My kids’ school rocks. Last Friday they surprised the kids with a flash mob / dance party during morning assembly. How many schools do this? The best part…its a PUBLIC school in a CITY! Seattle has one of the highest ratios of kids that go to private schools – theres a lot of tech money here and to be honest, the public schools in the city aren’t all that great. Not shocking considering they are cut to the bone with funding, teachers’s pay hasn’t increased in years (and it was low enough to begin with people), and furlough days are thrown in for good measure. Green Lake is a hidden gem - teachers that work as a team, super small class sizes, and a rocks star PTA that raises enough money every year to pay for specialized support staff, swimming programs, and subsidized after school activities. It’s not a flashy school, but it feels like home.
So…tech stuff. I was asked to shoot the flash mob – rigs are essential here, white balance beforehand, get crowd shots and reaction shots from kids before the flash mob begins so you can cut them in later, and keep it wide angle for the most part. I also incorporated a few other parents’ video footage – which worked great for this purpose. If this was a professional shoot I would have had 2 other DSLR’s on hand – one up front, one staying wide, and one getting close-ups of teachers and kids. I also synched up the LMFAO song at the end with the same song playing during the dance party to create a fun little sequence. They actually played TWO songs that the entire school danced through, but very few people would sit through 10 minutes of dancing. It’s better to condense it into a fun montage.
Watch the video at : https://vimeo.com/36806783
I’m so excited! I just purchased a new DSLR rig. I find rigs pretty indispensable these days for shooting video – I usually only have a couple of hours per shoot for my web videos and have to grab a lot of great shots in a very short time. DSLR rigs allow me to cram into tight spaces, get different angles, and they are smooth! Holding the DSLR alone is not even an option seeing as they are so light – it’s like The Blair Witch Project in terms of shakiness. One problem. DSLR rigs are pricey. Zacuto rigs are superb, and I’ve thoroughly annoyed the Glazers Camera store crew with the number of times I’ve “demo-ed” it (check out their new “Scorpion” Rig HERE. Ditto for Red Rock brand rigs – gorgeous, dependable, but damn expensive! My friend down the street who happens to be a fellow video producer turned me on to Ebay’s infamous Gini-2011. This guy is from Korea and sells DSLR rigs for half the price of the competition here. You bid on a rig, and if you’re lucky and no one else bids on it, you get a rig ridiculously cheap. I was lucky. I got a very basic rig for $199 plus $55 shipping!! I’ve tried them out and they are the real deal: solid, dependable, and you can add on multiple accessories (follow focus, clamps, body arms, etc) Downside: it won’t be here for approx. a month. One more challenge: I did NOT order the counter weight. I know this is an indispensable part of the DSLR rig, but I’m too cheap to shell out $117 plus a large shipping charge for a weight – there’s gotta be another way to add weight to the back of a rig. I found a few DYI options – one of the best involves a scuba belt weight, which is made of lead and very easy to drill a hole through to attach to the back of a rig. The description and video tutorial is found on cheesycam.com .
Here’s a picture of me using the Gini-2011 rig to shoot a web workout video – if you’re in the market to buy a new rig and hunting around it’s worth it to check out his ebay store .
Filed under Resources, Video
I’ve always been a fan of plug-ins to sweeten up my video editing. Plug-ins are affordable, easy to download, install instantly in your editing-based platform (Final Cut, After Effects, Motion), and take a LOT of work off your hands. I recently purchased two plug-ins from FX Factory. They have a ton of transitions, effects, and wipes to boost your video production quality. A number of their effects are free, but you need to shell out a few bucks for their really good ones. I purchased Supawipe, a cool transition effect that takes any object you want and wipes it over the screen to transition to the next shot. I also purchased Luca Light Leaks, a video generator that produces high quality light leaks you can overlay onto existing video, or use as a transition between shots. My all time favorite plug-in though, is still Magic Bullet’s Mojo. For $50, you can take your ho hum everyday video footage and turn it into that great vimeo-esque look where subjects become warm, and backgrounds become cool – check out the link above or download the trial to see for yourself – I use it all the time. Just don’t let Mojo substitute as a color corrector – it’s still simply a cool video effect filter. Color correct first, then let your mojo take over – yes, I admit, the name hooked me. Here’s a video I just produced where I used the light leaks and Mojo.
Filed under Resources, Video