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Camera Stories: Country Roads  

It is the kind of place you go to remember.

Heart, simplicity.

Where license plates are fences and overgrown tractors are monuments to the hard working hands that work the land. 

People smile and wave here. No such thing as “anonymous.” For the best and worse of its wares, these places know you are a visitor. They know you will romanticize them without understanding their depth.

Everything out here takes time. Labor. Even motion feels like effort away from the constant flow of the cities. Beasts of burden clickity-clacking their way through town. Sprawling distance and land between neighbors. 

All at once easy to feel both isolated from the world and in touch with its essence. Circular in thought. 

35mm B/W Reversal Film | Prints | Melissa Martens 

melissamartens

Camera Stories: Country Roads  

It is the kind of place you go to remember.

Heart, simplicity.

Where license plates are fences and overgrown tractors are monuments to the hard working hands that work the land. 

People smile and wave here. No such thing as “anonymous.” For the best and worse of its wares, these places know you are a visitor. They know you will romanticize them without understanding their depth.

Everything out here takes time. Labor. Even motion feels like effort away from the constant flow of the cities. Beasts of burden clickity-clacking their way through town. Sprawling distance and land between neighbors. 

All at once easy to feel both isolated from the world and in touch with its essence. Circular in thought. 

35mm B/W Reversal Film | Prints | Melissa Martens 

9

Filmista on a budget.

Up-cyled camera bags and going back to my roots. 

Between wedding expenses and life, this year has been super tight on the budget. I have been saving up to purchase my own kit for what feels like ages. Just this year I was able to get myself a canon body and field recorders. It feels like forever till I will be able to climb out of the recession debt hole. Sometimes I feel like a freaking gear junkie just scratching at the door pleading with the Phillip Bloom’s of the world to just pass over ONE CAMERA! I JUST NEED ONE! 

I know, I know, I ALWAYS preach about how it isn’t about the gear but about the talent behind the gear… but sometimes, it just is. Gear envy is a real fucking thing when you don’t have any. 

Ever since the places I freelance for have announced they will no longer work with talent unless I can provide my own gear, I have been in a panic.

I know that I am really good at what I do, but there is no way for me to take out any kind of loan right now to do so. 

I fantasy shop on B + H. Cursing the technology I love. I fill up a cart with everything I think I will need to tally up reality. My number sits about 5K. In the world of filmmakers that is actually a modest number. I know I will figure this out. 

My plan? Working like a mother fucking ninja. NO DEBT. I save up and buy my gear piece by piece. 

Between college and now - I haven’t actually owned any cameras I can use professionally. My now vintage VX2100 that I “invested” in back in 2004 looked promising. It now sits in my camera graveyard shelf next to my polaroids, waiting to be cool again. Hoping the new wave of hipsters will want mini dv wedding films like they do Super 8. I digress.

I don’t see that happening any time soon. 

The recession hit me hard when I should have upgraded from mini DV to DSLR. I just counted my lucky stars that I could pay the rent while I watched other friends go under. It sucked. I fully understand how I got in this pickle. 

I was lucky enough to have been gifted an iPhone through work right when the recession hit. I used it to make films for clients and won the first iPhone film festival for Best Directing in Branding. Take that B + H. Sometimes it isn’t about the camera. 

So when my budget conscious brain went looking for rolling camera bags this month, I had a mini panic attack. 

I was hard pressed to find anything less than 300 bones. That’s 300 bones too much for right now. In yoga class my shoulders tried reasoning that it would be worth it to take the stress off my back and keep from pulling it out of alignment. They lobbied hard to justify the cost. My brain said, “There has to be another way.” 

Somewhere between warrior and child’s pose I started to remember the little girl who would tear apart electronics to build an editing bay out of old VCR’s, stereos and TVs. That little girl didn’t give a rats ass if the parts came from the alley, she just wanted to make cool shit. My brain found the image of my old VX2100 sitting in my closet in a VID PRO bag. 

*LIGHTBULB* 

Cool shit acquired. Turns out I already had everything I needed for my rolling camera bag. It was all lying around the house. 

I tore apart my old Vid Pro, lined a carry on with the batting and sewed  it into place. With a few strips of iron on velcro, some imagination and elbow grease, presto: Rolling Camera Bag.

I was so proud of my damn self that I took it for a spin around the block. My back will thank me tomorrow and I didn’t spend a dime. #motherfuckingninja

melissamartens

Filmista on a budget.

Up-cyled camera bags and going back to my roots. 

Between wedding expenses and life, this year has been super tight on the budget. I have been saving up to purchase my own kit for what feels like ages. Just this year I was able to get myself a canon body and field recorders. It feels like forever till I will be able to climb out of the recession debt hole. Sometimes I feel like a freaking gear junkie just scratching at the door pleading with the Phillip Bloom’s of the world to just pass over ONE CAMERA! I JUST NEED ONE! 

I know, I know, I ALWAYS preach about how it isn’t about the gear but about the talent behind the gear… but sometimes, it just is. Gear envy is a real fucking thing when you don’t have any. 

Ever since the places I freelance for have announced they will no longer work with talent unless I can provide my own gear, I have been in a panic.

I know that I am really good at what I do, but there is no way for me to take out any kind of loan right now to do so. 

I fantasy shop on B + H. Cursing the technology I love. I fill up a cart with everything I think I will need to tally up reality. My number sits about 5K. In the world of filmmakers that is actually a modest number. I know I will figure this out. 

My plan? Working like a mother fucking ninja. NO DEBT. I save up and buy my gear piece by piece. 

Between college and now - I haven’t actually owned any cameras I can use professionally. My now vintage VX2100 that I “invested” in back in 2004 looked promising. It now sits in my camera graveyard shelf next to my polaroids, waiting to be cool again. Hoping the new wave of hipsters will want mini dv wedding films like they do Super 8. I digress.

I don’t see that happening any time soon. 

The recession hit me hard when I should have upgraded from mini DV to DSLR. I just counted my lucky stars that I could pay the rent while I watched other friends go under. It sucked. I fully understand how I got in this pickle. 

I was lucky enough to have been gifted an iPhone through work right when the recession hit. I used it to make films for clients and won the first iPhone film festival for Best Directing in Branding. Take that B + H. Sometimes it isn’t about the camera. 

So when my budget conscious brain went looking for rolling camera bags this month, I had a mini panic attack. 

I was hard pressed to find anything less than 300 bones. That’s 300 bones too much for right now. In yoga class my shoulders tried reasoning that it would be worth it to take the stress off my back and keep from pulling it out of alignment. They lobbied hard to justify the cost. My brain said, “There has to be another way.” 

Somewhere between warrior and child’s pose I started to remember the little girl who would tear apart electronics to build an editing bay out of old VCR’s, stereos and TVs. That little girl didn’t give a rats ass if the parts came from the alley, she just wanted to make cool shit. My brain found the image of my old VX2100 sitting in my closet in a VID PRO bag. 

*LIGHTBULB* 

Cool shit acquired. Turns out I already had everything I needed for my rolling camera bag. It was all lying around the house. 

I tore apart my old Vid Pro, lined a carry on with the batting and sewed  it into place. With a few strips of iron on velcro, some imagination and elbow grease, presto: Rolling Camera Bag.

I was so proud of my damn self that I took it for a spin around the block. My back will thank me tomorrow and I didn’t spend a dime. #motherfuckingninja