We come to love by learning to see an imperfect someone perfectly

This is my first wedding video for 2014. This is my first wedding video gig that I tried quite a number of things compared to my past experiences.

1. HANDHELD SHOOTING

- 50% of the time, during the wedding event, I shot handheld. Which is something that is not encouraged when I first started my learning journey. Reasons shared to me by others are :-

  1. Customers don’t like shaky footages.
  2. It doesn’t give that professional look or film like feel.
  3. If need to, have to do it very creatively.

- I thought I would like to give it a try. My approach in shooting handheld were :-

  1. to give a feel of “short burst” of memory lapses in the video.
  2. Second, I would want to bring the attention of the viewers to certain things.
  3. Lastly, it has to be of a Mid Shot or Close Up Shot

I guess it worked for me.

2. GETTING MORE OUT OF IT

- I was trying to do more than my previous wedding videos. I want to add in real sacrifices, emotions, words of encouragement, love journey, that kind of stuff. So, I pre-planned whom I want to start first and the questions that I want to ask.

  • First stop – The Couple.

They were kinda camera shy. As much as I want to get their story during the event, I also do not want to make the overall experience a bad one. So, I tried not to push as much as I can. I knew, they are quite overwhelmed with the solemnization experience.

  • Second stop – The Parents

Oh boy, I was in for a surprise. The parents were so co-operative and supportive in what I wanted from them. Not only that, they gave me more than what I expected. Some of the questions that I asked were :-

  1. ” What were sacrifices you made for your marriage ? “
  2. ” What mistakes that you would not want your kids to make in their marriage ? “

Nevertheless, I was thankful that they shared their experiences. I cried while shooting. Their advises that I used for my own. What they did, made me remembered what my dad told me one month after I got married. It was a good Dad to Son talk.

  • Third stop – ?

No need. But I prepared, if I cannot get something out of the parents, I would try their Uncles and Aunties, Friends. If still, I cannot get something, I have to use Qadi’s speech as my first layer of story.

3. IMAGE STABILIZATION

- As I have mentioned earlier, 50% of the time I was shooting handheld. When I reviewed the footages at home, only then I realized that my Samyang 35mm did not has a IS function as it is a manual lens. Even I managed to stabilize the shot while shooting, it has this “frequent bumpy jittery” effects. Darn!

- I did not have this problem if I am using a stabilizer, monopod or tripod. I need to figure out a way on how to minimize the jittery effect while shooting handheld.

4. ACTUAL DAY SCHEDULE

- I planned all the “story-based” interviews shots during the solmenization. I felt that everyone affected will be overwhelmed with the feeling. The couple just married. The parents have to let go of their son and daughter. If I were to do this during the wedding reception, I may not have that feel. If you know what I mean.

5. MANAGED EXPECTATIONS

- Prior to the wedding, over the period of 3 months, I shared my ideas with the couple. I gave them a rough idea of how the final video going to be. Honestly, it was only about 30-40% of what the original plan.

- Not only that, I asked the couple before hand whether are they willing to take risks with me. I do not allow them to have say or ideas or inputs for their wedding video. How I shoot and how I piece all of them together is will be solely based on my directions and feel. They do not mind. Even they give me the green light, I still do feel the need to manage the expectations between us.

- My heart sank when I saw the bride shed a tear while watching the video. I was so afraid because 80% of people that I showed to, mentioned that it was kinda off and weird. When I saw the bride shed a tear, I took it a sign of approval, a sign of they like it.

So, what do you think ?

By the way, do check out http://www.orangefill.com and like our page OrangeFill Fanpage 

Asrul | Jannah – 14/15 December 2013

It was my first time working for ClearLens Production. It was a wonderful experience. I learned quite a lot in terms of equipment, workflow and techniques from the principal videographer.

The wedding was so much fun to capture. Both families were relentlessly ensuring that the whole event ran smoothly, which it did. In their own capacity, they ensured Asrul and Jannah will have a grand wedding, which they did. I was totally humbled by their wedding.

Working with the principal videographer from ClearLens Production, was quite easy and also it was my first time. All he said was ” Just do what you always do “.

Working for someone else, there are few things that we need to bear in mind. The way we shoot need to be synced with their style and approaches of doing things. As much as I want to explore, I will always capture all the safe shots. I let the principal videographers know what I want to do. If he gave me the green light, I will carry on. He gave me room and let me explore. The working environment was so easy and less pressurizing. Nevertheless, I do fear that he may not like the footages I captured.

Wedding captured. Payment received. I thought that was it. Then, about a week or so, received a call from ClearLens Production asking, “Bro, can you do editing ?”

I was like happy, feel appreciated, honored, don’t know what to expect. There was a quite a mix feeling. I said yes. He came over and show me what are his expectations, and yet, he still said “Use your own creativity to play around the wedding”

Working for someone else, I have always have this fear that I might not do a good job or justice to their branding. I mean I do have my own “bad” experiences in the past.

What is good about ClearLens Production, this principal videographer, he came over and explained to me what are his expectations. What he wants and what he doesn’t want. It was clear and precise guidelines for me to follow. There is no assumptions being made.

So it was all good. And yesterday I was informed by ClearLens Production that the couple really like the video that I edited. I was YES!! Praises to Allah!!!

Find out more about ClearLens Productions

>>> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clearlens-Production/113737065340749

>>> http://www.clearlensproduction.com/

MESSY MESSY MESSY !

My first try at doing a promo kind of studio shoot. 

Honestly, I did not managed to nail the “story” that I wanted to put across.

I wanted to to portray the moments building up before the start of the game. You know, those motivation thoughts that went through your mind. Those jittery moments, calming down moments. Hope you know what I mean. Those personal spaces before any games.

And I managed to work with a local brand representative for this shoot. My idea was to use the brand as a medium to transport the story that I want.

That was what I wanted to do. And at the same time, I wanted to try a little bit animation on the words. Creating or adding life to the words and to be able depicting the products.

But, I do not feel IT after editing it. Something is missing, lacking. Decided to put this up after couple of weeks knocking my head though.

Studio Shoot Experience

1. Lighting

- Based on what I have read on the internet, the idea of lighting is to kill the shadows but at the same to provide adequate lighting for your subjects. With regards to 3 points of lighting.

- The studio itself has its own white ceiling lights. I was given 2 spotlights that produced orangish light. So that were the challenges. White fluorescent and Orange spotlights.

- I did played around with the brightness of spotlights. There are occasions where I bounced the spotlights off the side walls. With aim to have uniformity in the lighting colors.  Perhaps, in my next video gig, I need to bring my own LED lights.

- For certain shots, I placed the spotlights above the players. For some shots, I place 2 spotlights on the left and right of the players’ face. I did these for the showcase of different type of products. Why I am doing this ? To kill of the shadows and to provide adequate lighting for the subjects.

2. Management of time and players

- The management of time was pretty good as I already prepared the shots list. We did wrapped up the shoot within 3 hours. And I booked the studio for 4 hours. This also includes additional shots that I took which is not included in the shots list.

3. Make Up

- I am not sure about this. I did not seek a Make Up Artist to help me in this shoot as I wanted to portray real players.

Basically, it was the lighting that I was practicing and exploring. Which, I believe I need to practice even more. Plus, I believe I was trying to do 2 different approaches in one video. Sports feature direction and Product showcase direction in one video. This totally messed things up. Perhaps, the next time, we just need to focus on one direction of shoot. I felt that it did not really complete the players without the paintball marker, which is not accessible on a personal level. It doesn’t really feel complete.

Nevertheless, I would like to thank Singapore Anthrax Paintball for providing me this learning opportunity. And also, Abdukt from Sweden for allowing me to use his music.

If you have comments, please do post them up ya.

Slow Motion

Recently, bought myself a Lumix FZ200. I bought it for one reason only which is High Speed Recording. Besides GoPro 3 Black edition, this is another “cheap” toy that can shoot 100fps and 240fps. More frames, more details can be captured and slow mo it down. With lesser pixel warping.

I am not a good writer nor I can review an equipment effectively. I am just going to share my experiences.

Right out of the box, I tried shooting High Speed Video. What I found out is that :-

1. Impressive.

2. Actual playback in camera will be played at 25fps.

3. No audio will be captured.

4. All settings are locked under High Speed Recording mode.

5. No indoor shooting. It gives a bad results.

The next day, happen so that I had a family picnic. So, do more slow motion testings.

1. Confirms that this camera shoot best in broad daylight and with proper lighting, you can get good results.

2. For both normal and high speed video recording, without proper lighting, the results is not desirable for me.

3. For low light condition, the best ISO is ISO1600. Anything more than that, you can forget it. In the clip below, I maxed out the ISO to ISO6400. The noise and purple pixels are obvious.

What else I find out :-

1. I have a couple of video clips which I cannot slow mo. I just do not know why. If I slow mo it, the video clips will just get stucked !

2. With twixtor, I can slow it down to 2% with “almost” no pixel warping. That’s better with my Canon 60D which I can only slow mo it down to 20%.

3. If you want to do color correction/grading, the dynamic range captured by this Lumix FZ200 is kinda limited. You can only do basic stuffs. The more layers you add, the moire will be highlighted. I find that the video clips will have more blue/purplish pixels highlighted.

4. Photo-taking, well, I am not into photography. So to me, the photos looks good. I shot on its Intelligent Auto with minor aperture adjustment. It is easy to snap. http://www.flickr.com/photos/25117650@N06/sets/72157638501700063/

5. Not forgetting, its 600mm zoom was pretty stable when I shoot photo handheld but not in video mode.

6. I don’t think the build can stand paintballs hits. It feels plastic-ky. But it is light weight !

Overall, I would consider this as a travel camera that you must bring along unless, you have higher expectations of the photos taken. Its High Speed Recording doesn’t disappoints me except that I need to find out why certain video clips I can’t have a smooth slow mo.

At a price of $680.00SGD, why not ? Still, I desire Sony FS700 which going to cost me around $10000.00 SGD. In terms of price, yeah, it is way way affordable than to purchase FS700. When comes to performance and build, no way it can be compared to Sony FS700.

Based on this review that I decided to go and purchase Lumix FZ200.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-fz200

When Three Is Not A Crowd

” You have to learn to follow before you can lead “ ~ from the film Drumline

How true the quote above but with my limiting experience, I am still learning on how to spearhead a project effectively. Plus, I am working with my video buddies whom I have a lot of respect. They are the people who encouraged and challenged my creativity when I first started my learning journey. They are the people that I met in the local Clubsnap forum about a year ago. They have far more greater video shoot experience than me, and yet, they are willing to listen and allow me to spearhead this wedding project within my limited capacity and knowledge.

 

 

What were the challenges that I faced during this shoot ?

1. Shot Lists

- This is so important. I know the strengths of my buddies. I know what kind of video clips/composition  that they can produce. I am loosely banking on that. Truth is, if you don’t share or tell what you want, your buddies can’t do anything much. It was a failure on my part that I did not shared my vision of the final product with them.

2. Lenses

- We need to know how effectively to use our lenses for its purposes and what type of composition that we want to capture. There were 3 of us. One of us, I instructed to take of the B-rolls. It can be related or non-related to the wedding. That’s good and it settled. There were two of us left including myself. This is what I realised. I was shooting 14mm on a stabilizer. My friend was using 18-50mm lens. There were not a lot of good ranges between of us. Most of the composition that we captured were  almost similar. The next time around, we need to decide one of us to be on a 70-200mm or 85mm. Then, we have a good mix of composition. Thus, it will affect on how we going to capture our video clips and indirectly it will specifies our roles for the day.

3. Maintenance of Equipment

- I shoot for other wedding video companies more often than I shoot for my own entity. Thus, I rarely used my equipment. And what I found out that rust deposits are formed on my Konova Slider on certain portion of the length. This is greatly affecting the smoothness of the sliding shots. So, do maintain your equipment well.

- I need to find a new fluid head for my Eimage tripod. The base plate is killing me. I assume that without the 4 short rubber strips on the base plate would not affect the smoothness of its tripod usage. I was totally wrong!!

4. Organising Your Video Clips

- For the first time, the total video clips amounted to 110GB. Wow! I got a headache when sorting them out and also in post editing. I think I have found a way on how to solve this and improve the editing workflow. If there are more cameras, I think it is best to synchronize the time before you shoot. This way, it would be easier for you to sort and also for you to do multicam editing. It would be much easier and faster if you want to search for a particular moment.

Honestly and seriously, it was totally awesome shooting with my buddies. Not once that we felt that it was work. Not once that we felt that we are actually shooting for a client. That was a good feeling and vibes.

There is one thing that I really value a lot and I believe it is worth investing.

Tascam DR-60D Amplifier

- My buddy brought along his newly acquired amplifier. MAN!! The audio is super clean and crisp that I do a little to clean up the audio in post. My buddy does acknowledge its bulkiness and how it is affecting the way a person shoots. Plus, you will need additional equipment which is a headphone in order to monitor the audio captured. In my opinion, I would not mind the bulkiness and additional equipment for a good audio quality.

I am just sharing my mistakes and what I think I can do better the next time around. If you have suggestions or comments, do let me know what you think.

 

Khaizul | Farhani

This is my first wedding video assignment for a wedding photography vendor, HaizalM Photography. Meaning, I was given the full creative control from shooting to post production. Before this, I have been working as 2nd cam operator for couple of local companies. I did a couple of wedding videos on my own.

For me, every wedding video shoot were never the same. Every wedding video shoot has its own set of challenges. In this case,

1. Location of the Bride’s function venue (not well-lit)

- It was not well-lit because of the design of the void-deck. Add in the tables, chairs, decoration, people, etc. You could imagine that I was shooting at ISO1000 at F2.8 with my 35mm and 14mm. I was thinking to myself “Am I shooting a paintball event?”.  I would not have a problem if I shoot at F1.4. For the main shots, I could not shot at F1.4 due to shallow depth of field.

2. Never met before

- Usually, for my own wedding video assignment, I would spend the time to have coffee with the couple. So, I can know them better and share their excitement about their wedding plans and ideas. It usually helps to close the gap between clients and a service provider. This time around, I did not get the chance to do it as it wasn’t under my entity. I come up with a questionnaire and requested the HMP to ensure the couple complete the questionnaire. It will give me briefly an idea of their wedding.

3. Seeking parents’ blessing

- I, myself, find it kinda intruding and out-of-place. Usually, in the malay wedding, the couples have to seek blessings from the parents. I have always shoot this segment with my 14mm or 35mm and I have to be real close to the parents and couple. I think it is not nice for me to surround them just to get the close up shots. So, the next time, I am going to use a zoom lens and keep my distance away. I am going to try that for the next wedding video assignment.

4. Parents uncertainty

- I was questioned on my authenticity and legibility. Am I going to cheat them out of their money? This time around, I was on the receiving end. When I was getting married back then, I have always questioned the legibility and reliability of the service providers that I engaged. I did not dodge the questions that were thrown at me. I reassure the parents that I am going to deliver whatever HaizalM Photography have promised with regards to wedding video. Every time, I shoot a wedding, I have always regard the wedding as though it was my brother’s wedding. With God’s help, I am going to maintain the way I render my service or even better it.

5. Vintage style

- This time around, I was trying a vintage look. I look at some videos that has that vintage grading. Based on my observations, there are the “Orangish” grading and the “Purplish” grading. Due to the way I shot with respect to lightings, the “orangish” approach doesn’t work with 70% of my footages and I don’t really like the outcome. So, I go with the “purplish” approach.

Nevertheless, it was a nice wedding. Simple and yet beautiful. The food is good, the decor is nice. Everything is Fantastic!!