WE’RE ALL GOING ON A SUMMER HOLIDAY
Yes it is that time of year again. The schools are about to break up and families will be taking to the roads, rail, air and sea in a desire to get away from the humdrum of everyday life. Traditionally it is also the time to get out the video camera, charge up the batteries and flick through the manual. Having only recently purchased a cine projector on EBay (Elmo K- 100), I have had the opportunity of looking at the some family holiday footage from the 60s through to the 1980s. The early spools were taken by a late uncle on standard 8. Mine were from the mid 70s/80s and filmed on a old trusty Minolta super 8mm cine camera. One of the reels was footage of a holiday taken in Cornwall in 1981 – the week the Charles and Di got married. But that is for another blog once I have got my head around telecine film conversion.
For the past four summers I have been commissioned by two Christian Holiday Companies – LivingSun and Richmond – and produced some online video for their websites and YouTube channels. The following video is an amalgam of Richmond holidays taken on the Greek Island of Samos, Bodrum in Turkey, Alpe d’Huez and Croatia. They were all first class, amazing holidays and I thoroughly recommend the company. Apologies for the cheesy music:
This summer holiday is going to be different. Piran Films will be in Durban and Cape Town. Yes, yours truly is going as the Tour Manager of the 2014 Truro School Rugby / Football South Africa Tour. I was drafted in relatively late and I am still getting my head around the amazing itinerary. I can’t wait to film the wildlife, and the animals on safari should prove interesting as well. Although South Africa will be new to me, leading a school tour is not. At the turn of the century (doesn’t that seem a long time ago), I took a party of students from Cedars Upper School, Leighton Buzzard to Israel and the following year, I did a second, this time to Eqypt. In the Holy Land I had to rely on taking stills (transparencies) but in Egypt I took my small Canon XM2 video camera – it went up and down Mount Sinai, on a camel trek at the Pyramids, along the Nile. I still look out that Egypt VHS tape from time to time and still cringe every time I see the footage that one of my pupils took of me dancing with a buxom belly dancer, not being quite sure where to set my gaze.
Coaches Graham Whitmore and Glynn Hooper have been in during the holidays getting the boys ready for the tour fixtures and it is now less than 48 hours until we set off from Truro Rugby Club, Heathrow bound. In addition to everything else I’ll be doing, I will endeavour to tweet daily with stills taken from my iPhone and hope that Truro School will retweet them. But to be on the safe side, those friends and family members of the boys on tour may wish to follow @Piranfilms on Twitter for all the latest news.
For those who are intending to film their summer holidays here are a few tips:
1) Rather than taking random shots all the time, think about a story line for your film and let that guide your shot selection.
2) In terms of shot selection – get as much variety as possible: close-ups (CU), medium close ups (MCU) and long distant (LD) shots. Go easy on the zoom and only pan if there is a reason for it i.e. you are following someone walking from left to right.
3) Try to get different angles but make sure that you do not “cross the line”. Try to apply the rule of 2/3s if you can. Google these these phrases if you don’t understand the concepts. Don’t film from the same height all the time, especially when filming your children playing on the sand. Get down to their level.
4) Keep the shots short and punchy. Probably 5 seconds max. Yes, a lot of people press the record button and leave it running for ages. They wouldn’t have done that it the days of cine, where the film stock was expensive and lasted only 3 and a half minutes.
I’ll give some editing tips on my return from South Africa. Happy shooting!