Dan Hume's Blog

Added Introduction
November 29, 2011, 1:16 am
Filed under: Specialist Project

I’ve added some more footage to go before the early edit version of the docuemtnaryt. It kind of starts abruptly and I felt it needed more of an introduction. After the title sequence finishes there’s a cut straight into a shot of me walking with my iPhone, from the phone’s perspective.

I did this specifically to show the audience that what they’re seeing is coming from an iPhone.



I wanted to try and inject a sense of  awakening; things building up. I got up extra early to film some shots of my home town to go before the first shot of my early edit of the documentary.

I’d like to comment on how good some of the macro shots turned out. As I’ve said before, the iPhone camera has a small sensor so I can’t expect a lot of depth of field in my shots, except when I focus in on something closely. I’m really impressed with the detail it captures.

Now that I’ve worked on a introduction to the video, it’s starting to develop into a more structured piece. The way I’ve thought about the conceptual idea of the documentary has been quite vague throughout the whole project. I knew what topic I wanted to express in the video, but I wasn’t sure how I’d go about actually conveying it.

There are a few portrait shots that I’ve used to give a bit more of a variation.

What I need to film left:

  • Film two timelpase videos using ReelMoments 
  • Film two more Hockney styled shots

With the documentary that I’ve edited I want to improve upon it by adding these extra bits video to finish it off.

Post-Production to do left:

  • Colour grade


I’m a big fan of making timelpase videos. I feel they can be used for almost anything in a video. They’re very adaptable! I tried out using the ReelMoments app, which lets you create timelapse videos straight from the iPhone. It works much better than I thought it would. The only downside is once you’ve chosen your frame rate and you start the timelapse , you can’t alter the frame rate.

This was done at 30 fps.


Intro Title Sequence Using Twitch
November 24, 2011, 4:26 am
Filed under: Specialist Project

The one thing missing in my documentary as it stands is an introduction. It just starts off a bit abrupt and not really informing the audience of what they’re going to be seeing. I’ve put together a rather simplistic title sequence using a really neat feature for After Effects called, Twitch. It’s a plug-in, created by VideoCopilot. It’s a useful feature that enables you create distorted, sharp, flashy animations/transitions/effects.

I’ve rendered and uploaded the full intro. I didn’t want to do anything overtly complicated, just simple and effective.

I’ve always been a fan off that scatty, quirky movement in animation. I’ve tried to inject that style into my documentary by extracting small segments of action in a clip and using it as a transition technique.

I created a new composition and typed out the words, Life Through an iPhone, separately. Then I went into Effects, Video Co-pilot, Twitch.

There are a selection of features that control specific effects that Twitch can control such as, blur, slide, time, scale, colour, light etc. I’ve enabled Twitch to slide and blur the text I’ve created in my composition. I have to add twitch to each separate text, otherwise they all won’t animate.

I then pre-composed the text composition so that the entire composition become the alpha, as apposed to the text box.

The RGB colour is an additive colour in which red, green, and blue light is added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue. This is an effect which can be replicated in Twitch, using RGB Split. You have the control to decide how much you won’t the colours to be separated apart.

To me, this plugin instantly replaces the motion sketch and wiggle effect as it’s far more dynamic. I’ve gone with a simple approach with this plugin. I wanted to create something, I feel, represents the style of my documentary as it currently stands.

Distorted Compositions
November 22, 2011, 3:51 am
Filed under: Specialist Project

Here are some photos I took whilst I was out and about in London. I went into Photoshop and started cutting, overlaying and reversing different parts of the image to take the ordinary out and turn it into something more abstract.

I’m planning to use this technique in my documentary. Hopefully it will work just as well with a moving image.


I did a test version of this style using video to see how well it turns out. I actually quite like it. It’s quite confusing to look at, so I wouldn’t use a lot of these in my documentary. I’ve been looking at David Hockney for some inspiration on how to present visually interesting shots and this duplication of strips within a shot actually ties in nicely with the Hockney theme.

Working on some dialogue
November 18, 2011, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Specialist Project

Still working on the documentary. I’ve shown it to this guy who works at a Cafe I regularly visit and I’ve had some valuable input from him. He understands what I’m trying to convey in the video so we’re both collaborating on writing some dialogue to justify and inform the audience of what their watching.

I’ve been thinking about how I can create a unique way of interviewing someone. I have said before I don’t want to include any dialogue of any sort, but looking at how the documentary has currently turned out, I think I might have to.

  • Retina display
  • 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
  • 960×640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
  • 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
  • 500 cd/m2 max brightness (typical)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front and back
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

The iPhone 4 has an incredible screen display, so I’ve been thinking of a new use for it.

This is an image I compiled in Photoshop showing a rough idea of using the iPhone as a tool to create a sort of post-digital interview.

With the dialogue I’m collaborating on, I’d like to record someone speaking it then playing back the recording on my iPhone and recording it in a different location. I would record the sound on the Zoom H1 and apply it to the scene.


Well, this isn’t panning out how I planned it to be. Nobody  is willing to do the dialogue for my video. I’ve been quite specific about who should do the dialogue, because I want someone who has an opinion on the whole economic crisis and someone who has their own business.

Anyway, I’ve done a short test of video I recorded on my iPhone, then playing it back, whilst filming it on my Canon 550D in my room. I’m trying to take a live scene and play it back in a completely different environment.

This is something I could possibly explore in my Extended Major Project. If I do pursue this technique, I’ll use the Zoom H1 to record the audio. However, I’m not sure how well it turn out when it comes to syncing the audio though.

How I’d approach this technique:

  • Record video on iPhone (Portrait). Record audio via Zoom H1.
Go to a different location with the iPhone.
  • Playback iPhone video. Place Zoom H1 near iPhone to capture the sound as best as it can get. 
  • Sync up audio from the iPhone video with the first audio recorded on the Zoom H1. 

Early Version of Documentary
November 18, 2011, 12:09 am
Filed under: Specialist Project, Video

I’ve finally managed to compile an early edited version of the documentary. I’ve been having issues on Premiere Pro when rendering, as it kept throwing up error messages, which has delayed me slightly but I’ve overcome those issues.

With this rough edit, it gives me the opportunity to work into the video and add more detail. I’ve shown my lecturer the video and I think it’s clear I need to offer something a bit more different. I’ve already started experimenting with creating a Hockney styled cinematography.

I didn’t mean to export the diegetic sounds from the video clips, however I do like the inconsistent stops and starts.

Brief Synopsis

This is a short video that looks at life through the lens of an iPhone. I’m documenting, discreetly, society in London. With the economic crisis going on, I’m interested in capturing people in their natural state of mind. The iPhone is a small compact device, which has allowed me to be discreet to capture natural moments. The song, Wait For Me, really fits the mood of the video as a whole. I interpret the lyrics of the song to reflect upon how general people in society are being abandoned (Wait For Me), from the people in power (politicians).

New Amendments 

I’ve been thinking about introducing a character to the documentary to basically justify the meaning of the video. The video needs to have some sort of clarification because it doesn’t seem to be clear what it is I’m trying to convey. I know someone who works at a cafe, in Bournemouth, that has a unique perspective on life and politics. He’s a very passionate writer/journalist, so I’m hoping he can lend a hand in adding that special ingredient that I’m needing, to make my documentary work.

  • The beginning of the documentary needs a different introduction. With this new character, that I’m wanting to bring into this video, I could start off by introducing him. Showing the location of where he works and him  actually working.

Hockney Inspired Artwork
November 14, 2011, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Specialist Project

David Hockney is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer, who is based in Bridlington, Yorkshire and Kensington, London. An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century.

David Hockney is known for his work with photocollage; using varying numbers of small Polaroid snaps or photolab-prints of a single subject, Hockney arranged a patchwork to make a composite image. Because these photographs are taken from different perspectives and at slightly different times, the result is work that has an affinity with Cubism, which was one of Hockney’s major aims—discussing the way human vision works. He began this style of art by taking Polaroid photographs of one subject and arranging them into a grid layout. The subject would actually move while being photographed so that the piece would show the movements of the subject seen from the photographer’s perspective.

Here are a couple of images as examples of his photo collage work.

Back in my second year, I was looking at creating a Hockney styled image to animate to music for my Performance Video project. However, I never followed up this idea… until now. I want to create a similar styled piece for my documentary, in which I have a montage of different video clips all joined together to make up an entire scene. I’m not sure what the outcome will look like, but I’m going to give it a try and post up a test version of it on this blog entry.


Today I decided to try out the Hockney technique of collaging images to create an overall distorted image. In my case, it was going to be a collage of videos to create a distorted scene. I used after effects to help me compile and arrange the clips.

Here’s the video:

It’s quite an unusual look for a shot, but I guess this is part of pushing the boundaries and trying something new. It does turn an ordinary shot into something quite eye-cathing. It’s visually a piece that requires time absorb all the segments of videos clips that have been compiled together.


I did another test. The useful thing about this technique is that it gives you the freedom to cram more into one shot.

Everyone’s a filmmaker
November 14, 2011, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Specialist Project, Video

I’ve just found a couple of videos, filmed on an iPhone. One of them shows the aftermath of the floods in Thailand. I like how personal this video comes across, because it’s shot from one persons perspective as it shows how flood has effected his home and neighbourhood. Using the 8mm app to create that ‘old film’ look also adds a personal touch to the look of the video as it differs from the footage we see on TV news reports.

The fact that video is integrated into a device, which we all carry around with us makes us Journalists. There is more hunger for as much video content to get to the root of individual stories and events. If it wasn’t for mobile phones, we probably would have never have seen the footage of 7/7 of people walking through the underground moments after the attack. Mobile phone video provides people with exclusive footage that generally would be either to disturbing for broadcaster to show TV or  news correspondents missing the unfolding of an event because they were somewhere else.

News network, Al Jazeera, is currently encouraging it’s citizens to use new media tools such as flip cameras and mobile phones. This is to enable them capture more current events happening in places such as Libya or Syria and feeding it over to other mainstream media, which has limited restrictions to these places to cover breaking stories.

Journalism.co.uk has published this article:

Al Jazeera developing new-media tutorials for citizens

‘In the seven months of unrest in Syria, reporting on the situation there has been near impossible. Foreign journalists are barred from entering the country and much of the local media has been silenced. The international media has had to rely on amateur mobile phone footage being posted online by citizen journalists but verifying their accuracy has been a challenge.’ (Listening Post: The Message From Damascus)

Full articule below:

A closer look the media battle in Syria and President al-Assad’s latest PR counter-offensive.

 iPhone 4 Video

BBC News Report

The second video is short extract from the London riots. This video has a unique perspective of a local resident witnessing rioters wondering down the road and police searching the area. It’s quite chilling actually for a simple short video.

iPhone 4 Video

BBC News Report

I think this proves my point about the iPhone being the future camera for photos and videos, because it’s a tool that’s constantly with you at all times; therefore you are likely to capture un-expected events.

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