

I was there reconnecting with colleagues and unofficially pimping the movie Downsizing, a movie I worked on with Director and friend Alexander Payne.

It was wonderful to see the movie at Paramount Pictures theater with many Nebraskans and others with connections to AP. 

2018 will bring new work and wanderings. Have projects on your plate? Reach out. Visit NebraskaLocation too.

Cheers, to your work and wanderings.

Definitions

Edited April 2016

cropped-sunrise-in-trees-and-fog-jamie-vesay-trd-via-cameraplus-iphone-small-wm.jpgWhat if you woke up one day and everything about what you do for a living was different? From tangibles to tools, from processes to people; all have been renamed. The services you use for your work life now mean and do something else. All technical formats you are familiar with have changed. Your crew, titles, and tasks have new names – and definitions.

As a twenty-plus-year working professional within the production of commercial images (new definition) – and more often struggling to find the best match of project, fair wage, and career equity – the answer to What the hell has happened? can be found within the comparison of meanings.

In my opinion, the dictionary has been rewritten.

Most businesses (of any kind) experience change in their lifetimes and as the saying goes, ‘adapt or die.’ But since our industry’s paradigm has been so altered – many of the titles, processes, paperwork, and technology (dressed as latest-greatest meets previously-used hybrids) have become unrecognizable.

Theories aplenty are spewed daily about how the creative industry can be better and how we can ALL thrive – not just survive. Aside from the obvious upside down math of too many cameras for not enough clients, old-school colleagues will still retort the basics of business:

  • “If your product is good, people will find you – and pay.” 
  • “If your process is consistently smooth, clients will return.” 
  • “Bring and build value.”
  • “Provide a return on investment.”

I agree with these practices in an industry where the buyer knows the definition of these things. But in a business cycle of good-enough, project award decision-making reflecting nepotism, and race to the lowest price (even FREE!) – words such as skills, experience, craft (?), mindset, and client services are rarely part of conversations.

It wasn’t always like this.

I try to remain idealistic about the latter elements still hanging on and in some circles, still being required. Yet I continue to experience their decline and disinterest on new projects. Embarrassingly, I find myself pining for the basics of a worker; loyalty, dress code, safety, communication, and being on time.

Yes, this post is a subjective to marketplace. Some of you may be so busy with work, you couldn’t give a flying about any of this. If you are crazy busy, you’re not even reading this…  Perhaps some of the big picture answers are located near the fact that standard operating procedures in our industry were never ever defined and effectively enforced.

As the questions continue to waste more of our time, one thing I know for sure. Nobody knows the definition of the future.

cropped-road-nemex-jamie-vesay-wm-100_0088-copy.jpg

Photos & words are COPYRIGHT Jamie Vesay USE requires permission.

What’s Next?

Many people ask me about the state of the production business (as in film, commercial motion pictures, video, photography for advertising, or whatever it’s called these days). Well, the short answer is – if I knew those answers, I would be in the business of predicting the future.

It wasn’t long ago, when all of us who were doing it – felt like we were members of a community. A semi exclusive club, held in somewhat of a higher regard. Respected and respectful. Proud. Entry was earned through dues paid or who you knew… or even the occasional resume got you work. You were the envy of those who aspired to be like you. Those who wanted in, asked questions. How do you do that? How can I be a part of it? Will you teach me?

Things are different these days.

Changes affect everybody’s world in different ways. Adjustments must be made to continue on. Especially if you are doing what you love and hope to be doing it for years to come…

It’s too easy to blame technology, the economy, or the new generation. The facts are, the process has been tweaked, the budgets are smaller, and our industry is different. Yes my friends, it is different. There are different Definitions.

These times are indeed the most exciting yet the most scary at the same time.

I would put this out there to my colleagues. Change – for your own better. Adjust your paths as they narrow. Consider – alternate revenue streams – now. Expand your view of where you are and where you want to go.

You can still be a part of it or watch it all go by from the next scenic overlook.

 

Photos, words COPYRIGHT Jamie Vesay USE requires permission.