Category Archives: Shoots

Information about the shoots that I go out on

Vision blue3 Vinten tripod review

Working in the Entertainment world of the media industry it’s always important for me to be able to get access to the equipment I use quickly and efficiently. The new Vision blue3 tripod from Vinten, has done just that. With its ease of use, flexible positioning and the amazing balance and drag control, I was very impressed with this new edition to the Vision blue series.

Once I received it, I had the tripod up and running in around 28 seconds (yes I timed it!) and the camera was attached ready to capture all the tension and drama of people emailing and walking around the office within a minute (what can I say, it’s a quiet week).

Seriously though, it’s reassuring to know though that if I am filming a sit down interview in a limited time, that I am confident the equipment I use will not only work correctly but be easy and simple to assemble. There’s nothing more embarrassing than when you’re trying to prop up one side of the tripod with your shoulder whilst adjusting the length of a leg and the tripod head slackens from poor manufacture and the camera wilts to one side. During this time, the talent is sat watching the live theatre comedy act before them.

The tripod head is so silky and amazing to use; it glides smoothly both for a tilt and a pan. As ever there’s the ability to adjust the resistance and a helpful balance bubble so you’re shots don’t turn out unintentionally Dutch. I couldn’t seem to find the button to illuminate the bubble, which is apparently available, and a function that we all know is only missed when not present. No one likes the task of holding a mobile phone in their mouth, trying to emit a light good enough to balance the bubble whilst two hands are already occupied.

When I took the tripod out for some ‘off road’ testing with a DSLR, it was great to know the legs could be individually adjusted, especially for those perfect wildlife shots when you might need the equipment to be stationary and static for an unlimited time. The pozi-loc clamps also contributed to the ease of use, allowing instant height alteration without fumbling with sticky screw adjustment clips.

One thing for those of you who buy the Vinten blue3 new, be aware that the rubber holders that keep the spreader attached to the legs are very stiff and need a lot of encouragement to be released.

The only other feature that I found required some muscular contribution was the bag the tripod came in weighed a considerable amount. Noteworthy for if you are travelling abroad or walking a distance… and no, this is not just because I am a woman! I did ask others to test out the weight and they agreed that for a tripod such as the Vinten bue3, you might need to invest in a more lightweight protective bag.

Overall I am yet again very impressed to this new edition to the Vinten family. The minor features I found couldn’t ever overshadow its professional and proficient manufacture. I can’t wait to see what other delights Vinten has in store for the future of filmmaking.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

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Canon 5D Filming

Weekend #1
The first weekend I used a Zoom H4 box to record the sound.

It was alright although no chance I would have been able to film on my own. Luckily I had the help of Emma. The Zoom H4 box records the sound separately onto an SD card as either a WAVE or mp3 file.

The sound had to sync up as video and audio were recorded onto separate devices…like in the ye olde days of film!


Weekend #2
The second weekend I used a customized Glensound Box that recorded sound straight onto the Canon 5D

The files imported into FCP fine, although I had to obviously change the settings of the project so that I didn’t have to render the timeline every time I put a clip down.

If you have the same problem, don’t forget to create a new sequence once you have changed the FCP project settings otherwise the new settings won’t be applied to the new sequence.

If you haven’t guessed already, that was something I found myself literally tearing my hair out at! Luckily I’m a lady and I have long hair so I can fashion a nice comb over for the time being.

I’m totally hooked on the new Canon 5D MK2! This is the first sequence that I produced having used it:

(Please note, the lovely BBC YouTube peeps seemed to have uploaded a wrong aspect version and it’s been compressed, obviously)

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Next Week: Short Film research… I want to make a short film at the start of this year so I’m starting the pre production for it soon

Twitter for Strictly

If you are wondering where the article about my premiere performance is, basically the shoot has been cancelled until November when we head to Blackpool.

Instead, here is a still of me! At least I have given you something even if it is just a still 😉

Gemma taking a picture of Goldie

This is taken from the first week when Goldie was still in Strictly Come Dancing.

Basically this is what I do on Saturday night while the main show is on.

I take pictures of the acts as they come off stage and publish it straight to Twitter.

I also add in a quote so that the reactio is more instant and exclusive.

The pictures are then used on the strictly blog and the backstage gallery.

I finish the night by recording some reactions to the results with the judges.

Fun-packed and never boring!
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Next Week: Filming with the Canon 5D camera

Audience Insights

This week I shall be filming an in-house BBC auidence insight event.

The day will consist of following four teams who are taking part in a flash mob in different locations. There are four crews following the four flash mob teams. After a morning of observational filming, we’ll be at a question and answer session with some big names in BBC.

The first bit of filming will be done with a z5 and monopod.

This is the monopod I use when filming

I always tend to use a monopod to counteract the camera. I know there’s other better devices for such a deed but for me, the monopod technique works really well and I always stand by the idea of maknig equpiment work for you. That’s why it’s invented after all!

I’ve been working closely with the event organiser and the afternoon session will be filmed by three static cameras and one roaming; a lot like a stage show such as stand up or theatre productions.

It’ll be a good day, allowing me to use the Z5 again. I have also put my alarm on to remind me to TAKE PICTURES!

It’s the time for competition…

I have recently been lucky enough to be sent information about a few competitions that are taking place.

The first is the Twitter Contest being ran by the Met Film School.

Basically, you have to follow MetFilmSchool on Twitter and pitch them your idea in one single tweet! Then one winner will be rewarded with a free place on their Introduction to Screenwriting course!

What a fantastic way to use Twitter for an online competition. It’s great to see the different ways in which people are using Social Networking to reach a larger audience.

Also, the prize is fantastic and would really help anyone who took part in the Scriptwriting Frenzy!

Please note, the deadline is 18th May so get those thinking caps on!

The second challenge I have my eye on at the moment is the one ran by Framepool/LBBOnline/Fireflies. For this, you have to make a piece of work showing the meaning of the word ‘courage’. It can be from 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length and the winner will be the first to win this annual award!

Please note, the deadline is 20th May for this challenge.

It certainly appears that with the summer coming soon, the competitions are certainly surfacing.

In other news, I am busy editing together the Hero VT for our UK Eurovision hopeful. The video will be published the week before the live final.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Sunday… Filming in London

After the initial gridlock we encountered trying to leave London, filming actually went very well.

On Saturday, whilst traveling back to London, I had sent and arranged for contributor consent and location agreement forms to be signed before we began filming.

It’s incredible what actually goes in to filming. I sometimes forget that it’s not a case of turning up at a location, sticking the camera in someone’s face, and then leaving.

On Sunday night, we then went to film at the Eurovision Preview Party at The Shadow Lounge.

The worst part about this filming was not having another room to conduct the interviews in. When originally told about this filming, we were led to believe we had a separate VIP area but on arriving, the separate room was unavailable. This meant some very crafty microphone work had to be done.

I’m praying that the audio won’t be as bad as I thought. I’ll have to put the transcript up though for multiplatform accessibility reasons.

Tomorrow I shall begin editing together the footage shot on Thursday night, which seems like an age ago!

Sorry I have no pictures of my expedition, but I shall promise to take more in future

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Daddy or Chips?

It’s a question that we ask ourselves at some point in our lives. Well maybe not. But it’s a question that we asked Josh, this years UK hopefully for Eurovision.

Today I have been editing together the clip.

Using keyframes and Photoshop, I’ve decided to scroll the either / or questions along the bottom and Josh answers them.

The problem I found at first was that you could clearly hear my voice, despite my position behind the directional mic. I think I’ve just got one of those travelling voices.

Anyway, you can relax as I simply went back to the location and filmed wild track. Usually I film wild track at every location, but with this one being right outside I didn’t think it was necessary. Typical that I would need it this time! Thankfully the weather hasn’t changed in London for three weeks.

Now, I am just about to mix the audio tracks together and hopefully the edit will be up on Monday morning!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.