On The Road - New Zealand, GH4, Filmconvert

Here's another compilation from a recent road trip up to visit family. We stopped off in chilly Matamata to see a friend's market stall, then spent an absurd amount of money at Tart Bakery (it's not just any regular kiwi bakery).

I didn't have any real plan for taking this footage so I made a demo of one of my favourite tools, Filmconvert. I've tried many "cinematic" LUTs and very few of them have any use outside of some specific purpose. Filmconvert, on the other hand, just gives you a straight up nice looking image with little effort - but still gives a lot of control. You can dial in the colour and the contrast separately (whereas LUTs do both at once - so if you want the colour but not the contrast - you have to do extra adjustments to counteract it)

And their clever grain generation is... clever. It generates it true to the film stock and is also responsive to the actual footage, as opposed to just an overlay. So the grain will vary dependent on the luminance and colour underneath. 

My process is to put the Filmconvert plugin in an adjustment layer, and then tweak each individual shot BEFORE the plugin. And those tweaks are usually limited to the lift/gamma/gain controls, and occasionally a white balance adjustment when it's really needed. I don't like to fuss around with it too much. Most of the time the imperfection is where the gold is found. Or where the magic lives. I'm not great with metaphors.

One day I'll get a smaller gimbal and shoot something like this again. But regardless I'm a big fan of the handheld look. Check out Y Tu Mamá También where I don't think they used a tripod even once and that's a damn fine piece of cinema.




Armageddon with a classic camera, the GH4

My plans to spend another Saturday doing client work and tidying up my edit drive were thwarted by a trip to Armageddon with friends (and wanting to spend time with my fabulous girlfriend on our day off). So since I'm not really into the anime/manga/cosplay scene I thought I could make something of it. Actually I do like gaming but I'm patiently waiting for the next Red Dead game.

That morning I woke up to a notification from Peter McKinnon (famous Youtuber, look him up, he's great) and got inspired to create something that kinda-sorta-halfway emulates his as well as other Youtuber's styles.

So I shot what I saw, thought about how I would piece things together, and didn't allow myself any second takes*

*That's a lie, but the intention was there, most of this is all first takes. I pretty much always subscribe to having a second option/take, but it's a good challenge to think ahead and get usable stuff in one attempt.

Then I took it home and challenged myself to smash out an edit on the same day. And to use enough cool transitions to make you dizzy. With my regular video production work there's not often a place for a spin into a whip pan into an RGB split crash zoom, so it's good to get experience timing them well, for when the opportunity shows up.

Plus I remembered this hilarious quote from one my of favourite shows:

“Guy at the station says he’s never seen so many star wipes in a row. It’s never been done.”
-James McGill, Better Call Saul

Shot on my trusty Panasonic GH4 in CineD profile with -5 Sharpness and -5 NR

12-35mm f2.8 lens

Rigged on my hands

Edited and Graded in Adobe Premiere with Lumetri and Filmconvert

Hey look, I even took a screenshot of my settings if you want to have a go: