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Old June 7th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #1
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Steadicam Merlin + XHA1 amateur movie.

Hi,

I recently decided to make a no-budget horror movie, primarily using my Steadicam Merlin (no vest) and XHA1. I only had a 6-hour time frame to film our movie, so I wasn't able to fine-tune the Merlin balance or XHA1 setting for every shot, but over the course of those 6 hours, I realized one thing for certain. I definitely need a lot more than just those 6 hours when filming with a Steadicam. LOL

I had to go basic hand held for a couple of shots, but I wanted to use the Merlin as much as I could throughout. So if you're interested in watching an amateur made Steadicam short film, with bloopers at the end, here's the link.
YouTube - Fade To Black (amateur horror movie)

I really like the Merlin overall, and for those of you considering one, it's a unit that requires a lot of practice and patience, but can deliver some really good results.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 07:47 AM   #2
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Thanks a lot for sharing Brett. I definitely jumped a out of my seat.

Can I ask how you make the sound of the knife going in?

BTW, I'm sure you realize it, but one constructive comment is to maybe be a little more aware of how lights in the ceiling can blow-out parts of the shot, esp. when shooting upwards from a low angle.

But thanks again :)!
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Old June 9th, 2010, 08:51 AM   #3
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And I suppose more in-room lighting would allow using ND filters or stopping down to reduce window light over-dominance as well.

Very nicely done. I like it very much. Nice smooth camera movements.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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Thanks very much for the comments guys.

The knife sound was an effect I found online, and since it was free, it fit right into my budget. :)

I purposely tried to give the movie a slightly overexposed look, and reduced the colour, to create more of a ghostly experience. I know it's not technically correct, but I think it sort of worked in this case...............I think??? LOL

It was definitely a good learning experience though, for working with the Merlin in making a movie. I'm going to try making a few more over the next while, incorporating longer tracking shots, but hopefully more than 6 hours to get them completed. Thanks again for the feedback and suggestions, as I truly appreciate it.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:29 AM   #5
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Bret, I liked the desaturated look. But the blown-out ceiling lights were distracting. Esp in one shot when the dad is in the hallway and the mom is on the bed. As the dad moved, his head would go from blocking to not blocking the ceiling light; this made the light esp distracting.

But don't get me wrong I did like it and commend you very much for all your effort!
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Old June 10th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #6
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Thanks Peter, and I totally agree with you about the lighting issue. The simplest solution would've been to turn the hallway light off for that particular shot, but to be honest, I was concentrating on just trying to get through the scenes as fast as possible, due to our time constraint, and made some goofs along the way.

But I truly appreciate you mentioning it, because it will help me to remember to look for those situations in my upcoming films.

I'm glad though that you enjoyed it overall.
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