Home - Category: Uncategorized

Category: Uncategorized

Why is Organic Food Good For You?

Posted on November 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

Hello once again, in this – my 4th article in this series about organic gardening.

In the first article, I spelled out WHAT “organic” means according to the Wikipedia definition. Now I would like to cover WHY plant, nurture, grow and/or consume organic fruits and vegetables.

‘Why organic’? The main reason is that chemical fertilizers, insecticides, weed killers etc., are neither friendly nor useful to our physical bodies. They are usually man-made or man-assembled chemicals that have harmful effects in varying degrees, some of which are long term. These harmful effects are exactly why these products are also able to kill insects and weeds. The idea is that after having killed off competing insects and weeds, the plants we want to consume, can flourish and get harvested. Such chemical products can be applied to plants for mass consumption or just individual and family consumption.

Examples of damage resulting from such products abound in nearly all the media that I have seen. I hardly need to move an inch in the chair in front of my computer, or barely move my fingers to type in just a few words in searches, to see some of them.

For example, there is a recent documentary film called “A Chemical Reaction” from PFZmedia. It was produced by Paul Tukey and Brett Plymale. (Paul Tukey was in the gardening business himself earlier on, and got very ill. This was traced to chemical fertilizers that he applied to people’s lawns.) The film’s story concerns a town called Hudson Ontario in Canada, which ended up banning the use of lawn and garden pesticides. The one-woman pioneer who accomplished this in about 10 years time, was a doctor named June Irwin, who traced illnesses among the town’s children and other inhabitants to such chemicals. Then other towns followed suit in banning these products as well.

We have also been witness to Monsanto and other giant corporations dictating the rules of how to grow produce, which are not all in our best interests as consumers. See the film “Food Inc.” for more information. Controversial as this film is, it does point to a central message that big corporations are all too likely to be interested in their profits more than in our health.

But then consider you and me, with our own organic vegetable garden on our own land – anywhere from a 4 acre sustainable agriculture farm to an 8 ft. by 8 ft. garden plot. This gives us a self-sufficiency in allowing us to plant with variety. And it also removes us from even potential dangers that go along with chemically assisted mass production.

And of course, the foods we harvest are some of the most nutritious foods to eat, in their fresh state – and without transportation costs! These are foods that we have had control over since before the seedling stage (by controlling the health of the earth, via compost etc.). These methods are sustainable, not just for ourselves, but as a planet-wide way of planting and harvesting fruits and veggies we can be proud of. And it gets better: we can also give them, exchange them or sell them for other things we need.

Then it gets better than best: OUR HEALTH. The one commodity that we hardly pay attention to, until our bodies nudge us in one way or another, to pay attention. As much as we would like to have the confidence that we know what vitamins and minerals and other substances our bodies need for their nutrition, our bodies ultimately are better chemists than we are-even the experts among us. This is really WHY we garden organically, to exchange the best in this circle of life we call our own, on planet earth.

How to Make a Film Practically for Free!

Posted on November 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

So you’re a filmmaker in the making, but don’t have the funds to do your first film. You have a script and a basic idea on how to make a movie. Brilliant! You sit down and put together the budget you will need to complete this film from soup to nuts. Then you have a breakdown upon seeing all the money required and decide you should have become a lawyer instead. You could go the route of fund raising; applying for grants, saving your pennies, but this can take up a lot of time with potentially little to no success.

No one wants to hear that you are an aspiring Filmmaker. The fruits of your labor are your calling card and you need to churn them out sooner than later. One option is to attempt to make a film for free-ish. This is a challenge, but not impossible as I have done this myself.

First of all, decide if you are making a short film or feature length film. This is important. You can do this with any length of film. It used to be, that a short film was more of a calling card that rarely had the potential to earn money. Feature films could win awards the same as a short in festivals, but use too have a greater possibility of being considered as a candidate for distribution. Times have changed due to many Internet sites like Spike TV, YouTube and such. It seems, short is the new long, so go with a short film if at all possible. It’s easier and potentially more valuable in the end.

Getting the word out about you and your film should start early in the game. Publicity was always important, but now it is more so than before. In our internet-connected world, word of mouth has returned as one of the most important ways to advertise, with the likes of social mediums such as Twitter. People will want to hear the story behind the story. Often it’s important to help gain an audience that will be invested in your journey and therefore, curious to see the final product.

The first thing you’ll want to do is go ahead and make that budget. Try to bypass the breakdown though. The approach I recommend is to put up a simple fundraising campaign anyway while you organize pre-production. First you want to get fiscally sponsored so that if you are lucky enough to get donations, they will be tax deductible. This is very attractive to people who may think of tossing a quarter into your pot. I recommend FracturedAtlas.org because they make the application process easy. Basically, you apply and pay a monthly membership fee and Voila you have a Fiscal Sponsor. Next go to a fundraising site such as IndieGoGo.com and put your campaign on their site and connect it with Fractured Atlas.

Set up a Facebook page so people can follow the progress of the film. People want to feel that you are exhausting your every moment and resource trying to make your film happen. If you re silent for a month at a time, they will think nothing is happening. You need to make them feel that the project is progressing even during the times you have to pay attention to your day job. A sentence a day can make a world of difference. It can be about any aspect of your filmmaking journey on this project. Including your frustration of having interrupted your flow with other obligations in your life. If the project is on your mind, it should be on your followers mind.

Make sure you post your campaign link out on all your social networking sites and mailing lists. Two things will be accomplished: Publicity for your film and potential donations. Make sure you stress that they can donate as little as a dollar.

Now after that move forward, make your film anyway. If you get some money great, but if you don’t your project is still forward motion. Look at the amount of time you calculated for pre-production, production and post-production. Now, whatever the length of time, multiply that by 5. The “Monkey Wrench Fairy” will throw a lot of stuff your way during every step of the journey. Don’t fret; this is just the Universe’s way of testing your dedication to your craft. By the way, when you calculate a budget, make sure there is a column titled: “Monkey Wrenches”.

Putting together your team can be tricky when you are not offering money. When writing ads looking for crew, remember people always do projects to get something in return. This is not a bad thing. You are making your film to get something in return. It could be for money or just the experience, but everybody wants something. So make the ad sound valuable, enticing and friendly. You don’t need to give away your film plot, but put aspects of the film that could be good for someone’s demo reel.

For example, if the film has action scenes or special effects, you want to mention that this film will have these types of scenes that are great reel material! At the end of your ad make sure to list the ‘Compensation’: “Credit and DVD of Film”. This can be good enough. See what bites you get. If you don’t get many or any responses, you may have to pad the compensation with barter as well. Don’t do this at first, because you don’t want to fall into a situation where you owe more time than you can give to multiple people. Follow through is super important, so make sure what you offer in return can be done, even if it’s later than sooner. Most people want 1] experience, 2] credit and 3] super important: footage.

You will end up doing some bartering which is actually a good thing in the end. When you offer bartering, mention your skill-set. You have to decide which skills to offer and why. You can offer services that you are adept at and would be able to return the favor at a fast pace. Or, you could offer a skill you would like to develop more, or get demo reel material in return for. Bartering can be a great one hand washing the other experience.

• Casting is the same approach: offer credit and a copy of the film. There are tons of actors who are looking for projects. The most important end result for them is the footage. Often, they experience a lot of Directors who never give them a copy of the film. So, make sure that no matter what, they end up with a copy of the film. If the project tanks and never gets finished, you must still give them their scenes, as those will still be reel material for both of you. Above all your, reputation is important! You don’t want to be known as a promise breaker.

A few time savers in the casting process are to look at actor reels and see if they can act in the first place. Although, I must say not every reel does an actor justice. I personally didn’t like viewing them because it was more important to see what they could bring to my project. There are many factors that can lead to a not-so-good performance. If you can see people in person, it’s better all the way round. Time and experience has helped me to see the real abilities behind a bad performance. If you are just starting out, viewing a reel in advance is possibly a better time/money saver.

Make your project non-union so that you can avoid a lot of complications and expenses. Make sure this status is known in the casting call so you don’t have a ton of union actors showing up who otherwise would not have. If Union actors decide to come to your non-union audition and fit a part, you will want to ask them if they have a non-union name to use for your production. There are many actors hampered by their union status, because Union jobs are not always plentiful. Make sure you are both on the same page if you decide to do a call back or cast them.

If you can hold casting somewhere for free that would be the goal. It is not unusual to do casting out of a church basement, apartment or house. Just make sure that you make the actor feels comfortable about the situation. There should ideally be at least one woman on your casting crew and she should greet people as they arrive. Everyone should conduct himself or herself professionally. No beer bottles lying about and off color humor allowed. You want people to take your production seriously and feel safe.

You’ve got your cast and you’re ready to make a movie! Weather can impede a shoot even if your production is all indoors. You might still want to consider shooting during seasons known for nice weather. People can be delayed due to inclement weather or bad weather may decide to crash your outdoor scene. May through October is usually ideal in most of America. Southern states July and August can be a bit overwhelming due to the heat and there could be more power outages due to everybody’s air conditioner running. Typically cold; snowy or rainy seasons will cause potential complications too. You have to weigh out your needs, but now worry if you can’t have the perfect scenario.

Where are we shooting? Believe it or not, you can get locations for free. State film commissions often have a locations department and some can be very helpful to you. For example, the state of New Jersey encourages filmmakers to use the state as your canvas. Their locations department has lists of places used as film sets and will pass this info along to you for free. The location costs range from big time budget down to free! There are other benefits including 20 percent tax credit program and a waiver of Sales and Use taxes. Make sure to check nearby states and their benefits to your project.

• When it comes to insurance, many filmmakers take the risk of not using it on their project. I’m not saying this is a good idea because it is very risky. But if you go this route you have to make sure all your cast and crew have a waiver clause in their release form so they cannot sue you. Then in turn, you have to think what risks there are for shooting. If you are taking the no insurance risk, you would want to avoid scenes using fire, stunts, weapons, animals, etc. I was once on a shoot in the woods where we discovered there was a high tick population. Quite a few people were bitten and gave their hospital bills to the Director. These things can happen so you have to figure out how to make the safest situation for both you and those working with you.

• Lights, cameras, equipment oh my! When weighing out what is the most important part of the whole process, one could argue that the camera is that part. It is best that you shoot any project in HD so you are not limited if opportunity rings. SD [Standard Definition] is now an old school format that no longer meets broadcast standards. Even the Internet is using HD. The good news is it’s easier to get an HD camera; even the cheapest one looks good. Each camera has their own look in some cases, but since you are trying to go as cheap as possible you may have to go with what you can get. Ideally, you want to get DP’s who have their own camera if you don’t already own your own.

You also require the rest of the necessary equipment so you don’t have a dark, silent movie unless of course, that’s what you’re going for. Make a checklist of equipment required for a shoot: Camera, lights, boom pole, microphone, gels, etc. Schools will often lend you equipment for your projects even for up to a year after you’ve graduated. If you belong to an actors’ union, they have recourses for borrowing as well. Put ads out looking to borrow what you need. It is hard to find a DP who has their own equipment, but they exist. Mention this in your ad. Also, people will do things in return for being “an extra” in your film. Just think outside the box for every aspect.

Just remember though, the most important factor is that you have good content and great performances.

• Food is a very important aspect of production. If the engines of your cast and crew are not fed, they won’t run. This may be an area you need to spend money on. You don’t have to provide elaborate spreads, but food is important. Put ads out on Craigslist, Mandy.com and ShootingPeople.org and see if you are lucky enough to find a culinary student looking for a catering credit. They may have connections to donated food. You can even ask Mom and Pop deli’s if they are willing to donate a lunch for the set in exchange for being listed in the credits and/or on the film website. Often things like Chinese food; pizza; rice and beans can be cheap and feed a lot of people. Try to avoid individual meals as they can add up. Also, make sure you are dishing out the food as people bring up their plates so one person doesn’t serve themselves a portion for 12. People can come back for seconds once everyone has had their fair share.

• Let’s put all the pieces together! First of all, I strongly recommend you learn to edit. This is a skill that will help you on so many levels especially during your first few films. It will save you a lot of money and help you to think ahead while shooting. Post-production should, in a way start during production. Get editing interns to jump on board and organize footage; do rough edits of scenes, etc. This will help you see if things are working or even missing and it’s also a good way to audition editors to help finalize the film if you cannot. Just make sure you set up how YOU want things labeled and organized and always have the work done at your place. Important: don’t let footage leave your place. You need to use a system that works for you because if you have to take over at any moment, you don’t need to play detective with your post project.

• Your film is done and now we come back to publicity! Keep building a mailing list starting with everyone involved with the film in anyway. If you plan to have a screening, this is where you want to hand out those DVD’s of the film that you owe your cast and crew. Encourage everybody to give your project a shout out to people they know. Always make them feel like it’s our film and they will spread the word.

The bottom line for anything you want to do in life is to just go for it. It will take a village to accomplish a film, but it will never happen if you don’t get the ball rolling. The road will be bumpy with many obstacles. Treat each one as a challenge you plan to conquer somehow, some way. Your film may not be how your vision started out, but that’s ok. That’s what filmmaking is about: figuring it out and making it happen!

Introduction to Metallized Polyester Films

Posted on November 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

Polyester Films

Polyester films are made from the petroleum substances that are key constituents of polyesters. They find a multitude of uses across various industries owing to their innate properties and advantages. The industries that majorly use them are electronics industry and the packaging industry. Packaging industry happens to be the major user of these films. Due to their multiple properties of, attractive appearance, strong oxygen barrier, brilliant printing and sealing capabilities and machinability, they are preferred films for food products packaging.

Metallized Films

Before talking about metallized version let us understand what is meant by metallized films in general. Metallized films refer to films that are metallized on one end sealable on the other. Metallized films may be made of a variety of metals like aluminium, chromium and a combination of nickel and chromium. Their main uses are packaging in food, pharmaceuticals and the beauty industry. It is used to make a different forms of wraps like foils, sheets and scarps. The two types of metallized films are metallized polypropylene films and metallized polyester films.

Metallized Polyester Films

Metallized polyester films are metallized under high vacuum condition in order to achieve certain desired properties like a metallic look, making it resistant to gases, and less diffusive with respect to aroma and flavor. The other advantageous properties are that they can be shrunk with heat application, can be molded into different forms as per the need, are printable, sealable and capable of lamination and extrusion also.

All these properties of polyester metallized films make them the perfect choice for making aluminium foils used for packaging food items as they need to be resistant to outer gases, but at the same time need to retain the aroma and the flavor of the food.