TEN – Post Shoot Whitby

In today’s entry I’m going to quickly talk about the shoot in Whitby. So with out further ado, lets get started.

I think the first thing that comes to mind about the shoot is how cold it was! It was the type of icy windy cold blasts that leave your face and hands both numb and stiff instantly. It was also foggy, the sea was choppy and the clouds were low and utterly miserable. Perfect then, for capturing some scenes of winter.

Taken by Jack Watling

Taken by Jack WatlingMy first port of call was to go down to the harbour. There, we (I was assisted by my Girlfriend Katie for the day) set up the camera and captured some footage of the cliffs, sea and a few rock pools near the harbours edge. My objective for the harbour/sea shots was to capture movement as well as footage that fitted the theme of winter. The tide was out which was good as I could see rock pools that are usually hidden by several feet of water, it was a pity in some ways though as it meant I was not able to get footage of waves crashing against the harbour wall which would of been nice. I also got some nice shots of the cliffs further down the coast, which due to the fog and low cloud, looked very effective and gave me some ideas of how I could implement this footage into the film.

Taken by Katie

 

 

These two pictures were taken by Katie, the left one is of one of the rock pools that can only be seen when the tide is out. The right one is of me, the cloud behind shows just how grey and grim the weather was.

 

 

While shooting, I noticed on the other side of the harbour were two rock formations out to sea. Being now virtually frozen, we decided to get dinner (the obligatory fish and chips) which gave us a excuse to sit down and warm up before heading to the other side of the harbour.

Fish and Chips devoured, we headed to the other side of the Harbor to get the last few shots before heading onto the moors. By this point the weather was a little warmer which meant less numb hands and dripping noses. On this side of the harbour the sea was a little bit more choppy too, this would give me some good opposing images to the slightly calmer sea footage on the other side of the harbour. The way the sea, rock formations and cliffs worked with each other was also brilliant for the type of shot composition I was after. After about an hour filming, we headed back through Whitby to get to go to the moors.

Taken by jack WatlingUnfortunately, by the time we got to the moors heavy fog had set in and severe weather warnings were mentioned on the local radio station. Not wanting to get caught in a bad situation I decided to forgo shooting on the moors. Besides, as I could only see about 4 feet in front of me it felt it would be a pretty redundant task anyway.

Overall the shoot went well. Due to high wind speeds I have a little bit of shaky footage to sort out in post and the audio is no good but I got some good solid shots. I may reschedule a shoot to go up on the moors but hopefully I can find somewhere a little closer to home to save on travel expenses and time etc.

That’s it for this post.

Until Next Time.

SEVEN – Evolving the Vision

A few days ago, I talked about some of the updates on the site and went in-depth about what I aim to create for my final major project. If you want to, you can read that post here. I finished with stating I had an idea on how to compromise between what I want to do and what others are suggesting.

Today’s topic is going to cover that.

While doing some research into different transitions I came across something called known as a “Hyper Zoom”.

Courtesy of YouTube

If I utilise a technique like this, I think it could make for some interesting and stylish footage.

I (If I decided to be in the film) could start in one location such as a wood, the camera would start above me then zoom to a close up of my eye, then into my eye to reveal a montage of footage to do with the seasonal change. This would give the impression that the audience is going into my mind and can see what I am thinking.

This would also open the opportunity of a disjointed and stylized montage sequence as generally, most dreams and distant memories reveal themself in a disjointed manner.

This then made me think of what could be done with the sound. By chance, while binge watching some recorded shows I came across a music video created by the SyFy Channel which was made in conjunction with Star Treks 50th Anniversary.

Video from ScyFy Chanel’s YouTube.

The song is primarily made up of sound effects and dialogue  from the various different series’ (Original Series, Next Generation, Voyager etc.)  of Star Trek.

Not that I’m suggesting replacing all the nature sounds with lasers and explosions, but it maybe possible to create a soundtrack that uses similar sound effect techniques applied to various animal sounds and ambient noises like trees rustling in the wind. As I’m not a sound expert, I’ve consulted a person that is. We haven’t come up with anything solid yet, but I get the impression he understands what I’m wanting to do and I believe he thinks it can be done.

The video also gave me some ideas on what I could potentially do with projections and lighting. At the moment though, I’m trying to keep it as cost-effective as possible. Adding elements like that may cost a fair amount of money (a good projector seems to start at around £50) but bring nothing to the table.

With that in mind, I have nothing else to report at this moment.

Until next time.

 

 

 

 

 

SIX – Updates, Updates, Updates

Today’s post is all about the updates. First main update is to the site itself. I’ve tweaked it to make it a more complete website instead of just a blog. This is more of a personal choice as eventually, I want to do some product reviews and have a place to show off my CV. These site updates have allowed me to lay the ground work for this.

Second (and more importantly for this Blog), a lot has happened since my last post.  I’ve also realised, some vital aspects have been overlooked. I’ve not gone over what it is I’m actually doing.

My idea is to essentially make a film that documents seasonal change and visually shows the feeling that goes with each season (Summer = Happy, Winter = Sad etc.). I want to do this, using my dads old lens as mentioned in the prior post.  To make it a bit more interesting, I decided to use decorated masks that would act as a sort of avatar for each season.

Early concept for the Face of Autumn, made by myself.

Overall the film would be an experimental/art film that partly plays homage to ideas put forward by American Filmmaker Stan Brakhage.

Ignoring the music this test video glimpses at what I’m wanting to do. I want to explore this idea of seeing. Not just briefly glancing at a tree and saying “its a tree” but looking and observing. Noticing details like how leaves move in the wind. How the light changes as the sunsets. The little critters that live in moss.

So I pitched this idea. It wasn’t the best pitch. I received comments along the lines of “its stating the obvious” and it’s not clear what why it’s called Dad’s Old Glass etc. I explained a few things, such it’s called Dad’s Old Glass because its shot with my dad’s old lens which is slang for lens. This helped a little as I then explained on a personal level it was my dad that introduced me to a nature as we used to go walking a lot and he’d explain what things were etc. etc.

Not a lot has changed since then except I’ve been gathering various bits of footage that maybe useful for the project and been playing with ideas suggested by one of my tutors around the opening.

Although I have creative freedom to basically do what I want, and sometimes I’d love ignore everything any of my tutors say to me about it (after all its my idea and something that is personal to me), I can’t. On a course such as this, I have to treat a tutor like an Executive Producer. At the end of the day they mark the work and give me a grade which I want to be high.

With all this in mind, I have began to formulate a plan that reaches a compromise between my objectives and the tutors scepticism . But that’s for another post later on.

Until Next Time.

 

FIVE – Old Glass

On the run up to starting filming (Details of the project to come soon)I was looking at buying some new lens so I can get the footage I’m after. The plan is to shoot using my Canon 700D. Despite being considered as an entry/enthusiast level camera and it not being a full frame DSLR it can still hold its own in terms of capturing professional level footage. Generally speaking for a film project I would usually use a 50mm lens. I like the “nifty fifty” for all the reasons everyone else does, the image quality looks beautiful and it can produce some awesome stylish “bokeh“.

For this project however I would at least like to have a telephoto, that way I can get closer to subjects (Like birds and rabbits etc.) without actually having to get closer. Which brought me to another issue to do with budget.

A cheap telephoto lens from a lesser known brand can start at around £50. These vary from preset lens such as the Opteka 500mm or a 500mm mirrored lens.

mirror

A Opteka 500mm-1000mm Mirror lens Approx £70+ (Image from Amazon)

Preset

A Opreka Preset 500mm Lens Approx £70+ (Image from Amazon)

 

 

 

Both seem impressive. Both seem to offer a lot for the money. But with a miniscule budget, that amount of money could be a bad investment if it turns out to be no good. Official Canon Lens were not an option either, generally starting in the late hundreds of pounds for a cheap alternative and well into the thousands for the higher speced L series of telephoto Lens.

A Canon EF 28-300mm L series Lens. Starting at around £1300. (Image from Amazon)

A Canon EF 28-300mm L series Lens. Starting at around £1300. (Image from Amazon)

This got me thinking of what I already owned, what I could afford and what I could make. The only telephoto lens I own (technically my dads) is from an old Zenit SLR Camera (also technically my dads). The Zenit EM cameras were 35mm and made in the USSR. They use a 42mm mount for the Lens which means that out of the box, the telephoto Lens and my camera aren’t compatible.

Optomax 70-210mm Telephoto lens

Optomax 70-210mm Telephoto lens

Zenit EM 35mm

Exact same Camera as the one I have, with a 44mm Lens Attached (which I also have access to). Image from http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Zenit_EM

Obviously it was out of the question to use the Zenit to film with, for a start it has no film function. But one of the positives to old Glass (Glass is photography slang for a Lens)compared to new Glass is it is relatively cheap. A strong positive for me is that I already had a lens that would go to a respectable 210mm and it had a rather nice macro function. I also know the lens is almost mint condition too as my dad kept the original box, lens caps and pouch. It also had the instruction booklet. So to cut a long story short and for a minimal spend of £6.99 and a slither of sticky tape (to trick the sensor), I found an adapter which means I can use the Telephoto. Obviously I have to do aperture, ISO and focus manually as the lens doesn’t have any auto compatible functions. But in the end its well worth it.

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Test Shot – Mushroom in the Garden

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Test Shot – Up close from far away

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Test Shot – Macro Test

This is a Video Test with no post correction. With this, I wrap this entry up. Until Next Time.