Avalon 25 Years Ago

In 1989, I traveled to Baltimore, Maryland. It was there where it all began. My wonderful journey into the fantastical business of making motion pictures. Twenty five years ago this year! If you are reading this in October or November, it was these months when we were working on Barry Levinson’s movie Avalon. The movie was released in 1990.

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If you were part of the Crew, we worked together. Perhaps you were an Actor or an Extra. Maybe you were a citizen of Baltimore in 1989 watching it all happen or you are connected to it in some other way. If you were close to it, the effects are probably special to you too. Over the years, I have gushed about the production experience and how it was and still is, in my opinion, the high-water mark of what working on a movie should be… collaborative, family, and memorable. This movie and the connected production experience made a positive impact on my career – and life.

And to all of my fellow crew, thank you.

 

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Jamie Vesay

Collaborator to Filmmakers, Photographers, and Creatives – mostly within the commercial advertising realms and budgeted projects.

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I prefer to PLUS the boards, shoot BETTER locations, collaborate with the ENTIRE crew, and bust ass toward KILLER results. As a Leader of creative pros, I guide the project within a professional PROCESS, proper story-telling, OPTIMUM photography – and FUN.

Respectful of the CREATIVE, sensitive toward CALENDAR, conscious of BUDGET.

Ask me. 

 

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.

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Photos & words are COPYRIGHT Jamie Vesay USE requires permission.