Monday, 24 September 2012

Crazy In Love

I finished the "Crazy In Love" video! It has taken me on a journey of discovery that surprised me, not only did I learn a lot of technical stuff but I also learnt a lot about myself in the process.

I didn't find this an easy video to edit, I had to drag myself to the computer to do any work and it seemed the project was creeping into mediocrity.

It came down to a lack of communication between Katherine and myself, I found I was working in a vacuum and had no idea of the direction I should be heading. The first edit was very drab, it limped along like a wounded slug!

I had spent weeks playing with it and I was ready to give up, until Katherine and I sat down and worked through a load of stuff that was getting in the way. It wasn't easy but it cleared a path back to the video and how to proceed. With renewed enthusiasm I went out and shot some texture to link to two elements (studio and exterior) together which made a hugh difference to the feel of the video.
We wanted the studio and exterior elements to have a difference which was done in the colour grading, the studio has a very dark vignette (maybe a little dark) and an almost desaturated pastel look.
The 2.35:1 widescreen mask was applied in the Final Cut Pro timeline but if I was to use this aspect ratio again I think I would just crop it in Compressor.

I'm really looking forward to working with Katherine again, our next project will be way different in that we will plan it better and I don't think it will be a love song.

I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear your feedback!

Never stop learning!

Friday, 7 September 2012

My Cameras

Be they ever so humble, these are my cameras. Kind of sad really when you look at what other people are using, but I'm really, really grateful to have them!!! I could easily have been a cameraman without a camera all.  


How I got my Sony HDR-FX1E. 

I was working as a Stone Mason on a large development just North of Christchurch, NZ. We were building a small bridge and we kept hearing reports of significant archaeological finds happening on the development. A team of archaeologists were working on the area in preparation for the development. I approached the developer and said that if he purchased a camera for me, I would archive the development and associated Archaeology. 
Stone Bridge We Built

He agreed and over they next few years I Payed the camera off and worked on site as a Stone Mason as well as Videographer! It didn't take long to figure out that this HDV, mini DV camera wasn't the ideal camera for me. It was great for the archiving but because it only shot interlaced footage, onto tape, I had to de-interlace everything I edited for the net. When I got this camera I didn't even know the difference between interlaced and progressive video, I couldn't figure out why I was getting artifacts when I uploaded videos to YouTube. It took me a very long time to figure out a good way of de-interlacing and I'm still not sure if it's the best way! The thing is, you loose a lot of quality when you de-interlace video. 
I made a few promotional videos for the Pegasus Town development, this gave me a chance to brush up on my shooting and editing skills. You can see most of these videos on my YouTube Channel.

Canon 550D
I really wanted a camera that shot progressive footage but I didn't have a lot of money, I heard that the Canon 550D or Rebel T2i had good video capability. I read all the reviews about the Canon and went ahead and purchased one. It's a great little camera and it does shoot good quality video but it's not a video camera. To operate a DSLR camera like this you need a rig or at least an LCDVF, a view finder that allows you to view the LCD screen on the camera with an eyepiece. I also found that having a small battery powered monitor was very handy.

The only problem I have with this camera is when I put it on my slider the footage is very choppy, it kind of steps instead of being smooth. I have seen loads of videos with this model of camera on sliders and it looks great, but not mine. I sent the camera back to Canon but they say it's working correctly within the parameters of the camera, so I'm stuck with it! If anyone has a solution to this problem I would like to hear from you! In fairness Canon did say it was a stills camera and I shouldn't expect it to work like a video camera, point taken!
I have yet to complete a project on the Canon but I have shot a load of footage with it and I'm looking forward to making something cool with it!

More Stone Work
I like to think that it's not having the best equipment that makes the best videos but it would be really nice. Maybe one day soon!