I had the most fun shooting these last couple days with friends than I have had in a long time. It was the best experience being able to work with professionals outside of my day job and doing something creative. Matt McDonald @TheMcDo is the mastermind behind these short comedy sketches that we filmed during a 2 day time schedule. He setup everything, organized everything, and even had a casting call with real actors who were more than happy to help out with his scripts. The crew was even laughing during each take when the actors pulled off each line written by Matt. I was really excited that I could be apart of this whole thing and that I could help with providing some production equipment to pull off the shots needed. After it was all said and done I think we all came away from this experience really happy to have worked together while making someone’s vision (Matt) come true. Now we wait for the final piece to see our work in a complete short piece.
As far as behind the scenes info is concerned I put 2 GoPro cameras to the test to see if I could capture our activities during production. Dealing with GoPro placement while also trying to DP the shots for each scene was sometimes a challenge as you will see in the video and images I provide. There were times that objects obstructed the camera view but was able to capture some of myself in the corner of the image. I was able to use my experience with my Glidecam to help with some scenes as well as my awesome Atlas 10 slider from Cinevate to help add some movement for some shots. We used some really nice Zeiss ZE glass which was either rented or owned by a crew member and we shot on Canon 7D’s which was my first time using since I own 2 Canon T2i’s. I have to say that this camera is definitely a step above of build quality and seemed way easier to balance on my Glidecam HD4000. I might have to upgrade someday. 🙂 Either way I am ready to work on more projects with any of these guys.
So, here is the video shot with 100% GoPro cameras.
And some pictures from the GoPro angles.
A company called Style My Heart (my wife Ranya’s company) which makes almost everything and anything creative jewelry wise has made me something random called Nuns Knickers for my dslr setup and Mattebox. This is basically what it is. A mattebox comes with usually a multitude of foam donuts or circular inserts to help block light coming in from behind the mattebox and above the lens. This donut usually needs to be changed out depending on the diameter of your lens. And because I have a Rokinon 14mm which has a HUGE diameter because there is a non removable lens hood and the glass is just huge to get the wide 14mm angle I can’t use the same donut for let’s say my 55mm. I would have to unscrew the donut holder and place in another donut to fit a smaller lens. This takes too much time in the field while shooting. So I did a little research and found 2 companies that make these universal light blockers. First is Zacuto‘s Universal Donut found here with a video to demonstrate installation. This is just a little too expensive for me so I check out the second alternative with a company called Genus. They have one called Nuns Knickers which I find very funny so I am using this as the name for my homemade one. Here is the Genus one which is definitely a little cheaper than Zacuto’s and differently made as well. I went another route and had my wife make me one with draw strings built in. I had some bose headphone bags and doubled them up to make sure light wouldn’t get through and cut a hold in the bottom of each. Also, cut them way down because I only need about 3 to 4 inches or even less between the mattebox and lens. So far this had been working great. It can be a little difficult to get the draw strings around a smaller lens but so far it works. The pictures below show some of the earlier versions which was slightly too large. The “Knickers” have been cut down to about 2″ now and seem to work better.
I have researched a lot of different types of ways to enhance video in order to keep the viewer interested. 35mm adapters are becoming more available for the home video camera operator. There are also professional adapters that cost a lot more money but can give you a better video image. Of course it also depends on the glass you use on the end of whichever adapter you choose. There are a lot of lenses out there to pick from but the best ones usually cost a lot. Here are some companys that create these adapters. The list shows cheaper less expensive types on up to the best adapters on the market.
Check out www.vimeo.com to view sample work using many of these adapters. One of the best companies utilizing the brevis adapter is stillmotion. Also, check out Philip Bloom, Tom Guilmette, Casey Warren, and Steve Weiss. These guys either make great videos or just create great product for the prosumer videographer.