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 08, 2011
Posted in Short Stories

I have been entering contests on www.zooppa.com and the latest one was for Buick during the Final Four. I was introduced to an amazing athlete who played for the University of North Dakota as their Quarterback. He led the team to a National Football Championship which later gave UND the opportunity to play Division 1 football. This isn’t the whole story at all. Kelby was introduced to a young man named Markus Bryant who was not only UND’s biggest fan but was also going through cancer treatments during their championship run. The entire team got to know this selfless young man who seemed to always have to right words of encouragement when the team needed it most. He would send them letters he wrote for the coach to read to help encourage the team when they lost. This type of selflessness is what Kelby talks about the most and his life was changed by this young man enough that he co-founded a charity in Markus’s name. Markus reluctantly agreed to have a charity in his name created because he didn’t want any of the spotlight on himself. Holiday Magic From Markus gives back to the community by delivering gifts to children who are going through the same things he went through and those who are less fortunate during the holiday season. The first year UND’s football team went out to distribute these gifts, Markus unfortunately lost his battle with cancer but his giving, selfless acts, and spirit lives on through this wonderful charity. If you want to get involved and make a difference in a child’s life then please go to www.holidaymagicfrommarkus.org

Here is the video entry for this contest.

UPDATE: This video won 5th place!

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 28, 2011
Posted in BTS

I recently saw an article on www.cheesycam.com that showed a viewfinder for dslr’s that was cheaper than the regular brands out there by a few hundred dollars. But I guess the question is Does this viewfinder compare in quality? First of all I don’t have the expensive brand viewfinders and this was my first purchase. After receiving the viewfinder in the mail only a few days after buying it on ebay I was in complete amazement. The build quality is exactly what I was hoping for. It’s made from really thick plastic, has very clear optics for the diopter (-4 to +4), and comes with a bracket with double sided tape. I am using it on a T2i so the bracket covers a small amount on each side of the LiveView area on the camera which doesn’t noticeably cover any of the display metering info. I chose to also purchase a glass viewfinder eyepiece cover from ebay. This was also on cheesycam’s website awhile back. I got this in conjunction with the viewfinder so that I could permanently attach the “bracket” that came with the Seagull viewfinder to the glass protector/eyepiece. this way I would easily remove the entire thing if needed. Once I received the glass protector I decided to remove the glass in order to not lose any stops of light when viewing the LiveView through the viewfinder. This was kind of accidental since I broke the glass after sticking the adhesive side of the bracket slightly off center. It worked to my advantage. Both of these products work great together or separately depending on what you would want to do with the viewfinder. I can easily say the Seagull 3″ dslr viewfinder is crafter really well and by saving hundreds of dollars for those low budget/no budget filmmakers this works great!
Glass viewfinder protector: Glass LCD protector
Here is the ebay item by Seagull : Seagull Viewfinder
Here is the VF Prime on Amazon: VF viewfinder
If any Seagull purchasers need another bracket go here: VF bracket
Of course I have not purchased this bracket myself but it looks identical to the seagull brand found on ebay so purchase at your own risk. For $10 it’s not a bad deal to try if you need another bracket. I personally like the blue logo from Seagull rather than the VF brand orange color but that’s a personal opinion. Either way the product will be the same and you can’t go wrong.

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 Apr 16, 2011
Posted in Promos

Where to start? I have entered multiple competitions on zooppa.com for the Silk campaign, Ultimate Software, and Buick Human Highlight Reel fir NCAA. So far I have won 8th place on the sulk video ad which had my daughter making cookies and my wife was scene in a shot placing the cookie tray into the oven. Thanks to both of them for cooperating for those few hours of me filming basically a live event. A few shots with Tamara and her dolls having Silk and cookies at the end were setup by me.

My next entry was for Ultimate Software and I tried thinking outside the box for this shoot. I again used my daughter and her toy train set to achieve 1 bullet point from this company. It was showing off that they were a “Unified” solution and a train track being put together into a unified figure eight worked perfectly for my random idea. I won 1st place on this ad. There were so many great entries into this contest but I managed to beat them all.

As for the Buick entry I have to wait until after April 22 I believe to see if I won anything. For this video entry I interviewed Kelby Klosterman who was the University of North Dakota’s quarterback during their 2001 national championship run. His life was impacted by Markus Bryant who was suffering from cancer but showed selflessness and courage during his struggle. After winning the national championship and raising the trophy with Markus on the podium he co-founded holiday magic from Markus. The charity gives gifts during the holidays to underprivileged kids in the community which the football team participates in every year. Markus unfortunately didn’t make it to give the kids their gifts but his spirit lives on in this charity and the community feels the impact to this day. To help out with this great cause and to find out more information check out Holiday Magic From Markus

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