Posts tagged with "video"

for the sake of momentum

This week­end I have two back-to-back wed­dings. Knowing it’s going to be 14+ hours each day means my brain will be on autopi­lot, tak­ing it one event at a time as a way of pac­ing myself through­out the day. These are the last two of the sea­son; I’ll soon get to focus on edit­ing, which is always my favourite part of mak­ing films cause it’s the most sig­nif­i­cant part of the sto­ry­telling aspect.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been feel­ing more like an observ­er than a cre­ator. There haven’t been much in my own life I need to doc­u­ment.

I’ve been ask­ing peo­ple to play Larissa so I can get a record of what she sounds like with dif­fer­ent fin­gers and tech­niques.

Seth is on my elec­tric strings here. No one would be lying if they said they had a crush on this man.

I’ve had a revolv­ing door of friends and guests over late­ly, and com­bined with the fact that Bryon tends to jump on the kitchen coun­ters when he smells food up above, means I’ve been keep­ing the house con­sis­tent­ly clean, instead of going through my cycle of spot­less to dirty to spot­less again. I haven’t done any big gath­er­ings, pre­fer­ring the small­er hang­outs instead. I keep want­i­ng to invite Lisa and Tiana over togeth­er for ses­sions, or Trolley and Steph and Aaron for Magic, but the time I get alone with each is too pre­cious to give up.

That’s why time feels like it’s pass­ing so quick­ly, and also why I don’t write much any­more. I have the right peo­ple to talk to, so I don’t need to write things out to sort out my thoughts. And some­times it’s just eas­i­er to pick up a gui­tar when a surge of inspi­ra­tion strikes. Otherwise, I’m burn­ing my lips on glass­ware, look­ing for the right moments to keep myself going.

Sarah and Michael — Wedding Day

Interested in hir­ing me? Check out my port­fo­lio site.

I’ve been bleed­ing for a big project, some­thing to real­ly throw myself into. Luckily, wed­dings are as big as they come, and at 70.43 GB of footage tak­en, this wed­ding was the biggest by far.

It was also the first Italian wed­ding I’ve expe­ri­enced, and there was noth­ing more inter­est­ing than observ­ing the cus­toms. It’s a very phys­i­cal cul­ture, with lots of hug­ging, kiss­ing, and firm pats on shoul­ders. And some­how every­one is a nat­ur­al dancer. How did every­one know to hold hands in equal­ly sized cir­cles and start mov­ing in the same direc­tion? How did every­one know when to stop hold­ing hands and start clap­ping1? How did you every­one known to step in to touch the groom and moth­er at the same time?

This is a per­fect exam­ple of how video takes over the lim­i­ta­tions of still pho­tog­ra­phy. A lot of cama­raderie and inti­ma­cy and con­fi­dence only come out when motion is involved, because it’s all in how peo­ple move and inter­act. Trying to cap­ture a bride eat­ing cake out of her cleav­age just isn’t pos­si­ble with a sin­gle frame.

This was a very spe­cial project for me, and I put so much love into this film, from the cam­era-work to the edit­ing to the grad­ing to the music. Over three hours of footage was care­ful­ly stripped away to cre­ate this five minute sto­ry. Every moment mat­ters, every frame counts.

Sarah and Mike are so hap­py with the final prod­uct that they’ve now decid­ed to send a DVD of this video out to all the guests in lieu of thank-you cards. For a wed­ding of 450 peo­ple, this is no small con­sid­er­a­tion. When I first met them, I knew they were going to be a fan­tas­tic cou­ple to work with because they were super nice and made me feel very com­fort­able. They also gave me full cre­ative con­trol, which is always the most impor­tant thing for me as an artist.

Production notes beneath the cut

  1. It remind­ed me of this time I saw an opera in Budapest. When the cur­tain came down and the audi­ence start­ed applaud­ing, every­one even­tu­al­ly clapped in uni­son and did­n’t speed up. North Americans all clap in an amor­phous din, but over in Hungary it’s like they were all clap­ping to the tim­ing of a con­duc­tor. []

Tiana + Molly (Glidetrack demo)

I pur­chased a half-metre Glidetrack Hybrid to get some slow dol­ly shots but with a much, much more portable sys­tem. Smooth hor­i­zon­tal cam­era move­ments can add a bit of depth to any footage, though the effect can’t be used too often.

So I’ve been prac­tic­ing with this new piece of equip­ment for the last month, look­ing for peo­ple to film, and luck­i­ly Tiana is always will­ing to vol­un­teer with one of her off­spring. You can see the Glidetrack shots at 12 sec­onds (the zoom in) and 48 sec­onds (the hor­i­zon­tal track).

It’s an extreme­ly chal­leng­ing piece of equip­ment to use, cer­tain­ly not some­thing con­ducive to can­did shoot­ing. Things like expo­sure, focus, and com­po­si­tion change as you’re mov­ing the cam­era from one end of the rail to the oth­er, and sin­gle mis­take in any one of those aspects will ruin a shot, so all those things gen­er­al­ly need to be care­ful­ly planned. On top of that, sim­ply mov­ing the cam­era smooth­ly takes a lot of prac­tice, as there’s a cer­tain amount of fric­tion in the bear­ings, and you need to bal­ance that with the move­ment speed you’re look­ing for. At only half a metre (the short­est length you can pur­chase), the shots all tend to be slow and lin­ger­ing so you don’t run out of rail.

The per­cent­age of keep­ers isn’t great (I find it takes me about three takes to get it right), but when it works, the effect is very nice.