Category Archives: Video

Nokia Products That Changed the World: Stephen White

A couple of months whilst working for Angelic Films I shot and edited a short interview with Stephen White from Nokia about a recent exhibition: Nokia Products That Changed the World at the London Design Museum. The interview was included on the Nokia Connect website and accompanied a extensive article about the exhibition. the Video was shot using a Canon 5D and 24-70mm L F2.8 lens

 

Cooking test shoot

As the year is coming to an end and the nights are drawing in I am already planning projects for next year. One of which is to be a cooking series injunction with with brother-in-law Iain who as well as being a trained chef is now an organic farmer, with a farm on the Suffolk/Essex border. Currently they visit two farmers markets a week one in Stoke Newington on a Saturday and Queens Park Farmers Market on a Sunday. Here Iain not only sells the produce of the farm but often gives out cooking advice. Next year we intent to take this a little further and create a cooking video blog around the farm and the produce it sells integrated with recipe methods and ingredient lists.  Right now we are in the designing and testing stages before going into production sometime after Christmas, trying to establish a look and style along with the practicalities, which are numerous.

The video above was shot in that vain, to see how the lenses I currently own as well as how the Canon 5d mk2 would fair close up. So as christmas was coming I thought I’d try  shooting the making of a Christmas cake. Admittedly the cake in question was a Delia Smith kit from Waitrose. Lighting wise I did start out with practical available light and my 150w pepper until the bulb exploded and from there on it was just the kitchen and under counter lights. As the location we have in mind doesn’t currently have a mains electricity supply we will be looking low powered and battery powered lighting for the actual shoots. This is only one test we will need to undertake along with a set test and testing what are the best cooking equipment to use both in terms of best for filming, cooking and overall design look.

Weekend Warriors: Canis Belli.

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Many months ago I met up with filmmaker and blogger Robin Schimdt or as he is knows on Twitter  aka_elskid, at the London screening of  Zacutos Camera Shootout 2011. In the pub after the event he talked about an ambitious short film he had written set in the trenches of the first world war, Canis Belli. I told him if he needed a hand to give me a shout. Now when you usually hear about plans for short films of this scale you very rarely hear of them again. The ambition and scale usually halts any prospect of actually shooting them.

Fast forward almost five months and I get a message on Twitter from aka_skid to see if I was available as he was about to shoot the film along with co-director Gez Medinger, aka JerzyBondov. The film was to be shot over two and a half days on a permanent standing set just north of  Ipswich on Trench Farm. The set was been used from many major productions including Downton Abbey Continue reading »

Not Sexy But Essential: CF Card Readers


This is not a sexy subject by any means but memory card readers are essential if you have multiple cards for your camera. Today I received my sixth or seventh in the last fifteen months, I loose count because at least four have broken, and that is why I always like to have at least two, one as a back up. If you like my are reliant on Compact Flash Cards the choice is far more limited that other flavours of card. SD cards are the king of memory cards right now.  Most card readers are so poorly built and designed that when you see them you think when will it break rather will it break. Having said all that the second one I bought the Lexar FW800 still works like the day I bought it. It is well designed, when built has Firewire connections and is now discontinued. Now it is almost impossible to get a CF card reader with FW800 connections unless you want to shell out $250 for one from RED which is just an insane amount. I’m a Mac person so of course I have Firewire and prefer it to USB, mainly because I can daisy chain drives together. Essential if you have like me four hard drives connected to a laptop with only two USB sockets. Continue reading »

Workflow: Backing it up

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This week a good friend of mine had his car broken into and had his laptop, ipad, and back up hard drive stolen loosing everything. This is a a fears for most of us in the digital age with our whole lives centred in one place, diary, photo album, music collection, love notes, emails, and work. Hearing this first hand is the equivalent of a digital mortality check.

Backing up is important but so is separation of back ups especially when traveling. On the off chance your bag gets stolen you wont loose everything. But it’s not just the fear of theft we should be worried about it’s failure of equipment, computers and hard drives do have a tendency of stopping work, no matter what their age. I had a LaCie rugged hard drive I was using as my portable hard drive, it lasted less then a month. Clients have phoned slightly panicked to ask if I have a copy of the footage I shot for them as their drive had failed, strangely enough another LaCie Rugged drive, and yes I did have a copy. Continue reading »

Cannes Young Lions Winners

Following my previous post I can can now reveal the brief was to create a sixty second commercial for  the charity Global Angels and the winners are;

USA Hispanic Team win Golden Lion

South Africa win Silver Lion

USA win Bronze Lion

 

USA Hispanic team hard at work in the edit bay

Looking back through the paperwork I see that all the winners took full advantage of the equipment we hauled to Cannes and back which has the trip very satisfying.

 

 

This Week The Best Video Camera is the Nokia N8

“The best camera is the camera you’ve got with you” is a quote by  Seattle based photographer Chase Jarvis who developed the Best Camera App for the iPhone. His notion is that you can only take a picture if you’ve got a camera with you and chances are you’re going to have a mobile phone with a camera on it. So that is the best camera, the one you’ve got with you most of the time.  Carrying on that train of thought this week here in sunny Cannes the best video camera is the Nokia N8 and here is why.

It’s the annual advertising festival Cannes Lions this week and with it comes the Young Lions Competition Film Competition. To create an even playing field  Nokia one of the sponsors of Young Lions, gave each team a brand new Nokia N8 along with 32gb of micro sd memory to use for filming a sixty second commercial.  The Nokia N8 has a fantastic camera built into it, probably the best mobile phone camera in the world right now shooting twelve megapixels and video at 720p. It has been used to shoot many a commercial for Nokia.

The brief I can not reveal right now as the competition is still under way but Nokia along with Getty Images and Adobe provided the technology for the teams to create their entry into the competition. Nokia also provided a tool shed and that is where I have been working for the last few days for Angelic Films. The tool shed, is not as the name would suggest full of traditional tools for gardening and fixing that dripping tap but instead equipped with some basic film making tools, lens adapters, tripods and Steadicam Smoothee’s which we modified for the Nokia N8 all of which are available for the teams to use. The teams are all out at the moment battling to win a Cannes Lion and all that it brings with it and I look forward to seeing the results and how they used the equipment we provided them with.

 

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London Launch Learn @ Asia House


A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from York Smith of York Smith productions. York asked me if I could do some filming for him at an upcoming event at a London Launch Learn event at Asia House, he was going to be away in the Congo working for the UN.

London Launch Learn conduct networking events across London for event planners and suppliers. Junes event was conducted at Asia House a eighteenth century Grade II listed building just north of Oxford Street. Founded in 1996 Asia House is a meeting venue dedicated to the exchange of developing their contacts and understanding of business and of diplomatic and cultural interaction between Asia and Britain.
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The Dangers of Sound

HDSLR’s have a problem.  The problem I am told is sound.  No the reason I say told is, is I don’t believe it. HDSLR’s and by that I predominantly speak of the Canon’s are lacking in the sound department, with the inability to manually control or even monitor the sound as it’s recorded.  On top of that internal mic is not great and it only has a single 3.5mm mic input jack.  So on paper the camera is as I am told rubbish when it comes to sound and people moan about it, or more over bore me to death about what it can’t do. It is worth remembering it is a stills camera that shoots video and not a video camera that takes stills. I actually think this is all positive and here is why. Having sound attached to the camera can be simply dangerous.

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Picture Profile’s

I only ever shoot photographs in RAW, that is unless I’m shooting a time lapse sequence to be turned into a video at which point I shoot Medium JPEG’s. Although I have been known to shoot time lapse in RAW then batch convert them to JPEG’S, but this is usually as a result of forgetting to change settings.

RAW is wonderful allowing me to manipulate the image at incredible depth by the use of Apple’s Aperture. Because of this when I am shooting photos I rarely even consider the Picture Profile button on the camera. After all you never had all this to consider when you shot on film did you?  Well you did kind of.  You and I choose film for certain qualities, Kodak, Fuji and Ilford each produce very individual looking film with differing qualities. We all had our favourite and knew what was best for each situation or the look we wanted in the end.
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moments in time

Moments in time from Christopher Hughes on Vimeo.

HDSLR cameras have amongst other things created a great resurgence in time lapse photography. The ease and simplicity can make for quite a addictive experience as you don’t always know what exactly you are going to capture.

Last week I too dipped, for the first time, my toe into these time lapse waters and above is the result. The film is created from seven sessions of between thirty minute and an hour and a half  shooting a frame every three or four seconds. QuickTime’s were created from the stills using Quicktime 7 and the whole thing edited using Final Cut Pro. which took quick some time because of the amount of rendering required because of the native size of each of the time lapse QuickTimes.

The music for the film is by the amazing Moby and was licensed from mobygratis.com a wonderful resource for non profit film makers, something I had heard about sometime ago but never looked into until now.

Kit used:
  • Canon 5d MK2
  • Canon EF 24-70mm 2.8f
  • Manfrotto 561 BDHV monopod
  • Yongnuo Timer Remote Controller
  • Zacuto Z-finder

Going Social

Chances are that if you are reading this you kind of have some grasp on what social media is and I’ll not bore you explaining to the converted. The exciting part of social media to me is not the technology but the content and how it spills in and out from the digital world.

The above video “Social Media Week Highlights: Random Acts of Kindness with #NOKIAConnects” shows how Nokia randomly gave away phones all over the world to people who responded to tweets on twitter. Nokia didn’t shout we’re giving phones away they just asked to meet a few people to talk about social media week and then gave them a phone. Which is very cool as there was no real expectation from the those who came to meet up. I think the reactions say it all and would imagine they probably told, blogged and tweeted all about it, expanding the impact of a simple act of kindness.

I shot some of the above London footage using my Canon 5D mk2 and a Canon 24-70mm L for AngelicDigital who compiled and organised the whole world wide media edit for their client 1000Heads, a top Word and Mouth Agency on behalf of Nokia.

Aussie Bloggers’ Christmas Markets

Aussie Bloggers’ Christmas Markets from 1000heads on Vimeo.

I edited this just before Christmas using Final Cut Pro at Angelic Films office in Pinewood Studios, whilst surrounded by snow.  Although not shot by me it was shot entirely using my Canon 5D mk2 and a Rode Videomic, over two days in December.