Money Monday

first_imgBy Barbara O’NeillCan a service member in his 30s use funds in a traditional IRA to pay for college?Like all IRA owners, service members who withdraw funds from a traditional IRA before age 59 ½ are subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty with a few exceptions. One of these exceptions is to pay for qualified higher education expenses. Funds withdrawn will be subject to the early withdrawal penalty, however, if they are in excess of the actual amount of expenses.When determining the amount of money needed to withdraw, service members should take into account any distributions from 529 plans, scholarships, grants, and other tax-free payments, such as gifts or inheritances they have received during the year. Qualified higher education expenses for the IRA exemption include tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment as well as room and board as long as the student is attending school at least half-time.Browse more military personal finance blog posts and webinars answered by experts.Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on May 27, 2013.last_img read more

Child Maltreatment Before and After Deployment

first_imgBy Rachel Dorman, MS & Heidi Radunovich, PhDFamily violence can have a devastating impact on everyone in the home, especially children. Children are vulnerable to being exposed to or experiencing violence in homes where family violence occurs. Thomsen, Rabenhorst, McCarthy, Milner, Travis, Foster, and Copeland (2014), sought to learn more about the relationship between frequency of child maltreatment and the offending parent’s stage of deployment.[Flickr, model: Jo by Deepjoy Tang, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 22, 2015Thomsen and colleagues (2014) examined incidents of child maltreatment that occurred during an 85 month period when the offending parent was an active duty United States Air Force member who had combat related deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. The study accomplished this by merging two databases for analysis: the United States Air Force Family Advocacy System of Records and a deployment database. After merging the two databases, the study consisted of 2,287 children who had experienced maltreatment either pre-deployment or post-deployment from their USAF parent. Children were considered to be eligible for the study if they had experienced maltreatment from an active duty USAF parent, who was not married to another service member and had served in one or more combat-related deployments during OIF or OEF. The study reported 2,563 incidents of substantiated maltreatment in the 2,287 child victims. Researchers found that overall incidence of child maltreatment REDUCED after deployment. However, moderate to severe abuse was more likely after deployment, and use of alcohol further increased the likelihood of abuse. However, milder forms of child abuse were much more common prior to deployment.[Flickr, Plastered 20 365 by Rafiq Sarlie, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015The researchers encourage future studies to examine what could account for the lower incidence of mild abuse after deployment. They hypothesize that stressors might be lower after deployment, or perhaps growth and maturity could occur over time to reduce the level of mild child maltreatment. Thomsen and colleagues (2014)recommend that clinicians be vigilant in the identification of moderate to severe child maltreatment in post-deployment homes, because children seem to be more at risk at that time. To learn more about child maltreatment please check out our previous blogs on the topic:Child Maltreatment PreventionMilitary Child Maltreatment, Deployment, and Future ResearchResource Discovery on child maltreatmentAlso, we have an archived webinar that explores attachment issues, neurology and interventions for children suffering from trauma.References[1] Thomsen, C., Rabenhorst, M., McCarthy, R., Milner, J., Travis, W., Foster, R., & Copeland, C. (2014). Child maltreatment before and after combat-related deployment among active-duty United States Air Force maltreating parents. Psychology of Violence, 4(2), p. 143 – 155. DOI: 10.1037/a0031766 This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. and Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

Military Psychologists in a Combat Zone – Competency and Care

first_imgThis post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn. By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhDThe American Psychological Association’s code of ethics holds psychologists responsible for ensuring their competency to practice. In their call to “take care and do no harm” and to be aware of their own health and the influence that may have on their practice [1], military psychologists are often faced with assessing their own psychological and emotional health under the pressure of combat. In a review of literature relevant to professional competency and secondary trauma, Johnson, Bertschinger, Snell, and Wilson [2] have addressed the need for professional competence in a combat zone and provided recommendations for self-care and possible solutions for self-assessment for military clinical psychologists.In combat situations, military psychologists can be susceptible to compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. Compassion fatigue is evident when a practitioner begins to treat a client on a purely cognitive level and to lose the ability to emotionally process a client’s story. Burnout evolves over time and can result in feelings of hostility toward clients. Risk factors associated with compassion fatigue may include:Experiences of helplessness or lack of power to assist clientsLack of supportA personal history of traumaWorking with trauma survivors for an extended period of timeObserving and interacting with military members who have witnessed death, serious injury, or have experienced threats to their own well-being can place military psychologists at risk for secondary traumatic stress (STS). Risk factors that may be associated with STS include:InexperienceA caseload filled with traumatized clientsPersonal experience of combat-related or childhood traumaIn addition to the risk of compassion fatigue and STS, military clinical psychologists (MCPs) have dual identities – that of a practicing medical professional and as a commissioned military officer. These competing demands can cause a wide variety of moral dilemmas when making treatment decisions. The difficulty of making complex moral decisions places additional stress on combat clinicians. The stress of combat, addressing the ethical dilemmas of being a military officer and a psychologist, and the risk of combat fatigue or STS can place a burden on a military psychologist. To minimize the risks associated with the challenges of this position, the authors have made the following recommendations:Actively pursue self-care – Pay close attention to the basics: physical activity, sleep, and nutrition. Maintain a balance between your personal and professional life as much as possible, and deliberately self-assess using reminders such as a checklist.Engage with colleagues – Regular conversations with peers can provide support and most importantly provide a critical assessment of your mental and health. Be open to expressing your own grief and suffering.References[1] American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx[2] Johnson, W., Bertschinger, M., Snell, A., & Wilson, A. (2014). Secondary trauma and ethical obligations for military psychologists: Preserving compassion and competence in the crucible of combat. Psychological Services, 11(1), 68-74. doi:10.1037/a0033913last_img read more

Reflections on “Communicating Effectively During Transitions” Webinar

first_imgDr. Patty Stewart Griffith is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked for more than 26 years in Los Angeles and Minneapolis providing mental health services ­ and also direct psychological services to hospitals, human service organizations, and the military. She has provided mental health services for the past 23 years to PICA Head Start, which serves 2500 children and families a year. She also has provided direct ongoing mental health services for U.S Military service members for the past 7 years. by Patty Steward Griffith, PsyD, MA, LPSometimes I feel that as mental health providers we are often out of breath, running to catch up with the ever changing and dynamic needs of service members and their families. And, although each military family is different and special, broader themes emerge in our work with the military culture that could best be explored through the research of social scientists in order to better serve our military families.The August 18, 2015 MFLN Family Transitions webinar “Communicating Effectively During Transitions – Managing Turbulence and Dilemmas” with Steven Wilson and Leanne Knobloch is a prime example of the investigative work being conducted that offers a contextual understanding for common challenges faced by service members and their families. Especially relevant for mental health providers was the methodology of the research. This webinar was beneficial in that participants were able to walk away with concrete data and tools for their toolbox to support better communication during transitions. The strategies shared for achieving meaningful and productive communication are helpful to both families and practitioners..One resource that was shared, VA Coaching into Care, seems to be an excellent resource, because bringing in a third party to navigate the VA health care system can help families avoid the potentially painful conflict of trying to coax a resistant service member into unwanted treatment. The social stigma that surrounds asking for mental health support still exists within the military culture. This a complicated dilemma and understandable to individuals serving in the military. Many military men and women would rather confide in their unit buddies about mental health issues, than speak to a stranger who may or may not “get it.”In my experience when working with military families as a mental health provider, through the Yellow Ribbon Program and then with rotational work with the military, I have found that chaplains are incredibly helpful and important in easing the transition for our military men and women to find their way to civilian or military behavioral health help. The chaplains are trusted and quite often the first responder for an individual’s mental health issues.Outside of the somewhat protective bubble of the Yellow Ribbon events, providers working with trusted military individuals are essential for creating strong and helpful relationships with families. I have worked with some remarkable women and men of military families within communities who have quietly been providing excellent support and services to military families for decades. They have been extraordinary role models and teachers. The military community in outstate rural areas often depend upon the expertise and wisdom of these individuals.I have worked on the clinical side of the psychological service spectrum for more than 20 years. Since 2009 I have worked with other mental health providers at innovative Yellow Ribbon programs events nearly every weekend in a 5 state area. We provided confidential support and also trained service members and families about post deployment issues, children and deployment, effective communication, the new normal, predeployment preparation, strong bonds couples’ work and more. These workshops served as conversation starters and provided useful shared information as well. This has been a casual and effective way to provide services to interested families and individuals. Having the communication data from this webinar would have been ideal then, and will now be a good addition to workshops, and for therapeutic work with military families.Something that Steven Wilson spoke about in regard to clear and thoughtful communication with a family member or provider talking to a post deployment service member was the statement, “I can’t ever know what you have gone through.” . This really resonated with me. This statement is both honest and somewhat open ended. Sometimes this kind of comment will pave the way for more conversation in a relationship or therapy session. It is, without being prying or judgmental, a neutral statement that can promote better communication and potentially develop trust with the family member or provider.At the end of the day, having excellent care for military families with sound, research-based strategies is what I believe mental health providers strive to offer. The research presented in this communication webinar supports this vision.last_img read more

Inspiration! Roundup of 8 Unique Artisan Profile Videos

first_imgBe inspired by these beautifully shot documentary profiles of passionate artisanal craftsmanship.The following videos celebrate the skilled craftmanship of artisans creating work in an old-world style.  Each of these unique vignettes is a source of inspiration, both in the unusual stories being told and in the way each of the videos was beautifully shot and produced.  Spectacular sound design, editing and cinematography give each video a fresh, impassioned spirit.Great Wooden Boatsby Philip Bloom –  Beautiful process video shot by cinematography trailblazer, Philip Bloom.  The video was shot with the RED Epic using almost all natural light.  Wonderful slow motion shots as well! Shinya Kimura – Motorcycle Engineerby Henrik Hansen – Dynamically shot and edited, this inspiring account of a Tokyo motorcycle maker stirs up the senses!  Shot on the Canon 5D & 7D. Guitar Manby Simon Clark & Alison Farmer – Peter Stevens creates guitars with hand tools in a traditional style.  This voiceover driven profile excels in it’s beautiful simplicity. The Distillerby Made by Hand – This is the first video in a series celebrating the people who create handmade goods.  Follow distiller Brad Estabrooke as he shares his process for creating an artisanal gin. The Mast Brothers – Chocolatiersby The Scout  – Get to know Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers and their chocolate business in this fantastic documentary short.  Shot on the Sony EX1 with Indie Dolly and Zacuto camera supports. Esquivel – Shoesby David Hubert  – See how a pair of handmade shoes is created in this stunning promo.  Interesting sound design and engaging macro photography (Canon 5D MarkII) make for a terrific concept video.Birth of a Bookby Glen Milner – Brilliant profile of the making of a book using traditional printing methods.  Lots of gorgeous macro video work showing this unique process. The Sword Makerby Etsy – In Etsy.com’s ongoing series on artisans, they capture one of the last remaining Japanese swordsmiths at work.last_img read more

3 GoPro Array Videos That Will Blow You Away

first_imgHave you seen this?! Freeze video in 3D space with a camera array system.  In this post we showcase a few of the better examples of this cool video production technique.A camera array is created when multiple cameras are lined up and are all rolling at the same time.  The result, when actions takes place in the frame, is that the cameras can be cut together to create a super slick action sequence that gives the appearnce that the action is frozen in time…but in 3 dimensional space.The look is reminsecent of the trademark Matrix time freezing effect, except that its done entirely in-camera.  In the past, some photographers have experimented with this technique using still cameras that fire sequential shots that are then assembled in a video editing application.  Here’s one such example that was created using a ring of Nikon DSLRs:Now the GoPro video camera has spawned a new crop of creative pros looking to use the cam to create similar effects.  GoPros are compact, provide decent video quality and are realtively inexpensive.  They seem like a natural fit for making a video camera array.This surfing video was one of the first to utilize this production technique with the GoPro and made quite a splash when it was released in the fall of 2011.  A camera array of 48 GoPros were used to create the look.This next video shows that it doesn’t take a lot of money (or a ton of GoPros) to pull of this look.  With only 15 GoPros in this video camera array the team at Permagrin Films was able to create some Matrix style 360 freeze effects.Parkour to the extreme! Chilean video production company Aerolabs ran some tests on their GoPro array and came away with some pretty slick looking shots.Have you seen this camera array technique utilized in other videos?Share links and your thoughts in the comments below!last_img read more

Pinterest Boards for Filmmaking & Motion Design

first_imgLooking for inspiration, motion graphics or indie/DIY filmmaking tips? Don’t miss these Pinterest boards.Pinterest may be best known for fashion, architecture and DIY crafting – but have you considered it as a resource for getting motion design and video inspiration?In this post, we share a few of our favorite Pinterest Boards for video pros. Follow them to keep up with the latest products, news and tutorials for filmmaking, motion design and video production.Are you already a Pinterest user? Jump down to Pinterest Boards for Filmmaking & Motion Design. Not hip to Pinterest? Here’s a quick rundown…Pinterest is a social bookmarking site with a bulletin board interface. Users have Boards where they organize their ‘Pins’ – interesting content from around the web. Pinterest defines Pins as “handsome little bookmarks. Whenever you find something on the web that you want to keep, add it to Pinterest”. Boards are organized by topic and can be made either public or private.Create your own boards or follow other users boards and share them via email. What I like about Pinterest is that it is visual and similar to using a digital lightbox. Find videos, articles and images that you like. When you click on them in Pinterest it takes you to where they ‘live’ online. I find this easier and more organic than searching blog posts on a website.More and more filmmakers are using Pinterest to promote their websites/projects and to collect images/videos that inspire them.Corporate Guerrilla Videohas a helpful post on “6 Ways Video and Filmmakers Can Use Pinterest”. It’s worth checking out. Also, there is a series on social marketing here that shares good tips for promoting your film project on Pinterest. Now, let’s get on to the boards…Pinterest Boards for Filmmaking & Motion DesignBunthol Kim, Chad Mercree, and Edgar Yagui extensively cover motion design and graphic design. From animations to reels and cinematography, there is some great content here. Stephan HülsenFollow On CheesycamCheesycam is a blog for DIY photography and video projects. They also have a Pinterest Board, where you can check out links to articles and videos.CheesyCamFollow On Roger DuckRoger Duck is a Canadian video producer. Roger covers a wide range of filmmaking interests. I particularly like his Board of filmmaking infographics. He shares much of this content on Twitter as well. He’s def worth a follow.Digital Duck Inc.Follow On Guerilla FilmmakingGuerilla Filmmaking is the Pinterest Board of Martin Taylor, an English filmmaker living in San Francisco. He pins a lot of “How Tos” and interviews with filmmakers.Martin TaylorGuerrilla FilmmakingFollow On CinescopophiliaCinescopophilia is into filmmaking gear and shares posts from their blog.CinescopophiliaFollow On Audio-Visual ExcellenceJames Zwadlo and Elliot Howard focus on advertising, compositing and motion graphics. Their Pins focus on commercials, title sequences, and animation.James ZwadloAUDIO-VISUAL EXCELLENCEFollow On Motion VFXMotion VFX  has a board focused on visual effects, covering gear and plugins.Follow MotionVFX.com’s board motionVFX Blog on Pinterest. Digital Cinema ToolsThierry Saint-Paul blogs about digital cinema. His Pinterest content ranges from new gear to filmmaking techniques. His Pinterest Board features videos and posts from his site.Thierry Saint-PaulDigital Cinema ToolsFollow On Do you have any favorite Pinterest boards that would interest filmmakers, video producers or motion designers? Share them in the comments!last_img read more

3 Reasons Why Less Is More When Directing Talent

first_imgAmateur directors often overcompensate for their lack of experience by overdirecting their actors. Here are some ways to take a more subtle approach.All images from IMDbDirecting talent is no easy task. Even for the most experienced directors out there, handling different personality types, performance disciplines, and other factors make communication very challenging. With that said though, more experienced directors tend to give far less direction than inexperienced directors for these three reasons:Understanding the Chain ReactionExperienced directors understand that a single piece of direction will change many different characteristics of a performance. For instance, if a director were to tell their talent to act ‘more upset,’ the actor would likely change other physical attributes as well. They may walk slower, speak differently, slouch, etc. Amateur directors often micromanage the actor, whereas a more experienced director understands that, with the right singular piece of direction, everything else falls into place.Keeping the Actor FocusedPerforming for camera and in front of a large crew is challenging enough as it is, so it makes sense that too much direction can overwhelm an actor, causing them to lose focus. If a director were to feed an actor with 10 or 15 pieces of direction right before a scene, that actor will likely lose focus of the scene and become preoccupied with the technicalities of what the director is telling them. By keeping direction down to a few points or less, actors can remain focused and in the right headspace.Avoiding Negative ConnotationsSome actors, especially those with less experience, can mistakenly take direction as a sign that they aren’t doing a good enough job. In reality, they’re probably doing just fine – but maybe aren’t performing in a way that’s most suitable to the script. As you might imagine, feeding what could be an already insecure actor a dozen directorial notes after a scene may come across negatively to them, and subsequently uproot their entire performance.Always remember that the job of an actor is extremely difficult, and they’re still human. Encourage them to take risks and to change their performance in a positive way by giving clear and simple direction – and only when completely necessary.Here are a few more tips for aspiring directors, courtesy of PremiumBeat:4 Mistakes Nearly Every Director Makes on SetHow to Direct Scenes Containing Minimal DialogueHoning Your Craft: Find Your Voice as a DirectorDo you have any directing advice to share? We’d love to hear it in the comments below.last_img read more

How to Create an Animated Envelope in After Effects

first_imgLearn to create line art animation for your videos in this step-by-step After Effects tutorial.Line art refers to a style that uses generally one color and one stroke weight. In this tutorial, we will create a line art envelope icon that animates on and off for use in looping gifs. Here’s the finished product:You can watch the tutorial below.Download Free Animated Envelope TemplateWant to follow along with the tutorial? Simply download the free project file by hitting the button below.DOWNLOAD FREE ANIMATED ENVELOPE PROJECT FILE FOR AFTER EFFECTS Step 0Create a new composition. Since we’re working with a .gif output, we don’t need to adhere to any broadcast standards. For this piece, we’re working with a 640 by 640 pixel composition size, 5 seconds long, at 29.97 frames per second.Step 1Make a new white solid to serve as your background.Step 2The next step is to get the circle in place. Double click on the Ellipse Tool and change the fill to none and the stroke to 10px, then pick a dark color for the line. This will draw a circle the same size as your composition, which in this case is 640 by 640. Twirl into the shape layer to access the contents and change the size of the ellipse to 450 by 450. A circle is a nice, clean way to frame our icon, and it sets up an easy exit at the end of the animation when it swallows the icon.To animate on the circle, we use the trim paths. Add a trim path to the ellipse group and keyframe both the end and offset property. The end should start at 0% and animate on to 100% in 1 second. At the same time, the offset should animate from 30 degrees to 90 degrees.Finally you will want to use round caps and round joins on the stroke of your circle. Throughout this tutorial, all strokes should be 10 pixels thick with round caps and joins.Step 3Now we need an envelope. This begins with a rectangle. You can double click on the rectangle tool with nothing selected to produce a rectangle the same size as your composition and then edit the details by twirling down into the contents of the new layer. This rectangle should have a white fill, the same color as your background, and a black stroke, the same color as your circle. This project will use only these two colors. You should also match the stroke of the circle in thickness and roundness. Change the size of the envelope to 300 by 175 pixels.We animate this layer on by adding trim paths, and instead of animating the end of the path from 0 to 100, we animate both the start and end from 50 to 0 for the start and 100 for the end. This trims the path to write on from the middle outward. This should produce a line that writes on from corner to corner.You will want to easy ease the first keyframes, but leave the last one linear so the animation starts slowly and accelerates to a constant speed by the time the animation has completed.Step 4That leads us to the next section, where we animate on the flap of the envelope. We create the flap by duplicating the “envelope back” layer and converting the rectangle path to points. It is also best to parent the flap to the back and position the envelope lower so that when the flap opens, the image is balanced.This will allow us to remove one of the points and move another to form a triangle. I recommend using the grid to line up the middle point exactly in a predictable position. We can remove the keyframes for the start of the trim paths and only use the end property to animate on the flap from 0 to 100. This should begin one frame before the “envelope back” completes and end around 20 seconds in. You will want to change the first keyframe to linear and the last to eased. This will create a smooth transition and the illusion that the envelope and the flap share the same back line.Now you’ll likely notice the fill of the flap is making an ugly little overhang. You can keyframe the opacity of the file so that it is not visible before the animation completes. Once the trim paths is finished writing on the flap, you can set the opacity to 100. Set these keyframes to be hold keyframes if you like or just situate them right against each other.Finally, we need this flap to open. To do this, we will simple keyframe the path. Twirl into the contents of the shape and keyframe the path. The start state should be flap-down. The end state should be the open envelope. Just move the middle point up to the new position. You’ll want both of those keyframes eased, and you’ll want to pull the handles of the last keyframe to have 100% influence. This makes a nice acceleration curve for the movement.Step 5If we’re going to put a letter in the envelope, we need to form the front of the envelope. We will again duplicate the “envelope back” layer, convert the rectangle to points, and instead of deleting points, add one in the middle of the top line. Bring that point to match the location of the tip of the flap. This layer will remain mostly unchanged. You should also parent it to the envelope back. This layer doesn’t need to animate on, and you should trim it in time to exist only after the trim paths have resolved for the layers that make up the envelope. You can just delete the trim paths from this layer entirely. This layer should also live above the envelope back but below the flap.Step 6So we have an envelope that animates on and then opens up. Now we need a letter to come out of the envelope. We can again duplicate the envelope back so we don’t have to tweak any fills or strokes. And we may want to solo this layer as we’re working on it and rename it “letter” or something useful.This layer is going to be the page that exits the envelope and flops over. However, this will only be one half of the flop. The bend that happens in the paper is made of two layers, and together they form the illusion that one piece of paper is flopping out of an envelope.To make the first part of the flow we will first enlarge the rectangle path in the letter layer. Then we will add another rectangle path and convert that to a bezier path. We then make it taller and add points to the top to make the curve.Then we will add a merge paths to these and set the merge method to “intersect,” so we will only see where the two paths overlap each other. After that, we can move the rectangle path up and down to reveal more or less of the curved path. We then set keyframes to make the rectangle change position and move all the way up the layer until only one line is visible at the top of the shape.This layer should be between the envelope’s back and front. However, it also needs to be above the flap after the flap opens up. So you should split the flap layer (command+shift+d) and position the second flap behind the letter. You will need to time the letter’s emergence and animation to not intersect strangely with the flap.Step 7You can create the second half of the flopping letter by duplicating and flipping the first letter and then time reversing its keyframes so the rectangle moves from revealing only a line at the top of the “paper” to the straight rectangle section. I recommend parenting the second paper to the first so when you keyframe the paper’s position, the two move together. Then, it’s a matter of lining up the timing so that as the paper appears to come out and flop over, it continues that motion in the second layer. You will need to alter the graph editor by easing their keyframes to give it a pleasing motion. But, once they’re lined up right, the trick is complete!You will want the paper to change position to rise up a little as it flops. You can set keyframes for the position to make that happen. Just remember to ease your keyframes so it doesn’t look jerky.Step 8The last thing to do is add some embellishments. Now that the whole piece is moving around and animating on as you would expect, I recommend putting a burst of some kind at the start when the write on of the circle and envelope end. You can make a burst using shape layers by animating a rectangle from size and position 0,0 out to size 0,55 and position 0,-375 over about 10 frames and ease the keyframes. In the middle of those keyframes, however, you’ll want the size to be 0,155 and position to be 0,170 — and set the middle keyframes to “auto bezier,” which you can do by holding alt and clicking the keyframe until it becomes a circle. Then go into the graph editor and change the influence handles of the first keyframes to 0%. This causes a nice burst on.Then you just need to use the repeater to make an array of 6 of these changing their rotation to 60 degrees. I then duplicate a group containing all those rotating at 30 degrees and scaling it up. But then you have two different strokes from the scale. So you should remove the stroke from one of the groups and drag the other stroke below the two groups. This applies the stroke to the contents of the groups after transformation so it won’t deform the stroke at all. Next, you can set it to round, 10 pixels thick, and give it a dash of 20, a gap of 30, and a dash of 60 to complete the look. Line up this layer with the envelope’s completion, and it really calls attention to the frame. You may want to trim the layer down so you don’t need to see the first few frames and only get the exciting bits of the animation.I highly recommend watching the video tutorial to get all the step-by-step nuances. And if you had trouble with the tutorial, download the project file and really dive in.Do you have tips about line art animation? Share in the comments.last_img read more

Working with DaVinci Resolve 14’s Powerful Face Refinement Plug-in

first_imgWhile the plug-in itself is very sophisticated, using it could not be simpler. The program breaks each area of the face down into its own panel, and the sliders speak for themselves.Let’s jump back to the edit page, and imagine that the editor has left us some notes in the metadata. Here it says, “Could you please fix the skin tone, sharpen the eyes, and give her blushy cheeks?”With our task at hand, we’re going to go to the color page to get started. You can add this plug-in from the effects library on the edit page; however, at the moment it’s somewhat unoptimized and tends to crash, especially when adjusting the eye controls. The plug-in works perfectly on the color page. The first step is to add a node, and then open the effects library to search for the Face Refinement plug-in. Then, as with all effects, you drag it onto the node.In the effects settings panel, we now have our Face Refinement controls, but before we can adjust anything, we need to analyze the clip. Very simply, hit analyze, and let Resolve work its magic. You should see a mask path appear over the actor’s facial features; if you don’t, it’s likely that you don’t have the OpenFX visuals active within the viewer. You can activate this in the drop-down menu underneath the viewer.Resolve has now fully analyzed the actor’s face and the movement, and the face is ready to be refined. However, we’re going perform a double check to make sure that the face is entirely masked, which you can do by selecting Show Mask. We can see that Resolve has done a great job, and Resolve in general is world-class at tracking and analyzing data, but I can see around the chin area — it’s slightly cut off. To expand the mask region, simply adjust the Mask Size slider — as I said, these sliders are aptly named.First, the editor wants the eyes sharpened. The entire Face Refinement control panel breaks down areas of the face, so you just need to find the eye settings and expand the panel. Previously, without the Refinement plug-in, you would have had to create two power windows, sharpen each eye individually, then track the movement. That’s a lot of work for such a simple tweak. The Face Refinement plug-in streamlines all of that. At the very top of the Eye Retouching panel, there is an option to sharpen. This setting just needs the slightest tweak to produce beautiful results.Next, we have to neutralize the skin tone. You can find operations that are to relevant to the overall color and luminance of the face in the color grading panel. To fix the tone, we’re going to introduce a little bit of green by sliding the tint left.Finally, the editor wants the actress to have rosy cheeks because she’s been climbing. Although there is a segment for cheek retouching, we’re going to use the Blush Retouching controls. We’re going to increase the saturation by 0.500. Since Resolve has automatically analyzed where the blush would fall on the actor’s face, you don’t have to touch a thing.Although we’ve only adjusted three settings of the face, hopefully, you should see just how powerful this plug-in is. Given that the studio version of Resolve itself is just a fraction of the price of some beauty plug-ins, such as Beauty Box, it really makes the studio version worth your while if you’re looking for a digital makeup assistant.Looking for more on Resolve? Check out these articles.Check Out The Newest Audio Features in Resolve’s Edit PageLearn How To Create A ‘Deakinizer’ Tilt-Shift Effect In ResolveMaster Resolve’s Built-In Film Grain with This RundownDaVinci Resolve Being Weird? This Is Probably WhyGet to Know The Dynamic Zoom Tool In Resolve 14 The Face Refinement plug-in is a hidden gem in DaVinci Resolve 14. Here’s what you need to know.The Face Refinement plug-in is a tool that you can only find in the studio version of Resolve, but it may be one of the more powerful plug-ins that you get for the price. The Face Refinement tool allows colorists and editors to adjust people’s complexions, from retouching lip color to removing eyebags — it can pretty much do anything to an actor’s face.I thoroughly recommend watching the video tutorial below so you can see the plug-in in action; however, if you are limited for streaming data, you can find an abbreviated version of the rundown below.last_img read more

Isolating Image Channels to Work with Chroma and Luma in Premiere

first_imgMastering color correction means understanding the color channels that make a good image. Here’s how to isolate the chroma and luma channels in Premiere.I’ve covered noise reduction somewhat extensively over the past few months. In my article on manual noise reduction in Resolve, we took a look at the powerful results you can get from isolating the chroma and luma channels to apply noise reduction to each.Today, we’re going to learn how to isolate and work with image channels in Premiere — or any other similarly functional NLE. As with Resolve, there isn’t a plugin or button to quickly split your channels for you, so we’re going to do it manually.Before we start, what is the point of splitting the component channels?Each video clip is actually a blend of three distinct image channels. To put it simply, these component channels contain Luminance (or brightness and contrast) information, red color information, and blue color information. Baking these three channels into a single video stream enables much faster playback and simplicity of use.It is always good to know how to break down anything into its component parts, so without further ado, it’s time to split . . .Splitting Image ChannelsUnderexposed Donuts! The first step after you load your clip into a timeline is to duplicate the clip. In Premiere, the default quick keys for duplicating clips are alt+left click for windows and option+left click on mac.Separating LuminanceTo pull the chroma information out of our luma channel, all we need to do is navigate to the Basic Correction tab in the Lumetri color panel and slide the saturation to 0%.Separating Chroma ChannelsSeparating the chroma channels involves a few more steps. To start, duplicate your original (full-color) clip and place it above your luminance clip on the timeline. From here, navigate to the Curves tab in Lumetri and drag the top right point on all the curves (except for red) all the way to the bottom. Essentially, we’re cutting everything except for the red color in the shot.Duplicate the original clip once more, and place it on top of your red and luma clips. Now repeat the curves adjustments, but this time, isolate the blue channel.Now repeat the whole process once more for the green channel, placing it on top of everything.Technically, there isn’t a green color channel in the original clip, but I usually find the best results by including it. Test using or excluding it for your own clips.Now, go through each color layer and set its Opacity Blend mode to Lighten, but leave the opacity at 100%. (There are multiple blend modes and methods that will yield similar results, so experiment.)Your footage channels are now separated out by luminance and color, and you should finally have a normal-looking image again.Working with Split ChannelsNow, let’s look at a couple of things we can do to improve our donuts a little more.First, I’ll clean the timeline up a bit by nesting the three color channels. This is entirely optional, but I prefer previewing as few video layers as possible.One of the most useful reasons to separate luma from chroma is for sharpening your clip. Because the luma channel determines how we perceive sharpness, we can sharpen it individually from the color info, resulting in a clearer image without a lot of the nastiness that comes from sharpening footage in the color channels.But be careful not to go overboard — I’ve sharpened this clip by less than 20%.Cleaning up BlockinessOn the window to the left of the donut, we can see some severe artifacting caused by bringing the levels up on this shot. Let’s fix that.Select the chroma layer, and then head to the HSL/Secondary tab in Lumetri. Enable grey selection preview, and then find where the problematic blocking is by qualifying each channel.I’m fairly happy with my selection, so I’m just doing some basic tweaks to reduce its visibility.While we haven’t eliminated the blockiness entirely, we’ve pretty effectively covered it up. So let’s pull it out just a touch more.Chroma Channel Noise ReductionNow, we’ll apply Neat Video to the chroma layer and launch the plugin. I’ll do my best here to select this specific region of noise, despite Neat Video’s attempts to tell me that the region is too small. I usually shoot for 60% or greater selection quality, but here I was only able to get to about 45%, which should still work.Now move into the Noise Filter Settings to preview and tweak the results. With a bit of (uncharacteristic) luck, I think I’m good with the default filter settings. So, I’ll commit the changes and return to Premiere to ensure everything looks good there.I’ve tweaked the color on the results just a hair, and I think we’re looking great!Before.After.And that’s it! We have successfully split out our original footage into its component channels and brought the exposure to a much more appealing level while making the clip look even better than before.So try this method out if you’re having trouble salvaging your underexposed clips. There is so much more that you can do with your image channels separated — load up some clips, and see for yourself.Cover image via Simon Mayer.Looking for more articles on post-production? Check these out.Post-Production Tip: Quick and Dirty Noise Reduction Without a PluginHow to Get Better Color Grades Using Opacity Blend ModesImprove Your Masks with Hue, Saturation, and Luminance QualifiersPost-Production Tips: How to Save Corrupted FootageUnderstanding the Opacity Blend Modes in Adobe Premiere Prolast_img read more

Download, Prep, and Import Song Stems to Your Favorite NLE

first_imgTrack stems can be extremely versatile when layering music in your project. Find out how to use them in Premiere, Final Cut, and DaVinci Resolve.If you’ve never heard of the term “stems” before, well then buckle up, because your editing game is about to become so much more powerful. Basically, stems are the separate instruments of a song separated into their own individual .WAV file, which can be used to manipulate the song however you like. This means you can lower the vocal track to fit in a voiceover, or even bring up the bass and drums if you want your song to punch a little bit harder.With PremiumBeat’s addition of stems to over half of their library, you now have the ability to master the music you put in your project. Today, we’re going to do a quick walkthrough of how you can implement these stems into 3 different NLEs: Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, and DaVinci Resolve.Downloading the StemsIn the PremiumBeat song library, select a song you would like to purchase.To make sure it has a stem package, click the “Download Comp” button to the right of the track. A popup will appear containing the different tracks the song contains, such as loops and shorts.At the bottom, if it includes “Stems,” then you are good to go.Once you’ve purchased the song, you will be prompted with the “Download Music” button on the receipt page. At the bottom of the download window, you will see the download options for the stem folder: either MP3 or WAV formats.Adobe PremiereOnce you’ve downloaded the stems package from PremiumBeat, unzip the folder and drag it into Premiere. From there, you see 4-6 audio tracks within that folder.If you select all of them and drag them in at once, they will line up horizontally, not vertically on different tracks like you would want them to, so drag and drop them one by one onto your timeline in their own individual layers. Make sure that all of the tracks are aligned so they sync up when played.Now, you can go in to each stem and mute some if you wish, or customize your track even further by adjusting each track’s audio level with the pen tool (P).DaVinci ResolveImport the stems folder into your Media Pool. Now, just like Premiere, you are going to have to drag them into the timeline one at a time to get them synced together.One of the cool features of Resolve, though, is that you have the Fairlight audio control panel to adjust your audio levels in full screen. To get there, just select the Fairlight tab at the bottom of the screen.The top section of Fairlight will show you the audio levels of each track, and you can dive deeper into each track’s settings in the inspector tab at the top right.Final CutAfter you’ve dragged your stems folder into the project window, highlight each clip and drag them one by one into your timeline. Again, if you drag them all in together, they will form in a horizontal line.Once in your timeline, you can drag the volume band up and down to control levels on each track.There is also the audio effects tab on the right that you can use to further customize your track.Looking for more articles on working with audio? Check these out.Creative Ways to Use Music Loops in Your VideosAudio Tips: How to Remove Vocals in a Song Using StemsTutorial: Removing Audio Pops and Recording Audio DifferentlyChanging the Audio Editing Game with PremiumBeat’s Track StemsThe Audio Ramp-Up: The Best Transition You Should Be Usinglast_img read more

You Can’t Sell A Weak Value Proposition

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now It’s very difficult to sell without a compelling value proposition.Today I received a second call from a “radio station” that broadcasts live shows to 150 or more countries over the Internet. The salesperson said that they had researched me and determined that I would be a good fit for their platform.Politely, I suggested again that I wasn’t a good fit for their platform, and the salesperson wanted to know why. I explained that they don’t pay the “hosts” or “broadcasters” or whatever on their platform, and therefore, no value. I ruffled her feathers enough it came through in her voice when she suggested that I would have to pay them to to be on their network.I told her that I can already do what they do with a podcast, and I can be found on iTunes and Stitcher and Blubrry and my own site. She asked if I could be found in a 150 countries. I told her that thanks to the Internet, I imagine anyone who wanted to could find me from whatever country they happened to live in, but I wasn’t sure about North Korea.The salesperson was angry that I pushed back on her value proposition (or lack thereof) and told me that I wasn’t a good fit. I agreed. In fact, that was why I was trying to disqualify myself again.Some LessonsIt isn’t this salesperson’s fault she has a poor value proposition. Her company’s business model is broken. They are kind of a vanity press for people trying to build a brand, and when the tools and platforms didn’t exist to the level they do today, they may have been useful. She isn’t responsible for her company failing to change.The business model is to sell me the package and then require me to sell advertisers to make money. This model looks a lot like the publishing industry. Book publishers are interested in publishing books from people who are going to sell a lot of books. But if you already have an audience (and no publisher would want you if you didn’t), then you don’t need a publisher. You also don’t need to pay for a platform to broadcast.When what your client needs changes, your value proposition needs to change. Ask yourself this question, “What value can we deliver that would make us worth paying for?” (If you want to be great, ask “What value we can deliver that would make us worth paying MORE for?”If what you sell depends on your clients selling something, your value proposition is likely going to depend on how you help your client sell. last_img read more

Big Gratitude

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now It is impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time. Choosing one of these emotions makes it impossible to feel the other. “Grateful” and “unhappy” literally can’t occupy the same space at the same time.You have to choose between being grateful or being depressed, too. These emotions are so far apart that from one pole the opposite pole is not accessible to you. Being “grateful” and “depressed” are mutually exclusive emotional states.If you are occupying the feeling of thankfulness, you can’t also occupy the feeling of anger. When you are angry, you are occupying the emotion of fear and the state of need. Thankfulness is not a place of wanting. Thankfulness is a place of abundance.Gratitude is too big to share space with any other state. It literally crowds out all negative emotions. It pushes fear, anger, and sadness out if its way, and it consumes all of your emotional real estate.What are you grateful for right now? What should you be even more grateful for now?last_img read more

The Leadership Playbook: Macro-Management and Micro-Management

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now No one wants to be micro-managed. No one wants someone to hover over their shoulder directing their work. Nor do they want their manager nagging them about what they’re doing. Most leaders don’t want to micro-manage their people. Many worry so much about micro-management that they create a culture that lacks accountability.Most of the time, what one person perceives as micro-management is actually macro-management.Macro Activity and Macro OutcomesThe most important outcomes you need as a leader are macro. They’re high value, strategic outcomes that lead to objectives being met. The failure to achieve these outcomes creates problems for the company, for divisions or departments, and for teams. These outcomes should command people’s time and attention because the effort of the organization must be aligned with the outcomes.If what you are doing isn’t producing the necessary outcomes, then your leader is going to ask you to focus your efforts on the activity.If the activity isn’t aligned to big outcomes, a conversation is necessary.Accountability CountsIf an outcome isn’t being achieved, something isn’t right. It could be that someone isn’t doing what they need to do. It could also be that they aren’t effective at the actions they need to take. But as a leader, accountability starts and ends with you. That means you have start by making sure your team knows what is expected of them, understands what needs to be done and why, and has the resources to achieve their goal.As a leader, you are responsible for the outcomes being achieved, and that means you are going to need to inspect the results, ask questions, understand challenges, and remove constraints. Asking questions is not micro-management; it’s macro-management. Requiring more—or different—activities be taken in the pursuit of your goals isn’t micro-management either, especially if not enough action is being taken.Much of the time those who complain about being micro-managed aren’t putting forth the effort to produce results, or they’re doing something they prefer doing instead of what they need to do. Correcting this is macro-management.last_img read more

All Deals Are Not Created Equal

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now All the deals you make are not created equal. In fact, some are far more valuable than others. Some are worth far less than you might imagine, even if your client spends a lot of money.Sales with no profit: These deals are empty calories. They have no nutritional value. You can’t execute for your clients without being a profitable business. Revenue is vanity, and profit is sanity. If you can’t make money, there is no reason to take the client. Listen, I know the logo may be great, and you may believe that they serve the strategic value of allowing you to win more clients, but you can net a few bucks and still land the client. If you can’t, that’s a sales problem.Sales to nightmare clients: There is no reason to do business with bad people. There is no reason to work with people who do things that are illegal, immoral, or people who are generally miserable. They’ll mistreat you and your people, and they destroy your culture in the bargain.Sales where the client didn’t really agree to change: There are some people who agree to move their business to you specifically because your competitor is terrible. Well, that’s what they tell you. What you will discover is that some people blame their partner for not being able to produce the results they need because they are unwilling to make the changes they need to make on their end. You pick up your end of the stick, and they refuse to pick up theirs.Sales that take time and energy away from quality sales: There are some sales that take more time and more energy than they are worth. They prevent you from devoting your time and attention to bigger, better, more meaningful opportunities. You can spend as much time and energy winning a small deal as you can winning a big deal. It can also take the same resources to serve small clients, resources that will then be unavailable to your dream clients, once you win them.Notice that transactional sales did not make this list. Even though you should be strategic, and you should be growing as a trusted advisor, transactional sales are not negative—only transactional behaviors are, and only when something else is needed. There are very high quality sales that are nothing but transactions, and there is some portion of transactional sales that are of low quality.If you are going to sell anyway, you might as well invest your time and energy in high quality sales. You are a reflection of the clients that you serve.last_img read more

Daniel McGinn on Performance Rituals, Emotional Preparation, and Sales Success – Episode #96

first_imgTweets you can use to share this episodeFeeling #nervous is natural. This conversation will help you know what to do with those #feelings @danmcginn #InTheArenaClick To TweetDo pre #PerformanceRituals legitimately work? @danmcginn #InTheArenaClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 34:22 — 27.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSIf you’ve followed Anthony’s writing and work for any time at all you know how fascinated he is with the impact mindset has on success in sales. So it makes perfect sense that when he saw a book titled, “Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed,” he had to read it. He was so impressed with the book he invited the author Daniel McGinn to be his guest on this episode of In The Arena. Anthony and Daniel talk about performance rituals, emotional preparation, the impact of music on motivation, and much more as it relates to sales success. It’s a fascinating conversation you’ll enjoy immensely.Daniel McGinn on Performance Rituals, Emotional Preparation, and Sales Success – Ep 96 Click To TweetFeeling nervous is natural. This conversation will help you know what to do with those feelings.We’ve all heard of the “fight or flight” instinct, it’s part of our biological wiring that fuels us to take action. Though the things we face today aren’t typically considered “dangerous” as they were back in the day when that response was first needed, they are still many times high-stakes events where the nervousness we feel is similar. On this episode, Daniel McGinn tells how the nervous feelings we face can actually be a helpful thing for performance if we know how to deal with them rightly. He also talks about why the most common piece of advice we receive when we’re feeling nervous is actually the exact opposite of what we should do.Instead of trying to get rid of nerves we need to learn how to channel them toward success.“Hey, calm down. Relax. Breathe.” It’s common advice to hear when you’re nervous but Daniel McGinn says it’s the wrong advice. It’s physiologically impossible to calm down the hormonal surges going on at a time when we are about to perform. Instead of fighting an uphill battle it’s better to learn strategies for focusing that energy to better use than fear and anxiety. In this conversation Anthony digs into how exactly to do that with author Daniel McGinn, so don’t miss it.Instead of trying to get rid of #nerves we need to learn how to channel them toward #success @danmcginn #InTheArenaClick To TweetDo pre-performance rituals legitimately work?From athletes, to musicians, to sales professionals, many people use a pre-performance routine to get themselves ready for their particular “go time.” What makes up those rituals is as unique as the individuals who devise them, but Daniel McGinn says they are proven to be helpful. Anthony and Dan talk about how varied pre-performance rituals can be effective even when they vary so widely in terms of what is actually being done, what it has to do with mental focus and determination, and how each person’s ability to deal with anxiety is the most determinative factor in their performance.Is music really helpful to prepare for go-time?It’s fascinating how wired human beings are for music. There’s something about the melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that can change our mood, set us up for suggestion, or prepare us for a big day. Daniel McGinn, author of “Psyched Up” says there is no denying that music is a powerful tool in preparing for performance or high-stakes events and he and Anthony discuss how their favorite tunes may not be the same as those chosen by others, and why that is. You’ll enjoy this wrap-up to the conversation.Is #music really helpful to #prepare for go-time? @danmcginn #InTheArenaClick To TweetOutline of this great episode How the mental game impacts sales success, and today’s guest Daniel McGinn. What happened to compel Daniel to write his book, “Psyched Up?” The 5 P ritual one neurosurgeon uses to optimize his performance. The power of purpose behind great endeavors. Examining the different types of anxiety that manifest in various people. Do people who are anxious simply need to calm down? How one semester long course teaches students to deal with audition anxiety. The effectiveness of pre-performance routines: are they legitimate? What are positive and negative contagions? Why the pep talk is not really what we think it is supposed to be. What makes a song motivational?Resources & Links mentioned in this episodehttp://www.psychedupthebook.com/ – Daniel’s websiteDaniel on TwitterDaniel on LinkedInDr. Mark McGlaughlin, NeurosurgeonMalcolm GladwellDan PinkJames Surowiecki159184830XThe theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinolast_img read more

Reality Is Even More Persistent

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Reality is persistent. It is extremely inflexible. It doesn’t change because you don’t like it, nor does it change because you find it difficult, inconvenient, problematic, and challenging.You may want things to be different than they are, but reality is unaware and unconcerned with your wants and needs. You want things that are difficult to be easier. You want the outcomes you need without having to work so hard to achieve them. Reality does not change and is wholly unresponsive to what you want.The challenges you face may be personally and/or professionally difficult for you. Dealing with them can be stressful, and it can require emotional energy that would be placed somewhere else. Reality doesn’t respond to your emotions, and a heightened emotional state produces no greater or lesser result. Reality is unmoved by your emotions.Even though you may see reality as a problem, it isn’t. Reality is a neutral party. It doesn’t treat you any different than it treats anyone else. It is what it is, and it doesn’t care who bumps up against it, nor does it change because someone has more money, greater smarts, or some other perceived advantage.Because you cannot change reality, producing a different result means aligning yourself with reality.Reality is not what is stopping you from producing the result you want, and you know this is true because other people are producing that result right now, in spite of reality. Their approach is different than yours, and it’s likely that their strategies are also different.The challenges that you face right now have been faced by others before you, many of whom found a way to overcome those challenges while dealing with the very same reality that you share. If reality what was really stopping you, then it would have stopped everyone else before you. It’s like gravity; it applies to all people equally, and it makes no exceptions and has no preference.No matter how persistent you are, reality is even more persistent. If you want things to change, you have to change.last_img read more

Kutch sex racket: Congress wants governor to intervene

first_imgAhmedabad: Seeking a judicial probe and court-monitored investigation into the gang rape and sex racket allegedly involving Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Kutch, a delegation of Congress leaders submitted a memorandum to the Governor O.P. Kohli, demanding his intervention in the matter. The Opposition party leaders urged the governor to “intervene in the interests of justice to the victim.” The party has alleged that the State government and machinery was trying to shield the “real culprits in the case”. A delegation consisting of State Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and Leader of the Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela handed over the memorandum at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar. Mr. Solanki told the media after meeting the governor that the Opposition party would raise the issue in the Assembly session starting from February 20. “If our demand for a judicial probe by a sitting High Court judge is not granted, we will not allow the Assembly proceedings,” Mr. Solanki said. He added that the Governor must intervene in the matter and direct the State administration to order a judicial probe. Law and order issueMoreover, the Opposition party is set to embark upon a three-day yatra from Naliya in Kutch to Gandhinagar to highlight the deteriorating law and order situation in the State. A 23-year-old woman filed a First Information Report (FIR) with Kutch police, accusing nine persons of gang rape. She also alleged that as many as 35 young women and college-going girls were lured into the flesh trade by a group of businessmen and politicians. Lured by promise of jobAccording to the FIR, in August 2015, the woman came to her mother’s house at the Kothara village in Kutch from Mumbai, where she was staying with her husband. She was looking for a job and her mother sought help from one Bababhai, who owned a mobile shop in Naliya town. He reportedly assured the family that he would help the woman find a job within a couple of days. He also introduced her to a gas agency owner Shantilal Solanki, who offered her a job at ₹5,500 per month. Among those named in the FIR were four local BJP politicians, who have been arrested by the police.last_img read more