Posted on Jun 03, 2012

First I want to thank Gustaf Fjelstrom from Coakley Heagerty for contracting me to help with the Santana Row Fashion Show.  I was honored to be there and help shoot the entire day of models as well as the Row stores and atmosphere.  It was a great learning experience for sure while being able to use my camera gear in order to capture everything needed for that day.  Also, I enjoyed shooting along side my colleague/screen writer Matt McDonald and audio expert Manol Manolov.  We were all lucky that the weather wasn’t too hot even though in the end I was burnt from too much sun and forgetting sunscreen.  But the breeze was nice and we were given a tent for shade.  Thanks to my wife Ranya and her company Style My Heart for following me around the entire day capturing some behind the scenes photos of myself actually working.  This has never been done even though I have always wanted to capture some of the work that goes into getting the images during projects.  Also, keep an eye out for a possible video from Gustaf and the Coakley Heagerty company for a Santana Row video showcasing what we captured that day.

Thanks to Cinevate for their amazing quality built product that can withstand everything you throw at it.  Everything from my Atlas 10 slider to the Titan Mattebox with a Simplis rails system has been able to not only help with production value but also has helped with giving my company the professional look I have been wanting for a long time.  And my wife Ranya for making me those “Nuns Knickers” the night before the shoot.  They came in handy and worked great keeping the light out from behind the mattebox and lens.

Here are some of the bts shots Style My Heart captured of myself working.

 

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 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 Dec 17, 2010
Posted in BTS

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.

Posted on Nov 11, 2010
Posted in BTS

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.

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