Hello folks, and Happy New Year!
My name is Errol, and I'm a documentary cinematographer based in Baltimore, Maryland. Last year turned out to be a particularly good year for me with the film that I shot, 'Music by Prudence', winning an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short – most easily remembered as the film behind the "Oscar Kanye moment." lol. Since then, I've worked on projects in various African countries and along America's eastern seaboard.
In Summer 2010 Elinor Burkett & I finished another documentary, 'iThemba,' which went on to premiere at IDFA this past November as well as showing at various other festivals in Europe and Africa. iThemba is now in the distribution stage.
In Brooklyn NY, I'm working with director, Michele Stephenson on 'An American Promise' – a coming-of-age documentary that's 11 years in the making, about 2 African-American boys and explores the dynamics that surround them as they matriculate a private High School in Manhattan.
Additionally, in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, we've begun shooting a nature-doc in the fall with director, Mike Mathis, on the life of Naturalist & Essayist, John Burroughs, who grew in notoriety for his research and activism in the early 1900s. For this shoot, all the footage (sans the interviews) was shot solely on the, now popular, Canon HDSLRs. There are many pros and cons to this new technology, but while working with the camera for the entire shoot, I was able to find ways to combat the issues that normally plague video shot on the any Canon HDSLR.
My forte is shooting – it's what I love doing and have been doing since 2003. Every day I try to learn something new, whether it be from other docs or from simply watching a TV Show and picking scenes apart. I'm a stickler for good sound and lighting and am maniacal about shooting things right, even if it means agonizing over a shot for another minute or two til it's just right, time permitting, of course.
Now where editing is concerned, I gained about 40,000 hours of my editing experience with Final Cut Pro while still in college, which helped greatly post-college when I started my documentary career in 2008. I do documentary editing but not nearly as much as I shoot. I find myself spending many hours now soaking up all I can about video and various technology because the more I know, the better I am able to become creatively. Plus I'll be prepared when it comes to video troubleshooting which I do a lot of for people when they're stuck in say, a Final Cut Pro problem...right upon a deadline, or making suggestions for their next camera/equipment purchase. So I hope I'll be of some help on some of the threads on the D-Word.
With this new year, my goal is to create more great work with great people, make new contacts and build friendships in this close-knit weave which is the documentary film world. I wish you all a very productive and successful 2011!