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

Quote: Nelson Mandela

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Email: An Emaiil 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!

(included some links of the dump and previous still efforts). (10 years of blog photo and other writings) (brand new film blog about only this years doc film project)

Quote: Lupe Velez (Actress)

"The first time you buy a house you think how pretty it is and sign the check. The second time you look to see if the basement has termites. It's the same with men."

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 A Friend About My 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.

Quotes: Joseph Conrad (Writer)

"We live, as we dream - alone."

"A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness."

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