Saturday, May 8, 2010

spring...the making of...


Ok for the title sequence I knew two things...I wanted to show some colorful flower growing, and I wanted to have the word "Spring" be written in Thai and then have the subtitle come up below it.

First I did a test on the beach, which really didn't work that well...I thought I could plant the stem of a flower in the sand and then just pick the pedals off until it was down to the stem...and then kind of bury the stem in the sand.  The idea was to play this backwards and make it look like the flower was growing out of the sand.  This didn't work that well...the smallest amount of wind made all the tiny pedals and leaves move way to much, and the sand wasn't solid enough to hold it....soooo I figured I would have to do it indoors and use a window to blow out the background to make it look like it was outside...

I put this off until the very last day, and ended up doing it in a hotel in Bangkok, while waiting for our flight home.  I cruised around with a small guitar, which I gaff taped to a small stool that was in the room.  I put this in front of the window and then taped the curtains to either wall so there wasn't any shadows in my wasn't perfect, but i thought it looked kind of cool.

Once my silly little set was built, I went around the parking lot looking for flowers while my girlfriend was chilling at the pool....I'm pretty sure she thought I was crazy at this point, but what are ya gonna do?...I ended up finding some sweet plumeria's nearby and broke off a few branches...I picked the nicest one and taped it tightly to the guitar head.  I actually had to go back and tape more leaves behind it, because the yellow flowers got lost in the background without it...

So then once it was taped up, I found my shot and locked off my tripod.

Then I basically just took a pair of scissors and chopped away at everything one frame at a time...a good ole fashioned hair cut.

This took about an hour or so, because I had to trim every pedal plus the leaves...kind of tedius...

This left me with a quick timelapse of my flowers disappearing until the screen was left with just the background.  I then played the sequence backwards and got my own crappy version of a Planet Earth timelapse...haha

I then asked my girlfriend to hand write the title in Thai...she is an amazing artist so she did it pretty quickly.  It was translated already, so she just copied it in her own way.  Once she finished, I took a picture of it:

Then brought it in to Motion and took away the background and was good to go....and that's basically it.


  1. First off let me say that you guys ROCK! I find your videos incredibly amazing. Could you let me know what software do you use to edit your videos?
    once again, keep up the fantastic work.

  2. great job on Spring had a really nice narrative to it. Look forward to reading a bit of insight into your vids!

  3. Hi Dana,
    Thanks for sharing and once again -- fantastic job the Spring Clip is beautiful! Have a great trip.

  4. Hi - as usual amazing work!!! Just curious, the end footage was about 2 min 42 seconds, who much footage did you start off with?

    thanks for sharing !

  5. Wow, thank you so much everbody...we really appreciate it...Not really sure how to respond to each person individually, so I'll just answer you here...

    - We do all of our editing with Final Cut Studo...which is pretty awesome.

    - As far as how much footage was actually shot, is hard to say...Alot of it was shot in slow motion which makes it way longer than it would have I guess file size is a better way to answer...I was gone for 6 weeks and shot about 400 GB worth of footage....its alot... a couple of hours at least. Which made it very hard to choose which shots were going to make the cut...there's a lot that I wanted to get in there but just couldn't fit it in. Thanks for watching.

  6. 400 GB !!! Yikes, thats like 400 / 32 eh, alot of SD cards!

  7. You are incredibly patient for answering all the questions that people ask you. And now since I put that out there I am going to see if I can tempt you to answer this.

    You do some excellent shallow depth of field shots like in the Spring video with the shot of the old woman at the beginning. Is that all just in the camera? When you put that f2.8 Nikon lens all the way wide open is that what it looks like?

    I contrast that with the shot from the airport train at 0:14 where you have everything in focus.

    Is the only difference between those two shots the f-stop???

  8. Hey Gnarly,

    As I mentioned on Vimeo, I have a question. I really like the colouring of your video's. I was just wondering: what do you do with the white balance? I read somewhere, that for video's you should never use the auto-white balance, and as your colours look as good as they do.. Thanks!

  9. You guys are amazing - thanks for sharing your techniques - it's a shame you can't share your talent - which you obviously have in abundance! Great Stuff!

    Thanks Again

  10. I love your videos and am entrigued to learn your tricks. You mentioned on Vimeo that you didn't take a stabiliser with you on holiday. Do you care to elaborate more on the upside-down tripod technique? I tried it at the weekend but the result still looks bumpy :(

  11. Hey everybody, thanks again for your comments, I really appreciate it....

    Jas you asked about shallow depth of field...the f stop does play a huge roll, but with the shots you mentioned, its more so the distance between me and what I am shooting...if I took the old lady out of that shot and then focused on the background, it would look the same as the train shot. Hope that helps.

    KrimSon972 you asked about white balance...the 7d has pretty simple white balance settings which help to get the best color out of different situations...if it is cloudy you just put it to the cloudy icon and it will give it a lot more I almost always use those settings, and have never use auto. And sometimes it helps to manually punch in the white balance for fine tune adjustments.

    hey anonymous, Im actually going to post some pics of the tripod technique i mentioned cause its kind of hard to explain without seeing it. It also takes a certain kind of tripod as well...sorry it didn't work for you...i'll try and post something soon so you can see what im talking about. Thanks.

  12. Cool, I use the white balance settings for stills, but with the video I was wondering. Always find it hard which one to pick with the artifical lighting. Outside I tend to favor cloudy, or auto (for stills). Daylight is usually to blueish for my taste. Thanks!!

  13. Wow. You've done it again! Love this one... but I think "Winter" is still my favorite, and looking at the message board on vimeo, I'm happy to see I'm not the only one who watches it over and over again. hah.

    I noticed that you've used the H4N on some stuff... I have one and I like it, but for some reason, the files are always so quiet. I could have the recording level at 100, and the display showing that the audio is even too loud when a person is speaking, but when I play it on the computer, I have to crank the volume all the way to hear anything. I use software to bump up the audio, but this seems like a stupid step to have to take. I must be doing something wrong, but it doesn't seem to matter what settings I choose.

    Have you experienced anything like this?

    Anyway, I was happy to see the new video, sure did look like one hell of a vacation!

  14. hello, sorry in the film, what 24mm lenses use?
    Thanks, good really good job, nice shot, nice edition,nice color!

  15. Thanks for sharing. I have wondered what technique you used. I've shown your Spring video to several friends over the past several months and it has blown our minds. Thanks so much.

    I mentioned it in my blog.

    All of your work is inspiring.

  16. Hey guys, sorry about the delay in getting back to you...we're gonna make another attempt at keeping a blog...hopefully with more success this time...anyway...

    Patrick, that's really strange, Im not sure why that is happening to you...have you figured it out yet?

    Ruyman, in that film I was using a Nikon 24mm 2.8

    and Clark, what's happening man? Thanks so much for checking it out and sharing with others....I really appreciate it. More to come for sure.