FeiyuTech SPG PLUS Handheld Gimbal Rig Review survived a NYC wind storm

If you are looking for a last minute gift for an iPhone filmmaker in you life or you are an iPhone filmmaker who received a gift card and need an idea of what to spend it on, I think I have the perfect idea for you! The SPG PLUS Handheld Gimbal Rig is amazing for expert video content creator and those who want to get started. For me, one of the hassles I have with handheld video recording is the editing afterwards to make sure its stabilized. Especially if you are filming for an extended period of time or filming in a crowded area where you may be bumped into (like on a red carpet).

I recently received the Gimbal Rig from the good people at FeiyuTech and set out to get some pictures and video of what I thought would be a pretty nice day at the beach in NYC. When I left, the sky was fairly clear but by the time I got there, as is typical for winter months in NYC, a storm began to brew. The temperatures dropped considerably within a half hour and the sky started darkening as clouds rolled in. Thankfully, the temperatures didn’t drop low enough to cause snow but the winds really kicked up, especially at the beach. I took shelter because, like all of us, I am always concerned with the safety of my iPhone and decided to try out the gimbal to see how the winds would affect it. Unfortunately, it started pouring before I got a video but I did get to snap a few pictures

Taken with the steadiness from the SPG plus 3-Axis Gimbal Rig for iPhone

to test it out.

For those of you in the know and those of you who just love cool tech features the FeiyuTech comes equipped with the following perks:

- a balancing mechanism that ensures stabilized and steady video

- Two simple buttons that control all features. A Bluetooth button to control the iPhone’s shutter and a function button to control on/off modes.

- A joystick to control the iPhones motion, INCLUDING pan, roll, and tilt.

- Automatic horizontal and vertical screen adjustments

- Five and one quarter inch screw jacks to attach lights, microphones, and other accessories (so, they really have thought of everything)

- The ICR 22650 battery provides 8 hours of shooting time (which may actually be more than your iPhone battery will last during shooting without a charge).

- And my very favorite thing, FeiyuTech On and FY settings app, which allows you to initialize calibration, update firmware, and personalize various parameters through your phone. (Don’t worry, as a not-so-exprienced video tech, it didn’t have to make sense to me in order for it to work).

Here are your specs:

Tilting angle: 320 degrees

Rolling Angle: 100 degrees

Panning angle: a full 360 degrees

Timing increments: 2 degrees/second to 75 degrees/second

Panning increments: 3 degrees/second to 150 degrees/second

Usage time: 8 hours (again, I think that is longer than the actual iPhone battery will last if you are using it for pictures or video)

Adaption: iPhone 5/5s/5c or later

Weight: 51g not including battery and iPhone, but don’t worry, you’ll still need to do arms at the gym. This isn’t heavy enough to replace that.

To test the video capabilities, I decided to take the Gimbal Rig along with me to my parents’ house in Pennsylvania for the Christmas holiday weekend. Here it is in action (I took the video of me taking the video with my Snapchat Spectacles) Just Click on the description to view:

Now, here is the video footage from my iPhone. Again, just click on the description to view:

As you can see, the video stays steady and the range of motion is perfect to get all the action. I was lucky there was a car passing while I was filming, normally there isn’t much action on the mountain. If you regularly film for projects or clients, I recommend checking into this product. Even if you are new to video or have been scared of it, this device is so easy to use, I’m sure you will learn with ease and end up with amazing footage just like a pro! It’s priced at $299.95 and is available now at the apple store online!

James McKnight is Bringing Joy to others Through his Work

I have really been enjoying my chats with the Talenthouse winners and learning so many interesting things about them. I am always pleased to meet people in the entertainment business who really know that their work means more than just a way to make money or achieve notoriety. When you realize you can reach people and speak to them in a way that allows you to change their lives a little, you “get it”. James McKnight is one of those talents who knows there is an opportunity to make a difference if you approach it all in the right way.

I also know that these artists will benefit from their chance to work with Diego Valdez by learning exactly how to handle their careers and choose projects that work for them while bringing some joy to others.

Q: Let us know your opinion about Talenthouse and about your experience with the invite Expand Your Network with Diego Valdez.

A: My friend, photographer & collaborator Magdalena Vlad introduced me to the “Expand Your Network with Diego Valdez: be fearless without filters” contest through Talenthouse. We decided to submit a photo that we had taken without any expectation of entering or winning a contest, so to win the people’ s choice for “expand your network with diego valdez” was a real honor. Diego has been incredibly supportive with providing guidance and direction to navigate the industry and working hard to promote my portfolio.  I thoroughly enjoyed the trip out to LA for the radio interview with Michael Taylor Gray at Talenthouse studio on Melrose Avenue.  I got to meet some really cool, talented people behind the scenes at Talenthouse who were very gracious to allow us to use their facility. As an added bonus, I got to meet up with friends who live out in Santa Monica for a pre-dinner cocktail at The Misfit, dinner at Sugarfish and drinks & music at Harvelle’s. Overall it was a memorable experience and I am grateful to both Diego Valdez, Michael Taylor Gray and Talenthouse for the opportunity.

Q: How did you start in fashion, acting, and modeling?

A: I’ve always loved being in front of the camera. It’s a place in the world where no matter what is going on I feel I am where I belong.  I got my picture in the paper a number of times when I was a kid for one reason or another and in high school I worked at a men and women’s clothing store where I received my first modeling opportunity to appear in Mississippi Magazine. I have been collaborating with my friend and photographer Magdalena Vlad for the last year or so continually working to create and add to a diverse, comprehensive, portfolio.

Q: What attracted you towards the fashion industry, acting and modeling?

A: Just like a kind word or act can make another person’s day better, I believe the art of entertainment through fashion, acting or photography can bring a source of happiness and joy into the lives of others. There’s a quote by Jim Valvano that I’ve always been inspired by:

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

– from his acceptance speech after being awarded the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage & Humanitarian Award at the first annual ESPY Awards, March 4, 1993.

I want to make that kind of difference as an artist, to inspire others to live and pursue their hopes & dreams, to never give up.

Q: What are some future projects that spark your interest? 

A: I have an interest in both fashion (formal, casual) and fitness (athletic apparel), so I would like to get more involved with print advertisement or commercials.

Q: What are your long-term goals?

A: To love, care, provide and always be there for my family, to succeed at whatever I do in life & business, and to see an unlimited number of beautiful places throughout the world.

Q: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

A: Working hard, celebrating life with family every day, & spending time at the beach.

Q: Do you recommend other artists to join and be part of Talenthouse?

A: Absolutely. I believe a company like Talenthouse that finds undiscovered, raw talent and gives unknown artists like myself the opportunity to succeed on some level in the entertainment industry is definitely something worth being a part of.

Q: Let us know where to see more about you online:

jrmckn.wix.com/james-mcknight

www.facebook.com/JRMCKN

twitter.com/james_mcknight

instagram.com/mcknight_james#

mcknjr@gmail.com

Triple Threat Jordan Chantel: Actress, Model, & Photographer

As I have mentioned in previous articles, Talenthouse held a contest recently where I was honored to be a part of.  I was given the opportunity to interview the winners and have been thrilled to meet each of them.  This week I had the opportunity to speak with Jordan Chantel about her various interests, how she got started with each, and how Talenthouse has impacted her.  One of the perks each winner has mentioned is the chance to work with Diego Valdez, who always has the most creative projects for them to get involved in.

Q: Let us know your opinion about Talenthouse and about your experience with the invite to expand your network with Diego Valdez ?

A: Diego is phenomenal. He has so much heart and passion for what he does as well as for helping others. I am truly grateful for being able to work with him and meet all his amazing friends. I’m really happy to work along side Magdallena & James as well. They are astonishing artists and I’m looking forward to seeing all the magic they create in this industry. I recently had an interview with Michael Taylor Gray in L.A.- What a blast that was! Not to mention this fabulous interview with Tommy! I’m one lucky gal.I am eager to move to LA and to continue building a relationship with Diego and the people I have met, or will meet thanks to the invite! I can not thank you enough Diego and Talenthouse!

Q: How did you start with modeling, acting, and photography ?

A: I like to dip my toes in a little bit of everything. It started with acting class in high school. Immediately after stepping on the stage, I knew it’s what I wanted to do with my life. Ever since I have been pursuing it. I’m proud to say I will be graduating with an Acting/Directing degree in May. Directing is a whole other story. I wasn’t fond of it at first. I didn’t want it to be apart of my studies. But after working with an amazing professor named Mo Lamee, my mind changed. I could see his love for the theatre through his directing and I wanted to be able to be that person for the younger generations to come. My mother always had an interest in photography and has always been a role model that I look up to. She was the main reason I got in front of a camera. I enjoyed the outcome of photos as well as the feeling you get in front of the camera. It’s like acting in stills. I began to branch out and work with other photographers as well as practice my craft in front of the mirror. I’m constantly pulling out photos from magazines or offline to create posing books. I take the poses and make a dance out of them to be remembered and used in front of a camera. Once I was in front of the camera for a while, I decided I wanted to see what it was like to be on the other end. I would borrow my moms camera and shoot like crazy. It become a hobby for me. I applied for a job at my university to shoot their sporting events and was hired! After three years of shooting sports as well as various other things on the side, it’s now become a passion and a love.

Q: What attracted you towards the fashion industry, acting, and modeling ?

A: I believe it’s a great outlet to express yourself freely and to be creative. I think in my generation a lot of creativity is lost. Children’s days are spent playing video games, which make the creativity for them. Being on stage or behind a camera gives you the opportunity to live many different lives and create things you never would have been able to. They say you only have one life to live, they were probably never in the theatre.

Q: Tell us about current and Future projects you are/will be working on?

A: Currently, GRADUATION!! May 17th is the date! I just finished directing The Vagina Monologues and it was the experience. My cast and I raised approximently $4,000 for the Latimer House. A non-profit in Grand Junction, Colorado who works towards ending violence against women and girls. I hope to continue directing and I will be submitting an original one act I wrote into an upcoming festival. A large project coming up is my move to Los Angeles in August. A project I’m really looking forward to.

Q: What are your long terms goals and plans?

A: I want to continue being able to give back to my community while doing what I love. I hope to be a role model to others, by encouraging them to follow their dreams as well. If you never try in life you will never know all the amazing things you can achieve.

Q: Where do you see yourself say, 6-10 years from now ?

A: I see myself still striving to be the best I can be. I don’t feel there is a mile stone to reach, you can always better yourself or continue to help others. By then I hope to have opened my own theater for children with disabilities. Equally important to me would be to have a dog sanctuary. I’m a huge animal person and it pulls me apart inside to know animals are being put down or abused everyday. I hope to expand my work with non-profits as well as build my craft in my passions (acting, directing, modeling, writing, and photography.) I see myself continuously traveling, experiencing the cultures of the world and taking in the beautiful wonders it has to offer.

Q: Would you recommend others artists join and be part of Talenthouse?

Absolutely! Us artist have to stick together. They say it’s all about contacts in this business and Talenthouse is a great place to meet them. If you haven’t been on the website, I highly recommend you check it out! Its fun, inviting, and a great outlet for many different types of artists. I was told about Talenthouse from a friend and I am so very happy with the results. It has opened many doors for me and for that I am truly blessed! Thank you Talenthouse, you rock!

Q: Where can people find out more about you and find you online?

You can see more of me at -

My Facebook “like” pages: https://www.facebook.com/jordanchantel https://www.facebook.com/jordanchantelphotography

My website: http://jordanchantel.wix.com/talent

I like to tweet: https://twitter.com/jordanchantel

If you need to email me for booking or questions please do so through- jordanchanteltalent@gmail.com

Let Magdalena Vlad’s Photography Change the way you the world and the people around you

The people at Talenthouse recently held a competition called Talenthouse Contest  Expand Your Network with Diego Valdez and I was given the opportunity to interview some of the winners.  If you are an artist, I suggest you check out Talenthouse for more information on how you can be a part of their community and get your work seen by others. They have sections for filmmakers, photographers, artists, musicians, and more.
The first artists I was able to connect with is Magdalena Vlad, who is a photographer with a eye for making the something we may pass daily look extraordinary.  She describes herself perfectly in this paragraph:
Photography for me is my dream, my desire and my obsession. It has changed my way of looking at the world and the people around me. I am trying to go beyond simple appearances in search of depth and real beauty. People are beautiful. Some are trying to hide it and some are trying to show it. We all are fighting the same battle and our attitudes are all that matters. I would like to have the opportunity to show the world that everyone is beautiful and that everyone means something. Everything has a message, a meaning and there is always something to learn not only for me but also for others.I communicate with people through my lens.
Here is a brief question and answer session we had about her work, Talenthouse, and Diego:
A: Let us know your opinion about Talenthouse and about your experience with the invite to expand your network with Diego Valdez. 
Q: I am working with my model James Mcknight for about 4 years now. We took thousands of artistic pictures together. When I saw Diego Valdez invite I thought this would be perfect for James and I. A model looking for a model. We were not expected to win. We were so happy when we found out that we won People’s Choice Award! A few days later we received an email from Diego Valdez congratulating us. Not only that but since then a lot of wonderful things have happened. I started working in partnership with Diego Valdez. James and I recently had an interview with Michael Taylor Gray in LA at the Talenthouse office in Melrose. I have been introduced to a few people in this industry and all this this thank to Talenthouse and Diego Valdez.
Q: How did you start with Photography?
A: I started photography 14 years ago with a Canon A-1 35 mm film camera that I absolutely loved. I bought my first digital camera in 2004 and immediately I knew that this is what I want to do.I had no doubt about it anymore. I got it in Chicago and I remember it was a cruel winter that year and it was really cold but I had to take pictures. I end up spending the entire day and night taking hundreds of pictures. I thought I lost those pictures but a few weeks ago I was looking for some old cds and I actually found the first pictures I took that day. I was thrilled that I found them. I attached to this email 3 of my favorite pictures i took that day.
Q: What attracted you to photography?
A: I was born and raised in Romania. I graduated from the University of Bucharest with a degree in psychology and I was the project coordinator of the Institute of Child Development in Romania, where I studied and researched the effects on orphan children of different living environments and how it affects their emotional state (happiness, sorrow, joy, outlook, etc).
This is when I first became interested in photography as it relates to capturing humans in suffering and in joy.
Q: What Projects are you currently working on?
A: Currently I am working in partnership with Diego Valdez on a few projects.
One project called “Voices of hope” The goal is to connect the spirit of people with the real important things in life “the simple things” Through this project we are trying to make people understand one important thing “the ego it´s our worst enemy”.
Second project is called “Dare” and this is about one’s fight with addiction, recovery and courage to fight it. My best friend Dyanne Sellers is a recovery drug addict. Taking to her about it I realize how hard it is for anyone to see the cruel fight this addiction brings. She is drug free for 10 years now but listening to her and the nightmare she has been through all those years, inspired me to start this project.
Third project is called “Survival-Revival” and its about ones fight with cancer. This is a tough project. One of my friends Matt Lord was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 35. The reason I wanted to start this project is his attitude towards this terrible disease. He is a very positive guy, full of hope and dreams.I truly admire him. I think his attitude can inspire and make people understand how important the attitude is.
Q: What are your long terms goals in regards to your career?
A:My ultimate goal is to change someone’s life through my photography. I love to start projects that benefit people. I love to share their story though my lens.
Q: Where do you see yourself in say, 6- 10 years from now?
A: I see myself having my own art gallery and work as a photographer in New York.
Q: Do you recommend others artists to join and be part of Talenthouse?
A: Absolutely YES! I think every artist, musician and photographer should be part of Talenthouse “family”. They are looking for talent and they find it. Everyone has a equal chance of winning. I think that artists should support artists and that is exactly what Talenthouse does.
Q: Let us know where we can find out more about you links, Websites, twitter name:

A Weekend of NOH8

(Left to Righ)t, Jeff Parshley, Me, and Adam Bouska

By now, its no secret that I am an avid supporter of the NOH8 Campaign, a huge fan of Adam Bouska‘s work, and an admirer of both Adam and his partner, Jeff Parshley.  This past weekend was the annual NOH8 photo shoot with part of the proceeds being used to contribute to AIDS Walk NY.  It has become a tradition of mine to have my photo taken anytime they are offering them in the NYC area, which luckily for me has been about once a year.   I am proud to say that this was my third time and I was just as excited as I was for my first.  Wearing the NOH8 tatoo on my cheek has so many layers of meaning for me.

If you are unfamiliar with the NOH8 Campaign, let me explain it a little.  The campaign was designed as a direct protest to the passage of Proposition 8 in the state of California.  Proposition 8 eliminates the rights of same-sex couples to marry.  Adam and Jeff created the protest utilizing Adam’s amazing photography skills to generate some attention for the cause and to date, they have taken over 20,000 photos!  The Campaign has attracted overwhelming celebrity support as well as the support of people from all walks of life.

As I stated earlier, wearing the NOH8 tattoo on my cheek symbolizes so many things for me.  Besides the fact that I do feel people should have the right to choose to marry, it also represents unity, courage, and the freedom to be yourself no matter what anyone may

Adam Bouska

tell you.  When I look back at how much I have grown and changed since the first time I went in to take my photo it really amazes me.  Its funny how one experience can connect you to so many people and completely change the way you view yourself as well as the world around you.

I can’t tell you how many people have approached me because of the photo to ask questions and especially to get advice.  That connection is the most important part.  If I can help a few people along the way, that is the real power behind it all.  No one should ever feel that their feelings are not valid or that their voice is not enough.  When you choose to speak, you will be shocked at how many people will accompany you and add their voices to yours.  In unity you have power.

Although it was the third time I was taking my NOH8 photo, it was the first time I chose to walk in AIDS Walk NY.  The overall theme of family that exists at every NOH8 photo shoot was definitely carried over into the day of the walk. Early Sunday morning, people began to gather to represent Team NOH8 with Adam and Jeff leading the pack.  I can honestly tell you that their genuine concern for each member of the team was contagious.  Christopher Hayden, Studio Manager, was also present at the walk and was always making sure the team stayed together. If any part of the group fell behind, they made sure to stop on the side to wait for the others to catch up.  It was all about encouraging one another to continue the walk as well as keeping one another entertained with great conversation.  We were there for an important cause, had a job to do, but also needed to share our love for one another as we did it.  As of this writing, Team NOH8 has raised $13,684.  You can still donate if you would like and I am sure we would all greatly appreciate it.

I encourage you to find out more about the NOH8 Campaign and to find out when they will be doing a shoot near you.  You can also visit Adam Bouska‘s page to see his inspiring work. I would also like to encourage you to get involved in any cause that you are passionate about.  In addition to what you can do for others, you will be amazed at what this will do for you.  Feeling like you are accomplishing something and that you are part of something bigger than yourself is priceless.

Team NOH8