In this blog post I hope to share my experiences and some of what I’ve learned about producing, filming, and editing video. I’ll also share some of the video projects I’ve worked on lately and discuss how I’ve made them, the tools I’ve used, and my ideas for what’s next.
A recent photo trip to San Francisco involved almost equal amounts of still photography and video. And even after 5 days I was still wanting to go more places and spend more time shooting. Here is the result of 5 days of shooting and I think, because it was stretched out over several days, about 12 hours of processing and editing (yes, it’s only 3 minutes long and yes, I’m a slow editor) – Postcard from San Francisco.
The footage for this video was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR using both its native H.264 codec for some of the scenes as well as RAW video which is made available on most Canon DSLR cameras by using the Magic Lantern firmware extension/enhancement. If you’re familiar with Magic Lantern you’ve probably heard about the RAW feature. Although I had been using ML 2.3 for over a year for all the other tools it provides (video features in particular for me) and I had heard about the RAW capability, I didn’t know how to get it up and running. Finally I downloaded one of the “nightly builds” – which are beta releases (maybe even alpha releases) – but so far I’ve found the release I’m using to be fairly robust and I haven’t experienced any major issues with it. The lenses I used were the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 and the Canon 70-200mm f4L. Because we flew I kept things as simple as possible and didn’t carry more than I thought I would need or use. But that didn’t keep me from bringing a Canon 60D as a backup and a Tokina 12-24mm f4. I think I used the Tokina once. Also, I brought along a monopod with a ball head and a very small, lightweight tripod which barely held the camera, much less kept it stead especially in those strong winds blowing off San Francisco bay. Fortunately stabilization in Final Cut Pro X does a pretty decent job of removing a lot of that motion.
In a later blog I’ll discuss the workflow I used to backup the files on the compact flash cards, process the RAW files, import them to be adjusted and graded, and then edit and mix with a background soundtrack.
I would love to hear your feedback and questions! Please leave a comment!