Ian F. Hunt

Cinematographer and Filmmaker

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Portfolio and Showreel

Portfolio and Showreel

Portfolio and Showreel

I’ve been researching showreels on YouTube and in Google search results. The conclusion I have come to is that like a CV you really need to put together a selection of showreels to showcase your skills and target a specific role or company – very much like a CV and covering letter.

Showreel Guidelines (Obtained from a variety of online sources)

  1. showreel-clapper

    Make the first 10 seconds of the showreel count – unlike other films don’t build up to a climax you need to make an impact in the opening of the showreel.

  2. Keep it short under 2 minutes
  3. Only show your best work
  4. Don’t put your contact details in the credits – put these on the DVD sleeve (Not sure why but this is what my research recommends)
  5. A showreel should include supporting work – Personal Statement, links to websites, storyboard sketches, it’s best to put this all on the disk as documents can  get separated/lost at the receiving end.
  6. Think about presentation (eye catching)

The showreel I edited together (above) is to showcase my camera work if I was targetting a photography role then I would put forward a showreel of my photographs most probably in a slideshow.

Showreels online Information sources

  • My Portfolio website can be found at click here
  • Computer Arts – Showreels a Dummys Guide click here

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Short Form Video – Project Conclusion

Short Form Video

Students Short Form Video Project.

Our 2 minute edit:-


Personal 2 Minute Edit


I chose Black & White for my edit mainly for personal preferences – I like the look, but this also solves some of the problems encountered with varying lighting conditions. For example the first days filming was on a bright sunny day and the second days filming was sunny with clouds. We could have graded the film in post production but the plugins for Adobes Premiere were not available at the time.

Short Form Video – How did we get to this point?


Firstly it involved considerably more work than initially anticipated, particularly in the pre-production stages, that is planning and organisational stages of the production that are vital to any film project and should be completed before any filming begins.

Homeless Person Cycle - Wordly Goods

Homeless Persons Cycle – Worldly Goods

The first task as was to generate an overall concept for the group video,  unfortunately our individual ideas were discarded for a variety of reasons and so the group eventually came up with a group concept with the idea of videoing a day in the life of a Homeless Person.

Tony Chance our visiting Lecturer for this unit introduced us to the concept of using a mood wall, which helped us to not only come up with this idea but also initiated the thought processes that the film would work well as a dream sequence. For example we could show the Homeless Person remembering his best day while sleeping on a park bench. In the Homeless Person Best Day we would attempt to show in the video a lucky day for a Homeless Person.

Conceptually a Homeless Person idea of what is a good day for them should differ from what other people would consider to be good day. So we made sure that these good things were appropriate to the character, for example we looked at and discarded the idea of the Homeless Person winning the Lottery as this seemed unlikely and too obvious.

A list of Good things:-

  • Finding a packet of cigarettes
  • A better coat
  • Sharing a drink with his Homeless Person friends (Dropped from the final video – cast reasons)
  • Finding and enjoying a cup of coffee while reading a newspaper
  • A quiet moment feeding the birds
  • Finding a pair of glasses and enjoying a joke watching TV in a shop window
  • Enjoying a sit on the beach watching the Sun go down (Dropped as the final sequence had to fit in with a cycles wheel)

Preparation and job assignments


Unfortunately for this short form video I seemed destined from day one to be cast in the role of the Homeless Person, while initially I was hoping to be the Producer.

Michael was always going to be and was the Director and was also cast as the man on the bench drinking coffee, Alexsandra wanted to be the Assistant Director/Producer, Lee was Camera, Editor and appeared as the man on telephone, with finally Euan also on Camera and who also appeared in the film as the bucket carrier. For student filmmakers and micro or zero budget filmmakers everyone doubled or even trebled up on job roles and/or appearing in the film as main character or in lesser roles in the film.

As the short form video production commenced it seemed as if everyone (no surprise for student filmmakers) wanted to be the Director including myself and so during videoing everyone had an idea of how each scene should be set and shot. Although at times this could be very confusing it was also very creative with many of our best ideas coming from these creative discussions.

Preparation for this short form video was the key for the success of this project, for example we needed to make me look like a Homeless Person and so I sourced costume which was made even more appropriate thanks to Lee efforts with Brown Sauce, Flour and Tea/Coffee stains. Michael organised a make-up artist to do my Homeless Person make-up (Thanks to Mark). Alexsandra produced the broken glasses for the shop scene. We sourced the loan of a cycle from a fellow student thanks to Georgie and this was dressed with a variety of old cans, bottles bags of old clothes all tied onto the bike with string.

We were fortunate in that our shot lists would mainly be be in the same order as our Storyboards which negated the need to film out of sequence.

With the filming locations already identified (See previous Blog entries) we set dates for filming and arranged for the booking of the equipment we needed for the 2 days of Filming.

Filming – Day One


My first task of the day was to have the Homeless Person make-up applied.

Homeless Person on a Bench

Homeless Person on a Bench

We then loaded the cars with all the filming equipment, costume and props and then set off to our arranged meeting point in Bournemouth’s town centre car park. Euan would meet us there as he was riding the cycle we would be using in the filming as there was no room in the cars for it and all the equipment.

I got changed into costume and then the group set off to the first location which provided  our first problem of the day as it was unavailable to us. (See previous blog entries for details).

If I had to summarise Day Ones filming it would have to be a day of difficulties. We did achieve everything we had planned but obstacles had to be overcome, scenes needed modification to suit conditions and of course we couldn’t control every aspect particularly those involving members of the public and so we had to work around these as best we could. We also discovered that the camera had a fault and that we would have to switch from filming on Tape to using the digital backs. But on a very positive note when I got home that evening and captured the footage onto my PC I saw that we had some really excellent footage and we as a team had a much better understanding on how we as a Group worked together and what our individual strengths were.

Apart from one incident where I chased the Director up the road (He got away from me) as a Team we worked well together.

Day Two


Disney's Lady & the Tramp

Disney’s Lady & the Tramp

With a pre-arranged meeting point day two should have got off to an early start but we were delayed slightly by some team members arriving late and the need for another make-up session. But we soon got filming under-way and it seemed to go more smoothly than the previous days shooting mainly because we had a better understanding of how we all worked together and the alternative locations were already in place.

In summarising Day Two I’d say it went much more smoothly, everyone had a role they were comfortable with and the filming went much more to plan. At the end of the day we returned to University and dropped of the equipment with the feeling of a job well done.

Editing


I’ve completed a number of edits now (See previous Blogs), several that included the Green Screen footage which we decided to drop from the final video. A four screen montage with different start points so that all the main scenes in the film could be shown in their entirety but still stay within the 2 minute constraint. But in the end the edit that works best for me is the version above, particularly in conjunction with the music I’ve chosen.

We shot some extra footage for cutaways ie. The bird and daffodil sequences, utilising these in the edit to assist in moving from the end of one scene to the next. My idea and the most important additional footage for me was the final sequence of the £20 note caught in the spokes of the wheel as this solved the problem of ending the film on a shot of the bikes wheel. All our other ideas for this ending involved the bike falling over, the Homeless Person dying and his hand dropping in front of the wheel etc. none of which appealed or indeed made sense.

The editing process was completed using Premier Pro CS5. I used no effects or dissolves just straight cuts although I did scale a clip or 2 to fill the frame and vary the shot as after the shoot I realised most of our sequences were similar mid shots, although as planned and storyboarded but in retrospect we could have filmed more close ups.

Effects


Homeless Person with his Dog

Homeless Person with his Dog

I’ve downloaded a number of effects plug-ins which I intended to use in particular to (Red Giant – Mojo) colourise the video and make it more film like but I have not used these as of yet as they add a red cross across the final video as they are trial versions. I understand these effects are available to us in the editing suite and so I will look again at this in future projects.

Preparation

Extracted from out Teams Facebook Group where the Team swapped ideas notes, and organised Filming locations etc.

Please see lists below, without these item we CANNOT film. Therefore, please put your name next to items you have sourced & intend to supply. If there is anything I have missed please add it to the relevant list ASAP!

Prop List


  • Bicycle – IAN ( Georgie’s bike)
  • “Old” Homeless Person Clothes – IAN
  • Cardboard Boxes (flat)
  • Bags of junk (cans,paper etc) Euan (at Uni)
  • Packet of cigarettes – LEE
  • Lighter – LEE
  • Bucket – LEE
  • Sponge – LEE
  • Scarf (to dry himself) + Towel – IAN
  • “New” Coat – IAN
  • Packet of Crisps -Euan
  • Newspaper – LEE
  • Paper Cup (for coffee) – IAN
  • Watch/Mobile Phone (for time) – LEE
  • Broken Glasses – IAN
  • “Lady and the Tramp” DVD – LEE

Accessories / Sundries list


  • Camera – IAN
  • Tripod – IAN
  • DV Tapes – LEE & IAN
  • Make-up – MIKE
  • Make-up artist – MIKE
  • String
  • Change for Parking Meter – WE ALL NEED TO CONTRIBUTE THIS!!! (This didn’t happen me and Lee paid for parking)
  • Mouth Wash – IAN
  • Towel – IAN
  • Wet Wipes – IAN
  • Flip Camera (for “making-of”) – IAN

Original Cast Job Allocation List and Script


  • Michael Moore – Director & Co Editor
  • Alexsandra Leontjeva – 1st Assistant Director
  • Lee Tucker – Camera & Editor
  • Euan McQuisten – Camera & Cast?
  • Ian Hunt – Cast, Producer & Lighting

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Script so far (not finalised – add your ideas) [no zombies Euan]


Scene one

The Homeless

The Homeless

Opening shot of the Bus Stop in close up to tie in with Group 1’s final shot.

Zoom out and track to show the Bench as the :-

Homeless Person (Coughing) pushing bike enters scene from the left and parks bike alongside the Bench.

Homeless Person sits down and immediately falls asleep. Head resting on right hand.

Scene two

Dream sequence begins with a passer bye giving the Homeless Person a cup of coffee.

The Homeless Person pushing his bike finds some money which he uses to buy something to eat/drink from a street vendor.

He carries on and finds a or is given a better coat.

The birds start to sing

The Homeless Person finds a good spot on the beach sits down and warms himself in the sun and falls asleep.

As the Homeless Person eyes close his arm drops.

Scene three

Cut from dream sequence back to reality

The Homeless Person arm drops exactly in the same way as it did in the beach sequence.

A passer bye drops a coin into the Homeless Person lap

Tracking shot of the passer bye ending on the bikes wheel – zoom in to a close up of the bikes wheel.

Shot Lists


Main Shot List (1)

  1. Bus Stop (close up)
  2. Homeless Person wheels bike past bus stop (wide shot)
  3. Man standing at top of the stairs throws cigarette packet (wide shot)
  4. Cigarette packet drops in front of Homeless Person and wakes him up (mid shot)
  5. Homeless Person opens cigarette packet (close up)
  6. Homeless Person removes a cigarette and lights it  – change angle (close up)
  7. Homeless Person stands and takes puff on the cigarette (mid shot)
  8. Man carries bucket to the front of the car (wide shot)
  9. Homeless Person takes sponge from bucket and begins to wash (mid shot)
  10. Homeless Person wheels bike towards rubbish bins (wide shot)
  11. Homeless Person opens bin (mid shot)
  12. From inside bin Tramp opens bin (close up)
  13. Homeless Person removes bag from bin (wide shot)
  14. Homeless Person picks up crisp packet (close up)
  15. Homeless Person changes coat (mid shot)
  16. Man reading paper on bench (wide shot)
  17. Wrist watch (close up)
  18. Paper and coffee cup on bench (close up)
  19. Homeless Person approaches bench and sits down (wide shot)
  20. Homeless Person drinks coffee (wide shot)
  21. Homeless Person picks up paper (close up)
  22. Homeless Person wheels bike towards aviary and sits down (wide shot)
  23. Homeless Person feeding birds – change angle (mid shot)
  24. Homeless Person wheels bike to shop window (wide shot)
  25. Homeless Person picks up spectacles (close up)
  26. Homeless Person puts on glasses (mid shot)
  27. Homeless Person viewed through window (mid shot)
  28. TV picture showing Lady & the Tramp (close up)
  29. Homeless Person walks away from shop window (mid shot)

Extras and new ending – shot list (2)


  1. Rear view as Homeless Person walks towards Bus Stop (mid shot)
  2. Crisp packet drops to ground and picked up (close up)
  3. Flowers blowing in the wind (close up)
  4. £20 note stuck in bikes wheel spokes (close up)
  5. Homeless Person pulls £20 note from the wheels spokes (close up)

Cutaways additional shots etc. – shot list (3)


  1. Birds in the aviary (mid and close ups)
  2. Pavilion and fountain areas (mid and close ups)
  3. Bournemouth Lower Gardens – Plants and waterways (mids and close ups)

Storyboards


My own storyboards were as you can see basic but thanks to Lee and his Storyboards which we used to work from during the shoot. Of course these storyboards also changed as the filming progressed and ideas for new scenes developed, but we did as a group stay true to these as much as possible.

My Attempt at the Storyboards

My Attempt at the Storyboards

Final Thoughts


I really was not expecting everything to go smoothly on a Team Project I have far too much experience working on Projects to know that things can and will go wrong. A good team is one which can overcome these problems and put the time and effort into completing the project, also most importantly doing a good job, I can honestly say that we had such a team working on this project.

Each member of the group pitched their ideas to the other members of the group and to the Short Form Video Unit visiting Lecturer, Tony Chance. Although we all had good ideas as a group we were unable to pick one from the five pitched to take forward as the Short Form Video project. Therefore the final project was not from one persons idea but developed from a number of production meetings and of course became a compromise of all our ideas, which by definition rarely satisfies anyone but once decided upon the Team worked together to bring this project to fruition. Of course the original projects concept changed as the filming progressed and even when we thought we had completed we still decided to film more footage and in fact completely changed the final scene, which I personally thinks works really well.

I do also personally think that the 2 minute limit does not sit well with this film, which I feel needs a more relaxed pace, but on the whole I am very happy with the final result. One caveat though, I think the final film would be much improved by removing the majority of the sound effects with the one exception of the bird song, but again this is a personal opinion.

We had a lot of fun making this film and I think this comes down in some respects to the amount of pre production planning and the filming schedule we had in place. We had allotted sufficient time to film, which also allowed for problems to be identified and re-solved. This also gave us time for re-shoots, for exploring alternative edits and ideas.

Word count 2717

5 Minute Edit


[youtube.com/watch?v=0CX2AoHiWWk]

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Short Form Video – Web Landing Page

From a photograph taken with my Canon EOS 60D I used Photoshop and it’s HDR effect plugin to create the image. To this I added a mix of 2 Grunge type backgrounds and some text to create a background for a Web Landing Page.

In my next post I’ll describe how to create the HTML page and then embed the YouTube video so that the Video can be played on the Film Trailer styled page rather than just providing a link to the video on YouTube.

Tramp Film - Trailer and Web Landing Page mockup

Tramp Film – Trailer and Web Landing Page mockup

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Short Form Video – Student Filmmakers the Montage Edit Green Screen

Wednesday 16th March 2011

Tramps Best Day – 2nd Edit

Following Tuesdays filming of the Tramp character sitting on the bench dozing against a Blue Screen (instead of the usual green screen) thoughts turned to how we as a group of student filmmakers were going to edit the 5 minute film sequence down to a sequence just 2 minutes long.

I wondered if it could be possible to include the entire 5 minute sequence by using split screen and dividing the footage up. By giving each partition a different start time in this way we could include the green screen, that is the green screen footage as well as the all the live footage and keep the sequence to be just 2 minutes long but all of the scenes would be on screen.

The only way to test this would be to do an edit and see how it would look. The result is below and to be honest I do not think it works but let me know what you think.
[youtube.com/watch?v=bMv-FPqH2p8]

Tramps Best Day – Test Edit 2

Tramps best Day – 3rd edit

This is my latest edit of the Tramp footage this time I’ve set myself the target of a total duration of 2 minutes and the sequence must start with an image of the Bus Stop and must end with a close up of a bikes wheel and include the green screen footage even though we were to discard this in the final edit.

Due to the benefit of having already captured my footage and previous editing attempts it was relatively simple to identify what to include and exclude from the video. In the end I removed the Aviary scene and most of the footage showing the Tramps character pushing the bike from scene to scene. By doing this I had achieved an edit of 1 minute 50 seconds which meant I could go back and look at some of the clips and see if if by adding some footage back would improve the overall composition or assist in the narrative.

Although the final video fits the brief I have to conclude that I prefer the split screen or montage of the 2nd edit.
[youtube.com/watch?v=nj8RgBmlQHc]

Tramps Best Day – 2 minute edit

My suggestion for the final sequence.

I think it would improve the final result if we considered the following:-

  1. Drop the Green Screen sequence of the Tramp day dreaming on the bench – it just does not add anything to the video.
  2. Use the Montage/Split Screen design but with a couple of changes:-
  3. First change start the video with a full screen image of the Bus Stop and then scale this down and push it into the top left region of the screen.
  4. 2nd change End the video with a full screen image of the bikes wheel by scaling up the image from the bottom right region of the screen.
  5. So the top left image runs from the start for 2 minutes and say the bottom right starts 2 minutes from the end.
  6. The other 2 regions on the screen should start from a different scene.
  7. Overall the whole footage should be shown somewhere be it in region 1,2,3 or 4.
  8. Use the soundtrack from the Montage edit – it works really well.
[youtube.com/watch?v=h8USgQIDO0g]
4 Screen Montage with Bus Stop and Wheel ending added

What do I think? well it works but it needs some finishing touches for example the scaling of the Bus Stop opening needs to be speeded up. The actual screen divides are too regular and would be improved my making none of the videos the same size. The final sequence of the cycle wheel needs to be re-shot as a new sequence with the final image showing the wheel completely and directly facing the camera full framed.

Of course these are my thoughts and the final edit will come down to what the group decides and of course the director should have the final say. Although in the real world it’s usually the Producers decision usually after test screenings in front of an invited audience.

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Short Form Video – 1st Video Editing, Rushes The Dailies

Video Editing

Tramps Best Day – 1st rough edit

[youtube.com/watch?v=ER8lvkYyIjk]

After an initial false start when one of our locations was unavailable to us on the day of filming our group worked hard to identify a substitute location in order for filming to commence. Fortunately we found one relatively close by and so filming could beging. Cast as the Tramp I was certainly not short of advice, instruction and direction as we filmed each scene in turn.

We worked from Lee’s storyboards which we tried to reproduce as closely as possible. After two days and surprisingly hard work we completed the planned  filming.

Video Editing

As custodian of the footage on Flash Drive, I set about producing a rough 1st video edit. I used Adobe Premier Pro CS5 for editing the video sequences together, I then added a copyright free soundtrack and uploaded the video to YouTube for the Group to view and disseminate. Each member of the team could then make suggestions for improvement and to ready the video for additional editing and to reduce the video run time down to the required 2 minutes.

After viewing the 1st edit we realised that we would need to go out and film some extra footage mainly closeups and cutaways.

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Short Form Video – Green Screen, scale/perspective and locations

Saturday 26th February 2011
[youtube.com/watch?v=iO2_NCajOe8]

Tramp Short Form Video

Scale and Perspective

Using the green screen video footage shot on Wednesday and additional video footage which I shot using my Canon EOS 60D DSLR. I began experimenting with positions, the scale and perspectives for the live footage and the video footage which would form part of the dream sequence.

Group discussions in conjunction with a meeting with Tony the idea was put forward to make the video image behind the live footage of the Tramp on the bench to be oversize, dominating the screen.

I thought it would be a good idea to see how this would look so I set up my camera at home and wearing the revised costume I acted through the drinking idea we’d had.

We’ve yet to decide on the final look of the dream footage whether it’s going to be in colour, black and white or other effects but for this test I just used ‘Threshold’ (Premiere Pro) to separate the live footage from the dream.

I’m quite pleased with the overall look of the footage but I am now thinking that it will be hard to show all the ideas that we have had for the dream sequence in just 2 minutes and I’m thinking we should just show one or two ideas and do these very well rather than do four or more but do them badly.

Also I think we should given the opportunity shoot more footage than is required say an additional 4 or more minutes so that we have enough for a short film of 6 minutes duration and cherry pick from this footage for the 2 minute version required for the overall project.

Storyboard

I storyboarded the short dream sequence but as you can see in the final edit, changes were made to the scale and position of the background images

Locations

A useful tool for rapidly identifying locations for filming is Google’s Street View. This allows you to view locations across the whole of the UK and indeed the World although as the name suggests only if there is a street and one which Google’s camera car has filmed.

I used it to view a number of locations in the Charminster area which will need to be followed up by an actual visit but they appear to be good possibilities for filming the Tramps dream sequence.

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Short Form Video – Actor Makeup

Actor Makeup


24th February 2011

The Reluctant Actor Makeup

Following on from Tuesdays Blue Screen tests the Group re-set on Wednesday for a full screen test and for this I had to get made up into my Tramps character.

This involved a session in make-up (Thanks to Mark) something I’ve not done before and probably do not want to do again (Please I don’t want to be an actor).

I used my Flip Ultra camera to film the make-up process which I then sped up and edited in Premiere Pro CS5.

[youtube.com/watch?v=6jKxxnQ3xGE]

Tramp & Homeless People Research

With cast and crew roles now set we the group know that I’m to play the Tramp. In anticipation of this I thought I’d better do some more research on characterisation by looking on YouTube for videos of Tramps and the Homeless, unfortunately it’s not a widely covered subject under that title but I did source some examples.

I also (thanks to Euan) watched a film called the ROAD for ideas. Apart from the look of the main character I didn’t really get much inspiration from this movie.
[youtube.com/watch?v=hbLgszfXTAY#]

The Road Movie Trailer

I then came across more examples using Homeless as my search keyword and in particular this one caught my eye because it’s just so interesting.
[youtube.com/watch?v=jaGLDKBE8Ho]

Images of Homeless people and cycles

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Short Form Video – The Pitch Tilt Shift

Thursday 27th January 2011

The Commuter

This is going to be a Short Form Video shot in a Documentary Style inspired by Koyaanisqatsi .
[youtube.com/watch?v=fY4L5npPdao]

Koyaanisqatsi

I’m going to be using Tilt Shift effects to add an additional perspective to the video. Where it would be used to film groups of people; cars, trains and bicycles in the daily commute. The addition of tilt shift effect adds an element of fun to the video. The scenes of the video will take on a model like appearance, the people will seem like ants scurrying around an unreal environment bright with colour.

I’ve picked the daily commute as the theme primarily because this is the most active part of the day, the time where most people cars and trains are in motion which is needed for the tilt shift effect to be most effective.
[youtube.com/watch?v=SoIjK6-3Img]

Time Lapse

The sequence will start ideally with a Huge Faked Sunrise to set in the audience minds that it is the early part of the day, we then cut to  people waiting at a Bus Stop using Time Lapse.

  1. and as the Bus Pulls up we cut to a Tilt Shift of lines of cars headlights as they stream into Bournemouth.
  2. The next scene is another Tilt Shift view of the trains coming into the station.
  3. This is followed by a Tilt Shift scene looking down onto the Square in Bournemouth watching the people scurry around the shops.
  4. The penultimate shot will be a Tilt Shift of a line of cars tail lights as they leave Bournemouth (Shot at the same time as the morning shoot).
  5. Finally we have the scene of a commuter on a Bike with a Huge Faked Sun setting with a final close up of the rear bikes spinning wheel.

I would also like to shoot the video using a variety cameras, for example a Digital SLR, GoPro, Flip and of course Sony Z5. The GoPro might give the best result because of its wide angle lens and the HD cameras would give the best quality images for the start and end sequences which are not to be Tilt Shift. But the DSLR might work the best as this has a time lapse function which would be ideal for these sequences and they would also have the benefit of being in HD as well.

I’m still considering whether apart from a music soundtrack whether a voice over would be appropriate as well as any other soundtracks for example one of the videos above starts with an extract from a Radio Traffic Report which I think really sets the scene by establishing the time of day and that it’s the morning commute. It might be a good idea to do something similar and also at the end of the video add the evening traffic report again setting the time of day into the audiences mind that a day has passed. NB: Not 24hrs but a working day say 7:00am to 6:00pm.

Storyboard – Photographs

Ice Cream Boat - Poole Harbour

Ice Cream Boat - Poole Harbour

Customs Boat - Vancouver Sound

Customs Boat - Vancouver Sound

Street - Las Vegas

Street - Las Vegas

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Short Form Video – Idea Development (Part 2) Tilt Shift

Tilt Shift, Time Lapse idea development.
Thursday 20th January 2010

Tilt Shift Video

Tilt Shift and Time Lapse video has become front runner for my idea for the Groups Short Form Video. I’ve looked again at the assignment brief and its parameter’s and how this will effect the work of our Group 2. I now realise that my first idea of the small drama titled ‘Gangland’ could be made to work but its potential could be wasted firstly by the limitation of duration of just 2 minutes and the loss of creative control by having its beginning and end scenes pre-determined.

For these reasons I have decided to consider alternatives and one in particular which is very much a personal interest would be the filming of a sequence using the Tilt shift method. Having seen some examples of these in lectures at the end of 2010 I have become fascinated by this photographic/video effect and would welcome any opportunity to produce my own version.

Definition

“Tilt-shift photography” refers to the use of camera movements on small- and medium-format cameras, and sometimes specifically refers to the use of tilt for selective focus, often for simulating a miniature scene. “Source: WEB Definitions”

Ok that’s not that helpful it’s probably best to look at an example and then describe what’s happening.
[youtube.com/watch?v=HyZfIlxwsfI]

Tilt Shift example 1

This is a great example and ties in well with the brief title ‘a week in the life of’.

How does it work? well starting with videoing from a high vantage point seems to be the way to go  in this way your subjects are already in miniature. Next you need to decide in which area of the scene you are going to focus on and then in post you mask this and then blur the rest. In photography this seems to have the same effect as changing the focal length of the camera. There are special lenses produced to give this effect and they seem to work by moving the lens away from the sensor (Digital SLR) and they also give some lateral/tilt movement hence the term Tilt Shift you are literally tilting the lens.

I’ve seen an example of a home modified camera/lens setup where the camera lens has been moved a small distance away from the camera body by using a black flexible pipe. Changing both the the focal length and giving some flexibility to the camera body/lens angle.

Anyway back to the point in post we can simulate this effect by blurring the image outside our area of interest which is safely masked. Then to add to the Toy like effect you ramp up the saturation to give a very unnatural colour to your subjects (Primary Colours) and then up the speed of the video sequence making the subjects move across your screen at a rapid rate.

The big idea ‘A day in the life of Bournemouth’ Tuesday ‘Bus Stop to Bike Wheel’

My idea is to start our 2 minute sequence with a close up of a Bus Stop in Bournemouth’s Triangle and rapidly zoom out manually blurring the entire scene seemingly in one movement refocusing the scene from the  high vantage point from where we would be filming from. This would be ideally from the roof of one of the buildings overlooking the Triangle. The best day I’d suspect would be a Saturday just so that we maximise on foot traffic.

We’d have to experiment to see how much footage we would need to give the desired effect but I’d say we’d need an hours filming for each minute on the screen. My idea would most probably be more effective if we then moved to 2 more vantage points to vary the scene avoiding the audience losing interest.

My first thoughts would be filming the beach from the top of the BIC or the now defunct Imax building or Pavilion and then onto a 3rd location overlooking the Wessex Way during commuting time and maybe include the trains coming in and out of the station. In fact there are so many interesting locations to film that we would almost certainly have more footage than we would need.

The final sequence would be zooming down to a cyclist again seemingly in one movement to an extreme close up of a bicycle wheel.

What’s Next?

Assuming my pitch is successful and the rest of the Group are on board with the idea then we will need permission to film from one of the possible location sin the Triangle. A site survey would be needed to work out the best location but my immediate thoughts are Debenhams in the Tirangle, The BIC and ASDA’s or a Bridge across the Wessex Way. I think there maybe a Bournemouth University building overloooking the Wesex Way which maybe a possibility.

Equipment

We’d have to try what is available to us to see what works, that is the Sony Z5 and it’s Zoom but if possible I think an SLR with a good quality Manual Zoom lens would be the best choice for this application – can we get access to one of these?

By

Short Form Video – 3 Point Lighting Techniques & Stop Frame Animation

3 Point Lighting Techniques – Tuesday 18th January 2011

3 Point Lighting Techniques

3 Point Lighting set-up

3 Point Lighting set-up

We began today’s lecture with a quick look at 3 Point Lighting Techniques a set-up familiar to everyone who has done some filming using artificial/continuous lighting.

The basic set-up consists of 3 light sources:-

  • 1 positioned behind the subject being filmed and facing towards the camera – known as the the back light.
  • The 2nd light is set-up to the left of the camera and side on to the subjects right hand side and is termed a fill light.
  • Finally the Keylight which is positioned level or just behind the camera and on it’s right side, directed towards the front of the subject.

The lights should ideally be positioned wherever possible, directing the light down and towards the subject at a 45 degree angle.

Space may dictate changes to this ideal set-up regarding the exact positioning and in some cases more light sources would be required to eliminate shadows for example a 4th light on the right side as a second fill light.

Short Form Video – The Light bulb (a Stop Frame Animation)

Our team – Group 2 was tasked to produce a film using a light bulb as the subject and employing the 3 Point Lighting Techniques set-up introduced in the morning session.

The group decided that the best way forward was to produce a stop frame animation. An important part of the animation would be the filming of the bulbs filament lighting/flashing on and off. Filming was delayed due to the lack of a suitable means of delivering power to the bulb but fortunately an angle poise lamp was secured and so filming could then go ahead.

We decided to film the bulb and angle poise lamp against a black background in the hope that the clear bulb would be more visible. We then set-up the lighting using 3 Point Lighting Techniques and it was at this point that we found that by using all 3 lights overwhelmed the subject and space in effect overexposing the video. Through testing we ended up using just one light. This was reflected off the surface of the table and against the background which helped to further diffuse the light source, reducing the overall intensity (No controller was available) and correctly exposing the subject.

Our video sequence was then edited in Premiere Pro CS5 where a suitable music soundtrack was added and the completed video was then uploaded to YouTube. The whole operation from concept to finished video took less than a few hours which I thought was impressive considering how long previous Stop Frame Animations in the past had taken to produce.

The final video owes a lot to Pixars Luxo Jr. and to the style of current Apple iPod marketing, advertising. (no copyright infringement intended)
[youtube.com/watch?v=5AtoKD9m1Xk]

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