TOOLS OF THE CRAFT

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Cheapo, right?

Hi guys. So I thought in line with keeping to the whole zero budget film making practice that is the doc 360 creed i should introduce you to the tools of the trade. Like we have constantly said, doc 360 is about showing you just how we, the pIXELMORPH  crew are learning to make watchable digital content and passing on the lessons learnt in the process to you guys. Trust me, from our side of the divide it’s a lot harder. I mean you have to come out of shooting for a client with a blackmagic cinema camera and an array of different sort of lights to carrying a small point and shoot (albeit a good one) and your Chinese lights. but if you’re shooting for the first time then the gear is simply a tool and nothing more (that is until you pair a 5D mark III with some sweet 70-200mm manual lenses from sigma or rokinon).
Plus I may not make it in time to put up next week’s installment of doc360 on our YouTube channel as I’m traveling on a job to return next week.

So guys, there it is basically, an Olympus SZ-14, an android phone and a card reader. Basically do not expect any miracles from a camera this small. Maximum output is HD(1280*720). digital zoom is 24x so effectively the lens has a range of 4.5-105mm. so there’s some pretty nice wide shots in there. Yes? No? Image quality for video recording is simple; you either shoot warm (daylight) or do a custom white balance. but the magic doesn’t end there. Naturally this camera has a tendency to sharpen the edges of images it records. You don’t notice that when reviewing clips on the viewfinder but once you transfer that to a pc it becomes noticeable. to resolve this use cinec pro or bigasoft pro res converter to convert your mp4 clips to QuickTime 422 mov files. The images loose that sharp edge afterwards.

Audio is good enough on the Olympus. Stereo and all that but that’s where the phone comes in handy. A little software simply called ” audio recorder” is able to record 16 bit, linear PCM, stereo, wav audio. it however also helps if your phone has active noise cancellation mics. phones like the Nokia lumia 920,820,1020 Samsung Galaxy S and Note series among others. Again the magic doesn’t end here. Dump your recorded audio on your pc and engage the services of “audacity”. Audacity provides a simple user interface that allows you normalize, fix, reduce noise and equalize your audio and expert the resulting sound files. I will most definitely do a post about that soon enough.

So basically you’ve converted your mp4 camera files to pro res and worked on your audio, use plural eyes software to sync both audio and video or if you prefer song things the hard way you can manually sync your audio and video files on your editing suite. Just so you know, plural eyes works with Sony Vegas, premiere pro and final cut softwares. if you are using any editing software besides these-and edius,premiere elements and lightworks-you need to step up, just saying.
So either way, once you’re done with your edit, i suggest you use Magic Bullet’s Mojo as a one stop color grade fix for your clip and you’re good to go. That’s how we’ve been doing the whole doc 360 episodes and some other high profile jobs too (don’t tell anyone).

So that’s the technical part, next post will be about the process behind the shoot, logistics, topics, research and sourcing content. Till then, do follow us here @pixelmorph1 @pixelmorph2 @doc360_

P.S I take [fool] responsibility for any errors as this article wasn’t proofread.

SOMETHING’S BEEN BREWING

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FIRST OF, SORRY IT TOOK THIS LONG TO POST, SECONDLY, MTN STINKS! Either that or the three storeyed church next to my house is blocking network, finally, don’t buy a cheap brand smartphone, thank me later.

In other importat news, things have been brewing in the brewery that is the pixelmorph mind, a massive cauldron of creative insanity that is unfortunately refusing to conform, which is why we need your help.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to start the doc360 project. Our montage looks like this by the way do let us know what you think. The idea is pretty simple, we want to go full circle on a documentary issue in 360 seconds, or 6 minutes. To this end we have shot a ton of content(from last year in fact) which we will be releasing on doc360. these range from music to literature, creative arts, education, social media, SMEs and just about everything that excites, bores, irritates, pleases and piques your interest, although the goal is to make EVERYTHING on doc 360 pique your interest. Also, all doc360 uploads on the youtube channel will feature relevant articles on the blog regarding how we made the documentary and other relevant info on the 6 minute piece being shown on youtube. by the way, please follow the handle on twitter, its @doc360_

So, here’s hoping you join the conversation, share issues you think we should ask the necessary questions about, cos basically its what documentaries are about; narrative or expository, or at least so i think. Tons of errors in this post, but the cafe’s keyboard is freaking stiff, I just can’t! erm bye, lemme stop rambling, I’d have a more coherent post when network is good at home Continue reading “SOMETHING’S BEEN BREWING”