December 10, 2014

Huntington Dog Beach and a BMPCC

This past weekend, Angela and I took a quick trip down to Huntington Dog Beach just to get out for a little while. I took my Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera because, despite having it for nearly 6 months, I still haven’t tested it out very much. We arrived about 45 minutes before the sun started going down, so our time was limited.

For some strange reason, I didn’t think to bring my Zacuto Z-Finder, so I was kind of flying blind for the most part. Despite that, I still managed to get some decent shots. Luckily, I had my Light Craft Workshop Fader ND MK II on my vintage manual Nikkor 35mm f1.4 lens or I would have been totally screwed.

In order to get a decent field of view out my lens, I have the RJ Turbo Pro / Speed Booster. I decided to purchase this instead of the Metabones initially mainly because of cost. This was the first time I’ve actually shot outside with it since I got it a few months ago, and I have to say that I am pretty impressed with it. My old nikkor glass is manual so adjusting my aperture was no hassle. But, with the speed booster’s extra stop or so of light, it took my a little bit to realize that I needed to close my aperture down more than I’m used to. Once I grasped that, the image I started getting was pretty good.

Not being able to see the lcd screen on the back of the camera in bright sunlight and having my aperture open wider than I should have turned out not to be as bad as I thought it was going to be once I got home and looked over my footage. There were only a couple of shots that were completely unusable. I shot in ProRes 422 (HQ) and dropped the clips directly into Adobe Premiere. The worst part about all the footage was that it was handheld so every shot needed stabilization. I applied Warp Stabilizer to every clip except for two I think. I dropped the percentage down to around 1 to 5 percent smoothness and checked Detailed Analysis. To get the best look out each clips, I had to change the method from Subspace Warp to various other methods depending on how they looked. After everything was all stable, I lazily colored everything with an adjustment layer with Filmconvert.

I used Lights & Motion’s Faded Fluorescence for my music. But once I had everything in place, it just didn’t quite give me any sort of feeling. I decided to reverse the clip of the song and, once I saw the footage playing in real time with backwards music, I decided to just reverse all the clips too. After that, the whole edit felt a little more impactful. Well, as impactful as a bunch of random shots from the dog beach could.

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