No Wedding Is The Same

August 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Seriously, no wedding is the same. You can say, all malay weddings have this, have that and blah blah. Trust me, no wedding is the same to both bride and groom. After all, it is your wedding. The wedding experience and memories is so unique and meaningful to each couple. I believe same goes to videographers as well.

One of the most memorable thing that happened during this wedding was WE FORGOT THE PHOTOGRAPHER !! Hahahah. That’s was cute. All of us went to Lorong Buangkok for the outdoor shoot. When all of us were happily mingling and waiting, someone popped the question ” So, who is going to take the pictures? “

 

I thought I had it…

Seriously, after shooting quite a number of weddings, I thought I have it all under control. Boy, was I challenged.

MOVING CLOUDS – Me and my team members, we have faced this situation before. Where the sun was being blocked and unblocked by the moving clouds. The difference of exposure caused by the moving clouds were so significant that we need to change our settings quite often. We were already shooting at 25fps, 1/50 and ISO100, still, our highlights are clipped. That is how bright it was, even we were under the tentage.

AUTO EXPOSURE – Canon 6D has this function AUTO EXPOSURE. Sure, it is of a great help but to certain extent. When the situation is quite bright, the function really does it job very well. When the condition became cloudy due to the moving clouds, boy, my video clips were so underexposed where I am losing my blacks/shadows details.

You can see what I meant in the video at 02:40 – 02:45

Me and my team member talked about this and we have decided we need to start using ND Fader filters even when we are shooting indoor. That will be our immediate investment. We cannot afford to have this kind encounters again. With ND Fader filters, we should be adjusting the number of stops on the filters instead of  meddling our camera settings.

SELF INDULGENCE / SHIOK SENDIRI – I do not know why I really really love my Samyang 35mm F1.4 that day so much. I was playing with the focusing in and out. Till I forgot about my composition. This is what malay say shiok sendiri. Attention of focusing was so short that at times it was strenuous to the eyes.

Other than that, the rest of the video making process is pretty much similar compared to previous assignments.

Oh, another thing that is unique, this wedding has Ice Kacang Live Station for the guests. It was really refreshing on a hot day.

** If you are looking or want to find out more about my wedding videography services, forward your enquiry to contact@orangefill.com. If you do need a video service for your branding, presences, products, forward them as well. We do provide other kinds of video services besides wedding.

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Online Content Marketing Video – EK Paintball Group

I was really surprised when Ben “King” contacted me requiring my video services. I mean, a business owner of the largest paintball park operator in Singapore.

He stated that he wanted to do a online video to market for his business. A video that will market the sport itself and aiming to propel sales.

I was hesitant at first because I am not too sure whether I can fulfill his expectations. If I do not take this opportunity, when will I learn and progress. So, told myself, ” Let’s do this “

We met, we discussed, we brainstormed and we tried to manage each other expectations. It was totally a whole different “ball game” compared to making wedding videos.

I have to come up with shot lists. I have to present and describe the final video with the assistance of the shot list. I really the appreciate that Ben and Jane, really pushed me to the point that I felt uncomfortable. Uncomfortable means good. Uncomfortable means I have something lacking. Uncomfortable means I need to buck up.

They have expectations and have to be met. The video have to be precise in terms of information and the visuals have to be enticing. My formula is just get straight to the point and using beautiful effects to enhance the video. I NEED and MUST integrate visuals, concept and music to present the branding and the sport.

Ben wanted only one video which is online video but I wanted to do more for Ben, so I proposed that I will do another video for purpose of presenting during corporate engagements.

All was set and agreed !

But things didn’t go as planned.

1. ACTORS

- I need actors or volunteers in order to choreograph the actions. If I am able to choreograph, I have more control of the outcome and I can plan my shooting time.

- There were no actors on the day. Ben totally forgot about the arrangement. I became intensed. Knowing that video shooting a recreational games played by non-paintballers, the actions will be way way much lesser and much lesser of aggression.

- What I did was, I tried to talk to the players. Telling them the way to win the game. I planted the “seeds”. It worked though, only for the teams that listened to me. 60% of the time, they are playing the game as though they are shooting a real gun in a battlefield. If you know what I mean. A lot of hiding. A lot of military actions which don’t really worked for paintball games.

- The only consolation I got from Ben, was assuring me to do my best and not to worry so much. I am freaking worried because he is the pay master. I would not want to disappoint him. Every minute, I got to think of something. Out of the 2 days of shoot, only about 30% of the video clips was usable for me.

2. AERIAL VIEW

- WHY WHY WHY WHY !!!! Out of all times, it had to be on the day I shoot. My heli broke down after flying and shooting for freaking 45 seconds.

- When the quadcopter crashed to the ground, my heart sank! I was like OH SHIT. I am going to get it from Ben. I got some explaining to do. Ben was disappointed and still, he did not demand for the heli shots. He kept encouraging me to do my best. Where can you get a nice pay master.

- Luckily, I brought my portable jib/crane. Still, the video composition will not give the same feeling. At this point, it is better than nothing.

3. POST PRODUCTION

- After 2 days of video shoot, time to edit. This took quite a while as I needed a write-up from Ben about his company and what he want to convey in the video. It took quite a while before Ben could replied to me. I understand, they were organizing tournaments in the coming months after February 2014.

- I took the liberty to come up with the write up. I proceed with first draft of editing and presented to them. To do a write up, it is not easy. I am not good with writing. I managed a C6 in my O-Levels. Now I know why video companies provide copywriting services.

The whole production took about 3 months.

What were my ideas and directions for this production ?

1. If a picture paints a thousands words, a video will paint a thousands words at a rate of 25 times per second. 

- It does. I need to grab attention and build influences within the first 15-30 seconds of the video. I need to create that luring feel and making viewers continue watching, engaging them. I believe I did judging from the comments given when Ben and Jane shared the video.

- It is not about mixing visuals, text and music. It is not like that. You have to concept the whole approach. In a way, you got to tell a story. Music itself has its own story. The visuals and text effects itself has its own story. Video clips has its own story. You need to integrate them together. I may not produced a perfect video but this is what I was thinking and doing when making this production.

- The video has to provide information and invite video play-back.

2. Content (Video Online Marketing)

- In this production, Ben clearly have set its contents and knew what he wants. He wants to promote paintball. Using video as a medium.

- What are contents :-

  • Paintball is a sport that can be played by anyone.
  • Paintball can promote team-building – seriously, it is a team sport. 
  • Paintball scene in Singapore at glance – for those who wanted to play more competitively after trying out a session.
  • Brand awareness.

- With these in mind, I came up with a story.

3. After Action Review

- After I made the first draft, I asked myself this question. ” If the video to be replaced with just a image and text, will it able to convey the same content? “

- My answer is NO. Image with text will not have the same effect.

- But if my answer is YES, it means my process has gone wrong!

ORANGEFILL

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17 March 2014 is the official date that I decided to launch my own video services. After 2 years of freelancing and working for others, I have decided to craft it out on my own. Thus, Orangefill was born.

Why the name Orangefill ?

- Firstly, it is because of paintball. Because of the sport and paintballers that encouraged me, I owe it to the sport. And, paintballs usually are filled with orange dye. Thus, the name of Orangefill.

- ORANGE represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

- And I want to FILL all that into my videos that will be produced.

Orangefill will be providing wedding video services to the local malay community as its main source of business and opportunity. Thus, defining its purpose is very critical in any business set up. I am not going to rule out possibility of making videos for other genre of market and opportunities.

Honestly, I have failed in my past business venture like internet marketing and online paintball shop. Mistakes were made. Had to endure the failures. Opportunities were presented. Lessons learnt. For Orangefill, I am going to make it happen and be brave to tackle obstacles or challenges that may arises. I will do my best not to let Orangefill fail.

So far, managed to get 4 wedding bookings this year and a corporate job since the launch. It is a milestone for me. Not only that, managed to clinch a editing assignments on a permanent basis for the next 2 years.

There are people who inspire me in setting up Orangefill. There are many, in a way or another, big and small, have given me the strength and encouragements. Only a few that really made me drop my pants by just listening to them or by just observing.

  • Herdi’ Man for his business mindsets, visions and thoughts.
  • Rodney from BambooPictures, for his words and encouragements that really knocked my brains out.
  • Fazluddin, my biker kakis and independent accountant, for his guide in business plan and business strategy map out. Sharing business ideas.
  • Ben, EK Paintball Group, for his encouragements. I really learned quite a bit just by looking his business growing since 2009.
  • Imran Ali, the guy who made everything looks simple. It is about Control and Knowledge.

So, what does Orangefill do ?

Combining beautiful imagery with our knowledge and skills. Curiosity is our north star. Your story is our inspirations. Through our eyes, together, we will produce a meaningful, truthful and artfully created story.

Visit Us : www.orangefill.com 

Like Us : www.facebook.com/orangefillvideowerkz

Singapore Paintball Series 2014 – Leg 1 [YouTube Settings Drives Me Crazy]

Recently, I covered Singapore Paintball Series 2014 – Leg 1, the only major paintball tournament in Singapore.

This time around, it is so special because the tournament welcomed couple of top paintball teams around the South East Asia region. We have teams from Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Phillipines and Guam. What a sight!

Another special this leg is the first time that paintballers are playing on a turf field! I wished I could play.

Another special, after couple of months of no rain, it rained over the weekend. Someone said, “It is always rain during Singapore Paintball Series”. Well, it came true.

Anyway, I am not going to share how I shot the event because pretty much is what I have shared all my mistakes and experiences all these times.

But, what I am going to share is my experiences uploading to YouTube.

As usual, after edit and video treatment, I will usually use the normal settings I have used all these while BUT! The quality was so bad. The first one, my colours were all blown out and they appeared in blocks. These were so apparent when playing back in full screen. Seriously, I do not know what happened. I spent almost 4 days exporting and uploading to YouTube. The video shown above is the best one so far.

So, you can read up more on YouTube advance settings here

I am going to share with you guys couple of the short videos I exported with different settings and uploaded into YouTube. You can compare the different settings and its quality. My concerns were the sharpness of the video, retention of colours and the appearance of blocks, which I do not want!

The first one; I used YouTube Advance Settings

The second one; I tried to export using 1080p 25fps preset

The one that I found to be of good quality. This is the export settings I used for my final upload.

What are the things that you really to take note :-

1. If you are shooting at 50/60fps, you need to convert in post. Do not allow YouTube convert it for you.

2. Use Max Render Quality. Max Render Depth and Frame Blending, I personally think it doesn’t make a difference.

3. Try to match your source data bitrate with your export video. As you see in my final 3rd video, max data bitrate was at 50mbps because my highest bitrate for couple video clips were 47mbps.

4. Always capture good exposed video clips and lower those ISO settings.

5. Trust me, Vimeo has better compression than YouTube. Still, Vimeo will not convert 60fps into web 60fps. Do your own conversion in post.

This may not serve as a great tool. This is more of sharing what I have done. As my learning journey continues, the quest for good quality playback is very important to me. After this experience, I still prefer Vimeo.

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

March 18, 2014 Leave a comment

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

February 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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 !

January 17, 2014 Leave a comment

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.

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