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
So I think I finally figured out how to balance the glidecam and T2i a little better. First I added weights to the top of the T2i because it seems to be really light with the kit lens I am using right now. I added 2 glidecam weights to the hotshoe adapter and added 2 more weights on each side of the glidecam bottom sled. So total weights on the glidecam sled comes to 4. Two on each side. I guess I am really trying to figure out how to get the glidecam completely balanced. My first try was with the T2i (with giottos QR) on top of the glidecam and only 2 weights on the bottom sled so 1 on each end. This seemed fine but the heavier I make the glidecam the smoother my footage seems. The only drawback is my arm being kinda weak holding this whole thing. I can easily do a minute run before taking a break by grabbing the glidecam with my left hand to help prevent my right arm from falling off. Actually, I think it’s more like 30 to 45 seconds but I will round up to 1 minute of flying to make myself feel better. If there is anyone else flying an HD 4000 with a light dslr, specifically the Canon T2i, please let me know how you have this setup but only if you have it perfectly balanced. I don’t even know if that is possible with my setup. It seems to be statically balanced because I can go from the ground up with no problem with it tipping. I can also go side to side, forward, and backward without too much tipping on top or bottom now. But the issue is really the dynamic balance I believe. When I go to spin the center column while holding it I notice a slight tipping action when watching the gimbal and camera. So maybe I don’t have the center of gravity figured out yet. Seems impossible even with the Giottos QR which has 2 bubble levels to help with balancing the T2i so it looks straight ahead. Here are some pics and there is a new video of my daughter showing off the glidecam flying but with less weight on it in those scenes from what I remember.
Here is the latest heavensent films video.
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
This new toy I purchases on eBay is pretty sweet when it comes to Macro shooting on a dslr. It works with both photo and video mode on my Canon T2i. It’s called a Macro Bellows and this one is compatible with an EOS adapter but you can easily buy one for Nikons or any other brand camera. I found it works great with the 18-55mm kit lens the T2i came with. In the photos I used an FD to EOS adapter so I could use my old school Canon lenses. The one pictured is a Vivitar 135mm which works great. It let’s me get the macro shots without being right on top of the subject. And when I say right on top I mean with the lens almost touching the subject as with the kit lens. This is another perfect example of my favorite website helping me find really cool and functional gear at a very cheap price. Go to cheesycam
It’s hard sometimes to be creative and to try being original when it comes to video making. After making my daughters 3 months and up video and then her Almost 9 Months video I feel like I am running out of ideas. I think that things sometimes just happen during the post production process that help tell the story. Whether it’s a new film look or style you stumble upon can totally change the way viewers feel when watching the video creation.
On another note I upload all my work to Vimeo.com because the community on this site is amazing. There are so many creative people out there making really cool, different, cinematic videos and sharing them with the world. I love connecting with others across the world and commenting back and forth on each others videos. Having great feedback is essential to making your next video even better. I have seen my own video grow in concept and creation. Also, I get a lot of really cool ideas by watching some of the best shoot their videos whether it be a documentary, wedding film, car racing, comedy sketch, and many others.
In the end it comes down to your own point of view and then your style will come out in every video you create. All I can say is keep up the creativity when making these amazing life stories and events.
Now that I finally found time to blog I wanted to tell you about this awesome program called Magic Bullet Looks by Red Giant Software. I heard about this little gem from an awesome filmmaker named Philip Bloom. His website is http://philipbloom.co.uk/ and the video which I was amazed by is called “Return to Dungeness”. He was kind enough to create a tutorial of how he stylized this video utilizing a laptop running Final Cut Pro and the plug-in/software Magic Bullet Looks. After watching his tutorial, which is really interesting and fun to watch, I was sold on it and made the purchase to use with the latest wedding footage I had shot in Hawaii. All I have to say is WOW! I love how easy it is to use and how fast you can create your own style. I have noticed however that when color grading needs to be done on every single clip it can be a little tedious.
The video clip that I am creating was all shot on a Canon HF100 using a JAG35st adapter and a Canon HF10. I did find the JAG35st to be an awesome addition to my creative shooting. After a lot of use this last few months the adapter seems to be holding up to all my travels. It is scuffed up but working quite well with all of my Canon FD lenses. There is one small issue with the ground glass in the static adapter. When facing a lit subject I can see a small circle or ring on the ground glass. This only seems to be most visible in well lit areas but I am pretty sure I can purchase another ground glass from Mr. Garcia. I am sure all of his products are as awesome or better than the JAG35st that I purchased.
I will have a video posted here shortly once all color grading is done along with my company logo animation using Motion software which I have never used before.
The Hawaii wedding shoot was a complete success! Thanks to all of you who watched online and participated in the chat. The videos on u-stream were also recorded so that others can watch it at anytime. The entire setup with photos and video will be posted once we all return home and edit everything.
Thanks for a beautiful wedding put on by Grace Adkinson-Spencer and Michael Spencer with amazing decorations. And an awesome location provided by Bud and Flora Spencer.
Congratulations to both Donald and Kandice Reeb!
There now is a DSLR camera from Panasonic called Lumix DMC-GH1 that can shoot video at 1080p @ 24 fps. The huge difference with this camera compared to the Canon 5D Mark II (1080p or 720p) or Nikon D90 (only 720p) is that the Lumix can not only shoot at 1080p @ 24fps but it can also shoot with Auto Focus face detection technology while you shoot video! So there is no need to use a Follow Focus with this lens. This will be awesome for those run & gun situations event videographers encounter all the time. Of course we don’t know how well this works in real life but it sure gives us hope that maybe the RED team will integrate this into the Scarlet before it is launched or in a near future upgrade. By eliminating the focus puller when utilizing a 35mm adapter and a follow focus, you will then be able to run & gun live events without the need of someone helping you keep focus on moving subjects. This camera also gives the user the ability to use an external stereo microphone which is definitely handy for event videographers.
Here is a link to this amazing new camera: http://www2.panasonic.com
Philip Bloom is an amazing director of photography and has recently created a video explaining the basic fundamentals and physics of 35mm adapters. He specifically uses the Letus35 brand as he visually demonstrates the differences between using a 35mm adapter on your video camera or just using your stock camera lens. The way he explains every aspect of 35mm adapters and how Depth of Field (DOF) can benefit your story telling abilities is very easy to follow and understand. The demonstration also shows us why we need a 35mm adapter to achieve the “film look” on any consumer/prosumer video cameras and why these cameras can’t get that kind of DOF without an adapter. If you are interested in learning about 35mm adapters and their benefits in helping your videos have that film look, then watch Philip Bloom’s video because it helps answer the many questions you might have regarding these adapters. Here is the video:
When watching his videos look at how he doesn’t use the “Zoom” function on his high end video cameras. A nice rule to live by when using your video camera is to move closer to your subject if you want to get a closer picture. Also, if you are using any 35mm adapter on your video camera you will not be able to use the zoom function because of having to zoom in on the 35mm adapters “focus screen” or “ground glass” which is where the image from whatever lens you use is projected onto. This is also explained more in his video demonstration.
Also, check out Philip Bloom’s website http://philipbloom.co.uk/
Or do a search for Philip Bloom on http://vimeo.com