This began as a self photo. After cleaning and arranging my desk for a half hour, I took the photo and went to bed.
In the morning I wasn’t happy with it, so I spent the day working on it. The concept expanded and became the video.
This is my first time attempting to create a cohesive colour pallet beyond placing little coordinated accents in the frame. The characters, screen and drink are blue, and everything else in the frame is warm toned, with little accents of red. I originally planned on having a red light coming from the closet as it opened which would have added a great deal to it by indicating the slow door open before the appearance of the knife (which didn’t really translate), but the downfall of drinking and shooting is you forget stuff.
Thanks to Brent for being the only one of my lazy gatdamn roommates to stop drinking beer and watching TV for a minute to hide in a closet. Thanks to Katie Bishop for being in my movies and dating me. Thanks to Karl Leung for being a constant mentor and hooking me up with sweet TED gigs.
‘The Captain’s Daughter’ (working title, desperately need to come up with a real one) took a brief hiatus while I spent some time working on ‘Bloodstain’, my EFP project. Gonna polish it up a bit then have a viewing at my place in a week or two. Well received in class, fun little thing, but back to business.
Ungraded still, Cano T2i, 50mm 1.8
On another note, something that absolutely kills me with the recent advent of DSLR filmmaking is poor focus pulling. I can understand that it’s difficult to manage with that tiny little depth of field, and lord knows I could use some work at it, but it seems to be the trend that people are just getting plain lazy. I see these videos (mostly music videos) where the shots are pretty, the talent is good, but the focus is hunting all over the place and they don’t care because they think it looks cool.
An interesting commentary on the trend, putting it in the category it should be in: right next to the star wipes.
“If you’ve been around long enough in the event videography business you know that trends arise mostly because the technology makes them possible. Back when digital synchronizers became available to tape-to-tape editors dissolving between a freeze frame of the end of the last shot to the incoming shot was the rage. The synchronizers also allowed strobe, posterizing and paint effects and wipes and pattern transitions that were just a button-push away. We could do effects now! And we did. Then non-linear editing became affordable and we could do dissolves between moving shots that didn’t involve an A/B controller. We could do slow motion even if we didn’t have a variable tracking deck! And man, did we do dissolves and slow motion. Diffusion, glows, movie effects, vignette - all simply because we could and until we got tired of their uniqueness.
Now in the course of 2 years we’ve gone from ungainly lens adapters to DSLR’s which make narrow DoF shots possible for anyone. In the same way as the other trends you’ll be able to date many event productions by the prevalence of focus hunting and focus pulls. The overuse of sliders will also fall into the bin of dated effects as quickly as reveals did 5 years ago. Because they become dated doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. All you have to do is look at the productions that win awards. Each year the winners are the ones that have capitalized on trends. By the time the trend becomes cliche’ the innovators have moved on to use tools that new technology has made affordable to producers other than those with hollywood-sized budgets.” Source
In summary, I’d love all of this, amongst other things, Santa.
How to Shoot for Maximum Dynamic Range on the 7D/T2i
Handy little video.
Also, I think I’m gonna buy a T2i! Bothering people to shoot my scenes for me is good in that it lets me work with other talent, but when the footage isn’t mine I’m not building my portfolio as a DP, which I like to think is my shit. So,
Shot a little in the subway this morning with the dynamic Ludwig Black (no relation) behind the camera. Two shots, simple stuff, just needed to snag a shot of the train as it went into a tunnel. We got it just in time to get to class.
After speaking with Ryerson about endorsement for renting weapons (in order to rent from M.A.G. you need corporate endorsement and insurance), I discovered that it is possible, but it’s getting cold fast (I need the forest to still be alive) and without a producer I just don’t have the time to invest in making it happen.
SO, the scene’s changed quite a bit. I happen to have an old deactivated Mosin Nagant lying around (love impulse purchases made when I was 13), so I’m going to throw a scope on that and there’s my sniper rifle. Our anti-hero (my dad, Paul Black) is now a lone sniper, and is being accosted by a frightening looking indigenous person with a machete (played by the saintly Wunder Kat). Working now on scheduling that for the 26th. Anyone who wants to help, gimme a shout! The Mosin Nagant. Not a Canadian Rifle, but it’ll do.
Now, off to watch some short films in the Toronto International Film Festival.
Strange Happenings on Parliament St.
Loved the view from my bedroom window since I moved in a few days ago. Decided to do something with it. Was originally going to have the bad guy putting her in a stranglehold, but the door cluttered it too much. Besides, this is a lot cooler.
Used a few exposures for this, and cleaned up some windows and buildings. Check the originals here to see how I made it. subjects: EZ and O-stank; bodyguard and explainer of what on earth they were doing to pedestrians: keith wucher
Impromptu Shoot (click for larger) model: katie bishop photo: justin black
Didn’t have any gear with me, so I put a lamp on the table, wrapped it in foil to direct the light a bit, and hung a bit of cardboard from the ceiling to flag off the back wall.
The next major shoot (i use major as a relative term, meaning some of them are little things that’ll take an hour) approaches. Really excited for this one. Dig: FOREST COMBAT.
i) forest is beautiful
ii) all my costumes are (nearly) in order, gonna rent some deactivated assault rifles once i sort insurance out (the only thing keeping me from scheduling right now), soldiers are going to be looking solid.
iii) long wire activated black powder smoke explosion cues the actors who start charging forward followed by this dope rail hanging camera thing my dad figured out… fog machines, etc. going to be a ton of fun if not a disaster.
if anyone reading this wants to be a sound person, holler at me. enthusiasm can substitute for experience if need be. same for anyone who wants to help with any aspect of it.
Speaking to a DOP and composer, both of whom I’m very excited about but won’t mention here because nothing’s official yet, waiting for eggs to hatch, etc
Also, going to buy one of these. Don’t own too much equipment save for grip I build myself, but this’ll let me use my shotgun mic to record proper audio onto my laptop (location sound, SFX, ADR, etc)
Coppola’s Rumblefish (1983)
Of course very good, but I cannot get down with this soundtrack. Composed by the drummer of The Police, the looping of environmental sounds showcased in the trailer is cool, but the more conventional music (used mostly in scene transitions) in the film seems inexpressive and offers little more than filler.
“”For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what i shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm.” -Vladmir Nabakov