Video project 2018

Initial thoughts and ideas

DJI Phantom 4 Pro

This video was shot late November 2017 on a DJI Phantom 4 Pro Drone.  This was shot as a test of the new drone to try some different angles and and transitions over and around the Priory.

I think for my main video project I will use drone footage along with video acquired from my 5D Mk4 DSLR. 

Drone test footage White Ladies Priory

Zhiyun Crane-2

I have also invested in a Zhiyun Crane-2 and a Zhiyun Smooth Q. The Smooth Q is designed for recording footage with smartphones, whereas the Crane-2 is for heavier payloads such as my Canon 5d4. 

They are both three axis gimbal stabilisation platforms to help the videographer produce more fluid movement shots, as well as giving the operator more options in camera positioning and the capability of producing moving time-lapse or hyper-lapse videos. 

Another great feature of the Crane-2 is the point to point video recording capability, where the user can set waypoints and the camera will slowly pan from point to point. The only downside (and this might be user error) is the pan speed is set to one speed so in post if you want a faster pan you have to speed up the motion, though that can also add to the interest of the video. 

I intend to use the Crane-2 to produce all the above-mentioned elements in my final video.

To the right is a short time-lapse test using the Zhiyun smooth Q and my Samsung Note 8 phone. 

The smooth Q comes with an app that connects via Bluetooth that connects the gimbal and the phone.  You can set it to track and photograph images as a time-lapse and the app will automatically produce a finished video. 

I also did a short gimbal test in the car to see if using it mobile would be viable for the final video. 

Zhiyun smooth Q

After scouring you tube for past videos of Wolverhampton I came across the following, It was recorded on film in 1976, though the images at the end are from 2014. I intend to make a modern day version of this but using newer techniques and higher quality media acquisition.

Locations for video acquisition

Initially I had thought about doing a short video about the town in general, but maybe I should do something about just a part of the town, or maybe an individual or place. 

With such a limited duration on the video it needs to be something concise and quite simple to put together. I will use a combination of acquisition methods such as drone, hand held, and mounted camera. I think most of the audio will be a sound track, but I might intersperse it with some vox pops , again this is dependent on the content of the final video. 

For part of the video I would like to include a timelapse light trail shot maybe from this vantage point on the bridge over the ringroad by the railway station.

This would be another simple way to give the video some dynamic that is different from the norm, and although quite an easy effect to produce looks stunning if done correctly. 

Final video production

The final video was shot over a period of two days. Day one I collected my drone shots driving around the city to specific points as detailed above, and I recorded some footage from my vehicle using the Crane-2.

Day two I spent inside the city centre on foot capturing video using various techniques including, locked off tripod, gimbal pans, handheld gimbal, and time/hyper-lapse recording.

In post I used Adobe Premiere CC firstly to assemble the time/hyper-lapse sequences and then assemble the video.

To save on the issue of copyright I used a track from the Youtube audio Library. I opted for this track, 

The Chase (2:28) by Topher Mohr and Alex Elena Genre & Mood R&B & Soul / Dramatic

Re-edit as requested by my Lecturer.

After todays lecture and a one to one with Pete, I decided to do a third edit taking on board some of his comments about edit one and two. I spent four hours working out how to remove a cable from one of the time-lapse shots that lasts on screen about two seconds. 

Conclusion

I enjoyed this project immensely, so much so I have decided to base my FMP around devices used to help with video acquisition. Back in 1995 I enrolled in a Media Production course and then was fortunate enough to gain some work in the industry as a freelance cameraman and editor. However, this project has proved very beneficial to me as it has introduced me to new ways of creating a video as well as sharpening my already acquired skills. 

This project has forced me to break down some long-held ideas about how video should be produced and given me the opportunity to experiment with new techniques and equipment. 

I enjoyed taking the time to experiment with the kit I had acquired such as a Crane 2 gimbal and a DJI Phantom 4 pro-drone, Using a variety of shots and effects acquired from these tools such as timelapse, hyperlapse and aerial shots have given my video a distinct look and feel, that added to the ramped up speed of some shots and the fast cutting to a great relevant track completes the package. 

In retrospect, my first cut was a little long and I agree with Pete during our one to one session that it needed a better soundtrack and was a little too long for the style of video I was intending to make. The old adage of less is more is very much true in today’s fast-paced media culture we now live in. 

I am very happy with the final product and I hope you find watching it enjoyable and informative about the local sights in and around Wolverhampton.