RSPCM

In the second CMP film, I felt like I should show my more sensitive side. I wanted to make a video that had a strong cause so I cast my mind back to old charity adverts that were done in black and white and slowed down a little too much, with over dramatic title card over the top.  I also wanted to make a spreadable piece of content. To do this I looked at the groups I’m in on facebook and found that the group ‘Stagehand Humour’ had the best view to share ratio. It was then I realised that I could do a mic-dropping advert, as while in the mainstream media it has almost disappeared, for the people spending £400 every time it happens it’s still a real concern.

To create the advert I used multiple sources from all over the world so that everyone got at least couple of the references I make. I also originally just had proper microphone cleaning tutorials at the end but then I realised that the ASMR ones were much more over the top and fitted with the style of the video better. For the keen eyed viewer, you may notice that I start talking about the UK then switch to dollars and use an American toll number. This was because I was aiming to affect both markets.(And the phone number joke works better in the US format) Now is also a good time to mention why I’ve done the editing so badly and over the top. I’m sure you have all heard of a meme subculture call ‘ShitPosting’ despite the name they are rather brilliant in the fact they will share and enjoy bad videos the worse the better. (That makes sense right?) So I whipped out the speed correction tool in premiere pro and cranked it down to 10% at this point an old fashioned cartoon had more frames per second than I did. I also overdid the black and white levels and over saturated the ‘happy’ clips. This also helped me not get sued by anyone as it is very clearly a joke but also masks the fact that some clips were very low quality.

 

IT WENT (2%) VIRAL

Now that I had the video I had to wait to release it into the world at the most effective time. Due to the fact, America had a bigger audience I knew I had to wait for 2 AM, which being a student was just in time for my tea! Once 2 AM hit I shared the video on my facebook page to several groups and cracked open a can of Irn Bru (Yes second-year PSVT does have a terrible addiction to it) and I joked to my housemates can I drink the can before I hit one hundred views.  One-quarter of a can later I had hit 200 views. I almost spat out my drink! From there onwards it rocketed up to 2000 views in the first hour, subsequent hours got about 1000 each. Which meant in the first 24 hours I got 25k views which by my very bias maths means that I was just 98% away from being deemed viral…  When using the Facebook Insight tool it becomes very apparent that I made the video to perfectly match my audience. 25-34 Year-olds were the biggest group with 18-24 not too far behind. I also can see that USA had the biggest audience followed by the UK. (Then the Netherlands which I don’t quite get)

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My one day of fame

References:

YouTube. (2017). ‘[ASMR] Microphone Brushing Touching Tapping – No Talking Upclose‘[online] Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meuybFV3oj8&t=323s [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘5 BEST Moments From Lady Gagas Super Bowl 51 Halftime Performance'[online] Available at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUUF7ry16P8&t=3s [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘ASMR Binaural Sound Series 41 – Cleaning Your Ears ( the Microphone)'[online] Available at:  https://youtu.be/jhq5SwQVQvs [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘HOW TO  clean you microphone grill so you dont get sick from it'[online] Available at:  https://youtu.be/d1phaKyG8Vk [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘How to Clean Shure Microphones'[online] Available at: https://youtu.be/1j6CVlFG1Vk [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘King Bob Drops Mic'[online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pItugbXjrYc [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘Gary Jules-Mad World (song + lyrics)'[online] Available at: https://youtu.be/XQClFD5hr6I [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘Metallica – Ride The Lightning (Live – Mexico City, Mexico) – MetOnTour'[online] Available at: https://youtu.be/grJRl2UhUW0 [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘Mic Drop-2′[online] Available at: https://youtu.be/zIdUlp3QAsk [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘Mic Drop'[online] Available at: https://youtu.be/fQbRyay_ojY [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘Nerd HQ 2015 Bryan Cranston – Mic Drop (Supermansion Panel Clip)'[online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZfWwZZoN3o  [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘President Obama Does Mic Drop…Obama Out!'[online] Available at: https://youtu.be/7Y0oMoOrqzs [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘Randy Watson  Sexual Chocolate'[online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOk_1ZeSBe0 [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘Thomas Middleditch Drop the Mic Verizon Commercial 2017′[online] Available at:  https://youtu.be/t3zptG2nVmM [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). ‘UFC 202 Conor McGregor Drops Mic After Ripping Diaz Fans'[online] Available at: https://youtu.be/iOtXpJNFVmk [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

A Grand Day Out: In Spite of Better Judgement

“What a weird, yet incredibly well-executed film”-You

Let me explain the film you just watched. After being stuck with writers’ block, I suddenly remembered a joke I made in the assignment briefing. “Don’t film the number 50 or making cups of tea!”  Why not both? I joked but the idea slowly grew on me as I realised how well the film would lend itself to the task. When I found the music track, I had to make it.

The film opens using footage from the 8mm Vintage Camera App by Nexvio. I used this app to mimic all the ‘artsy-fartsy’ hipster films on Vimeo. This was because I wanted the viewer to be misled into thinking it was a serious film, not a parody. I also feel the super 8 look helps hide the tardiness of the mobile footage. Seeing the video in the original High-Definition format makes the viewer less forgiving when it comes to technical errors.

The time-lapse was created using the 8mm app. I did this so that I wasn’t stuck with a certain length clip in the edit. (Pro-tip, by adding a time-lapse to the film if you need to add padding to the piece, you can make it longer. This trick is probably why I passed TV in the first year…) To keep the camera(phone) stable I used my shoulder rig and attached it to the bus seat. This worked with varying degrees of success, I did try hyper lapse apps but due to the limited background movement, they didn’t work as well.img_20170218_155121_01

Speaking of which,  I used the Microsoft Hyperlapse App. This is because I personally feel it does the best job the majority of the time. I also maybe biased as I was a Microsoft Insider Tester for it and the PC software. The reason the app works better is because it analyses the environment, then creates a 3d mesh and projects the image onto it. This allows the software to then view the scene through a virtual camera eliminating any movement from the input media. The only downside is the limited resolution and the fact it adds a watermark on the end of the clip but anyone with a vague understanding of the crop tool can remove this so it’s not really a problem.

The final shot of the film is the most technical and took a night of planning to pull off. I knew I wanted a slow motion shot but I had to work out how to time the action to the music as you can’t speed up gravity. I worked out a number of frames it took each water effect to reach the centre of the frame. Using this knowledge I then created a click track which the performers would follow to sync the effect perfectly. Because I was using the iPhone 6 Plus I had access to 240 frames per second. This is 10x normal speed (for 60Hz electrical grids) which equates to 18 visual frames or just over half a second which would have been near impossible to film. So I elected to film the clip in 240fps but treat it like 120fps this gave the performers 1.5 seconds to do the stunt and then gave me the headroom in the edit to slow the footage down even more after the musical stabs had been hit.

The film was shot solely on the iPhone 6 plus as it has fantastic optical stabilisation meaning that when paired with my shoulder rig, I had reasonably stable shots. I also chose the iPhone as it has a much narrower field of view compared to my OnePlus3T which has an almost fisheye effect to it, this retracted from the super 8mm look.  It also made framing easier as I could also view the 8mm footage live on the iPhone as the app is only available for iOS meaning that I would have had to send the footage from the OnePlus to the iPhone and back.

Apps used:

8mm Vintage Camera:http://8mm.mobi
The best 8mm emulator out there. The Oscars can’t be wrong.
Here is some test footage I shot with it. I was originaly going to use this for my credit scene but apparently running over by 50 seconds was unacceptable.

Hyperlapse:http://tinyurl.com/jedvsb3
Powerful and user-friendly. The only downside is the lack of iOS app

Honourable mentions:

YayCam Retro:http://tinyurl.com/yaycam
Nice features but more expensive and ultimately not as good as the 8mm app. Also kept sending me annoying adverts via notifications. (It’s a sad day when you get more ad notifications then social media ones)

Instagram: https://hyperlapse.instagram.com/
Instagram has it’s only stabilisation app but after my own experimentation, I had a better time with the Microsoft Hyperlapse app. But I would recommend it for Instagramers as it allows for a streamlined workflow.

SloPro:http://sloproapp.com/
SloPro allows iPhone users to simulate shooting at 1000FPS but unfortunately, it’s too good to be true. The app uses frame blending to create the extra frame data needed, this creates very obvious artefacts in the areas in the frame that are moving. It also requires a pro account to remove the watermark. However, it is a great app for messing about with and has provided many a laugh between friends.

So that’s it! You know my trade secrets, so what are yours? Why not comment below?

Recording day – Studio

So to follow on from the recording session at peel hall, after a quick snack, we went back to the newton studios and recorded guitars, percussion, synths, and vocals. This went shockingly well and if you want to find out about the performance side of this recording check out Niall’s post here:

Warning techy writing ahead. Turn back now.

So we started off with the guitar tracks which featured a clean tone. To capture all the detail in the tone I chose to use an SM57 with a Royer-121 on the front of the amp, just to the side of the dust cap on the cone. The reason I chose this combo was for the attack from the SM57 followed by the thicker more natural sounding Royer. I would like to stop for a moment to strongly recommend every studio gets at least one Royer ribbon mic as they are the best sounding high SPL ribbon around. The beauty of the Royer ribbon technology is that they offset the ribbon so that the microphone has a different tone depending on which side you use, the front giving you a more rounded tone and the ability to have higher SPL intake (135) and the rear of the mic having a much brighter sound. Of course, you must remember to phase reverse the signal when using the back of the mic else you will get a muddy comb filter effect. After dropping the Royer level in the mix it Micing the synthcomplements the SM57 really nicely. I can’t understand why people think the SM57 is enough on its own. Yes, it sounds good, but why have silver when you can win gold. And that’s what we have here. Gold

 
Next up we had the synth. Dom created a really nice patch which
I then ran through the Peavey keyboard amp. This adds thickness and warmth to the dry digital signal. I once again used the Royer to capture the tone so the signal sounds the same as we would hear it if we were in the room. I also use the Royer set up on the percussion to capture clean tones.

For vocals, I chose to use a u87 with an MD441 on top. This is a classic Micing the vocalscondenser/diaphragm setup used by most male singers such as ed Sheehan as the condenser captures a crystal clear sound with the dynamic mic adding thickness through the use of the proximity effect. When it comes to mixing a plan to use the Toft analogue desk to get a nice analogue warmth to the voice.

meet my baby

A year ago a very nice post lady delivered me a brand spanking new, second-hand TLR! This camera is dated around late 1950’s and had for many years just been left in an attic, it’s such a shame to see great camera left as rubbish when all it needs is a little love and care for it to outshine most modern camera.
For those who don’t know the Yashica-A is a TLR 120mm medium format camera, but what makes that so good I hear you cry? Well, apart from the fact older camera are just naturally better because they produce a 1:1 representation of the image rather than a computer deciding what is and isn’t needed. The camera also shoots a larger format than most cameras, for instance, professional DSLR’s shoot what is known as Full Frame or 35mm this is three and a half times smaller than 120mm film.

Bigger is better.

I could talk about compression and other technical nonsense but I’ll simplify it the bigger is better. In fact, you can get a bigger film standard called Large Format but that costs money that I don’t have.

Shall I continue about the film? Oh okay. Another key part of the film is ASA which is how large the light sensitive crystals are. Think of it like ISO on modern cameras but it’s a lot more natural looking as the chemistry is completely random.

Another reason I love the camera is the pure simplicity of the device. There is no batteries, no meters, it’s just you and the image. That’s it. Yes, your first roll of film will probably be out of focus and not exposed properly but by the third attempt, it will have become second nature. The only other negative is the cost, But (and this is a big but) the cost for a 50mp camera is three grand and that’s not including lenses! So once you put the cost of the camera and the cost of shooting you can easily shoot 1200 frames (and that’s buying the expensive stuff)

BENJ0505-Edit-Edit.jpg

Cheap 120 film looking beautiful

basal blog post

I thought I would try and be fancy by using a ye olden day word to open our first ever blog title, but I fear that most people will just think I missed spelt basil and I’ve created (yet another) cooking blog. Fear Not Sheeple! I’m actually going to blog about something far more interesting…

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME. (and the rest of the team, I guess)

Or more precisely what we are doing with our lives via the means of really infrequent, badly written, overly technical, rambly blog posts. So I hope you’ve all actually got this far and not gone to YouTube and watched something far more interesting like Neistat or Ben Brown. If you are still here, thank you and good luck!