Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Blogging is cool now im doing it....

First Of Many
The story of me and the first blog post.

Beer in hand (self congratulatory clinking as i'm alone) im about to commence my first blog post ever!!!

If your here, first and foremost....thanks. Blogging has always had a bit of a stigma attached to it in my eyes but my girlfriends done it for years and doesn't have followers...she has disciples. I'm not after a following like that but iv realised this is a great way of sharing my film making skills, editing, camera work and general techy geekiness and learning more from others. Im a regular follower of people like Philip Bloom, Vincent Laforet and David H J Lindberg amongst others who make some fantastic films and are great resources for people like me who always want to learn more.

The idea here is to throw up a mixture of ideas, films, tutorials, tester shots and maybe even a review every now and again. We'l see what goes down.

know I look knackered, its late and iv been working all day.

So day 1......

Last few years iv been freelancing in the TV industry. Mainly running on shows, editing for a high profile news company, bit of camera work here and there and now im a full time 9-5 media job so freelance work takes 2nd place. However, film making is something that I love and still aim to do as much as possible in my spare time. I have owned a Sony EX1 for 2 years now and used it to death. Its a fantastic camera, little outdated now perhaps but still amazing. Problem with it is however, while it was amazing for corporate work it never really lent itself to film. I know people like Tarentino would rather probably rather give up film making altogether than make films in the digital realm but lets face it....its the way its going and there's now so many incredible digital cameras out there that do almost as good a job as film if not better in some cases. The EX1 however just aint one of them....so that in mind, iv just purchased a Canon 550D. Im not going to bother doing any kind of review of the camera, its been out years, there's reviews all over the net. There is also plenty of footage out there to ogle however im going to add to it still....in time.

First off....a recent music promo for a very good friend of mine. Mr John Ainsworth, an incredibly talented acoustic, singer songwriter from my home town of Manchester, England. This was shot on the EX1 at 720p.
Graded within FCP. What I love about this video is the 2 sunset shots at the start. Sat on a roof of a recording studio last Autumn (2011) we got the most amazing shots over the town of Stockport. Slightly grainy, even more so when exported in H264 but perfectly whatchable. I dont remember the exact settings on the camera for these shots but I remember I flicked the ND filter 2 notches and this appeared. After messing about with the picture profile settings slightly I came up with a great shot. Really tried hard to get a decent silhouette but we were so unstable on the roof  I decided in the interests of safety and time to go with what we had. Here's some screen shots before and after grading.

The second is a lot darker but full screen it actually works a lot better. The sun isn't casting quite as much light over his eyes. They were almost not visible anyway which is definitely something I want to work on the next time I get a shot like this. As my tutor taught me back in college, the eyes are EVERYTHING!

Not a bad look to it really. Usual colour grading technique for film look, some blue added in the shadows, slight tint of orange in the highlights, brought the blacks down slightly and voila!

I cant put the finished film up quite yet as its been sent to his management company who are going to use it on his website when thats online. Finished video will be up asap.

So thats my first blog post. More to come soon enough. Got a few things in the pipeline now including a short film i'm very excited about. Lots of pre-production done and a few test shots to do soon, thats if the weather perks up. Its been dull and grey in Manchester now for what seems like years. Looking at early April for shooting though. Few tests to do with the 550D first....



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