All of them love it but not her.

October 21, 2014 Leave a comment

When Wenie first contacted me about re-editing her video, I wasn’t expecting much.

Probably, her wedding videographer did not made her a wedding highlights. Rather, gave her 6 DVD copies of her wedding event. You know, like disc one is from 9am – 11am, disc two is from 11am – 1pm and so forth.

Probably, her wedding videographer is a traditional one man show.

These were what I was expecting. Based on my experience, these kind of shooting style, the good thing is I will have all the unedited shots and her wedding moments. The setback is I would be missing out on the film-making technique. Still, there is so much I can do to make it like how I make my wedding videos.

BOY! I was wrong.

Her videographers were so technically inclined in film-making or cinematography. It has wide shots, mid shots, close-up and super close ups. With these compositions, I can actually move the story more “dramatically”. Not only that, there were sliding and gliding technique. Colors and exposure were all in controls. No shaky shots. Superb!

The setback is there is only one DVD copy. Meaning, her wedding videos is already edited. It also means that I could be missing some wedding moments which I might be interested. It has been color graded and transitions added.

Honestly, her wedding videos were beautifully made. I, myself, really like it. Wenie kept saying she did not like it at all. She said all her family members including her husband love it but not her. I just don’t understand. I probed further.

” There were so many things in the video, not like I imagine it. All I remember that night was my mom’s speech. I really felt it. I treasure all the things she said that night. “

 


 

MANAGING OUR EXPECTATIONS.

First thing that I shared with her was the video quality. The DVD quality is already compressed data. If I managed to extract the data, it will further compressed. And if she wants me to deliver in DVD, it will be further compressed. A lot of data are lost.

Second, allow me to interpret your wedding. Meaning, Wenie do not have any creative control. I asked her to watch my wedding videos and share with me her favorites.

Third, I will not deliver in DVD as I do not want to further compress the video quality.

Forth, I am able to deliver in 3 months time because I have other wedding and business video deadlines.

After much discussions and sharing, we agreed.

I am so happy that she like it very much with my re-edit.

2014_10_15_22.30.10 2014_10_15_22.46.51


 

CANNOT RIP HER DVD

The only challenge I faced with this assignment was, I could not extract the DVD via Windows Media Player. I search the internet and downloaded couple of programs but CDCheck works perfectly.

The only set back, the video I extracted came in parts instead of the full video. Some parts are missing from the video. So what I did was, I close other running programs and run CDCheck only. Woo Hoo! Now I got all the video.


 

I am just happy to be able to fulfill Wenie’s expectations. Tonight, I will sleep a happy man.

Sometimes, falling in love is so simple.

September 18, 2014 Leave a comment

No matter how much I pushed, no matter how I tweaked my questions and no matter how I lead them into sharing their love secrets. They only have one reason.

One fell in love because of her voice. The other fell in love because the way he stares at her. Simply, it is just that.

Another thing that is quite unique about them, they are so looking forward in getting married. They really don’t care about the future. They just want to get married. That’s all they can think of. I find it kinda cute.



Get rid of the slider and say hello to Kessler Crane Traveller Jib !

I rarely used crane for wedding assignments because there are 2 things which I am very concerned.

1. SAFETY – My number 1 priority. Crane is bulky and requires a lot of space. You cannot slip or mishandle it because it may lead to accidents like injuring someone, falling down.

2. MANNING INTENSIVE – Seriously, I need a person literally there all the time, even when he is not operating. To operate this, I do need to transfer the cost to the customers, which I am quite reluctant to unless, customers wants it.

kessler_pocket_jib_zps35a8ecc9

BUT WHY I USE IT ?

The production value it adds to your workflow. It just that simple.

So, once I identified that 2 concerns, I made sure I got all that covered. So, I get one videographer to handle it all day and make sure stay clear of the wedding cake. I do not want Orangefill to be the cause of destroying the wedding cake. That was my fear. Thank to God, it went smoothly but we do need a lot of practise on how to maximize its potential.

PLUS POINTS (compared to my Fotocrane Ultra Light)

  1. Super light weight. Comparable to Fotocrane.
  2. Easy to set up. No cable or “strings” fix up like the Fotocrane.
  3. Easy balancing with the fixed interval slots.
  4. It compact that you can fit into your tripod bag.
  5. No lob-sided camera position. Unlike my FotoCrane, my DSLR tend to slant down more on the left. So, I need to correct the positioning using a mounted ball head.

SETBACKS (compared to my Fotocrane Ultra Light)

  1. No tilting of your camera platform. Unlike Fotocrane, you are able to tilt your camera when doing craning up or down.

FotoCrane UltraLite

My honest opinions are :-

  1. Depends on how you see it. This is a very high quality product. For $1000.00SGD, you are paying for its worth.
  2. At the same time, there are also options like my FotoCrane UltraLite, LCW Trapezist Jib and some China brands which going to cost you half the price.

I will go for the number 2 options as I would like to get more Return Of Investment. Who know, when I got more higher value video assignment in the future, I will invest in Kessler Traveler Jib.

Whatever Rocks Your Boat.

7 Quick Tips On How To Shoot Video Like A Pro !

August 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Thought of sharing some simple tips or guides that I have learned from fellow wedding cinematographers, videomakers, video business owners for the past 3 years.

These are the common practices which I observed and were taught. This is just a skeleton of the bigger workflow or processes.

7 Quick Tips On How To Shoot Video Like A Pro !

Video making is not so daunting as you may think. With these simple and quick tips, I hope it could inspire you or tip you over the fence to just go out there and make one.

So, grab your hp, camcorder or DSLR and start making a video.

If you have any questions about video making, forward them to me. I will try my best to shorten your research and speed up your learning journey. 

For small business owners, I know you believe that video could works for your business. Contact me to find out. It doesn’t cost you anything, just an email. 

For wedding couples, you want someone than you can trust and comfortable in sharing your story. That’s how I always do for my wedding video services. You can trust me, can you ?

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.

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