Shot by Stephen McGee and Cory Coffey McGee
Music : Sail by Awolnation
Gear: Nikon V1 with lens kit and Go Pro Hero 2
Goal: A visual test of the Nikon V1 and experimental storytelling
The Why and How and Goals n other shtuff:
I've wanted the phantom miro from when I first heard of it. But as of now I can't afford such a beast. After reading this (blog.vincentlaforet.com/2012/06/18/thoughts-on-3d-4k-and-prometheus) I realized how lazy I was in trying out new shots and couldn't remember the last time I a shot a project for the fun of it. Ahh yes, shooting for fun. So I borrowed a camera that cost 48K-ish less than the Miro to see if I could work on my visual storytelling and break the habit of waiting till I got the "right" gear. Gear can inspire new forms of thought but story still is number 1.
Its easy to see that as camera and editing technology increases creativity finds new releases and form. As new technology becomes more affordable trends form and then die off and then take off again years later in a new way. Just like it says in that awesome series "Everything is a remake". Some notable trends in Vimeo films I have seen over the past two years and tried my hand at are Stop Motion, Timelapse and now Slow Mo. Slow Mo is the new Timelapse, or is it it will be for a bit when it becomes really high quality. No matter the trend, at the end of the day I like what my homie Vincent says, "It is after all about STORY and HOW WELL you tell it."
So after reading his blog post I was eager to push my story telling and how well I tell stories. One step was this film. I saw this film as a personal study and test to see if I could make something I liked without the best gear possible. I also was looking to experiment in time remapping, slow mo, syncing audio to the edit and movement carried from scene to scene. The main star is my wife. She stars as The Golfer, The BMX World Champion, and The Skateboarding Go Pro Boom Operator. Other stars are Astro Coffee of Detroit, David Nicklas, some pitbulls, wasps and some dubs.
My personal goals also included telling a few daily life short stories in a way that felt like a journey. I chose golf because I wanted to shoot a sport that is already slow and somewhat boring to watch (if you aren't an enthusiast) and make it fun. What's the challenge in makin sweet stuff look sweet. So with unknown possibilities from semi new technology in hand we went out to shoot.
I was excited to try slow mo and time remapping after watching the Art df Flight. I asked a Nikon rep to let me borrow the Nikon V1 because it had a function where it would capture 400 frames a second for 5 seconds. That would turn the 5 seconds into 1 minute 5 seconds. The Biggest problem is the quality. To meet that function it records 640x240... way less than HD. Thats the size of a iphone or facebook entry.
So my wife and I filmed our daily life for two days very slowly. 5 seconds at a time.
Slow Mo lessons I learned while shooting were as follows: It looked cool when things were in the foreground while my subject was in the background doing her thing. Mo slo mo lessons I learned were that if I moved the camera quickly as steady as I could the shot ended up really steady with enough perspective change to keep me interested in the shot in slow mo. Thinking in 5 second increments left me with more useable angles to edit with and greater amount of successful shots. As a DP I payed greater attention to the timing of life around me to prepare for a 5 second shot. There are many details in Slow Mo that aren't cool in normal speed.
I found this camera hard to use from someone who is used to the functionality speed and response time of high end DSLR. It wouldn't record at times when I wanted it to. Another big problem I found were the two sensors on the back that were there to detect if your face was close to the view finder. I would lose visual during different camera angles sometimes and that sucked. Between the three lenses I shot with, nothing ever really seemed in focus either.
The cool thing about this camera was the inspiration it gave me to view the world differently. I had a new lens (so to speak) to explore and to make a film about stuff I love.
The best part of this film was that I had fun with it with the people I love. I recommend you trying that too.
Next stop: Phantom Miro, maybe.
May God be glorified by his work through me.
Cast: Stephen McGee Films