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 just have to brag a little about my wife Ranya Adkinson’s design capabilities. She has made an awesome heavensent films website and also designed a really cool logo too. After designing the logo she then meticulously created the business cards which look amazing! There are pics from both sides of the card. I then asked for the photoshop file with all of the layers so I could animate her design. I think the logo really pops on black but also looks great over white when needed as seen in the animation below. The very simple animation was done in Motion 4 which I then brought into final cut and added to some recent videos as a watermark and ending animation.
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!
My first experience with Apple Motion software was pretty confusing. At first I couldn’t figure out the different window arrangements and what they meant. Once I figured this all out thanks to Ripple Training and the DVD tutorial called “Motion 3 Fast Forward“. After watching this tutorial for an hour I decided to venture off and “play around” with the software. I started by bringing in some Photoshop layers with my character “Flathead” and trying to set the scene for an introduction video to Flathead Productions. After days and many hours working by trial and error I finally completed the intro along with the Hawaii wedding video I had shot in May. It’s the best feeling to finally finish a completed video piece.
The coloring was done in Magic Bullet Looks by Red Giant software thanks to Philip Bloom and his video tutorial on how he did his color grading on “Return to Dungeness”. The scenes I shot in Hawaii were on a Canon HF100 with the JAG35st adapter. The 35mm adapter has a static (st) screen in which images from old school Canon FD lenses project onto and in turn the video camera records this projected image. In the camera itself the image is recorded upside down which makes shooting live events a little difficult to do especially when you need to create an interesting composition of each scene with only a few seconds to do so. That’s the nature of “LIVE” events like weddings and such in life. This was my first time using the 35mm adapter with a few lenses I had purchased off of eBay the week before. I guess you can say there is nothing like waiting until the last minute. My past experiences with shooting weddings has been with a huge and bulky camera called a Canon XL1s which I mount on my shoulder to do all of my “run N gun” shooting. This little camera with adapter and lens doesn’t even feel a quarter of the weight of my huge camera which in turn makes it difficult to say the least in getting a completely steady shot. In the future a steadicam of some sort would be more than helpful.
On another note, the editing of the video was easy to do in Final Cut Studio which I made full use of by using Final Cut, Motion, and Soundtrack. I can say that using these 3 software titles together was as seamless as anything I have seen. I can’t wait to continue learning new and cutting edge techniques with this software package to help tell interesting stories through video and animation.
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.