Community Spotlight with Mark Adler

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Community Spotlight with Mark Adler
Video Assist, Teleprompter Support


Community Spotlight with Mark Adler

Can you tell us about your current projects?

Mark Adler: Since March I have been conducting interviews on video conferencing platforms on subjects like, what are you up to during the pandemic?  And we talk about how we are all going to come back after. All those interviews are on MPA’s YouTube channel. In normal times I am a Video Assist and Teleprompter operator. Video Assist or an instant replay helps the creative team with continuity and making sure we have what we need on film or digital capture. I was supposed to work in that position on a national commercial in March but that disappeared. I really enjoy operating teleprompters and assisting clients with getting their message across, sadly I lost several recent prompter jobs due to Covid19. I learned how to run robotic cameras about 7 years ago and have been working with the Detroit Symphony on their webcasts. I am also cofounder of the Michigan Production Alliance in Michigan. In my capacity as co-founder of MPA I am working with a committee to write new legislation for tax credits for the state of Michigan. I wear a lot of hats.

Can you tell us a little bit about your production process?

Mark Adler: That is truly a loaded question since I do so many different things!  And of course, in this new situation that production process will be changing. Now I am sure I am going to have to add sanitizing my equipment and making sure PPE is ready. But typically, whatever set I walk onto I am as prepared as I can be. I review tutorials or read manuals or actually test the equipment myself. I get a lot of joy from working with a good team of people and I am always looking at new and innovative ways of doing my work as well.

What is an interesting or memorable production challenge and solution that you experienced on set?

Mark Adler: One of the most memorable challenges I had was a little while ago. I was a local hire on a film out of California. They had brought in some equipment that was meant to mix two images together. It was not working, and I was initially tasked to make it work. While I was doing that, I realized that I could do task in a much simpler way with equipment that I had available in my kit at home. I then had to convince the director and the assistant director as well as the Camera Operator that I could do this – and I did it. The type of switcher I owned had not been used on many feature films at the time, but I was able to pull off this great mix very simply for them. Challenge excepted. Challenge accomplished.

If you could share a piece of advice with aspiring filmmakers and storytellers what would it be?

Mark Adler: The best piece of advice I could give to anyone that is just entering this business is to learn as much as you can about new technology. The basics like composition and color sense are things that might be intuitive for you, those things you can learn with a still camera in your hand. I’d say, look at all the tutorials that are available online – so many opportunities are there to learn new pieces of equipment that have been recently introduced. And as a student in many cases, you can get your hands on this equipment – all you have to do is show the interest. Be proactive and be a sponge!

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