And coming soon, “Climbing a landslide” with Jason Kyrone.
Here’s a very sweet and beautiful song by Tasha Blackmore – “Don’t Leave Me”. This was filmed in November last year and from what I seem to remember a lot of chocolate was consumed on the day of the shoot. It helps relax the vocal cords so I understand. One day I’ll have to treat everyone to my John Cooper-Clarke impression. It’s like he’s in the room. No, really.
The original idea of the shoot was just to do a simple one camera, live take of Tasha performing the song, but then it seemed like a good idea to get some different angles and shots but sync’d up to the vocal take we had already in the bag. I think it worked quite well.
Camera : BlackMagic Cinema Camera (EF Mount)
Format/Codec: ProRes 422 HQ
Lenses : Canon F2.8 24-70L & Canon TS-E 24L
Lighting : Dedo Lights
Mics : SE Electronics 2200 (Vox) & Rode NTG-4 (Guitar)
Sound Capture : Via a Canon XF100 (didn’t use the video)
Mix : Not my expertise at all but I think I added a little bit of compression & reverb
Playback : Through the living room hi-fi
NLE : FCP 7 & graded in MB Looks
Dust : M-Dust plugin
All in all it came out very nicely and for once no-one got wet feet, hypothermia or dysentry. Result!
As promised, here’s the latest video from Tasha Blackmore : “Last December”. Shot on a remarkably cold day in just over three hours, in a somewhat inaccessible place within the legendary kingdom of Northumbria….It turned out rather nice! Mixing and sound magic from Iain Petrie, great performance, song and vocals from Tasha. Thanks to Colleen for make-up and hair curling (Tasha’s, not mine) and the lovely folk over at Blackmagic Design in Australia who developed, delivered and produced the quite incredible Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Gentlemen…You have opened my eyes.
Other stuff: The light leak effect is nothing more than me waving a sparkler in front of the lens, while the odd bits of subtle movement were created using a Glidetrack Shooter. As always everything was edited in Final Cut Pro 7, graded in Magic Bullet looks with a tiny bit in DaVinci Resolve. Anything else? Oh a top handle for the BMCC from Zacuto and a Tiffen variable ND. In some ways we didn’t get all the footage I originally intended as A) It was freezing and B) Some eagles with their own paparazzi arrived! Not to worry though – we pulled it off. So here we go:
OK, this is a nice enough photo – a little landscape and a little castle in Scotland. Ah but! It’s not a photo…It’s a video still. Yeah I know. Kinda scary. And this is ‘only’ a 2.5K raw still from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. When the 4K comes out I might be throwing the still camera away. Well, except when I need a blast of flash in sunlight, a long exposure for star trails, a long exposure for milky water or a 21mp fashion shot 🙂 Anyway, when I finally manage to hire myself a Cray super-computer I’ll process the raw cinema files and get them uploaded…Meanwhile it’s stills only.
Right, here’s the last bit of mist and tranquil loveliness for now – and what better way to finish than on the be-cragged coast of the East Coast of Northern England/Southern Scotland (plus a tiny bit inland!). From trains, to cockles to cows. Again, shot on the lovely BlackMagic Cinema Camera in ProResHQ. Some rock ‘n’ roll coming soon! Promise!
Autumn hasn’t really arrived yet – the leaves on the tree’s haven’t turned, however there is that sense that the greenery has exhausted its energy for this year. The green is darker and the leaves damp and limp, like a cabbage leaf that’s been on a compost heap for a couple of days. I guess, there is also a subtle vegetable smell in the air. We’re also getting some great early morning mist where the vapour clings to the threads of spiders like little strings of diamante. This Saturday morning was a case in point, so it was out with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera and a trip to Greenknowe Tower in the Scottish Borders. The camera continues to amaze. Before I had cataracts, now I have clarity. Here we go.
…And here’s a little still taster. For those of a cam-geek persuasion, the image below is raw DNG crop from the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. Er, yes – I’m blown away too. Full video coming soon.
This is my second shoot with the BMCC – and it continues to impress. What do I like about it? The image is sublime. It’s what I expected from the new dawn of HD footage. Although I’ve been using DSLR’s (Canon 5DII) and small-chip camcorders (Canon XF-100) for the last few years, they always seem to be missing something. The image from the 5D is of course gorgeous, but it breaks down so easily when doing any grading. The XF, I use mainly for stock, live gig footage and anything where I need ‘easy’. Again, it’s image is very nice. But is ever so ‘video’.
So, neither of them do ‘cinema. What is that? I dunno really. I guess it’s just an image I really like & yes, I do love the image from the BMCC. Even the noise…looks like proper grain.
I’ve only used Pro-Res HQ so far, but even that is a revelation when it comes to grading. It is just so robust when compared to the codecs of the 5D and XF. For instance, most of the shots were seriously underexposed (we’ll talk about this later) so I had to really push the exposure in some cases to +2 stops. And it still looks pretty delicious.
Music video’s and personal projects are my bag at the moment and that’s where the frustrations of the camera are actually benefits. It slows me down, it allows me to concentrate and to consider how the camera actually responds in different conditions. If I were a run ‘n’ gun documentary dude I probably would have thrown it through the window by now.
Now, why were all the shots underexposed? The BMCC doesn’t feature any levels or scopes, just a bit of peaking. The screen is large and bright (although terribly reflective) so when in a relatively dark space, such as the sombre, ancient forests of Northumberland where full daylight rarely reaches, you see something that looks very nice. So you hit record. Then, you get home and start logging the footage and you see a load of mud 😦
However, given that Pro-Res HQ is very robust you can then really push it…God knows what raw is like – too scared to try it at the moment (my 1Tb Lacie FW drive, all of sudden seems rather lightweight).
Let’s put it another way : In learning how to use the camera, I really screwed up the exposure this time. Despite that, I still got this:
If this were a paying gig, bacon would be saved.
– Camera : BMCC (EF Mount), 1080P Pro-Res HQ, Film (log) mode, mostly 800 ISO
– SSD : SandDisk Extreme 240Gb (no dropped frames as yet)
– Lenses : Canon 24-70L (at F2.8 all the time) & Canon TS-E 45L
– Support : Sachtler Ace Tripod & Glidetrack Shoot + Manfrotto MVH502
– NLE : FCP 7
– Grading : Magic Bullet Looks
Music by kind permission of Matt Wilson : https://soundcloud.com/mattwilsonmusic
Location : Roughting Linn Waterfall, Northumberland.