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.

The Wonder of Wind Turbines

th_Wind Farm at sunset Winter 111614 Jamie Vesay WM IMG_5995 - Version 3 copy

Yes, some times I get to do cool things. Scouting a wind farm was part of a recent project and – let’s just say, these babies are even cooler up close. I have scouted turbines in the past (from a distance) and they were mesmerizing then, but when you get to be so close and go inside and be on top of one, your appreciation and respect for the scale of them goes to a new level. The latter wasn’t on my bucket list but I summarily added it, and then crossed it off.th_Top of the turbine CRP TRD Jamie Vesay copy 2The engineering and design (inside) is incredible. And yes, the view from the top was crazy. It was a clear sky this day and I could see for about fifty miles in every direction. Safety first, as you can see, climbing helmet, ample harness, and eye gear are all in play.

th_Wind turbine shadow Iowa 10312014 Jamie Vesay IMG_5023 - Version 2

Love when the light pierces the turbine and blade shadows happen.

th_Wind turbine at sunset Nov 2014 IA Jamie Vesay WM IMG_6026 - Version 3Later in the day and the light was – amazing. There was plenty of gawking.

If you’d like to learn more about shooting around a wind farm and about a large array in Nebraska, visit my Locations site at NebraskaLocation.com 

Scouting the Sun Light

Important things to know about Location Scouting any location—with natural light is where the sun rises, travels, and sets. Also known as the sun path. More importantly, what will that path look like on the day you will be shooting? That time could be the next day, month, or year.

Sunrise in trees and fog Jamie Vesay TRD via CameraPlus iPhone Small WMI am still surprised to occasionally encounter human beings who are simply unaware that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Even sadder? Some don’t even know which direction east or west is… Technically, the sun rises and sets due east and due west at a very limited time of year.*  Most earthlings (because they’re not Scientists or Location Scouts) don’t know the sun’s true path shifts at different times of year from a southern track in winter and a northern track in summer. The photo above is sunrise in summer shooting almost due northeast. The shot below is sunset in autumn shooting due southwest.

cropped-wet-alley-at-sunset-nm-dutch-iphoto-treated-wm-copy.jpgSome times on the day you’re scouting, it is cloudy or you’re in the shadows of buildings or a natural canyon or indoors. There are a amazing Apps available to help you or you can go old-school and use a compass. But you must know where the sun will be traveling that day.

In movie-making of yester-year, DP’s would often order a Light Study for a location. This practice is rarely employed any more because of the Apps mentioned above but the process would involve a Scout being at a location all day, snapping a photo every hour, to see when the best light occurred. I did one of these recently at the times of day when I knew we would be shooting. It was refreshing to see the actual sun path and learn what it was doing.

Pause and reflect on that one shoot. You know the one.
Pause and reflect on that one shoot. You know the one.

Yes, I have been paid to watch the sun rise and set – and I am grateful. In most cases, it was me, the camera, and the daily gift of natural light. There is a quiet calm that can only be experienced at those paused moments. Those moments have been magical and they make for elements of production nirvana.

Learn from the sun’s path. Shoot it when it shines best. Be thankful you’re seeing it.

* My compass readings are based on the geography of the United States of America. 

 

Photos and words COPYRIGHT Jamie Vesay  USE requires permission.