I was trying to release a new blog post every weekend since the site went live. Two weeks ago I forgot. Then again last week I forgot again. My world has been busy, how's yours going?
Finally settling in to the new place has been nice. This last week I filmed a portion of my special Christmas project that will be released the week of Thanksgiving on my personal Santa Stuart Facebook page (stay tuned and look forward to THAT would yah?). It was a bit difficult making the set considering I didn't have much to work with, but I think it came out alright.
Most importantly, I've revamped what's available for patrons on this website. I've updated and included digital backgrounds as well as authored a few power-point presentations I've recorded and uploaded to the site as well. What has amazed me the most about this brotherhood of Santa Claus representatives is how many came this last week. The most we've ever had was last week at 9 Santas in total. This week we were at an even 20! So many participants came out to see take part in this week's topic of "Cinematic Lighting" (You can view all the Zoom meetings here).
I was greatly impressed by not only the amount of attendees, but also by the quality of their setups. Most with their cameras on were using digital backgrounds and I can tell you, we've come far from when we first started this. We had one participant use a digital backdrop from the website, and I was very impressed that his lighting helped him be a part of the same environment. We even had one Santa with amazing lighting AND who was using an external digital camera as their webcam. Overall, I was very happy with tonight's Zoom meeting and hopefully what was taken away from the presentation thrown together with principles I'm doing my best to remember from college.
Next week we'll be going over audio and some equipment that will be useful to all those wanting to sound good. I know there's a big debate on whether lapel mics or shotgun mics are the best (at least there's a debate in the film industry to my understanding from my previous boss). I can tell you this for certain: any external mic is better than just using what's built into the laptop or computer one would broadcast from.
There's a lot on my mind as I pull triple duty with doing film work, my Santa representative duties/preparations, and my family life. I think it's important that everyone takes time to reflect every now and then; to unplug from the digital world around us. During this pandemic time, that seems almost impossible because we so long for the comfort and the contact with friends and those with like-values. I'm glad that we have Facebook and Zoom as the Santa Claus community that I know of has drawn closer now than ever before.
Representatives around the globe in the past have interacted at 3 day long Santa Schools or other orientations. Now, we're able to not only encouraged to call each other, but to do so with video and in groups! Tonight was one of those days I just heave a big sigh and say a quick prayer. How I am grateful for all the lovely friends out there who I am just getting to know a bit better now because of this pandemic.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still job searching and looking for a viable source of income for the off-season. But the time I get to spend with others from the community is golden. Remember, I didn't start out with a mentor or knowing anyone who wanted to represent Santa Claus as professionally as I hoped to. I had to find my way after 3 years to all the obscure Facebook titled groups. And now, with those groups and technology, we're seemingly getting to know each other oh so much better. What a wonderful blessing that is.
Yours as always,