Archive for the 'video' Category

20
Mar
10

Utah. Epic.

I recently came back from a 1 week trip to Utah. It was everything you can ask for in a snowboarding trip. The grins on our faces coming out of powder stashes got larger and wider as each day went by. Park City. Snowbasin. Powder Mountain. Snowbird. Solitude. Thank you snow gods for letting me end the season the way it should be.

The annoyance of carrying around a backpack with lenses, batteries and memory cards soon became forgotten as the amazing conditions and picture perfect scenery turned into endless opportunities to capture footage. I shot over 500 clips and have been busy making notes, editing, sound mixing and everything else. An epic trip deserves an epic video.

16
Dec
09

First Edit of the 2010 season

This past weekend was our first snowboarding trip of the year. It’s been a very late start to the season due to the erratic weather. It’s nice to get out on the mountain and it feels really good to finally get behind the camera after months of waiting.  I had a bunch of shots in mind that I wanted to try and get. Of course, my ideas on paper looked drastically different through a lens. Regardless, I think I came pretty close in what I wanted to achieve with a few surprises and luck thrown in between. It’s essential to tell the story through each frame and I really wanted to capture the excitement of snowboarding as it is to myself and my friends. Everything from waiting in the chairlift line to strapping into your bindings represents what the sport means to us. Nothing else makes you feel as free and detaches you from the “real world”.

I really wasn’t sure what kind of results I would get so I used this weekend to experiment.  There’s been numerous complaints about the weak codec but everything seemed to hold up fine for me, probably due to the fact that I shot entirely in 720 to avoid the dreaded ‘MUD’ that I’ve read on countless forums. I should really aim to shoot with a lower shutter but with the snow and bright sun, it was a bit unavoidable, even with an ND9. I don’t get as much grading flexibility in post either and it’s tough to get the fine detail in the shadows and highlights. Either that’s a technical limitation or I need to work harder in properly exposing my scenes. Also, my $50 “steadicam” isn’t very steady so a lot of footage looks like I’m shooting during an earthquake. Slowing it down in post helps but a lot of my footage I found unusable. Oh well.

After finishing my final edit and watching it countless times, I can say I’m pleased. Does the quality compare to that of a full sensor? Definitely not. Does it look like film? Perhaps. Does the camera perform exactly how I expected in those conditions? Absolutely and it actually exceeded my expectations. I purchased this camera for its size and versatility, knowing I’d have to carry it around while snowboarding. I’d much rather have that flexibility than compromise size and a few other luxuries like a more robust codec.

Screengrabs below. View the final edit here on vimeo.

07
Oct
09

Times Square with my Gh1

Shot some footage over the weekend in Times Square. Lot’s more “movies” to come, especially with snowboarding around the corner. 🙂

View on vimeo

gh1-test

02
Oct
09

Reel Critique by GSG!

Nick Campbell who is a motion designer at Digital Kitchen Chicago has a wonderful blog which has become a weekly bookmarked visit for me. I spoke once before about his 5 second projects and how it’s a great way to play with an open brief to experiment and learn. His new thing is reel critiques. Basically you can send him a link to your reel and he’ll do a real time critique of it. I was 1 of the 3 reels chosen for his 2nd episode. He had some nice words to say about my reel which is very encouraging and offered some insight into how I could improve it. Thanks Nick! And thanks to everyone else who’s left comments, emails, advice and everything else.

Watch the critique here.

gsg-critique

22
Sep
09

New Toy…Panasonic Gh1

Trying to get my GH1 was impossible. Every store had it on pre-order and Panasonic decided not to roll them out until mid September. I patiently waited 3 weeks and thankfully, Crutchfield kept on their promise to send me one when they got the next shipment. I’ve read just about every forum on dvxuser and listened to all of Philip Bloom’s comments and it just made sense for me to get this now.  The compact size is what really did it for me as I can’t imagine lugging anything bigger on snowboarding trips. Also, I’m not too concerned with “MUD” as I’ll be shooting primarily at 720/60.

I’ve already purchased the Fader ND and 4/3 adapter from ebay so I’ll be up and ready come snowboarding season. Just a couple more accessories and I’ll be fully prepared for a nasty follow up to my Whistler documentary.

panasonic-dmc-gh1-2-480x319

gh1-test-shot

02
Sep
09

New site update

I’m a bit late to post this but a couple weeks ago, I decided to change my portfolio website: thewiimix.com. I grew a bit tired of it’s layout and presentation. Although my flash site was created in such a way that following simple XML and SWF naming conventions would change the contents of the site, I wanted to go down an even more efficient route. I’ve always been a fan of cargo collective and indexhibit and decided to give the latter I try. I love the simplicity and the power of the CMS and it’s actually quite refreshing to go back to an HTML/CSS website. I have some new work to post soon as well as a new reel so keep your eyes out for that.

In other big news, I’m upgrading my HD camera. Although I seriously considered the 5D Mark II and the much-anticipated 7D, I fell in love with the Lumix GH1. DSLR cinematography is the new big thing – didn’t you know? 🙂 Although Panasonic has been slow to release it, I should be getting mine in 2 weeks. I’ve already jotted down numerous ideas for short movies and what I’ll do for next year’s snowboarding documentary. Going to take my amateur shoots to a whole new level. Can’t wait!

thewiimix-website

30
Jun
09

3D Compositing Test

Some test animation and compositing practice from some footage I took outside my apartment. Started off tracking in PFTrack but eventually just used 2D tracker in AE since there’s no real rotation/perspective change. Will take this and try and do something more elaborate.

View animation here.

mm01

mm02