02 April 2014

New film: Scarborough & Whitby

Not exactly new anymore (shot and edited in August-September 2013) but this film was popular with the other members of Huddersfield Film Makers Club when it was entered into our annual competition last month.

Techniques used

For the first time I used exclusively Manual mode with a variable ND filter to keep exposures consistent, and slow enough to capture motion blur -- which I find looks great for fast-moving subjects like people and vehicles. The filter tends to confuse the camera's metering as to what the correct exposure should be (I think it errs on the side of underexposure) so I would use aperture-priority mode set to maximum aperture size, get a rough idea of what shutter speed would be suitable, and adjust to suit and take a few test shots. (For the shot of the fishers on the harbour wall at about 2:00, I must have left ISO on Auto by accident and it was adjusting exposure slightly, resulting in a mild flicker.)

Shots that didn't make the cut included a test with a Canon 75-300mm lens. This model was unstabilised and everything was mounted from the camera body, which meant it was very front-heavy. Even a gentle breeze would cause enough wobble to ruin the footage (with some odd motion blur as the lens bobbed up and down). Perhaps using long lenses would work if a rig was made where the lens was mounted, similar to Canon's large zoom lenses, but perhaps even more solid with a mount near the front glass.

29 March 2014

Judge dread: building up or knocking down

Creatives and judges have argued over subjective details of their work since the dawn of time, and the world of amateur film making is no different. This post is about judges' feedback and its value to the film maker.