Thursday, August 14, 2014

DSLR Video - The Art Of The Mug

I'm going to sneak in a "current" post as I catch up on other posts. As I mentioned before I changed jobs last year and now work for a video production company. Since starting there I began to invest in a bit of video gear and also have been learning a lot about shooting video. I think having a strong knowledge base in photography is extremely helpful since video is really just a series of stills.

Recently my girlfriend who works at the same company picked up a sideline job to create a promotional video for a local potter Ken Wilkinson along with a short bio video. She then enlisted me as her camera person :) Funding for the video was provided in part by Creative Sask, they offer grants for artists to help promote themselves and to travel to other markets.

Nowadays with the mass manufacturing done around the world for stupendously cheap prices it becomes harder to expect people to pay a bit more for something that is hand made by an artisan and produced in lower quantities. This promotional video is intended to show the process of how a mug is created, how it is being formed by a human being with both aesthetic and functional properties in mind. It's not just a coffee mug, it's a work of art!

It's shoots like these where I really think DSLR video shines, intimate and organic shots that aren't too intrusive that they distract the subject. Hopefully I'll get to do more projects like this one.

I picked up a slide rail for this shoot, the opening shot is done with it, it's amazing how much just a little movement can add. The rail is only 1m (3.3ft) long but really that's all you need. I wound up ordering a mini jib as well but it didn't arrive in time for this shoot which is too bad, there are a few shots I think it really would have worked well with.

Early on in the planning phase I new that having an overhead view would help for the work on the wheel, instead of a GoPro I wound up buying a Sony Actioncam instead. I normally don't like Sony because of all of their proprietary stuff but in this case since they are trying to claw back some of the market from GoPro they are throwing a ton of quality into their camera. The Sony HDR-AS100 can shoot in a high quality 50Mbs mode which definitely helps, unfortunately you still seem to have little to no control over things like white balance or exposure but they are mean to be set and forget so what can you do.

And now without further adieu is the video, I suggest going full screen and turning on HD.

Later, once the artist bio video is cut, I'll post that video too.

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