Behind The Scenes
Weekend Adventures: Colorado

This film was a little different than the majority of films that I have done. This is one of the few that I have had the story line completely drawn up before the trip started, which made capturing each shot a lot easier during the action.  From the technical aspect of this film I had a few new toys, used different settings, and it was my first time using the Adobe CC for editing (previously worked on CS6).  This was also the first film that I used identical cameras (GoPro Hero 4 Silver), all my previous work has been done on different cameras that yield slighty different outputs. 

 

 

 

My go to settings are usually 1080 Wide - 60 or 1080 Superview - 60 depending on how big of a field of view I am looking for.   Superview utilizes the full sensor and dynamically streches a 4:3 (more square) shot to a 16:9 (more rectangular) shot.  This allows more action to be captured, yet remaining in a more standard and more commonly used aspect ratio.  Using Superview on POV shots from the head or chest while skiing allows you to capture your skis, the horizon and the sky, all in the same shot! Typically, I use all automatic settings for color, ISO, white balance, and all other settings except for resolution, frame rate, and FOV.  For this film I tried using manual settings, or as GoPro calls them ProTune settings. For every shot I used the following settings:

 

                             1080 (Superview or Wide)

                             60 FPS

                             ISO Limit 1600

                             Sharpness Low

                             GoPro Color

 

After the weekend of filming, the only thing I would change is turn the sharpness to high. The sharpness was a little to soft for my liking which resulted in a lot of work (that I am not that great at) in post production.  If I left the sharpness higher, the quality would be a lot better. 

 

 

 

 

Screen grabs of new settings:

Settings

Feiyu-Tech G3 Handheld Gimbal

One of the big reasons I was excited for this trip is because it was the first time using the Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra handheld gimbal.  I was a little nervous using this while skiing as it is not waterproof and the camera cannot be in a waterproof housing while in use. Although the gimbal is built well, it has many moving parts which makes it vulnerable to breakage if I take a spill.  In attempt to get MY skis out of the shot while doing follow shots, I wanted to get the gimbal further away from my body.  There are many "proper" and more expensive ways to go about doing this, but all I did was electrical tape the handle to a trimmed down ski pole.  This was a cheap alternative that worked great and I was still able to break it down to fit in my backpack while not in use.

 

 

Screen grab of G3 taped to a short ski pole:

Screen grab of follow cam:

DJI Phantom 2

Although I use my DJI Phantom 2 drone fairly often, this was my first time using it on a ski trip.  Originally, I was planning on a lot more aerial shots; flying over trees, driving cars, fields of snow and mountain passes.  Unfortunately, there were a couple weather factors that played a role into the shots that I got for the final production.  With a winter storm blowing in and high winds (a few chair lifts were shut down), I was a little nervous flying in the high elevation, so I limited the flight time.  After a five minute flight and a few sweeping shots of the mountain pass I brought the drone back to safety.  For drone shots, I typically shoot in Wide mode to limit the amount of the propellers that get in the shot.  I still have not mastered this and usually end up putting mattes or black bars on the top and bottom of the shot, this also gives it a great cinematic feel!

 

 

Oops! Caught the prop.

Props are easily covered up with black bars:

Adobe Premiere CC 2015

One of the biggest changes for this film was the software that I used in post production.  Fed up with my older, bootleg version of Adobe Premiere CS6, I bit the bullet and upgraded to Adobe's Creative Cloud.  Although this new one is very similar to what I am used to it took some time dialing in all the settings, which was very frustrating.  Overall I am happy with Premiere CC, but it will definately take some time to get used to! 

 

Weekend Adventures: Colorado

Feel free to reach out if you have any tips, comments, or questions!