The greatest film blog of 'morrowland

Month: March, 2015

Further into finesse “More to the edit that meets the eye.” (OCD and your Brother Short Film) 25th March 2015

Ever so little do the updates include, but it’s all there.

I’d rather keep the progress up to date instead of blocks of information. That comes to today’s little edit tweaking, for example all of the audio that I dubbed/pre-existing was tweaked to leave no room for blank noise space.

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Very tidy.

I already added the score I recorded into the edit, it was the rough edit of the score; put together to cover the length of what I wanted the music to appear over. Now I imported the scenes I wanted to add the score to into Garageband, watched the footage and applied the audio track, adding & editing the score to fit the scene(s).

Bringing it back into Final Cut Pro X I tweaked the audio levels to be lower over dialogue, as well as adding it to other scenes where there is no background sound.

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The overall look of the edit so far.

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In the edit “A rough copy is born.” (OCD and your Brother Short Film) 23rd/24th March 2015

The progress is shaping up the film very nicely, I think at the moment I’m getting more and more happy with the film the more I edit, the more the pieces of the film jigsaw are in place the better.

I took to adding the score to the edit, just to see how it would sound in conjunction with the imagery; it does fit, it adds to the mood. Then to change the sound levels of the music to cooperate with the audio levels of the voice over and dialogue.

I watched the rough cut through a few times looking out for any scenes that needed to be dissected and chopped up, there were a few, so I did what I had to do. Remove all that doesn’t fit, that doesn’t feel right to me.

The result is this so far. (Can’t wait to colour grade).

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Voice Over “The seeds that sow the story together.” (OCD and your Brother Short Film) 20th March 2015

The final few hours of recording anything for the film, except from foley; I know there’s going to be a lot of foley to be recorded. A lot.

Myself, Tomm Houghton and his friend Ryan Scriven finished the last section of recording in 40 minutes, I schedule time in the ‘Dead room’, from 1pm till 4pm. Just to be safe than sorry.

We read through the lines, tweaked words and how the actors would approach them. After a while Ryan got comfortable in saying his lines, he had trouble with a few lines but it was probably nerves.

Tomm’s lines took a little longer (he had more lines) and he had a cold, every take would be interrupted by his lack of breath and blocked nose, we had a good time laughing at his voice.

Before the two arrived I worked on recording the soundtrack, a few guitar notes and chords and I have a satisfying background score. It took me several tries, most of the time I would hit the wrong note and I know it wouldn’t sound right. Rinse & repeat.


Hey there, here’s a video that filmed & edited compiled of footage from Scarborough.

Another editing session (OCD and your Brother Short Film) 10th March 2015

Another short update, The film is taking more shape the more I tweak and add scenes. Some of the material recorded hasn’t been used purely because of pacing issues. I think on my next short, I need to lock in the timetable, having a dedicated crew to be consistent throughout. Doing everything yourself is not an ideal situation, and you lose quality because of it, that’s what I’m thinking of at the moment. I’m not discrediting the work gone into this film by anyone that helped, cast or crew, neither myself. I just feel that from now on, I can not do this completely independent, it’s literally impossible.

Anyway here’s how the edit looks at this moment in time.

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Day Three of Principle Photography (OCD and your Brother Short Film) 7th March 2015

It really started yesterday. To save a lot of time I unloaded my gear into the living room, I guess that’s what it’s there for. Anyway everything from camera gear, sound & lighting as well as rigs and other goodies are ready for the next day shooting.



At this time I have one and a half hours to set up the lights in the kitchen, frame up the majority of shots that I want to get and move the ornaments to where I put them the night before. Pretty fast with the set up I have time to spare, so I check my notes, the script, the storyboard. Anything that I need to nail down and know inside out, It does;t usually go to plan because I want to be sure that continuity is aced.

So in the room I have my work station with my lenses, batteries, chargers. Only does it become obsolete when we start shooting. Most of the gear is just placed wherever I am at the time when changing something. Which happened a lot. Since it was a one man shoot, I was going with the flow not getting distracted, not stressing myself out with orders in which to shoot, I just placed the camera whilst directing my actor and that worked a treat.

12:10pm – 5:10pm

Tomm Houghton (My Actor) arrives, we chat, I offer him a cup of tea and a biscuit(s). I’m friendly. Concerned about the comfort of my actor than just getting straight on with filming (Not that I mind getting stuck into the filming, I love it, so I’d do it all the time). But you gotta ease into it, so we talked, I gave him direction to the beats of the scene (Set in my kitchen) a sort of days and confused sequence that the character Jeremy is distracted, lost in his daydream.

Unusually I filmed in order of storyboard panels, instead of through process of elimination (Filming all tripod shots first > Rig > ETC). I felt it was right to go with the flow and film in sequential order, since I am doing all the jobs at the same time, the biggest concern was continuity. I didn’t want to think about everything, make everything as perfect as possible for what I need and forget some small detail, creating chaos in the edit with continuity mistakes galore. But none of that, I had everything in order.


Moving on from the first scene. I needed to record a take of a scene we shot 2 weeks ago. The audio wasn’t great, dubbing ensues. After waiting for wind noise to stop we did take after take matching the footage, and to much success. After a few tries for each line, everything matched up. The only problem we had was the pacing, Tomm just was out a second, too fast or too slow but we got there in the end.

The next scene we shot on my staircase, I placed a light at the bottom, and one at the top.



Tomm was sat half way on the staircase, taking a phone call from his onscreen (V.O.) brother ‘Kale’. Like the Kitchen scene I shot it in chronological order. What’s cool about the light’s I’m using (50x70cm Softbox’) is that they light up a room pretty well, an added bonus, I can shoot on 400 ISO, the low F. Stop helps that too, but either way it’s badass lighting.

For the scene I called my house phone, and became ‘Kale’ for the moment, letting Tomm act to something other than me talking to him, telling him what’s happening and expecting him to suddenly emote. We recorded to audio after everything else was finished.

Moving on the the final section of shooting. There is 3 scenes that last just a shot but is significant to the story, Jeremy as a character and what could be going on inside his mind. I won’t say anything about it other than it was a pretty unique shoot (Slightly unique, I’m probably exaggerating). He has to switch lights on and off, doing this didn’t light up him at all, it looked pretty ugly (an Oxymoron in the blog, cool). But he wasn’t showing up, the orange light wasn’t what I wanted. So, I have an idea in the moment. I grab one of my lights, bring it into the room, set it up next to me angling the light as if it’s light from the ceiling light.

He counts to four. 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. On each number flicking the switch I would do the same on the light I was using creating a lighter shot, working in my favour it looks great. +1 for ingenuity.

So we do this a few times, in different circumstances in the film. There’s a particular shot, I’m not going to describe. But here’s the image, I’ll let you decide for yourself what happened, in the playback good times where had, a lot of fun, a lot of humour.

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It’s not graded. (But edited slightly in Photoshop so you can see it better).

Filming a few cutaways/editing them in (OCD and your Brother) 5th March 2015

A quick update.

Before the main day of shooting on Saturday the 7th March, I needed to shoot scene 2 of the film which is a very short few clips of the kitchen. Nothing to fancy but I used a motorised slider to film a shot, and it definitely looks really nice. It amplifies the cinematic look of the film.

In the edit I was worried about what the few shots would look like when placed in order and added to the current storyline.

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Perfect Crimes “Black Cloud” (Music Video Shoot) 28th February 2015

It’s my first time filming a music video so I have no idea to what they day will bring, I know that it will be a long day of shooting, but I’m already used to that.

I’ll ignore all of the little details of dinner time and breakfast, completely useless information that adds length where there needs to be none.


We are filming in a warehouse, that seemed abandoned but in use. Adding to the atmosphere that you would stereotype with a rock band, it looked really good visually. We had a lot of equipment to set up, 3 Lumix GH4’s, 2 tripods, a motorised slider, monopod, 3 sets of Dedo lights (9 lights in total).

The crew consisted of myself, Joe O’Connor and Callum Shepard for the day, we had to think of how to light each take. The idea that the band had is to film them in their circle going around them. This meant using 3 cameras each take (to get as much footage as possible) including the use of the slider & monopod. We managed to film 8 takes full circle around the band, 4 lighting setups which I suggested would be the best way to do so. Each take we’d start rolling, play the music and in my role I took it upon myself to film a specific band member for the entire take (until points of takes where Joe would appear in shots in the background).


There’s a point in the song which they wanted it to transition into dark, we thought of a lot of things to do this. We shot wide with red smoke grenades to separate the effect, making it seamless than sudden. So it goes dark as the smoke rises.




The night time shots we had the lights. This amount of lights.


They surrounded the band and we shot around them again like we did for the daytime shoot.

The final part of shooting, led to a massive amount smoke which looked amazing, fill the shot looking like a masterpiece of colour and cinematography.


February Film Collective

Monday 16th February – “The Final Dance” 

I filmed a scene for a short film for a friend o’ mine, she was needing help with camera/lighting in which I partook in. Not just a normal shoot, a storyboarded dance routine, so most of the time it was getting shots of the dancer in performance (improvise most of the shots). Rinse & repeat.

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If I could say something that I would have improved about the way the shoot was arranged, I would make sure to have a shot-list with the different equipment we would be using in order so we wouldn’t have to put the camera on the tripod, put it on the rig, on the jib and back onto the tripod. So it took longer than it would have done if we shot all the tripod shots first, then rig, then jib.

Wednesday 25th February – “Unhappy Crampers (Working Title)

Camping in the studio. The shoot today was in the College’s TV Studio, in a tent, cramped spaces. All of the crew in front of the tent, the actors in the tent. It was really crowded. IMG_2655

For all of the takes, the actors improvised for 15 minutes, impressively remembering the conversation they had each time. Which is amazing, really amazing.

My role was on camera, lighting & sound. On sound I set up 2 Rode NTG-2 Directional Microphones on mic stands connecting to a Tascam DR-60D, recording Stereo sound. On camera using the Lumix GH4, a very beautifully looking camera. All of the takes where on tripods with slight sway to add a handheld effect to it.

Thursday 26th February – “Love has Consequences”

A late night short film shoot. In a garage, in the cold cold weather. My kind o’ party. Forgetting to bring thermals I froze myself like an ice pop. Anyway away from my misery. I was on sound, dedicated to sound, and only sound. The problem that occurred involved batteries and the lack of. After a few takes the power started to fail. Second lot of batteries lasted all of 20 minutes, time to move on to in camera audio, using the directional microphone to record the rest of the scenes.

I was on the ball from the get go, removing equipment from the bags that they inhabit. Setting up lighting and going through the script.

Friday 27th February – Peter Hallam Documentary (Ice Skater)

Final shoot, or rather test of the month. Instead of a filming day, I helped a friend of mine with setting up his interview shoot for his documentary. We worked around the size of the green screen for clasp that will be playing in the background. Moving to setting guidelines for camera operators so they wouldn’t appear in each others shots. We managed to plan everything in 3 hours, lighting and testing camera shots, positioning of the subject. Testing the JVC 600E was a challenge to use since the manual features became unusable, unresponsive. We’ll move onto to using Sony Nex’s FS100’s & FS700’s. IMG_0371_2 IMG_0375 IMG_0380