Bill Viola

I had the great pleasure of shooting an Interview with Bill Viola at the Blain Southern gallery in London earlier in the year and found him to be a very inspiring artist. I found his series titled “The Dreamers” to be particularly interesting as he made great use of slow motion (high speed) shooting of subjects underwater which produced images that almost made the subjects look as though they had drowned, yet there was still a small element of life remaining.

I very much liked the use of Plasma Screens in a portrait orientation to present the works too, and with the piped underwater sounds it was a very inspiring, maybe I’ll have to look at doing some portrait work of my own.

The shoot itself proved quite a challenge as the bright plasma screens were placed in almost totally dark rooms and having any additional lighting present would have effected the way the artist wanted to present the works. Fast lenses like the Canon 24mm 1.4 and 50 1.2 were a big help and then relatively clean image at higher ISO ranges on the C300 and C100 came in very useful!

The video was also shot in Canon Log to give as much dynamic range as possible but for some reason the producers decided not to grade it at all during the edit so it still looks very flat.

Harley-Davidson 110th Celebrations

To celebrate 110 years of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and 30 years of the Harley Owners Group®, riders have gathered and partied in cities around the world. In Europe, Rome became the home of Harley-Davidson® for four days in June – an epic event that I had the pleasure of filming. I wasn’t working alone on this one though, I had help from Will Middleton, a camera operator that I met working on a project in London last year.

The Rome event was set on multiple sites, including the Vatican City and nearby beach resort Ostia, hundreds of thousands of passionate Harley-Davidson enthusiasts flocked to this beautiful part of Italy to commemorate 110 years of the legendary motorcycle. I’m not at all a religious person but none the less I was really honoured to be allowed to film inside the Vatican during a special Mass for the Harley Owners Group and also to film the Pope himself  when he was paraded in from of the thousands of Harley riders in the Vatican Square.

The rome event did however throw up a few extra challenges. The police and security people in Rome and especially those surrounding the Vatican are a tough bunch to deal with. One moment I would be told that it was fine to stand in a particular location and the next another security team would tell me to stop filming and move on, it was probably one of the most stressful places I’ve worked as yet, especially as many of the security people didn’t speak english.

One of the photographers that we were working with also had a Nikon D3 stolen on the train, he thought nothing off an old lady asked him a question but didn’t realise until 15 minutes later that at the same time his back pack had been unzipped and the camera body removed. It’s never a good idea to carry camera gear in a back pack, especially on a cramped train! Luckily the photographer was insured and ended up with a shiny new D4 body but the shots that he’d taken were lost forever… well maybe until the scrote who stole it posts them on facebook!

Here’s one of the videos created from the Rome event.

Moving on from Rome I shot again for Harley at the European Bike Week event in Faaker See, Austria. I’ve shot this event many times now and it becomes increasingly difficult to make it look different as in reality the event is pretty much the same each year. The addition of some shots with the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller and the fact that I was supplied a rather excellent Jeep for the duration did however give me some new options.

Still around

I should be ashamed of myself for not posting anything for so long, I wish I had a good excuse but I haven’t really other than my interests in other things have been taking up more of my time recently. That’s not to say that I haven’t been busy on the film making front though, I’ve been busy working shooting various projects over the last few months including my usual work for Harley-Davidson. It’s been a huge year for Harley as 2013 has seen them celebrating 110 years of Harley-Davidson and 30 years of the Harley Owners Group.

I guess the main reason why the blog has suffered is that I’ve been spending most of my free time playing guitar and getting involved in music projects. I play in a band called Liberty Gene which due to some recent line-up changes has taken up a lot of my time with getting back up to the level where we can perform shows. That’s not to say that I’m no longer interested in the video side of things though, it is after all my bread and butter.

Anyway, after treating the blog so badly for the last few months I’m going to make a real effort to dedicate more time to it again. To start things rolling here’s a video that I produced for the Harley-Davidson Euro Festival back in May. This was the first event I took the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller too and as you can see in the video it was used way too much but that’s with new toys!

The most challenging shot was one shown at the end of the video as I carried the jib along with my miller tripod and C100 through a crowd of thousands on the beach watching Status Quo perform. It was dark by that point too so I had to use the light on my iPhone to see the camera but I think the results were worth it.

I’ll post more info about my experiences with the pocket jib and the rest of my kit along with a few other stories from my travels over the coming days.

The Evolution of NLE’s

I really enjoyed these videos by FilmmakerIQ which cover the evolution of Editing.

 

Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler Review

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I’ve received my Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler today and have posted a bunch of photo’s along with my initial thoughts about it.

Click here to read the review.