PENUMBRA – 2013 Highlights

jess_watermarkMemory is a funny thing. It can be nostalgic and warm like a camp fire on a winter’s night. But on a different occasion, it can hit you in the face like a bunch of lens flares in a sci-fi movie. Comforting… but at the same time very frustrating.  I’ve always enjoyed making videos centred around the theme of memory. And this video follows that trend.

PENUMBRA is a recollection of the videos I’ve worked on the past year. The visual for this video was inspired by Jim Helton’s BLUE VALENTINE title sequence. A simple effect that helps add a narrative to a video that otherwise, may very well be another “Fireworks in Reverse“.

It’s not a pretty video and it can be quite frustrating to watch but I hope that it would invoke some memories and create a space for you to reflect upon the year that’s pass.

Now over to you guys. How has 2013 been for you? What would you remember as you look up and watch the new year’s fireworks?

Watch PENUMBRA:

 

ps. I love JJ Abram.

4TheDads

dadsIt’s not Father’s Day but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate and honour our fathers daily. During the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to take a glimpse into the lives of a few young working dads.

Fathers have a bad rep of always busying themselves with work and not spending much time with their kids. However, these dads I had the chance to film were different. Although they are busy with their professional careers, they are also very much engaged in the upbringing of their children. And that in itself, is a quality worth honouring.

4thedadsMost of the shots were done real quick as I only had a brief period of time with each of the dads. Also, it didn’t help that we were shooting at places with tight security eg. a bank and hospital. This video challenged me to think on my feet and string together a series of comprehensive shots under time constraints. But truth to be told, I enjoy the thrill of filming guerrilla style.

All the other home videos were sourced from the husbands’ wives. Raw, personal, and fun clips of the dads spending time with their children(s). Love it!

Definitely one of the more meaningful projects I’ve worked on in a while.  Also, this was my first time inside an operating theatre. Film really does take you to places!

operating theatre

Watch 4TheDads:

 

Food Is

foodisShot this video for a vimeo storytelling competition about a month ago. The competition wanted us to tell the story of someone doing what they love. Winston has a love affair with food so I thought that his story would be a right fit for this video.

I don’t think he knew what he was getting himself into but a phone call and a few of hours later, I was at his place filming him and his dad cooking dinner. I wanted the video to be as authentic as possible. So rather than directing, I was happy to let the event unfold naturally.

foodis2The interview was impromptu but I’m glad that I did it. It was through this that I was able to learn more about what food meant to Winston and the kind of culture that he’s trying to cultivate in the food blogosphere. The goal of the video was to communicate Winston’s food philosophy and to capture a precious moment of food bringing people together. Hopefully I was able to just that.

Check out Winston’s food blog at www.thehungryexcavator.com.

Watch FOOD IS:

Singapore Summer Series 2013

Shot this while I was visiting Singapore last summer. For the longest time I had difficulty completing the videos cause I just didn’t know how I was going to edit them. The fact that I wasn’t happy with most of the shots made matters worst. Most of the shots I took were shaky, out-of-focus, and lacked narrative.

So I left them untouched for days, weeks, and now months. But those incomplete video projects were always at the back of my mind. I knew I had to finish them and get them off my chest. Fortunately, inspiration (and motivation) struck and what you see now are the finished products.

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Let’s talk about the editing process. For “Singapore in 2 Minutes”, I knew that I wanted the video to be short but still be able to capture what I did over the 4 day period in Singapore. Rather than stringing together a bunch of pretty-looking shots, I wanted to tell a story of the places I went, the things I saw, the food I ate, and the people I was with. I also didn’t want my video to come across as a “promo ad” for Singapore but more of a personal account of my time there.

The decision to use short 1 second clips came about as a way to overcome the handheld shakiness of the shots. Having those quick cuts helped to lessen its impact by giving the viewers less time to process each scene. But for some instances, the handheld feel do add to the video, especially when trying to emphasize movement or shooting stationary objects, such as food and buildings.

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You will notice that I’ve used some out-of-focus shots and very shaky footages to emphasize movement. For those handheld footages that I really like but were unable to justify using, I did one of two things; 1) left it out completely from the video or 2) used “warp stabilizer” from Adobe Premiere Pro. That feature is a life-saver.

Music played a very big part in all 3 videos. But they were also the most time-consuming part of the entire post-production process. If I’m lucky, I would usually be able to find an appropriate backing track in a couple of hours. But for these videos, finding the right track took me a couple of days each.

So if they’re any musicians/singers/songwriters/voice-actors out there who are interested in collaborating, feel free to contact me and maybe we could feature your talent in my next video project. It’ll be fun!

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Hope that you were able to gain a little more insight into video editing and the work that goes into post-production. It’s not easy but if you enjoy it, you definitely reap the rewards of your hard work. Happy filming!

SHOUT-OUT to Aun for letting me use his sweet lenses. Thanks man!