I had an awesome time filming my niece Gracie and her turning 1 year old. She had a colorful candy themed party decorated by my sister and Mom in the style I knew they could pull off. It was really cool to finally hang out and get this video shot with some of my simple camera equipment. I did however use my Cinevate slider (atlas 10) to capture some really cool shots of her room and the best part was filming her eating cake for the first time. I am pretty sure her foot tasted the cake first but that’s another story. I also used my GoPro as a B camera to get those fun wide angles of everything. Check out the video and my beautiful niece!
I filmed recently a very cute newborn baby boy named Landon. He pretty much is around 2 month old and cooperated with both cameras. My wife joined was helping me film Landon while representing her newly created company Style My Heart was indispensable because of all the angles and ideas for filming him with his parents. This was Day 1 of the process and I brought an arsenal of equipment to use which included my Cinevate Atlas 10, Medusa conversion, ifocus from Gini on ebay, and Cinevate Lens Gears, glidecam was also used for a shot or 2. I found that having a follow focus increased my shots by 75% when used with a monopod or on a slider. I can’t express enough how having this single device will get you some amazingly smooth shots when racking focus. I have always tried doing this with just my hand on the lens and it works to some extent but sometimes no matter how smooth you think you are at turning your lens by hand it still shows up as shaky when reviewing the footage. The monopod is another piece of equipment that I have recently picked up which helps while using a follow focus or just getting those close shots macro shots without picking up any shake in your footage. It’s way easier to get up close with a monopod than carrying around a tripod with your camera setup. The top handle and friction arm worked great! I could hold the camera as low as I could to the ground while filming Landon which wouldn’t have been that easy without laying on the ground the whole time (which I did anyways). Cinevate and it’s gears with the Gini follow focus (i focus) work perfectly together too.
Another day or two of filming little Landon is needed to get a perfect video together for the parents Randy & Kari but with this new gear it’s making life filming that much easier.
I had the privilege of filming my nephew Landon a couple of weekends with his parents Randy and Kari at their home. My wife joined in and helped as a second shooter to capture his everyday life as a new baby with his dad and mom. I was lucky enough to film him in the early morning sleeping and was there to capture the very moment he woke up. Luckily he didn’t wake up because of some loud noise from me filming but instead woke up on his own. The first thing he did was smile even before opening his eyes. Then he woke up and was all smiles especially when his dad came in to get him up. The day went really smooth filming and both Randy and Kari were awesome to work with. I loved how they would let him have playtime on his mat right after he woke up and then Kari would read him a story or two in his rocker. They also are very active outdoors and showed me how they take Landon with them everywhere around the neighborhood. He seems to love the fresh air and of course all the activity outside. The video I created hopefully shows the fun side of their day with Landon and how much they both love their new baby boy.
Kara is now 2 years old and her party was a blast for everyone there thanks to her parents and grandparents for opening up their house. The atmosphere in the backyard was as if you stepped into a disneyland ride. Disney music seemed to be all around us because of the speaker placement (hidden in bushes) which set the atmosphere perfectly for Kara and of course all of her guests including my daughter who immediately wanted to play. As you watch the scenes I put together see if you notice a couple things I list here. First there is a Jedi fight going on in the background where it seems one is towering over the other in combat but don’t let the small Jedi fool you. He continues to battle in multiple scenes and doesn’t give up. Also, can you find a clown following Kara to her new water & sand toy? (hint – shadow) These little easter eggs aren’t necessarily in order either but the last one is when Kara talks on camera. Do you know what she says in the jump house at the camera guy? (hint – it’s in the last sentence and “Uncle”) Also, what does she say when she is kneeling with her hands together. (hint – you don’t need a hint for this one silly)
I definitely enjoyed filming this party and putting together a fun movie for the Day and Curtis family to enjoy. Hope you enjoy it too.
Music is from the movie Finding Neverland composed by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. Songs used were The Peter Pan Overture and Forgotten Overture.
Technical aspects. I used a Glidecam HD4000 with my Canon T2i and a Rokinon 14mm lens. I am still getting used to balancing it properly but I am finding that making it heavier helps a lot. Not good for my arms but good for filming for short….very short durations. The other lenses I used was a 55mm f1.2 FD lens and a 135mm f2.8 FD lens for most other scenes not using the Glidecam. My slider is an IGUS Diy build with a tripod attached and now my bogen 501 fluid head instead of my magic arm attachment.
So I don’t usually talk about my family videos but this one is my latest creation and I have been trying to get a more consistent look throughout these videos of my daughter Tamara. I have used my Igus slider in a lot of my videos but my latest addition has been kind of a pain to figure out. It’s called a glidecam and the model is the HD4000 which is huge for a DSLR like the T2i I solely use on it but with enough weights added to the bottom it flies great. I think the hardest thing to learn is proper balancing which I know I don’t have yet and can’t seem to get no matter how much tweaking I do with the thing. It’s also hard to hold for long periods of time if needed and when chasing a toddler around a park is needed it’s a huge workout to say the least. I was sweating like crazy after 15 minutes with of course multiple breaks after every minute of use. I use an awesome lens called a Rokinon 14mm that is all manual with aperture and focus ring. I definitely think a vest and arm like the steadicam merlin combo would work for long hours of filming compared to my bicep/forearm trying to hold the thing steady. In the end I would have to say that the glidecam is a must have if you want some fun shots that are without a doubt steadier than just handheld. And it’s fun for the the toddler that wants chased around all the time. Now just waiting for daughter #2 to get here and it all starts over again. Here are some behind the scenes (BTS) pics while filming Tamara. She talks to my camera as if it’s a cute dog or pet now. I think she has more fun when I am filming than myself. Check out the video and you will see her cuteness for yourself. Video is below the pics.
I have been busy making 2 commercials for www.zooppa.com and their “Silk” competition. The first thing I did was come up with an idea for this product “Silk”. Then, with the encouragement from my wife, I created a story board of my entire idea. Once I had the commercial down on paper I could see the shots that would work best in order to tell the story. The concept was from the saying “Milk and coookies” but changed to instead be “Silk and cookies” since they are trying to reach those who drink milk. I then purchased a carton of Silk to be used in a few of the shots during filming. At the last minute I decided to create 2 different commercials for Silk. The first one was shot the day before the baking idea was filmed with my daughter and her small but cute kitchen table. These shots ended up being used in the 30 second commercial I uploaded for the competition. Here it is for all to see and vote:
Kids Love Silk
You can also view the 30 second commercial here on Vimeo:
The second Silk commercial was done in a few hours. This was actually the hard part because getting my daughter to cooperate for the entire time was a little difficult in the end. My wife was also feeling the pain of standing in front of the camera for that long. Now I know how much work goes into making a short 1 minute commercial. There was a lot of prepping/cleaning the kitchen to make it look simple and clean while also being able to pull the shots off without worrying about things in the background. Using the 17mm Rokinon lens was amazing. I could get in close and not worry about losing quality. It also helped that I had a second Canon T2i with a 50mm 1.8 lens on it filming a different angle. To get some good audio clips I had to use my Zoom H1 audio recorder near by aimed directly at my daughter. This helped me get some really clean audio compared to some of the audio I used straight out of the camera. And because there were so many great shots taken during the filming that it was hard to cut them down to under 1 minute. I might in the future create another version of this commercial because of all the great shots I had captured. There could actually be a bts/bloopers video too but we will have to wait and see.
Please vote for this 1 minute video before March 4, 2011. Here is the link to view and vote: Silk & Cookies
You can also view it on Vimeo here:
heavensentfilms.com has filmed 2 new babies using multiple lenses and a lot of production equipment with the Canon T2i DSLR. First off, these experiences filming babies other than my daughter has been very exciting and brought back those memories of my daughter growing up. Since heavensent films usually only films babies up to 1 year old I know that it’s more of a creative workflow than anything else to achieve a creative final movie. Both sets of parents have been the best to work with and really allowed me to use all of my techniques in filming their beautiful baby. The filming usually only took about an hour or so and if needed we would schedule another day with a possible location change. As you will see in one of the videos I was even allowed to film during a much needed nap time. I of course know how to be quiet around a napping baby but a few times I came close to being noticed by the napping one. In the end I enjoyed filming and creating these videos because it helped me step out of my comfort zone of just filming my daughter growing up.
Now onto my production equipment. For both films I used my collection of DIY video equipment which worked flawlessly for the most part. My DIY slider from Igus.com worked but has a tendency to vibrate the camera if I am sliding at an angle or off center from the rails. On my slider I use a “flexible friction power arm” as seen here http://cheesycam.com/flexible-friction-power-arms-for-dslr-accessories/ This arm is amazing on a slider. It allows me to shoot upside down, as high as the arm can extend, as low as the arm can fold, or at different angles. It’s a really strong arm to use and holds the T2i just fine at any angle. The problem comes up with the slider not allowing me to use as many angles as I want with the arm and camera. With the Igus slider you really have to center your camera on the sliding platform in order for it to be a smooth slide across the entire rail system. I now know the limitations but I do know that I can film at creative angles if I slide slowly and by putting an even amount of pressure from my hand I can get some amazing shots. Now for the glidecam hd 4000 and filming babies. I enjoyed this the most out of all my production equipment. The only thing I need to do is practice practice practice because I am nowhere near perfect filming with this yet. I know the shots I want but somehow I don’t think I have everything balanced perfectly yet to get those shots exactly the way I want them. I have tried more weights and less weights while extending the center post of the glidecam but still get some wobble in the image while I am filming. The technique using the left hand to barely stabilze and turn the glidecam could be where I am having issues but I don’t know for sure. I really just need this balanced perfectly first and then work on my technique. It’s just going to take time and practice.
The FD lenses I used during these shoots were the Canon FL 55mm 1.2 (my favorite), Canon FD 100mm – 200mm, and the Canon kit lens 18 – 55mm on the glidecam. There are many other lenses which I will be using on my next baby films now that I have an FD to EOS adapter with a diopter for helping get these lenses to infinite focus. I had been using a standard metal adapter without a glass element but I couldn’t achieve infinite focus with any of the FD lenses. Now with this new adapter all of my FD lenses work like they should and look amazing when filming with them. Here is a link to check it out http://cheesycam.com/the-cheaper-road-to-a-lens-with-f1-2/ The cheesycam website is a definite go to place for all of your production needs and questions you might have. He answers everything from DiY video equipment projects to actual products on the market for DSLRs.
Here are the 2 baby videos heavensent films has done and thanks for watching