Posted on May 31, 2011
Posted in Short Stories

I had a lot of fun filming these old Lifeguard towers sitting in the bushes far from the beach. The beach was located over a huge sand hill or dune and the wind was blowing like crazy on the other side. You can tell it was very windy by watching the tops of the trees in the video moving around a lot where the towers sat. The beach scenes of course looked crazy windy which they were. This made it impossible to keep my wide angle Rokinon 14mm lens clean for each shot. Also, I carried my Igus slider and tripod out there to film this crazy wind. After the fact I figured out that sand isn’t good for either a wide lens (or any lens for that matter), tripod, or a slider. Although I do have to say the Igus slider did pretty well out in the elements because there aren’t any roller bearings to get sand stuck in. It slides on a type of plastic which doesn’t need any lubrication for smooth camera slides on the rails. The wind however did get in my eyes every time I tried to get shots of the sand blowing past me at my back. My body seemed to make a funnel of sand in between myself and my camera equipment. In the end though it was really fun to get these shots and make a fun edit to go with the images I captured. Music choice was from Artist: Mindthings. Album Life’s Path. Song Cold Water. Great place for Creative Commons Music can be found at http://www.jamendo.com and http://incompetech.com/
Enjoy.

Posted on May 25, 2011
Posted in Kids

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.

Posted on May 02, 2011
Posted in BTS, DIY

I recently went to Matt Mingus’s T-ball game and wanted to try out my Glidecam HD4000 but with my iPhone4 mounted on the lower sled. This of course made it difficult to get it balanced but I wanted to try out some different editing ideas cutting from iphone footage and my T2i with 14mm lens. Here are some pics of the setup when I was done figuring it all out. But ultimately in the end after running around with it I decided it wasn’t going to work perfectly until I got a fisheye lens for the iPhone. Funny enough they do make them and you can find them on ebay for a pretty decent price.

Posted on Apr 25, 2011
Posted in Short Stories

I had the priveledge to be involved with interviewing the Mingus family with Randy Ksar. Matt has been given the title “Boy of the Year” because of his very recent history with Leukemia. He is in remission now and can easily be seen as a courageous young boy who fought this difficult battle and won. From the short time I got to hang out at his house I could tell he is living a very normal life as can be expected with a loving and caring family. After interviewing his mother Kat and hearing the very familiar details of what he had to go through at such a young age it makes me realize how much life is so precious. Taking just the little things for granted is something we all should strive not to do and instead enjoy everyday we have with each other.

So, now for technical side of this interview and story. I shot this with 2 Canon T2i’s, FD lenses, diy Igus slider, glidecam hd4000 (t-ball game), zoom h1 audio recorder, sennheiser mics, and a diy skater dolly. After filming the interview, getting shots of Matt playing xbox with his sister, and on another weekend his T-Ball game footage, I ended up with a very informative and captivating story told by his mom Kat. Here is the video and go to www.10kin10weeks.wordpress.com for more information on how you can get involved. Thanks for everyone’s support!

Posted on Apr 18, 2011
Posted in Short Stories

I have been helping with the promotion and video production for the nomination of Randy Ksar for the “Man of the Year” campaign for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I interviewed Randy a month or so ago at night in his front yard because of the ambiance of that location. Some of the gear I used for this shoot was:
2 Canon T2i’s
Igus Diy slider (http://igus.com/) with Friction Arm (Friction Power Arm)
2 can lights with clamps (from home depot)
1 LED work light (home depot) (Home Depot LED Work Light)
Z96 LED (Z96 LED)
55mm 1.2 FD Lens
50mm 1.8
135mm 3.5 FD Lens
Zoom H1 audio recorder
Sennheiser wirelesss mic set

A lot of my equipment was purchased due to Emm at cheesycam.com and his many helpful reviews on a huge variety of dslr production equipment.

The whole production recording was shot within an hour and Randy did an amazing job telling his story of how he became involved with LLS and Team in Training. I enjoyed creating this video for such a great cause that he has been involved in for many years and raised a lot of money for too. To find out more information on how to get involved or if you would like to help please watch his story and check out www.10kin10weeks.wordpress.com. Together we will find a cure for cancer. Thank you for your donations and sharing this video.

Posted on Feb 16, 2011
Posted in Kids, Promos

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:

Posted on Dec 17, 2010
Posted in DIY, Kids

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

Posted on Oct 29, 2010
Posted in Weddings

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

Posted on Oct 23, 2010
Posted in BTS

Ok, so most of my ideas come from www.cheesycam.com but that’s what it’s there for right? So here is my latest stabilizing idea created for my T2i and shooting video. First I have my monopod with a Giottos ballhead and quickrelease plate. This allows me to go from one thing to the next quickly without unscrewing the camera from each item like my slider to the monopod to the cage to the skater dolly ect ect. I have the same quickrelease plate on all of these items so I can do this quickly while shooting events or anything else that needs to be shot quickly. Now for the top handle on the T2i I used some extra part which I received after purchasing either the Z96 LED light or friction arm off ebay. At least that’s what I can remember from the last few things I purchased based on again cheesycam.com(found it here). The handle is off of an old tripod head and sticks called Velbon Videomate 500. As of right now the handle kinda moves around because it doesn’t tighten all that well but I can figure that out later. The side handle is from an old SLR camera for mounting a light I believe and giving some stability to the photographer. I also added the neck strap to give some extra safety and stability while using the monopod as suggested by cheesycam.com. The cool thing is that with the top handle and the side handle attached I can still fit it inside my diy cage (from JustBasl). Of course it kinda looks silly with 2 top handles and an extra side handle inside the cage but at least I don’t have to take everything off in order to fit it inside the cage. Here are some pics (low quality iphone pics).

Posted on Oct 15, 2010
Posted in BTS

I am now trying out a monopod I purchased while traveling in Italy called Cullmann 741. I purchased a ballhead made by Giottos that came with a quick release plate which I have been putting onto all of my diy projects. This helps me go from one thing to the other fast while filming. So far the monopod and ballhead have made my shots more steady and given me the ability to walk around while filming. I will be checking the footage out with me walking around to see if it’s more steady than just with holding the T2i in my hands. Here are some photos.