Parentification in Military Families

first_imgJay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhDIn a recent research article, Hooper, Moore & Smith, (2014) provide a review of the research literature on parentification in the context of military family systems and military culture. Parentification is not unique to military families, but may occur in any family where there is a role reversal between the parent and the child.[Flickr, IMG_4660 by Anders Osterberg, CC BY-ND 2.0] September 17, 2015What is parentification?The authors define parentification as the disturbance or lack of appropriate boundaries between family subsystems, resulting in functional or emotional role reversal between parents and children in the family [1]. Recently, the term parentification has been used more widely in the military family literature.Why this is important:An increasing number of individuals on active duty are supporting families with children.Clinical practice should be informed by the military culture – military families face atypical stressors, such as frequent deployments.[Flickr, Washing Dishes by Val, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015Functional vs. Emotional ParentificationThe authors distinguish between two forms of parentification: functional and emotional. Examples of functional parentification would be a child taking on additional household tasks and performing specific functions that the deployed parent might have taken care of previously, such as taking out the trash or babysitting. However, emotional parentification refers to the remaining parent using the child inappropriately for emotional support, which leads to increased emotional burden for the child. While it might be necessary and okay for children to help out in the household, and provide functional support, it is inappropriate and damaging for children to provide emotional support to their parents.The researchers in this article state that far-reaching effects of parentified children can include poor academic performance, an inability to form positive relationships, and feeling overburdened and overwhelmed. Systematic evaluation should be used to identify the extent of parentification. While a good clinical interview should be able to help clinicians determine whether parentification is occurring, some additional tools are available:Parentification Inventory [2]Information on the Parentification Questionaire [3]The researchers emphasize that clinicians should consider a strength-based approach to treatment, because the child or adolescent may have experienced parentification as positive. Intervention and treatment strategies should be informed by the context and role adopted during the parentification process, according to the authors.References[1] Hooper, L. M., Moore, H. M., & Smith, A. K. (2014). Parentification in military families: Overlapping constructs and theoretical explorations in family, clinical, and military psychology. Children and Youth Services Review, 39, 123-134. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.02.0030190-7409.[2] Hooper, L. M. (2009). Parentification Inventory. (Available from L. M. Hooper, Department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling. The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487).[3] Jurkovic, G. J. & Thirkield, A. (1998). Parentification Questionaire (Available from G. J. Jurkovic, Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303).This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

The Prevalence and Impact of Spanking as a Form of Discipline: Does Spanking Equate to Abuse?

first_imgBy: David Lee Sexton, Jr.Pixabay[Hands by johnhain on November 5, 2015, CC0]Prevalence of Spanking as DisciplineSpanking continues to represent a commonly used practice that parents engage in to discipline their children. 76% of men and 65% of women agree that “it is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking” (ChildTrends, 2015). Spanking is viewed by most as a necessary and normal part of child-rearing, and the practice is often defended as a completely separate practice from hitting or abuse (Gershoff, 2017). However, Gershoff (2017) indicates that spanking may not be as detached from abuse as many parents believe.Effects of Spanking on Development and BehaviorMeta-analytic studies conducted by Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor (2016) found that the use of spanking does not actually result in more compliance from children, both short-term and long-term. In addition, Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor found that did not result in decreases in aggressive or antisocial behavior or increases in the internalization of good morals. Interestingly, the results actually indicate that spanking was linked to worsening behavior in children, rather than behavioral improvements. Finally, spanking was also associated with increases in aggression and antisocial behavior exhibited by children, and spanking was also linked to negative developmental outcomes in childhood, such as mental health problems, low self-esteem, and poor academic performance.Spanking vs. Physical AbuseGershoff (2017) indicates that family violence experts consider spanking to be on the continuum of violence against children. While spanking may seem like a fairly harmless disciplinary tool due to the lack of pain or signs of injury associated with it, the biggest risk of utilizing spanking in discipline is the threat of spanking leading to physical abuse in the future. Gershoff points out that 75% of physical abuse cases involved parents who sought to intentionally physically punish their child and indicates that there is a strong association between use of spanking as a form of punishment and physical abuse. So, while many parents may believe spanking will not lead to negative outcomes for their children, the fact is it can be easy to take spanking too far and slip into physical abuse. As such, it is important to be aware of existing research regarding the effects of spanking to make informed decisions about discipline.Want to Learn More?To learn more about spanking and its effects on development and behavior, please take some time to watch the MFLN Family Development team’s free, archived webinar presented by Elizabeth Gershoff, Ph.D. Dr. Gershoff is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a developmental psychologist who studies how parenting and discipline, in particular, affect the development of children. Her research combines longitudinal and hierarchical methods for understanding the dynamic and multilayered contexts of children’s lives.ReferencesChild Trends Datanank. (2015). Attitudes toward spanking. Retrieved from:, E. (2017). Unintended consequences: What we now know about spanking and child development. MFLN Family Development. Retrieved from:, E.T. & Grogan-Kaylor, A. (June 30, 2016) Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies and new meta-analyses. Journal of Family Psychology. 30(4), 453-469. post was written by David Lee Sexton, Jr. of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

10 Tips for Building Your Video Production or Editing Business on Twitter

first_imgLooking to jumpstart your video production or editing business?  Leverage Twitter to expand your brand – follow these 10 tips for success!Use Twitter to help build you creative business! These tips should be useful to you if you’re a one man freelance creative whirlwind or a multi-national creative empire. I’ve sprinkled in some illustrative tweets of good people to follow if you’re in the video production and post production world.1. Have a goal – make a planWhen using Twitter specifically to ‘build your brand’ you need to be clear in your own mind why you are using it and what you want to get out of it.Having a clear plan.  Build a crowd of followers who might like a product when it’s launched.  Build a network of other professionals in your city.  Have an online presence with the goal of ‘industry recognition’ and ‘brand awareness’.  All of these are valid reasons to use Twitter.  Without a targeted goal you are aimless.Remember, it takes time to build a following.  It takes persistence and takes personal passion.  If its a chore to do, it really won’t be engaging to follow.2. Tweet effectively and consistently (signal to noise ratio)One of the things I find most annoying (personally) is when people have long conversations with their friends in a medium that is designed for 140 characters. Its not MSN or AOL messenger!My tip would be to decide if your Twitter account was created as a work account or personal account for talking shop with friends.  If it is a work account, use it as such!  This is a broadcast medium in which strangers can and will follow you. Therefore consider whether you really want to tweet pictures of your dinner or shots of your friends at the pub if its not really part of your ‘brand’.  Also if you’re sending out more noise (dinner photos) than signal (useful links, tips, insights, etc) people will have a tendency to unfollow you.3. Time your tweetsOn Twitter timing is everything. People’s feeds can rapidly fill up and your carefully crafted tweet can quickly get lost in the deluge.  So, time your tweets for your core audience. Most people tend to check Twitter in the morning (breakfast/commuting) or at lunch or in the evening when they get home (7-9pm?). Therefore try to time your tweets for when you think the greatest number of your followers will be thumbing through their feed.  If you want to nail down the science of timing tweets check out this in-depth post that provides TONS more details.4. Tweet others good stuffFinding enough things to tweet regularly can be a challenge but that’s what retweeting is all about. If your followers are like-minded creative professionals (why they are following you in the first place, right?) then chances are the things you’ve spotted on Twitter and enjoyed, they will to.Don’t be shy about retweeting other peoples work, posts, tips and links. It all adds value to those who are following you and that adds value to your brand. You’ll probably pick up a fair few more followers as others spot you retweeting their links.5. Use Twitter to meet peopleThe Internet is great, but so is the ‘real world’ where you can meet people face-to-face. Organizing a local meet up (aka a pub night) of some of your Twitter friends who might live in the same city, is a great way to solidify friendships, put faces to names and also connect with people in a more meaningful way (which hopefully will lead to some mutually beneficial paid gigs!)6. Use hashtags sparinglyAlthough hashtagging key words in your tweets can be helpful if others are searching for them, it is speculated that when google indexes your tweets it can treat them as spam if they contain too many hashtags. I’d stick to one or two for safety and clarity. Personally I usually only hashtag the software (eg #DaVinciResolve) or a community group like #postchat.7. Use listsTwitter lists are a great way to add even more value for your followers.  Lists allow you to group who you are following by topic, location or event.  This makes it things more organized for you and allows your followers to discover other active Twitter users.  For more info check out this guide on using Twitter lists.8. Celebrate your current workUse Twitter to build your brand by celebrating your work and promoting your clients projects. An easy way to do this is to Tweet the following:Before a project:  ”Excited to begin work on project Y for Client X.”During a project:  ”Working hard on project Y….”” (maybe with an on-set photo or post production screenshot)After a project is finished:  “Glad to have worked with X Client on project Y, check it out here…”Promoting the job you are currently working on is a great way to raise awareness of your brand.9. Thank peopleThis is such a quick and easy ‘win’ it’s amazing less people do it.  If someone adds you to their ”creative professionals list” or is always favoriting and retweeting your stuff – just drop them a quick Direct Message to say thank you.In addition, you should thank your cast and crew after a hard days work or the successful conclusion to a project.  It doesn’t cost you anything, but it goes a long way!10. Trim your feed for more fruitful useOnce you’re an active Twitter user you’ll be following more people than is really feasible to keep up with. You can either live with this and just dip in and out of a steady stream of content or start to trim away at your feed and whittle out those who aren’t providing useful links. Partly this will depend on your goal from point 1.BONUS:  Join in community tweet-festsSometimes a creative community will gather together for a tweet fest.  For video editors there’s #postchat, which is a regular Twitter meeting of minds and an online fast paced Q+A.  If you can, and the time zone suits – join in to these events, connect with people and generally add to the Twitter community vibe. If there doesn’t seem to be a tweet-fest that’s for your interest – why not get one going?last_img read more

How to Spot a Fake Canon Battery

first_imgDon’t get burned! The following video by Canon explains how to identify an official Canon battery from a knock-off.It’s no secret that name brand batteries are much more expensive than their cheaper counterparts. Take the Canon LP-E6 for example. On Amazon a new Canon LP-E6 costs about $60, while an off-brand costs as low as $4. If you’re a filmmaker on a budget, $60 batteries can add up quickly…but cheaper knockoffs definitely come with added problems.The biggest problem with using non-Canon batteries is the fact that they typically do not communicate well with Canon cameras. This makes checking the battery life impossible, so there is really no way to know how long you have left. This is VERY  problematic if you are shooting an event like a wedding.Over time I’ve slowly been replacing my cheap batteries with official Canon batteries, but how do you know if that cheap eBay battery is an actual Canon brand battery or a knock-off? In the following video you’ll learn how to tell the difference between a non-Canon battery and on official Canon battery:Where do you buy your batteries? Have any buying tips to share?Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Real Cinema Lenses You Can Afford

first_imgCheck out this list of affordable real cinema lenses for independent filmmakers and videographers!Top Image Courtesy of ProKit.comLast week we took a look at the world of real cinema lenses and their astronomical price range. While it’s fun to window-shop for top-level gear, most of us simply don’t have the budget to use such tools. But all is not lost — there are other options. While these options are not always cheap, they are manageable and will provide a professional glass to capture the “cinematic look” we want.The lenses that we’ll discuss below can be bought for a much cheaper price than the pervious lenses we looked at. However, many times you’ll find that you might be able to save money by renting these lenses in a bundle package with a camera from places such as Borrow Lenses and Abelcine. Now, let’s get to the glass and check out the best affordable options for cine-style lenses.Zeiss Compact PrimesFirst up is a hold over from the big budget cinema prime list, Zeiss. While the Master Prime series is an amazing lens set, it isn’t very cost effective for independent filmmakers. Knowing this, Zeiss created a line of primes called the Compact Primes. While these lenses won’t give you the exact same glass quality as the Master Primes, they’ll get you pretty darn close.Technical SpecsCine-style housing, based on Master PrimesLonger focus rotation & manual focusInterchangeable mounts (PL, EF, F, E & MFT)Aperture range: T2.1 – 3.6Price Points35mm: $3,990.0050mm: $4,500.00135mm: $5,700.00Here is Adorama TV’s review of the Zeiss Compact Prime lenses.Schneider Cine-Xenar IIINext up is German manufacturer Schneider Optics, who, like Zeiss, got their start at the dawn of cinema. Since its inception in 1913, Schneider has been innovator in lens design for film professionals. They’ve sold well over 14 million lenses since the beginning of the 20th century and show no signs of stopping. While they usually deal in large format lenses, they offer independent filmmakers a cheaper cinema lens solution with the Cine-Xenar series of lenses.Technical SpecsSuper 35mm frame coverageStandard PL mount, EF mount availableCovers 2K/4K/5K CinemaAperture range: T2.0 – 2.2Price Points35mm: $7,750.0050mm: $7,750.0095mm:  $7,750.00Here is a video demo of the Cine-Xenar III series lenses in action from Schneider.Cooke Mini S4Cooke Optics has the high-end S4 line, but they’ve also developed a more cost-effective choice for independent filmmakers. Taking the design of the S4, they have crafted the Mini S4, which offers the resolution and optical quality comparable to the standard S4.Technical SpecsColor matches Cooke S4Covers 2K/4K/5K cinemaCam-style focusAperture range: T2.8 (standard on all lenses)Price Points32mm: $7,300.0050mm: $7,300.00135mm: $8,500.00To give you an idea of what the Cooke Mini S4s look like, here is a video from writer and director Cassidy Bisher that does just that.Canon CN-E PrimesCanon has been in the Hollywood scene for a long time, and they have to be considered the top camera manufacturer for independents around the world. Canon, like Zeiss and Cooke, have some lenses that reach upwards of $50,000 – $100,000, but they also have a line of cine lenses that are on the more affordable side. For these, we’ll look at the CN-E line of prime lenses.Technical SpecsUltra-wide angle EF mountIntended for HD/2K/4K CinemaDiameter matching with other Canon PrimesAperture range: T1.3 – T3.1Price Points35mm: $4,450.0050mm: $4,450.0085mm: $4,450.00Cinematographer and Editor Erik Naso gives us a nice overview of the Canon CN-E line of Primes.Rokinon Cine LensesLast on the list is a set of lenses that have been burning up the market for sometime now. Rokinon’s lens design and stats closely resemble that of Samyang and Bower, and that’s because they are essentially all one in the same. Rokinon will offer the cheapest option for top image quality, but where it excels in visual power, it lacks in overall build quality. Matthew Saville with SLR Lounge has a great article up regarding the long term quality of the Rokinon. Many filmmakers and professionals swear by them — they also swear you wont be using them three years down the road.Technical SpecsZoom lens of choice for most cinematographersWeight range 4.2-16lbsClose focus 1’9″Aperture range: T1.5 – T22Price Points35mm: $429.9550mm: $540.5885mm: $599.00Want more content on lenses? Then check out these articles from PremiumBeat.Just How Expensive Are Real Cinema Lenses?Sony Product Announcement: 4 Full-Frame E-Mount Lenses for A-Series CamerasWhy You Should Be Investing In Fully Manual LensesDo you use any of these Cine Lenses? What was your experience like? Sound off in the comments below.last_img read more

The Gear of 2016’s Cinematography Oscar Nominees

first_imgYou can’t express your vision without the right tools. Let’s take a look at the camera gear of choice for 2016’s cinematography Oscar nominees.Top image: Emmanuel Lubezki on location with Forrest GoodluckIt’s time once more for the film industry to celebrate and reward the greatest technical and creative achievements of the past year. One Oscar category that’s of special interest to videographers and filmmakers: cinematography. The job of the cinematographer is to take the vision of the director and help make it a reality on film. They frame and compose how all of the visual information (and the work of the production designer, the costume designer, etc.) is seen by the audience. It’s an incredible responsibility and one that, if mastered, can yield amazing results.This year’s awards season has no shortage of talented artists who use the lens as their brush and the frame as their canvas. Let’s take a look at 2016’s cinematography nominees and the artistic tools they used to capture the imagery of the nominated films.Ed Lachman — CarolCate Blanchett and Ed Lachman on the set of Carol, via AFCPreviously nominated for his work on Far From Heaven, Ed Lachman’s second nomination is for his work on Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.For this film, Lachman wanted the texture of natural film grain in his image. However, since 35mm print is so hi-res it loses that texture during the DI (digital intermediate) process, the cinematographer and his crew chose to use the ARRIFLEX 416 (a Super 16 film camera) and an assortment of lenses from Zeiss, Cooke, and Angénieux.Cameras: ARRIFLEX 416 Lenses: Zeiss Master Zoom, Cooke S4/i, Cooke Speed Panchro, Angénieux HR ZoomOther Notable Works: Witness, Rain Man, The English Patient, Cold MountainVideo via The Movie TimesRobert Richardson — The Hateful EightRobert Richardson on location in Colorado for The Hateful Eight, via The Hateful Eight WebsiteNominated for nine Oscars (with wins for JFK, The Aviator and Hugo), Robert Richardson has been capturing amazing compositions for decades.For The Hateful Eight, he and director Quentin Tarantino decided to go back to the classic days of western films and use a 65mm camera — more specifically, the Panavision Panaflex. Additionally, the duo sought out and used the same type of Panavision anamorphic lenses used in the 50s and 60s. This gear combination created an incredible image on screen, especially when seen in full 70mm.Cameras: Panavision Panaflex 65mm Spinning Mirror Reflex, Panavision PanaFlex System 65 Studio CameraLenses: Panavision APO Panatar, Panavision Variable APO PanatarOther Notable Works: Platoon, JFK, The Aviator, Inglourious Basterds, Hugo, Django UnchainedVideo via ScreenSlamJohn Seale — Mad Max: Fury RoadJohn Seale on location for Mad Max: Fury Road, via Creative Planet NetworkJohn Seale is no stranger to Oscar love. He’s been nominated for his work on four films: Witness, Rain Man, The English Patient, and Cold Mountain.What’s interesting about his work on Mad Max: Fury Road is that he was brought on board very late in the pre-production process — plus, he was retired. Alongside director George Miller, Seale crafted a high-octane visual experience using a multitude of cameras, all of which were put through a tremendous workout.Cameras: ARRI ALEXA M, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Canon 5D Mark IILenses: Panavision Primo, Panavision Primo Zoom, Angénieux Optimo LensesOther Notable Works: Witness, Rain Man, The English Patient, Cold MountainVideo via VarietyEmmanuel Lubezki — The RevenantEmmanuel Lubezki on the set of The Revenant, via Emmanuel Lubezki.Emmanuel Lubezki has been nominated for eight Oscars. He won two in a row for Gravity and Birdman. This year’s nomination, for The Revenant, gives him the chance to win the Oscar an incredible three years in a row.On The Revenant, he employed the new ALEXA 65mm camera with an arsenal of 21-28mm lenses. Using this wide format with these wider angle lenses allowed Lubezki to showcase the natural setting in which the characters existed, allowing the wilderness itself to become an important supporting character.Cameras: ARRI ALEXA 65 Camera, ARRI ALEXA XT, ARRI ALEXA XT M, RED EPIC DRAGONLenses: Lecia Summilux-C Series, Panavision C Series, Panavision Primo, Zeiss Master PrimeOther Notable Works: Sleepy Hollow, The New World, Children of Men, The Tree of Life, Gravity, BirdmanVideo via 20th Century FoxRoger Deakins — SicarioDirector Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins on the set of Prisoners, via Variety.Roger Deakins has been nominated for thirteen Oscars, more than any other active cinematographer. Unfortunately, Deakins has never taken home the prize for his work — but that might change this year with Sicario.Using a strict rotation of ALEXA cameras and Zeiss lenses, Deakins was able to capture some incredible images. As he’s done in the past, Deakins challenged himself to get every shot he could without using zoom lenses. It’s incredibly difficult, but as Sicario proves, its amazing when done well.Cameras: ARRI ALEXA XT M, ARRI ALEXA XT Plus, ARRI ALEXA XT StudioLenses: Zeiss Master PrimesOther Notable Works: The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, SkyfallVideo via VarietyWho will take home the Academy Award? Who’s missing from this list? Share your hot cinematography opinions in the comments below!last_img read more

How an Average VFX Pipeline Works

first_imgThese are the steps that take Hollywood films from the green screen to the big screen.Top image: The Jungle Book via Walt Disney PicturesVisual effects are so prevalent in modern cinema that it can be easy to overlook the extensive process involved in every computer-enhanced shot. While behind-the-scenes breakdown videos are becoming increasingly common, few of them reveal what a VFX pipeline is actually comprised of. Here’s a look into the standard creative steps of creating on-screen magic.1. Pre-ProductionResearch & DevelopmentThe first step in any VFX pipeline is usually research and development. During this period, the technical approach to the film’s effects is decided, focusing on software preference and technique. Most Hollywood blockbusters will require unique programs or plugins more sophisticated than mass-produced VFX software, and it is during the R&D phase that programmers, artists, mathematicians, and even scientists develop the tools necessary to bring the on-paper concepts to life.Image: Interstellar via Paramount PicturesFor instance, the stunning black hole, Gargantua, as seen in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, required its own proprietary physics simulator to be built from the ground up, as well as extensive scientific input, namely from Kip Thorne, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at California Institute of Technology.Pre-VisualizationPre-visualization is essentially the process of converting a storyboard and script into a 3D animated, low-quality rough draft of each VFX shot. While this does not always accurately reflect the succeeding final result, it allows the director to get an idea of what shots will look like and therefore prepare better for principal photography.Pre-vis technology has become extremely sophisticated as of late, even overlapping into the production stage by providing live, digital environments that can be referenced during the shooting process. As you can see, this technology is a significant part of what made Jon Favreau’s recent adaptation of The Jungle Book possible.2. Production3D ModelingOne of the most extensive and crucial aspects of CGI is 3D Modeling. This process actually occurs throughout all three stages of production, with iterations of varying detail being created for varying purposes. For instance, pre-visualization only requires low-detail representations of the final product.Image via MovieViralDepending on the importance of a given digital prop, it could be comprised of anywhere from hundreds to millions of polygons. Built according to concept art, or in the case of real objects, according to reference photos and 3D scans, 3D models are the foundation of any digital subjects.Matte PaintingWhile 3D models make up the bulk of an environment, many backgrounds are still created using matte painting. Matte paintings have been commonly used to create background landscapes since long before the rise of digital effects, but they remain as important as ever.Image via SlashFilmWhile they are often created digitally now, as opposed to with traditional paint, matte paintings are still the favored method of producing immersive backdrops.Principal and Reference PhotographyDuring the actual shooting process, certain members of the VFX team will usually be on set. While they do not have much input into principal photography itself, they will take numerous photos of everything, from the environment to individual, seemingly-unimportant props. These photos are used to create textures for 3D models and to reference the scene’s real attributes such as lighting, object size, and more.The more detail involved in reference photography, the more realistic the resulting VFX should appear. If shot on film, the VFX house is usually provided with their own copy of the film scan after shooting, with which to create a more detailed, High Dynamic Range version for reference and tracking.3. Post-ProductionScene PreparationScene preparation covers a number of processes, but they all serve the same purpose: prepare the provided footage for elements to be inserted in. Among these are motion tracking, rotoscoping and keying, and color correction.Motion tracking analyzes footage with a moving camera and/or moving object, and tracks the 3D motion of the footage to replicate the camera’s movement and place objects into the scene convincingly. Without motion tracking, VFX could not be inserted into shots with camera movement, nor could they be seemingly attached to moving objects.Image via AgenZasBrothersWhen analyzing camera movement, this is technically called match-moving, while motion tracking is usually regarding individual object movement.Rotoscoping and color keying are the techniques used to cut out elements from a live-action shot. Color keying removes a specified color from a scene, as seen with green screens and blue screens.Image: The Avengers via Marvel StudiosRotoscoping is a more tedious alternative to keying, and involves cutting out an object or person frame-by-frame.Color correction is the process of adjusting the lighting and color profile of each shot to meet a unified, consistent look. This is not to be confused with color grading, which establishes the creative look of a movie after all of the visual effects are completed.If shot on film, the film scans being used will also undergo a process called plate preparation (or “dust busting”) in which artifacts like scratches and patches are removed from the film scan.RiggingRigging is what enables 3D models (such as characters and vehicles) to move. A 3D model of, say, an animal, is initially static, but once rigged, its limbs and body can be adjusted and given motion.Image via FlickeringMythRealistic movement, especially of existing creatures and machines, is highly dependent on proper rigging.AnimationAnimators add the movement to rigged models, and are responsible for much of the physical realism of CGI. Animators will often test rigs and attempt to “break” them, sending them back to the rigging department for refinement until perfection.A professional animator must have a thorough understanding of the visual subtleties of physics that they can accurately portray in their work.Effects/SimulationExplosions, water, and smoke are all simulation-based effects that come to fruition here.Polishing effects (ranging from lens flares to fake cigarette smoke) are added over the existing scene, at which point the final product starts to become vaguely visible.TexturingTexturing is the process of adding a surface color and texture to the 3D models, making them recognizable and now near completion. This is where metal objects are given their shine, and humans are given their skin. The level of detail given to an object’s texture is dependent on how close the camera gets to said object, and is therefore usually proportional to the level of detail given to the 3D model itself.LightingOne of the most important factors in realistic CGI is the fidelity of its lighting. Good lighting will accurately imitate that of its setting, and due to the sheer difficulty of the process, poor lighting is often one of the first culprits in revealing an element as fake.Image: Pacific Rim via Warner Bros.Daytime lighting is especially arduous to replicate accurately, which is why many CGI-reliant scenes are set at night.CompositingAt last, the final stage of the pipeline has arrived! Composition is the step often showcased in VFX reels, where everything comes together to assemble the completed product.The live footage, the scene preparation data, the matte paintings, and the various VFX renders are given to a compositor, who then combines and blends them together to create a single, seamless image. The movie will still be color graded after this point, but that is usually out of the hands of the visual effects department.There are undoubtedly many less significant steps of standard VFX production that went unmentioned here, but hopefully this at least gives you an idea of the immense amount of work put into every single CGI moment you’ve experienced.What stage of the VFX pipeline do you find the most interesting? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

How to Record Better Narration and Voice-Over

first_imgRecording voice-over and narration can be a daunting task. Before starting your next project, consider these methods and equipment.Top image via The Washington PostOn my recent trip to Adobe Video World, I attended a session on how to properly record voice-overs and narration put on by Cheryl Ottenritter from Ott House Audio. Though some of the information was obvious, I found several hints and tips to be pretty interesting and clever. Whether you’re working on corporate video, a documentary, or your own feature, at some point you may need to step in front of the mic or direct somebody to do so. Recording voice over work and narration might seem like a dull or simple task, but there are intricate details to remember in order to efficiently get quality audio.Choosing the Right MicImage via ShutterstockThe first step in your journey is finding the right microphone for your recording. There are many different kinds of mics available, all with varying capabilities. Before you spend an unnecessary amount of cash on a mic you only end up using a handful of times, consider the bulk of work you’ll be doing. Is the majority of your work in a studio or out in the field? Answering this question should help you find the right mic.For strictly studio-based recording, a lot of pros go with the Neumann TLM 103 with a Popper Stopper. An excellent option for studio and field-based recording is the Sennheiser MKH 416, essentially the industry standard. This hypercardioid microphone picks up great quality sound when pointed at your subject. With a $1000 price tag, this mic isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for. Though this is a boom mic, it still works great for voice-overs and can be used in the field as well. So, you know, win/win. This is also a great mic for inexperienced talent to work with. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, the Sennheiser MKE 600 is an excellent choice.Script-wise, one helpful hint is to always use a tablet like an iPad or a Galaxy if you have access to one. Instead of reading the script from paper, turning pages, and general ruffling, the tablet is silent and will give you a better finished product. Whichever you decide to use, be it tablet or paper, make sure to place it on a rubber pad to avoid noise.Time to RecordImage via ShutterstockIt’s important, if possible, to do the recording in a small room with padding and soundproof blankets to absorb the sound. Remember to stand always — NEVER SIT. This opens up the diaphragm and allows the voice to reach its full potential. Ideally, position your body at a slight angle to the mic and don’t have the headphones too hot (in order to prevent the sound from bleeding into the mic.)DODrink room temperature water prior to recording.Eat apple slices or lemon wedges to help with the smoothness of your voice.Record in .wav.Record six inches away from the mic.Have pencils handy if using paper scripts.Drink hot tea anytime before recording to help with hoarseness.Re-record the first two pages of dialogue (now that the voice is warmed up) before ending your session.DON’TWear jewelry.Wear a loud starched shirt.Wear noisy nylon.Record in 16-bit or mp3.Drink milk before you record — this coats your vocal chords and creates a dull sound.Be right on top of the mic.Use an omnidirectional mic for voice-overs. Have any of your own tips for recording stellar VO? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Tax Deductions and Resources for Freelance Filmmakers

first_imgTaxes can be daunting for freelance filmmakers. Here are some tips for organizing your expenses and deductions this tax season.Top image via Shutterstock.Perhaps my least favorite part of being my own boss is the maddening process of doing my taxes each year. Some years, this process has been nothing short of overwhelming. But this year I set out to establish a better system to ease the pain of saying so long to some of my income. While I would absolutely recommend an accountant or tax specialist if you have access to one, I also think that being organized and informed will help you get the (very literal) most for your money. Whether you’re taking to TurboTax, hiring an accountant, or going rogue, understanding your deductions and relying on some available apps should simply the process this tax season. Below you’ll find an overview of possible deductions, a list of worthwhile apps, and some general tips. Tax DeductionsImage via Shutterstock.From the train you take to your shiny, new camera, here is a comprehensive list of expenses freelance filmmakers should keep track of (and file away throughout the year) — compiled from the Freelancers Union’s Tax Deductions Overview. Advertising: Website costs (hosting, domain name registration, website template), online or print advertisements, business cards, etc.Transportation: Whether it’s the train into the city, a flight abroad, or mileage to and from sets, keep track of it because you can deduct it.Contract labor: Anyone you have hired to help you with production falls into this category. So if it’s the designer you paid to design your website or the video editor you hired, save all of their invoices.Depreciation: This one is super helpful for freelance filmmakers. If you own your own videography equipment or even just have a computer, you can write off the depreciating value of that equipment for up to five years. So it is important to keep track of your equipment receipts on big purchases like cameras or laptops, even from previous years.Insurance: Any type of insurance you’ve paid into, other than health insurance. This includes property or travel insurance on your gear, liability insurance, etc.Interest: If you took out a loan to buy the latest RED camera, keep track of what you pay in interest because you can deduct your interest on the loan (and on credit cards).Legal and professional services: You can deduct the cost of lawyers or tax professionals, with a few restrictions. Office expenses: Anything from printer ink to storyboarding notepads is deductible. Business property: If you rent an office or another space for videography, you can write this off. Taxes and licenses: You can write off the following taxes you’ve already paid: 1) real estate on your business property (this includes your home office if you work from home), 2) Federal Unemployment tax and 3) state and local taxes (if you did not already collect them from the buyer). Travel: For any business-related travel expense, you can deduct transportation (as long as it does not overlap with the transportation deductions above), accommodations, meals, and other costs, like country entry fees, passport costs, etc. Meals and expenses: This one is a bit tedious but do your best to file every meal and business-related expense. Networking is the name of the game in film and videography, and I find I eat out more frequently than I realize as a networking strategy, so I write those expenses off accordingly. That means beers at the film screening or meals with a potential collaborator can go toward reducing your taxes.Utilities: If you have an office space, 100 percent of your utilities are deductible. If you have a home office, you can deduct a percentage of your electricity, gas, water, internet, and cell phone bills. Health insurance premiums: If you’re not on a health insurance plan through another employer or your spouse, you can deduct your monthly premiums. Educational expenses: If you took any sort of class related to your freelance film and videography work, you can deduct the cost. This includes weekend workshops and lectures. Self employment tax: This is the cost of paying into Medicare and Social Security (which employers would would normally cover).Others: Pension and profit-sharing plans; car rental or equipment leasing; supplies, wages, unpaid invoices, etc.Tips and Apps for Organizing Deductible ReceiptsImage via Shoeboxed.Below is a list of apps that all offer some form of receipt organization and other tax or business benefits.ShoeboxedMile IQMintFreshBooksExpensifyAsk A CPAAnd for you old-school kids (like myself), you can also create a filing system to keep your receipts organized after you’ve digitized them. I’ve broken up my filing system into the following categories:MealsAdvertisingTransportationOffice SuppliesUtilitiesGear Expenses Gear DepreciationEducation TravelOtherOther ResourcesFreelancers Union: Healthy Tax Habits Checklist — As direct as its title, this is a great (and somewhat sobering) checklist to help guide you to a more organized tax year.Freelancers Union: Tax Resources for Freelancers — This includes several in-depth categories with information to help answer all your tax questions.IRS — Filing your Taxes — The final say on any issues you might face, issued by the IRS itself.There is a lot to keep in mind, but I hope this gives you a basic idea of how to manage your expenses for deduction. While taxes aren’t the most exciting topic for filmmakers and videographers, understanding their ins and outs can save you a lot of money. Do your homework, and enjoy the extra money when it’s all said and done.These suggestions are based on the most common tax cases and are not legal advice. Please consult a CPA should you have any questions about your taxes.last_img read more

Production Tips for Filming Large Groups of People

first_imgCheck out these valuable tips and tricks for working with large groups of extras on set.Cover image via Warner Bros Entertainment.Whether it’s on a student film or a big budget feature, working with lots of extras (or just people in general) can be a huge headache to pull off. Not only are there issues with scheduling and direction, you also have to think about issues like food, bathrooms, and communication.If you find yourself in a role wherein you’ll need to corral, wrangle, and direct a large group, here are seven pieces of advice to help you get the most out of your crowd.PlanningImage via Shutterstock.First and foremost, your best bet for ensuring a successful crowd scene is to plan it meticulously. A tight script needs translation into a tighter shooting schedule that takes into account all aspects of setup, taking breaks, and problem-solving stopgaps. Working from a solid storyboard will also help. If you plan accordingly, you can ensure that your crowd shots take as little time as possible with optimal results.Assistant DirectorsImage via Shutterstock.The bigger the crowd, the more people you’re going to need to control them. On many shoots, the role of organizing PAs, extras, and the crew falls to the assistant director (or directors). The ADs need to handle all the elements of crowd management, they keep the schedule, and they and put out any (figurative) fires — which will free up the actual director and crew to work on setting the shots and working with the talent.Wranglers/PAsImage via FTHMB.An army of ADs will often (hopefully) lead an army of PAs. You’ll need PAs or wranglers to stay with the extras and control the crowd. This includes preparing them with costumes and make up and shepherding them into formations as directed by the ADs and director — not to mention getting them food and water and seeing to any medical or physical problems that may arise.Walkie-talkies/HeadsetsImage via Imgur (johnbrier).One of the most important tools on bigger, more complex shoots is a solid walkie-talkie communication system. Handling a large crowd would be almost impossible without being able to instantly communicate with ADs and PAs. Be sure to have back-up sets, batteries, and charging stations to ensure you’re never at a loss for communication.Bullhorns/MegaphonesImage via Shutterstock.On a similar note, since large crowds can often be loud, spread out, and hard to communicate with, a system of horn blasts or megaphone announcements may be your only option to get a group moving. This is also helpful when crowds need to react to certain cues or make synchronized movements. A short blast or “REACT NOW” may be your only option to get them to work in unison.Zoom LensesImage via Shutterstock.If you have the means to pull hundreds of extras for a crowd shot, more power to you. Shoot as wide as you’d like to show off your casting resources. However, if you’re working with a smaller group of extras that need to appear to be much, much greater in numbers, consider shooting scenes tightly with controlled, long zoom lenses to control your frame. This can also create a shallow depth of field to blur out extras so you can use them multiple times.Food/Water/RestroomsImage via City Palate Catering.Craft services, when done right, can be the most valuable part of any production. When you have large crowds and lots of extras, you can absolutely count on people getting tired, hungry, and thirsty — and they’ll need to use the restroom. If you don’t have the capabilities to meet those basic human needs, everyone is going to have a bad time.Do you have any tips for filming large crowd scenes? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Demo Reel Tips: Use Smoke and Fog to Make Your Work Stand Out

first_imgCreating Another WorldWonderment: that’s what you want somebody watching your demo reel to feel. This fog setup will get you moving in the right direction. The process is simple. Purchase a insect fogger, and instead of filling it with insect repellent, fill it with mineral oil. Now, I wouldn’t recommend doing this inside, as it will be too thick and visibility will be poor, but in the appropriate outdoor setting, like the woods or a field at magic hour, you can create a really otherworldly scene.This fog has a long hang time, and it’s fairly dense, so you’ll have ample time to get all the shots you need. If you can get some light shining through your fog, the volumetric possibilities are off the charts.But what if you don’t have access to a forest? Well, last year, RocketStock released a pack of 16 free 4k volumetric light and dust elements. They’re super easy to use, and they improve the end result tenfold. Check this little gem out.Oh, and, let’s say you also want to add a few lens flares to your final product. Last week we put out a free pack of 17 anamorphic lens flares, all organically captured in-house.So that’s it. Go forth and shoot the most epic demo reel ever. If you end up using any of these elements, send us your work on Facebook and Twitter! We’d love to see some amazing demo reels. And here are a few more free assets while we’re on the subject.70+ Free Action Compositing Elements40+ Free Space Textures and Elements21 Free Motion Graphic Elements40+ Free Footstep Foley Sound Effects for Sound Design17 Free Anamorphic Lens Flares for Your Videos and Motion Graphics Atmosphere can be the difference between a boring shot and an incredible one. And colored smoke is about as atmospheric as it gets.No matter your experience level, how often you shoot, or what you’re shooting on, one thing is for certain: getting outside and just shooting can never hurt your craft. And a good demo reel full of creative footage is a good way to advance your career. So what’s something you can shoot to spice up that reel? Something that just really takes it to the next level and starts bringing you bigger clients?How about smoke and fog? How to Approach the SmokeOf course, the creative direction is completely up to you, but there are a few things you should know when choosing the type of smoke. In the video, Robbie used Enola Gaye pull-cord smoke sticks. You can twirl them around, send them up in the air, or attach to a variety of different moving objects. However, they do get pretty hot, so you can slide them into a PVC pipe and tape the outside if you are or an actor is handling them.The smaller the device producing the smoke, the better your video will look because the focus won’t be on the source of the smoke — it’ll be on the smoke itself and what’s happening inside it. The smoke should enhance the production value of your shot, adding flare, mystery, and feeling. It shouldn’t detract from itWhat to Do with ItAs you can see in Robbie’s video, there are all kinds of ways to make creative use of the smoke. All of these methods involve movement because the slow-moving smoke cloud is only interesting if there’s an object or person doing something inside it. Whether that’s a dancer in the woods, a long boarder cruising down a hill, or an intense protest scene, the audience needs something to pay attention to — even if it doesn’t make sense. If it looks cool, it looks cool.And remember, if you’re going for the slow-motion look, shoot at a high frame rate and double the shutter speed. So if you’re shooting at 120fps then set your shutter speed to 240.How to Shoot itKeep in mind the most significant aspect of shooting a demo reel: every shot matters. When making a piece of work for the sole purpose of showcasing your talent, every shot needs to be an accomplishment. So mix up your shots and try new things. If you’re shooting something, and it’s not working, tilt the camera or get low. Add a little dynamic turn with your reel by showing off some surprising angles and shots. For the smoke sequences you see above, Robbie used the new DJI Ronin-S to pull off all of these movements.What About Fog?Now, smoke this thick can really improve a tight shot, but let’s say you want to go wider. What do you do? You can’t get too far from the smoke stick, and you need the haze to sit a while as you get the shot setup. Good thing Todd Blankenship is here to fog up your life.last_img read more

The Lost Joys of Using DIY Filmmaking Equipment

first_imgWe’ve all been there — solving production problems with creative builds on the cheap. But what else do we gain by building our own DIY filmmaking equipment?During the winter of 2009, there were two places where I spent my time: the DIY megastore and my back garden — buying and then assembling bits of piping and construction material to make my DIY filmmaking equipment. From a 9-ft dolly to a 1-ft slider, and of course, the classic PVC shoulder rig — I spent a little time on all the hits.My first contraption from 2009.The Golden Age of YouTubeI fondly remember walking out of the DIY store feeling like I had won the lottery — I was sure that the checkout assistant didn’t correctly scan the second aluminum bracket. It was only when I got back to the car, which was a hurried rush, that I confirmed my suspicions. I only paid for one bracket. As a broke university student trying to build the equipment Peter Jackson was using, this was a godsend. (The store is a gargantuan billion-dollar company; it wasn’t as if I just sent a local small business into the red.)Aside from cat videos, DIY filmmaking tutorials were also at the height of popularity during the so-called golden age of YouTube. Recently, Ted Sim of Aputure and Indy Mogul said, “Nowadays, gear is cheap. Like scary cheap, and if you don’t know already, it’s probably cheaper to buy a lot of gear than to make it. It will save time and money by buying it.” DIY Filmmaking Equipment Then and NowIt’s true. You can pick-up a 100cm Newer camera slider for $69/£45. (The skateboard wheels alone will cost that much.) I haven’t used the device, so I can’t swear by its quality, but it’s likely better than the contraption I built in 2009.Back in 2009-2010, new filmmakers had two choices for sliders: DIY or drop $700 on a Kessler Slider. And it’s not just sliders that are so available now. You no longer have to worry about knockoff ARRI lights exploding because you can get an Aputure 120d for the same price. When it comes to almost any piece of equipment you can think of, what once involved a night with the sawmill and some PVC is now a quick SmallRig purchase. (Is there anything they don’t make?)I was recently swapping DIY tales, and something hit me. Despite all the hardship and the tedious trial and error that went into building these things, they were so much fun. In the following GIF, the first shot is the result of the track and dolly in the cover photo for this article (2011). My right hand was holding the tripod in place (of course there were no feet grips), my right leg was pushing the dolly, my left hand was pulling focus, and I was panning left by pushing my jaw against the tripod handle.It was outlandish, tiring, stressful, and . . . marvelous. This shot is a direct result of the hours spent on forums and digesting everything Erik Beck had promoted on Indy Mogul. Dollies and sliders were tools of the pros, and yet here we were with our own. Of course, the sleepers would soon crack, and after that, the odd wheel would fall off. But there was a significant sense of accomplishment that came with each shot using DIY filmmaking equipment.Organic FilmmakingNow, I have a slider that I can program to track forward and pan at the same time — with my smartphone. The wheels are never going to fall off, and I certainly can’t imagine the framework rusting. And although it helps captures precise shots every time, it doesn’t have the same feeling.Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to time and money, it’s very useful. But I imagine missing this feeling is similar to how a 35mm film photographer feels when they develop their own photos; it’s organic.A decade ago, I would have killed to own the equipment that I have now, and today I wonder if it’s become too monotonous and sucked the joy from “getting the shot.” I appreciate that it’s just as possible to go out and buy all the pieces you need to rebuild that DIY dolly, but I have a funny feeling my schedule will start to clear if I keep turning at up at jobs carrying a 9-ft wooden track.What’s Next for DIY Filmmaking Equipment?None of this is to say that DIY filmmaking equipment is dead. There are still gaps in the low-budget market, and filmmakers are always introducing new DIY tools that replace several other accessories at once. The guys on the Shutterstock Tutorials channel have a number of a great DIY builds, but what’s interesting is that the tools they build (a helium balloon, a Roger Deakins ring light) are at the next level of DIY builds. If making a DIY dolly was one pipe dream we all shared, a DIY helium LED balloon wasn’t even something we considered back in 2009.DIY filmmaking tools aren’t dying — they’re evolving. Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.The Dana Dolly: A Quintessential Cinematic Tool for FilmmakersHow DPs Make the Shift from Commercials to Features and Back Again6 Affordable Ways to Capture Great Dolly Shots7 Basic After Effects Skills Every Editor Should KnowWhat to Consider When Buying Used Cameras and Gearlast_img read more

The 7 Best Premiere Pro Free Transition Template Packs for Video Editors

first_imgWhat’s better than a whole bundle of awesome transition templates that you can use in Premiere Pro? A FREE bundle of awesome transition templates.When you are trying to create a punchy, energetic sequence, fun transitions are the name of the game. When paired with the perfect track, a video that uses creative ways to jump from one clip to another is sure to engage a viewer way more than a boring, traditional cut.Transition packs can usually run you about $20-100 per purchase, and when you want a wide array of them, they can get costly once you add them up. So, we went ahead and rounded up seven of the best free transition packs that the internet has to offer. So check your download speeds, create a new folder, and get ready to download over 100+ transitions!Shutterstock’s Video Editor Toolkit I wanted to start off with this one since it’s such an awesome pack for anyone looking for free assets. Shutterstock’s Video Editor Toolkit comes with over 220 different assets, along with nine free transitions that you can use. So in addition to the transitions, you also get:Animations and Transitions– Icons (46)– Shapes (34)Look-up Tables– .cube LUTs (52)Overlays and Elements– Light Leaks (21)– Dust (2)– Volumetric Light (14)– Sparks (45)The transitions that come along with the pack are Track Matte transitions, which means that you will need to add a Track Matte key to the bottom clip, and then track it to the included transition video file. From there, adjust the composite to Luma Alpha, and the transition will be ready to go!If you need a visual guide on how to use these transitions, follow along with Mike as he guides you through each type of asset included in the pack: 16 Circle TransitionsThese sixteen free circle transitions are some of the more energetic ones out of the bunch. These fun, engaging, and dynamic transitions are the perfect companion when creating a quick social video that cuts from clip to clip quickly. These are also Track Matte transitions, so follow along with the same directions to use them as the Video Editor Toolkit above.Travel Film Transition PackIf there’s one type of video that demands creative transitions, it would be the travel video. There’s hundreds of thousands of different travel vlogs and videos out there, and to stand out, you gotta make yours a little different than the pack. Austin Newman has created a pack of really neat transitions that are fantastic for flipping between shots out of your plane window to the streets of Tokyo. Or, the city that’s like an hour outside of your hometown. No judgement here.These are extremely simple transitions to use. Just download the pack of presets, and import them into Premiere by going to Effects > Presets > Import Preset. From there, it’s just dragging and dropping on top of your clip to get the job done (along with some creative cutting).Handy Seamless TransitionsThese handy seamless transitions from Pixel Samy are simple, fun, and great to use for a quick project. They have a little element of color distortion and ghosting, so it adds even more depth to your transition.These transitions are a little bit more hands-on to get done. It involves about four different layers that you have to duplicate and layer on top of each other (which creates the color distortion). Refer to the short video above to get a read on how to use the transitions most effectively.24 Free Transitions from FILM CRUXFILM CRUX has blessed us with twenty-four fantastic transitions that can be used in just about any situation. This includes zooms, spins, and whip pans, which have become increasingly popular for social video. These transitions are utilized by creating an adjustment layer above the cut point, and then adding the preset to the adjustment layer. Each transition comes with a suggestion for when to start the adjustment layer transition, which takes out the guesswork from trying to match up two videos.Ink Splash TransitionsNow these aren’t what you would call “conventional” transitions, and even the tutorial doesn’t advertise them as transitions. But trust me, these ink splash files are a super creative way to splatter your way through a multitude of clips. Just like most of PremiumBeat’s free assets, these come as .MOV files that are used as Track Matte type transitions, just like the circle transitions mentioned above. You might be able to do some more intensive work in After Effects, but if you are more comfortable with Premiere, they are totally ready to be used as simple transitions.10 Freeze Frame TransitionsI thought it would be a crime to not mention music videos, one of the best use of creative transitions. So, here is one of my favorite free packs from Bryan Delimata that is best suited for that. These are pretty unconventional transitions (which is why I like them) that freeze frames to transition from one scene to another.First, take two clips that you want to transition between. From there, create a frame hold from the end of the 1st clip and duplicate it onto the top video layer. Stretch it out over the 2nd clip.Now, take the Crop effect, drag it onto your freeze frame, and crop out the person in your frame. At first, it will delete them from the frame, but you can reverse it by pressing the “Invert” button in the effects tab. Then, duplicate it again, and add it onto V3.This is where the transition pack comes in. Import the presets from the pack, and start adding effects onto the V2 freeze frame. It will include different types of effects like paint splatters, flames, and other cool visual backgrounds to your freeze frame. Experiment around, play with the opacity settings, and now, you’ve got a killer transition between two sets.Want more on video transitions and other free video elements? Check these out.355 Free Motion Graphics, Sound Effects, Action Elements, and MoreMake Your Cuts Shine with Royalty-Free Transition MusicVideo Tutorial: How to Create a Seamless Foreground TransitionThe Audio Ramp-Up: The Best Transition You Should Be Using3 Visual Effects You Can Create with a Whip Pan Transitionlast_img read more

The Cardinal Sin When It Comes to Leads

first_imgThere are many mistakes one might make when provided with a lead.You could believe that the lead isn’t qualified simply by looking at the company’s name, the size of the company, or the person’s role within their organization, projecting your experience—and your bias—onto the lead without so much as a phone call.You could also be too slow to respond to the lead, believing that you have higher value activities, and since most leads aren’t great, that there is no rush, even when the evidence is to the contrary.But of all the mistakes you might make, the worst of all sins is to believe that converting what might be called a “marketing qualified lead” into a “sales qualified lead” requires that the prospect be “ready-to-buy.” To believe this is to adopt the mindset of an order-taker, making the salesperson, irrelevant at best, and unnecessary at worst (if the prospect is “ready-to-buy,” all that is necessary is a signature).Where You Find ThemYou take your prospects, dream clients, and leads where you find them. The lead that shows up may not be fully qualified (a conversation that, when done poorly, not only doesn’t create any real value for the client or preference to work with you, but likely works against those outcomes). It’s not only possible that the lead you call is not only not “ready-to-buy,” it’s almost certain.Why wouldn’t your lead have questions? Why wouldn’t they want to explore how what you sell would benefit them? Isn’t it natural that people have concerns they need to discuss before they buy? You can’t be “here to serve your clients” and also complain that you have to do just that.Converting a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead is not a “ready-to-buy.” It’s something less than that, while also being something more than the name and email address of someone who downloaded a white paper from your website. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Separatists’ strike affects normal life in Kashmir

first_imgNormal life was affected in Kashmir today due to a strike called by separatists against the civilian killings in Paulwama district allegedly during a gunfight between militants and security forces yesterday.Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed due to the strike called jointly by both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF, officials said.They said that while most of public and private transport remained off the roads, a few vehicles could be seen plying on some routes.Though the separatist had given a strike call for today in their weekly protest calendar issued last week, they asked people to hold protests after Friday prayers against the death of two civilians allegedly during clashes between protesters and security forces near the encounter site at Padgampora in Awantipora area of Pulwama district yesterday.Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers held for the two slain militants and the civilians in Pulwama.last_img read more

Presidential election a clash of ideologies: Gehlot

first_imgAll members of the Rajasthan Assembly, except former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, cast their votes in the Presidential election here on Monday.Mr. Gehlot, who is the All India Congress Committee’s general secretary in charge of Gujarat, cast his vote in Gandhinagar.Of the 200 MLAs, 199 exercised their franchise at a specially set up booth inside the State Assembly. Polling was completed by 2.15 p.m., after Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje cast her vote.First voteUrban Development Minister Srichand Kriplani was the first to cast his vote. He was followed by Congress’s deputy whip Govind Singh Dotasara. Independent MLA Anju Devi Dhanka was the last to exercise her franchise.Support for KovindWhile the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan has 161 MLAs, the party’s State president Ashok Parnami claimed that the National Democratic Alliance candidate Ram Nath Kovind got the support of 171 members in the State.Independent membersThe Congress has 24 members in the House, while the National People’s Party has four MLAs and the Bahujan Samaj Party and the National Unionist Zamindara Party have two each. There are seven Independent members in the Assembly.The party position in the State is heavily loaded in favour of the NDA candidate. BJP majorityIn addition to the overwhelming majority enjoyed by the BJP in the Assembly, all the 25 members of the Lok Sabha and eight of the 10 members of Rajya Sabha from the State are from the BJP. Senior BJP leader and rebel MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari said after casting his vote that his “soul lies with the BJP.”‘Conscience vote’Mr. Gehlot told reporters in Gandhinagar that the Presidential election this time was a “clash between two ideologies” and expressed the hope that UPA candidate Meira Kumar’s call to voters to listen to their conscience would make an impact on the results.last_img read more

NGT wants action plan for waste disposal in Bareilly

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Bareilly Nagar Nigam to identify and acquire land for setting up municipal solid waste processing plants.A Bench headed by NGT acting chairperson U.D. Salvi said, “We direct the Bareilly Municipal Corporation to place before us the complete time-bound action plan for handling of municipal solid waste within the limits of the corporation and for handling and disposal of legacy waste lying at Bakarganj dumping sites.”Land purchasedThe counsel appearing for the Nagar Nigam submitted that parcels of land measuring approximately 4.3 hectares in Bahgulpor district had been purchased with the intention of setting up a waste to energy plant.However, the green tribunal observed: “It can very well be seen that the generation of municipal solid waste within the limits of Bareiily Municipal Corporation will continue and the Bakarganj dumping site will continue to suffer, unleashing adverse environmental impacts for the next two years.”Directing the civic body to provide details of the total municipal solid waste generated within its limits, the Bench in its order sought information on the “breakup of the municipal solid waste in terms of its constituents, namely bio-degradable, degradable and recyclable.”Additionally, the tribunal has asked the corporation to inform the Bench of the process that it intends to adopt to dispose of the waste and the time required for the same.The matter has now been listed for February 9.last_img read more

The PDP-BJP alliance’s many breaking points before the final collapse

first_imgEver since Mehbooba Mufti was sworn in as Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister in April 2016, the PDP-BJP alliance stitched together in March 2015 has lurched from crisis to crisis, and the final break on Tuesday came without much surprise, given the harsh words the two parties have exchanged in the past two years.Here is a list of all the near ‘breaking points’ the alliance has had.Re-alignment troublesAfter the death of Mehbooba Mufti’s father and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in January 2016, it seemed the PDP and BJP would not form another alliance with Ms. Mufti at the helm. After one meeting of her legislators, she went as far as to say that the alliance was “unpopular” with the people, given that the PDP’s strongest constituency — in South Kashmir — was the most opposed to the BJP. Eventually, the alliance was formed after a meeting between Ms. Mufti and BJP President Amit Shah that sealed the deal and she was sworn in as Chief Minister in April 2016, after more than three months of Governor’s rule.Burhan Wani’s killingThe BJP and the PDP came to blows over the handling of JKLF militant and declared terrorist Burhan Wani’s killing in July, just months after she took over, an encounter now seen as responsible for unleashing the new phase in terrorism in the State. While the Centre held that the Wani killing was a big success, Ms. Mufti told her party cadres called his group “children”, and said that she would have preferred to give Wani “another chance”, leading to protests from the BJP in Jammu.Confrontation v/ Appeasement on violenceIn the violence that followed the Wani killing, the PDP and the BJP were often at loggerheads. The PDP leaders accused central forces of excessive violence, and a politics of confrontation in the Valley. On the other hand, the BJP and its constituency, particularly in Jammu, accused the PDP of a too-soft approach to and appeasement of separatists.In April last year, the PDP disapproved of the BJP’s stand commending Major Leetul Gogoi for tying a Kashmiri civilian to his jeep as a human shield to escape stone-pelters during by-elections. In the case of the Shopian civilian killings in January this year, Ms. Mufti ordered an enquiry and an FIR was lodged against members of the 10 Garhwal Rifles, which the BJP opposed. On civilian killings and pellet injuries of stone pelters and civilians, there were several run-ins between the State and the Centre as well, with interlocutors former State Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu and BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav having to travel between Delhi and Srinagar/Jammu in order to ease out each crisis. Once CM Mufti sacked Mr. Drabu in March 2018, divergences became more difficult to resolve, and the BJP publicly called the decision a “setback to the alliance”.State-Centre issuesSurprisingly, while J&K was able to clear the GST taxes proposed by the government easily, the Centre and State wrangled over other issues pertaining to Article 370 and the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The issues were brushed under the carpet after the BJP agreed to put the abolition of Article 370 on the back burner, and the Supreme Court made it clear that Article 35a (that allows the state to decide property rights for “permanent citizens”) would stay. They will likely make a reappearance now that the alliance has been dissolvedKathua rape and murderIn January 2018, the brutal gangrape and killing of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, tore Jammu and Kashmir apart with stone-pelting protesters in the Kashmir Valley demanding speedy justice for her killing, while in Jammu, BJP members including two ministers Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga took to the streets demanding the case be handed to the CBI for investigation. Eventually, after the Supreme Court rejected the demand for the CBI enquiry and transferred the case to Pathankot court, the BJP had to back down, and allowed Mehbooba Mufti to sack the two ministers. Her cabinet was reshuffled only on May 1 this year, but in the few weeks that elapsed since, her new Deputy CM Kavindra Gupta and CM Mufti were often on opposite sides of every debate, particularly as the government called suspension of operations by Central forces. Eventually, the first alert about the alliance breaking down came from Mr. Gupta, who announced on Sunday that BJP MLAs had been called to Delhi for an important decision.Suspension of OperationsIt was clear from the very beginning of the government’s announcement of the Non-Initiation of Counter-Insurgency Operations (NICO) or the cease-ops announced on the eve of the month of Ramzan in mid-May, that many were not on board. Days after Ms. Mufti spoke of the need for a ceasefire leading up to Eid and perhaps extended to the Amarnath Yatra this year, BJP leader Ram Madhav publicly countered her asking Ms. Mufti to tell “jihadis to announce a ceasefire first”.The Army, which was also unhappy with the decision, felt it would give militant groups a chance to regroup. In a television interview, the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Commander said that extending the ceasefire would make it “difficult” for the troops, a statement that indicated some backing in New Delhi. The decision to declare the initiative a failure after the death of journalist Shujaat Bukhari and of announcing the end of the cease-ops on Sunday by the Centre, in a sense, paved the way for the end of the BJP-PDP alliance in the State as well.last_img read more

‘Constitutional crisis due to panchayat poll row’

first_imgThe West Bengal government on Friday told the Supreme Court that the row over the recently-concluded panchayat polls in the State has led to a “constitutional crisis” since the tenure of several panchayats was over and new bodies have not been made functional. The apex court had earlier stayed the Calcutta High Court order asking the State election body to accept the nomination papers filed through e-mail for panchayat elections and directed the poll panel not to declare in the gazette the names of those candidates who had won unopposed.Funds to go back A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud was told that a constitutional crisis has emerged as tenure under Article 243(E) (duration of panchayat) of the Constitution of several panchayats is over. “The funds allotted to panchayats will go back. There is a constitutional crisis under Article 243(E) of the Constitution. The development in the villages has come to a standstill,” the counsel for the State government said. The top court said that it is a part heard matter by a three-judge Bench and only when the Bench is in appropriate combination, it will be taken up for hearing.Hearing on Aug. 20 It listed the matter for further hearing on August 20. The Supreme Court had on August 13 asked the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) as to whether it conducted any probe into the fact that a large number of seats in the local body elections in the State went uncontested. Out of a total 58,692 posts for gram panchayat village, zilla parishad and panchayat samiti, 20,159 had remained uncontested in the violence-marred local polls in West Bengal held in May this year. It had said the State poll panel that the issue of huge number of uncontested seats has been bothering it. The poll panel had argued that 33% of nearly 50,000 panchayat seats going uncontested in the State was not “an alarming situation”. It had cited Uttar Pradesh where almost 57% panchayat seats went uncontested and the figure was 51%, 67% and 27.6% in Haryana, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh respectively. The panel had said that it cannot persuade political parties to field candidates and, moreover, it took prompt actions when it received complaints about panchayat elections and even held re-polls. The West Bengal government had said that the panchayat polls cannot be set aside on the basis of “conjecture and surmises” of some political parties as no individual candidate has approached the court with the claim that he or she has been restrained from filing nomination papers.‘No complaints’ The ruling Trinamool Congress party had contended that not a single candidate has approached any court with the grievance that he or she has been stopped from filing nomination papers. The Opposition parties — CPI(M) and BJP — who have opposed the contention of the State government, poll panel and the TMC, alleged that West Bengal did not witness a free and fair election and the candidates hailing from these two parties were stopped from filing nomination papers. During the previous hearings, the apex court had expressed shock at the fact that “thousands and thousands” of seats in the recent West Bengal panchayat polls had remained uncontested, observing that these figures showed that grass root-level democracy was not working. It had directed the State Election Commission to provide exact statistics about such contested posts by Saturday.No stay Elections were held in phases for 48,650 posts in Gram Panchayats, 825 posts in Zilla Parishads and 9,217 posts in Panchayat Samitis and it has been alleged that around 34% seats were uncontested. The apex court had earlier refused to stay the poll process observing that there were a plethora of judgments which have held that once the poll process has begun, it cannot be interfered into by any court. The court was hearing an appeal filed by the State Election Commission against the High Court order asking it to accept the nomination papers filed through e-mail for the panchayat elections. The CPI(M) had claimed that many of its candidates were prevented from filing nominations by the TMC.last_img read more

Nowhere to hide: how Kanpur’s tanneries are struggling to stay afloat

first_img On the basis of their report, 98 tanneries were ordered shut. This triggered dharnas in Jajmau, and eventually some of them were allowed to be reopened. “We are always in a state of uncertainty. The costs of compliance and installing new equipment are constantly falling on us, and the revenue from the business doesn’t keep pace with these additional costs,” says Hafizur Rehman, Secretary, Small Tanneries Association, which represents about 65% of the tanneries located in Jajmau. Most tanneries here are medium and small enterprises with a processing capacity of less than 200 hides per day.The majority of the proprietors of Jajmau’s tanneries are Muslim. Jamal, however, denies that it could be a reason for the tanneries being singled out as the biggest source of pollution. Since 1985, the government has been attempting to rid the river of the millions of litres of sewage that are dumped into the river. But given its continued failure, it wanted a convenient scapegoat, and it chose the tanneries, is how he understands the situation.Shahabuddin Ahmed, whose establishment, Benzooni International, is a short stroll from Jamal’s, makes frequent trips to Cologne, Germany, to promote his leather products firm. But his visits in recent times have been depressing and futile, he says. In the last few years, there has been a growing impression among European buyers that India is no longer a reliable supplier of leather. The ban on cow slaughter and the attacks on transporters of cattle are among the factors that have worsened business conditions, he says. “We too drink the waters of Gangaji. Even for us [Muslims], it is not possible to use polluted water for drinking, bathing or prayers. What we’re observing for some years now is a sustained campaign… that it is the tanneries that are somehow responsible for the bulk of the pollution. What about the distilleries, and the sugar and paper industries? They are not targeted as we are,” says Ahmed. The college-educated businessman, who is nearly 40, says he is considering a career change.‘We are the scavengers’Half an hour on the highway that connects Kanpur and Lucknow lies another industrial hub. Here, in Unnao, the tannery industry consists of establishments that had begun in Jajmau but subsequently grew larger, and with greater processing capacity. King’s International, one of the largest leather establishments in the city, has a green campus where date palms and other exotic trees line an avenue right up to the main offices. Placards proclaim the importance of saving trees. Between the manicured lawns are a chromium recovery plant as well as sewage treatment infrastructure. Uniformed workmen register entries and exits at the gates.“We are the scavengers,” says Taj Alam, managing director of the firm. “What should end up as dead putrefying waste is taken by us and converted into useful goods. And yet we are made to suffer for it.” In the 25 years that the firm has been in existence, today was “the worst time ever for his business,” he says. For decades, the Uttar Pradesh government and the tanners have had a compact: During the Kumbh Mela, the tanners would cease operations three days before each of the specific holy days during the three-month long religious festival. This year, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered that all tanneries should cease operations between December and March to prevent “any pollutant from being emptied out into the river”. For Alam, this is nothing short of a death sentence for the industry. To shut shop entirely would mean an average revenue loss of ₹1,000 crore per month for the industry.In his spacious office, there is a panel of clocks that are set to time zones in London and some other international destinations. “It is ironic that the Central government heralds the leather industry as one of the ‘Make in India’ success stories but continues to fling at us dis-incentive after dis-incentive. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China have emerged as massive competitors and India is steadily losing business to them. In a few years we will all be finished,” he says, and cites the recent beef ban as one of the factors that have made supply chains unpredictable and hit exports.Akhilesh Tripathi looks after the complex of sewage and industrial treatment plants at Jajmau. He is one of the several supervisors employed by the contractors who have been roped in by the State pollution control board to maintain the CETP and complains of being asthmatic and prone to infections.The CETP — located close to the right bank of a stretch of the Ganga — is an open-air complex of large tanks, and water filtration stations. Created with assistance from the Dutch government and commissioned in 1994, the system uses sewage water to dilute the chemical wastes from the treatment plant. It also has dedicated plants for the treatment of municipal sewage, with a combined capacity of 130 MLD. The water from all the plants that make up the CETP is released not into the river but into the fields of villages nearby. Sewage water cleansed of chemicals is high in plant nutrients and so adds to the top soil. But the CETP officials say villagers have begun complaining now that inadequate treatment of the waste water is destroying their fields.“There are two problems here,” says Tripathi, “The plant is expected to treat 9 MLD of effluent from the tanneries. But the sewage carrier system is broken. So the drains don’t bring enough of the effluents to be treated. On the other hand, there are problems with electricity. So the plant doesn’t work at the capacity it is supposed to.”In spite of the double shifting, there are no permanent employees, he says. The workers have no access to gas masks, safety equipment or medical insurance in spite of having to work in the “corrosive” plants. Now the NMCG is all set to unveil a new CETP plant in Jajmau later this year.“We are setting up a new 20 MLD effluent treatment plant that will take care of the increase in tanneries since 1992,” says Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director-General, NMCG. “What’s new is that, for the first time, we are including explicit clauses in the contract that require the operator of the plant to ensure that the entire system is well maintained. It is the operator’s responsibility to ensure that the effluents released by individual tanneries make their way to the treatment plant, and both the costs and profit margins for the plant are included in the contract.”Tripathi, however, is unimpressed. “The existing plant itself is under-utilised,” he points out. “How can a new one help?”  The solids in the effluents that made their way out from the tanneries were filtered out and water from the Ganga was used to dilute them. This was routed, using a dedicated irrigation channel, to farmland where roses were cultivated. “That’s what the system was in my childhood,” says Jamal. From seven tanneries in 1947, the industry in Kanpur grew to 175 organised tanneries by 1992 — meaning they were part of an association and were, in a sense, also responsible for ensuring that the polluting effluents from the industry were kept in check.Trouble began, according to Jamal, in 1984 when M.C. Mehta, an environmental activist and lawyer, filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court claiming that the tanneries were emptying toxic, untreated effluents straight into the Ganga. As a result, the tanneries were mandated to install primary treatment facilities before they released water beyond their compound walls.This, however, proved inadequate as a remedy, and in 1985, the government announced the first of its Ganga-cleaning drives, the Ganga Action Plan (GAP). Under the GAP, it established a CETP in Jajmau that was equipped to treat 36 MLD of polluted water. It was ‘common’ in the sense that it would use the sewage water to dilute the effluents from the tanneries. “It seemed like a good proposition. We tanners were asked to pay 17% of the capital costs and were told that there would be no operation and maintenance charges payable. Also, the plant was supposed to generate biogas and be self-sustaining. We paid. But once the plant started operations, we were slapped a huge bill and we went to court,” says Jamal.That cycle of litigation, with the State and the tanneries each trying to pass the costs of running the plant to the other, has seen the tanneries gradually go into a slump. Jamal’s tannery, which produces 50 hides a day, is about half the size of a football field. It has two assembly lines but only a handful of workers were visible. They were loading raw hides into cavernous drums where the main processing of the animal skin takes place. The sections where the hides are dried before they go into subsequent stages of finishing remained unmanned. Stacks of semi-processed hide greeted you everywhere on the shop floor.The lack of much activity on the shop floor was not because Jamal’s workers were on leave (it was the day before Bakrid) but because they had to be fired. About 80% of the largely unskilled labour employed by him were Dalits. The uncertainties in the trade and rising expenses — mostly to do with having to meet pollution-linked requirements — has sucked away his desire to run the establishment into his 70s. The tanneries, in his estimate, contribute to no more than 2% of the pollution load in the Ganga.Convenient scapegoatMatters came to a head in 2015 when the NGT said that there were “700 tanneries” in Kanpur that were responsible for almost all the industrial pollution. A team of officials from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board, and the State and Union Environment Ministries then visited tannery clusters, took water samples, inspected operations in some of the tanneries, and reported back to the NGT.Also Read  Only the tanneries?In 2014, the newly elected Narendra Modi government announced a dedicated mission to clean the Ganga within five years. Called the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the Delhi-based body has a ₹20,000 crore, non-lapsable corpus at its disposal to execute a range of initiatives to clean the 2,500-km-long river and some of its tributaries. In the last four years, the NMCG has marked out key ‘hotspots’ of polluted stretches. While the pollution caused by the disposal of waste into the river, poor sanitation by pilgrims who bathe in it, and the disposal of bodies into the river are well-known issues, the NMCG also drew attention to the infrastructural deficiencies that allowed millions of litres of untreated sewage and industrial effluent to be emptied into the river.Also Read Ganga pollution: five more tanneries to be closed down in Kanpur A year into her marriage, Savita, 24, wishes she had never left her father’s home, which is in another part of Kanpur. She and her husband live in a house that overlooks a 20-ft. wide drain. Beginning at Shitla Bazaar, on the outskirts of Jajmau — a major cluster of tanneries in north-eastern Kanpur — the drain winds its way to an underground sewerage network that eventually empties out into the Ganga.The stench from the drain’s blue-black contents is indistinguishable from the characteristic odour of sewage drains anywhere — the usual acrid assault of methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide. Like most other drains, the one in Shitla Bazaar is also composed mostly of sewage and organic waste. But what marks it out are the hues of the effluents from the tanneries. “Sometimes the water turns red, sometimes green, depending on what dyes are being used to treat the animal hide,” says Savita, whose husband works at one of the tanneries.Savita complains of repeated bouts of diarrhoea. Her nephew, a seven-month-old baby, who stays in the same house, is constantly sick. “I wish we had the means to move somewhere else. We have been pleading with the government to do something… people come here, take pictures and disappear,” she says.The Shitla Bazaar drain is a catchment for several rivulets that can be seen snaking in and around the tannery cluster of Jajmau. At the periphery of one of the slums is an interceptor station — one of four — set up by the Jal Nigam, the Uttar Pradesh water authority. The station is a single room that serves as a power outlet for a network of pumps and treatment plants that filter out some of the solid waste such as remnants of animal skin, sludge and excreta. From here, the partially processed tannery sludge is sent for further treatment to a large Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) about 20 km away.At the station, located a few feet from a mound of plastic bags and empty plastic Coke bottles, Akhilesh Pandey’s job is to coordinate a system of wheels and submersible pumps that filter and channel the waste. One of the sewerage pipes that is supposed to transport the effluent is broken. It extrudes a torrent of thick sludge which remains unprocessed and makes its way back into the drainage rivulets. “The trouble is that if we plug this pipe, then the filth will make its way into people’s homes and there will be a riot,” says Pandey, who has been employed by a private contractor to manage the drain. “There isn’t enough horse power in the motors to deal with the quantity of sewage being produced,” adds Pandey. Kanpur reportedly generates 450 MLD (million litres a day) of sewage but can only treat around 160-170 MLD.center_img  For instance, the government’s CETP, which can treat a maximum of 9 MLD of tannery waste and 27 MLD of sewage, was designed on the assumption that there were 175 tanneries in Kanpur. Today there are around 350. Therefore, these drains are overloaded by about 26 MLD of tannery waste, according to an audit ordered by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in 2015. Consequently, a large part of the effluent generated by the city’s tanneries makes its way directly into the river without being treated.By the NMCG’s estimates, pollution from industries — paper, sugar, distilleries and tanneries — constituted about 20% of the total pollution load. There were 1,019 industrial units spread between Allahabad, Patna, Varanasi and Kanpur. Of them, the tanneries of Kanpur — numbering 323 to 402 depending on the sources one goes by — have come under the spotlight as they constitute the largest single cluster of industries, concentrated in a 15 km stretch from Kanpur to Unnao.A 10-minute drive from the pump house is Jajmau’s largest agglomeration of tanneries. Barricaded by large, iron gates, these comprise the ‘organised’ cluster of tanneries, some of which predate independent India. Inside one of them sits Nayyar Jamal, 60, surrounded by piles of court documents and peeling plaster.A trained advocate, Jamal got into the tanning business courtesy his father. As the proprietor of Makhdoom Tanning Industries, he performs many roles: he manages an establishment of half a dozen workers, he has been a spokesperson for the leather industry, and is a historian of Kanpur’s tanning industry. “My father learnt the trade from working with the British. In 1969, he began his own business. I joined him and we have been in this industry for 40 years,” he says. “But today my sons aren’t keen on taking over, given the number of obstacles facing this business.”Long legacyKanpur has a rich history with leather. It was an important military centre, and so there was always been a demand for uniforms, leather belts and shoes, and saddles for the cavalry. Further, the city’s salty water and a ready supply of bark from the Babul tree, which makes for a good tanning agent, were among the reasons why the tanning industry took strong roots in the city. Though linked to pollution now, the tanneries were once closely associated with the city’s floriculture industry. New ₹400-cr effluent treatment plant to come up in Kanpur A broken sewerage pipe at Shitla Bazaar. As a result, tannery waste now finds it way into the streets and does not make it to the effluent treatment plant.  | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty last_img read more