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
found a nice Fd to EOS adapter withal glass element to help achieve infinite focus on my T2i. All of my FD lenses now work perfectly on the new Canon T2i. My favorite lens is still the 55mm 1.2 FL Canon lens which I randomly found in an antique store for $30 with 2 other lenses. Of course the 55mm isn’t a true 55mm on the crop sensor of the T2i buy it still creates an amazing image for video.
Now for my latest addition to my production equipment. It’s a Rokinon 14mm lens for Canon digital EOS cameras. I found it on amazon.com thanks to Emm at cheesycam.com. He talked about lenses to use while flying on a steadicam or glidecam like I have. I have also researched the prices of both the Rokinon 14mm and the Bower 14mm lens. They are identical lenses but the Rokinon is about $50 cheaper. The quality is really great and it’s all manual controls when used on the T2i which I prefer. I am already used to manual lenses because of the FD lenses I have been using over the past 2 years. I will have some video soon but for now here are some images.
I had an awesome time filming Andie & Tyler during their engagement photo shoot. They were kind enough to let me drag around all of my equipment while they were being photographed by Ramsey Ksar . Ramsey is very professional when it comes to shooting couples in an engagement session or a wedding. He did a great job assisting me in some of the shots you see in the video. I also had to interrupt his smooth photo session to setup some of my own shots but luckily Ramsey was cool (like usual) with me doing this to his workflow and we both ended up with the shots we wanted.
Now for the technical side of things. I lugged around my diy slider attached with a bolt to a smaller light weight bogen tripod. I also had with me a bag of lenses (fd lenses with adapter) so that I could quickly (more like slowly) change lenses to get the most amazing bokeh video images. I vow to eventually upgrade these fd lenses to real current state of the art lenses someday. Doing that would make things go WAY smoother and faster while trying to film as the sun is going down. I also used for the first time (purchased 2 days before this) a Glidecam HD 4000. Luckily I had 1 day to practice outside before this day because it helped me achieve some mostly fluid shots while trying to fly my T2i around on it. I have quick release plates on everything so that made it a breeze to setup everything but the lenses were another issue entirely.
This engagement session was shot at Wilder Ranch off of Highway 1 in Santa Cruz. Ramsey and I were lucky enough to get the same weather as we did the week before when we went scouting this location. We waited a few days because of some rain and found the perfect day (a little colder than we remember) again with the sunset. As for the couple, they were really fun to film and let us get all the shots we needed of them having fun together. And of course Andie had HIGH HEEL boots on the entire time. We forced her to hike all the way to the coastal cliffs in them and she made it look easy. Tyler seemed to enjoy all of the setup shots I made them do and occassionally you can see his “Cool” look (the bench scene). They both seemed to have fun the entire time and I want to thank them for being such great sports for Ramsey and I.
So, now for the video. Here it is. My first engagement video session. Save The Date ~ Andie & Tyler
Ok, it’s been way too long since my last blog entry. I am so excited about my new company and the new tools I have created and purchased to help with production. I have been looking at dslr cameras as a stand in product to use before the RED Scarlet comes out and found the Canon T2i to be cheap enough and still have the production quality I have been trying to achieve with 35mm adapters on my video cameras. This dslr is awesome and can also use most of my old canon FD lenses with an adapter. I say most of the old lenses because some don’t allow infinite focus because of the adapter that is being used to attach these old lenses. But Macro focus does work with all of them. This new camera will help give me a way cleaner look to my film projects rather than the Jag35 adapter which causes huge light loss when using any lens. I love the Jag adapter because it gave me the film grain look I was trying to achieve and the Depth of field from the lenses used.
Now onto my favorite new website called cheesycam.com.
DIY DSLR full cage
This site is awesome because if you are trying to figure out best pricing, reviews, and other random video production things for yourself it has everything you could ask for. I love DIY projects which allow me to build video capable rigs for low cost to my pocket book. The latest build was for a camera cage with parts found at home depot and a skater dolly with parts found at my local Big5 sporting goods. The deal I found for creating the skater dolly was a sale for a beginner skateboard. All I needed was the trucks, wheels and bearing to help create this awesome skater dolly for my camera. The camera cage parts were easily found at home depot but I made the mistake of buying the items shown in the DIY video instead of asking if those were the actual parts needed. This meant multiple trips to the depot before assembling the cage. Also, my brother in law Donald Reeb is a pro bike rider who I hit up for some much needed bike grips for the finishing touches on the cage. I have pictures added for both these items.
On another huge note, I now have an up and coming new company called Heavensent Films. This company is based off of my daughter and her being the miracle baby to my wife and I. And during her almost 2 years now I have created multiple videos of her growing up during this time. I have found my new passion in life creating baby videos and want to share this form of creative videos with other families to have of their new born babies. I do believe these videos will be something to cherish for the whole family and fun to look back on and watch as they get older. Stay tuned for the website and more info. http://www.heavensentfilms.com