” 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.
- 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.
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!!
Was given the opportunity to provide videography coverage for the local paintball circuit.
This time around, I am able to collaborate with a DJ from Sweden. Was given the green in using his song, ABDUKT | dramatique. The first time I listen to this song, I just fall in love with it. The first thing that came to my mind was paintball. I already have ideas on my mind for the next paintball video. That was 3 months ago.
This video purely inspired by the song. Still, it came with its own challenge.
Just as when I thought I hit the jackpot for the “sweetspot” settings for super slow-mo twixtor, it still did not give the perfect results. I was shooting 1/2000 shutter with 60fps and variable ISOs. This time around, I am convince that twixtor can do its magic to certain extent only. If I want the paintballs to fly super duper slow-mo with clarity (literally to see the paintballs flying in full shape), my next cheapest option is the Sony FS700.
After shooting this event, I have so many questions. At the same time, I am fed up with myself because I am still making mistakes which I should not have.
1. Do adding layers of video effects on your footage, will it degrade the quality of your footage ?
2. What is the best export settings for YouTube ?
3. Why the video is not so sharp ?
4. Where were my White Balance controls ? 50% of my footages were kinda blueish.
5. Is my camera not functioning well? How do I know? Is there such thing call camera body servicing like my motorcycle 3 monthly servicing?
I hope anyone who help me with these questions or point me to the right direction. I might have look at the wrong direction all this while.
Shot with : Canon 60D, Canon 700D and Canon 550D
This lovely couples have an interesting start to their love journey. Due to this, it encouraged me to do more than just the normally wedding highlights that I made.
I wanted to create more depth and also able to compress their love journey in 7 minutes. I also want others to know what’s their story instead of watching another couples tying the knot.
Shooting this wedding do have its challenges like my other weddings. This time is different because I have more confidence in technical handling, equipment handling, planning, people interactions, etc. Any problems that came with it, I am able to overcome them. I am more calm and organized compared to my previous weddings.
The challenge that I faced is the video compositions and creative shots. I felt these kind of shots could add production value or “Wow” value to your wedding video. It will enhance the overall watching experience for the couples and viewers. I still need to find that knack for it.
The interviewing clips. TRUST ME. Even if you do not have a script, go and make one as a guide so that the couples know what to say. Be mindful to their expressions, vocal tones, expression tones, their small gestures that could be disturbing. Get in control.
Plus, my fellow video-grapher was given a Canon 700D by Canon to do a review. He gave me 700D to use for the day as he did not want take any chances with equipment that he isn’t familiar with. I, myself, not a techie junkie and not a good reviewer. There are a couple of points that I find 700D is lacking.
1. AUTO AWB
- If you do panning shot from left to right or up to down or vice versa, the AUTO AWB changes for 700D is pretty obvious compared to 60D where the changes is quite minimal and subtle.
- The colours on AUTO AWB is quite heavy on the orangish side and quite underexposed.
2. K white balance function
- There is no Kelvin function in this 700D which can be handy at certain situations.
3. Swivel LCD Screen
- You got to love the swivel LCD screen. And it is touch screen. Woo Hoo!! Browsing the menu and functions using the touch screen is way much more fun and easier compared to using the dial button.
- I have shot 17 minutes continuously on 700D. So I am not sure how long before it gets overheated. I have shot with Canon 550D. It only takes about 5-7 minutes before it gets overheated. Like my 60D, I have shot way beyond 35 minutes and still no sign of overheating.
Basically, that pretty much what happened this time around.
If there any comments and feedback, please do drop them.
First and foremost, music is by Butch Clancy | Band of Horses – The Funeral (remix)
Do check him out over here >>>
Was given the opportunity to video shoot the tournament. After all, I started my video learning journey purely because of paintball. After 2 weeks of waiting, they gave me the green light. I was over the moon, practically. My wife can be my witness.
Thank you so much to Singapore Paintball Series committee in giving me the opportunity to further enhance and enrich my learning journey. This is not a paid job. It is about me giving back and contributing something back to the local paintball community in my own way.
Mistakes that I made in my previous paintball videos, I would not repeat them. I took the pains to do some reading up, emailing more experienced videographers, cinematographers, tonnes of youtube-ing and vimeo-ing, and do my own testings since my first paintball video. Can read up my previous experience here.
Nothing works better than having a Sony FS700 or Red Epic or Phantom Flex. If you are on a tight budget, GoPro 3 Black Edition is another option. It makes your workflow so much easier and shorter editing time.
With DSLR, all you need is to shoot at a shutter speed at least 1/2000. I was shooting at a shutter speed of 1/4000 and at 60fps. And the results was far far more better than my previous paintball videos. I have broken the 180 degree rule, with relations to Frame Rate and Shutter Speed.
Simply put, if you go higher on your shutter speed, you will have lesser motion blur when you do slow mo. Yes, you have to pay attention to your other settings like aperture and ISO to get good exposure for your footages. Trust me, this time around, the warping is much much lesser when I do slow mo but it is still there. Minimal.
What were the challenges in this video-shoot ?
1. The HEAT! I can’t bear it. I have to give it to the referees. They stayed in the field for every 2 hours. Only to have 10-15 minutes break in between. Seriously, I did not know how they managed it. RESPECT has to be given to them for their perseverance and endurance.
2. AUTO MODE. After the lunch break, I could not take the heat. It is getting to me. To make my video shoot experience a little bit better, I decided to shoot on AUTO White Balance and AUTO ISO. I was worried that I might get wrong colors and flickering effect from the auto shifting of the ISO settings. Well, the results were pretty safe BUT kinda underexposed. And it gave a little bit of orange color cast. Possibly, it could be also my lens. I know for sure, my Samyang lenses will give me that. The problem is, in this event, I did not use any of them. For the last 7 games, I switch back to the norm.
3. I remembered when I was covering the Cedar Primary School – Teachers Paintball Challenge, the paintball park operator gave me a cold ice towel. That was HEAVEN!!! So, if you were to cover an event under the hot sun for a long time, freeze a towel the night before.
4. Usually, in a paintball game, players have the options of using the Dorito side to attack or the Snake side. In this 3 on 3 challenge, 90% of the teams, avoid playing on the snake side. So I am lacking in terms of footages.
5. Lastly, I drew inspirations from many paintball videographers around the world for all their paintball videos. They are the GURUs to me. Watching their videos, I know how much effort was put in. In order to get the best footages, you need to be in the line of fire. Risking yourself to be LANED. Your equipment to be painted by paintballs flying at 270 feet per second.
Twixtor Pro – Yes, I did use Twixtor Pro to do some of the slow mo. Still, it does gives the warping effect. So what I did was, I chose the best footages that gave me a minimal warping. The slow mo editing is much much less taxing if you shoot at the settings that I mentioned.
In a wrap, what were my settings :-
- Shutter speed at 1/4000
- 60 frames per second
- ISO between 1000 – 2000 and for 30% of the time, I was on AUTO ISO
- Kelvin White Balance and for 30% of the time, I was on AUTO White Balance
- Aperture ranging from F4 – F8 with regards to the sunlight.
Equipment I used :-
- Canon 60D
- Tamron 70-300
- Canon Kit lens 18-135
- Konova Slider
** Need to save up and gonna buy myself a Canon 70-200 F2.8
If you have any questions about how to video shoot, feel free to drop me an email. I am more than willing to share my mistakes with you.
It has been quite a while since I posted here. Well, I have since become a Dad for the past 3 months. And boy, it was fun. Changing diapers, sleepless nights, “head-banging” cries for milk, etc. I am enjoying every moment of it till I forget how to video shoot.
This is another wedding project which I did recently. I was kinda rusty and I did not do proper housekeeping on my equipment. To such extent, I was surprised to see my gear bag only 20% filled. Little did I remember that I lend it out to my fellow videographers.
With this lovely couple, I was trying to do a short story with that TV feel. And, I wanted to capture all my clips at F1.4 or the very least at F2. I want to really “push” my 35mm Samyang lens. I want to have that bokeh look and that solid isolation. Shooting during the day in bright sunny Singapore, what can go wrong. I have abundance of light. I do not have to worry about lighting.
Boy, I was so wrong. It did came with its challenges. Let me share.
1. It is no joke video shooting under the hot sun ! Got sun-burnt on my forehead ! Challenges that comes with it. My oh my.
2. Even you have adjusted your exposure within the ”limits” with the help of histogram and ND fader, you can still clip your highlights or “burned” your highlights. So, bright sunny day, expose your clips more towards the shadow using the histogram.
3. YOU MUST HAVE FADER !! I did some testing. Especially when shooting the sky and clouds. You need it. Make your job easier when you are trying to bring the colours out in post. Without a Fader filter, I need to increase my F-stops which could result in me not having that bokeh look. Yes, I may get the clouds and the blue sky in good exposure but my subject could be too dark in the shadows area. Plus, by increasing the F-stops, your composition can be too dark or underexposed. Bringing up the brightness level in post could not bring the same results. Know your “sweetspot” that works for you and your art direction.
4. Get a viewfinder. It really made my experience a lot easier and I can better composed my clips. I get a cheap one. VFinder. The sticky on the magnet was very bad that it got peeled off. So I adapt. I only use it when I want to compose my clips. Sun shades did help but it cannot 100% isolate the sun reflections bouncing off your shirt.
5. You need to complete your scenes within a time frame. Why? All because of the sun. I had to re-shoot couple of scenes because of the intensity of the sun light. It was way way off.
6. You need to pace yourself and the process. If not, people might get turn off. Due to the heat.
7. Avoid 12pm – 3pm. It is so unbearable. And the heat is really scorching. With my approach of getting that bokeh look, my settings were way off. During this time, the sun will above you. It will burnt all your images. It is quite challenging getting a balanced composed clips. So avoid these timings.
Get a FADER ! I am using Hercules Variable Fader.
Again, Get a FADER and a ViewFinder !
Equipment Used :-
- Canon 60D
- Samyang 35mm lens
- Rode Video Mic
- Manfrotto 561 Monopod
- Pro-Motion Stabilizer
- HMC and Hercules Variable Fader
My learning journey for the year 2012.
It has been a wonderful journey for me. Video gigs that I did, new people that I met, invaluable lessons and experiences that I have gained. There is nothing more that I could ask for.