Faithless Promo

Being a Brixtonite myself and having met Maxi Jazzy in my local I certainly felt part of the community to shoot this little promo for Faithless recently, a Brixton based band if you didn't already know..... 

We shot it on the tiny little Sony A7s with the Atmos Shogun which gave us juicy 4K resolution. Stick that on the DJI Ronin, squirt in some smoke and you've got a winning combination.

It's had over 600 thousand views on Facebook so I think it turned out well, take a look below.....

 

BSC Expo Round Up

So I managed to get down to Pinewood Studios for the annual BSC expo which showcases the newest and latest cutting edge film making equipment ranging from cameras, lighting and new grip kit along with many seminars by some of the great cinematographers working today.

It was great to bump into so many familiar faces, form new professional relationships and also to kickstart some old collaborations.

There certainly is something for everyone at the BSC Expo and for me some of the LED lighting solutions on offer now are truely unique albeit still a little pricey. Lite Panel have some new products namely their new 1x1 panel which boasts more power with better asthetics, although I'm not sure that is relevant in a functional device. On par with that was a similar product by TheLight called Velvet which had all the spec of the new Lite Panel model but was fully waterproof and if I was to purchase a lighting kit then this is the one I'd choose.

One of the cameras that caught my attention was Panasonic's new Varicam.  With its modular design, snap of controls and dual ISO amongst its strengths, this camera is something special and was causing a stir. It also has great colour management that had some DIT's I know boasting, high speed up to 120fps at 4k without extra licensing, dual record to SD and or P2 cards in 4k and 2k including proxy's, all this and much more for a price a little over 15k. I'm raring to get my hands on this for the right project in the near future. 

On the Steadicam front, Tiffen where showing off their new modular rig called the M1, which if you were thinking of not going for a Pro sled then this would be your second option and at an affordable price.

As I'm not shopping for a new steadicam rig just yet, the thing that floated my boat was a product made by Inovativ and these guys make awesome magliners or carts we now like to call them. They have a range of options but the one I was after was the Scout 37 and this little beauty packs down quickly and neatly into a small thin manageable piece of luggage and would fit into the back of any small car easily, no more lugging around a really heavy and awkward Magliner. 

These products were my favourites over the two days and for me what I was interested in, but I know everybody has there own thoughts.

Before I sign off on this one I though I'd leave you with these pictures of something I found really cool. As I'm a massive Star Wars fan it was a real delight to bump into the Panavision stand where they had the Millenuim Falcon.......no not that one but the name of the film camera used to shoot the new addition to the saga, The Force Awakens. Check it out below....

 

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DJI Ronin Arm Extensions

So they finally arrived, the custom DJI Ronin arm extensions.

This means any camera, anytime anywhere but within the payload limit.

The extra aft movement enables more camera and lens combinations along with any light weight matte box and desired filtration. 

Red Epic is now even more able without the need for niche custom batteries.

This is big news so head over to Ronin Operator for the latest hire options.

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Crazy Fashion film for Rankin

Just came across this little fashion film I shot for Hunger Tv and Rankin.....

Never thought I'd ever see it but it was pointed out to me by a colleague so had to share. 

It was a bonkers day as the focus puller and I had no clue what was going on.

An Alexa, some anamorphics and a model.....think it turned out ok and I love the dress.... 

Woman in Black 2 - Angel of Death

Here is the new trailer for the Woman in Black sequel, looks quite good and possibly better than the original.

Shot by George Steel from Peaky Blinders fame and I was lucky enough to shoot the films opening Steadicam shots.

I'd worked with George many years ago so it was nice to collaborate again after all this time.

Hits the silver screen in January.....So go check it out if you fancy a new year scare!

Smooth Motion is killing our work!

So here is an interesting article.

Ever gone round a friends house and watched a film only to think to yourself, something ain't right here. 

On many occasion have I reached for the remote control to put these people out of my misery only to be praised by their reaction of 'Oh my God, that's so much better'

The reason, 'Smooth Motion'

There are however some people that have no idea and have been watching quality movies with this setting firmly on with no way to turn it off. I feel so sorry for them but they often have no idea and still enjoyed the film regardless. 

I've found that it's only really us as image makers that really care, or even notice, and thats why we should take note of this petition to get this hideous television setting eradicated from existence or at least be an option.

This is an excerpt from the literature below but click on the link for the full article and sign yourselves up.

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 “Stop motion interpolation!” is the call on a Change.org petition urging TV manufacturers to disable the default “smooth motion” setting on new televisions. As the petition explains, “Motion Interpolation was an effect that was created to reduce motion blur on HDTVs but a very unfortunate side effect of using this function is that is takes something shot at 24 fps or shot on film and makes it look like it was shot on video at 60i. In short, it takes the cinematic look out of any image and makes it look like soap opera shot on a cheap video camera.” Below, in a guest editorial, cinematographer Reed Morano (Frozen River, The Skeleton TwinsShut Up and Play the Hits) explains why this issue should be important to all film lovers. 

ttp://filmmakermagazine.com/88128-cinematographer-reed-morano-on-the-fight-against-tvs-smooth-motion-setting/#.VFiqDoqQGnN

Ronin Operators first One Take Promo

This is the only still from a one take music video we just completed for the artist Shakka.

We shot the video down in Brighton at the Saltdean cliffs around magic hour having choreographed and blocked the shot all day.

With multiple cues, costume changes mid take and camera hand offs, it was a recipe for disaster however we managed to pull off 3 good takes having shot almost 8.

I now think shooting steadicam is a luxury as holding a Ronin rig and camera for almost 4 minutes is extremely difficult and after take 2 lactic acid builds up in your arms making the rig almost impossible to raise up. I won't be supprised if I don't have huge shoulders before long or I'm finding it difficult to get though doorways.

One things for sure, I'll certainly be packing cans of spinach on the next shoot.....

DJI Ronin and c300 rig

DJI Ronin and c300 rig

Steadicam 'All Night Long'

I've forgotten how rubbish night shoots are. Luckily I didn't have to carry anything except my sanity as I hung off the back of this tracking vehicle all night shooting a mini commercial for a high visibility vest for Caviar.

No matter how safe you know you are being strapped in, there's always a little bit of doubt to make you soil yourself especially as the driver hears 'WRAP' and burns off to unit base forgetting I'm holding the rig.

Docklands have some fast and smooth roads at 5am until you hit a speed bump!

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Bars & Melody - 'Hopeful'

Having watched the X-Factor and seen Bars & Melody perform live on tele its easy to see why they have become an instant success, obviously nothing to do with Simon Cowell though right!

So when I got the call to Steadicam for this I immediately knew who production were talking about, 'You know, those kids rapping about anti-bullying'.

However, the serious message of the song was met with a serious camera package. An Arri Alexa was to be expected but what I hadn't banked on was how big and heavy the new Cooke S5i's were. That on top of the usual accessories that are insisted be on the rig by the 1st AC, not to mention a production Matte box from the stone age that was forged from cast iron.

The Steadicam rig turned out to be a monster and almost bottomed out my arm, together with shooting inside on the hottest day of the year and having to wear somebody else's skin tight black hoody as we were shooting against glass for the first shot, really set me up for a sticky day.

Im sure all steadicam operators are hearing this a lot these days, 'We want it to be like a dolly shot', today was no different. The day was packed full of shots with not enough time to actually shoot them. As the steadicam rig was so heavy it help maintain level horizons, especially as half the shots were at that limbo height between high and low mode which is where I was flying the camera most of the day as one of the kids was about 4ft tall and sitting down. Ouch!!

Not sure I've hydrated from his yet but as they are on SYCO record label I'm sure they'll become a big success which will hopefully filter down to the guys that make them look good.

Check out the promo below and if you war to see me cameoing in their making of video, click here


Ashley Roberts - Woman Up

So I had the pleasure of meeting a Pussycat Doll a few weeks ago and it was all mine as she's such a nice girl.

The promo for Ash, as she likes to be known, turned out ok and it was certainly a novelty to shoot a studio based video as I usually find it's a location affair these days.

Once again I enjoyed working with Aaron Reid and a lot of old faces on set. Thankfully we shot on a very light weight  Red Dragon with some old Cooke S2's beauty lenses this time which makes a change in trying to fly a steadicam around with a fully loaded Alexa and the new Cooke S5i lenses all day which I had the misfortune of doing recently, ouch!

I think we created some nice imagery during the shoot partly because we implemented the use of some cutting edge lighting behind camera but I'll leave the decision up to you. 

 

Low Mode Slow Mo

See the crew reviewing the footage of this lovely little Steadicam moment on a glorious day. Then see the behind the scenes of how this simple but effective shot for a Kindle commercial was created.

Behind the Scenes.....

I came across this and thought I just had to put it up what with me having a cameo and all. 

It just goes to show, I had absolutely no idea any of this was being filmed, obviously because I was so busy (see previous post) however they have put together a nice little film of what goes on between artist and director and the vision that needs to be portrayed.

Sam Smith - Stay With Me

So this is my third and final posting on the theme of promos & steadicam and how it's a match made in heaven for getting your monies worth.

Once again every shot here is on the rig and I think it's a good one to end the trilogy on being with such a big artist.

This was a nice simple video put together by Jamie Thraves  at HSI and was shot by Catherine Derry and her team of other Catherines, very confusing on set let me tell you.

Sam Smith is a lovely guy, very professional and even made a couple of autograph hunters smile on the day when he scribbled on a piece of paper which turn out to be for the mother of the kid and not for the child at all, that made me laugh.....

Enjoy the video.....

M.O - For a Minute

Ok, so here is the next promo in the series of videos that I shot all on my rig. I remember this one was especially exhausting, on top of multiple takes there was alot of running about to keep the pace of the song going visually and with no time for my beloved tea breaks because of our crazy schedule, I was getting a little thirsty too.

I think it turned out well, and as I ended up humming the tune on the drive home it must be catchy.

Thanks to Aaron Reid for putting me through my paces again, he always does, and Carly Cussen for liking my 'sick shots' as she put it.........

Look out for the next one.........