“Long Exposure”

Long Exposure from Adrian Atwood on Vimeo.

This short film is a suspense/slasher concept. It’s also a love letter to my camera. I developed the concept around the time that I was doing a lot of timelapse and long exposure photography. I was also spending some time shooting video of landscapes, like the Mt. Pollux video I shot last winter. I knew I wanted to juxtapose the serene beauty of the idealized wild with the frenzied blood bath that nature really is.

A few crude storyboards I made “Long Exposure” scenes

We had to re-shoot a few sequences. The first attempt to shoot the stabbing scene didn’t pan out so well. There were some nice shots, but the sequence as a whole wasn’t working in context of what the (lack of) budget could pull off.  Night time crept up quickly and cut short what I had planned to capture that day. So we walked away with no usable footage, but a better understanding of how and what to shoot next time. Here’s the original stabbing scene.

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Hatch Makerspace at Watertown Free Public Library

Here it is, the final cut of the Hatch Makerspace web video. You can read more about the production process in my early blog post here. I added some shots using a Sony Rx10ii, specifically shots at the Watertown Library and all exterior shots.

Learn more about Hatch:
Hatch by WFPL on Facebook

Hatch Meetup

The Arsenal Project

Watertown Free Public Library

Hatch Community Makerspace

I started this project for Hatch Makerspace in Watertown, Massachusetts.
We shot most of the interviews on Canon Rebel DSLRs.
A screen grab from the T4i with 50mm f/1.8
 A wide view of the lighting and camera setup
Edwin, the camera operator, is an old friend from UMass Amherst.
Picture Profiles on the Rebels were set to STANDARD (-2,-2,-2,0)
A grab from the t3i with 55-250mm @ f/4.5

Here’s where we ran into a bit of trouble. The t3i began to overheat (my guess) and would no longer turn on after 2.5 hours of interviews. Luckily, we had backup cameras on hand. At first, I put my PXW-X70 in place of the t3i. I knew it would be extra work to make the images match because of very different sensors and codecs. But, I went with it… at first. Below is a sample image from the X70 ungraded and another version that was adjusted with Davinci Resolve Lite 11. I’ll have to take another pass on it to make the green background match the yellow/green in the DSLR footage.

Screenshot from Sony PXW-X70 ungraded
Adjustments to skin tone, slight softening, and darkened background via power windows
We had to take a break, and I decided to switch to a 5dmkii which, as luck would have it, was also on hand. It turned into a good experiment in testing the compatibility of all three cameras. The image below is from the 5dmkii with STANDARD PP to match the Rebels.
The 5d2 color, DOF and skin tones matched the Rebels much better than the Sony, as expected.

I felt confident swapping the cameras because I knew I had the consistent coverage I needed on the t4i. This one interview is a fraction of the scope of the project, and I could edit around any potential image compatibility problems. Next visit to HATCH will be to gather b-roll of the community space in action.

Pingree Musical

Still from Camera 1 (on jib), Canon 5dmkiii with 24-70mm

A few quick looks at a reality show satire video that I was on this week. I operated second camera and assisted with lighting. The project was for a private school’s musical, and we used their performance stage to shoot and light. We brought some daylight fluorescents but were also able to use the stage lights to add creative flairs.

View from Camera 2, Canon 6D with 70-200mm

The Shepherds’ Singularity Promo

I spent an evening shooting a promotional video for a community theater production. I enjoyed working with this direct last year and was excited when I was asked to produce a video for a new play. The director had the actors run select parts of scenes, I came up with framing on the fly, and then tried to edit with as much style and intrigue as I could in two days before opening night. The X70 was used as the primary cam and a Canon 650D with EF-S 24mm was used as B Cam.

Shepherd’s Singularity Promo 2Min from Adrian Atwood on Vimeo.

This quick slideshow just demonstrates some of the color grading and LUT work I experimented with in Premiere Pro CC. The images start with the picture as captured in camera and dissolve to the color graded version.

Yelp Amuleto Mexican Table in Waltham

Where is a full frame camera when you need one? Last week’s small business profile shoot for Yelp had me setting up an interview in a restaurant. The ambience was excellent, with very romantic mood lighting.
That means it was dark.
No time to set up lights, and even if I did, there was no place to put them. We were smack in the middle of the dining area, with guests and hosts buzzing all around.
I set up two cameras, a Canon t4i sporting a 50mm f1.8, and a Sony X70. Neither one of them handled the stygian exposure very well, but the crop sensor DSLR delivered a much more usable image.


The exposure capture on Canon t4i (top) and after Brightness and Noise Reduction with After Effects (bottom).


I had hoped that the X70’s XAVC 50mbps codec would have withstood post processing much better than it did. Trying to make a poorly exposed image look decent is difficult, no matter what camera or codec you’re working with, but I didn’t expect the DSLR to do better. But I was wrong. I took one look at all the messy noise in the X70 image and knew it was unusable.

A screen grab from the Sony PXW-X70, no post processing.