Double Header: Beth's seminar and panel for the Association of Photographers at ShootLDN

October 14 2015
A big “Thank you!” to the wonderful audiences that attended Beth’s recent events at the AOP Awards Exhibition and Seminars in London last week. We’d like to give a special thank you to the panellists that joined Beth for an insightful discussion on Friday about navigating the worlds of stills and motion – thanks to Josh Rothstein, James Gerrard-Jones, Ross Walker and Waldo Wilkinson for sharing their wisdom in this lively and educating talk. They covered a range of topics from the protocols of film production and budgeting, how to identify what your own brand is and how to express and manage this over different mediums, the differences between preparing a motion shoot compared to a stills shoot, the challenges of maintaining consistency between your stills and motion work, and how to approach writing treatments for motion work.


Saturday saw Beth riding solo as she delivered a presentation that spoke about the process commercial photographers can make to cross over into the fine art world. The seminar was a deep exploration covering both the visual and practical issues surrounding developing a fine art practice today


Once again, we thank the audience for being so receptive and appreciative, and to the AOP for hosting these events. Keep tuned to www.mercurylab.com for Beth's upcoming appearances, and email studio@mercurylab.com for enquiries regarding Beth speaking at your event.

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Some thoughts on why are there so many movies these days based on real-life stories

June 18 2014

As a culture, we all want to escape to a more fantastic and altered universe. A universe where magic, monsters, and super heroes are commonplace, or at least unsurprising. A universe where every one of us knows all the moves for a beautiful, spontaneous, dance number in the park, with a carriage ride into a velvety summer night in Central Park at the end. For years, audiences have used fantasy (not just in films, but across all media) as an imaginative way out of the pressures of the stressful anxiety of the “Real World”.

However, within in the past couple of years, we have seen the emergence of “True Story” films with story lines based on actual events and/or real people. Of course, films have featured true stories in the past, but typically not in the concentrated numbers of releases that we're seeing now. Films like The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, and The Bling Ring have all gained considerable notoriety in the media and awards shows as well as popularity at the box office.


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Of course, one could argue that it’s the star-studded casts that pull viewers into theatres, but I’m more curious as to why there is such an interest in real life stories at this particular moment in time. Why are we so interested in these narratives? As a nation, anxiety and stress is at peak levels. In a pro-digital, pro-tech, pro-CG-that-ocean-into-the-scene world, maybe we're just looking for a different, more authentic connection. We are looking for characters that we can identify with, and not just in the world of made-up super heroes and heroines. It seems that as a culture, we are responding or longing for characters that lived in our world, who know (at a base level) about what we experience. Spiderman may take place in the very real New York City, but Peter Parker's problems are not something we can all relate to. But a worried boat captain, trying to keep his crew safe from pirates? Weirdly it’s real, based on a real man who rose to a real crisis and became a real hero. Now that’s life, and compelling on a profound emotional level.


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