I don’t know how this happened. I really wanted to get more into writing blogs this year, but somehow I always find myself asking the same question: what’s there to talk about? But then again, I’ve been working on so many projects this year already, that the blog entries should actually be no problem. Most of the time I excuse this phenomenon with my lack of free time. Which is kind of true, but I propably would be able to write a lot more if I really tried to anyways. So here it is, the ‚What’s been going on‘ blog for the last 4 months!
I wrote about that in the first 2014 blog already, so there’s nothing more to say, only to give you the second video we shot in the Netherlands at the beach. Lovely time! I’ll propably be working with Johnny again, but free slots for shooting are as rare for him as they are for me; so he’s been shooting some footage with Eric from WENZMEDIA already and I’ll do the edit, when everything is wrapped.
This has been a very interesting one, a music video for german pop-rock band GodsWill. After we had to reschedule the first date due to problems with the location (a lovely motorcycle workshop), we finally shot on valentines day. I rented the Sony FS-100 to finally test it out in practice, and it worked great. Of course there are some pros and cons (as for every camera ever!), but I really like working with it. The handling is a lot better than I expected after reading a lot of complaints about it. But, coming from working with DSLRs, I found it to be great. A lot better to use handheld, a lot better to use on my Glidecam, the buttons did not bother me at all. The only thing I really don’t like is the menu, I found it to be very unclear. Furthermore the Quick & Slow mode (Q&S) is a bit tricky to handle, because there’s a lot you can do wrong if you’re looking to shoot 50 frames per second. Of course even the capability of shooting 50 frames 1080p is one of the main features of the FS-100, but one wrong little setting and you’re filming without sound. Or one wrong button and you leave the Q&S mode without really noticing. Yeah I know, that’s whining on a high level, but for me that was kind of difficult to notice the first time.
But: the video turned out great, I really like the idea the guys had and hopefully I was able to tell the story correct! Their good friend Alex Krabes took some great BTS photos, thanks for that!
The video has been finished a while ago, but GodsWill are still waiting with the release, so I can’t show it by now. Of course I’ll post it via social medias as soon as it’s released. For the mini-making-of click here.
Without being overdramatic, this was my favorite project of all so far! The indie band and I met a while before the actual shooting to discuss the video. There were some ideas in the room, but it took a while to get to the result that we all really liked: an actual one-shot video with lots and lots of cool little stuff happening. We wrote down all of the ideas, the band took care of all the props and I got the camera stuff we needed (Sony FS-100 again, Steadicam, a decent lens,…). It was a project that would need a lot of help to become what we wanted it to be.
Except for some things (for example our confetti poppers (is that even the correct word??) wouldn’t shoot… so we had to do the whole thing again and throw the confetti manually..) everything worked absolutely amazing. There actually is one single cut in it, see if you can find it! (Seems obvious now that I said it..)
Still, the video is everything I hoped it would be, and I have watched it more times than any other video I’ve ever done. I guess it’s not that much of a great video for the normal viewer, but if you take your time and find all the not-so-obvious stuff and THINK about how we did things, I’m sure you would be impressed with one thing or another. At least you should be… for my sake! There’s a mini-making-of here, by the way.
Fill Me In
Yes, I had the chance to do another episode – finally! It had been far too long since I released episode three. I shot this one in february already, but had to delay the edit for a few weeks, because there were other projects that had to be done first. I shot this episode the day after the GodsWill shooting, so I had the FS-100 still with me. Great opportunity! That means this episode is actually shot on three cameras (Sony FS-100, Canon 7D, Canon 600D) with different lenses (Canon 50mm 1.4, Canon 28mm 1.8, Tokina 11-16mm 2.8). The results of the FS-100 of course look better than the DSLRs, but I think the video still works well together. To shoot on multiple cameras is a real time-saver in post, and makes most cuts so much easier, because everything matches, of course.
A date has already been set for the next Fill Me In-shooting, so it’s not going to be too long this time between two episodes.
A very different addition to my portfolio actually. Although something I don’t see myself doing a lot in the future, it was a fun little project. Kind of like a small image video for my brothers company. I won’t go into detail about what they do, but it’s a young internet platform that promotes itself very good and grows every day. We shot in Cologne, with only a very limited amount of time. Nothing fancy in terms of equipment, just my usual camera, lenses, slider etc. The outcome is what it needs to be I guess, even though I’m not really satisfied with the sound. But that’s a problem for itself, I’m really working on getting a better setup for the sound. I own the Rode NTG-2, a low priced and very good microphone, but somehow my 7D does not like working with it (of course, XLR to minijack is a weak spot in itself, but with another microphone it worked okay). The NTG-2 itself is fine, I tested it out with several recorders – perfect results. I’ll be spending a lot of money in a lot of different things in the near future, and sound equipment will be a big part of my investments.
Chronologically this should have been way up on top of this post, but I wasn’t sure whether to put this in here or not. But I really like it, so here we go. When I first had the FS-100 in my hands, I did not let the opportunity get away and took my girlfriend out for a night-shooting in Cologne. The FS-100 carries the name of the „queen of the night“, and that’s a name she deserves. The lowlight sensibility is fantastic, something I was really impressed by. I pushed the gain up to 18dB (about 4000 ISO) the whole time, thinking that this will be grainy enough, but nothing, at least not enough to be annoying at 100% zoom. The ‚Forever‘ video is completely un-denoised (if that’s even a word), and I think it speaks for itself. I shot a kind of similar video of my girlfriend a few years back, when I first got my 7D (click). That was my first edit ever, by the way. It’s so shaky I can’t believe it, because I know I didn’t think it was back then. Nevertheless, I really love the video for what it is. And I love the ‚Forever‘ video even more; who knows, maybe I’ll end up with a full list of videos of my lovely girlfriend.
But, back to topic: the Sony NEX FS-100 is definitely a camera to take a look at, especially if you are – like me – often dependent on available light and low-light situations. And of course if you’re looking for 1080/50p.
I did some other videos as well, some private (like a family-new-years-eve-video), some events (Zimmerservice party, All Time Low Signing Session), and a little short film as an apprenticeship project – but that remains non-releaseable. A real bummer on some levels, since there’s a few very cool ideas in it I think.
I’m on my way to berlin while I’m writing this, and maybe I’ll do a quick video of the trip,
I don’t know yet (Yes, I did one. My god, I need to release these blog-posts faster… here it is!). I’m a fan of those small private videos, they are such a relief in post.
Even though the PDR documentary does not realy belong to ‚future‘ (because I already shot it a few weeks ago), it deserves a standalone blog. So that’ll come soon (promised! It’s on draft already!).
Other than that I have some very interesting music video shootings ahead – two bands from my hometown and one from Stuttgart right after that. Hopefully that’ll bring some more projects to me, but I’m sure it will. Also, another corporate-film and again some smaller stuff is in my calendar for the upcoming months. Stick with me, it’s going to be fun!