Dan Hume's Blog

RNID Video Complete
May 5, 2011, 7:50 am
Filed under: Professional Project

Here is the completed version of the video I did for RNID, which is now known as Action On Hearing Loss.


Profession Project Report
May 4, 2011, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Professional Project

The aim of this project was to get us to work for a client and produce a piece of work for them. This is a step up from everything I’ve done before, because I’m now forced into thinking and acting like a professional in the creative industry. It’s all about meeting deadlines, making schedules and prioritizing work effectively. I’d like to think of myself as organized person, so I’ve used this project as an opportunity to see how effective my organizational skills are.

At the start, I had to find a client to work for; one of which was the BBC, to do some promotional work for Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Although I didn’t get that opportunity, I did know at that point that whoever I was going to work for, I’d want to be able to make a short promotional video as the final outcome. I feel this is the area I want to specialize in and using DSLR cameras as the main tool.

However, after a grueling couple of weeks I managed to secure myself a client. My client is, Andy Glyde, who is the senior campaigner for the Don’t Lose Music Campaign that’s in conjunction with the RNID charity (Royal National Institute For Deaf). It took roughly a week of discussion about doing a video project for them, because the campaign already had a number of videos projects on the go. I wasn’t disclosed any information about the other projects, but I had to try and offer something a bit different if I was going to make a video. After talking with another campaigner, Rebecca, it was clear that I should integrate some form of my own experience with tinnitus, to make my video different. I felt that the video should be conveyed in the style of a documentary, which is something I’ve wanted to do.

Once I was set on this idea, I spent a couple of weeks visualizing and sketching out specific shot ideas for the video. I started reflecting on how my tinnitus developed and how I dealt with it. It was vital that I had my own personal view embedded in the video. My initial idea started out with the video not having any dialogue, but after I had feedback from Andy, it was clear that there needed to be some. He was concerned that visually the video might give out the wrong message about the campaign’s aim. It wasn’t until I had written a script, that the video became easier to visualize. I was able to work out roughly what sort of shots I needed at certain places within the dialogue.

I then started to look for locations to film at and work out what the shots would look like. I’m not the conventional story boarder where I can sit down and draw shot by shot, the entire video. I needed to be on location to do that. One of the places where I wanted to film was London. Unfortunately, due to financial difficulty and not enough time, I had to abandon London and use Bournemouth as my primary location.

Hiring out equipment was a bit of an issue, due to the stock not being available when I needed it. For example, the lens that I needed for handheld shooting was booked up for a two-week period, even though I was booking well in advance. This left me with no choice but to use an alternative lens that wasn’t really suitable for handheld filming. However, since the alternative lens had a nice aperture, it turned out to be good for interviewing, so I used it to film the narrator shots. Once I filmed the narrator shots, I began the editing. I like to start editing the footage as soon as I can, to avoid being overwhelmed with hundreds of un-edited clips.

I liked spending a lot of time on the post-production work, as I really wanted to make this video look as professional as I could. I used a plugin called, Denoiser, which helped to reduce the noise in one of the low light shots. I did encounter a big problem with the second shoot of the dialogue, when I was using a boom microphone. There were a few shots that didn’t pick up any sound, which was an error on my part for forgetting to press record on the Fostex audio recorder. Fortunately, I did a previous shoot of the dialogue, using the Rode Videomic, so I reverted back to using it instead. Although it contains a lot of background noise, the narrators voice is more dominant and the background noise does justify the message in the video. I’ve done some research on my blog about converting the Rode Videomic into a reliable boom microphone, along with the very versatile Zoom H1 sound recorder. This will be something I’ll experiment with on future projects.

I also did some extra post-production video work for a group of Bournemouth University students. I worked on the colour grading and compositing aspects, using After Effects. The colour grading was a bit of tedious process, as it was hard to make every shot consistent in terms of the overall look. This was due to having many different exposures to each shot. However, after many hours of tweaking it all came out really well.

Overall this project has made me question everything I do, because the work I’m producing is for a client, rather than for myself. I’ve been constantly thinking about meeting the client’s requirements. There have been a few moments where things haven’t gone according to plan, but that’s not a bad thing as you learn from those mistakes. I’ve also learned a bit about financing, as it’s an important aspect of being a freelance worker or working for a company. You need to make sure you keep a record of time and evidence of added expenses such as travel, so you can implement it into the fee you’re charging for the work. Although I haven’t had feedback from my client about the final edit of the video yet, he has sounded very positive about the whole thing throughout the project. Looking back, if I had to do anything different, I think I would have liked to add a bit more content about the struggle of coping with tinnitus and it’s effects on people’s lives. All in all I’m pleased with the final outcome of the video.

May 3, 2011, 1:19 pm
Filed under: Professional Project

Andy, if you’re reading this, don’t worry I’m doing the video for free. This is only a pretend invoice that I have to do as it’s a requirement for the uni project.


Second Dialogue Re-Shoot
May 2, 2011, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Professional Project

A week before the Easter holidays, I re-shot the dialogue shots in aim to capture better sound quality. I previously recorded the dialogue shots using the Rode Videomic, as apposed to the Sennheiser Boom kit, which I used for the re-shoot. After I captured the sound off the Fostex onto my laptop, there was a lot of tidying up to. There was a high frequency hissing sound that drowned over the narrators voice and the volume was pretty low, considering I set it to the required amount. I’ve covered most of this bit on a previous blog entry.

However, as I was cutting out the best bits of audio, I came across a video clip with no sound, except the audio recording from the built in microphone on my camera. This was a major problem, which I couldn’t fix. I believe that I forgot to press the record switch on the Fostex audio device. I couldn’t think of any of way to by pass this problem as dialogue from those shots were necessary to include in the video.

Here is a short clip of the sound quality recorded off the boom microphone, after post production.

It’s definitely better in the sense that the background noise is more drowned out than from the first shoot. I’ve tried out many different effects to bring it up a notch and make it sound more stereo, than mono. However, bring up the volume effected the hissing sound slightly, which is annoying.

I have to admit I didn’t like using the Boom mic and the Fostex audio device. It felt very delicate in the sense of recording sound. If there was any slight movement from the microphone, the volume would either drop or it would pick some high frequency sounds.

I’ve done a bit of research into compact and portable ways of recording professional audio. It appears that the new Rode Videomic pro can be used as a boom mic, to a good effect. The Rode videomic appears to be quite a versatile microphone and can be attached to a monopod, which functions in the same way as a boom pole, but its much much cheaper! Although I’ve never tried this out, I’m pretty confident you won’t get any sound interference using the Rode videomic. The new Rode Mic has been designed with an anti-shock mechanism that avoids unwanted sounds to be picked up from any sudden movements, which is pretty neat!

There is also a nifty little device called the, Zoom H1. This an audio recording device that you can attach to the rode microphone, so you can record the sound separately from the camera and it allows you to bring the mic closer to the subject talking. Below is an example of how good this device is at recording audio.

In fact this device is soo good, it can actually be used a microphone itself, like it’s being demonstrated in the video.

Budget Plan
April 29, 2011, 3:45 pm
Filed under: Professional Project

Here is my budget plan for the RNID video project.

Budget Analysis

As I mentioned before in my blog entries, I did some post-production work for some Bournemouth uni students with their  video project entitled, Day 20.

Reducing Noise
April 27, 2011, 5:21 pm
Filed under: Professional Project

I’ve been going over the video seeing if there can be any more improvements before I fully render it. The obvious clip that needed attention was the static shot of the narrator lying on the bed. When I shot it, there wasn’t enough light on the narrator face, so I had to increase the ISO up to 800, which did create noise in the darker areas.

I used a plugin called Denoiser, which helped reduce the amount of noise in the scene.

Graded Version and Noise Reduction

Colour Grading
April 27, 2011, 12:54 am
Filed under: Professional Project

Today I did the colour grading for the video to make it look a bit more professional. It’s quite a long process if there are lots of different exposure settings on certain clips. It’s hard to keep colour scheme consistent throughout… but I think I’ve done it. I used a very helpful plugin called, Mojo. It’s specially used for colour grading.

As I mentioned, some of the exposures varied between different clips. I used the Gamma Correction tool to help light or darken each individual clip to make them look similar to one another.

Here are some of the graded shots.

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