Sunday, 31 October 2010

Experimenting



Trying my hand at doing a little bit of design - haven't done much at all - but I've got some cool fonts that I have spent a while organizing - So now its time to put them to use. What might follow are just a bunch of random design, using basic techniques - just to learn and experiment!

Anyway I did a bit of stills shooting yesterday by this awesome obscure observatory place - would love to shoot a crazy experimental short here someday - something about aliens and what not!

here you go

Thursday, 28 October 2010

I do like twixtor - when it likes me




I had this idea for a short for church, so I've just been playing with some time-remapping and twixtor within AE [shot at 60 FPS - 4000 shutter speed, and f3.5] to see whether I could get the vibe at all. The background is a little busy so I could only drop the speed to 50 percent - should work tho - or maybe I'll shoot against a not-so-busy background - it should help loads..

my wife helped out with the driving of the car on this one!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The 'Zero-Budget' moto




I am slightly bored - not for a lack of stuff to do - believe me! But I've been rendering all night, and have been waiting on some files to restore. I can't really do much else as my system is currently overloaded! Now I have to keep myself busy with less CPU intensive activities - blogging!

So I thought 'let me talk thru something that I call "The Zero Budget" Moto.'
People have asked me how much some of my films cost to produce and the simple answer is 'nothing'. I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to work with people who have been willing to act for free - I have used 'throw-away' lights here and there and have sourced the cheapest most inexpensive props I could find - often just stuff that was lying around the house.

Here are a few key things that have helped me in approaching the cheapo'-film-making' process.

1. Time is greater money. [Time=planning=cost-effectiveness]
Time is important especially to the person who is learning - it affords him room to make mistakes, correct the mistakes and then try again, and again, and again. For most of us, we're not seasoned vets - we're just learning!
I've been tremendously blessed working for the church and being afforded the time to conceptualize, dream, plan and then execute and experiment - sure there are deadlines - as there always will be - but its been a very 'free' environment to learn.

2. Know your tools
I don't have high-end equipment, but I try and exploit every resource I have to try and get an image looking solid. Often my own sense of composition lets me down - especially when I see the footage back in post - but sometimes the image I thought wouldn't work while shooting, ends up looking awesome after grading. Having said all that, I know about 10 percent of AE, maybe 40 percent of FCP and 60 percent of Pro Tools, etc etc.

3. Network
I am not your socialite kinda guy - far from it. Ask those closest to me! But, I have found that one of the most valuable things in my 'arsenal of creativity' is having people in on the process - whether it be someone that is keen to act for you because they want to work on their reel, or someone wanting to do VFX for your project because they believe in the story, or maybe there's just someone you can bounce ideas off. Having a network of like-minded people around you is invaluable!

4. Spontaneity
Often you can pull the same stuff off that big budget productions can but you got to be there when the action happens. For instance I can only shoot during the night, at specific locations where the light is good, and in the early morning or late afternoon during golden hour when the light is lowest in contrast and the shadows are nice - when you have a big budget you can shoot at anytime of day or under almost any conditions because you can replicate any condition you want, using lighting and other visual effects techniques.

5. Favor
God makes things happen especially if its on His heart too!

I did Church News last week - here is the before and after - only natural light used - you can see the reflection of the outdoors in my glasses.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

WCD no more

So I was clearing my hard drive to make more space for some material I was working on - and in the process deleted everything from the WCD project! It was coming along nicely and I even got to some final renders, all that needed to be done was a VO and a little bit of editing and tweaking, but alas - now its gone!

Awesome!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

WCD 2






Yesterday was quite a mad day! Filming church news in the morning, 2 around lunch time, album recording in the afternoon and then doing some filming with friends in the evening - wrapped at 2 am. Today I'm tired! Yet still some editing left to do on Church News

What was really awesome about yesterday tho is that I some awesome DP's thru vimeo - Khalid Mohtaseb and Jonathan Bregel. Check out their work at www.nextlevelpictures.com - its outstanding! Anyway, they told me that they were in town for a few days and wanted to know whether I was working on something that they could possibly help out with so I told them about the WCD project [which will eventually be called something else], - and they jumped on board last night - whipped out their cameras, lenses and lights - and we made a bit of movie magic - mad times!

I've got so much footage for the smallest little clip - might go back into Pro Tools and work the audio to get a bit time out of it!

So here are some still-frames of the shoot

Enjoy

S

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

WCD






Okay so its been a while. I've been busy, thanks! And my sister is stealing my blogging thunder - but lets be honest - her writing is far more eloquent than mine. But alas!

I've been shooting a bit here and there on a project that really is going to be something simple - but hopefully powerful. Its the kinda project that needs time to come together, tho it can't linger on for too long otherwise interest is lost.

Anyway, its hard finding time for shoots amidst the craziness of life - which believe it or not, does not just revolve around filming and doing sound design. There is SO much admin to sort out - paying bills, exchanging currency, planning out shoots, contacting people about projects, doing location scouting, raising money, planning events etc, etc, etc. In many respects the execution of a project is like 10 percent of the work, planning is the other 90.

And then there's NORMAL life - being married, having dinner, going to bed. Sometimes I find that these are the things I just don't have time for, and that's just not right!

Life is SO good tho! I have been so stoked about what God has been doing in my life, my wife's life and the course He has set us on. Its challenging - sure! But we're made stronger, sharper, more creative, more administrative, more fashioned for His purpose in and through it all. So needless to say - I am very Very VERY stoked.

Here are a few frame grabs of some of the latest project.