Jeffrey Almonte

Why I Bought a Cinema Camera — Unboxing the C100 Mark II

With so many affordable 4K options in the DSLR & Mirrorless market, why buy a cinema camera?

After years of contemplating what camera I should own, I decided to buy a cinema camera.

DSLR’s cameras have been an amazing low-budget option for aspiring filmmakers for the past decade. Especially with Technicolor’s FREE Cinestyle profile ‘hack’ that gives your Canon T3i  more dynamic range for a film look. More recently, Sony has been killing it with their affordable mirrorless cameras like the Sony A6300, boasting specs like 4K video resolution and slow motion 120 fps in full 1080 HD quality. S-Log is also a flat profile similar to Technicolor’s cinestyle that allots more room for post-production color grading. All for under 1,000 dollars. So does this render cinema cameras like the $3500 dollar Canon C100 Mark II with only 1080 60/fps obsolete?

Hell no.

Specs aren’t everything.

Look. I’ve gotten my hands on plenty cameras. From as humble as an Olympus T-100. To the Canon C500. Especially the top-notch iPhone’s F/1.8 lens with 4K 60FPS and Slow motion at 1080p 240 FPS. Sound fancy right? Already better specs than the dusty old $20,000 dollar C500 that only lets you record n00b frame rates of 30fps and no 4K. Womp womp. But specs aren’t everything. There’s a lot more science to image quality than just resolution. The 4K craze has been a marketing ploy to sell everyday consumers things they don’t need. Worse than when people obsessed over megapixels in cheap digital cameras. I cringe standing in the middle of a Best Buy seeing people awed by these on-screen 4K vs 1080P comparisons on 50-inch televisions… and seeing that the major selling difference are things like saturation, HDR, sharpness, and a whole bunch of other things that aren’t even pixel resolution. Looking at 720p footage of your favorite movie shot on film will look infinitely better than if they shot it in 4K on an iPhone. For obvious reasons.

As an online-based video content creator, having a 4K camera is about as useful as a bachelor’s degree is to a magician. It looks better on paper than it does in practice.

I can zoom in 4x while editing without losing quality. That’s about my only noticeable perk when using a 4K camera vs a 1080p one. For big-time cinematographers that screen on IMAX, it makes a huge difference. But here’s the thing. Big budget productions just rent cameras anyway. Being a poor filmmaker means the choice to own a camera is a commitment you should take as much time as you would to decide to marry someone. Buying a camera body only to sell it for half the price in a year or two is not resourceful at all. Especially with the rapidly growing technology and planned obsolescence that encourages consumers to treat pieces of equipment like stale chewing gum. I’m young yet old school. I want something that will deliver for a long time that feels good.

Yes. The feel of a cinema camera does make a difference.

And size and weight of a cinema camera. The light, run-and-gun feel of DSLR’s are a game changer for small filmmakers. Especially when you don’t want to spend thousands on steadicam and gimbal stabilizing devices. Cranes. Sliders. Rigs. Gear is usually cheaper when it’s used to handle lighter cameras. But there is such a thing as too light.

If you’re a fan of the handheld look, you will have less control and more shakes when your camera’s body is the size of your palm. Things feel a bit flimsy and definitely sketchy when you rent heavier cine lenses or even telephoto lenses for Sony’s mirrorless cameras. In extreme weather conditions, I don’t want to feel like the wind is about to blow away my camera. And all the physical buttons on a cinema camera allow me to skip the hassle of touch-screen nonsense in the cold. Audio and video ports right on-camera just make life easier during both production and post for a one-man crew. Cinema cameras are built for video. As opposed to being photo cameras that just so happen to have great video menu settings. So of course the practical limitations of DSLR and mirrorless cameras tally up heavily.

Credibility.

Saying you have a cinema camera has a similar effect as saying you have a 4K television. It just sounds and looks better to clients when you are shooting professionally. I’ve seen astounding results delivered on a Sony A7S II and the Canon Mark III for both commercial and film. Sure. It’s about the sculptor. Not the tools he uses. But that doesn’t stop clients from asking, “What kind of camera do you use? Does it shoot 4K? Should we rent a RED?” And to be fair, there is a significantly more noticeable difference in Sony A7S II vs RED dragon footage than the difference between 4K and 1080p. Behind the scenes photos look way more impressive to the standard consumer’s eye when you’re selling yourself as a cameraman. It’s always about the look. Including the look of the person behind the camera.

Without a doubt, you can make a great film on an iPhone. You can make a great film on anything really. It’s the impact of your story on your audience that determines the greatness of the film. The gear is just there to make it easier for what you are trying to achieve as practically as possible.

It always boils down to your personal needs. The Canon C100 cinema camera is what I need. I can count how many times I would really use 120 FPS slow motion footage. And my target audience isn’t watching 4K footage on their smartphones on the train from work. But they can definitely tell the noticeable difference in dynamic range.

Here’s the LINKS for my cinema camera gear:

Also check out this great video about picking a new camera:

‘Broke Rappers.’ I Don’t Do Free Shoots. Period.

No if’s. No and’s. No but’s.

Oh boy. The relationship between ‘broke rappers’ and actual broke video producers.

Or producers of any kind. Graphic designers. Web designers. Engineers. We’ve all had a run-in with a selectively cheap artist that brags about their lavish lives in their music. Then turns around and low-balls you for your services. ‘Broke rappers’ are usually not broke at all. Just dudes with f*cked up priorities and no respect for artistry. And an over-inflated sense of self.

Tell them to kick rocks. They probably won’t do it while they wear their new Balenciaga’s.

Sure there are genuinely starving artists that will actually barter some of their services for yours. And there’s nothing wrong with respectfully admitting, “this isn’t something I can afford right now. Hope to work with you in the future!” and keep it moving.

But.

See what we’re not going to tolerate is someone devaluing our work and saying “can you lower the price” just because. A friend-of-a-friend discount.

I can’t walk into Best Buy and use an Instagram shout-out as a form of currency to buy a camera. So what makes you think you can pay someone in exposure for a skill that took a lot of time and money to develop?

Let’s take a step back. There are actual broke rappers.

Working video in Hip Hop is an interesting beast different from weddings, commercial, or film work. Probably the most fun you’ll have as a creator. Oftentimes gigs that are most fun tend to pay less. Especially in a genre that is literally the voice of the underprivileged. Artists turn to Hip Hop to express socio-economic hardship. They will make music by any means necessary. And sometimes being resourceful means hustling others into doing free work for them. I come from a place where my friends would pool money together from their 9-5 jobs and invest in an entry-level DSLR camera. Then just shoot it themselves. We didn’t even know what ISO was. We were just dedicated to learning by experience and doing what we could. But we definitely weren’t contacting professional-level producers that we knew had high rates to try to lower their prices… especially not offering to pay them in “exposure.”

Producers aren’t charging you these prices because they want to scam you. They do it because its how they keep the lights on. It’s how they’re able to afford to maintain their equipment and keep doing what they do. Video is especially important in boosting a music career. No one will take you seriously if you invest thousands in looking good or even on hours of studio time but won’t invest in the visuals. If you really can’t afford to pay a professional, study the craft and do it yourself. Don’t burn bridges by disrespecting the value of other artists.

Logan Paul is the Mascot of Selfie Culture

Logan Paul Suicide Video. The media’s new scapegoat for a worldwide sin.

Let’s be real about the Logan Paul Suicide Video.

Selfie culture existed long before the term “selfie” was a thing. Documenting everything from violence to natural disasters to famine. All in the name of “awareness.” But were we really unaware that these things existed? There’s a fine line between news and entertainment. But they’re not mutually exclusive. Gossip is both news and entertainment. As well as controversial sites like Best Gore that pride themselves in spreading the good news about all the dangers in the world. To spread awareness.

Do we need more ISIS beheading videos to know they happen? A month’s worth of footage of trapped bodies under cement after an earthquake? 17 Years’ worth of media coverage to know how bad 9/11 was?

Why are you even watching a video of me reacting to Logan Paul’s reaction to death? There’s articles everywhere to read what happened. But you want my opinion. It’s entertainment.

Was Logan Paul wrong?

Well. Duh. We can unanimously agree that Logan Paul’s actions at Aokigahara were disgusting. However. He is the low hanging fruit when we have a conversation about what’s wrong with humanity. This is the perfect moment to see ourselves in his tremendous flaw.

Plenty can guess what happens in a place called “Suicide Forest.” We know what content we will indulge in when we read a headline like, “Youtube Star Logan Paul Captures Suicide in Vlog.” But we still click anyway. Morbid curiosity? Mind numbing entertainment? Who knows.

Everyday tragedies have become a spectacle for us to indulge in. Even when someone decides to end their lives to get away from it all, the very same kind of person they’ve loathed is in their face with a camera to make sure everyone can see them against their will. The privilege of being able to capture a moment has made us desensitized to this same moment. Then addicted. Obsessed over capturing everything before the memory fades. A birthday boy on walking an endless winter, clamping onto the ribbon of a helium-filled balloon. Paranoid that he won’t even feel when it slips between his gloved fingers. He can only watch in awe what he couldn’t feel. The balloon our fleeting humanity.

Almonte Re-Auditions for Old Spice with a NEW Product Pitch

What ever happened to the Old Spice Parody kid from 5 years ago?

He’s back.

(And also not a kid)

Legal AF. Thicc AF. #BlackBoyJoy

Maybe this re-audition will get him in this time.

Jeffrey Almonte’s Old Spice Parody was the first time he went viral. At just 16, he ruffled quite a few feathers on Worldstar’s comment section. Could you imagine grown ass men hating on a 16-year-old’s body in a comedic video?

Watch it here:

Fan favorite moments were “Now back to me motherfucker” and “Caught Em.. I’m not giving you sh*t.”

Public response was what inspired an entire series called “Caught Em” shortly after.

Which you can also watch here:

Old Spice Parody 2.0

Almonte’s half-decade evolution from raunchy sophomore to deadpan satirist is blatant in his comedic style. His political rants now bleed into his comedy, toying with social issues. The “Fellas, is it gay…” line is an obvious head nod at the recent memes that satirize toxic masculinity.

We hoped you’re just as pumped as we are. Because it’s not just an Old Spice parody. It’s never “just a joke.” It’s a product pitch. And when Old Spice Extra Smegma hits the shelves, you better support Black business the way you support SUPREME when they released a $100 brick.

Woke women want men that are all natural. Men that wear products that aren’t tested on animals. And with this whole vegan trend going on in WokevilleTM, Old Spice would be silly not to pick this up.

 

How We Made a Film in 7 Days

Watch how we made a “The Initiate” in 7 days.

Join Almonte, Tim Hann, Jinzo & Blaze in a discussion on making a film with an extremely short deadline.

This was mostly for the sake of an experimental challenge to test our passion for the arts. You should definitely spend more than 7 days on any piece. As with any painting, some films will take years to just write. Some written in 10 minutes. Time spent doesn’t equate to the quality of the work. The passion and how connected you feel to the piece is what determines the impact of the film. Think of this like a speed painting you see a starving artist performing in the streets. That’s right. Performing. There’s two stories happening.

  • The fabricated one that is being shot from a script.
  • The struggle of the creators on the journey to create a film.

The Beginning

I was conflicted on whether I should make a CreepyPasta about how I got robbed in East Harlem or making a hood, gang initiation film. But a third idea emerged in my mind spontaneously on the 24th of October.

What the hell is a Creepypasta?

‘CreepyPasta’ is a style of horror storytelling that usually revolves around urban legends you can find online that people narrate in Youtube mini audio-books. It derives from “Copypasta” which are viral text walls people copy-and-paste everywhere to avoid misfortune. The earliest form of this was chain letters–which precedes the internet. People would get anonymous letters in the mail saying, “Send this to 5 addresses or [insert bad thing] will happen to you.” Here’s an example of an online version:

What if these actually came true for people that did harm to others? Oftentimes we see horror films placed in suburban or rural countrysides. So I stuck to what I know best: the hood. A horror story revolving around inner city kids where the stalking robber– the one who was the initial source of the horror in ACT I and ACT II– was now victimized by a personification of his own guilt.

Jaquan the Hood Lantern.

Spoiler Alert: Jaquan turns Jojo the slasher’s brains into a chopped cheese in the end credits. And the film is punctuated by a voice-over of a Valley-Girl accented Becky saying “Wow only 4 dollars? That’s a steal.” Followed by Chad’s “I know right; I love this neighborhood.” A cute nod to the open-endedness that the horror of gentrification that Almonte has spoken about in his viral chopped cheese video.


Shooting a Film in 7 Days is nerve wrecking.

In fact I wouldn’t recommend anyone do this to their mental health.

I finally wrote an idea that I connected with on a very personal level. But Halloween was in 7 days. Day of the Dead was in 8 days. How the hell was I going to get the cast and crew to pull this off? The same way I pulled off my guerrilla style of shooting My Way. My first attempt at filmmaking with no experience in fight choreography or serious camera work. Except now I’m exponentially more skilled than I was when I was 16. There was no way I was going to let this idea taunt me for another year while I waited for Halloween of 2018 to come back around. By then I would have built even more film ideas and just abandoned the Initiate. I was tired of waiting and planning and not executing all these ideas that kept coming to mind.

There’s only one way to shoot a film in 7 days: Just do it.

Call your folks. Even if they’re not “real” actors. A great director and editor can make anyone look good. I wrote, directed/shot, & edited this. And for the first time, I produced video content that didn’t involve the marketing of my face.

Though I did play the Jaquan the Lantern. Shhh.

I was essentially a one-man crew. The support and patience I got from my cast was imperative. Including emotional support when I wanted to give up on this and try next year.  You are your own worst critic. Finding countless mistakes in audio, continuity errors, and etc. can be disheartening if you don’t have anyone to get you out of your artistic anxiety. Being a perfectionist doesn’t get anything finished.

 

How to Make Vegan Waffles

It’s super quick & CHEAP to make Hype Vegan Waffles.

Cashmere provides a recipe for the perfect Hype Vegan Waffles, beautifully decorated with strawberries. Sure, it may be even faster to throw a pre-made, boxed frozen waffle into a toaster. But where’s the fun in that? You get more waffles for less money when you make it from scratch. Plus, you see exactly what’s going in your body. Vegans. Vegetarians. Pescatarians. Meat Eaters. Whatever. Saving money and knowing what’s going in our bodies is something we all want.

Hype Vegan Waffles uses everyday household items you probably already have.

Don’t have a waffle maker? Throw it on the stove for some pancakes. Certainly beats paying $7 for a few pancakes at IHOP.

Milk & Eggs can get pretty pricey. This recipe is a blessing for our pockets.

Flour. Salt. Sugar. Lemon Juice. Baking Powder. Vanilla Extract. Canola Oil. Water. All items you probably already have in your cabinet.

Veganism is always made to be this complicated, curated diet of moral grandeur.

Cashmere’s simple Hype Vegan Waffles recipe is a breath of fresh air for those that might find veganism overwhelming to start.

If I get to keep waffles, maybe giving up eggs in the morning isn’t such a dreadful thought after all.

Christmas Prank on New Yorker Gone Wrong

Watch this prank video where a New Yorker gets Timbs for Christmas.

But it goes terribly wrong.

He even mentions how he should have spent Christmas with his main chick. Clearly he hasn’t read the Fuckboy Handbook(TM)L


  • Wifey knowest the desires of thee wellest. Thou shall not spendeth any Holiday — including birthdays — with any mistress, no matter how good the thrussy may beeth.


What New Yorker gets Timbs as a gift and is happy about it? If you’re dating a New Yorker, they probably already own a pair.

Or five.

Jinzo Hits Every Beat

Watch how Jinzo kills this remix to this famous Hip Hop Tutorial Video that became a meme.

Jinzo kills it–per usual. But he makes sure to take it back to his popping roots to show you he never misses a beat.

5 Signs You’re Dealing With A Fuckboy

Watch Out For These Fuckboy Red Flags

1. Fear of communication

Why are you asking me that? Why are you interrogating me? Do we have to keep talking about this? 

Fuckboys cannot deal with emotional labor. They want you to take care of all that. They fear the vulnerability that comes with honesty. So god forbid you ever ask them a question about anything, anyone, or any woman. They are just here for the fun parts of a relationship. Not communicating emotional needs nor concerns.

2. I Didn’t Mean It.

There’s a difference between mistakes and bad decisions. We all make both. Sure we don’t mean harm. Most humans don’t go around thinking, “how can I hurt someone that cares about me today.”

Fuckboys will go on and on about how hurting you wasn’t their intention. But intention doesn’t alleviate result. If there’s a fly on your face and I smack dogshit out of you, my intention was to kill the fly. That doesn’t stop your face from hurting after you just got slapped to kingdom come.

Doing the right thing means he will instinctively take accountability for what he’s done. And try to fix it. Not deflect blame off of himself by immediately cowering behind his original intentions. People have good intentions. Anyone that needs to reassure themselves that they aren’t bad people by constantly talking about what they meant to do rather than what they actually did is insecure in themselves and the value people place on them.

Whether it’s something as deal-breaking as cheating on you or as small as ruining your wash & set with his oily fingers, pay attention to his first steps to problem solving.

3. Flipping the Tables

But I didn’t say anything when you…

But I also went through…

Ever confront someone for hurting you? Your feelings? Only to notice 3 sentences into the conversation that you’re now talking about their feelings. Their turbulent past? Now they’re bringing up a bunch of shit you did that bothered them that they never mentioned before?

Your plane just got hijacked.

To a Fuckboy, everything is everyone’s fault by default. They don’t feel like their actions really cause any harm. Because they don’t feel alive. If something goes wrong, there’s no way possible that they–alone–could have had any power to influence that catastrophe whatsoever.

And if they ever did anything wrong, it’s because you did something first. You somehow made them do it. They will go through all the gymnastics to make some cause-and-effect timeline of how all their actions were a mere reaction — void of their own autonomy — to someone else.

4. There is always an excuse for his fuckery.

But I didn’t know we were serious. But I didn’t know you even liked me like that. But I didn’t know that would hurt you. But we not even together. But I was in a bad place. But she started. But. But.

But.

Fuckboys never know when something is serious. Because they have a lack of self worth. They cannot register the impact they have on people’s lives. All they see is their own impulsive, temporary motives that have no real depth besides pussy and a good time. Fuckboys just go with the flow. They exist for the mere moment. Fuckboys don’t think of consequences for their actions. They think of excuses.

5. He expects you to stick around, despite it all.

Wowwwwww. You really leaving me? I thought you was a ride or die. I need someone that can handle me. You’re making this a big deal.

Shrug off that gaslighting real quick. You don’t have to handle someone’s personal issues. You aren’t a bad person for leaving someone that continuously adds negativity to your life.

He knows he’s not ready for a relationship. He doesn’t want to be. A Fuckboy knows they aint shit. Most of us aint. The difference is, most people want to work on their flaws. Fuckboys want company in their toxic, self-loathing misery. As long as you’re willing to stay. As long as you have hope that he will one day change, he will feel comfortable enough to never change at all.

A Fuckboy isn’t a school project. A man will change when he wants to. Sure, a woman may be the catalyst– not the reason–for a man  to turn his life around. But. You might just mold him into the perfect man–for someone else. Don’t waste your time on the potentiality for being an obstacle. Invest your emotions into someone who is ready to love you the way you need to be loved.

The Truth

All men are guilty of one of these things. We all have our percentage of fuckery going on. Blaming others. Lack of empathizing with feeling’s outside of our own. Projecting our self-loathing. Wanting company in our toxicity.

Awareness is the first step to change. Second is Honesty– analyzing how willing we are to change and what are the best solutions. Even if that solution means letting go of someone you know you’re hurting.  And the last step is to ADAPT. Execution. This piece can only guide you through the first two phases. The rest is all you. You said you would change? Distance yourself. Do what you said you would. Don’t drag the people that love you through your tumultuous transitions.

If you are dealing with a Fuckboy, you are enabling them. Give them space to grow on their own. Even if that means cutting them off entirely.

A Real Life Water Bender (Blaze Yentruoc – Told You Dance Video)

Watch the Blaze Yentruoc Dance Video from Jojo– the star of Almonte’s “The Initiate.”

Almonte recently teamed up with the multi-faceted star of his short film, The Initiate to shoot a freestyle dance video to MELLDU’s “Told You.” The song paints a picture of a modern cowboy walking in a cold food-desert of Harlem to confront all that ever doubted him. The climactic face-off is with his biggest competitor. Himself.

The nature of how this video was shot embodies the vibe of this song. In every take of the Blaze Yentruoc Dance Video, he attempted to best himself after watching the footage over and over. And Over. In the freezing cold. His movements more dynamic with every fleeting minute. Physically fighting to abstain the heat from leaving his body. Blaze’s freeform movements are like something out of a Mortal Kombat Kata sequence. Even finger tuts that looked like waterbending.

Blaze takes the song where his heart wants to take it. The raw passion accentuates every beat of the song’s pulse. As if the beat was dancing to Blaze’s body, as opposed to the converse.

Follow him at @sain0ne

 

 

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