On the 11th-12th November 2017, I was at the wonderful Hack Sussex 2017 event, ran by some of my friends. I had been invited along to record a summative video for the event.
Hack Sussex 2017
I had made events coverage videos in the past before, and thought I would shake up the ‘standard’ approach: pretty framed, slow motion shot, cut to another similar looking shot, cut to the nearby lake, back to a slow motion shot of someone laughing… etc.
So this time, I thought I would try out a shooting and editing style perfectly demonstrated by Leonardo Dalessandri, who made the stunning ‘Watchtower of Turkey‘ and several other travel videos of a similar style.
The key elements to shooting this style:
- Edit whilst you shoot: how is a camera movements going to blend into the next.
- Give yourself plenty of options: shoot a lot of things, each with loads of different camera movements in and out, will make your life a lot easier in post.
- Shoot at high frame rates: speed ramping is key to this style, give yourself the flexibility of slow-mo. I shot at 50fps (100/120fps would be recommended).
- Don’t spend too long on each subject: you want to get variety, the shots you use will only be present for a couple of seconds at the most. In a speedy event that takes place in 24 hours, don’t wait around trying to get it perfect. The perfection will come in the edit.
- Hyperlapse: this is a key effect of the ‘Watchtower of Turkey’ short film, usually being combined with zooms when focusing on subjects in busy areas. Or dolly style where the camera rotates around a subject. The venue I was at didn’t contain the most scenic aesthetics, so I chose to use a hyperlapse to show the layout of the event.
Now, my approach to this technique was mainly a test and for a client, so it had characteristics that I might not necessarily have chosen if it was a project purely for me. There is a lot more you can do with this style. Once someone like Leonardo Dalessandri masters it, it is a beautiful and powerful style that can emote, incite anxiety and promote change, it is up to you as a filmmaker where you want to take it.
This summer we were commissioned to make a Seagull Man video that would be used to convey safety information for students starting university.
The project was completed, but was not used by the client. Reasons for this were due to miscommunication within the clients organisation. This was a shame, as our work was not being shown anywhere. As a result, we agreed with the client that we could put the video online for all to see.
We hope that you enjoy this short and fun commercial with some Seagull Man goodness!
Seagull Man – Freshers’ Safety
Seagull Man presents information for University Freshers on how to stay safe on a night out in Brighton.
The video was sponsored to promote safety for new university students in Brighton.
The video was not used, so we released it here.
We hope you enjoy it for what it is.
Director – Seb Cox
Seagull Man – John Andrews
Girl with Phone – Charlotte Boud
Thief – Michael Bramley
Crying Girl – Sophie Sommer
Chip Boy – Sam Kennard
Bubble Light Productions ©
Here is the original Seagull Man video:
Seagull Man: The Brighton Superhero
With some subliminal inspiration from ‘A Monster Calls‘ (amazing film, go watch it) I’ve been working on another self portrait ‘Ashes and Monsters’ and thought I’d work on a breakdown on the project.
Starting with the original RAW file, the contrasts, hues and saturation were adjusted to bring out the most detail, ready for editing.
Next, a basic skin and blemish pass.
The head was isolated, contrasted and made black and white.
A charcoal texture was placed underneath the skin layer (set to Overlay). The charcoal texture was then liquefy distorted to follow the contours of the face depth and contrast corrected.
The embers in the cracks of the charcoal texture were then painted in and enhanced over several layers with outer glows.
The body was then added back into the image, which looked out of place…
To help the clothes match the brightness of the image and build an appropriate background: the clothes were re-contrasted and a darker background with similar lighting position were added. Finally a glow around the neck was added to help add heat under the insulation of the clothes.
Hence we have our final image: ‘Ashes and Monsters’
With our most difficult shoot day down, we have now completed the scenes that take place in the sea.
Big waves, hidden rocks and strong currents, all produced some pretty dangerous waters. The actors gave it their all, and let their natural fear of the water flood their performances, leading in some very realistic moments.
We have two more shooting dates scheduled before the end of August and we are incredibly excited to get them together!
Seen moving light videos before? They have a very distinctive look where shadows create depths that your mind tends to mistake for movement. A brilliant example can be seen in Nacho Guzman’s music video for ‘Sparkles and Wine – Opale’.
I wanted to take this idea and combine it with my scribble animation style. I don’t own a spinning light/cookie rig, so instead I resulted to stop motion to get the effect. I’d act out the same motion at 8 different lighting positions, then in After Effects, cut the clips together so that the motions is near seamless.
Using Photoshop, I then drew over the highlights in each frame to give the desired effect.
And after all that, even had some nice footage left over for a nice portrait shot!
Went on a street photography session in Brighton to see what images that I could take to invoke my emotions. After having the fun day out, I came to Photoshop to bring what was in my head to life! As a result, I give you ‘People Pieces’.
Here is a quick breakdown on how these were achieved:
Initial Colour Pass and Crop
Subject isolation: the clone stamp tool was used to remove the subject’s friend and the subject were isolated away from their shoes.
Subject splicing: cutting the subject into separate pieces on each of their own layers. The background behind them was made using the clone stamp tool.
Depth Painting: the brush tool was used to paint the “other side” of the subject to build depth. These paint layers then had a noise and blur filter applied to them to match the in camera noise.
Final Colour Pass: Curves and Hue and Saturation effects were used on particular hue selections to give the dress a pinker feel and make the skin less yellow (which had been reflected by the stones).
For more information about the project and its intents, click here!
After months of pre-production, filming begins for our latest project, ‘Tide of Ghosts’.
On our first day we managed to get one fifth of the film shot, so still have a long way to go. And will be continuing in late August.
The short film is about two best mates, one who is a ghost (George) and the other who is alive (Andrew). Together, they must discover how George died and find his body before it decays so that he can move on.
Here are some sneaky screen grabs from the film so far! We can’t wait to share more updates with you!
To stay more up-to-date with the short film, you can follow its Facebook or Twitter page:
We teamed up with a Dota 2 memer Eskay Dota to create a short film, ‘Dragon Blood’, for the Valve Dota 2 video competition 2017.
Making a Dragon Knight costume out of cardboard and spray paint we had a lot of fun and late nights getting this project together in time!
We hope you enjoy this short light hearted short
If you enjoyed the video, please give us a vote here!
Songs used: Dota 2 – World Map
A boy plays Dota to get over the death of his favourite Gorilla, and takes on some demonic skeleton warriors.
Gorrila painted by Seb Cox
Edited by Seb Cox
Written by Sam Kennard and Seb Cox
Thanks to Julia Pollard and John Andrews for acting in this too!
Tide of Ghosts is our big project of 2017! We are just about ready to start filming in July-August.
Tide of Ghosts is a short film project between two best friends, one of which is alive, Andrew, and one a ghost, George. Battling morality, Andrew is faced with finding his best friend’s corpse so that he can move on.
Set in a rundown seaside town, George’s death remains a mystery. With only four weeks before George’s body decomposes, time is of the essence to prevent George’s purgatory.
But before filming, we are calling out for some kind individuals online to help fund the project. Just finishing out University degrees, we don’t have a lot of cash to spare on film projects, however, we feel it incredibly important to pay actors! For that reason, we’ve started a campaign on IndieGoGo.
Tide of Ghosts – Fund Raising Video
If you like the sound of the project and want to support it or share it, you can see visit the IndieGoGo campaign right here:
If you’d like to stay up to date with the film’s progress, follow it’s Facebook page and Twitter
Mental health is incredibly important to us at Bubble Light Productions. Our most recent works have been designed around disorders in mental health, with ‘Harry Bot 9000’, ‘Sea Side’, ‘Oi’, and our latest piece ‘Mental Health Transparency’.
A message from us at Bubble Light, look after your mind. #MHAW17
Mental Health Transparency
Director/Camera/Editor – Seb Cox
Camera Assistant – Sulekha Kaur Takhtar
Runner – Olivia Symonds
Music: Kai Engel – Harbor
As well as the video, we have been creating and encouraging profile picture changes for YOU, where we show you how to make a Facebook profile picture just like in the video. We even made you a video tutorial on how to do it.
Tutorial – Mental Health Profile Pictures
Here are our previous films based on mental health, each to their own genre:
Harry Bot 9000