Home Thoughts from a Camera 2

10 March 2015

Region: London

Mark Percival LRPS kills two birds with one stone ... applying the skills he learned during last year’s cine workshop and providing a trailer for the forthcoming London, Street workshop.

In advance of the London, Street workshop in Camden Markets on March 14th organised by Norman Smith LRPS.  I scouted the area with the idea that I would try making a short video illustrating something of what RPS colleagues might see should they attend.  Hopefully this video might inspire some to enrol who may otherwise would not.

The area is unlike any other market I have come across in London.  It is clearly a major tourist attraction.  It also seems to have a concentration of strangely decorated shoe shops.  I wondered who first had the idea of putting a 10 foot boot on their front wall and whether this prompted some form of competition to see who could put multiple boots on theirs.

I think the sense of fun that pervaded the area was remarkable.  A sense of fun with people working hard.  The food stall holders were trying heroically to feed the 5000 (and the rest), cooking up a storm with their various claims for Gluten-Free, Lactose-free and probably somewhere fat-free although a lot of deep fat fryers were on the go.  Even the sushi-man was working up a sweat.

There is another reason for making this short video other than for the fun of it.  Only by making videos, lots of them, can aspiring video-makers improve.  I need to improve.  It is very much more fun having a purpose behind a video production so I am inflicting my efforts on you.  The RPS seems to have an uneasy relationship with video / cinematography currently.  This is something I hope will change with the help of the many experienced cinematographers in the RPS ranks.  The evolution towards better embracing moving images / video, starts in London.  Watch out for further events under the latest incarnation of the group of film, video and cinematographers celebrating the craft.

Technical post-script:

I used a Canon XA20 camera with occasional clips recorded using a GoPro.  Because the place was very busy and crowded, I used the Canon hand held.  The GoPro was fitted with a SteadyCam Curve stabiliser.  Both cameras were operated fully automatic settings including auto-focus.  I recorded ambient sound in-camera using a Rode NTG-2 microphone.  I edited was using Adobe Premier Pro via the Cloud.

Improvements?  Some camera stabilisation would have helped.  A monopod perhaps.  Editing can always be improved.  I only applied simple transformations between clips for speed.  Some cross-fading might have improved the flow. Some clips would have benefited from exposure compensation.

I didn’t know how I was going to edit the results at the outset.  For some clips I recorded a pan firstly in one direction then in the reverse direction.  I was glad I had done that.  I recorded extra material at each end of, for example a pan, to give me editing flexibility.  Thanks to the Mr Tarby Cine Basics course last year for this hint – I could have done more of it.  If you want to try your hand at Cine making, watch out for a rerun of the Mr Tarby’s Cine Basics Course later this year – details will be posted on the website soon.

Image:  Screenshot from video © Mark Percival LRPS