If there’s ONE quality to the new Phantom camera, it has to be its capability for slow motion. Good slo mo was a ground reserved for film cameras. You could go for speeds of 750+ FPS without much sweat. With video we were mostly stuck with 60FPS (and that’s not something you see THAT often).
The slow motion tests have been posted to Youtube, so I’m sharing them below. The footage has been shot at speeds of 1,000 FPS!
I recently got a comment asking how to go about registering a script. Probably the best way to protect your copyright is to go the Writer’s Guild of America’s special registration site. Here’s the link: WGA script registration
The script registration is pretty smooth. It’s good for 5 years from the date of the registration. The fee for registering the script is $20. It’s $10 if you’re a WGA member in good standing… but if you’re a WGA member, you probably already know this
The Headsman starts pretty much as I’ve expected – a slow pan of life in the Middle Ages. It stops when it reaches two young boys on the way to an execution. Not theirs naturally. Fast-forward fifteen years and we see them reconnect after so many years – once has become a soldier, the other a prelate at the abbey.
Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the soldier, falls in love with the executioner’s daughter (Anastasia Griffith). She’s shunned by the townspeople – illustrated by a scene in which a seller at the marketplace refuses to sell her anything. They eventually marry and Martin finds himself in the same position: an ex-soldier who cannot find a job because he’s related to the executioner. Luckily, the executioner dies, so this most coveted position becomes Martin’s only choice.
At the beginning of the film, we are treated to a narration that builds certain expectations about the clash with religious fanatics. Director Simon Aeby and scripters Susanne Freund and Steve Attridge take the road often travelled and make it a revenge flick, the difference is it’s set in the Middle Ages.
Vladimir Smutny’s camerawork is excellent and the production design is good as well. The acting is pretty much as you might expect – mostly average with a few good scenes on the shoulders of the supporting actors (Berkoff). The music score is adequate as well which is admittedly a tough job for any period piece. Kubrick had the decency to use classic pieces in Barry Lindon, I think this movie could’ve done the same.
If you like period pieces, you might find The Headsman is well worth the DVD rental. Personally, I’d preferred it to be grittier, darker, and less conventional. The same critique that I have for Beowulf and Grendel.
Recently, I spent a night (well, not the WHOLE night) at a bar that was showing extreme sports videos to the tune of your normal bar music. Although this was at a ski resort, most of the guys weren’t into extreme sports, yet they kept looking at the displays. The displays were big but definitely not HD which made me think: “Imagine how much attention a REAL high definition extreme sports video will attract!”
With this in mind, lets think about the gear you need to capture extreme sports in HD. We all know a few crazy heads so hopefully finding “characters” won’t be much of a challenge. Keeping them alive is another matter though.
Once you’ve decided on a sport - be it extreme skateboarding / snowboarding or wakeboarding, it’s gear time. Every sport is different and some have even “rules” about camera angles so your HD camera will need to meet those. For example, most extreme skateboarding videos feature fish-eye shots, i.e. very wide angle shots that have pronounced barrel distortion.
Taking extreme skateboarding as an example, here’s what your shopping list of features might look like:
Fish-eye: either through an interchangeable lens or through an adapter
Small enough to carry in a backpack
Sturdy construction to withstand at least a few falls
Neutral density filters
A tripod or some sort of a harness
Long battery life
Now, some of these will be more important than others but the point is you need to start with a (mental) image of the finished product. For example, getting the extreme wide-angle look could mean getting a camera with interchangeable lenses like the Canon XL H1. Or, you can get a fixed-lens camera (HVX200) and use a lens adaptor. One problem with adaptors is that they’re optimized for specific models, so if you’d like to use a specific adaptor, you’ll need to get (buy or rent) a specific camera.
You get the point – it doesn’t matter if you shoot white-water rafting or weddings – you need to consider your shots beforehand. I’m not saying you should start storyboarding every frame. Rather, come up with your ten “staple” shots/compositions and plan for those. There will always be extraordinary situations that you cannot plan ahead – after all you’re doing guerilla filmmaking.