Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Human Trafficking: Law & Order SVU gets it right

In a recent episode of Law & Order SVU the plot revolved around human trafficking and sex trafficking of minors. It was really good to see entertainment television getting it right. So many times TV misses the mark and focuses on the wrong issues. When in fact the sex trafficking right here in the United States is at a critical level.

The gang influence is driving the sex trafficking of girls to a new level in neighborhood across our Nation. It is much safer for gangs to traffic girls for sex than to sell drugs. Once you sell a drug that's it, but with sex you can keep selling. It is a crime that is hidden in plain sight.

The show's executive producer Neal Baer was interviewed by The Deadbolt . com. Baer was in Boston speaking to a class at Harvard when he learned about human trafficking and researched the topic. He said the story line came out of real life.

My experience comes from training I developed for the State of California Peace Officers on the proper response to human trafficking and the trafficking of minors. Before my exposure to the subject matter experts I worked with, I had no clue. My entire knowledge was based on what I learned in the media and TV.

I am pleased to see a television show like Law & Order SVU getting it right and depict trafficking as the serious problem it is for the young girls in our communities. Or celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore making a difference with their Foundation - www.demiandashton.com. I worked with Ashton and Demi on an anti-child sex trafficking video for law enforcement and it was a real pleasure because of their comment to the this worthwhile cause

Monday, November 29, 2010

Working with actor Leslie Nielsen - shooting TV commercials - and his classic out-take

A sad day for comedy as actor Leslie Nielsen dies at age 84. Actor Leslie Nielsen passed away last weekend. He was best known for his roles in comedies like "Airplane!", "The Naked Gun", "Spy Hard" and "Police Squad". He is best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin from "The Naked Gun" series of films.

Many people only remember him as a comedy actor but he started in TV back in the late 1940's as a very serious leading man. One of his famous films from the 1950's is a science fiction move called the "Forbidden Planet". He played a leading role as a crew member of space ship on a rescue mission. The movie is also famous for creating "Robbie the Robot".

He was a very funny man with a great sense of humor, but as a leading man he felt he could only take serious parts and he avoided comedy. When his career as a leading man slowed down he took to making TV commercials as many actors do. This was before he re-started his career as a comedy actor in the 1980 comedy "Airplane" and the rest is history.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with him just before the release of "Airplane". We were shooting a series of TV spots for a bank in Nevada and the producer hired Nielsen as a spokes person for the bank. He spent the day on set entertaining us with his gags. He carried around a small device that made fart sounds. Here he is, a serious actor making faces and fart sounds. I have never laughed so hard in my life; he had a great time entertaining the crew who laughed all day long.

After we finished the last spot I asked him to shoot an out-take. It was a day I will never forget and I became a lifelong fan of one of the greatest comedy actors of all times. An actor who when he started his career was afraid of comedy.

Take a look at this classic Leslie Nielsen video out-take:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Responce to - Child sex trafficking in San Diego County

I just attended the first San Diego Regional CSEC & Child Sex Trafficking Council meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a new regional response to CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exportation of Children).

It was heavily covered by the media and attended by law enforcement, government agencies, non-government groups and County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. Speakers included Assistant Sheriff Ed Prendergast and Deputy District Attorney Gretchen Means to name a few.

An alarming statistic is San Diego County is #8 in the nation for child sex trafficking. Child sex trafficking is now coming up on everyone's radar, which is a good thing. We are trying to move past the old school thinking that prostitution is a victim-less crime and it's no big deal. Law enforcement is coming around and recognizing that many young people in the "game" are being prostituted by pimps and gang members.

Young girls are being recruited in San Diego from shopping malls and on the internet. The most common way they are recruited is through romance. They are courted and told they are loved by these young gang members and slowly moved into a life of prostitution.

Awareness training for first responders is key but even educators are joining the cause and raising awareness in high schools and middle schools where kids are at risk.

The goal of this Council is to take the next step and organize a regional response to the problem of child sex trafficking. The next Council meeting will be held on February 17, 2011.

Friday, November 12, 2010

San Diego law enforcement to curb teen human trafficking

San Diego law enforcement agencies are coming together to try and curb teen prostitution. The County is looking into establishing a regional human trafficking task force. Currently the Sheriff's Department runs a Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force and the FBI leads an Innocence Lost task force.

This would put all the resources under one roof and establish a full time regional approach.

For more information check out the San Diego Union Tribune article:


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meeting and working with Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

It took many months but we finally got to the set with Ashton and Demi.

When I started working on a training project for law enforcement on the human trafficking of minors this spring, I decided a celebrity endorsement would be a great way to get the audience's attention. My experience in putting Gary Sinise in an Army training video had been a huge success.

One of my committee members recommended Ashton and Demi because they have a foundation and are very active in countering child sex trafficking. Everyone agreed on this celebrity couple so I started the process. It took several months to get it all together and agree on a production date.

When it all came together we drove up to Hollywood to Ashton's production company offices and set up our gear. When they arrive they were a very nice couple who are very passionate about this cause. They appear on camera and introduce the subject of child trafficking and send viewers to a website for first responder training information. They were very professional, fun and a pleasure to work with.

They traveled to the United Nations last week to help raise awareness at the international level, check out the link:


It's great to see such a nice couple use their star power to help others.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

San Diego honors a fallen police officer

On October 28th San Diego Police officer Chris Wilson was killed in the line of duty. November 4th was his memorial service. He was a 17 year veteran of the San Diego Police force and was well liked and respected by his fellow officers and the community he served.

Thousands of law enforcement officers filled the seats at the Rock Church in San Diego. Hundreds more overflowed into the lobby and street. Many arrived in a motorcade of about 1,000 patrol cars, motorcycles and fire rigs in a procession stretching more than 12 miles long from Qualcomm Stadium.

For a more in depth look at the service check out the Union Tribune coverage:


A large part of my work for many years has been law enforcement training and I have come to know many officers from around the State. I did not know Chris but I know people who work Southeast San Diego.

My friend Randy Grimm from the Sheriffs video unit asked for my help in covering the event. I volunteered because it's important for everyone to give back to the community. It was a record breaking hot day for San Diego, it hit 100 degrees. I was positioned on a roof across from the church. I was very uncomfortable, but as I was feeling sorry for myself I realized my comfort would improve in a couple of hours but the family of the fallen officer will be uncomfortable for years and will never be the same.

Helping out was the least I could do, for someone who gave their life for the good of the community.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Has your cell phone gone for a swim?

It does happen; your mobile phone goes into the drink and now what. This advice comes from a young friend who is sometimes careless with his phone. Rice is the answer. Put your phone in a bowl of uncooked rice for about a week. Uncooked rice is great at pulling the moisture out of the phone. My young friend's wife swears by this process.

Desiccant also works, but be careful because it's powder and might cause additional damage. The most familiar form of desiccant is the little packets that come with electronics to absorb moisture during shipment. The label says "do not eat". Also silica gel packets work well and can be purchased on-line.

However most of us don't keep any desiccant or silica packs around the house. So if your mobile phone hits the drink, head for the nearest Chinese market and purchase a bag of uncooked rice.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Real men don't buy girls

Real men don't buy girls is a great campaign to help stop human trafficking of women and girls for the commercial sex trade worldwide.

Ashton Kutcher can be seen holding up a sign that says: "Real men don't buy girls" on his website -


Ashton and Demi Moore have a Foundation to help stop human slavery and human trafficking. I applaud celebrities like Ashton and Demi who take the time and energy to fight for a cause like human trafficking.


Check out their website

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The difference between human smuggling and human trafficking

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. It's a criminal business that profits from enslaving people for sexual servitude and forced labor. Victims of trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims are young children, teenagers, men and women.

Many people don't know the difference between human smuggling and human trafficking, there are major differences.

Is a crime against the national boarders
It requires illegal crossing of the U.S. border
Smugglers are paid and their business relationship with immigrants terminates at the boarder
It can become trafficking, once a person is forced to provide labor or services

Is a crime against a person
It involves compelled labor or service
Traffickers may use smuggling debt as a means to control victims, even after they cross the border.

Please help stop human trafficking.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center - 1-888-3737-888


Monday, October 11, 2010

Recognizing the signs of human trafficking

Victims of human trafficking can be found in our neighborhoods. They are living amongst us but are hard to recognize. There are two types of victims: commercial sex victims and forced labor victims.

Finding and helping victims is all about recognizing the signs and indicators. Some of the indicators of forced labor are:

People are living on their work premises
There is restricted or controlled communications and transportations
There are a large number of occupants for the living space
There is a lack of private space, personal possessions or financial records
They have a limited knowledge of the community
Security is intended to keep victims confined

Victims can be working in: domestic servitude, sweatshops/factories, construction, farming or landscaping, hotel or tourist industries, panhandling, janitorial services, and restaurant services.

Victims in commercial sex can be resistant to help because they may be physically or emotionally coerced. They may be coached to have a fear of law enforcement, a fear of deportation or a fear of retaliation. There may be indicators like injuries from beatings or self-inflicted injuries. There may be branding, scarring or tattooing to indicating ownership.

If you recognize any of these indicators please contact your local law enforcement or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center - 1-888-3737-888


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Human trafficking back in the news in Los Angeles

News reports: "The LAPD seeks other victims of alleged child pimp"


Police say there may be dozens of victims of a man they suspect of kidnapping two teenage girls and forcing them into prostitution.

According to San Diego Deputy District Attorney Gretchen Means," human trafficking is the new crack". Gang members are jumping into the human trafficking of minors because it's safer than drugs and very profitable. Human trafficking is just behind the drug trade for profits worldwide.

Means says, "a gang member is much safer driving around with a couple of girls and a laptop in the back seat as opposed to driving around with drugs". This is a growth business for gangs and they are recruiting young women and teenagers from local neighborhoods. This is not the importation of women from other counties but children recruited from our own communities.

Children are extremely vulnerable to recruitment and victimization. They can be runaways, escaping from abusive homes. They can be homeless living on the street or just looking for work.

Minors can be recruited by other victims, friends, family, employment agencies and modeling agencies. They can be recruited on the internet, by romance or seduction and even by gang members. Children are often recruited from juvenile camps, shelters and foster homes

Raising awareness of human trafficking and the trafficking of children for the sex trade is the key to helping these children.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't settle for traditional time lapse, kick it up a notch

Time lapse photography is still very popular in all media from the web to broadcast networks. I have been shooting time lapse for about 20 years. Back in the day, the only way to shoot TL was with film. My 35mm Arriflex did a superb job, still hard to beat 35mm film for quality. Today I am still shooting time lapse but several years ago moved to digital. But the bigger issue is how it's done.

Traditional time lapse is one camera angle showing an event from start to finish. I am contacted all the time to provide a camera to capture an event or construction project. I usually don't do that type of work because anyone can and it's all about price.

A better approach is with a sequence of time lapse shots. I use multiple cameras and many different angles to create a story. Telling a story can be done in many ways and time lapse is a unique and exciting way. This goes beyond a couple of time lapse shots to spice up a video but telling the whole story with time lapse. Of course it's not right for every project but it can be extremely effective under the right circumstances. It can be the entire video or a part of a video, depending on the concept.

I have a couple of my projects on YouTube that show how it works. It's an exciting use of time lapse and it really kicks it up a notch adding a unique look to any project.

Decorator crabs at LEGOLAND, VNR
Model builders at LEGOLAND, VNR
Footbridge being assembled
Welcome to Barcelona - uses some TL to kick it up a notch


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's time to change the stereotypical image of human trafficking

When people think of human trafficking everyone seems to think of a cargo container full of Chinese immigrants hiding from US customs agents. This is a stereotype that we have to break. Yes people do get smuggled into the US from Asia. But the real problem is young girls who are recruited into the sex trade right here in our own communities.

Television shows about human trafficking seem to keep this stereotype alive. Hawaii Five-O, the new series on CBS Television, started the season with just such an episode. I would imagine smuggling Asians into Hawaii is probably more common than the mainland, but it keeps the incorrect image in the eye of the general public.

The more compelling issue on child sex trafficking can be found in this ABC News report on trafficking of minors in Portland.


This report looks at young girls in the Portland sex trade, where many have been forced into lives of prostitution. They use the technique of romancing young girls to lure them into the sex trade

We have to change our thinking about these young people. They may be breaking the law and be participating in criminal behavior but in reality they are victims and we need to see them as such.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Video test of my new Android smartphone

I wanted a good test for my HTC EVO 4G smartphone and Lucy seemed like a good one. We have a standard poodle named Lucy and she is a fun dog. My wife, Lucy's mom, has done a terrific job training Lucy. To go outside she does not bark, she is training to ring a bell that hangs on the door. It's a very civilized approach to going potty. To get back into the house she is trained not to bark or jump on the door. So Lucy has taken to jumping up and down so we know she wants back in. video shot with my HTC Android smartphone

She does get airborne !!

Going for the Gold

We competed last weekend in the San Diego Senior Olympics, I won two bronze medals and my wife Shannon won a gold medal. We compete with precision air guns in events the mirror the regular Olympics, air rifle and air pistol. The real difference is we are much older than most regular Olympic competitors.

The San Diego Senior Olympics has many different events. For more information check out their website and you can get started at age 50.


It's always great to see a large turnout of seniors who are active and engaged in life. In past years at the opening ceremony, I have always been impressed with the group. People who want to compete in their favorite sports seem to stay in shape and are generally fit. I am very proud of the seniors who make the competitive effort to win.

I only wish I had done better this year, next year more practice!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Giving back to the community by giving the gift of life

I grew up in a family that always helped others. My mother always said "if you ever feel sorry for yourself or are feeling down, look outside yourself and help others". It is still good advice.

It has always been important for me to give back to the community. I have been doing volunteer work for a number of non-profits over the years. It is personally rewarding for me to help others. In addition to volunteer work I have enjoyed helping young people that are pursuing a career in my same field. I have been fortunate to help others with both their job skills and career paths.

However, we live very busy lives and taking time out to serve on a non-profit board or committee is not always possible.

Just what can you do that's convenient and flexible?

Well a super easy way to do community service is to give blood. I have been giving blood every couple of month at the San Diego Blood Bank for many years. It's fast, easy and can be scheduled when it's convenient. You are helping others and it brings a sense of satisfaction. It's also fun to check their website and see your donation grow. They also have great SWAG for giving blood like jackets, hats, bags and movie tickets.

Try it out and see how good it feels, that is once you get past the needle stick!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dropbox software for syncing files

Are you a thumb drive user? Would you like a better solution?

In my work I am always on the go and for years I have used a thumb drive to keep files current between my desktop and my laptop.

Now I found a better way, I just started using Dropbox. It's a great way to keep files synced between computers or share files with others. It's a cloud application that syncs your files online and across your computers. It really simplifies file syncing and sharing. You can also use it to share photos online with friends.

I also have my files linked to my EVO Android phone and it's just great to have my docs and pictures in the palm of my hand.

Check out Dropbox: www.dropbox.com

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

3D at the NAB - WOW

This year I worked for Panasonic at the NAB convention in Las Vegas. 3D video solutions were in great abundance. Panasonic had their 152 inch plasma monitor that shows 3D. All I can say is WOW I am now a huge fan of 3D and Panasonic seems to be ahead of the pack with their new 3D camera system (AG-3DA1), software, monitors and switchers. I already own and operate Panasonic equipment and their new stuff is just great. Before the conventions I thought 3D was so-so, now I am a real believer in 3D!

Human Trafficking of Children

For the last several months I have been working on training development that helps law enforcement recognize the indicators of human trafficking. Now I am in the middle of a project that addresses the issues of trafficking of children.

It seems even more egregious that children are the victims of traffickers. They are the most vulnerable members of society and the most easily victimized. In addition to law enforcement officers other first responders can help. Fire fighters, paramedics, hospital staff and even code enforcement officers can make a difference. They need to look beneath the surface, dig a little deeper and if they ask the right questions they can help these innocent young victims.

Educating first responders is only the first step, the public needs to be more informed so they can recognize the indicators. These young victims live amongst us and are hiding in plain sight. They just need a little help to get out of this modern day form of slavery.

If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at: 1-888-3737-888

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A response to human trafficking

I'm currently working on a project for the state of California for training peace officers to recognize the victims of human trafficking. At first glance it would seem obvious who the victims are. The stereotypical image of a trafficking victim is someone who has been smuggled into this country on a ship from China or a third world country and arrives in chains. But in reality the victims today in California comes from all parts of society. I was very surprised to learn that the victims of human trafficking range from young to old from rich to poor and everywhere in between. They do not have to come from other countries human trafficking victims are trafficked right here in California

The world's oldest profession, prostitution has a very high rate of human trafficking victims. It's estimated that approximately 90% of all prostitutes today in California are being victimized and trafficked by their pimps. I was very surprised to learn this but when you think about it, it only makes sense. There is no way most young women would participate voluntarily.

I am pleased to be part of this training project because it will help victims and offer them the hope of a better life. When it's completed and distributed to law enforcement it will make a difference in people's lives.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Creating effective communications is all about trust. It's an honor to help others with their needs and to tell their story. I always feel privileged when I am chosen to help others organize and present their important concepts and ideas.

Media continues to evolve but the need for good story telling will always be around.