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Old February 2nd, 2018, 10:02 PM   #1
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UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood


I've had a little more practice with the Blackmagic now, so figured I'd try again to bring the colours and richness of the forest to the screen in a way that the Sony FS100 can't. Still learning and fine tuning, but it started to look on the computer, very similar to what I saw with my eye. Although compression and encoding may have diminished that.

No points for originality with location, but it has been captured differently to previous videos. It has the advantage of being close by, and I know how far I have to walk, with extra weight (camera+rig = 7kg, extra battery = 1kg, other ~2kg), to get the shots I want.

My recent purchase of a DJI Ronin (sucked in by a good priced second hand one on eBay) meant I wanted to test it out, and get better at using it. It's great at taking (most of) the wobble out of shots, compared to handheld - when you balance and tune it properly. The tricky part is keeping it level whist moving (avoiding bobbing while walking), and keeping a steady speed (not lurching forwards followed by slowing down) while also keeping it level. Definitely takes practice, more than the several hours I got using it for this project. And uneven ground adds another level of challenge ;-). But I figured I'd force myself to use one tool, one camera, one lens. The only exception is the Echidna was captured on my first trip using the FS100. Lucky I've been working out lately, because it starts feeling heavy very quickly. Ideally I'd use a tripod and get more close-ups on the small details, and might get a slider soon... but I also wanted to see what was possible with limited tools - to force myself to get better and learn from it. So despite this project being a one-trick-pony, I like that the movement conveys the three dimensionality of the scenes, that they have a depth that panning/tilting can't give. But the perfectionist in me still cringes at the remaining amount of wobble, bobbing, and stuttery motion in the shots. More practice and tweaking...

Hope you enjoy. Let me know your thoughts - eg. what would you do differently?
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Old February 2nd, 2018, 11:33 PM   #2
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Wow Andrew,
What a journey you just took me on! I loved the immersive sounds of the forest in you film. I could sit and listen to that for hours!!
I really like the camera movement. Maybe a little more practice is needed to get some of the shots buttery smooth, but i'm sure it's not nearly as easy as one would think. It really is like going on a walk though! The bumps in some of the shots could be a result of the footage being sped up?? Maybe try playing them at normal speed, or even slowing them down a bit and see if that makes it nicer.
As usual, a really professional VO. Can't say anything more to that!
I bet it is fun playing around with the raw footage of the BM camera, i just felt like there was a few shots where the white balance didn't really match with the shots around them. That may have been a case of the shots being taken at different times of the day, but perhaps try warming some up to match the others or visa-versa??
Again, thanks for the journey!!
Regards,
Bryce
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 06:38 AM   #3
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

You did very well on this one Andrew
The movements was nice to watch. As I understand you did all the movements with Ronin, right?
I was first thinking that some of the move across the streams was done with a motorized slider, as it was very nice done!
Think I have to look into the Ronin myself one day
I also liked the dynamic range in your footage. Very well done from the shadows and all the way up to the highlights
Your VO and ambient sound was nice listen to too!
Very good work!
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 06:40 PM   #4
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew.
Wow is right. Hey everybody "what he said", great script. I felt like I was there, I think I could even smell the smells. With your voice and the sounds this was easy to take. The movement sure adds to some simple shots. Thanks for sharing.

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Old February 4th, 2018, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Andrew, really liked the journey you took me on. Very smooth footage considering you were filming while walking. The volume and pace of your VO matched the natural background sounds. That place looked so peaceful. I only have a few comments. First, you may have wanted to try and vary the shots just a little, maybe a few more close-ups. I think that around 2:10 you started getting a little to technical on the benefits of lowering stress. And my last comment, I would have ended at 3:36, just as the kangaroo leaves the scene. Just my thoughts, thanks for the journey. Bob
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Old February 5th, 2018, 08:55 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew, a very polished entry enjoyed watching, you VO's are just magic. I think any comments both constructive and positive that I would have made have been covered by previous posters, so therefore it leaves me with just one question "what BM camera are you now using?"

Well done,

Mick
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Old February 6th, 2018, 01:02 AM   #7
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew,

Seems like the Ronin was a good investment. Your moving shots are so smooth! Very nice! I like how you managed to bring calmness, even though you were "constantly" on the move.

I agree with Bob's comments about the VO and suggestion for ending. A fade to black just before the kangaroo turns back, would be a good ending of your film.
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Old February 7th, 2018, 12:10 AM   #8
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew,


You simply take us to the place so wonderful, Superb filming and the nature sounds makes me feel in the place .
the shot of the tall tree from down is amazing would love to do such a shot someday.
An absolute peaceful journey, loved it
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Old February 12th, 2018, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Thanks for the kind words everyone. It's always hard to do justice to the places we visit, hopefully I'm getting better at conveying it. I think collectively we all are - some is from technology improving, but largely our skills in capturing it and telling a story.

Bryce, I only shot this in ProRes to save space, and I didn't spend much time grading (was still getting footage very late on) or focus on correcting the colour temp. Something to pay more attention to. It also won't shoot over 30p, otherwise I might have used a lot of slowmotion in places.

Per, yes it is the Ronin. I shot in ProRes, and realised later I didn't use ISO 800 so actually lost some dynamic range from that, but the time of day/weather probably meant it didn't matter as much. Still learning what works with grading, and how to use the waveforms as I'm adjusting. Over the river/stream I was able to use the railing of the bridge as a visual guide to keep the camera fairly level and not moving too far forwards or back. Took me a lot of concentration to smooth out 2 axis (and not bump the railing, ruining that shot), but hopefully it will get easier.

Bob - good points. I definitely relied on the narrative to just tie a bunch of shots together - I'd thought about variety, but didn't dedicate time to get it properly. I'll have to play with balancing different lenses on the rig. And just filming with a tripod for some variety of controlled closeups. I'm normally technical, sometimes I have trouble switching 'sides of the brain' and letting that part go, call it a work in progress ;-)

Mick, I'm using the Blackmagic Cinema Camera - the original in EF mount. It was a good price and figure I want to do some narrative filmmaking (non wildlife harassing) as well. I'm not sure what I'd be looking at for 'upgrading' in the future -wait and see what the 4K landscape does.

Trond, yeah that's a good idea. I know someone who liked that it pulled back out, and kind of returned back towards the start of the journey. But I think your suggestion makes a cleaner finish.

I recently used a similar setup, except instead of the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 (used for all but 1 shot in this film), I switched to the Sigma 17-50 f2.8. Tripod for some, on dolly for many, Ronin for a couple of shots - in an ad we shot Friday, submitted Sunday, for a quit smoking campaign competition. Ronin gets a bit shakier running with it, but no comparison to handheld or shoulder mounted, and better tuning might help improve it from there. I already changed the smoothtrack settings for better control. Also the first time shooting compressed RAW files. Totally not enough time to edit properly as I was also finishing off DVDs, but pulled together pretty well. Who would have thought practicing this stuff helps ;-)
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Old February 20th, 2018, 04:49 AM   #10
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

The other project is live on Facebook. Still a learning experience, but for basically 2 days worth (1/2 day shooting and 1+1/2 editing) I think it pulled together fairly well. Seems to compare well technically with the other entries. My only gripe now is that the winner is decided by public vote, which can work well in a small community, but on social media can easily become a battle of the friends lists rather than on merit or quality. The link is here partly so that anyone feeling generous can add a like to the video - which counts as a vote. Or just to compare projects (only 2 shots used the Ronin in this one).
We're shooting a non-competition video tomorrow that will also be used as part of the campaign, so hopefully I can figure out how to light it well (moody and dramatic) ;-)

https://www.facebook.com/PitchToQuit...4637785639734/
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Old February 20th, 2018, 08:37 AM   #11
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Great job Andrew!!
I loved the way you tied this all together with hurdles. Very well done. That's a big "like" from me!
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Old February 20th, 2018, 09:26 AM   #12
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

And a big like from me as well!
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Old February 20th, 2018, 06:01 PM   #13
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Re: UWOL 45 - Sojourn by Andrew Hood

Thank you Bryce and Mick, every little bit helps.
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