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2nd August 2011

Post with 14 notes

How did we do our Last Snooze…

(watch the short film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RzmU8lau4g)

Sunday morning. We woke up with the typical “we have so many projects on the pipeline and so little time to execute them… right, that’s it! Let’s just bring the gear in the room and do something!”

And that’s what we did. We thought… “let’s just document the typical Sunday morning Snooze…”  Difficult but pleasant, that’s how it is. You want to wake up, the garden is waiting, the kids are waiting, breakfast is waiting… but no… let’s just stay a little bit more.  And then… when you finally manage, there’s always the hesitation, “touchdown” … your feet have landed on the floor. It’s official: you’re up.

And that’s the plot… everyday life (ok… mostly Sundays. Agreed)

So that’s it… we’re up. Alice (the actress) was still a little bit dozy so we got great images from her. We ran the whole sequence from five different angles. It was a very short sequence so it was a bliss.

Since we were using a single lens (Nikon 50mm f1.4) for all the shots, I used the tripod heights to organize the shots and off we went. Improvising a little bit here and there, we managed to get 18 clips.

We used available light (the light coming from the window) and no reflectors or bouncers. We played a lot with the iris ring to compensate in the different angles, and whereas you see some noticeable differences between shots, it’s also true that we managed a somehow uniform lighting through the different shots.

This is the first test run that we give to the Sony NEX-FS100. What a great piece of kit. We reckon we’re not even close of understanding all the functionalities but the ones that helped us the most were:

> Interchangeable lenses: gave us the ability to use an existing Nikon lens from the actresses photography arsenal (using an Sony E to Nikon adapter from MTF.

>Last Scene button: superb for checking out your last shot and decide on further work on the same shot. Critical for when your shot list is somehow improvised.

> Exposure and white balance preset buttons: makes balancing and recalibrating WB a bliss. In our case we were moving from shooting looking to a window, to shooting from the window looking inside the room. This gave two very different lighting conditons and having the switches, allowed us again to improvise and then… if we were already past the sequences from the window, we could always go back and recall the Exposure and WB setting.

Also we wanted to talk about our Zacuto rig. 

Simply a beautiful piece of kit. We put it together like a lego a few days before. It took us some time (and a trial and error) to get the configuration we needed for our setup, but we managed in about an hour. Once it is assembled is an incredibly sturdy piece of kit. And above all, very very forgiving. We did not mistreat it, but we did use it with the camera’s centre of gravity out of alignment, we moved the mattebox back to front, removed the follow focus, then back in again, carried the whole rig by the double barrel’s transverse bar… and the rig was like when we started… tight and solid.

One of the things that helps us the most, is the ability of the Zacuto baseplate to travel upwards, which allowed us to align the focal axis of the camera with the Mattebox. You need to have the allen key handy, but hey… who doesn’t.

Another important feature is how the double barrel handles are assembled to the rest of the kit. The independent clamps allowed us to remove one handle when using the rig on a tripod, in case we needed to turn the head and the handle was clashing with the tripod leg.

(A word of acknowledgement for Zacuto’s customer service who I dealt with a lot when choosing the parts for the rig. They actually devised a totally new rig for the FS100 from our conversations, so that’s an honor for Rocanbol Studios!)

Alejandro (our Editor and man in Caracas, VE) took care of the color using Magic Bullet looks. He applied a customized preset to the whole sequence and then adjusted individually, but not a lot. He wanted to get a natural, dozy look without pushing the yellowy tones. He also prepared the titles using AE… we have to say that we loved the opening titles… I remember the discussion… “I want to design an effect that looks like if the fonts are getting out of bed, subtle” … got the vision into film very well we think!

We also want to thank Den Lennie and his incredibly useful weekly tips. Get online and sign up for his updates at www.fstopacademy.com - A filmmaking encyclopaedia!

Also many thanks to Phillip Bloom. Thanks to his “unofficial shootout” between the Panasonic AF100, Canon 5D and Sony NEX-FS100 we managed to decide to get the right camera for our needs. Sign up at: www.philipbloom.net 

We had loads of fun doing this short film and we hope you too have fun watching it.

Feel free to ask any questions. We are like you… making films and learning on the way so we’re happy to share what we discover and learn from your experiences too.

Rocanbol Studios is a Media Production company focused in developing ideas for our customers (i.e. friends, acquaintances, soulsearchers, etc.) Do you have an idea for a song or a film but don’t know how to execute it? Give us a shout!



Tagged: short filmfilm tres courtzacutophilip bloomsony fs100filmmakingindiefilmmakingindependentavailable lightmagic bulletmusic video