Showreel

This is my latest showreel. I wanted to create a showreel that was short and snappy and full of all my latest projects.

I think that this showreel is a higher standard compared to the showreel prior to this one

Advertisements

Panasonic GH4

The successor to the GH3, I think this innovative micro four thirds camera is going to be something that we will see a lot more of in the near future.
Panasonic-GH4-Will-Sell-for-1-499-2-000-in-Europe-425168-2

There is no doubt at all  that when the Panasonic GH4 was announced it turned heads of independent filmmakers. The camera shoots 4k internally to SD cards at 100 or 200 mbps offering 4 times the resolution of pretty much all DSLRs at the moment excluding the canon 1dc which is super expensive. I think the guarantee of a camera that shoots 4k and that is going to be relatively cheap was pretty much always there as the GH line has always been a favourite for low budget independent filmmakers. Im not going to go deep in to the specs but if you are interested in a detailed layout of the specs you can read that here. For only £1300 this camera packs a massive punch. No other camera in this price range is in the same league as this camera, in terms of features, this camera has so many professional features that others don’t.

Below is a video that tests the GH4 against the very popular Canon 5d mk3 shooting RAW and the upwards of £20,000 camera the RED EPIC

I think the results speak for themselves. The fact that a £1300 camera can be compared to a professional production camera and perform at near quality is amazing.
I am excited for what this means for the low budget filmmaker and what will come next.

Below is a very nice looking test of what the GH4 can offer!

Lens Whacking

I recently came across a filmmaker called James Miller on Vimeo.com. I really enjoyed the stylistic nature of his films. Using a technique called “Lens Whacking” he achieves really nice looking light leeks and lens flares which give the film a really nice dreamy look.

Here is an example of what lens whacking looks like:

I started to read blogs about the lens whacking technique. Phillip Bloom, who is an English filmmaker and who has always been an inspiration to me and a super helpful source for all things filmmaking had a post on his website which explains how this look is achieved which you can read here.

Basically the way it is achieved is by detaching your lens from the camera and holding it with your hand instead. You can control the amount of light that leaks in by moving it closer or further away from the sensor. You can also control the focus by doing this. You can essentially turn your lens in to a macro lens also by doing this.

After reading how to do this technique I decided to give is a go.

lenwack 2 lens whack 1

Below is the result of my test:

I really enjoyed doing this test. I really like how unpredictable the result can be. By experimentation you can get some really nice and interesting results. As it was my first try the result is by no means perfect but I guess its not supposed to be! I personally like the result. I was limited to what lenses I could use. I ended up using a 50mm 1.4 canon lens which is not advised on Phillips post but it is all i had to work with.

I will be using this technique a lot more and plan on using it on a music video I am shooting in June.

I’ll leave you with a nice lens whacking film!

Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera

Recently I have been doing a lot of research in to cameras as I plan on buying a new camera before I venture to London for two years in September.

I have researched in to all the regularly used DSLRs such as the Canon 6D, 7D, 5D Mkiii and 70D and also the Panasonic GH2, GH3 and upcoming GH4.

The camera the stands out far from the crowd for me is the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera.

black-magic-pocket-camera-xl

The image the Black Magic produces from camera is that of a professional digital cinema camera. Although it is a tiny camera and is similar looking to that of a cheap point and shoot consumer camera. The camera is definitely not for general use.
The camera shoots in ProRes HQ which is a really nice codec in terms of image quality and lack of compression. It also allows for any post production work to be smoother as ProRes is designed for post. The camera also shoots in RAW which is what a lot of people are excited about as no other camera in this price range can shoot RAW unless it has been hacked in some way. The image produced straight from the camera is super flat and for a lot of people this is what will put them off this camera. This is done purposely as the camera has an amazing dynamic range of 13 stops. As the image produced is very flat it requires the user to correct the images in post. Once the image has been played with the dynamic range is clear and the detail is stunning.

I personally like the flat image that comes straight from the camera as it is comparable to that of what a film camera would produce from camera. This is the main reason the camera stands out to me. It is a digital film camera. The image produced is far from messy DSLR video. While other DSLRs do offer really good video quality. The Black Magic offers a image that is perfect for FILM and not VIDEO. All of this in a camera that costs only £670 – almost half price some other cameras that don’t produce anywhere near the quality of this camera in my opinion.

Although this camera should be an obvious choice for me there are a lot of things that are putting me off. As the camera does not compress the image captured and the recording codecs are amazing – the file sizes that are produced are massive. When shooting in ProRes the camera records at 220 Mbps. The fact it records in such a high bit rate should be a good thing. The camera also records to SD cards which should be another good thing. The thing is with such a high bit rate the SD cards that are compatible for this camera are super limited and super expensive (Around £100 each). The only SD card that is recommended for both ProRes and RAW is the SanDisk Extreme 64gb – 95Mbps. With this card you will only get around 37 minutes of recording time in ProRes and about 15 Minutes in RAW. This obviously is not ideal and you would need a LOT of hard drive storage space. Also you cant format the card in camera or delete individual clips which just seems stupid to me.

The battery Life also isn’t very good. The battery that comes with the camera only lasts around an hour. Although the camera does use nikon batteries so you can get them for relatively cheap – It is still more money.

Another thing is that as uses a micro four thirds mount (which is not a bad thing) – the crop that comes from the 16mm sensor is around a 3 times crop in regards to 35mm full frame.  This means a 20mm Pancake lens will be around 60mm focal length. There is an adapter that can make the camera seem more like a full frame camera in terms of focal length and that is the metabones speed booster. This adapter is fantastic and a must have if you were to buy this camera. The thing is it costs around £200 – £400. Which again is just more money.

In conclusion, the camera is a fantastic camera that is capable of professional standard work in a tiny package but to make the most out of the camera and actually be able to use it regularly you will have to dish out a lot of money. So if you have a big budget I would consider this camera. Personally the faults that the camera has in terms of battery and storage capabilities are just to great for me to comit to this camera. Although I would love to own this camera, I think i will just wait until black magic comes out with something similar where they have listened to the low budget filmmakers and changed some of the cameras ways.

Here is a nice little film shot on this camera:

Short Mobile Film

Yesterday I shot a short film using an iPhone 5. The idea behind the film is a person just cutting loose and having a fun day alone. I wanted to experiment with different ways to achieve a DIY “steady cam” to use with my mobile phone. I achieved this by using a mic stand which was quite heavy towards the bottom even with the stand at the bottom removed. This allowed me to have a counter weight with my iPhone which allowed me to isolate my body’s motion from my iPhone.

g g3 g2

I was shocked at how good the results were. The motion of the camera was sleek and steady and seemed very distant to the usual shaky and unpleasant shots that come from recording handheld with a mobile phone.

As I was recording with a iPhone 5 I wanted o make the most out of the fact that you can shoot at 120 fps. This allowed me to achieve very nice looking slow motion shots that when married with the smooth shots from the “steady cam” created a really nice smooth motion that is apparent throughout the entire short film.

The general quality that came from the iPhone 5 was shockingly good. It was rival to that of lower end DSLRs. The problems that arise when shooting with iPhones are things like:

  • auto-focus constantly focusing and not always being in focus.
  • Not having control over manual focus and therefore some shots are just not achievable
  • Not having control over other manual aspects of the film – ISO, White balance, Iris etc..
  • Using one wide angle lens – Although you can buy add on lenses you cant physically replace the iPhone lens, just add to it.

Although there are disadvantages when using a mobile phone as a camera, I quite like the point and shoot feel that comes from using it. It allows you to focus more on the actual shots and lighting and all other aspects of filmmaking that are not in camera or on camera. Also the use of mobility is a massive plus. Getting a jib style shot is much easier due to a mobiles weight and mobility.

Below are some screen shots from the short film. They are still in the process of editing but  you can see the quality that the phone has produced.

The film will be available to watch later this week!

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 01.26.08

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 01.25.56   Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 01.26.39

 

 

Cypriot Invasion Documentry

A few weeks ago I was having some food around my grandparents house when my Grandma (who is Greek-Cypriot) started to tell me stories of her life. She told me how she was in Cyprus while the turkish invaded and how she had to leave Egypt and was close to getting killed.  She also told me how her and my Granddad met. He was in the Royal Armed Forces, protecting cypriot families whilst the fighting occurred. I found the story very interesting and though that it needed to be shared with other people.

I decided I wanted to create a short documentary about their lives.

Today I began shooting the documentary and got all the interviews I need.

Photo 15-03-2014 16 02 25  Photo 15-03-2014 17 03 17 (HDR)

 

The shoot went very well and I am extremely happy with the footage captured .

Below are some screen shots from the footage;

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 19.25.59 Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 19.27.12 Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 19.30.31 Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 19.29.48

 

I plan on shooting tomorrow and getting some extra shots that can be used a cut aways.

I will then start my edit by next week.

The film is shot using a Canon 6D and a Lumix GH2.

 

I made this film to test out a 35mm lens I bought for super cheap. There isn’t really an idea behind the film. I recently started playing around with Final Cut Pro X so i was playing around with some of the in built features which it offers. I really like the way this lens looks. The lens is a fujian 35mm C mount and it cost only 20 pound and (with the use of an adapter) was attached on my Lumix GH2.

Fujian 35mm

I am really pleased with the outcome of the lens. With the lens having a pretty wide aperture (1.4), it allows me to achieve a nice, shallow depth of field. It is also decent in low light situations. I wish that the focus ring was a bit more smooth like that of a canon lens, but for 20 pounds you cant really complain.

Short Film test.

This is the video I created for 24frames24hours. The film was shot throughout a nice Saturday in Manchester on an iPhone 4s. The idea behind the film was to create a happy, smooth and intimate feel. I wanted to give the viewer a feeling as if they were there and they can connect with the people in the video.
The video idea was inspired by this video – https://vimeo.com/48707117  Which was screened to is during the mobile screening.

 

The video was shot entirely vertically and a use of an app called iMotion HD was used for the time-lapse that occurs during the bus scene. The editing pace is pretty fast throughout as i wanted to keep it exciting and interesting. The music chosen Is a uplifting song that fits well with the general idea of the film.

24F24H

#MoCo360 kicks off!

Heloukee: EdTech and Digital Culture

#MoCo360 is an umbrella term/collective (Mobile Collaboration all around you, geddit?) designed to aggregate mobile film co-creations and collaborations across the globe. Involving the usual suspects from the #ELVSS international mobile filmmaking collaborations, along with the welcome additions of Anthony Nevin and Dave Cowlard, #MoCo360 is the social aggregator for various mobile filmmaking projects and collaborations involving staff and students from NZ/FR/DE/CO/UK, including ELVSS (the BIG one), 24 Frames 24 Hours, Shoot Me Now, Shoot Your Egg, and #marmw.

We wanted to find a way to sustain our global collaborations and mini-projects, especially when diverse student numbers and shifting semester dates work against us, while still retaining a sense of community across space and time. Hopefully #MoCo360 will give us a bit more flexibility; by connecting under the #MoCo360 banner we can still work together – hopefully all year round in an #iCollab sense –…

View original post 200 more words