A busy April filming has led to a busy May! 9 short films edited and uploaded to YouTube with 3 films in the editing process plus a family holiday to come. It has got to be my most varied month of filming ever ranging from family shorts, naming ceremony, Bicester development and some street filming. All planned on the hop and filmed with my GH2. The process of learning is very rewarding at the moment, with lots and lots of mistakes (some recoverable and some to learn and adapt):
Film profiles – settled on the Standard mode with a few of the settings turned down (one experiment on cinema which colour corrected quite well). I prefer minimal colour correction at the moment. I also did a black and white smooth setting as the ISO was set to 32,000 which I loved the feel of. I can see myself using different profiles in the coming months, especially black and white and cinema.
Accessories – my first real go at the Konnova k2 slider was great fun. It’s not as easy as I’d hoped but with some more practise the shots will be silky smooth every time. At 1m long it’s not exactly portable but any shorter and I don’t think the affect would be as good. It looks the business and I was stopped twice while using it, once out of curiosity and once as they were looking at buying one them self. I also messed about with my portable hand held rig which I think I will use more in the future. The key is to taking out the minimal camera equipment for the opportunity.
Opportunities – work visits to London, Birmingham and Edinburgh gave me the opportunity to do some filming. This is where the GH2 has been fantastic as it is very portable and easy to fit in my day bag.
Lens choice – I now like the kit lens although it is not as sharp as my 20mm pancake lens (it has very good image stabilisation for hand held shots). The 20mm 1.7 is nice and sharp and I have used it for some low light shots and with a variable ND filter which gave some lovely bokeh in bright sun. I have a CCTV lens which I have only used once which has a very organic feel to focusing. I have also taken some wildlife close ups using my canon 100-300mm zoom lens on the 2.6 telephoto setting which are incredibly close (although with high ISO gave it too much noise and white streaking). I looked at some specialist cinema lenses but I am struggling to work out the best quality against price – plus I should make the most out of my existing lenses first.
Editing – the hand held shots without image stabilisation needed sorting and I used the Sony Vegas image stabilisation which worked well as long as the shot was static (no panning). I also experimented with some colour correction presets I recently downloaded from Neumanfilms which I filmed using the cinema profile – good fun to play with – although they need a lot of computer processing to render. I have also done a bit of experiments using unsharp mask to sharpen up detail (still need to mess about with this).
Research – I downloaded the EOSHD GH2 user manual which was a good read and helped on my thinking on lenses and film profiles. I also searched on the legality and approaches of street filming which seems to be my favourite film style at the moment. I am going for discreet filming to appear that I am just taking photos rather than making it obvious that I am filming.
Plan – to mess around with my Sony FX1 and Canon HV20 to see how to possibly blend with the GH2 and get out my Canon 550D (possibly some HDR filming).
My 9 films so far are all uploaded to YouTube (some blocked on mobile sites due to music copyright):
1) London (People Watching)
2) Lucy Whitaker Naming Ceremony Service
3) Lucy Whitaker Naming Ceremony Montage
4) Destination Bicester (town centre development as at 4th May 2013)
5) Kings Cross Station Platform 9 and 3/4 (Harry Potter)
6) Birmingham Moor Street – “The Answer” to the most beautiful train station)
7) Destination Bicester (town centre development as at 11th May 2013)
8) The Starlings (Ride of the Valkyries)
9) Destination Bicester (town centre development 1st January 2012 – 1st March 2013)
May the mayhem continue……………