CML In Action

12th March 2004

Recently Jim Sofranko (New York) asked me (San Francisco area) to shoot an interview for him locally. He was working on a no-budget documentary about a gentleman imprisoned unfairly after 9/11 and he needed footage of a grad student in Berkeley who was writing a dissertation on such things and had pithy things to say on the subject.

Through the Internet he rounded up a sympathetic producer in LA who owned an XL-1 and was willing to travel, and after noticing that I lived in the Bay Area he asked if I could help him out. I jumped at the chance to shoot part of a project that I felt was well worthwhile.

I roped in Dan Drasin and Adam Wilt and the rest is history. We made a pretty decent little shoot out of very little, of which we are quite happy.

So for those of you interested in what we look like and what we did, please check out

Adam provided the sound gear, tripod and backup lighting, and had an impressive mixer with very pretty flashing lights. Dan brought his "lighting/grip kit in a suitcase" which held a surprising amount of stuff in it. Our producer, Whitney Stone, was really excellent and also quite thoughtful and nice for having so recently been in LA. We shot some really interesting footage and had some very good food and discussion afterward.

You'll have a chance to see Dan Drasin's "Drasin Drape (tm)" in action. It's not to be missed!

For more on the subject of our shoot, see

Art Adams, DP [film|hdtv|sdtv]
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"

Thanks for posting the photos, Art.

Yes. I have been producing an out-of-pocket doc on Pakistani immigrant Ansar Mahmood, a detainee unjustly incarcerated after 9/11.

It was a story I heard about, researched, and decided it worth documenting and telling his story. It's been a very interesting experience so far. And with so little money I've been calling this project, "Beg, Borrow and Steal Productions".

Here's some additional background…

I have been quietly using contacts from the CML with great success and a bit of good luck. Art Adams, Dan Drasin, Adam Wilt (San Francisco), Brian Heller (Boston), and Jack Cummings (Buffalo) have all generously contributed time, services, and equipment to this no-budget project.

I am very grateful and thankful for their efforts as well as all of the resources made available on the CML. I highly recommend all of these CMLer's for paying gigs as their dedication, professionalism and work ethics are outstanding.

It is a new experience for me to try to produce especially by simply generating interest from Ansar's story. As Art had mentioned, the crew live in different areas of the country and have contributed generously even though most of us only know each other from the CML. I've only met CML'er Jack Cummings from Buffalo previously before the CML was created. The camera, a Canon XL1, is being lent for the duration of the doc by a producer, Whitney Stone, from LA who I only know from the internet after she heard about the story in the media and contacted me. So this is a rather new way of using the internet to help produce a worthy project. I surely couldn't have done it without their help and the internet's resources.

So thank you all for the effort you have put in. I would like to thank Geoff and listmums for making the CML such an important resource for cinematographers and filmmakers, and I would like to also thank all the CML'ers from all over the world who so freely share their ideas and experiences with the CML. They have vastly broadened my horizon's as to how films can be made. (Sounds like an Oscar speech...sheesh, the music is starting).

Best Regards,

Jim Sofranko

>And I would like to also thank all the CML'ers from all over the world who >so freely share their ideas and experiences with the CML. They have >vastly broadened my horizon's as to how films can be made.

...I cannot think of a more noble way to use the internet and it makes me proud to be a member of the CML.


Jeffery Haas
freelance editor, camera operator

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