Doesn’t the well-being of sugar workers matter?

first_imgDear Editor,Mr Fritz McLean, a member of the GuySuCo Board, in a letter he authored which appeared in another section of the media on December 5, said: “…the mentors and strategists of the sugar union leadership are contriving to rub salt in the extant economic and financial wounds of the industry.” While we are unsure what Mr McLean meant when he said “…the mentors and strategists of the sugar union leadership…” we wish to tell him that decisions of the Union are taken by the Union and the Union alone. We say this bearing in mind that it appears the GuySuCo Director is inferring that the workers’ recent protest action was influenced by persons outside of the Union. This, of course, is a clear disconnect from reality.Mr McLean then said we are seeking “…to rub salt in the extant economic and financial wounds of the industry.” But what about the wounds inflicted on the sugar workers? Hasn’t too much salt been rubbed in already? Isn’t it unfair that they are left behind? Doesn’t it bother Mr McLean that sugar workers’ pay rates have remained parked in 2014 while they exist in 2019? The letter writer, given his vantage point, is well aware of the representations being made for sugar workers to be granted a pay rise. Given his long association with sugar, Mr McLean would well know that this is the longest period, in the era of state-ownership, that sugar workers have remained without any improvement in wages. It is now more than 1800 days since sugar workers last benefitted from a rise in pay, hasn’t enough salt already been rubbed into their wounds?The GuySuCo Board member next said, “…it will be difficult to navigate a middle ground position bearing in mind management’s recent articulation to the sugar unions of the corporation’s financial circumstances.” What is this ‘middle ground’ that is referred to? The most recent engagement between the Union and the GuySuCo concerned a presentation on the Corporation’s plans for the future. We shared, through a press statement, our views about that engagement. Several aspects of that statement were published by several media entities. We would want to believe that Mr McLean would have seen the statement and if he has not, he can visit the Union’s website to obtain a copy. In that statement, we mentioned during our engagement with GuySuCo the matter of a pay rise. The Corporation which was led by no less than its Chief Executive acknowledged that this matter was a burning issue. There was a general recognition that a pay rise to workers is needed and must be addressed. At that meeting, the GuySuCo team expressed optimism that discussions taking place would lend to some positive movement.The letter writer strangely digresses saying “[w]ith negotiations in progress for the sale of closed estates at a critical stage, not only will the ongoing unstable industrial situation in the industry jeopardise a favourable outcome for the vendors…”. It appears, Mr McLean missed that the Government had indicated that divestment of the sugar estates has been put on pause. The August 16 edition of <<>> quoted Finance Minister, Winston Jordan as saying “[t]he sale of the estates has been delayed… and I don’t think at this stage, given our status as interim, we will want to engage in any major privatisation at this time”.While there is continued focus on the bottom-line, we ask what about the bottom-line of the workers and their families. Isn’t this important too? Don’t their and their families matter or are they just another factor of production, faceless and nameless, without any need or want? Mr McLean would remember the days when sugar carried the country on its back. He would recall when the efforts of the same workers he accuses of ‘rubbing salt’ ensured that the country moved forward. Even today the industry it is one of our nation’s critical and few foreign exchange earners, doesn’t that count for something? Don’t the people in the industry matter?Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral Secretary, GAWUlast_img read more

Explanations, decisions and specialists

first_imgDear Editor,Guyana has two tasks concerning profit oil. Sell it for the highest price possible and use the proceeds for the benefit of the people of the nation. The tangent that Dr Bynoe and his consultants have gone on to “introduce and market a grade” is farcical. ExxonMobil, Hess, and CNOOC are all going to be selling oil from the same well, by the time Guyana’s turn to lift comes around, seven million barrels of ‘Liza grade’ would have been pumped, delivered, sold and even refined.The crude marketing specialist employed by the DE said “We don’t know the real fair market value of our crude. What we are trying to do is test it, run it through a refining system, take the feedback from the refiner, from the people who have not just refining but also the marketing channels. They have the value of the pump, of the petrol, all around the world. We want to run it through systems who will give us the feedback of what is the fair market value at this point”. That must be the definition of ‘specialist’ in bovine waste. Take my simple and free advice: get the same price as ExxonMobil, Hess, and CNNOC and you will make more on the ‘take-home’. Let me explain further.ExxonMobil, Hess, and CNNOC are experienced IOC’s, they are not going to be gypped out of a cent. If we attempt to reinvent this wheel and enter the race of highly tuned machines with a rickshaw pulled by Bynoe, we will be fleeced millions by way of specialists, consultants, backroom costs, administrative costs and we shall pay dearly for reports that are made available freely. This is often referred to as the ‘parasitic consultant trap’ a common problem for startup companies and businesses. The way to avoid it is to utilise your grey matter. Take a look at the other utterance from the DE specialist.Crude Marketing Specialist, Virginia Markouizou – “Here, we are talking about taking all the steps, establishing relationships with the market, showing a face of stability, introducing, in a paced way, a grade and holding face-to-face conversations with people who have to give us feedback”. I can advise that Guyana is already in a relationship with an IOC that is working to do all these things. The Operator of the Stabroek Block is in partnership with Guyana, it is not an adversarial relationship.They have extended every courtesy asked of us and beyond with information and have (unasked) funded an under-utilised Centre for Local Content Development. ExxonMobil, Hess, and CNNOC share a common goal with Guyana when it comes to getting the best price for Liza grade. We can apply ourselves and learn all we can from our current partners before we venture further into deep waters.Dr Bynoe and the Minister responsible for oil in Guyana, HE David Granger, are either not applying themselves to the questions surrounding oil sales; being sidetracked or misled by consultants, or are not capable of critical thinking at the required level. I will not even entertain Bynoe’s concept of “transparency” when he described wanting to deliver information on the Government’s sale of three million barrels of oil after all arrangements were concluded.Used to be that was known as a ‘fait acompli’: a thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it. The Granger years have been plagued by the question of the deliberately obtuse versus dense, it would seem there has been contagion.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

Pico Rivera’s `prince’ and founder dies

first_img“\ thought we should always try to eat, shop and buy in Pico,” Garcia said. “He really was a generous man. I considered him a prince, very civilized.” Patronite grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved to Pico Rivera in 1945. During World War II, he was stationed in North Africa as a chief cryptographer for the U.S. Air Force. In 1958, Patronite was on the incorporation committee that founded the city and subsequently became one of the original council members. When a new election was held a few months later to establish a council member rotation, he lost. Patronite returned to public office when he served on the Planning Commission in the early 1970s before being appointed to the City Council in 1974 to fill an unexpired term. He was reelected every term until he retired in 1992, serving as mayor four times. While attending both Cal State L.A. and USC, Patronite majored in accounting. He later began Azusa Engineering, a Covina firm that made hardware parts. He is survived by his wife, Jane Hallinan; four children; and three grandchildren. A rosary will be said at 7 p.m. Sunday, and the funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday, both at St. Hilary’s Catholic Church. Graveside services will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Rowland Heights. pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PICO RIVERA – Every day for the past 15 years, James M. Patronite read “The New Yorker” magazine over lunch at Barney’s Coffee Shop in Pico Rivera. Now friends and colleagues – some who often joined him there – are remembering the former mayor and councilman as particularly intelligent, civilized and even “a prince” among local politicians. Patronite died Monday afternoon at Kindred Hospital in La Mirada. The 86-year-old was Pico Rivera’s last founder to die. Dan Miller, owner of Barney’s, said he would often interrupt Patronite’s reading to test him with questions on history – one of Patronite’s favorite topics. “Jim’s knowledge of history, you could never challenge him on it,” Miller said. “It didn’t matter whether it was American, religious or world history, he’d know it. “We had a lot of conversations that way,” he added. Patronite would come into Barney’s at 12 p.m. “on the dot” each day and stay for an hour, Miller said. Former Councilman Carlos Garcia knew Patronite for 10 years, working with him on the finance committee at their church, St. Hilary’s Catholic Church in Pico Rivera. He remembers a “humble and brilliant man.” Garcia said Patronite was the type of community servant who believed in spending his money in his city as much as possible. last_img read more

Gatlin agent says doping claims ‘just big talk’

first_img0Shares0000US athlete Justin Gatlin is said to have sacked coach Dennis Mitchell © AFP/File / Mauro PIMENTELLondon, United Kingdom, Dec 19 – The agent at the centre of an investigation by a British newspaper into world 100 metres champion Justin Gatlin’s entourage said Tuesday he invented a story about obtaining banned drugs to impress undercover reporters.Robert Wagner, who has occasionally represented Gatlin, and Gatlin’s coach Dennis Mitchell were secretly filmed by the Daily Telegraph newspaper claiming they could obtain and administer human growth hormone and testosterone for $250,000. The newspaper’s reporters had gone to meet the pair at Gatlin’s Florida training base and had posed as producers interested in making a film about a sprinter — the drugs were meant to help the film’s lead actor get into shape.But in a statement given to Britain’s Press Association by a British-based public relations company, Wagner said the Telegraph’s story was “deeply flawed” because it was based on false comments he made up to impress people he thought were in the film business.“It was just big talk — I did not actually source or supply the substances the reporters asked for but stupidly claimed I could,” the US-based Austrian said.“I apologise to Mr Gatlin, his management and family for saying completely false things about him and I apologise to other completely innocent athletes also wrongly implicated by my words.”Wagner said he reported his meeting with the reporters to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and would assist the investigation it had started “in every way I can”.Earlier Tuesday, Gatlin posted a statement on his Instagram account, saying he was “shocked and surprised” when he learned Mitchell had allegedly offered to supply performance-enhancing drugs.“I am not using and have not used PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs),” wrote Gatlin, who has twice served doping bans during a controversial career.The 35-year-old American sprint star, who beat Usain Bolt in the final of the 100m at the London world athletics championships this year, said he had sacked Mitchell after hearing of the claims.– Investigation –Anti-doping officials have launched an investigation into the claims while International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Seb Coe said athletics needed to do more to tackle the scourge of doping that has long tainted the sport.“We are looking at who we want in our sport,” Coe, a two-time 1500m Olympic gold medallist, said in a statement.“Focusing on the influences that surround athletes is a critical area of work,” he added.Gatlin has long been a controversial figure after being banned for doping in 2001 for one year and in 2006 for four years.His long-time agent, former sprint hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah, told the newspaper that Wagner had represented Gatlin only two to three times and that Gatlin was not present when banned substances were allegedly discussed with Mitchell or Wagner.Mitchell, an Olympic sprint relay champion who served a two-year doping ban during his track career, has also strongly denied any wrongdoing.The newspaper said it began its investigation in July after hearing of agents and trainers involved in supplying drugs to athletes.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

‘A stupid practical joke!’ De Bruyne’s agent furious following Wolfsburg declaration

first_imgThe agent of Manchester City target Kevin De Bruyne has categorically denied suggestions the player has committed his future to Wolfsburg, telling talkSPORT he was the victim of ‘a stupid practical joke’.Social media was awash with reports on Monday evening in which De Bruyne appeared to claim he was staying at the German club.Premier League giants City have chased the Belgian playmaker all summer, after he finished last season with a record number of assists for the German Cup winners and Bundesliga runners-up.Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs recently admitted the club is expecting a ‘crazy’ offer for the 24-year-old, with the Blues reportedly readying a £49million bid which will see the former Chelsea man earn around £230,000 a week.But the ongoing saga took another unexpected turn on Monday, with the German Player of the Year telling press at the Sport Bild award ceremony: “I will stay at Wolfsburg this season.”However, in an exclusive interview with talkSPORT, agent Patrick De Koster fumed that his client had been duped into making the statement.“When we came into the awards ceremony there was an agreement that we were not going to talk about the situation before a live audience,” he told talkSPORT“And, I don’t know why, but at a certain moment the moderator asked Kevin, ‘could you affirm that you will play against Bayern in October’? to which Kevin jokingly replied, ‘yeah, yeah’.“At that stage he then told Kevin, ‘repeat after me, I Kevin (I Kevin) declare I will stay (declare I will stay) in Wolfsburg in October (…in Wolfsburg in October).’“So it was a practical joke, but we were not amused with it.“Why? Because a few minutes later the whole internet and social media was full of this declaration, but for sure it wasn’t a declaration. It was just a practical joke, a stupid practical joke!“And Kevin, before a live audience, what can he do? German is not his mother language!”De Koster added that, despite the stunt, the clubs are still locked in talks over the midfielder’s future and a decision is apparently imminent.“We were really furious about it because he [Kevin] has not made his choice,” he added. “I know negotiations between the clubs are still ongoing.“Can we find the solution? We will see in the next few hours or days what is going to happen.“But what happened yesterday evening was not professional.”last_img read more

DD Gardening: Slug pellets – the blue snow of summer

first_imgSTOP! Hold it right there. Surely you’ve enough slug pellets down in the garden already? Many of you reading this will be distributors of blue snow in summer. Spreading copious amounts of slug pellets around the garden willy nilly as ‘the slugs are eating everything’… well dear… if you put meat out to trap bears guess what… you’re gonna get bears!Sorry for being a bit shouty but for all the chat about banning weedkillers and how bad these are we forget about the dangers of over-use of these small blue pellets. Advertisement In many rivers in England levels of the active ingredient found in many common slug pellets, Metaldehyde, are recorded at over 100 times the safe level, and there is no way to treat for this product in water, so when it’s there, it’s there!Due to changing weather patterns it’s easy to surmise that the general population of slugs and snails is on the increase and we should equally surmise that the population of natural predators should be in the increase too, such as hedgehogs, frogs, wildbirds and other predatory nematodes but sadly most of these are on the decline – habitat loss, farming practices and wider environmental issues are normally stated.But like you washing that marmalade jar before you send it for recycling what have you done today/this week/ this year for biodiversity in your garden? Any feeders out? Any nesting boxes out? Any sources of water out? Many habitat areas in your garden? Advertisement But back to the case in hand, the blue snow. One slug pellet every 4” is enough for coverage, and one slug pellet every 4” applied every 2 weeks or so is plenty.Yes… one every 4”… not a handful of a hundred to the square foot on the ground, but a tiny sprinkling… surprised? Think about all the unnecessary poison you may have horsed around your garden over the years, all those birds and hedgehogs that may have been poisoned because of your exuberant application!Way too many slug pellets!Slug pellets are made up from around 5% active ingredient, the other 95% is probably wheat, this is the attractive part of the pellet, the slugs are attracted by the wheat, eat the pellet, and the Metaldyhyde then dehydrates the slugs by getting the slug to produce huge amounts of Mucus.So pellets will firstly attract the slugs to your plants, so if you’re using pellets its best to put some down before the plants are growing (i.e. before you plant out plants).So if you are using these slug pellets the rule is very little on a regular basis.DD Gardening: Slug pellets – the blue snow of summer was last modified: August 11th, 2017 by Gareth AustinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Gardeningsnail pelletslast_img read more

Big Bad Bird: Ten-Foot “Terror Bird” Found

first_imgWhat would a “terror bird” look like?  Imagine a ten-footer, able to disembowel you with a single kick and crush your skull in its jaws.  That’s what scientists from the Dinosaur Institute of the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History described in Nature1 after finding the largest-ever skull of a flightless phorusrhacid (‘terror bird’) in Argentina.  While other phorusrhacids stood 2-3 feet tall, the skull of this one was as big as that of a horse, implying it stood 10 feet tall.  It had a sharp, eagle-like beak and was probably agile and swift.    Contrary to earlier opinion, taller does not mean fatter and slower, the researchers surmised.  In a classic example of stuffy scientific jargon, they wrote, “We conclude that reconstructions of the skull of gigantic phorusrhacids on the basis of their smaller relatives are unwarranted, and that the long-established correlation between their corpulence and reduced cursorial agility needs to be re-evaluated.”    See also the National Geographic entry.  Despite saying this discovery was just in time for Halloween, Sean Markey wrote that “much about terror bird behavior remains unknown.”  They are presumed to have been South America’s top predators after dinosaurs went extinct.1Luis M. Chiappe and Sara Bertelli, “Palaeontology: Skull morphology of giant terror birds,” Nature 443, 929(26 October 2006) | doi:10.1038/443929.You can’t call it a terror bird without being there to watch it.  Inferences from living ostriches and rheas are probably warranted, but maybe these were big, beautiful, stupid and sweet.  Maybe they would have made good pets.  Don’t put it together with the cat, though.  (Imagine it having a chirp like Here, kitty kitty kitty.)  Best put the bird in the yard and the cat in the cage.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

3 tips for finding Mystery Caches

first_imgMystery Caches can be a bit of a, well, mystery! Known as Puzzle or Unknown caches as well, Mysteries are a “catch-all” geocache type that involves solving puzzles in order to decode the correct cache coordinates or crack secret clues to unlock a cache’s stash.With varying degrees of difficulty, it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start with Mystery Caches. That’s why we’re sharing three tips* to help you solve those Mysteries and add another smiley to your find count!  *Sneak Peek: one of these involves updates to our solution checker! Work your way upStart easy by tackling Mystery Caches that have a one or two star difficulty rating. The more caches you conquer over time, the more tricks of the trade* you’ll pick up and the easier it’ll become.*Such as invisible ink (white text), hints in the source code, and clues in the name! Gather your Mystery CrewTwo heads are better than one! Bring your geocaching pals along, not only is geocaching more fun when you have your buddies but they can help you brainstorm through those extra tricky questions. Confirm your coords with our Mystery solution checker!This simple tool helps geocachers ensure they solved for the correct coordinates before they go to find the final container. Last October, we released a basic solution checker for Mystery Caches on Geocaching.com and we’re excited to announce a few improvements! The solution checker has now been updated to a single field, making it easier to input or paste your coordinates:Mystery Caches are fun way to spice up any geocaching adventure while sharpening the geocaching saw. Plus, if it’s still chilly where you call home, Mystery Caches are the perfect activity. For now, sit by the fire and solve some tough puzzles and when the weather warms up, you’ll have a whole new set of caches to find!Do you love a good Mystery? Tell us about your puzzling geocaching experiences or share your favorite puzzle-solving tips! Be careful not to reveal any cache spoilers.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedDon’t Miss Out on Pi Day! Top Tips for Mystery CachesMarch 4, 2015In “Geocaching Info”Top Tips for Puzzle CachesAugust 12, 2014In “Learn”How to solve Mystery Caches (also known as Puzzle Caches)March 21, 2018In “Learn”last_img read more

Facebook’s Stock Dive Isn’t Over

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification antone gonsalves Facebook’s stock hit a new low last week — and it could be poised to plunge even further. The spiral that started last Thursday ended the next day at $19.05 a share, just shy of half of Facebook’s initial public offering price in May. While Facebook’s underlying business remains strong, there are a number of factors that argue for a lower price.Inside the Latest SlideThe latest slump in Facebook stock began on the day early investors could start selling a total of 271 million shares. While it was unlikely the investors, which includd Accel Partners and Goldman Sachs, would dump all their shares immediately, the mere fact it was possible seemed to panic other investors. Trading volume soared Friday to 157 million shares (versus a 30-day average of 31 million shares).Why Facebook Stock Is Heading SouthThe big question now is whether Facebook stock could go still lower? The simple answer is “yes”. Henry Blodget, former Wall Street analyst and editor-in-chief of Business Insider, noted that at $20 a share, Facebook is still trading at 31 times projected earnings per share for next year. By comparison, Apple and Google trade at less than 15 times projected earnings. “Facebook could easily trade at 20X-30X next year’s earnings and still have a nice valuation. So the stock could go considerably lower,” Blodget said.Other factors often cited as weighing down the stock include slowing growth in both sales and new subscribers as well as the lack of a clearly articulated strategy for reaping ad dollars or other revenue from users accessing the site via mobile devices. The latter is particularly troubling since more than half of Facebook’s 955 million users accessed the site through their phones at the end of June, an increase of 67% over last year. And of course, posting a loss in its first quarerly earning report didn’t help either, even though it was a one-time charge for stock compensation, the company posted a profit on an adjusted basis and investors were expecting the results.How Much Is Facebook Worth?The stock-price pummeling has had a huge impact on Facebook’s valuation, which was a jaw-dropping $104 billion when the company made its stock market debut. Since then, Facebook’s worth has plummeted to between $42.5 billion and $54 billion, depending on how financial reporting services calculate the total number of Facebook shares outstanding, according to the MercuryNews.com.Boosting Investor TrustTo regain investor trust, Facebook will have to show progress in its ad business in its next earnings report, due in October. If the company fails to do that, its stock is sure to get whacked again. Shares could take another beating in November when early investors and employees will be eligible to sell an additional 1.2 billion shares.How the Stock Price Hurts FacebookA low stock price is more than just an investor problem – it also affects the company’s core business operations in a number of ways.Without rising share prices, Facebook may find it more expensive to attract and retain the best talent. Top programmers in Silicon Valley typically look for stock options or grants with the potential to supplement their salaries. Without that promise, Facebook may have to offer above-market salaries and bigger stock grants.Facebook’s troubles with Wall Street could also cause advertisers to lose confidence in the company and rethink using the social network as a key platform. While that’s primarily a perception problem, it’s one that Facebook cannot afford to take hold.Good Company, Bad StockIt’s important to remember that stock price aside, Facebook is not a lousy business. While revenue isn’t rising as fast as analysts would like, it is growing. Investors initially bought into the company expecting the next Google. What they got was a company still working out the kinks of its business model. Trip Chowdry of Global Equities Research summed up Facebook’s dilemma when he called it “a good company, but a terrible stock.”Still Bullish?Wall Street remains bullish on Facebook in the long term. Thomson Reuters lists 17 analysts with either a strong buy or buy rating, with only two listing the stock as underperform or sell.Victor Anthony, analyst for Topeka Capital Markets, and Colin Sebastian, analyst at Robert W. Baird, has set price targets in the mid-30s, according to USA Today.The long-term optimism hinges on the belief that Facebook is a young company and will eventually figure out how to make buckets of ad dollars from the profiles, friends and activities of its almost 1 billion users. So the bulls are willing to give the company time, as long as it shows progress. Blodget pointed out that Amazon.com’s stock showed little progress for years after the dot-com crash – before climbing steadily starting in late 20008.What’s Next for Facebook?Before its IPO, Facebook’s success was measured in how fast it could build a large user base. Now, investors are looking for revenue, profits and forecasts that point to high returns.Some industry watchers have already begun questionong whether co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is up to the task.That’s pretty much a moot point. Zuckerberg retains a controlling interest in Facebook, so he can’t really be forced out, and he’s unlikely to step down any time soon. And to be fair, Zuckerberg always made clear his intentions to build a great company and not focus on quarterly earnings – it’s not his fault if investors refused to listen. You can blame the company for being overly aggressive (and of focusing on the short term) by pushing the IPO price as high as it possibly could. It’s impossible to say how things might have been different if Facebook had debuted with a market cap of “only” $70 billion and a glitch-free IPO. But it’s a safe bet that Zuckerberg didn’t make many friends with his go-for-broke approach to taking Facebook public.center_img Related Posts Tags:#Facebook#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

How to Craft an Epic Tracking Shot Like Michael Bay

first_imgWhen you need a truly EPIC tracking shot, turn to the undisputed master of bombastic cinema: Michael Bay.Most filmmakers love to utilize tracking shots in order to add motion and pacing to a scene. Stanley Kubrick captured that motion through the use of a Steadicam. Michael Mann puts the camera on a shoulder rig. David Fincher keeps the camera locked down and uses a dolly system to capture movement.While all of these filmmakers produce amazing work, none of them quite capture epic tracking shots like Michael Bay.Love him or hate him as a director, there is one thing Michael Bay does better than anyone else: epic tracking shots, using multi-layered composition to capture a moment in time. Let’s look at how Bay captures these epic tracking shots after watching this reel that highlights his special brand of Bayhem.Video from Screen JunkiesCamera MovementFor all of his epic tracking shots, Bay will move the camera from left to right along a circular path. This motion rotates around either a fixed or moving subject or object. Then the camera movement runs contrary to the motion of that character or subject. So, for many of the shots involving a character, the camera will move from left to right as the character rotates from right to left.Nicolas Cage in The Rock via Hollywood PicturesLens OptionsFor lens options, Bay will always use a telephoto lens. By using this lens, he can compress visual information down and focus on the subject or object, forcing the background to pass by at an incredible rate. The lens is almost always placed at a low angle, which really adds to the scale factor and turns the shot from a really cool tracking shot to an epic one.Pearl Harbor via TouchstoneBackground InformationAs we stated before, the camera movement accompanied by the telephoto lens forces the background of the shot to move across the screen at a fast rate, an effect called parallax. One of Bay’s greatest skills is his ability to place visually interesting backgrounds behind the characters or objects. By adding backgrounds with a lot of visual information, he can enhance the movement and parallax effect.Dwayne Johnson in Pain and Gain via Paramount PicturesActor MovementNow, in order to really pull off the epic tracking shot, Bay almost always has his actors moving vertically and turning in a horizontal motion that contrasts that of the camera. The actors are always looking just off screen at where ever the action is or was. More often than not this shot is used as a reactionary shot. It’s sometimes referred to as “the hero shot,” as it really highlights the character or characters.Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys II via Constantin FilmSlow Everything DownFinally, to make the epic tracking shot truly, well, EPIC, Bay will slow things down. He doesn’t slow things down to a crawl. Rather, he slows it down slightly. By doing this, the shot paces really well, but becomes more dramatic at the same time. Slow motion is a good technique to use in action films when you need to add some tension and give the audience an opportunity to really sit in the space.Transformers via Paramount PicturesAgain, love him or hate him, these epic tracking shots are visually impressive. There’s really no question that Michael Bay knows how to frame an action set piece or dynamic shot. Now, overall storytelling is another matter, and one we won’t get into here. But this does beg the question… is Michael Bay really that bad of a director? Or is he a genius in disguise? Thankfully, we have Cracked to help us sort through it.Video from CrackedWhat do you think of Michael Bay’s epic tracking shots? Love them? Hate them? What is your favorite type of tracking shot? Give us your opinions in the comments below.last_img read more