Friday, 28 October 2011

update and fun stuff

So just finished a big job for Scottish enterprise working with Dog digital which is really exciting, ill post a link to the site as soon as its up. Got 2 very fun projects hopefully coming up in North Africa in the next few weeks which is a little crazy but really really excited. Got a great client in China who wants to do some amazing stuff with CGI. Waiting to go back to the US for some other great clients! Got a music video shoot in London on Tuesday for an incredible musician. Working with Elph on a great animation project based around a ruined island. And the fashion video we did for Fraser Balgowen has gone down incredibly well and fingers crossed they will be massive in America very soon! Oh and doing lots of fun stuff for Harper Collins and should have a day off around Christmas :-) Whooo love being busy!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Fraser balgowan beauty in the raw

Here is a video i shot for fraser balgowan.

We shot it in the highlands and it was the worst weather i've ever shot in but the Canon 7d held up really well. The guys at fraser balgowan were amazing, the idea was by Adrian Jeffery, the model was Hannah Breen who was great putting up with the freezing conditions! The make up was by Judit Soltesz who not only did incredible make up but also helped style the clothes making 4 deer hides into an amazing outfit! and music by the incredibly talented Colin McNeil.

Monday, 24 October 2011

the beautiful world of the lensbaby

At 1.45 on Friday afternoon the post arrived through the letter box of my flat and there was a “sorry we missed you” card from a well known courier service, now I know for a fact that they weren’t sorry they missed me and I’m (90%) sure that they didn’t even try to drop off the parcel that was now waiting for me in the (not so) local collection point.

This would usually annoy me but on the card it said from San Francisco and the only thing I was expecting from the states this week was 2 Lensbaby lenses this was great except I also had to be at a BBC shoot at 2pm! So I drove as fast as I could, picked up the parcel and whilst on my way to the location I opened up the box and had a look inside.

Just as a side note, I’m very geeky I get very excited about technology, lenses and new stuff! This isn’t the first time I seen a lensbaby , I shot with one a few years ago and it was the Control Freak version which was a lot of fun to use although at the time it was mounted on a lens adapter in front of a Sony ex1 which made it interesting to operate.

But with the advent of DSLR’s this really is a great time for lens baby to flourish and for people like me to make use of them!

So I got to the location and showed the BBC team the new lenses and they said great lets use them on some of the location shots! And so we did.

Lensbaby kindly sent me the Composer and the Muse to play with and what’s amazing about these lenses is that you can take out the optics and switch them around. So alongside this I got a fisheye optic and a soft focus optic which all have adaptable apertures (check this link to their website for more info

The Composer retails at around £170, the Muse £70, fisheye £100 and soft focus £65.

Lensbaby have been around for a while now and on youtube and vimeo there are many many videos shot with 5d’s, 7d’s, Nikon cameras etc… but I haven’t really heard many people talking about them, so what are they like?

Well I have been using the composer with fisheye optic for most of the week and im hooked! Now you wouldn’t just use this lens for a shoot as that would be crazy but as an accent shot, it excels its just fun and looks a little mental! I like it a lot because it’s not too serious and yet it can produce stunning shots if used in the right way. And for under £300 to get a fish eye that is this crisp is pretty amazing!

The nice thing about the Composer is that you can lock the movement of the lens into a static position where as the Muse is always moving and for video that can become a bit tricky.

The build quality is great the separate aperture rings are fun if a little tricky to use on location (wind and rain is tough to deal with at the best of times!)

The soft focus optic is also really nice although I have struggled with it a bit, for stills it seems amazing but for video I wasn’t really shooting anything that was enhanced by that look so I haven’t used that as much.

Downsides to the lenses, I had a look at a few sites that were talking about Lensbaby and one of the recurring themes is that these effects can be achieved in post… and yes you pretty much can create these effects in post but its more than just an effect as with all lenses the specific look and feel comes down to the skill of the operator and in this respect using the Lensbaby as an additional tool in the cinematographers arsenal is the point. For me personally it is much more fun going out with the lens and adapting the shot to the lens rather than shoot your stuff go back to the edit suite and then click a few buttons!

Overall Lensbaby lenses are exciting, different and pretty cheap, they aren’t suitable for every shot but they will be their if you want that unique look and feel that only these lenses can give, and most importantly they are a lot of fun.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

apple and everything apple related!

Ok so i've just upgraded to lion on my laptop and im really loving it, the reason i did it was that I wanted to sync my ipad and iphone to icloud, i was pretty concerned that it might kill everything but it has worked like a dream. FCP 6 is working fine, photoshop, and after effects are also working without any issues and my plugins are all working. at the moment the only thing that isn't working is xdcam transfer but as im using the 7d now I don't use that very often at all.

Friday, 21 October 2011

fraser balgowen

You can tell when im busy as the blogging drops!
Since finishing the BBC project i've been working on loads of stuff and one project im very excited about is a fashion video for fraser balgowen. The video itself will be available next week. But in the mean time here are some behind the scenes stills taken by Judit Soltesz, she is an incredibly talented make up artist, the model was Hannah Breen, the idea came from Adrian Jeffery and the music (which you can hear next week) was created by Colin McNeil.


In a few days time I will have lived in Scotland for as long as I have lived in England - 17 years in both and I wanted to share my top ten ...