Jim, I think it depends on how they define people of color in the study. White people were 72.4% in the 2010 census and falling. They haven't been 87% since the 1970 census. Depending on whether all Hispanic people are considered people of color, it could be as low as 60%. But either way, it's certainly far higher than just 13%. And then you also have to consider the fact that in most of the places where the shows are actually made, they actually have a higher number of minorities than the country as a whole. So when judging what is a 'proportionate' percentage of people working on Hollywood films for example, should be basing it on the demographics of the USA, California, or Los Angeles itself? People come from all over the country, and indeed the world, to work in Hollywood, but you'd still expect a certain bias towards local people.
I'm not sure how the study defines POC because it doesn't appear in the key terms and definitions section, and I don't really have to time to read the full length report to see if it appears elsewhere.
I find it funny people criticising the Transformers movies for product placement. The whole thing is an advert for a toy company. The original series was commissioned by Hasbro and Tomy.
There are so many times where you sit through a well-choreographed scene in which the actors just look like they're going through the motions and everyone looks like a great fighter (which is fine for certain genres, of course). For a brutal fight scene, you need to desperation of a real life and death fight. Allowing the actors to destroy parts of the set can really add to the realism, and also grabbing anything to hand to use as a weapon. And obviously their reactions to pain and panic really add to the scene. Look at the stairwell fight in Casino Royale as a good example. Clearly very well choreographed, but there's a sense of desperation and randomness throughout. The fighters make mistakes and use any part of their body to gain an advantage.
If anyone's read The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman, one of the key things he mentions is the myth of motivation, which tricks people into believing that in order to do something, they first have to get motivated. And the key to actually being prolific at anything is to realise that you can do something whether you feel motivated or not. People who only do things when they feel motivated tend not to get a lot done. He points out the example of an author (I forget who) who took this to extremes, so that if he happened to finish a book in his 3 hour writing slot, he would immediately start on the next one, rather than rewarding himself with the rest of the 3 hours off.
I can also vouch for the gini rigs for a DSLR. I don't know how good they are for bigger cameras though. When I bought the Advanced Extreme 17, the list price was $499, but the opening bid on Ebay was $299, and nobody else bid for it. $40 delivery from South Korea, but it's still much cheaper than I could find anywhere else for the same quality. Includes a decent follow focus too. And they're all standard measurements, so I'm sure it's compatible with any other parts you might want to add to it.
The Panasonic 20mm 1.7 is my favourite. It's pretty common, so you might be able to pick it up second hand for a good price. It's sometimes a bit tight when shooting in a smaller room, but generally it's pretty versatile. Personally, I'd go for that and combine it with a decent zoom (14-45 mentioned above) to give you the coverage. I've also got the 45mm Olympus, which makes everyone look beautiful, but it's probably a bit of a luxury at your budget.