Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Magical Singapore:

This was a great experience for me and the crew, while they might complain about the lengthy days running around Singapore, it was this challenge that pushed us into creatively tackling the task at hand - create a powerful web commercial that was strictly cut to one second cuts.

We accomplished this by traversing Singapore hitting almost 8 locations every day, with underwater shots, wildlife moments, natural family interactions and everything in between - it was interesting. We shot on C300 cameras using Nikor Lenses, between 20mm, 35mm and 85mm. Only a few times did I put on any 'newer' glass.

We had great access to locations and had a great team getting all the logistics together.

All in all - somehow we were able to get to over 23 locations in 3 days, keep the integrity of the shoot together, and create what I believe to be a pretty good outcome for the brief.

Here's the link:

- MR

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cutting Back on Crushing Blacks

Is crushing blacks something that will be a long forgotten trait of the early 2000's technology in digital filmmaking technology. I say yes.

I think what will start happening, as we have seen Canon and other manufacturers do since they started moving into the digital camera space...companies will start to put items like 'crushing black / Black Gamma' into the hands of the user 'on top of the camera'. So instead of having these items in the menu of the cameras, they will be a dial - rated to have certain numbers (like the ND wheel on professional cameras). I think the sensors are going to be so sensitive, that these tweaks will essentially be so easy to manipulate, within range, that the individual users will have to just click the dial and 'see' the difference on the screen and make their decision from that.

Who knows what will happen, but I think the days of waiting to see what the image looks like after the post process are coming to an end...at least for easy adjustments that revolve around camera sensors etc.

- MR

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuscan Time Lapses


Cantina de Toia .... stuff of Tuscan fantasies are made of

CDT is a restaurant housed in a 13th century farmhouse that was once home to Leonardo Di Vinci’s Grandmother.

It's vast interiors fill every morning with ochre toned sunlight and every evening with succulent food and the melodious sounds of Italian dinner conversation.  You enter by the bar, a warm space with high ceilings flanked by antiquated wine vats and dine on the back patio perched above the olive groves. 

In other words: this place is paradise for liberal arts students and dreamers.

P2 considering itself the latter was fortunate to spend the month of July at CDT located in the small town of Bacheretto.

Wanting to capture it’s movements and moods: the quiet creep of morning light, against the freneticdinner rush we did a series of time lapses over the course of our stay in the apartment above the restaurant. 

To our friends who made this stay possible - Thank you. 

For the rest of you - Come on in and Take a look. 

- MS

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Underwater Woes...

I have been underwater in the past two weeks more than I have been topside shooting - and it has been fun, albeit challenging. Starting with some faulty equipment (nothing flooded) and ending with a cautionary tale and a missed shot (well, kind of, the animals weren't playing nice anyway, so didn't miss much).

Here's the tale:
I started filming in a tide pool at Marine Life Park, the largest man made snorkelling pool in the world (thank you Singapore and her addiction to superlatives), all went well, some great shots and we were off to our next destination.

Which was the Ray Bay, where people can feed the Rays by hand, well kind of. Maybe in a few months when the Rays are ready to do this. So, the idea was to get an Underwater shot of my two characters feeding the rays from under the hand (as the mouths of Rays are on the bottom of their body). Pretty simple set up, nice midday light allowing me to get a good exposure from under water looking up at the two characters - however, I didn't anticipate the following; huge condensation/fogging on the inside of my UW port...Ahhhh!!!!

Here's what happened - I had set the camera to not use the auto power off, since there is no on/off ability when the camera is in the housing and all locked up. (this was my first mistake). Then I put the camera during my 5 minute break before going into the Ray Bay on the ground and didn't realize that it was pointing directly into the sun, and then i got into the Ray Bay and realized only at that moment that the water temperature was about 15 degrees colder than the first water I was shooting in -- all of these factors joined to cause the difference in temperature inside the housing to condense and create a wonderful fogging on the inside of the dome port.

So, beware divers, if changing bodies of water, test the temperatures first to avoid these problems.

- MR

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In the Dark on the Cape

Ticket for Admittance Cape Ann Community Cinema

A cinematic highlight of my recent trip to Massachusetts was the time spent I spent in the idiosyncratic and charming movie theatres on Cape Anne. These venues stole my heart and occupied my weekends with their programming, deepening my conviction that local theaters and movie houses maintain a place of critical importance in our experience of film. Curated for and by individual tastes these 2 cinemas showcase soulful collections of 'movies for grown ups'. 

 The Cape Anne Community Cinema in Gloucester and The Little Art Cinema in Rockport showcase a wide of films not typical in the Hollywood turnstile: foreign, documentary, live opera and weird one-offs. Joy. 

Little Art Cinema
Rockport, MA

Cape Anne Community Cinema is housed above a used record store on Main St in Gloucester.  Bringing together collective viewing and comfort like none other their seating is composed of overstuffed couches and recliners, and the concession stand serves beer, wine and local organic soda. The man at the helm Robert Newton, programs a wide spectrum of stuff:  mainstream movies, thematic viewing like this month's 'Doctober',  and artist talks like the upcoming one with character actor Stephen Tobolosky.  Their daily programming and creative curation is a testament to their commitment to bringing good film to the people. 

A few miles away and a short walk from our Rockport Studio is The Little Art Cinema. It is housed on the second floor of a Scandanavian meeting hall, tickets are sold at the humble concessions counter on the first floor complete with 
hand drawn butter for the popcorn.  The theatre itself harkens back to another era and is complete with wooden seats, velvet curtains, and foreign films. 

At a time when Hollywood blockbusters dominate the line ups of so many movies theaters, these smaller cinemas showcase thoughtfulness and genuine personality, and because of this I make it point to spend as much time in the dark on Cape Ann as I can. 

- Meghan 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lens Whacking Peccha Kucha

Last week Persistent Productions was given the opportunity to speak at Pecha Kucha 20x20 night in Singapore. The organizers approached us and asked us what we would want to talk about in the space of media and story telling - and being the continual experimenter that I am - I chose Lens Whacking.

For those of you who have never heard of this, it's a technique used in video that adds certain lighting elements to your videos. Below is the example that I created for the event.

But not only did I talk about Lens Whacking in general, I also unveiled the very first, full HD Lens Whacking system

It was a very fun event, full of laughs, hooting and hollering due to the rather inuendoe'd speech that I gave in front of 200 plus strangers, as I talked about 'how I liked to whack it'. In the end, I hope most people saw the humor in what I was trying to put out there in addition to a technique that I believe, when used correctly, can really add interesting elements to a scene.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cinema - What!

There are some things that are meant to move, and others that aren't.

Take a look at our newest Cinemagraph. Shot entirely at Luke's Oyster Bar on Gemmill Lane in Singapore - the 4 hour shoot has turned into this 4 second loop. Thank you to Travis Masiero for allowing us to close down the shop with you.


Cinemagraph by Mike Rogers, Ugly D and Cosmic Coalition