Blue Hills w/ High Frame Rate and Slog2

Another adventure with the power packed RX10ii. Up until this point, I had dipped my toes into shooting SLog-2 footage, most recently with the Sun Coffee video. For this hiking trip, I just dove right in and shot every clip with SLog setting. I’ve found that broad daylight delivers great results because it gives you more than enough light to expose properly in this camera setting. Mix equal parts high dynamic range, high frame rate and macro videography and the video below is what you get.

For anyone interested, the video below is an alternate version showing the SLog-2 footage before and after LUT’s and grading were applied.

Blue Hills Color Grade Sample from Adrian Atwood on Vimeo.

“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.

Continue reading ““Long Exposure””

"The Wrong Way To Kill A Chicken" or "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the iPhone Camera"

 I shot this gritty little slice of cinema verite on my iPhone 4s camera. Because the camera is so simple, there is a feeling of immediacy when shooting with it. There is virtually no gear to distract the photographer from the subject and as a result, it can be much easier to connect with the moment being captured. I was able to experience this first hand while shooting this video.

    I was visiting friends who live on a farm. One of the chickens had been caught eating eggs, and had been sentenced to death. The task was handed down to Sol. He had never killed a chicken before, and did not take the responsibility lightly. He reflected on the act of killing for several days in advance of the execution. One morning after breakfast, I saw him preparing for the ordeal. 
    I knew I had to record what he was about to do. The only camera available to me was the one on my camera, and I knew it would have to do. No stabilizer, no mics, no filters. Just the lens aimed at the moment as it occured. Later, in editing, I was surprised at how smooth some of the shots were. I was also impressed with how well the footage took to color adjustments. The orange and teal grading worked nicely with the lush greens of the setting. I added letterboxing to give the image a cinematic quality, to imbue it with the experience of watching from a theater, where everything is larger than life.
    The shallow focus shots were inspired by the camera work of Terrence Malick films. I aimed to conjure an ephemeral, spiritual sense to reflect the reverence Sol felt for the life he was taking. The stark, minimalist score is Roger Reynolds’ “Process and Passion”. I used it to emphasize the ebbing and flowing of life and the dance of death taking place between the chicken and it’s executioner.
    Sol made it clear that he wants all viewers to know that he regrets not ending the chicken’s life more quickly and less painfully. It was his first time, and I forgive him. I like to think the chicken did to.