Sunday, 17 May 2009

Back in the Saddle

I finally received permission from to use one of the moby tracks from the website as backing soundtrack for my short art experiment.

It's a two minute film cobbled together from a selection of shots I got from the first exterior test with my 35mm adaptor. It was a bit of a filmschool flashback editing it together, and playing with the image, I could imagine it going down well if I'd made something like that back in '94. Plenty of "art" in the editing, and although I don't really consider it anything other than a joke, it's kind of fun to do.

Still, at least it's a bona-fide completed project, albeit simply some test footage thrown together! And it counts as pretty much the first personal film project I've made in over a decade.

My equipment roster was boosted this week with the arrival of my 'shrigg rig' a sturdy metal framework and rails set specifically designed for use with smaller camcorders like the HV30 I use with my 35mm adaptor.

The rig has already had it's first outing, as I spent part of this weekend shooting part of a promo video for a local musician.

After doing the moby video, I thought it might be good to try and do some other music video projects, so I responded to a post on 'Shooting People' and got in contact with a local musician who has a couple of great songs he wants videos for.

I got all my equipment out, dragged the lights down from the loft, unboxed the tripod for the first time and headed over to an industrial space in Streatham to spend the morning lighting my first location for over five years.

Nerve wracking, and potentially embarrassing, but in fact it all went pretty well. I had some ideas about what I intended to shoot, but in the end we went with a fairly simple set-up.

This first shoot was really just meant to be a test, but in fact I reckon I got some pretty usable footage out of it. The test will be how well it edits together, and that'll be a task for this week.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Throwing some light on the subject.

I got up early and was treated to a colourful display in the downstairs hallway this morning as the sunlight bounced off the windows across the street at just the right angle to reflect back at our stained glass panels. It was a fantastic display, and I spent a few minutes taking pictures, and enjoying the excuse to get my photography geek on. Which led to me taking the stills camera with me today, and stopping to take a few snaps randomly on the way. Definitely something I should do more of.

Mayday Bank holiday. A whole extra day off, and with the long weekend comes the promise of a little extra time to spend filming, or at least preparing to film.

I've hooked up with a local musician who has a track he needs visuals for, I thought a music promo seemed like the perfect project to use as a springboard, it would suit my abstract shooting style with the 35mm adaptor, and the need for good location audio is removed (handy when I don't have a portable mixer). So after subscribing to the Shooting People music list and replying to one post... my first music video client.

Later today I'll be pulling out the various sets of lights I have in the loft, nothings been touched for at least three years, so it's time to take stock and figure out if I have enough stands, spare bulbs etc. to shoot anything with. It's been over four years since my last 'proper' shoot, and can barely remember what I actually have equipment-wise. I know I don't have enough stands, so I'm definitely going to need to get on ebay for at least a couple of the cheap Indian ones.

Feels very abstract to be thinking about actually getting ready to shoot. This 35mm adaptor build has really helped to inspire me, there's just something exciting about getting such a film-like image out of the video camera, the only snag is that this 35mm adaptor filming means I am exclusively using the smaller HV30 camcorder and leaving the larger XH-A1 in it's flight case.

I suspect I might be better to sell the A1 if it's not going to get any use. It's turning into an expensive white elephant as I've only ever run one tape through it, and the HV30 was supposed to be a playback deck, not an acquisition camera.

The main props for my Virgin Shorts test have arrived, so I can start preparing that in earnest, as well as getting ready for the music promo test. Feels like my energy levels are starting to rise as I get more test shooting under my belt. Next order of business is to get some interior tests shot with the adaptor and the lights, might have to take over the kitchen this evening to try out some different setups.