Former Foster Child opens his child welfare file

Posted by ryanjackson on Mar 30, 2015 in photos, video

Former Foster Child opens his child welfare file from Ryan Jackson on Vimeo.

Former foster child Kane Blacque obtained his Alberta child welfare file recently through a freedom of information request. March 30, 2015. Video by Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal.

This video posed an interesting challenge. Kane Blacque had lived a very tragic life and had the courage to FOIP his child welfare file and share it with Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons.

Creating a video to go with Paula’s column posed an interesting challenge as all I had to work with was the interview with Kane and visuals of him reading his welfare file. We had to be very careful what we showed in his file for legal and privacy reasons.

I wanted to create a video that had a serious feeling to go with the very serious topic. I shot the interview with two Panasonic GH4’s and used a Kessler Pocket Dolly and Pocket Jib to move the camera. I used macro extension tubes with a Canon 50mm f1.2L lens to get closeups of the documents.

Here is Paula Simons helping me test the lighting.

Here is Paula Simons helping me test the lighting. I used two lights to the left and right and one above on a boom arm.

Behind the scenes photo of Kane reading his child welfare file. I used cinefoil (black tinfoil) to control the light from my LEDgo light panels.

Behind the scenes photo of Kane reading his child welfare file. I used cinefoil (black tinfoil) to control the light from my LEDgo light panels.

Kane Blacque poses for a photo in the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton on March 30, 2015. When he was young he would spend hours in this spot by himself and think about his life which was spent working as teen prostitute in the 1990's. Last August, Blacque filed a Freedom of Information request with Alberta Human Services to see his entire child welfare record. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

Kane Blacque poses for a photo in the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton on March 30, 2015. When he was young he would spend hours in this spot by himself and think about his life which was spent working as teen prostitute in the 1990’s. Last August, Blacque filed a Freedom of Information request with Alberta Human Services to see his entire child welfare record. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

 

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Operation Varsity Paratrooper training

Posted by ryanjackson on Mar 19, 2015 in photos, video

Operation Varsity Paratrooper training from Ryan Jackson on Vimeo.

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry conducted training exercises around Josephburg, Alta. on March 19, 2015. The purpose of the training was to practice airborne skills in the seizure and securing of an airfield objective as well as commemorate the 70th anniversary of Operation VARSITY, a successful allied WWII airborne operation in 1945. The soldiers even jumped from a historic DC-3 Dakota airplane that was used in the original operation 70 years ago. Video by Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry conducted training exercises around Josephburg, Alta. on March 19, 2015. The purpose of the training was to practice airborne skills in the seizure and securing of an airfield objective as well as commemorate the 70th anniversary of Operation VARSITY, a successful allied WWII airborne operation in 1945. The soldiers even jumped from a historic DC-3 Dakota airplane that was used in the original operation 70 years ago. Video by Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry conducted training exercises around Josephburg, Alta. on March 19, 2015.  Photo by Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry conducted training exercises around Josephburg, Alta. on March 19, 2015. The purpose of the training was to practice airborne skills in the seizure and securing of an airfield objective as well as commemorate the 70th anniversary of Operation VARSITY, a successful allied WWII airborne operation in 1945. The soldiers even jumped from a historic DC-3 Dakota airplane that was used in the original operation 70 years ago. Video by Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry conducted training exercises around Josephburg, Alta. on March 19, 2015. Photo by Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal

Members of the Scotford Hutterite Colony check out the historic DC-3 Dakota used for Operation Varsity at Josephburg airort on March 19, 2015. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

Members of the Scotford Hutterite Colony check out the historic DC-3 Dakota used for Operation Varsity at Josephburg airport on March 19, 2015. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

 

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Cow Cop hanging up his spurs

Posted by ryanjackson on Mar 6, 2015 in video

Cow Cop hanging up his spurs from Ryan Jackson on Vimeo.

RCMP livestock investigator Cpl. David Heaslip is retiring after 45 years, making him the longest serving member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. March 6, 2015. Video by Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal

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Journal reporter Jana Pruden and I got to spend a day with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. David Heaslip who was retiring in a few days.
Basically his job was to investigate all issues around livestock in northern Alberta such as cattle theft and fraud.  He was the perfect man for the job. We felt like we were hanging out with a modern cowboy. Aside from the cool job he was also the longest serving member of the RCMP after more than 45 years.
This was a great story but unfortunately we didn’t find out about Heaslip until it was his last week on the job.  There was only one afternoon that would work for us to follow him so the pressure was on.
Here's Cpl. David Heaslip being interviewed by Jana Pruden in the A&W restaurant in Westlock, Alberta on March 6, 2015. It was filled with old farmers having morning coffee.

Here’s Cpl. David Heaslip being interviewed by Jana Pruden in the A&W restaurant in Westlock, Alberta on March 6, 2015. It was filled with old farmers having morning coffee.

For this story I decided to use my Canon XF300 video camera. I usually avoid using traditional “video cameras” as I prefer the quality of DSLR video over the small 1/3” sensor of the XF300.
For this story though, I only had once chance to capture him I knew I would have to keep the camera running the whole time to catch any great moments or sound bites. Normal video cameras are great for that because they have image stabilized zoom lenses, autofocus and way better ergonomics than a DSLR.
I still wanted to have as much of a cinematic look as possible so to combat the “video look” of the XF300 so I setup the camera with a very flat, low contrast, cine colour profile and planned on grading the footage afterwards to get the look I wanted.
The biggest exposure consideration when filming anything is to preserve your highlights. Blown out highlights (over exposed whites) are the quickest way to make you videos look amateur.
This is a lot of the reason why people who shot on film for years hated digital cameras. Digital sensors could’t handle highlights as well which would affect skin tones, colour and the overall look of the finished product.
Film cameras and higher-end digital cinema cameras can handle highlights far better than small video cameras and DSLRs. If you know what you are doing you can fake it with a digital camera, but you have to be very careful with your exposure.
Back to the XF300. I wanted this video story to have a 2.35:1 aspect ratio similar to many Hollywood movies.
This was simply a personal choice. Some people hate the super wide format. Everyone is different.
I set my viewfinder to have a 2.35:1 mask (white bars that help you frame your subject) so that I would compose my images for the narrow widescreen format.
The “proper” way to shoot super widescreen format is actually to use an anamorphic lens which actually captures a narrower wide angle field of view and delivers a completely different look than just cropping the image.
These lenses were originally made for tanks to that soldiers could see more terrain when looking through a periscope. They were later used by Hollywood so that movie theatres could offer movies that had a completely different look than the squarish 4:3 programs on TV.
Since I don’t have an anamorphic lens I just cropped my video from 16:9 to 2.35:1 in Final Cut Pro X.  It is really important that you mask your viewfinder when you want to shoot in 2.35:1 aspect ratio or you will cut things out of your frame that you want.  If your camera doesn’t allow you to add bars then putting tape over the LCD screen helps too.
Here is a picture of the viewfinder on my XF300. Notice the horizontal white bars to help frame the image 2.35:1. I also have a piece of tape reminding me that I’m composing 2.25:1 and to keep my highlights below 90%.

Here is a picture of the viewfinder on my XF300. Notice the horizontal white bars to help frame the image 2.35:1. I also have a piece of tape reminding me that I’m composing 2.25:1 and to keep my highlights below 90%.

I wish we could have spent more time with Heaslip but news reporting is all about doing the best you can with the time you have.
When I got back to the office I edited the video in Final Cut Pro X and used the great plugin FilmConvert to grade (colour) the video in black and white.
Check out the finished video at the top of this post.

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Mayerthorpe massacre 10 year anniversary

Posted by ryanjackson on Mar 3, 2015 in photos, video

Mayerthorpe massacre 10 year anniversary from Ryan Jackson on Vimeo.

The Mayerthorpe Fallen Four Memorial Society held a candle lighting ceremony in Mayerthorpe, Alta. on March 3, 2015 to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the deaths of RCMP Constables Peter Schiemann, Leo Johnston, Anthony Gordon and Brock Myrol in what was the worst multiple killing of Mounties in modern Canadian history. Video by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

The Mayerthorpe Fallen Four Memorial Society held a candle lighting ceremony in Mayerthorpe, Alta. on March 3, 2015 to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the deaths of RCMP Constables Peter Schiemann, Leo Johnston, Anthony Gordon and Brock Myrol in what was the worst multiple killing of Mounties in modern Canadian history. (Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

The Mayerthorpe Fallen Four Memorial Society held a candle lighting ceremony in Mayerthorpe, Alta. on March 3, 2015 to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the deaths of RCMP Constables Peter Schiemann, Leo Johnston, Anthony Gordon and Brock Myrol in what was the worst multiple killing of Mounties in modern Canadian history. (Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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