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Month: October, 2014

Filming at Iceland 20th October 2014

Head first into recording, set up everything as quick as possible and get ready to go. That was pretty much the day, when you don’t have much time to get all the footage that is required. So the shooting day lasted from 8am till about 6pm so a long day of filming. I was part of the camera crew that set up the cameras and sound, and making sure quality of focus was spot on.


We had 4/5 interviews to film in the day as well as film cut away shots. And right off the bat there were problems with audio. The room we were shooting in had vending machines, that unfortunately couldn’t be switched off, there is a process that can remove background sound, but after listening to the takes after we had finished, it would’t do it any good.

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So lesson learnt we moved on to the next interview, which in my opinion looked pretty good, but yet again the audio had problems with people walking in and out of the building (not their fault) and air conditioning directly above the interviewee. But we would move on to look for a better location, and make sure that nothing can alter how the audio sounds.


We eventually found a place in the office area of the building which had background sounds of phones ringing, people talking. But that is the general atmosphere of an office so it added to the ambience, without being distracting or to loud to distort the sound.

So we set up around the room for 5 interviews, this included the 2 we already shot in the morning, we had to make do with the room as the only location, so I suggested we shoot them at different parts of the room, with different angles and shot sizes. So we moved them around the room one after the other to get a diverse range of shots in the same room. This took a couple of hours because of the nature of an office, sometimes workers would become louder and move excited as they walked past us filming. The phone would ring at inconvenient times, but like I said before it’s a natural thing to happen in that environment.

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After every interview, I logged the footage onto the laptop and organised folders to correspond with each camera, and the audio. For example it would be called Interviewee 1 > Camera 1 / Camera 2 / Audio > and then in each folder would have their takes. As well as being synced with use of the clapperboard, so each take was documented so that in the edit they could be synced together perfectly.

For the last part of the day we shot some little cut away shots inside an Iceland shop that is located directly next to the headquarters for Iceland. This didn’t take too long but had to be done before 6pm because the store would close. The race was on.


The Long Day (Factual – 3 Minute Documentary) 11th October 2014 [Blog: 5/10]

Okay so here I go, individually shooting an interview with a 3 camera set-up. Sounds like nightmare to process all camera angles, record sound and have a routine to follow so that nothing can EVER be out of sync. But everything goes according to plan.

So I get to Anthony’s house for 11am and get the lay of the land, to try and set-up in the best location possible. That looks good on camera and is comfortable to be filming for an hour or two. That Was the case. I recorded for 1 hour and 20+ minutes.


The set up was 3 points of coverage, from the left which I set up as a Mid-shot / Close up, in the middle the wide shot (saviour shot) / and on the right another Close up.



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With the microphone, I had that set-up on the floor looking up and a Lavalier Mic recording into my phone. Lucky for me that saved 1 hour and 20+ minutes of recording…

I set up everything as perfect as I could, having the cameras in focus and where I wanted them. The mic’s in place and everything looking great. The only problem is that I forgot to change the input on the Zoom h4n audio recording device, so instead of recording through the directional mic, it recorded using the onboard mic. Not a big deal because the sound was okay, but fantastic through the Lavalier mic.

…life saved.

The process throughout was to record one straight track of audio (on both devices). I did this so that I could have something the videos could sync up to, so I could do a multi-cam edit for the interview, or at least have the choice to do that. Every 10 minutes using the DSLR’S, the recording stops automatically, knowing this I planned accordingly. I had the information on the camera screen to keep track of when I should stop and restart recording.

Every 10 minutes I’d mark up the clapper board with a new take and aim it at the cameras so I could add that to the description of each new clip, so I know what clip belongs to which take.


We’d be talking about things that relate to him and his music, career and aspirations. But I wanted to just talk, be in a more relaxed atmosphere, so nothing’s really thought out in questions and answers. It was more about lucky discoveries in conversation. Moments that aren’t planned but that are a welcome accident.

Through all the stuff we talked about, I had planned in my head, some inserts that I want to film, to back up the words as a visual representation. To make the edit more interesting than just hearing something, you get to see it.

Dinner time [INSERT HERE]

Back from dinner, Anthony suggested filming something in his music room. So I took gear up one by one, and kept walking back and forth to get more gear that I wasn’t sure I’d need, but that I eventually found out that I did. He wanted to play 3 songs and pretty much he did just that.

I used different set-ups so that I could get as much as possible to make it look interesting with multiple angles. So I had 1 camera covering his face (Pocket Cinema Camera), a GoPro that went from being attached to the Tri-pod, to a take on the guitar. I had a third camera that I used for creative shots. And did many takes moving the cameras around to get as much diversity as possible.



I did all of this for three songs, some takes I’d have the same style of set-up, but others I would get the chorus and verses’ recorded in increments to just add in the edit.

Another break [INSERT HERE]

Final inserts time, I recorded some little clips of things relating to what we talked about in the interview. Some just were recorded because it looked good (Yes they really did). There was a standout shot, I used a 50mm lens on my BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera and changed the Aperture to F/2.4 shooting across the keys on a keyboard.

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More Pre-production (Factual – 3 Minute Documentary) 4th October 2014 [Blog: 4/10]

Yet another session of pre-production planning, and I’m starting to get a clear view of the documentary as a whole. I took some time in figuring out what I wanted to film specifically for the documentary, managing to set it out in timeline form, using Photoshop.

With my timeline planned I wrote my schedule for filming, listing all the locations and what I’d be covering in them. The perfect moment of clear thinking gave me my window to writing what I need to write, usually it takes a bit of time to think of what to write, but it came clear and off I went.

In the schedule I have everything I need to have the best chance of planning the locations, what shots I want and how it could possible look in editing, all before filming anything (except from the stuff I filmed a few weeks ago).