Monday, May 1, 2017

3rd Hard Drive Installed On My Editing Laptop

Tonight I installed a second 2TB internal hard drive on my HP Elitebook 8760W laptop computer. I now have 3 hard drives on this baby, a 1TB, a 2TB and another 2TB, along with 32GB of RAM. I will need tons of space to store my video files made in the dump for the film, especially if I decide to shoot everything in the RAW format.  The idea is to fill these hard drives up with video, and also have a back up of some kind, either on external hard drives or possibly online (might to large and take to long to upload).

I have now maxed out the capabilities of my laptop, got a hard ass big time machine. Hopefully it will work flawlessly for me in the coming few years. If I can make my movie on it, store the video footage, do the editing, then it will have done its job.  Lots to ask of this machine, I think it might just work.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Installed A Second Hard Drive On To My HP Elitebook 8760W Video Editing Laptop

This afternoon I received my DVD hard drive caddy today in the mail from China. I came to work, installed the 2TB internal drive in the caddy, then removed my DVD player from the Elitebook 8760W laptop and placed the new hard drive inside. I then found on line the steps needed for the computer to recognize this 2nd drive. The installation went well, everything works great and I now have a 2 drives on my editing computer a 1 TB and a 2 TB.

I have a second caddy and second 2TB hard drive in the mail, when those arrive I will install them as well. That will bring my computer up to its max capacity, 32GB of RAM and 5 TB of hard drive (3 drives). I saved quite a bit of money by buying my RAM/DRIVES/CADDIES online and doing the installation myself (thank you YouTube).

This laptop which is armed with Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas and Davinci Resolve (video editing software's) should be a great tool for me in Asia. I can shoot all day then download and edit all night. Or shoot all night and edit all day! By doing the editing in Thailand  I will have a clear understanding of what is working or not working as I progress  through the project day by day.

Now Have The Maximum 32GB Of RAM In My Editing Laptop

You got to love YouTube. Today I was able to use a couple of online tutorials to install 16GB more RAM into my HP Elitebook 8760W laptop. I wanted to upgrade the memory so that I could handle more high end work when doing the movie editing in Thailand later this year. Today I was able to do that.

Today's computer upgrade turned out well. I was a bit worried going in as I am not really a tech guy but it went very smoothly. I had to remove the computer keyboard to get at the extra 2 RAM slots but that went fine. 

I also purchased a 2TB second hard drive that I want to install. Am patiently waiting on the hard drive caddy I need (from China) to complete the installation. If that goes well I will try buying and installing a third hard drive (another 2TB job). The most difficult part for me is getting the caddies (they hold the drives in the computer) from China. Ordered 4 different cheap ones but 1 never arrived, 1 is the wrong style (ended up getting that free). I have 2 more on order now. I would also need to buy the second 2TB hard drive online as well. With 32GB of RAM and 5TB of hard drive space. I would have a kick ass laptop for video editing.

Update* I bought the second 2TB hard drive, the cost $94.99 USD plus shipping. Am going for the 3 hard drive option for my computer. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

BIG SD CARD BUY

Bought som more storage SD cards for the BMPCC bodies. The cards need to be super fast to keep up with the RAW data pouring in to them. The card that is recommended is the 64GB Extreme PRO SD SDXC Card 95MB/s Class 10. Last month I picked up 3 refurbished versions of these cards for $20 USD a piece plus shipping. After testing the cards in my cameras I found they were NOT dropping frames so today I bought another 4.

I now have 11 of these cards, 4 I got from the seller of my cameras off eBay, and 7 are these refurbished babies (guaranteed to be as good as new).

I was thinking of buying the 128GB version in fact I bought one online but the seller disappeared without sending me the card. I appealed to eBay who refunded my $41 USD (too good a deal to be true and it was). I rechecked the prices for the 129GB cards tonight and found them quite high. I am also not sure if the 128GB cards work in the BMPCC. Decided to play it safe and buy the smaller sized 64GB versions.

64GB is quite small for the amount of info I am recording. I will need to change cards quite often. If you are shooting RAW, I think each card will only old 20-25 minutes of footage. With 11 cards I should have enough storage space to record 3 hours and 40 minutes per day.

Hmm wonder if I should buy a few more cards?

Here is the eBay pricing for different versions of this SD card (I paid $20 USD each for my refurbished type cards)

NEW 95MB/S 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC Class 10 - $40.80 USD free shipping
NEW 95MB/S 128GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC Class 10 - $66.55 USD plus $2.29 shipping

Update: Bought another 5 cards. Thought I needed them just in case they break down, in case I lose them, in case I need them for a long days shooting, etc. I now have 16 cards, which is enough storage space to do 5 hours 20 minutes+ of video a day. Do not plan on doing that much recording but it is better to have backups to my backups than to be stranded and pissed off in Mae Sot trying to buy SD cards (very limited stores). I would also hate to have an important shooting day cut short because I ran out of storage space. I have run out of still film before and that always hurts! There will be times I plan on spending the night in the dump filming. When I am there all night I want to make sure I can film at will.

I will now shoot at ease, trying to get the good and important video I need for the movie. I still have to becareful I do not overshoot and be selective. Everything I shoot will have to eventually be stored on hard drives for later editing.  I can only buy so many 4TB hard drives for storage! 

Note* If I shoot in ProRes HQ instead of RAW I can store much more footage on a 64GB card, I think it is 40 minutes plus. Not sure of the exact numbers, depends on frame rates etc ...24 per second 30? Am still learning. Having too many cards is certainly better than not having enough! 16 should do me nicely.

My Tokina 12-24mm F4 Lens Has Arrived

I got my 12-24mm Tokina F4 lens from Japan today, there was no extra charges. Tonight at work I have the lens on my BMPCC body. The f-stop feature works flawlessly with the electronics of the Metabones EF Speedbooster. The angle of view 12mm-24 (about a 20.4mm-40.8mm on the camera) is quite wonderful. With the speedbooster the lens is effectively a f2.6 not fast but not bad. I really like the range of the zoom. I believe I will use this lens for 80% of my shooting. At the widest focal length of 20.4 there is little noticeable distortion, much less so than the earlier tested Rokinon 7.5mm (22.5mm equivalent).

Finally I can pay for everything and not buy any more major film making gear. It is time to start saving for the trip. My training to become a film maker continues on a nightly basis. Things are going pretty well as planned. We are on a positive roll towards the creation of the movie.

My "1296P Mini Camera Wearable Body Video Police DVR 140" Has Arrived

Got my new compact body cam today. This is not a hidden camera but more of a wearable body camera with an obvious lens. I was thinking of using it to record my daily activity in the dump and other PUBLIC places, to give a more personal up close viewpoint for the blogs. This unit is easier to wear than the go pro option. Hopefully it will help humanize my subjects that much more, furthering education and a continue raising awareness.

In the sample video I am hand holding it, in real time use in Asia, I would place it in a pocket and forget about it for the day. The recording time I believe is up to 4 hours on a 32GB mini SD card.

The body camera used for this video
Note* This video was made on Adobe Premiere (still need to learn so much there!).
Video Sample Clip On My Photo Blog

Video: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers!

Here is a bit of fun, just practicing using Adobe Audit and Davinci Resolve. All practice is good practice even when it is goofy like this.

I got to learn:
- shooting the BMPCC with Rokinon 7.5mm
- using the monopod/Came-TV Stabilizer combo
- creating a scream in Adobe Audition
- finding the right audio format to work with Davinci (AIF)
- editing a short sequence in Davinci, trimming,color grading, mask, sharpness, slow mo,  contrast
- muting the camera sound track and syncing a separately recorded scream
- delivering/rending a large quality file
- reducing and creating a smaller file in .MKV format to upload on the blog

Check out the end of the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers Clip" first. I am doing Donald at the end sort of :)) (forgot the hand gesture!).
"Invasions of the Body Snatchers" Ending Clip
Video  Sample: Gerry's Scream On My Photo Blog

Crane Monopod Cam!!

Played around today with the crane-mono pod camera thingy I plan to use in the dump. The best set up I found so far is as follows.

BMPCC---> Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens--> Manfrotto Aluminum Mono Pod--> Came-TV Optimus Gimbal With Remote Control

I also tried the 24mm F1.4 lens but it is not wide enough and too heavy to hold up. My larger Chinese made carbon fiber tripod was also tried but it seems to be a bit more shaky (too flexible?) when fully extended (a bit longer also). Check the earlier blog video for the results of the test.

Improvements? Will try out the 12-24mm Tokina F4 lens (maybe less distortion) and will try to slow down the pan left to right speed when I am using the remote control. I believe there is a way to access panning speed in the Came TV gimbal software (another thing to learn, accessing the software). I think it will allow for a slightly smoother pan as well. That is what I want a smooth/high/wide angle/slow pan over the dump and the workers.

Update* Did some research on adjusting the Came TV gimbal using the software. It all seems dodgy and highly screwupable (my word). I think I will make do with the current setting and leave it alone, last thing I want to do is break my new $1000+ USD toy.

Video: My Rokinon 7.5mm Micro 4/3 Lens Has Arrived

I got my Rokinon lens delivered today without extra charges. The lens is a fish eye designed for micro 4/3 cameras like my video BMPCCs. The lens gives an equivalent 22mm view angle when mounted on the BMPCC body. I quite like the look, there is a bit of distortion but it is sort of a funky cool looking aspect to the lens. When you have it mounted to the BMPCC without any accessories (rig cage etc.) the whole thing is super light. I did some testing of it today mounted to the camera and the Came-TV gimbal. I then attached everything to my aluminum Manfrotto monopod and raised everything up to try a improvised crane scan. See video. It all worked out rather well with a few hitches but I think this set up will work in the dump to give a wider viewer of the environment and the action.

Update* I think this is the first little film thing I have done in Blackmagic's Davinci Resolve.
Update**  One thing I forgot to mention is that if you set this thing on infinity your basically always in focus. A 7.5mm fisheye lens has amazing depth of field. You got to love that! It is a huge bonus when the camera is mounted on a stabilizing gimbal that cannot be touched without ruining the shot. It also will work well in low light (difficult to focus) shots and crane-monopod sequences like in the video for this blog. AM VERY HAPPY I BOUGHT THIS CHEAP BUT HIGHLY USEFUL LENS! It promises to be a useful moving making tool.
 Rokinon Lens Video Sample Link On My Photo Blog

My Came-TV Optimus Gimbal Has Arrived

Got my Came-Tv gimbal today, cost only an additional $19. The device works great thou it is taking me some time getting used to using it, figuring out how to first balance it then shoot with it. I quite like it so far especially the 2 handed version. In combination with my 24mm Canon lens, Metabones Speedbooster and BMCPP the weight is minimal. I can easily carry it with one or two hands. I am eager to try out the 11-16mm Tokina lens I have in the mail from Japan. That lens will give me a wider angle of view as will the small and very light 7.5mm Rokinon I have coming up from the States. I will probably use those 2 lens much more with the Came-TV stabilizer.

So far so good with this unit, I think it will be especially good for low angle following children through the dump shots and high angle views off a raised mono pod. Here is hoping it is a valuable addition to this film. Now I just got to figure out how to tell a story in film! I own lots of toy now but have little in the way of story telling ability!

Update* The one problem I had with the unit was the rather rinky dink mount for the remote control. It was all plastic and cheap and came apart a few hours after I first got things set up. I instead attached the remote using an elastic band on the left handle of my 2 handle rig. I find it is much better to use in that position as I do not have to reach down for the remote which destabilizes the entire rig. I can instead simply move my thumb a few millimetres which gives me full access to the remote and pan up-down, left-right motorized camera movements.

Lunch With Dave

Had a nice talk with a veteran filmmaker today, Dave C. Dave was nice enough to speak to me Mr. Newby. I bought him and his wife lunch and took notes the whole time. Will review the notes and do more research on various terms such as "Cut Aways! :)) "Always shoot cut aways!" and all the other ideas, techniques, he spoke to. A good outing that got me farther down the track towards becoming a real live film maker.

I will also be joining a local film making group called FAVA, "The Film and Video Arts Society Alberta". Hopefully I can meet more folks there that will help with the learning curve.
https://fava.ca/

Friday, February 10, 2017

Film Story Telling Advice

I have been scouring online sources asking for documentary film making advice. Here is some top end info from a BMCUSER.com (Blackmagic Camera). I was asking the site members how to tell a story effectively in film form.

Gerry, determine what makes your favourite documentaries so engaging. For what you have suggested, find a central character and tell your broad story by telling the story of that lead character so your viewer has someone with whom to identify. Show more than tell. Show how that character has grown or adjusted to their circumstances. If you can, illustrate the path they took to achieve their most important goals even if that is just finding food or putting a child through school or saving a life. 

Update* Further to the doc film making learning thingy I have a dinner meeting scheduled at a local restaurant with a man who has decades of documentary film making experience. He is the leader of a local filmmaking group in my city FAVA. Going to meet him this coming tuesday and try to learn!

Bought me a 12mm-24mm Tokina F4 Lens

Got me another lens, this is for wide angle work with the BMCPP cameras. The 12mm part of the zoom will be about a 20.4mm, the 24mm about a 40.8mm. I should be able to use this lens for most of my grab shooting. It is light, relatively cheap ($277 USD with free shipping from Japan) and gets good reviews online. This is the official long name for the lens, it's a mouthfull, Tokina AT-X PRO AF 12-24mm F4 DXII IF Zoom Lens for Canon.

I was also looking at the 11-16mm Tokina which is a bit more money $350+ USD  a bit wider and faster at F2.8 but also a bit shorter on the long end (16mm or 27.2mm). I worry that my 12-24mm lens will be to slow at F4 (actually around F2.8 with the Metabones Speedbooster I will be using). But I do really like the 24mm (40.8mm) high end of the zoom. I should be able to use this tool in most shooting situations in the dump. A nice side effect is that if the lens does get damaged it is not too big a deal, at $277 it can be replaced fairly cheaply. It is not like my $2800 Leica 35mm F1.4 M lens that I am always worried abut dropping-damaging. Hopefully I can use the 12-24mm F4 to shoot inside the dump shacks.

Check out the sample video below

Excellent Plus, Mint Condition Tokina 12-24mm F4 lens from Japan
Yosemite: Shot With A Tokina 12-24mm And BMPCC, Video By Short Stop Studios

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Quotes: Werner Herzog

"...and maybe we shouldn't speak so much about the losses and all the difficulties that we have gone through what we see on the screen is the only thing that counts."

On his style of documentaries, on some saying you should be unobtrusive like a fly on the wall.

" ...no I say no I  will be present I want to stylize I want to be the hornet that goes in and stings!"

Quote: Werner Herzog (Filmmaker)

From the wonderful book on filmmaker Werner Herzog "Werner Herzog A Guide For The Perplexed".

"As a young man I discovered something that filmmakers need to learn as early as possible: a perfect film doesn't exist. No matter how much you tinker away at his scene or that frame, you have to accept there might be defects in your work. As a filmmaker, you have to learn to live with this, even if these flaws are amplified a thousand times when screened to an audience. It's the same way a parent has to live with his children. A new film is like a child that needs help when taking its first steps. Children are never perfect one might have a limp, another might stutter. They all have their weaknesses and strong points. I actually love the most defective films even more than the others because they need my constant support and have to be protected from the world. It doesn't matter that every one of my films is flawed in some way; what's important is that they are all alive. Like a child, a film grows up, finds a life of its own and learns to stand on its own two feet. At a certain point you have to unchain the boat, give it a gentle kick and let it float out into the middle of the lake. All my films have developed their own relationship with audiences, even those one or two that demand the same effort a mountain demands of a climber. At the summit we sit and bask, with drunken pleasure, in the view of a rarely seen landscape. "

Monday, February 6, 2017

Bought Me A Hidden Camera

Got another hidden camera, this one a bit better in quality, it shoots up to 1296P at 30 frames a minute onto a better quality MOV file. Simple to use and even has a little LCD screen, cost was $75.64 USD including shipping from China. Hopefully I can make good of this little cheap sneaky hidden camera. OK nuff shopping! At least for tonight!

Hidden Camera

Bought Me A Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye for Micro Four Thirds

Bought me a cheaper fish eye lens, a Rokinon f3.5. Online thse lens are renowned for their sharpness (believe it or not) and are designed for micro four thirds cameras like my BMPCC video units. I will not need a Metabones Speedbooster for this small lens and can mount it directly to the camera body. The 7.5 fisheye will become about a 22.5mm lens. I want to use it as a point and shoot quick grab wide angle lens (hard to find wide angles that work for the BMPCC). I might also use it on the Came Optimus stabilizer bought earlier. This lens with the light BMPCC body should make carrying the Optimus with one hand that much easier. The price of this used lens a relatively cheap $155 USD plus shipping.

Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens For Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Bought Me A Came-TV Optimus Stabilizer

Bought another big expensive piece of equipment, a Came TV Optimus stabilizer. This device allows for non shaky video shooting when moving, Even when running you get a pretty stable picture. Basically the Came Optimus is a one handed stabilization device for camera systems under 2.6 pounds in weight. The cost of this new unit made in China was whopping $1075 USD with free shipping.

The price point was something I thought long and hard on. I originally was going to get their earlier model used for around $600-700 but lost out on several eBay auctions. With some more thought I decided to get the new improved 2nd generation version.

The second model allows you to shoot very low level shots (upside down camera action). It also has a better design allowing for 360 degree rotation of the camera and a much more comfortable hand grip. The package includes in a nice water tight box also comes with a two handed adapter set up, that I might use. Buying something new with no damage and the above listed bonuses seemed worth the $300 extra cost.

With all the walking and movement I do in the dump, trying to record moving people, workers digging, children running etc. I kept thinking that some kind of gimbal/steady cam was a must. One of the advantages of working with the BMPCC bodies is that they are small and light. That camera with smaller lens and metabones speedbooster should give me a light enough unit for the Came Optimus  to handle (or so my calculations seem to indicate). Putting the larger heavier 24-105m Canon lens on this set up might not work (it is right on the edge of 2.6 pounds). I plan to use it with a Tokina 11-16mm or a 12-24mm that I still need to buy ($250 - $350 USD) or the 24mm F1.4 Canon I currently own (40mm equivalent on the BMPCC).

I kept seeing one shot in my mind when I was thinking of buying this unit. A shot following a young child walking through the garbage, low angle from behind. To get that visual I needed this unit. If it makes it into the movie then this big price tag was worth it. I can also get in closer on the workers with this tool, and possibly shoot them from both low and high vantage points. I want the viewer of the movie to FEEL THE GRIME, FEEL THE STINK, FEEL THE HARDSHIP AND WORK. I was thinking of attaching a mono pod to the end of this unit then using that that to shoot down on everyone with the provided Optimus remote control. Here are photos and links to this amazing piece of technology.
A Bunch Of Came Optimus Made Footage
Came TV Optimus Being Used With Double Handle
Comparing New Came TV Optimus Versus Older Model Single
Came TV Optimus Attached To A Monopod

Update* Been watching the Optimus footage videos (linked above), mostly people walking and beaches, skateboarders and the like. Basically people playing in their Western playgrounds. That's all fine and good, but gosh using the Optimus in a documentary way seems so much more right. To remember the lives of people in garbage dump, recording the lives of children living in garbage seems so much more of an important subject to shoot. Happy I bought this thing. The closeup stabilization is going to make the film that much more visually exciting and watchable. I will use it to add reality to the movie, to get more in dept visuals that tell the true story of the lives of my subjects.

Documentaries I Prefer

Been watching a bunch of "Front Line" PBS documentaries made in around 2015 over the last few days off. The list includes one on Torture (Under the Bush Presidency), on El Chapo (Drug Trafficking in Mexico), on the Secrets of the Catholic Church-Vatican (Priest Abuses-Fraud) and one on Rape on the Night Shift (janitor staff working nights, mostly Latinas).

All "Front Line" are of exceptional quality but what rings truest with me is not the grand doc telling the large tale but instead the smaller  simple documentary telling a more human story, with people opening their hearts up. The doc that had the most lasting impact on me was the night shift rape film. That movie had many individual talking head moments filled with emotion, the women explaining what they went through etc. One part that surprisingly connected was when a husband of one of the victims opens up and explains his thoughts and emotions (the multiple rape on his wife, by his best friend). It all seemed so real, so powerful. That is true documentary strength, not distant large scale governmental abuse, not some giant story with global implications, just the story of a simple man whose life and family had been destroyed (they also showed the couples damaged children). Seeing and hearing the victim and her husbands-families story, affected me most, on a personal gut level. I could relate to this mans emotions so much better. Moments like in the rape movie where the wife tells of blood on her legs and asks the rapist "What have you done to me?" then wipes up the blood with tissue before completing her nights work (how could she clean after that?). Filmed moments like where her husband is so filled with anger-sadness and pain that he discards his macho exterior to openly cry when he speaks of what happened to his wife.
A real documentary film affecting everyday lives in such a profound way. That is the type of films I want to make. I will try my best to do that, not sure it will happen but you got to try baby, "You Got to Try!".


Frontline: Rape On The Night Shift 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

RAW VIdeo Still Manipulation

Here is a capture of a RAW video image off Davinci Resolve, with some heavy manipulation in Davinci and Photoshop.

Davinci Resolove-Hidden Camera Jpeg Capture

Here is a capture from the hidden video camera footage I have been playing with. Sharpness and color balance plus a mask to burn in the center was done using the software. These new toys are so much fun to play with! Not sure how but might try incorporating some of this stuff in the movie.

BW version played with in photoshop

Hidden camera footage capture and editing in Davinci Resolve

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hidden Camera Footage Tests

Today I got a cheapo hidden camera device in the mail (sort of like a pen) that I paid $20 USD for. The footage you get with it is surprisingly good, the instructions suck, some kind of pigeon English from another planet. With a bit of guessing thou I got the thing working. They create a cool grainy undercover, reporting something hidden from the world feel to them, that is a bonus!

Am not sure how ethical it is to film secretly but many docs and news organizations seem to do it. I wanted to have a camera or two that I could use just in case it was needed. Better to have the camera(s) in a pinch if needed then not to have them. It might one of those things I quickly grab out of my bag and stick in my pocket just in case it is needed during a nights shooting.

If a do a documentary in Thai next time showing the seedy side of the sex scene in Asia, either something on a worker in that world or on a sex tourist (thinking of trying a documentary on one of the sex tourist/sex pat lives). If I do that then a hidden camera is almost a must as those worlds are very secretive, filled with police corruption and some illegal activity (drugs, bribery etc).

I might look for a more expensive unit to test out, eBay is filled with such thing. Also hidden body microphones to record conversations.

Update* Just thought of another use, if the police in the border areas (both sides of the border) during the dump project are taking bribes or committing a beating or something else of a illegal nature, a small hidden camera might work better than overtly filming. It might be  good idea to just carry one of these devices in case it is needed but never use it.

Friday, February 3, 2017

I Can Do This!!

For the first time I feel that technically I can do this. Last night I took RAW BMPCC footage colour and graded it (B/W also) in DaVinci Resolve then rendered it to a MOV file before exporting. I played the file from a USB stick on my 60 inch HD TV. The little 15 second clip I made looked awesome!!

Technically I am developing the needed skills to make movies fairly quickly (thanks YouTube). The trick will be to shoot strong video in the dump and then tell a story in a effective movie way. I need to learn those film making qualities as well.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Link: Davinci Resolve

Been playing with the free editing/colour grading software from Blackmagic called Davinci Resolve. Fun stuff, this product is basically a simplified editor with a great (possibly the best available) colour grader. The colour grading in this software is second to none I have seen, with a load of very complicated options and ability. It will take a long time and lots of practise to understand everything that can be done.

With a bit of effort I was able to install Davinci 12.5 into my editing computer. I am not sure I have full function for the program as it is requires a high end GPU but I think I have enough ability to make it a useful tool.

My plan is either to use Davinci 100% for my movie editing with RAW and or ProRes HQ video or to switch between Davinci-Premiere and Audition (Adobe sound editor). At some point in the future I will probably get a multi screen high end computer to edit my video. For now thou the laptop has to do, which it will be mobile enough for me to take to Asia for 6 months.

Here is a link to a very informative basic intro to Davinci Resolve:
Resolve 12.5 Basics - DaVinci Resolve End-To-End Crash Course By Casey Faris

Note* Davinci Resolve recognizes RAW DNG Cinema files from my BMPCC, Adobe Premiere CS6 does not.

Documentary Diary

Got me a nice heavy duty cover/paper book today to use as a documentary thought and idea place. A documentary diary if you will. It was expensive at $18 but I think it should do a fine job for me. Big enough to write comfortably in but small enough to carry  most place I will be. Plan to put all my documentary films hopes and dreams in that book as well as all the tech thinking and ideas. I might be able to use captured segments of the book in future docs as well. Will start transferring all my varied documentary film paper work to this book next week at work.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Email: Emotion

This is an email portion written to a friend about the importance of emotion in my coming film:

I worry about my film..how to do it? I think I need to fall back on honest emotion it has always served me well. Whether through the photographic work or in speeches like the eulogy I did for dad, pure emotion, heartfelt honest emotion works best...
I have always been pretty good at finding emotional connections on my trips, crying bar workers, telling me about their lives (1999 Bkk), doped out drug rants (oakland), impassioned  half crazyed man (volunteer), poor fly covered sickly children (Dump).... orphan boxers sadly explaining their lives (klong toey slum)...a different kind of love (3 hearts project)...etc etc...the trick is to get that emotion on film! and to communicate it in a effective, coherent, truthful way....it will be the hardest artistic challenge of my life

If my film has emotion and makes viewers tear up, even cry, if that happens I have probably done a good job with the message.. I also want to put in a bit of humour...not sure on how to do that. Need to do it in a way that does not undercut the seriousness of the project.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Bought Me 2 Extra External Batteries

Just bought 2 extra external batteries for my Blackmagic Pocket cameras. I got 2 already with the eBay sale but they are older (how reliable?) and these batteries take 12-16 hours to charge fully. If I am shooting in the dump or other locations daily and using up lots of battery power I will need to recharge them daily as well. A high work load on 2 old batteries, also I am not sure I will have 16 hours between shooting sessions. I would hate to go out into the field with only partially charged batteries. So today I swallowed hard during my work shift, went on eBay and paid $103 USD to get the 2 extra batteries. That is around $27 USD cheaper than buying the same items from USA sellers.

I can now take 2 external batteries with me (1 new and 1 old) and leave 2 charging in my room each day I go out to shoot. This way I will always have fresh battery power ready to use. I will also have backups if 1 or more batteries fail. I have learned that I need backups to pretty much everything when working in Asia. Reliable gear and backups are absolutely vital. That is one of the reasons I bought 2 BMPCC bodies not 1.

Note* I also have 19 mini batteries (inside camera) that I could use with difficulty if needed (each battery might only last 20 minutes). I will save them for emergencies and for shooting on the fly with just the BMPCC body. They are useful for when I am shooting with the BMPCC alone and a small light lens, no cage, no external battery.

Update* Just over 200 days until I go to Asia to make my movie. It is a LONG way away, the bright side is that I can train to make movies in the meantime. Will  be doing more stuff with mom this week.    

Externl 12V YSD-129080 Battery made in China

Audio Diary

Found a new use for my editing HP EliteBook, making "Audio Diary" sound files. The idea is to make short audio recordings over the next year plus (did my first tonight) recording the process of making this documentary and my life in general. I can be more up front and honest in these things as they are private without the world reading in (yes that means you!). A side benefit is they might be used in the actual film or at some later date for some other projects. I always thought it would be cool to write a autobiography, so maybe these recordings could fit in there somewhere. One of my old photo contacts told me she was writing a novel, that opens up possibilities in my mind all round! What would be a good autobiography title how bout, "Ain't Life Grand!"

Anyway will see how these "Audio Diary" things go, they might be easier than writing, more fluent and honest. The voice can be more effective than the pen, at least for me, you can hear so much more nuance. You can feel the life experience of the person speaking to you.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Documentary Notebook

I need to get a single large notebook to organize all my documentary ideas, thoughts and studies. Over the last month I have been writing stuff all over the place, in different sized note books, found papers, white papers, scrap papers, it is all so confusing! How the heck am I going to benefit from any of these writing if they just disappear into a mass of misplaced mishmash. I need to write everything down in one large notebook then take that notebook with me to Thai to make the movie. I can add to it there and refer to it for past ideas etc.

Will pick up the book next week at Staples.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Quote: Mel Gibson

Speaking about his controversial films and the reasons behind them.

"That's what were supposed to do, your supposed to, as an artist, your supposed to do that, your supposed to shove the bounderies and your supposed to do stuff thats out there and your supposed to do stuff that makes people uncomfortable maybe.  I mean that's your job I think"

Most Exciting Time Of My Life?

I feel so filled with anticipation and happiness. Could this be the most exciting time of my life? Not being with dad, is very difficult, I want to share so much with him. But even without my beautiful father, could this be the happiest most exciting time of my life? My photography has steadily improved through the years, I feel I have my best best work still ahead of me. Now I am facing the ultimate challenge, making a movie. I got a 6 month leave from work to chase my  art, everything seems to be lining up nicely.

I believe my departure to Asia will be in September (did some calculating tonight), after my responsibilities to the Art Gallery of Saint Albert are complete. Until that time I will learn how  to make movies, print my photography exhibition and plan for my first documentary film. It is all so exciting, daily my mind fills with ideas and hopes. When September comes I get to live out those dreams, I get to go to Asia for 6 months and create. This is not all just thoughts, wishful thinking, this is ACTION!! What a challenge awaits! I get to become involved in the lives of many good and interesting people, then try to tell their stories in effective ways with both photographs and video. Wonderful, simply wonderful!

"Ain't Life Grand!!"

Friday, January 27, 2017

Bought Me A Triple Hotshoe

I also picked up this little hot shoe adapter. The little unit turns 1 hot shoe into 3. The idea being I can attach 2 mics and a video light to it. The video light will allow me to shoot in the dump at night when the people are working the garbage. I am thinking of shooting that work up close to get a more surreal feel to it, showing the depth of their hardship. Children also wander in the nightime garbage working and with their parents. The bright video light spotlight effect in combo with the garbage and youth will be a strong graphic that tells an important part of the story effectively.

This unit cost a bit more, $20 USD plus $13.50 USD shipping but I liked the lower profile of it. I wanted something that would allow me to mount everything to the camera unit but also that would not look like deer antlers. I want to be as inconspicuous as possible in the dump, so am trying to keep my video gear compact and hopefully a bit less flashy and noticeable.

Triple hot shoe adapter

Bought Me A Mini Desktop Tripod From China

I picked up a $37 USD aluminum MINI tripod today (.99 cent shipping). I wanted something that was very small but somewhat adjustable and stable. The idea for this thing is that I can carry it everywhere, all the time, and mount my non caged second BMPCC video body to it. The camera is extremely light depending on the lens it is configured with. The problem with the unit is not the image quality which is outstanding but the movement you get when hand holding it (can be unwatchable). I wanted to use the camera with a gimbo steady cam device but also mounted to a tripod. With this mini tripod I can now quickly set it up for low angle shots in the dump, or for shots inside peoples shack homes. The tripod could also be used in interview situations, set up on a table in front of the seated subject etc.

This could be one of those minor buys that could turn into a very important piece of gear. If I get one good shot in my movie with it, then it was money well spent.

Mini desktop tripod



Max height 17.3 inch
Min height 9.4 inch
Max load 11 lbs
Weight 28.5 oz

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Video Field Set Up

Now that I have moved from away from the Canon 5D Mark 3 to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) for the movie, I thought I would update you all with my current field shooting gear setup. Here it is:
My BMPCC camera with microphone, follow focus, viewfinder and mono-pod
I might be changing out my mic (to the Rode stereo I own), might add a cheapo Matte Box ( to stop flare) but other than those 2 possible changes this is going to be my main field shooting setup in Asia. I will take this into the dump to work on a pretty much daily basis.

- BMPCC body.
- Zacuto viewfinder.
- Rode mini mic with grey dead cat (yes they call them "dead cats").
- EF Canon 24-105 F4 Lens with image stabilization.
- Sirui mono-pod.
- External battery.
- Quick release with rig rails and follow focus.

Update* Just tried a variation on this field setup. I removed the follow focus and rail gear. Then attached the camera directly to the montopod with a quick release. I might go this way. The follow focus is nice but not entirely necessary, without it I will be lighter and also can use the standard lens hood (no need for the big ass and frightening looking Matte Box). It would also be a bit easier to go handheld on the fly. I need to work with the gear both ways to see what feels best to me.

Free Polaroid Filter!

Managed to get a nice Polaroid graduated neutral density for FREE! I ordered a 77mm NEW Polaroid filter off EBay, with shipping the cost was $45 USD. A hefty price for a filter but most videographers have these little items so they can shoot at wider apertures ( creating a shallow depth of field look) in bright light. I got mine, paid the price. It arrived a few days back, the plastic filter package was opened and there were some smudges (not sure how bad) on the backside of the glass. I wrote an email to the seller telling him of the NOT new status of the glass asking for a partial refund. The seller refunded 100% of the filter payment. I got my slightly used Polaroid 77mm graduated neutral density filter for video FREE!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Learning My Video Gear Thoughts

Been playing with my Blackmagic pocket cameras the last two nights, and been doing some editing in Premiere. Some thoughts:

- There is a big difference when use a lens with IS (stabilization). When I hand hold my 24mm f1.4 I get all kinds of bouncy movement in the picture but with the 24-105 f 4 with stabilization I get a much smoother image. If I am not shooting in low light, the IS 24-105mm will be my lens of choice.

- My refurbished 64GB Scandisk 95mg/s card ($20 USD a piece) seem to work as well as the non refurbished I got in the EBay sale. I have a 128GB card coming as well, if that works properly I will probably by a second one of thse. This testing was when the camera was set at ProRes HQ. I still need to test the cards in the RAW setting.

- My bigger Chinese Sirui mono pod with larger feet seems more stable and easy to use than the Manfrotto mono pod I got in the EBay sale. The larger Sirui made of carbon fiber is also lighter than the aluminum Manfrotto.

- Love the combination of the Zacuto viewfinder and the focus peaking (image has green highlights when in focus), this allows for precise fast focusing even in lower light.

- Zebras are a nice feature. I had to learn what it is but basically as I understand it Zebras are black lines on overexposed white areas of a image. When I see the zebras in my viewfinder I close down the lens to allow less light in. This feature might work great in teh dump where there are lots of bright white bags reflecting sunlight.

- My 24mm lens are wide but not quite wide enough for every shot I want to shoot! They are probably about 30-35mm lens (35mm equivalent on the BMPCC size sensor). I will need a wider lens. I am looking at 2, a 11-16mm f2.8 Tokina and a 7.5mm f3.5 prime fisheye Rokinon. Both lens would give quite a bit wider point of view. I want to use my wide lens inside the dump shacks filming family life. I need to have this wide option for certain filming situations.

RAW Video Or ProRes?

I have spent a lot of time tonight trying to get my head around RAW versus ProRes video. Both types of video can be recorded on my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras (BMPCC) but editing RAW footage is difficult. It involves very large file sizes and a heavy workload Color grading. The recorded RAW footage has a 13 stop dynamic range (good for the high lighting contrasts in the dump) but is extremely flat coming out of the camera. The ProRes format has much smaller file sizes, still very good quality and little color grading.

My older laptop PC has Premiere Pro CS6 in it which cannot import RAW BMPCC files easily. There are work arounds that allow you to do it but at lower bit rates (which I think means less quality). What to do? Shoot in Raw or ProRes? RAW video which uses tons of SD cards (20 minutes of video on a 64GB card) and hard drive space.  ProRes has smaller files sizes and uses less battery power but is slightly less quality. Even thou ProRes has less quality than the RAW format it is still more than 2 times better in quality what I would get out of the compressed video shot in a Canon 5D Mark 3 ( The Canon was my first choice for this project). This is all very confusing, sometimes too many options is a bad thing!

Many shooters record and edit in the ProRes format, it is the format the Cinematographer I bought the video gear from recommended to me. If I recorded in one of the ProRes Codecs (don't you love all this film maker camera lingo!) I could then import it directly into Premiere CS6 and edit from there. I guess that would be the best-easiest way to do things but I am leaning another way.

Instead of recording at the lower quality compressed ProRes I could record and store the video in RAW then convert it to ProRes before editing. My computer came with Adobe After Effects which allows you to convert RAW video to ProRes for an easier edit and work flow in Adobe Premiere CS6. I am still figuring this all out but this might be the best solution. My raw shot footage would all be in the RAW format and I could then convert it and edit in ProRes. I would only store ProRes files on my laptop, no RAW.

Later on when I am more film maker literate I can decide what the films editing footage format will be. The only down side I can see with my plan is I will need lots of hard drive space to store 6 months of dump video. I have 7-64GB and 1-128GB SD cards that can handle the BMPCC high transfer rates 95MB/s so that should not be an issue. At the end of each shooting day I can transfer the RAW video to my hard drives then reformat and reuse the same SD cards during the next days shooting. I will need to buy a bunch of 4TB portable hard drives thou to store everything.

Not sure this will all work yet but I think it should, and it might be the best way to do things. I will always have the RAW footage to fall back in. If I eventually get a higher end desktop video editing computer with 2 screens etc and the latest Adobe Premiere editing software having the RAW footage to work from seems right In still photography terms it will be like having all my negs in 8x10 format instead of medium or 4x5.

Note* Just did some math, a 4TB hard drive should hold about 12 days of raw shots if I shot 320GB (100 minutes) of video a day. I would need to have 2- 4TB hard drives for every 12 days of shooting (a main drive and a backup). That is one hell of a lot of hard drives by the time I return to Canada.  Perhaps I need to rethink the RAW thingy. I have no idea how much video I will shoot a day, 100 minutes might be too high a number.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BMPCC Gear Bag Looks GREAT!

Been playing with my new video gear all night work. Everything looks in good working shape. Besides the 2 BMPCC bodies there are a ton of extras, 2 camera cages, follow focus, tripod rig rail set up, 2 EF Speedboosters, an couple of C lens (one huge!), small Tascam sound recorder, SD cards with 2 Pelican cases, Rode microphone, lots of other stuff and a great wheeled Husky red tool bag.  I will probably take the tool bag as a carry on for all my various camera gear/film, the thing is built very tough.

Got the gear, now I need to figure out how to run everything, how to do all the tech stuff. After I learn to do everything technically, I need to forget all the gadgetry and tool thinking and concentrate on telling my story effectively. That is the big mystery to me, what to shoot with the cameras, what to record with the audio recorders and then how to put it all together in some kind of coherent story. Filmmaking is hard and I have not even really started yet.

Email: How To Make My Film?

Just wrote this to a friend. It is about my fears of making the movie, and what I feel I have to try to do creatively. How to make the the movie? The things that might work out best.

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got my bag of film making gear today, will it help make the movie? Yes...but I need to find the heart of my story and tell it effectively, that is the key. Am quite frightened by what confronts me, going into a totally new world here. Most likely I will fall on my face with the attempt. I think I need to follow my heart, to allow the story to become very personal. Let my true feelings come through. Whenever I have been successful in the past with my photography that has been the case, just hang everything on truth,emotion,feelings, heart...guess that is the way to go..When I did dad's eulogy it was the same idea, heartfelt stories, fun stories, feeling and emotion won out the day. It worked out well and got a lot of positive emotions back from the guests at the time and later..one older lady even said it was the best eulogy she ever heard (and my moms/dads older friends go to LOTS of funerals!)..

So that has got to be my film making trick, be true, be heartfelt, be emotional but also put in a bit of humor.

Kind of ironic, my father is still helping me figure stuff out! Thanks dad.

Link: My Blackmagic Camera Gear-Bag Is Here!

I got my Blackmagic camera bag of goodies today.  The case made it through customs with a a very heavy charge at my end of $142 CAD, that is par for the course for the amount of gear I got sent to me from the States. The seller was a very nice American fellow, a real live working pro cinematographer complete with an IMDB page. Thank you Mike for keeping your promise and getting everything to me today. I was a worried that the camera had been lost in transit as it took a full 8 days longer to get to my door than the the first package with a tripod/mono-pod did.

All is well now thou, the cameras are here! (2 BMPCC bodies etc) I will take everything to work tonight to open and play with. It should be lots of fun! Hopefully my limited skills and luck with this camera system will be 50% of its previous owners and I can film something of consequence. I so want to tell the stories in the dump with effectiveness, compassion (love?) and care.

Here is a link to the world I will be working in, this video was shot on a little point and shoot hand held camera in 2013 during my first trips to the dump. I have been entering and leaving the lives of these families ever since.

Note* The opening motorcycle ride  was my first time to the dump, a shocking moment for me. I have since been back dozens of times through the years. When I return next time it will be with my Blackmagic gear, thanks again Mike. Now I just got to pay all my credit card bills, probably close to $4000 CAD!! Will use my vacation pay, my Xmas, New Years STAT pay, and regular security guard pay. I have to pay off everything before any interest costs are charged to my credit card.

2013 Dump Video, Originally Used In My Still Photography Exhibition 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Email: Screw Them! :))

This is a section from an email with a friend. He was telling me that I should be careful what I say because others might think bad of me.

-----------------------
I am telling you that, as a friend I wouldn't want people to get
the wrong impression.


I do not really care too much what others think, have not most of my life, as I get older I care less and less. Too many people worry about what their friends and family think. I only have 3 people (plus myself) in my life (4 before when dad was around) that I worry about in regards to what they think of me...the rest? who gives a fuck...life is too short to try to suck up to everyone...Right now I am getting peer pressure to conform and fit in by not taking my leave, making my movie...etc...screw them, screw those with such a limited peer pressure driven vision.. going to do what I want to do. The film and my photographs, and the lives I could and will help are more important to me than conforming to societies norms.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Got My 14mm Lumix Lens

Just got my Panasonic/Lumix 14mm lens from the mail lady. Gosh is this thing small and tiny. The lens was shipped to me from Japan (cost was $148 USD with free shipping), in 5 layers of bubble wrap. I kept cutting away the layers and the package got smaller and smaller and smaller yet again. Finally I got down to the end and there was this tiny, itty bitty lens in the last section.

The 14mm Lumix converts to about a 43mm (35mm camera equivalent) on the BMPCC (Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera) without any converters and has auto-focus/exposure features. I want to use it mounted to my Blackmagic pocket as a quick point and shoot grab video tool. I will keep it in my pocket, for my entire 6 month trip. All the other lens I use with the BMPCC are way to big to slip into a pocket. Have to do some searching to see if I have a 46mm Hoya UV filter somewhere to protect the lens, if not have to get one off EBay. I expect this thing to get heavy use, I need to protect the glass.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Email: Documentary Help?

Got this email today, maybe some possible assistance on the documentary.  Very nice of this fellow to offer to help, Thai people are quite often very giving and kind.

-----------------------------

hello Mr. GERRY YAUM
my name is s-------  nickname J--
i follow your blog  i live in   Bangkok Thailad  my  hometown Maesot 
and i shoot film photograph and videomakker
i can help you make documentary

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Email: To A Local Film Group

Just found out about a local film group, sent them a message, hoping to learn and make new friends. Gosh I have lots of time to write long long emails! Got to love security nightshift for that. The pay is not great but boy do I have more freedom than most folks.
 -------------------------
To the --- Film Group
Hi, found out about you folks tonight while doing a search here in Edmonton during my nightshift. I was very happy to see your page. Will research it more tonight but wanted to send you this note first.

Your involved with film making in Edmonton? Hold meetings? Classes? General exchange of ideas between members?  I have to check for when and where you meet, would love to come down and see you all.
A bit about me. I am brand new to film, video, film making etc. Being brand new and of semi sound mind I have decided to jump in head first and make my first documentary in South East Asia later this year (hope this does not conflict with your groups only Edmonton angle). I am taking a 6 month

leave from work to go to Thailand and make my film.

I was wondering if I could come down and talk to people in your group, to gain knowledge and experience before I go. I would love to become a member and learn from you all. I have about 7 months before I leave and need to become as proficient as I can in regards to film making, shooting video cameras, recording audio.

I picked up a package off EBay that included 2 BMPCCs and  various other gear. Also got a field recorder to do audio separately, then sync in post (Adobe Premiere CS6). My thinking is to shoot everything in the BMPCC RAW mode to get as much range as I can (I have read the BMPCC gives 13 stops of dynamic range).

My project is Burmese refugee families living and working in a garbage dump in Thailand. I am going to try and tell their story.

Now I am not a complete newby when it comes to documentary work. I have been to Thai over 20 times, speak some of the language. I have been doing still work (film,darkroom) for over 30 years (am 52 now). I have been photographing the families in the dump since 2013. Now I want to do a documentary film on that same subject, those same lives (many are friends now).

What do you think? Could I come on down and meet you all? Learn from your vast experience? Anything at this point that I learn is a huge positive and will make later shooting that much easier.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my long email, working nights (security) gives me time to be rather verbose!

Gerry

(included some links of the dump and previous still efforts).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBJEVN8yh9Q
https://www.youtube.com/user/gerryyaum/videos
https://vimeo.com/user19672993/videos

www.gerryyaum.blogspot.com (10 years of blog photo and other writings)

www.gerryyaumfilms.blogspot.com (brand new film blog about only this years doc film project)

Video Days? Film Days?

Tonight at work my thoughts go forward to the 6 months I will have in Thai and how best to use them?  I will make or at least attempt to make my movie but I also want to find time for my true love still photography. I will take both types of gear with me (big loaded down bags) and try to work out a schedule where I do a bit of both, each day. Some days will be stills dominant others would be video. I am trying to do lots here, but it is the way I am, got to make an effort to do the most I can, while I can. There will be missed opportunities on both sides, when shooting film will miss video moments, when doing stills will miss important video moments. Such is life thou, we can only do what we can do.

My days might go something like this:

Day 1 - Saying high to everyone at the dump, shoot a bit of hand held BMPCC video and some 35mm film.
Day 2 - Bring all video gear and do a full fledged day of shooting with tripod-monopod, mics, sound recorders. Also take take a 35mm film camera, for some general still shooting. Perhaps use the Leica R lens for both my 35mm and BMPCC gear (I have an BMPCC Metanone Speedbooster for R Leica lens).
Day 3 - Shoot 8x10 portraits in the dump with some grab hand held BMPCC video.
Day 4 - Bring all video gear and do a full fledged day of shooting with tripod-monopod, mics, sound recorders. Also take take a 35mm film camera, for some general still shooting. Perhaps use the Leica R lens for both my 35mm and BMPCC gear (I have an BMPCC Metabones Speedbooster for R Leica lens).
Day 5 - Shoot 35mm film, some audio recording on a boom mic set up (garbage trucks, people singing, general conversation, dogs fighting and barking etc)

It would go on like that a mix of both and everything for 10-14 days or until I got worn out. I might then take a break or go to Bangkok for a short time before returning and doing more video/still work. I would also be doing nightly post work, editing, copying files to hard drives etc.

Anyway just thinking out loud here, trying to figure the bes way to do this thing, the best way to be the most productive and do the best work.

Email: To My Friend About New Video Cameras

Here is my very long winded reply to a friend about my cameras. I tend to blab on and on about this type of thing in our emails. He is a good sport to put up with me.

--------------------------------------------------
He Wrote:

"You must have one of the best collections of cameras in Edmonton."

I replied:
I guess...for film cameras I might...but they are all mostly for shooting. I despise the idea of collecting cameras. Putting them on a self and looking at them with awe and wonder is simply wrong. A cameras destiny is TO MAKE PICTURES, not sit as a display piece.

This may sound strange but I feel it is a responsibility to shoot a camera and to use film properly. I think of film and cameras as almost living beings, I want them to fulfill their destinies and make great art. It is like I owe it to them.  I owe them chance to make something important and beautiful. Strange but true.

The latest buys of gear are modern video cameras which are totally different than anything I own. They are not designed for stills but instead for shooting RAW HD 13 stop dynamic range video. Never owned anything like these babies before. Still only tools, got to find the heart of my subjects to make the video sing! I see tons of beautiful video on YouTube and Vimeo made with my cameras the BMPCC but very little of it has any heart to it, they’re just trite superficial pretty time video footage. I used to see that all the time in my photo clubs, pretty pictures with no inner resonance or emotion. Done over and over again, week in and week out. All style no substance stuff. (Note to self-don't tell photo club members your true feelings about their work or they will lose their minds! Your honesty is not what they are interested in).

I want to use these new filming tools to not only capture video with wonderful clarity and tonality but also to find the underlying humanity in my subjects. Video that captures the hearts of my people, and tells their stories with compassion and power. Only then will the work be a success and have any lasting importance. That is the goal anyway, not sure it can happen.

Anyway, nuff philosophizing...:)....still a long time before I can make the movie, lots to learn.

Thanks for your thoughts and email.
Gerry

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Link: Cool Glidecam 2000 With BMPCC, Video

This cool glidecam/BMPCC footage was done by SixteenNine Films. I will try using some kinds of steadycam devices with my version of the camera, it creates such a beauty look-feel, especially with the right music.
Cotopaxi Equador - Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera & Glidecam 2000

Link: Wide Angle Lens Use And The BMPCC

I plan to use wide angle lens with my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras (BMPCC). Wide angle lens create a unique look and feel in a image, and have a wonderful depth of field. I will be able to use my modern EF Canon 24mm F1.4 with the cameras and might be able to use some of my wider old style Canon FD lens (not sure they will work with the EF adapter, probably will need a separate adapter). With a little bit of luck I should have many wide angle lens options. If I hook the lens up to my Metabones EF Speedbooster I will also have the bonus of faster lens. A f 1.4 might be might be like a f 0.75 lens or faster a f 2.8 a f 2.

Check out this wonderful short video made by Lander Denys, great quality-tonality and a beauty wide angle BMPCC view to the video.
BMPCC Sigma 19mm f2.8-Walk In The Woods

Note* The linked video is graded in Premiere Pro, which is what I will be doing. There is no reason I cannot get a similar quality look in the dump. I wonder how the camera will handle the harsh light and reflections of white off plastic bags in the garbage. It's 13 stop dynamic range should give plenty of information to work with, allowing for a good picture. 

Raw Video Footage Sample

Here is a sample video of RAW footage made with a Blackmagic Pocket camera. The camera captures a beautiful detailed look, that I find very attractive. I wonder what it would look like contrasty b/w. With this camera I can do a b/w high contrast film and also a nicely color graded version, then compare them side by side in a theatre setting to see what works best.

Here is the link to the video, it was shot by Marco Schott.
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera RAW Performance

Blackmagic Pocket Camera, My Main And B Cameras?

I keep watching videos touting the amazing picture quality of uncompressed RAW footage that you get with Blackmagic cameras (BMPPC). I keep hearing how the RAW image is so much more adaptable in post and far better than anything coming out of a compressed DSLR.

What to do? Should I go with my two new(used) Blackmagic cameras as my main and B cameras for the coming film?  It seems to make sense to me, compact size, lighter, RAW files, and lots of adaptability in post editing. I am bound to make a ton of mistakes shooting this film, maybe some of those mistakes can be corrected and fixed up in post if I shoot RAW 13 stop range video.

Since I have these 2 pocket cameras, and since I have multiple lens, both Leica R and Canon glass to use with the them (also a compact Lumix 14mmm and a few tiny C lens), why not go this way? I can adapt my current rig set up to use with the Blackmagic bodies. I can also carry one of these little gems in my pant or shirt pocket for instant shooting, anytime, anywhere, for the entire 6 month trip.

I will of course still take my Canon 5D Mark 3 with me. I can use it to shoot stills, and also as a video camera backup. It might also be effective doing the talking head stuff  with the Canon, as it allows for longer shooting times. Compact battery power and card storage on the Blackmagic run down-fill up very fast, 20 minutes or so. Having the Canon 5D for doing longer interviews makes sense.

Friday, January 13, 2017

It's A Go!!

I heard from the last of the 4 in my leave request. The Security company I work for is OK with the idea. The 6 month leave to Thailand to make my documentary film is a GO!!!

Now I need to decide on my departure time. I am thinking as of today of mid August or early September. If I leave Canada then, I can take care of a number of responsibilities before hand. I have to deal with my exhibition opening night on August 3rd at the AGSA. I need to get two dental crowns (4-6 dentist appointments). I need to settle and prepare everything in my home and moms. I want to take mom on a trip to Radium Hot Springs again, possibly in April or May. I also need to prepare myself. I am not a film maker I need to learn as many technical things as I can before I leave Canada. I also need to prepare the film in my mind, make up a story line I will follow including story board visuals I need to capture. I can start with some voice over work (not sure I will use voice overs yet). There is much to do, I expect that a mid August or early September departure is best.

I was hoping to shoot the rainy season in the dump, flooding and the like. I think thou if I go in August I will miss that, not quite sure but I believe most of the heaviest rainfall occurs in June/July (possibly May).

Anyway, the trip is a go, the LEAVE has been approved. The film is going to happen!

Email: Webpage For The Film, Film Work

Here is an email about the reasons behind my new website (blog) for my coming documentary film.

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I am going to do up a FREE web page documenting-promoting the coming film in Asia. One of the books I am reading on documentary film making recommends a film website. The idea is to promote the film, to start a buzz etc. I will be post info, back stories, film trailers and short film sequences here.
Lorne if your interested you can follow the creative process, good and bad, difficult and easy that I will be going through. You can enter the lives of the families of the dump. You can see that world almost first hand. Maybe the viewer will see and learn and understand that world and the film I am making about it a bit better.
Hopefully this site will also help generate some donations for the families. Many folks talk of helping but do not, maybe seeing the film made, maybe seeing the eyes of the children head on, will get them off their non-donating, non-helping asses!!:))
It will probably take me a couple of years to complete everything. Please pass it on to those you think might find it interesting (family/friends/others). I just have the address so far, will be creating a more decent looking page in the coming days. I hope I can make a movie of enough quality that it can be submitted and accepted at some lower end film festivals.
Here is the films website.
www.gerryyaumfilms.blogspot.com
I will also of course keep my regular blog going which I have been writing on for 10 years now
www.gerryyaum.blogspot.com

Why I Opened This site.

This site is my second blogspot webpage. I will use this website to promote and post info about my first documentary film.

My original site which has been online for about 10 years has close to 1/2 a million hits is:
www.gerryyaum.blogspot.com

This new site devoted to film only is:
www.gerryyaumfilms.blogspot.com