Tags:#cloud#Enstratius#enterprise#ESB#integration#legacy applications#MuleSoft How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Matt Asay Related Posts Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … As fantastic as cloud computing sounds, one of the greatest obstacles to its adoption is all the software that isn’t yet in the cloud. Which is to say, virtually all software used by most enterprises of reasonable size. While the industry anticipates the problems inherent in connecting the dots between services running on different clouds, today’s enterprise must fixate on connecting its crufty old software assets with the cloud.It won’t be easy.But it will be critical. According to Forrester, “Hybrid enterprise IT landscapes have become the norm,” with “Data and application logic… spread across different packaged and custom-built applications on premises, on managed infrastructures, and in the public cloud.” This complexity is only going to get worse. A Brave New WorldWhile developers have embraced the cloud with gusto, they too quickly stumble into pesky old world requirements like security and compliance. However much a developer may want to march boldly into the future of computing, an enterprise’s first obligation is to software and services that are secure and compliant with a host of regulations. It’s like having cold water dumped all over one’s dreams.Indeed, as Ed Laczynski (@edla), SVP of Cloud Strategy & Architecture at DataPipe, notes: Chris Hoff (@beaker), VP of Strategy and Planning at Juniper Networks, echoes Laczynski’s concerns, identifying “the shackles of legacy security/compliance colliding with the next iteration of platforms” as the major barrier to integration with cloud platforms.Is It Really A Security Thing?But is security really the biggest problem? It’s absolutely a big issue, but arguably a larger issue is the difficulty of translating enterprise business rules to cloud systems, as PBSI’s Natalie Kilner Hughes argues. According to Forrester, enterprises are at varying stages of running business processes in a hybridized world of cloud and legacy apps: Kilner’s solution is to turn to emerging technology platforms that automate migration of legacy cloud to the cloud, “saving up to 80% of the cost versus rewrite or replace options while ensuring functional equivalence.”While this sounds fantastic, my hunch is that many CIOs are going to be reluctant to trust such a migration tool. As LogicWorks’ Jake Gardner suggests, a lack of in-house expertise “or the historical data to prove out the idea of moving” an application leaves enterprises unable to “properly project the savings,” causing them to hesitate to move a legacy application to the cloud. They might, however, be willing to turn to the ESB (enterprise service bus) technology they likely already have running in house. The catch is that they may not fully trust ESBs, either, given that they’ve long promised more than they’ve actually delivered.Still, more modern ESBs like MuleSoft could prove to be more productive. MuleSoft bills itself as a legacy-to-cloud integration expert, and has been doubling revenues every year for several years, suggesting that enterprises are turning to it, and probably others like it, for help.Solving The Operations MismatchAt its heart, the problem with cloud integration for developers is operational in nature. As James Urquhart (jamesurquhart), vice president of Product Strategy at Enstratius (acquired by Dell), posits:For developers, the challenges are largely operational issues, not architectural. Differences in images, DNS, load balancing, etc. Of course, integration of cloud with existing IT is almost always an app and data integration problem, though monitoring also problematic.There are solutions for this problem. Enstratius, for one, enables integration at the application level. It lets developers focus on building her application, while Enstratius takes care of running it on multi-cloud architectures. But for those enterprises that are less concerned with management and governance and are initially concerned with integration legacy applications with modern clouds, the real trick is to integrate legacy applications and their governing rules.There’s no easy fix for this. Part cultural, part technical in nature, the difficulty of embracing the cloud without leaving enterprise legacy systems behind is a big problem. Fortunately, it comes with a big cash prize for whichever company solves it first.
ToyBox and PlayTable Partner Together For Block… How Blockchain Changes Nowadays Business Security Tags:#Agtech#Blockchain#iot supply chain of trust#supply chain#zest labs With all the hype around blockchain, it’s a technology that’s still finding its feet when it comes to wide, mainstream adoption. Therefore it’s not every day when you come across a company that uses both IoT sensor technology and the blockchain to solve a common agricultural problem. Zest Labs have created a fresh food management solution that focuses on consistent food quality, reduced waste, and improved food safety and use technology to achieve this. I spoke to CTO Scott Durgin to find out more.Durgin explained:“We provide a solution from grower to grocer. We use sensor-based technologies to help suppliers and retailers manage the freshness and quality as well as tracking and traceability. And core to this concept is the fact that waste is a fairly big problem in the industry. This stems from the fact that 30% of products aren’t handled correctly, and it is difficult to differentiate them from the 70% that are. There are literally tens of millions of tonnes of produce shipped. You can’t individually check all the pallets.”Food waste costs the nation an estimated $218 billion per year according to the NRDC. Produce picked on the same day is not all equal and will not necessarily have the same shelf life, depending on metrics such as humidity and field and storage temperatures. This brings best by dates into question. In response, Zest Labs has derived a single freshness metric — the ZIPR code — which is based on the specific product type, growing location, and actual harvest and processing conditions, that enable significantly improved freshness management decisions.Zest Fresh software calculates a ZIPR code for each tracked pallet, using patented methodology and sensors, ensuring inventory and shipping decisions are based on actual freshness. Growers, retailers, and restaurateurs can benefit from intelligent routing, meaning that produce with a closer best-by date can be re-routed earlier, to a nearer location or a juicer.Testing has shown that using Zest Fresh with the ZIPR code can reduce that waste by roughly half, and significantly improve the customer experience. This provides continuous real-time visibility of the remaining freshness capacity of produce and then directs intelligent routing to optimize delivery for required shelf-life.As Durgin explained:“We see an opportunity to help suppliers in that they get paid the same amount today regardless of the freshness capacity of the product they’re putting out. So imagine if you could differentiate your product offering to be a competitive advantage in regard to its freshness.”Zest labs introduces the blockchainZest Labs announced this week that they are now also offering free blockchain set up for growers and shippers using the Zest Fresh platform. Durgin believes that the blockchain creates an added layer of security and trust throughout the fresh food supply chain by creating true transparency about all key food freshness factors to all participants within the network.“Zest Fresh quickly delivers access to blockchain technology for its customers by leveraging secure and authenticated data collection from its wireless IoT sensors, through its intelligent access points, and into the secure Zest Cloud. Further, by combining our predictive analytics, we can extend the value of blockchain through smart contracts that can automatically recognize when fresh products meet contracted specifications throughout the supply chain.”With most industries considering how the blockchain may benefit their operations, food suppliers, in particular, are paying close attention since there’s a very real possibility that large companies may eventually require their supply chain partners to participate. This could mean many growers are forced to adopt blockchain, whether they like it or not. Forced technology adoption has happened before such as with RFID where adoption was successful until large companies mandated its use and none of the smaller suppliers could afford the tags.Durgin believes that the blockchain solves the problem of trust but it isn’t a replacement for conventional IoT data processing and storage:“Would we use blockchain for our core internal processing of the system? No, it’s not designed to do that. We have the Zest platform underneath which is actually a data streaming complex event processing system and it’s designed to scale in the world of IoT and it does things in a very real time fashion and handles very complex event streams that could never be applicable to being processed in a blockchain.If you think about quality in freshness, it’s more than just sensor data thrown into a block or a transaction in a block and so we see the opportunity to take this universal ZIPR code and for those folks where blockchain makes sense to their business. Given the very nature of what blockchain does it creates a very interesting information sharing network opportunity that ensures consistency up and down the supply chain.”Durgin also likens the blockchain’s adoption challenges to his days as Product Manager at IBM working on Lotus Notes :“Back in the day we actually used to license the TCAP IP protocol and the AppleTalk protocol amongst others. We had to license the protocols and include them in the product so that it could talk with a client server. Such a thing would be unheard of today. So when you think about blockchain technologies, I liken them to when we had to do extra heavy lifting to build a platform like Lotus Notes, designed to make it easy for people to solve business problems also.”As agtech becomes increasingly automated and connected, the blockchain may just become another business tool in a farmer’s arsenal. Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Related Posts Cate Lawrence Why is Bitcoin Soaring?
Often times it can be difficult as you work with service members and their families to get them to really open up to you in order to better identify appropriate services to meet their specific needs. In some cases, service members and their families may be reluctant to opening up to you as a professional for fear of their reputation, stigma associated with receiving help, denial about his/her condition(s), or the overall unknown (Brintnall-Peterson, 2014).We asked a variety of military professionals from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor in Washington state, that work with wounded service members and families, on advice they would offer to getting their clients to open up.Watch and listen as each professional provides key tips and strategies on communicating with their service members and families to get the conversation flowing.After listening how each individual responds, can you relate to their feedback? What are some strategies that have worked in your profession to getting service members and families to open up? (Insert your response in the comment box below.)The ‘Professionals Helping Professional’ video series was developed in order to highlight various military service professionals and their work with wounded service members and families throughout the branches of service. The goal of the video series is to enhance the work of military helping professionals and provide educational development to better support our service members and their families.This post written by Mikala Whitaker of the MFLN Military Caregiving concentration team and was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on March 9, 2015.
In the summer of 2018, the Network Literacy team gathered in Duluth, MN to re-ground our work together. It had been a long time since we had invested time in reflecting on our work and contemplating our future. As a result, we were floating a bit. So we spent the better part of two days in a meeting room at Zeitgeist, a nonprofit arts and community development organization, doing out best to practice the Zeitgeist motto, “Connect. Create. Thrive.”What emerged from our time together was a set of shared values, a model explaining how network practices lead to resilience and adaptation, and a vision for how our work can help guide people toward network practices. The infographic below begins to explain the values, model and vision, and their influence on how we approach our work and why we want to do this work together.Text from InfographicMFLN Network Literacy – How and Why We WorkValues – Democracy. Social Capital. Equity.These values, critical for living & working together in a complex world, guide our work to help people become more resilient and adaptive.Networks – We all face complex issues that can only be addressed with emergent solutions. Network Literacy help people organize in networks to identify emergent issues and create innovative solutions.Fractals – Often the same patterns are present in large-scale and small-scale change.Emergence – The path to change cannot be predicted, it emerges from our work together.Relationship – Our relationships with each other are the key that unlocks change.Personal Growth – We need to project the patterns we want to see in the world. Network Literacy helps people pursue the personal growth necessary for building relationships and doing shared work.Growth Mindset – Knowing that we can grow and change, and others can grow and change with us.Asset-based – We grow by finding, developing & celebrating our strengths.Storytelling – The stories we tell ourselves and others influence our ability our ability to grow.Collective Action – The solutions we seek will only be found together. Network Literacy helps people engage in meaningful collaboration to address complex issues from multiple perspectives.Diversity – A diverse network allows for more creativity and innovation.Co-learning – We are all learners and teachers. Sharing our experiences helps us move forward.Shared Work – We seek inclusion, sharing work as well as power, credit and leadership.Adaptation & Resilience – Adaptation and resilience are critical to living together in a complex world. Network Literacy helps people become more resilient and adaptive within complex social systems.Practice – The skills we need to address complexity cannot be mastered, only practiced.Reflection – Intentional reflection allows us to adjust to an ever-changing environment.Connection – We must constantly seek connection between people and ideas to find our path together.This is the thinking that underlies our work. To see our 2019 Plan of Work, visit https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/network-literacy/network-literacy-plan-of-work/With thanks to all who have inspired us,Jessica Beckendorf & Bob Bertsch
== Equals To >= Greater Than or Equal To ) operator.Note: There are also more complex operators called “logical operators”. Due to their complexity we will cover those in a later post. However, if you want to learn more check out the If/Else Conditional post at MotionScript.com.4. Define Your Conditional ValueThe conditional value can be any number you want. In our example the conditional value was 50.5. Close the ParenthesisWrite: )6. Add the “true” valueType in the value you want your expression to output if your conditional statement is true. Look at the example again…if the value of the square was in fact more than 50 (true) than our output value would be 100.7. Define the ‘Else’ StatementAn else statement will define a value if the “if” statement is false. Write: Else8. Add the False valueThe false value pertains to the value that will be output if the “if” statement isn’t true. In our example, if the opacity value of the shape was not greater than 50 (false) than the opacity of the text would be 50.9. Close the ExpressionWrite: ;How Can I Use If/Else Expressions in After Effects?There are a number of different reasons why a motion graphic designer might want to use If/Else statements in After Effects. Here are just a few.Value Based ConditionalsOne of the most useful applications of an If/Else statement in After Effects is to have an object’s opacity directly linked to another type of value. For example, the blinking box below has an if statement that says if it’s rotation is greater than 180 than the value should be 0. If the value is less than 180 the value should be 100.If/Else Conditionals on CheckboxesCheckboxes are typically used when creating templates for others to use in After Effects. Typically checkboxes control opacity, but they can be used to manipulate other things like color or scale. Checkboxes work with If/Else statements by declaring two values: one if the box is selected (1) and one if the box is not selected (0) using an else statement.To dive deeper check out our ‘After Effects Quick Tip: Linking Layers to Checkboxes‘ post.Position Based If/Else StatementsOne of the uses best uses that I’ve found for If statements in After Effects is linking layer opacity to an object’s position using an If/Else statement. In short, using this method you can tell certain layers to turn ‘off’ and ‘on’ depending on where an object is currently positioned.Resources:If you want to learn more about If/Else statements or expressions in After Effects check out a few of the following resources:If/Else Conditional Code – MotionScriptTop 5 After Effects Expressions for Better Designs – PremiumBeatAfter Effects Fundamentals Lesson 8: Expressions & Presets – PremiumBeatHow do you use If/Else statements in After Effects? Share in the comments below. 1. Declare the ‘If’ StatementWrite: if(2. Define Your Input ValueUsing the pickwhip tool select the value you want to input into your If/Else statement. For the example above, the input value came from the opacity of the white shape. So in that example we would pickwhip to the opacity of the white shape.3. Set Your Equality OperatorAn equality operator is essentially a small formula designed to tell your expression what to do. The following chart explains what equality operators you can use in After Effects. If/Else expressions are incredibly useful in After Effects…if you know how to use them.You don’t have to be a computer programmer to get a handle on expressions in After Effects. Let’s dig into the powerful If/Else expression in After Effects.What is an If/Else Expression in After Effects?An If/Else expression in After Effects is a line of code that will change it’s output value based on the input value. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry! It’s simplier than you might think. Let’s take a look at a really basic model:In this example, the code states that if the white shape’s opacity is more than 50% than the text opacity will be 100%. If the white squares opacity is less than 50% the text opacity will be 50%.Here’s what our After Effects timeline looks like for this example:How to Write an If/Else Conditional ExpressionWriting an If/Else statement is fairly straight forward. Simply open up your expression editor by holding down Option and clicking on the stopwatch next to the parameter you want the If/Else statement to effect. The expression used in the example above is:if(thisComp.layer(“WhiteShape”).transform.opacity>50) 100 else 50What do each of the parameters in this expression mean? Let’s break them down step by step: Greater Than
Thinking about buying a new lens? Here are 9 things to consider.As my fellow sufferers of Equipment Acquisition Syndrome know, it’s always exciting to add a new lens to the arsenal. Before you do, ask yourself these nine questions.1. Do I really need a new lens?Image courtesy of ShutterstockFact: Getting a new lens will not make you a better photographer or videographer. If you don’t have the basics down (composition, value, color theory, lighting, etc.) you likely aren’t getting the most out of your current lens.Until you can take good photos with the lens you have, there’s no good reason to drop $1000+ on a new one.2. Does this lens fill in any focal length gaps?Can you shoot an extremely wide shot of a small room? Can you capture a bride’s face from across a chapel? Do you have the right lens for the job? If you’re going to invest in a new lens, make sure you’re working toward having all of your focal lengths covered.Get a good standard prime and multi-purpose zoom lens to start. From there you can begin to get more specialty lenses like fish-eye, hyper-telephoto, and macro lenses.3. What is the F-stop?Image courtesy of BigstockAn F-stop is a mathematical formula that figures out approximately how much light a lens will let to the sensor. Practically speaking, a lens with a lower F-stop number allows more light through the lens, capturing a more out-of-focus background.It’s a good rule of thumb to get a lower F-Stop lens if you can afford it, but F-stop isn’t everything. You also need to consider the T-stop…4. What is the T-stop?Whereas an F-stop is a mathematical formula, a T-stop is an actual reading of the amount of light that a lens sends to the camera. A T-stop is typically used by cinematographers more than photographers, but the information is none-the-less important.You can go more in-depth on all things F-stop and T-stop here.5. What kind of stabilization does it have?For those unfamiliar, stabilization on a lens is typically described in terms of stops. This means a lens with 2 stops of stabilization will allow you to shoot with a shutter speed that is twice as slow, allowing twice as much light to hit the sensor.Stabilization is one of the most underrated features on a lens; a little stabilization can go a long way to make your images and video higher in quality. Speaking of quality…6. How is the image quality?Image courtesy of ShutterstockSpecs are one thing, but the actual quality of the final images/video is another. Before you buy a lens, you should examine the image quality. Websites like DP Review and Photo Zone give detailed reviews of virtually every lens on the market. Just because a lens is fast doesn’t mean it’s necessarily sharp, so do your research!7. Is the autofocus fast and accurate?If you primarily shoot video, you likely won’t use autofocus very often. However, photographers will want to invest in a lens with great autofocus. Keep in mind, cheaper camera lenses like Tamron and Sigma tend to feature slower autofocus abilities than their “name-brand” counterparts.This isn’t an issue when shooting a stationary subject, but when you start shooting moving subjects at events like weddings, autofocus becomes a very important issue.8. What is the minimum focus distance?Image courtesy of ShutterstockCheaper lenses tend to have minimum focus distances that are extremely far, which can be aggravating if your subject is close. For example, a 50mm lens with good macro capabilities can get better close-up images than a 200mm lens with bad macro capabilities. When you’re searching for your new lens, take the time to look at the minimum focus distance.9. Why am I buying a new lens?A brand new lens is almost always going to work perfectly right out of the box. However, buying a new lens is a lot like buying a new car: As soon as you put it on your camera, it will lose 30% of it’s value.Buying a used lens from a credible dealer might be a better option. Many dealers offer a 30-day return policy on their lenses, and even if you have a lens for more than 30 days, you can likely unload it on eBay for close to what you paid for it.If you have any additional lens buying wisdom to share, we’d love to hear it in the comments below.
Blackmagic’s URSA Mini offers a lot of camera in a very affordable package. However, it’s important to take into account the limitations of the URSA Mini when comparing it to its big sister.Top image from BlackmagicUpon its initial release, the original Blackmagic URSA had a lot of people quite perplexed. For many, the original URSA’s weight was a real issue. It was big and bulky, yet some of its incredible features were (and still are) hard to ignore. All things considered, what else was there really to complain about? For $6K the camera offered functionality that rivaled cameras many times its price, and the image quality was great – at least when shooting at the native ISO of 400.But again, the weight was certainly an issue for many shooters. Many potential URSA customers were filmmakers on a budget, who likely had come up through DSLRs or other small camcorders. Meaning, to make the jump from a 1 – 3 pound camera to a 17 lbs camera was a big deal! Especially when you consider other professional cinema cameras, which only weigh in at 10 lbs or so.When the URSA Mini was announced many potential buyers came out of the woodwork. The camera seemed to offer some of the same incredible features as the original URSA, but in a much smaller package. Although, when taking a closer look at the URSA Mini, it seems not every last feature was included, which results in pros and cons for both cameras. Below is a list of the 5 most important considerations to take into account if you’re debating purchasing or using the Blackmagic URSA vs. the URSA Mini.1. WeightWe’ve already touched on this briefly, but if weight is a big consideration for you, then the URSA Mini may be preferable. Unlike the 17 lb URSA, the Mini version only weights in at 5 lbs, which is a huge difference. For long handheld shots, rigging, gimbals or other stabilizers, the Mini is definitely preferable over the URSA. That said, the weight of the original URSA may not be a problem for you at all, depending on how you like to shoot. For instance, on most of my shoots 90% of the material is shot on a tripod, so a 17 lb camera doesn’t pose a problem. When you pair it with an Easy Rig, the weight becomes even more manageable.2. Sensor UpgradesThe URSA Mini doesn’t have the ability to upgrade it’s sensor the same way the URSA does. Since the URSA’s release last year, there’ s already been a new sensor announced (the 4.6K version) that’ll be user upgradeable on the original URSA model. This is great news for people like myself that own the URSA, and are looking for more dynamic range and higher sensitivity, but don’t want to have to invest in an entirely new camera. Unfortunately, the URSA Mini does not have the ability to upgrade, so whatever you purchase is what you’re going to be working with until you sell it or get a new camera.3. MonitoringThe original URSA has 3 monitors – all of which are really useful. It has a 10” fold out monitor on the operator side of the camera, as well as a 5” monitor on the body itself, and on the AC side of the camera there is another 5” monitor. This makes shooting with a camera crew simple and efficient since all of your monitoring is built right in. On the other had, the URSA Mini has a single 5” monitor on the operator side of the camera, which truthfully is more than sufficient for what the camera is designed for. That said, if you’re the type of shooter who is always hooking up 2 or 3 monitors for your crew to use, the URSA has everything you need built right in.4. Side HandleMuch like the Canon C300, the URSA Mini has a really great side handle that can be useful for handheld shooting, or even removed and relocated to use with a shoulder mount kit. Naturally, the full sized URSA doesn’t have any side handle since the camera is far too large to make use of one, but it’s undeniably a nice touch that makes the URSA Mini really enjoyable to shoot with as a single operator. The handle has a record button, and focus/iris buttons built right in which make it really useful.5. Frame RatesBoth the URSA and the URSA Mini have the ability to toggle between a global and rolling shutter, which effectively unlock higher frame rate options. Although, the Mini is more limited than the URSA in some regards. For instance, the URSA can shoot at up to 120fps in 4K RAW, while the Mini will max out at 60fps in 4K RAW. In global shutter mode, the URSA maxes out at 60fps while the Mini can do only 30fps. In my opinion, this isn’t a deal breaker for the URSA Mini, as 60fps in 4K RAW is more than enough for most slow-motion work. Though, it’s still nice to have the ability to go up to 120fps on the URSA if you’re in a pinch.Here’s an interview from NAB 2015 in which No Film School’s Joe Marine speaks with Blackmagic’s Grant Petty about some of the differences between the URSA and URSA Mini.Final ThoughtsI’m a big fan of both of cameras, and it’s clear that neither one is better than the other. They are simply intended for different types of shooters. The URSA is ideal for larger sets with more substantial crews, heavier duty support gear, and more set-up time. On the other hand, the URSA Mini is perfect for single operator shoots that require a quicker turnaround, without sacrificing quality. Deciding between these two cameras should ultimately come down to what kind of shooter you are and what type of set you like to run. At the end of the day, both options are extremely capable of delivering fantastic images.Here are a few more PremiumBeat articles that deal with the Ursa Mini and similar cameras:NAB 2015 Announcement: The Blackmagic URSA MiniYour Best Options for High Frame Rate FilmmakingWhen will NAB 2015 Gear Hit the Market?Have you shot on either of the above Blackmagic cameras? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Dialogue-heavy moments of character interaction can quickly bog down a film’s pacing. Energize those situations with a cinematic shot reverse shot.Top Image via Paramount PicturesEarly in history of cinema, filmmakers learned that standard two shots of character interaction could get boring pretty quickly. Many realized that they could push a film’s pacing along by changing shots intermittently during these moments, leading to the creation of the classic shot reverse shot technique.What Is a Shot Reverse Shot?A shot reverse shot is a framing technique used for continuity editing in film or video production. This type of framing, when edited together, gives the audience a sense of continuous action, making it seem as though the scene they’re watching is happening linearly in real time. As stated above, this technique became a staple of classic Hollywood. But how do you set it up?When setting up for a shot reverse shot, you’ll want to use a minimum of two cameras. The cameras will rest on one side of the 180-degree line, with each camera focusing on one specific actor. There are several ways to frame this action, with the basic method being an over-the-shoulder shot (like the one above from Casablanca) to establish the presence of the characters.Moving forward, you can cut to another over-the-shoulder shot for the reaction, or you can frame your second actor tighter. The choice is up to you, obviously. Either way, by capturing the same performance with at least two cameras, the editor has options when cutting the scene together and it’s more visually pleasing to the audience.Now that we know the basics of the technique, let’s look at some examples of well-crafted cinematic shot reverse shots.1. Using Motivated Lighting in FramingThis opening scene from The Godfather showcases an incredible shot reverse shot. What makes this particular scene so amazing is the choice of introductory framing, as well as the lighting. Director Francis Ford Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis begin the scene in complete darkness. We hear a voice and then the undertaker is revealed, shrouded by darkness. As he continues to speak, the frame slowly zooms back to an over-the-shoulder shot that reveals Don Corleone.The undertaker approaches Corleone and whispers in his ear. The two characters nearly cover the frame in complete darkness, which alludes to the nature of the discussion. We move to a more traditional setup as the scene progresses, but this introduction is a great example of how to use a shot reverse shot to establish the mood and tone of both a scene and an entire film.Video via Yusuft992. Creativly Capturing a Single Actor ConversationIn 2002’s Spider-Man, we watch Norman Osbourne have a conversation with his alter ego, the Green Goblin. Director Sam Raimi and cinematographer Don Burgess used a mirror to capture a two-way conversation that featured only one actor. The scene begins with Osbourne hearing voices. He sees his reflection in the mirror. The Green Goblin alter ego walks toward the frame. This is broken with the reveal of Norman walking toward the mirror to complete the opening over-the-shoulder shot.We move to a shot reverse shot where the rest of the conversation takes place in opposite angles of the mirror’s reflection, the camera slowly tracking into a tighter shot. By utilizing this framing, the audience gets a sense that Osbourne isn’t just having a conversation with himself — but with the manifestation of his alter ego. It’s an effective and creative way of capturing a shot reverse shot with a single actor.Video via DrBartKeppel’s channel3. Composing the Frame With Motivated MovementIn this scene from The Dark Knight, we get a fairly straightforward shot reverse shot. However, the key to this scene is the movement of the camera. Gordon and the Joker are situated in the shadows. The camera slowly tracks in as the conversation moves along and the tension between Gordon and the Joker intensifies. But the key takeaway here is that the camera movement is smooth, implying that things are under control.That all changes with the appearance of Batman. At first, the scene sticks with a standard shot reverse shot — but the camera becomes more active, implying to the audience that the very idea of control is beginning to fade. During the final section of the scene, the shot reverse shot moves to handheld, and the camera’s movements become even more active. This (along with the swelling music) highlights that the Joker, an agent of chaos, has gotten to Batman, affecting him emotionally and mentally. This is the mark of using motivated movement to perfection.Video via fuel for the space4. Changing the Frame Without Moving the CameraWhile the whole of The Wolf of Wall Street is an incredibly insane ride, one scene arguably stands out above the others: the meeting between Jordan Belfort and Mark Hanna. Martin Scorsese creates a sublime example of the classic shot reverse shot technique. He places the characters on opposite sides of the frame to allow for a smooth conversation.However, Scorsese changes things up in the framing. In the beginning of the scene, the shot of Hanna is fairly wide, giving the viewer a sense of the surroundings. Then Hanna leans in, and without even moving the camera, Scorsese crafts a close-up shot. Using this technique instead of dollying in helps retain the wide scope of the background action while keeping the audience at the same distance to Hanna as Belfort, placing them at the table, privy to the conversation.Video via OGF5. Effectively Using the Dutch AngleThe shot reverse shot is traditionally the go-to technique for making conversations flow and seem genuine — but sometimes the script calls for a break with convention, especially when filming a scene for a thriller like Mission: Impossible.While director Brian De Palma does utilize standard coverage for the scene, the conversation starts with a harsh dutch angle. By using the dutch angle to frame the shot reverse shot, De Palma mirrors the feelings of Ethan Hunt as he discovers that his whole world is being turned upside down. What makes this shot reverse shot even more effective is the fact that Kittridge’s angle begins leveling out into a standard frame while Hunt remains in the dutch angle. This is a great example of using off-axis framing to capture a character’s escalating emotions and internal drama.Video via MovieclipsWhat are your favorite shot reverse shots? Show us in the comments below!
10. MississippiImage from O Brother, Where Art Thou? via Working Title FilmsNot to be outdone by its delta neighbors, Mississippi offers comparable tax incentives for film productions on their land and in their rivers. In its history, Mississippi has hosted many delta-themed films, along with a couple of stops by The Coen Brothers on films like The Ladykillers and O Brother, Where Art Thou.Along with its 25% tax incentive (and 30% for local cast and crew), Mississippi also has a distinction as the most veteran-friendly state with an additional 5% in incentives for those who have served.Incentive: 25% (30% for resident cast and crew), plus 5% for U.S. veteransMinimum spend: $50,000All stats and figures are from The Hollywood Reporter’s roundup, and here’s some additional reading from your friends here at PremiumBeat.Tax Deductions for Filmmakers and Videographers10 Worst States for Film Production Tax Breaks 8. New MexicoImage from Breaking Bad via AMCBreaking Bad broke the mold by embracing New Mexico’s landscapes as much as it did its tax incentives. A popular western filming state, New Mexico’s 25% film tax incentive is outpaced by its 30% TV, with an additional 5% available for resident crew wage kickers — and the $0 minimum is unquestionably enticing. Projects fully or partially filmed in New Mexico include Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles and The Avengers.Incentive: 25% for film, 30% for TV, plus 5% for resident crew wages if filming at least ten days at qualified facilities (fifteen days if over $30 million)Minimum spend: $0 7. West VirginiaImage from Super 8 via Bad RobotAfter the previously mentioned states, West Virginia’s 27% tax offering (with an extra 4% for employing at least ten residents full time) is a slight drop, but still nothing to shake a stick at. West Virginia’s minimum of $25,000 also makes low-budget and independent filmmaking a reasonable option not seen elsewhere. West Virginia’s own history includes partial filming of Super 8 and The Silence of the Lambs.Incentive: 27%, plus 4% if employing at least ten residents full timeMinimum spend: $25,000 Location scouting your next film? Here are the ten states with the best tax breaks and benefits for film production.Cover image from Breaking Bad (AMC)Hollywood may still be home to the major film studios, but since states began passing Movie Production Incentives (MPIs) in the 1990s, production crews have taken advantage of some very lucrative tax credits, cash rebates, grants and sales tax exemptions.For those in the process of raising funds and putting together a budget for your next film production, considering any of these ten states may be a way to cut costs and promise higher returns for your investors.Image via The Hollywood Reporter1. OklahomaImage from The Outsiders via American ZoetropeIf you look at Oklahoma’s filmography, you probably wouldn’t believe that it’s home to the best current tax incentives in the country, as its heyday appears to be in the 1980s and 1990s. The most notable Oklahoma film would undoubtedly be The Outsiders (as seen above), however many other films, from Twister to the recent American Honey, made stops in the Sooner State.With 35% tax incentives (plus another 2% for in-state music spending) at a $50,000 minimum, if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck — look no further than Oklahoma.Incentive: 35%, plus 2% if $20,000-plus spent on music created in-stateMinimum spend: $50,000 3. KentuckyImage from Secretariat via Walt Disney PicturesKentucky’s film history, like the state, is closely connected with its famous namesake horse-racing event: the Kentucky Derby. If you don’t count all the films that have filmed at least scenes at the famous Churchill Downs, you’ll actually find that its tax incentives are quite strong and ripe for some non-horse-themed thrillers like The Insider, A League of their Own and the Fort Knox-based Stripes.Incentive: 30% (35% for resident labor and economically distressed areas)Minimum spend: $250,000 5. New YorkImage from Manhattan via United ArtistsTo be fair, as you would guess, the vast majority of New York films are set and filmed in New York City. There are some exceptions like Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, which was shot almost entirely in Schenectady.Despite its popularity, the state proper still offers a solid 30% tax incentive plus 10% for resident labor to keep it competitive, allowing generations of New York filmmakers from Martin Scorsese to Spike Lee to Woody Allen to keep their productions local.Incentive: 30%, plus 10% for below-the-line wages in select upstate counties for productions over $500,000Minimum spend: $0 9. AlabamaImage from Big Fish via Sony FilmsAlabama fits squarely into the “not surprised to see it on this list” category, as it seems very difficult to draw film productions to the home of the Crimson Tide. Nonetheless, there have been some successful Alabama ventures like Talledega Nights and non-Nascar films like Big Fish and A River Runs Through It. Of these top ten states, Alabama’s 25% tax incentive and 35% on resident labor with a $500,000 minimum is still pretty good.Incentive: 25% of expenses (35% for resident labor)Minimum spend: $500,000 4. LouisianaImage from True Detective via HBOAlthough other states have caught up to Louisiana in terms of tax incentives (with a few being slightly better), the “Pelican State” has almost the most illustrious film history behind California and New York.With their 30% tax incentives and $100,000 minimum, Louisiana has become a hot-spot for everything from Hollywood-level productions like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to independent films like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and TV Shows like True Blood and True Detective.Incentive: 30%, plus 10% for resident laborMinimum spend: $300,000 6. WashingtonImage from Say Anything via Twentieth Century FoxLocated a quick hop up the coast from LA, Washington has surprisingly been spurned for the most part, other than some films thematically set in Seattle. It’s caused the state to make a push for more production offerings, with 30% for films and 35% for television. However, if the state wants major production titles outside of 10 Things I Hate About You and The Hunt for Red October, they’ll need to keep the tax incentives coming.Incentive: 30% for film, 35% for TV series with six or more episodes (15% for nonresident labor)Minimum spend: $500,000 for film, $300,000 for TV Which states would you like to film in most? Let us know in the comments below! 2. IllinoisImage from The Dark Knight via Warner Bros.Illinois is another state that has made a major push to pull production from the West Coast. After a successful run of Illinois films by John Hughes, Illinois is notable for its prominent use of Chicago for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.Illinois’ 30% tax incentives, combined with an additional 15% for resident labor from underemployed areas, adds up to a pretty solid proposition in a state that has both rural and urban areas to boot.Incentive: 30%, plus 15% for resident labor from underemployed areasMinimum spend: $100,000
At the 2018 Austin Film Festival, we chatted with Root for the Villain writer/director Max Rissman about shooting short-form episodic content.The Austin Film Festival is regarded as a writer’s film festival. This year, in addition to marquee screenings of Isold Uggadottir’s And Breathe Normally, Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux (starring Natalie Portman), and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, the festival hosted a whole week of shorts and features, workshops, and pitch competitions aimed at honoring up-and-coming writing talent.We caught up with writer/director Max Rissman, whose digital series Root for the Villain played as part of a new Scripted Digital Series block, to chat about his writing experience and to get his advice on directing a digital series.1. A Good Bridge ProjectI had already done my fair share of shorts while in film school, so I was excited to challenge myself with a more ambitious project for my MFA thesis. However, I didn’t feel quite ready to dive all-in on a feature, but a short series felt like a good transition towards more long form projects.Coming out of film school at NYU, Rissman (like most film school graduates) already had several short films to his name. However, jumping straight to a feature isn’t always the path for everyone. While Rissman was looking to challenge himself with more than just another short, the concept of doing Root for the Villain as five digital shorts (about 8 minutes each) ended up being a better bridge project right out of school than taking on the major risks of shooting (and financing) a full feature.2. Let the Formula Find YouOnce I decided on doing a digital short series, it really allowed the formula to find me in the early writing stages. You don’t have to let screen times dictate your story when you’re setting your own constraints.In the Scripted Digital Series block at the Austin Film Festival, short series came in many different time formats and episode counts. For Root for the Villain, Rissman’s five eight-minute episodes were simply the right formula and screen time for his stories. Festivals usually have strict rules for what shorts and features need to be, but this new format can be much more open to filmmakers exploring their stories’ needs.3. Explore the Episodic Nature of StorytellingWriting and directing short form episodes is quite different from both the contained nature of films and the open-ended nature of pilots. With short episodes you can tell an ongoing story in a manageable and nimble way, while exploring the challenges and opportunities of stringing several episodes together to draw the audience into a unique world and have them invest in your characters.Because of the nature of the industry, not many screenwriters get the opportunity to write episodic content. It’s much different than telling self-contained stories, Rissman explains. Episodic content allows you to bury information a little deeper and really explore characters and relationships in ways that you don’t have to resolve immediately. As episodic content becomes a bigger part of the industry, it can be great practice for screenwriters to begin exploring it early and often.4. Lead with Your StrengthsAs I continue to develop my craft as both a writer and director, I have always considered writing to be my biggest strength of the two. Once you know your strengths, you can use them to try to mitigate your weaknesses by surrounding yourself with talented people who can cover you in other areas.At a screenwriter’s film festival like AFF, it’s hard not to bump into talented writers at every screening. Like many at the festival, writing is a strength for Rissman, but that doesn’t mean he’s perfect. Good writing will always be one of the most important parts of a project — after all, Rissman says, “a good script can go a long way in attracting the most talented actors and crew members, who are eager to work on high quality material.”5. The New Age of Digital SeriesThe timing of this project really worked out well as many festivals began adding digital series slots to their lineups just as we were starting our submission process. But in general, the industry seems to be leaning more and more in the direction of a new age of independent television.When you see Root for the Villain (and Rissman is hopeful it’ll be up online in some format early 2019), you really get to feel like you know the characters. As a semi-procedural format, it feels familiar-yet-refreshing with its supernatural twist. It’s a nice change of pace from many of the heavy themes we see in most festival features; it presents itself more as content we’re used to seeing every day on television and online. For filmmakers like Rissman, it’s a bold concept to embrace, but in the end, it might be the first of a exciting new path for writers and filmmakers.You can find out more about Root for the Villain on the project’s Seed & Spark page, or keep up with its release information on Facebook.All images via Root for the Villain.For more behind-the-scenes insights and interviews, check out some of these articles below.Screenwriter James V. Hart on Career, Coppola, and Creating a MethodRoundup: Genre Filmmaking Tips and Tricks from the Filmmakers of Fantastic FestProduction Tips: How to Maintain the Stunt Double IllusionJonah Hill on Writing and Directing Mid90s — and Tips He Learned from the GreatsInterview: How Filmmaker Jessica Sanders Brought a Tiny Person into a Big World
Editor Tom Jarvis spoke with PremiumBeat on working The Late Late Show with James Corden and that special “Carpool Karaoke” segment with a childhood idol.PremiumBeat: What inspired you to become an editor?Tom Jarvis: When I went into higher education, I realized I could do subjects that seemed exciting. I studied film, media, and theater studies, and then went onto study Film and TV Production at Bournemouth University. I loved every minute and found that I was particularly good at editing. After graduating, I started working in Soho, London, as a runner at a post-production company. I worked my way up through the ranks and became one of the youngest editors at The Farm — one of the most distinguished post houses in the UK. I love film and television, how it can make you feel and think. I’ve always thought of it as a writing process, but it’s the final draft. It’s written as a script, then performed and shaped by the actors with guidance from the director. Then you have to take off those hats and look at it objectively, and try to decipher what it is each of these other components have instilled in the footage that you now have to make work.The Late Late Show with James Corden. (Photo by Terence Patrick – © 2017)PB: It must be something like an adventure working on The Late Late Show with James Corden. What’s the best thing about editing in that environment?TJ: One of the best things about being an editor on The Late Late Show with James Corden is the variety of content I get to edit. Every day is different. I get to cut huge musical opening numbers like our recent “Primetime Special,” where James parodied Lizzo‘s Juice.I also enjoy cutting the scripted comedy bits — they’re always different and challenging. As an editor, I’m tested everyday. I have to apply style and influences to an ever-tight schedule. I also edit all the Late Late Show’s “Carpool Karaokes,” which are very special, each one has its challenges. My goal is to distill these larger-than-life mega personas into one casual, funny, personable video and to reveal a new, off-the-pedestal side of them. Three or four hours gets drilled into twelve to fifteen really fiercely-edited minutes, within which I aim to find humor, sentimentality, and realness, all in one. It’s really an art and I feel privileged to be able to do it each time.“Carpool Karaoke” with Paul McCartney (© CBS Broadcasting Inc.)PB: Congratulations on your second Emmy nomination for Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool! How did you get involved with The Late Late Show with James Corden?TJ: Like a lot of people in this industry, it was the right place, right time, mixed with some connections — plus a bit of luck! I was working on a talk show for HBO with an ex-employee from The Late Late Show. We were talking about previous shows we’d worked on and he was talking about the LLS. I thought it sounded like something I’d love to work on. So, later that week, I was talking to one of my best mates back in the UK and he mentioned that he knew the showrunner Ben Winston, and he’d happily forward my resume onto him. A couple of weeks later, I received a call from the LLS asking me to come in for a meeting, as one of their editors was leaving. The rest is history.“Carpool Karaoke” with James Corden. © CBS Broadcasting Inc.PB: What was it like filming “The Paul McCartney Special?”TJ: With “The Paul McCartney Special,” time was of the essence. I flew over to England with James Corden, Ben Winston, and our head writer Lauren Greenberg. We even took a helicopter straight up to Liverpool from Heathrow so we could make the production meeting that evening with James and Ben’s production company, Fulwell 73. That night, we discussed how excited we were for the next day’s shoot. We knew it was going to be a fun shoot but once we started moving, we all realized how special it really was.We shot for around four hours in the car, stopping at Paul’s family home where he grew up, Penny Lane, and then we shot a surprise performance in a pub he used to gig at. While sound checking, Paul walked on stage, picked up his guitar, and started playing “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Love Me Do.” At the time, there was only me and a few camera ops in the room, and it was a surreal, beautiful, and humbling moment. By the time Paul was performing live in the pub, most of Liverpool had gotten word and so people were crowding outside and peeking in through the windows. His performance went down in a storm, culminating in a wild version of “Hey Jude,” where James joined the band on stage. I’ll never forget that.Paul McCartney with James Corden (© CBS Broadcasting Inc.)PB: Did this episode have any unique editing challenges?TJ: We had a good rough cut after four days of editing but too much good footage for our regular twelve to fifteen minutes of time allocated for carpools.Paul’s episode was ultimately twenty-three minutes, the longest carpool ever aired for the show, and even then, getting to that time was a struggle. So, Ben said he’d talk to CBS to see if we could make a Primetime Special and extend the cut to one hour. After airing the twenty-three minute video, we received an incredible response online (eighty-six million views in forty-eight hours) and we were given the green light. We brought all the footage back to Los Angeles and I began pulling in all the extra special moments we had previously cut for time. I understand that people like short format these days, but the longer version of Paul and James really gave me the opportunity to architect the full story better, show off some of the conversational subtleties, and unveil Paul’s down-to-earth-ness. Ben and I worked together for two weeks crafting the special and we oversaw the whole process of finishing to air.PB: Specifically for Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool, you had an embarrassment of riches with the footage. How did you decide what to include and what shouldn’t make the final cut?TJ: That’s always the challenge with every carpool. With the McCartney carpool, I wasn’t sure how we would make six hours of shooting into a segment for the show. Ben and I started by cutting down every bit of the chat (around the singing). We edited down every talking beat into succinct stories, then evaluated which ones were the strongest/funniest/most interesting. Inevitably, we always ended up with great content, but we simply did not have the time to put it all into the show.PB: What is the editing process like for The Late Late Show and how does it compare to a traditional, weekly, TV series?TJ: The fun thing about The Late Late Show is that every night (Monday — Thursday), we have a show which has to go to air. During the daytime, I edit carpools, comedy bits, music performances, etc. Then, at 5 p.m., we start recording the show including monologue, in-show comedy, chat, and musical performances. The acts are divided up between the editors and we each make cuts for time. It’s a pressured environment but we have an excellent team who each excel in their roles.Bruno Mars at the Grammy Awards.PB: You’ve also edited quite a few award shows. When shows are happening live, what is that editing process like?TJ: I edit “the nominees are…” and “tribute” packages in the run-up to the live show. Then, occasionally, if the awards are not aired live, I will have a few days to tighten up the show (overall), edit down for time, switch cameras (if they’ve missed anything), and mix the sound — all the while keeping in mind that the show is “live” so to keep its integrity and style of a live show.PB: What are the challenges that come with editing unscripted TV?TJ: You have to be able to do it all. You have to story produce, be extremely organized, technically minded, know your editing software, and, of course, be creative! Often, I have to do the job of three or four people — edit, produce, make GFX, audio mix, and grade. I feel like these days most production companies want an editor to do it all.PB: What programs and software do you typically use for editing?TJ: AVID.PB: Do you have any favorite segments from The Late Late Show that you’ve worked on?TJ: I edited a segment with the UK football team last year in the run up to the World Cup — that was pretty cool. I love cutting the big musical numbers. Recently, I cut a bit with James and Paul Rudd — “The Untold Story of the Naptime Boyz” — a sort of retrospective mockumentary where James and Paul set out to be the biggest phenomena in children’s music. Instead, unknown to them, all their dance moves were wildly inappropriate for kids and kept them from finding any success — that was a lot of fun.In my job, I get to meet, see, and edit some of the world’s greatest artists and that privilege is not lost on me. But getting to work with Sir Paul McCartney and shoot with James and our team in Liverpool was one of those once in a lifetime, pinch-me moments … which I hope is reflected in the edit. For most people on the planet, and very much from my native England, he’s a legend and his music has deeply affected my memories of growing up and life. (My dad used to play The White Album on repeat, and my wife and I used “In My Life” as our wedding song.) My mom even met him when she was fifteen at a party in West London — he kissed her hand. So personally, for me as a music lover, Beatles fan, and Brit, it was very important to do him, his work, and his legacy justice.Working with James over the years, it’s clear he’s a natural and one of the hardest working folks I’ve ever worked with. It takes such skill to be able to bring out so much color and comparability in the people he has on the show. But, the other thing you forget about when you watch these bits is all the people behind the camera working to make a fifteen-minute segment of two adults singing in a car! I work with an incredible, talented team who challenge me daily and we have such fun seeing the ideas come to life. An added benefit is breaking the internet on occasion. Some of these carpools get released and the world goes wild, and that makes my day each time. But nothing so far has been like “The Paul McCartney Special.” To see the viral phenomenon that McCartney became — 150 million views and counting — I had friends I hadn’t talked to in years, old teachers, and even strangers emailing me saying that the special had made them cry. I mean, that really was touching and the highlight of my career, so far. To be nominated for an Emmy is icing on the cake.Fleabag (BBC).PB: Is there someone you’d love to work with that you haven’t had an opportunity to, yet? Or a specific genre you’d like to work on?TJ: There are a bunch! Recently, I’ve really enjoyed Fleabag and Killing Eve. For me, they excel in the perfect mix of action, comedy, and emotion — they have such heart. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a genius — I’d love to work with her.PB: Do you have any advice for editors trying to break into the industry and find work?TJ: Keep at it! Everyone’s route to becoming an editor is different, it can take time so be prepared for that. For me, enthusiasm and a smile go a long way. Keep up with your connections — an email checking in now and again can often lead to something.PB: What’s next for you?TJ: I will have been at The Late Late Show for three years on October 31. We’ve got some other exciting things in the works but I’d have to kill you if I told you about them. Or James would kill me. Whichever comes first.Tom Jarvis via IMDbWant more industry interviews? Check these out.Director Nora Mandray on Using History to Understand the PresentIndustry Interview: Emmy-Nominated Editor Vera DrewFilm and Video Game Composer Austin Wintory on Success from FailureIndustry Insights: Editor Matt Friedman Talks “The Farewell”Grant Korgan and “The Push” on Owning Your Own Reality
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In an age of global position satellites, where turn by turn directions are always available, what you really need is a compass. The GPS tells you how to get where you are going. It provides you with the best route from getting from point A to point B. When it’s really fancy, it tells you all kinds of other information, things that might slow you down or help you along your way. It is a tool designed to make your journey more efficient.A compass is different. It doesn’t tell you how to get where you are going, nor does it map out the best course of action. The information it provides is limited, but the little information it provides in many ways exceeds that of the GPS. A compass tells you in which direction you are traveling.The direction you are heading is a question of values. You need to know what is your True North, that thing that is calling you, your purpose, what you are here to do with the time you have been given. If you don’t know where you are going, you don’t need turn by turn directions; you need a destination.A compass helps you get your bearings, to know which way you are facing, whether you are moving towards your True North or away from it.The reason most people drift isn’t that the directions are unknown or unknowable. They drift because they haven’t decided what they want and why they want it. They don’t have goals that provide them with direction and that compel them forward towards some better future, some better version of themselves.The efficiency in which you make your journey is nowhere near as important as arriving in the right place. If forced to choose between efficiency or effectiveness when it comes to the most important things in life, always choose effectiveness.A compass shows you your direction. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now
Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday called for coordinated efforts by security forces to effectively deal with the problem of stone pelting by civilians during counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir.The army chief discussed the issue with local army officers during security review meetings at headquarters of counterinsurgency units — Kilo Force and Victor Force here, an army official said.“Reinforcing the need to maintain high vigil, the army chief discussed the issue of stone pelting during operations and impressed upon all to synergise efforts with the other security agencies in dealing with such situations effectively,” the official said.Gen. Rawat, who arrived here yesterday, was briefed on the prevailing security situation and recent operations conducted by the security forces.He also reviewed the collaborative measures of security forces towards ensuring peace and calm in the region.The army chief interacted with local commanders and troops urging them to continue discharging their duty with utmost professionalism.Gen. Rawat was accompanied by Northern Command Chief Lt. General D. Anbu and Chinar Corps Commander Lt. Gen. J.S. Sandhu, paid tributes to the three soldiers killed in a militant attack in Shopian district of Kashmir yesterday.He laid floral wreaths on the coffins carrying the mortal remains of the three soldiers, one of whom hailed from Marhama area of Anantnag district.“As the entire nation salutes the martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice in yesterday’s terrorist attack in Shopian, the army gave a befitting farewell to its brave hearts today in a solemn ceremony here,” the official said.Gen. Rawat expressed grief and condolences to the families of Lance Naik Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din, Sepoy Vikas Singh Gurjar and Sapper Sreejith M J.“He also conveyed his anguish at the unfortunate death of an elderly lady, Taja Begum, in this terrorist attack,” the official added.Wreaths were also laid on behalf of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti by Minister of Rural development and Panchayati Raj Abdul Haq Khan, Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Nabi Lone and other officials from civil administration and security agencies.The army chief had yesterday met the other injured soldiers at the Army Base Hospital and wished them speedy recovery.The General also appreciated the various humanitarian initiatives undertaken by the troops to bring succor to common people and exhorted them to sustain this positive engagement with the local populace.
Moments after BJP national president Amit Shah landed in Lucknow for a three-day organisational visit, his opponents in Uttar Pradesh received a jolt – at least three Opposition MLCs resigned, with two of them lavishing praise on the BJP.While Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh belonged to the Samajwadi Party (SP), the third MLC,Thakur Jaiveer Singh, belonged to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).There were speculations that another SP MLC, Madhukar Jetley, would also be resigning but there has been no official confirmation so far.The resignations, most likely, will pave the way for the entry of top ministers. including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, into the Legislative Council, as they are mandated to become members of the Assembly or Legislative Council within six months of being appointed a minister.Mr. Adityanath, his deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and a couple of other BJP ministers require to get elected to the Assembly or Council as they are not members of any House.There are hints that the Opposition rebels could head to the BJP or support it.Mr. Yashwant Singh made it clear that he was vacating the seat for Mr. Adityanath. “I dedicate this seat to CM Yogiji,” he said.Mr. Singh, a close aide of Thakur leader Raja Bhaiya, used the nationalism plank to justify abandoning the Samajwadi party. He said he resigned as he was offended by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s recent comments in the House allegedly gloritying China.”Since that day I developed a feeling that it would not be morally right for me to continue in the party whose national president called India weak, and does not have desh prem, but love for China,” Mr. Singh said.Mr. Nawab said he resigned as he was feeling “suffocated” in the SP over the last one year. Criticising the functioning of the party in recent times, he said the SP reflected an arena more than a party with an organisation. “They should not call it the Samajwadi Party but Samajwadi Akhara (people’s wrestling arena),” he said.Interestingly, Mr. Nawab, a Shia leader, heaped praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Adityanath for their sabka saath sabka vikaas pitch and “good work,” respectively. Mr. Nawab also said he had no qualms about joining hands with the BJP if such an offer came.”If they invite me, then I will go. All options are open,” said Mr. Nawab, who recently foisted a new organisation, the Rashtriya Shia Samaj. He was elected to the Legislative Council for a second term only last year.Political conspiracy, says AkhileshMr. Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of luring Opposition party MLCs through a “political conspiracy.” He said BJP leaders were afraid of fighting direct elections and were seeking a safer route through the Legislstive Council.”BJP people can’t muster courage to go to the people. I dare them to go to the people and get elected. But not cheat like you did with the machines [EVM],” Mr. Yadav said at the inauguration of a school in Lucknow.Mr. Yadav resorted to sarcasm to taunt Mr. Nawab, saying not many days had passed since the Shia leader treated him with sewai on Eid. “Bahut mithi thi sewai. Abhi Eid gaye kitne din guzre,” he asked.BJP‘s ‘hunger for power’ has now transformed into ‘lust’, says MayawatiBSP chief Mayawati also cried foul and charged the BJP with misusing power and state machinery to target Opposition parties and their legislators. She said the BJP’s “hunger for power” had now transformed into a “lust.”After Goa and Manipur, and most recently in Bihar and Gujarat, the BJP was now trying the same manipulative tactics in Uttar Pradesh through misuse of State agencies like the CBI and the Income Tax department to run a campaign to paint its opponents as corrupt, she alleged.She urged Opposition party legislators to not surrender before the BJP but resist its “dictatorial, arrogant and oppressive” stance.”Instead of kneeling before the BJP, they should have have fought back against the terror and oppression of the BJP government,” she said adding that “If you don’t fight back, the BJP will get emboldened as they have now tasted blood.”Mr. Maurya said the resignations were the “personal matter” of SP leaders.
Heavy rains continue to lash parts of North Gujarat that has been badly hit by floods, resulting in the relocation of more than 35,000 people from vulnerable areas. Over 2500 people stranded in flood waters were rescued by the Air Force, Army, NDRF, BSF and SDRF.In Ahmedabad, torrential rains damaged the runway of the airport, leading to diversion of two Air India flights on Wednesday.After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the State for an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas, Central authorities have provided more resources such as choppers and manpower to intensify rescue works as hundreds of villages are cut off as roads were washed away or inundated.On Tuesday, Mr. Modi announced a special package of Rs. 500 crore to deal with the calamity.Most of the roads, including national and State highways passing through the North Gujarat region, were washed away and are inundated, while rail tracks have also been damaged, forcing the railways authorities to cancel several trains, including the Ahmedabad-Delhi Rajdhani Express.
Why are the allies fighting?On September 21, Maratha strongman and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane quit the Congress. Amid speculation that he would be joining the BJP, its ally in power, the Shiv Sena sent out signals that it was keeping open the option of quitting the government. What are the key points of rift?Mr. Rane was expelled from the Sena in 2005 after he opposed the rise of Uddhav Thackeray within the party ranks. He is also a strong player in the Sindhudurg area of the Konkan belt, which is traditionally a Sena stronghold. Mr. Uddhav Thackeray, Sena president, and party members have been upset with the Devendra Fadnavis government over various issues as well, including farm loan waivers and pending development work. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is a marriage of convenience. They need each other for two primary political objectives — to keep the Congress out of power and to keep the flame of Hindutva politics burning in Maharashtra. Outside the State, the Sena wields hardly any influence.When was the alliance forged?Over the course of the relationship, which began nearly three decades ago in 1989, it was the Sena that mostly dominated the alliance. When the duo gained power in 1995, it was Sena’s Manohar Joshi who took over as the State Chief Minister. Later, in the five-year tenure, he resigned and Mr. Rane served as Chief Minister for about eight months. The situation was not any different in Mumbai’s municipal corporation (BMC), India’s richest. The Sena has dominated the corporation for over two decades, but the BJP has been gaining ground since 2007. That year, it won 28 seats, while in 2017, it won 82, just two behind the Sena. In the 2004 Assembly elections, the BJP won 54 seats to Sena’s 62, but the combine could not beat the Congress-NCP alliance. In October 2014, riding on the Narendra Modi wave, the BJP won 122 seats to the Sena’s 63. There was no question of who would be the senior partner.What happened in 2014?The 2014 Assembly elections were a turning point in their relationship. The BJP, until then seen as a ‘North Indian’ party, won a large chunk of the Marathi vote. In Mumbai, the BJP won the critical Gujarati vote, solely on its new image of being business-friendly, both in the State and local bodies elections.The Sena has not taken this new dynamic well. It has decided to become the principal Opposition party, given that it knows that the BJP cannot do without it. For a simple majority in Maharashtra, the BJP needs 145 seats, and it is 23 behind that magical number. It had (and still has) the option of going with Sharad Pawar’s NCP, but the latter’s record on corruption was perhaps the single-most important reason for the rout of the Congress-NCP in 2014. The BJP had led the crusade then, and if it ties up with a tainted party, it fears it will lose face with its constituents.What lies in store?Not surprisingly, Mr. Thackeray makes noises to keep the BJP wondering why it ever got into an alliance. He has taken an opposing stance on almost every major issue that has faced the BJP-led NDA government in the State — be it farmers’ issues, the Mumbai Metro Phase 3 controversy over environmental degradation, the Maratha agitation, and even the BJP’s choice for President, where the Sena held out for over 24 hours before agreeing to support Ram Nath Kovind’s candidature. On almost every point, the Sena has eventually given way to the BJP.Months before the 2017 municipal corporation and municipal council elections, the Sena threatened to go it alone. In several rallies across Maharashtra, Mr. Thackeray said he was confident his party would win majorities on its own in various cities and towns. Except in Mumbai (where the difference was just two seats) and some small pockets, the Sena lost to the BJP across the State. With the Assembly elections due in 2019, the allies will have to iron out differences.
In what is being seen as a reconciliatory move, Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday met his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, with whom he has been fighting a bitter battle, and invited him to a party meet to be held next week.The SP chief went to his father’s residence to invite him to the October 5 national executive meeting, party MLC Sunil Singh Yadav said.Though he did not elaborate on what transpired at the meeting — believed to be the first between the two in many months — it was being seen in the party as a reconciliatory effort by Akhilesh ahead of the crucial national conference.“Akhileshji met Netaji (Mulayam) to invite him for the meeting in Agra on October 5,” the MLC told PTI.Mr. Mulayam and his brother Shivpal Yadav were not invited to the party’s state executive meet held in Lucknow on September 23.Speculation was rife in political circles that the 77- year-old former chief minister was likely to announce a new outfit at a press conference along with the virtually defunct Lok Dal, while retaining the ‘Samajwadi’ tag in its name.While Mr. Shivpal had said he would declare his future course of action on September 25, a party leader said Mr. Mulayam did not read a press note at the press conference in which the formation of a new front was mentioned.“Netaji did not read the press note at the press conference. You must have noticed that Sharda Pratap Shukla (former SP MLA) was giving him a paper, which he did not read and said would read later. Now we will wait for the SP national executive meeting before deciding anything,” Lok Dal president Sunil Singh, who has offered the SP patriarch his party’s symbol and the president’s post, said.Mr. Mulayam said he was not forming a party “as of now” at the crowded press conference in Lucknow, responding to a volley of questions from the media on whether he was leaving the party he had formed 25 years ago.Despite the bitter battle for supremacy in the party, Mr. Mulayam had said, “My blessings are with him (Akhilesh Yadav) as he is my son, though I don’t agree with his decisions“.Mr. Akhilesh has sidelined Mulayam and Shivpal ever since he replaced his father as the party chief at a national convention here on Jaunary 1.Mr. Mulayam had said his son had promised to leave the party president’s post after staying at the helm for three months, but did not do so.“People who cannot stand up to their words cannot succeed,” he had said.Mr. Mulayam had last week replaced Akhilesh-loyalist Ram Gopal with Mr. Shivpal Yadav as the secretary of the Lohia Trust.Mr. Shivpal had announced in June he would float the Samajwadi Secular Front “to fight communal forces“.Taking full control of the party after being crowned head and alloted the SP’s ‘bicycle’ symbol by the EC on January 16, Mr. Akhilesh has been going full throttle, consolidating his grip over the party.