Malta Advert for Tourist Board Finished…

It’s been a month or so now since I arrived back from Malta and what an incredible experience it was! Although I completed a rough low-res cut of it in Malta, I have now found the time to convert every shot to high-res and piece the edit back together, I’ve also colour corrected and graded everything again with more accuracy this time and added a few extra elements to help sell the piece and give it more depth and colour – overlays, day for night etc.

It’s taken me a two days to complete the piece including transcoding, stabilizing, upscaling, roto-scoping and structuring it again. I’m now happy with the final edit. There are a few reflections I’d like to make on ways I could improve for the next piece I produce.

A big limiting factor was the kit used to shoot with. I know the old saying goes that ‘A bad workman always blames his tools’ but when it comes down to video production I guess it’s slightly different! The cameras we were shooting on were the Canon 600D’s – A nice piece of kit but still a mid-range camera which doesn’t perform particularly well in low light. Thankfully there was plenty of light to work with, sometimes too much, where it got to the point that I was setting the ISO at its lowest, using the highest F-stop possible (which wasn’t too good when it came to chromatic distortion) whilst trying to maintain the 1/50th shutter speed I so dearly wanted to grasp on to! If only I had brought an ND filter…

Of course, when shooting in doors we had the issue of dim lighting, or in some cases, none! I personally didn’t want to push the ISO any higher than 200, but sometimes I had no choice (I just prayed on Denoiser smoothing out most of the grain). I eventually made the decision to go with my team to a DIY store and buy several work lights – these were incredibly bright, so bright that our makeshift gels couldn’t withstand the ridiculous amounts of heat they were kicking out. On the shoot, unfortunately one of the production team members tripped over one of the light stands leaving us with only 2 to make do with. When it came to shooting the final scene, it was pitch black and our generator could only power one 500w work light at a time so myself and our team’s technician (Craig) lit from one side accordingly to give a moonlit feel whilst 2 other people shone Pag lights acting as fill for the other side of the scene. Our resulting image was semi decent but due to the lack of light and 8 bit colour depth the 600D uses, I was left with barely any headroom for colour correcting or grading. This meant that I had to forfeit the quality a bit and was subsequently left with quite strong banding.

Apart from those few issues, the shoot went well – I had a lot of fun with the team I was in, as a result developed new friendships and was given the opportunity to visit one of the most fascinating and stunning countries in the world…Malta Edit

Sennheiser Earphones Advert

I’m in the process of editing an advert for a pair of Sennheiser noise cancelling earphones, when I came up with the idea, I wanted to produce something out of the norm of general advertising. It’s more of a short film than an advert but still conveys the message – by using this method the viewers will become more interested in it.

Below are some screenshots of the piece so far:
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Another wedding video finished…

A few weeks back I shot another wedding with one of my classmates. I’ve been on holiday for two weeks and just before I left I completed post for it. It surprisingly didn’t take me too long to edit in the end – around four days, but I did work constantly on it. The whole film ended up being an hour and six minutes in length so it was quite a big job. This time I wanted to do a lot more experimenting with creative shots and I think it looks quite good now.

There were only a few issues along the way – we shot on 3 cameras, 2 of them were the Canon 550 and 600d, they produced pretty much identical results, the only limiting factors were the lenses used (50mm f1.8 prime and the 18 – 55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens) the 18-55 kit lens has a variable aperture so the luminance of the image differed on one of the cameras depending on the focal length. The one issue was the third camera used in the ceremony as a wide shot – this was a standard point-and-shoot camera with limited controls for exposure, not forgetting the completely different sensor size and type and lack of options for white balance. This meant that I was working with 3 cameras, with two of them colour matched and one completely off. As I am no expert in colour correction I did struggle to correct the footage and so it never did look perfect.

Apart from those minor issues, the video looking as I wanted it to and hopefully the bride and groom will be pleased with the result…

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Editing for new short – ‘Floor No.6’

Production is done for Floor No.6 and now I’m in the Post-Production stages for the film. I’ve completed a majority of the film now and I think it’s looking quite good. Today and yesterday I was focusing on a visual effects sequence – it would’ve been a lot easier to achieve this shot in camera but we were in such a rush shooting it didn’t come to mind at the time. 

Today I have been working on two shots, to a lot of people spending that much time on something is ludicrous but I really wanted to make sure I got it right and as a I am not really a VFX artist, I spent a lot of time working out the physics side of the shots – how light would react in certain situations. The scene is made up of multiple layers which all come together to create something, that I hope looks realistic in some aspects. This is the scene where Jasmine and her boyfriend are killed by our antagonist, at first I tried just using a wide of the room and all you hear is a scream, but even with music and an ambient soundscape, it just didn’t produce the impact or tension that is needed so I had to film some extra footage at home on a green screen to use in post.

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Wedding Video DVD Packaging

I finished the wedding video a while back now and the bride and groom seemed to be very happy with the final product which was good, But they wanted to order a few copies of the DVD, now I’m ready to distribute them. I printed off the DVD case covers and also ordered some printable DVD’s. Ended up waiting a few days for photo ink but now the packaging is finally finished. I made up some business cards that I slotted into the DVD cases to try and advertise me and my classmate a bit more. I thought it would also be useful if the client received a disc containing the HD video file and extra unused footage as the DVD copy is in SD and DVD’s are becoming outdated now… Back of Cover Business Card Closeup Disc Closeup Front of CoverFull Discs