Faith through my lens

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FTAL2015 winner

This is my 4th year producing the videos for this ever-growing awards ceremony. I filmed the judging at BBC Broadcasting House in London in October. And again in November, when Tom joined me for the ceremony.

As usual, I edited two short video that were played at the ceremony, and then I made the final film encompassing the entire 2015 awards process.

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Toolbank 2015

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Another year, another record breaking Toolbank ‘Real Deals for You’ campaign: The Christmas Collection.

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This year’s design included present boxes wrapped in shiny foil, which I built as 3D models in Cinema 4D.

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Then creating various coloured versions as looping quicktime files, converting them into particle effects in Motion and making them fly towards camera. Also I built custom box transitions in Motion with full rigging into Final Cut Pro X. This meant I could change the direction and colour of the box wipe transition using just a simple pull down inside FCPX.

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After three days of workshop filming back in April, I started putting the main campaign video together, which at over 30 minutes long is versioned in two currencies – Sterling and Euros.

We also filmed over 60 Social Media product demos which are presented ‘to camera’ by Andy or Nigel from Toolbank. These get embedding in the product pages on the Real Deals website

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Then, in August I filmed the TV commercial at Prime Studios in Leeds. This time filmed as a chromakey.

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Using my new JVC LS300 I fed an SDI picture to my 23 inch location monitor, and also streamed a Wi-Fi video feed to a laptop for timecode logging. Our great pal Vic McCullagh was on hand to light the set and provide his unique perspective on proceedings.

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Love that guy!

5 Star Service

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A regular client that I can’t blog about very often, is ACC – The Aged Care Channel. The work that I do for them is often confidential, and protected by their copyright. Occasionally however, they post short public excerpts of their training films, like this example on providing a 5 Star Service:

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Back in May I filmed for four days in and around Aylesbury, with the lovely team from ACC. I supply my camera kit, lighting and additional sound kit. We work with a variety of freelance directors, Tony on sound and the production team from ACC HQ. Once we wrapped I returned home and started editing the film for both the UK and Australia, where the two versions have slight regional difference regarding terminology and care guidelines.

I delivered the 20 minute edit as a ProRes master and ACC UK play it into their live monthly programme, which is simulcast to their subscriber around the world via their own dedicated delivery system.

I Shoot – You Score

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Another regular client – UMPF PR asked me to make a quick awards submission video for them:

Filmed in their soon-to-be new office in The Calls in Leeds, Amy did a great job in front of the camera (not the first time I’ve filmed her), then with the addition of a few graphics and sound effects we were done.

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Beacon Medaes manufacture medical gas outlets and distribution systems. They were keen to to show how much simpler the installation and maintenance of their systems is compared to others.

I used my own voice in the initial edits purely as a guide, but the client decide to keep my voice in the final version.

A square kind of a deal

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Over the past year I’ve been creating fun 15 second Instagram videos for ParkInn hotels. As the videos get released they appear on the client’s feed

It all started with the Manchester video:

More recently the graphic style has change slightly:

Spy. #WeDoNot encourage James Bond style behaviour, but #WeDo suggest you explore magnificent #Moscow

A video posted by Park Inn by Radisson (@parkinnbyradisson) on

Originally I edited these videos in a 720p timeline with a custom 640×640 overlay to help with framing, then I’d crop the resulting video in Handbrake when encoding the mp4 for Instagram. But in recent months Final Cut Pro has been updated to allow for custom project dimension so a 640×640 30 fps workspace was easy to create. As you can see I remake certain elements such as the particle effects for creating water and steam in the shower scene, as well as creating the blue nightime effect in the bedroom scene. And luckily I’ve got a huge collection of sound effects and music that always seem to deliver what the clients want.

Here’s an edited compilation of some of the fun stuff, including a recording of my daughter playing the piano:

Make some noise!

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Again Pulsar Instruments asked me to their Filey HQ to film their latest industry leading product.

Although it’s a long drive out there, the scenery is really great and it’s nice to get to the seaside once in a while, even if the seagulls noise sometimes stops the filming.

After an initial meeting to discuss the brief, the filming went without a hitch. The edit brought the whole project together and the archive sequence at the beginning helped to set the overall tone.

Lend Me Your Ears

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Caisley Eartags asked me to produce a video for the upcoming changes to Aberdeen Angus livestock eartagging and DNA sampling regulations. We used three different calves for the filming as we weren’t sure how they’d react to the tagging and the people standing around them. I made a widescreen and 4:3 version for use in a photo frame at exhibitions.

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The Need for Speed

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After extensive research and testing the edit suite is now faster and more powerful then ever.

I’ve fitted a new high end graphics card – the 280x. Which is now rendering four times faster than the old card in Final Cut Pro X. I put my benchmark results on the fcp.co forum which put me near the top of the list, just under the very latest, top of the line MacPro.

I also took the time to install a new 6TB RAID array. I’ve been waiting for the new generation of Western Digital 2TB drives with an improved platter layout and IO. So now this three drive system gives me over 400MB/sec read and write which is crazy. I’m using an external 6TB eSata RAID for automated incremental backups of the entire editing RAID while I work so there’s always a recent working backup should the unlikely happen and a hard drive fails. Now that FCPX uses the GPU for exports and the fact that RAID is so fast, this makes the mundane tasks at the end of an edit so much quicker.

I’ve improved the edit suite room with acoustic treatment tiles, moved out lots of kit and bought myself a new FCPX specialist keyboard. But most importantly I’ve moved both mainframes into the room next door, so now it is completely silent and much cooler. That’s not something I’ve seen in any edit suite, anywhere for over a decade. They are normally very noisy, stuffy rooms with poor lighting and little space.

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Weedfree Winners

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Weedfree2Weedfree1Weedfree4Weedfree5After winning the Sustainable Innovation in Export Award at the Golden Bridge event, Weedfree asked us to produce a couple of films for them. The first was a video press release for social media showcasing their latest award. And secondly they take all their staff to Tenerife for a short break and wanted to show a film to inform and encourage the team in the year ahead.

We visited the Weedfree headquarters in Yorkshire to interview the bosses, as well as shoot a few additional setups near train tracks and on quad vehicles. Once back at base I rebuilt their logo in 3D to create an animated opening. Editing was pretty straightforward thanks to Final Cut X and here are the results: