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Movember Video Blog 1 from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

THANKS TO RYAN RAPAPPORT FOR THE PHOTOS!

So I am back in England. Cold, wet England. Cold, wet, miserable England … but not all doom and gloom. My lovely old cat Noodle is sitting on my chest as I attempt to write this post. Not helping, but she is keeping me warm and the purring is sweet. Love my cats? Yes, I am a mad cat lady!!

My time in South Africa was quite wonderful. Dale and Rick were amazing guys to hang out with and organised the smoothest running workshops ever, and that is a feat, I promise you. These things NEVER go smoothly! I met so many great people, both at the workshops and in general. It really is a lovely country. Beautiful, friendly and so rich and diverse … it’s also more or less on the same timezone as England which helps a lot. Crazy as it’s 11 hours away by plane …. just more or less in line with us!

As you may or may not know, I love to shoot. It’s my thing. We all have our things. Rick’s thing for instance was his love of middle of the road awful rock music. Dale’s thing was his love of 50’s musicals. All fine with me :) Mine is filming.

Between workshops, did I rest? Nope. No way. No sir. Not a chance. My first trip to South Africa ever and there was no way I was going to lie in, watch movies and relax. There were stories out there to be told and I wanted to tell them AND see and meet new things, amazing people.

Film 1 was a powerful trip into Ponte Tower, like something from a Dystopian nightmare. Shot on the Blackmagic Camera. I loved this piece. Shot in around 6 hours.

Film 2 was a moving portrait of a film projectionist who loves his job so much that his projectors have become his family and his realisation that things are going to change drastically soon… This was shot on the 1DX. Gorgeous image. Lovely man. Moving. Shot in around 2 hours.

Film 3 was an insight into what a lot of black people do in the Durban region and the surrounding areas do to “stay healthy”…they drink sea water. INSANE but fascinating… Shot on the Sony FS700. Again shot in a couple of hours.

If you get a chance to, please watch them all. They are all incredibly different in style, but I think the stories are utterly fascinating. That is key for me. Great stories. Great visuals are also nice to have and I have done pieces just for visuals… my, as I call them, “mood pieces”, but nothing makes me happier than telling a proper story, and real stories always interest me more than fictional ones!

I was lucky enough to be invited to be a guest at the quite spectacular Londolozi Game Reserve. Rich Laburn, who works there and shoots a lot of their stuff, came to my Cape Town workshop and invited me up there. An offer I couldn’t refuse. This place is INSANELY gorgeous. It’s in the Kruger National Park, about 5-6 hour drive east from Jo’Burg. This is a part of the world, not just of South Africa, that I have always wanted to visit. I LOVE animals, fascinated by them and have of course seen countless nature documentaries. It is up there with the best in the world and to even to be able to visit was an honour, let alone two nights. They treat guests there like royalty. I could get used to that … perhaps I need to find a princess to marry? Anyone know any single ones … ideally younger than 90!

Obviously filming at the safari was a given. But with just 1 full day there and a morning, what was I going to shoot that hadn’t been done before? There is no way I can compete with a Nat Geo doc shot over weeks/ months/ years. These things are amazing. With such limited time, chances are you will see just a small amount of animals. Tracking them takes time, and the area they roam is vast.

So …

OBSTACLE ONE: Not much time

OBSTACLE TWO: Find something fresh to film

So, two obstacles…that’s not bad… I normally have WAY more than that. So I needed an angle, a new story. Something that hadn’t been told before. I could easily just go off with the FS700 and shoot loads and loads of 240FPS animals and do a nice montage. In fact I may still do that as I have the footage, but for me that would be a waste. I want to see these animals but I want the viewer to be enraptured not just in the beauty of the animals but hopefully in a captivating story. If you look through a lot of my doc work, both personal and commercial (the BAFTA/Raindance winning “How to start a revolution”) they are pretty much all real people telling real intimate stories. That is what fascinates me. I truly believe everyone has a fascinating story in them … it’s just finding it!

So chatting to Rich from Londolozi at dinner, I asked him about who we would be going out on Safari with, to tell me about the ranger and the tracker. It was from this conversation that the story formed in my head. Dean, our ranger was a financial whiz back in Jo’burg. Making lots of dough, living a “cushty” life … he gave it all up to become a ranger here. Elmon, a native of the area, had been working as a tracker here for 42 years. This was his life. He had also helped co-founder John Varty make many nature docs there as well as film them himself and appear in many too. Both great stories. So why not do them both? These guys work together. How well do they get on, with such enormously different backgrounds? This is what I wanted to find out. So this was my film, peppered with the beauty of the area.

Elmon

Interviewing Dean

With a 5am call the next day, it was time to plan my gear. I did have some people with me to help. Rich himself who was keen to learn from me. Dale & Rick from the tour and Ryan Rappaport, also a shooter was there. I didn’t need them all, but I could certainly take advantage of a couple of them!

I also knew I was going to be 99% stuck in an open top Land Rover, so a tripod was out of the question. I didn’t have a monopod, so it was going to be mostly handheld with a bit of a bean bag on the edge of the vehicle for more stability on some of the shots.

I had 4 main cameras with me to choose from. My Canon 5Dmk3, my Canon1DX (well, actually a loan one thanks to Canon South Africa, mine died on day one of the trip, just got it back. The circuit board needed replacing!), the Sony FS700 and the Blackmagic.

I went with the 1DX and the FS700 … why? Well the Blackmagic would have been cool to try out here, but it really is NOT a documentary camera. In Ponte Tower all the shots were tripod shots. It worked fine for that. But run and gun, handheld reactive shooting? Too risky. I wouldn’t have shot raw due to the size of the files, ProRes, but that was not the main reason. Why the 1DX over the 5Dmk3? Obvious. It’s image is miles nicer! Sharper, richer, more organic, more filmic. lovely. I wanted a small form factor for the main camera, as I would be shooting handheld all day. I had my little Zacuto target shooter. The smallest rig they make and my favourite for minimal shooting, unfortunately not coupled with a Z-Finder. My stick-on frame for it was on my broken camera. I can take it off but wouldn’t be able to reattach it to the loaner with special 3m adhesive tape. Thankfully the lovely people at PhotoHire in Cape Town gave me an LCD VF to use. Saved my bacon that did. To be honest, and this has NOTHING to do with my relationship with Zacuto, I didn’t like it. Why? The way the loupe is held on via a magnet is simply not strong enough, I knocked it off about 600 times in that one day! The clip-on Zacuto one probably would have been knocked off maybe no more than a dozen times. I was bouncing around in a land rover all day, so it was a bit rough!

The FS700 was a no-brainer. 240 FPS shots of animals? Had to be done … that was actually the main reason why I left my lovely C300 at home … to make room for the FS700 for the slow motion part of the Safari! The C300 would have been the ideal camera to shoot the main doc on. Perfect handheld camera with cracking image!

Lenses … well I needed IS. When shooting handheld on a DSLR, even one with pretty limited rolling shutter issues compared to other DSLRs, the 1DX, you gotta have IS. Essential for long lens stuff and for the closer stuff too … especially bouncing around in a car!


For the 1DX, apart from 2 shots in this piece, I used just 3 lenses:

  1. The excellent run and gun doco lens, the Canon 24-105 IS F4.
  2. The nowhere near as good as the F2.8 II version but all I could carry weight-wise Canon 70-200 IS F4.
  3. Canon 100mm Macro IS F2.8 for the two close-ups mentioned …
  4. … and my  Rokinon 14mm Cine T3.1 for the wides. Not as good optically and with more distortion than my Canon 14mm F2.8 but I wanted to try out this lens…I was actually pretty impressed. Optically nice and LOVELY mechanics. Smooth iris, gears … lovely … also much cheaper. Just more distortion and not as sharp. Fine for video … stills would suffer.
I used a Heliopan vari ND for the 1DX, obviously not on the big wide!

For the Sony FS700, supported on a bean bag from Land Rover, 99% was shot with my push-pull zoom lens, the Canon 100-400mm. Not a fast lens but perfect for this. A good range and pretty sharp. Great for getting lovely close ups!!

I used the FS700 for the main interviews too. Made sense. Dual system sound is no problem, but recording sound in-camera with proper in-camera pre-amps is much easy. For the interview I used the 24-105 F4, again supported by my lovely Miller Solo DS20 sticks! I often travel with this head when weight is an issue. I prefer my Compass 20 head but it’s heavier.

The 1DX had the Marvels Cine latest version profile in it and that was nice to work with. The FS700 had a new version of G-Log in it. Not sure I like this one much and I did have many issues matching the colours in the edit. Not being a professional colourist and all it takes time to make them match.

24-105mm and Rode SVMP with 1DX in action!

 

On top of the 1DX I had my Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro. Stupidly I left my Video Mic Pro as home. WHY?!?!  I wish I had it for this. The problem with IS is picking up that grinding, churning sound of it working. My VMP on top moved slightly forward picks up none of it as it’s directional. The stereo one … well … it picks it all up. Lovely sound, just be wary with IS. To be fair, the SVMP was really mostly for reference sound and  a touch of atmos. I did in the final edit use it for a couple of grabs close up too, when my soundo was busy having a pee!

Most of the sound was recorded using my lovely Roland R26 external recorder with a RODE NTG2 plugged into it (the NTG3 is better but, as it’s phantom powered, it sucks your batteries dry fast!) and a wireless UWP lav mic on Elmon, hidden under his clothes with my Rycote undercovers.

Rode NTG2

The sound for the interview was captured in-camera with the simply gorgeous, warm, favourite lav of mine. The Sanken Cos 11. Love it!

The handheld was damn good actually, and the image from that 1DX is truly glorious! Because I was operating the main camera and capturing all the actuality and the normal speed animal stuff, I wasn’t able to use the FS700. Rich naturally jumped at the chance – who wouldn’t? A quick tutorial and putting it in end trigger mode … a must for wildlife. It buffers the 240FPS constantly for 8 seconds, then saves what it has buffered when you hit record, so when you are waiting for that special moment, you wait to it to happen them hit record which in effect is “save”. Takes some getting used to, but if you are not directing the action, it’s the only way to do the slow motion with this camera and not miss stuff!

Rich Laburn and the FS700

 

On the first trip out we saw rhinos, hippos, birds, zebras and even a leopard! Amazing! In between this, I asked Dean and Elmon questions to explain what we were seeing and give me some stories. Lots of b-roll shots too. I really was amazed at how much detail came out of the 1DX. Really gorgeous. It’s fast becoming one of my favourite cameras!

 

Dale and Rhino!

 

Then I did the main interviews, which gave me a shot list of what I needed to get for the second trip out. On that trip our main goal was the Cheetah. To see one is so hard, just one there and incredibly hard to find. It often takes days … but we got lucky!

 

Capturing the Cheetah in slow motion!

Day two was pick ups and my request of lions and elephants! It was also when I did the opening shot. A mock body cam shot of Elmon on the front of the vehicle, trying to make it look like the camera was mounted on him. Simply done but using a small tripod wedged between his legs and crotch and him holding onto it with one hand. The other used to point! Smashing!

Setting up the opening shot with Elmon

 

I graded it all in  Magic Bullet Colorista II. Get 20% off all Magic Bullet Products with code bloom20 and checkout at redgiantsoftware.com

I commissioned my friend and previous collaborator Cedric Conti to write the score. I asked for 3 cues of different pace. Mostly percussion with a slight bit of melody in there. This was without him seeing the footage. I knew the sound I wanted and with these 3 distinctive cues, I knew I could make it work. I got him to listen to the music from a much underrated movie from 1990 about Richard Burton’s search for the source of the Nile, Mountains of the Moon. Check it out if you can. It stars Patrick Bergin in the title role and the awesome Ian Glen who is doing great stuff in Game of Thrones right now.

So below is the finished mini-doc … around 14 minutes or so … not bad for just over a day’s work! I am very happy with it. I feel it tells the story of the friendship between the two men and has lots of gorgeous images coupled with it. Cedric’s music is fab … Elmon and Dean were terrific. Rich got some great shots. Dale and Ryan got me some nice sound. Rick just cheered us all up with his infectious personality and constant cheeriness!

I  have subtitled Elmon. It was a tough choice to do hard subs on just one of the characters. But he is hard to understand for some probably, due to his thick accent, especially if English is not your 1st language. I have no problem but I can see how others might. I will  add Dean at a later stage for the hard of hearing as they will only get half the story as it stands. Sorry I haven’t been able to do both straight off…it takes time and with my work, movember promotion and this am rather swamped!

I could also do with a few more crisp sound effects of munching elephants and splashing. If anyone has some that may match? What we got wasn’t quite pristine enough for me … I am a perfectionist after all. Below is the final edit of the the film …Version 4.  :)

The Tracker & The Banker from Philip Bloom on Vimeo

Londolozi Blog – http://blog.londolozi.com


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Comments

  1. earlstudios says:

    Lovely piece, the image is amazing but the story is what I loved. I grew up watching Shaka Zulu and that was as close to “the bush” as I’ve ever gotten, but I’ve had a love of it still. Its amazing the stories that are hiding out there in the world….

    quick question, what are you using for a view finder on the 1dx?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      did you read my post Jeremy? :)

  2. Mike Drew says:

    Philip, I think this is my favorite piece I’ve seen of yours. The look is fantastic, the images are amazing and you really lucked out with your two subjects. Just spectacular.
    One thing, though, if you feel like commenting. I have a 5D III that I love to pieces, best camera I’ve ever owned, and the video from it, in my opinion, is amazing. You said the 1DX is better. I bow to your expertise but in what way is it better?
    Thanks for your constant enthusiasm for your art and sharing it with us all.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks mike. just nicer image all round!

  3. bbjornst says:

    Absolutely cracking video, mate! I am constantly blown away by the FS700 and 1DX. The visuals were such lush and very cinematic. I actually think the opening shot was something that you would see in the cinema. Outstanding.

    it is always a pleasure to see your work. Everything is filled with such passion. I can’t wait to see what you do with the likes of the F5 and F55 when the time comes. It will be nice to see what those beauties look like (not just on paper) in the real world.

    Keep inspiring us with everything you do.

  4. Rishaar says:

    Awesome ! Great human storie with great images.
    I think you nailed it using both a DSLR and a FS700, taking the best out of both for each situation.
    My favorite piece from you at the moment !

  5. Very nice film! A good reminder to live a meaningful life doing what we love! Thanks also for all the technical info. Finding out what equipment you picked and why is a gold mine of information for me. And the fact that you shot such a nice film in so little time with almost no preparation is a kick in the butt for me to go shoot, hoping to be as prolific as you one day.

  6. Daniel M says:

    I have to say I find your joke about being a mad cat lady really offensive. JK. Love the sense of humor and don’t find anything offensive these days actually. (too bad not everyone is the same way, right?) Another great film and all of these posts from South African trip were truly delightful. Thanks for sharing the experience and for sharing your passion. I myself am the only guy I know who spent most of my time on my honeymoon in St Lucia getting footage to edit when I returned home. Nice to get a glimpse into the lives of others who live half a world away.

  7. Rich Laburn says:

    Philip, fantastic blog and details – thank you for putting down your experience in words and of course putting together such a fantastic story about the Tracker and the Banker from your time with us at Londolozi. Everyone here absolutely loves it, particularly Elmon who was grinning the whole way through watching it!!

    Exellent stuff!!

    Best,
    Rich Laburn

  8. Ivan says:

    Hi Philip, I have to ask this even before watching this last instalment. I own the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 non-cine version and I love it for the obvious reasons. I do understand the advantage of the cine version’s built in focus gear rings, but I don’t see the point of a declicked aperture ring. I either shoot at f2.8 or at f8 with this lens, so why bother with declicked aperture ring?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      so when shooting a shot and the light changes during a shot what do you do? with a declicked aperture ring (done whole blog post about this, take a look) you simply adjust smoothly without a jump. there is the point! :)

      1. Ivan says:

        That makes sense, thanks.

        I now have downloaded and watched the doc, and I couldn’t help noticing the insects crawling about at 12:15. Can’t help wondering where they were: if they were on or in the lens, shouldn’t they be blurred away? So I guess they were on the sensor??? Creepy crawlers!

        1. Philip Bloom says:

          insects on the lens/ sensor? eh? You don’t mean the macro shots of the ants pulling the termite do you? why would you think they were on the lens or somehow on the sensor?

          1. Ivan says:

            Oh no, not the ants.
            From 12:15 onwards, on the leopard shots, I can see some tiny insects crawling across the screen, no joke! They seem to be crawling on a flat surface. Could be the lens, a filter, the sensor or perhaps the car window.

            1. Philip Bloom says:

              they are the flies over the kill!!

          2. MART says:

            he means the flies @ 12:15 :)

            to some, it may looks like bugs crawling over the lens, but there are actually flies flying around the leopard and thats why they aren´t out of focus (i have a feeling, that this is really bad english, isn´t it?)

            1. Philip Bloom says:

              yep the flies over the kill…

  9. visualmed says:

    it just amazing Phil …….I really like your work ..great story in record time of production that’s your advantage that you have ….I take that from your news work …….but the image that I really loves is the open scene what a shoot ……you give it some Cinematic moves…….I read how you did it ..one question……I think that you use the the lovely heliopan ND filter….right

  10. Hi Phil,
    Good to see you’re getting some fresh air. Whatever you do, don’t try to balance one of those cats on your chest…I’d thought I’d share some of my findings re: 5d 2, 3 and 1dx. I was loaned a 5dmk3 and 1dx to shoot runway by Canon at London Fashion Week. I’m still using the Mk2 with Hasselblad Zeiss for most of my work [and very happily too].
    Canon 5dmk3:
    First reaction. WOW, great low light, detail, MUCH better LCD, although my Marshall 8″ wouldn’t go full screen [same with 1dx]. When I got back to the hotel and looked at it on my MACBOOKPRO…flat, flat, flat. Very reminiscent of the 7D/60D. Yuck!
    Canon 1dX:
    I’m actually waiting to get my hands on a 1dc and there are rumours that the difference is only firmware!? [Your thoughts?]. Anyway, shot a runway on this beast, back at the hotel – wow. Organic [like the 5d2], this is definitely a step in the right direction.
    So, can you please simply show some footage shot on both cameras so that this topic can be put to rest: Canon 5d3 vs 1dx. And even 5d2…
    rgds
    Kostas
    exero.com

  11. Simon McLean says:

    Wow – beautiful film Philip. I love how you captured the essence of the story with that lovely opening shot. Watching all your shorts from South Africa, I think your years filming news has enabled you to quickly find and capture the core of a story very quickly (one day – yikes!). As a new and learning student of doc. film making, I want to thank you for you for sharing so much detail about your choices involved(equipment, shot type etc). Absolutely gold for those of us finding our way. I do have one question: you say at one point – “but it(the Blackmagic Camera) really is NOT a documentary camera”. Could you say why you feel this way? I’m guessing the battery issue, and form factor. Cheers.

    1. Simon McLean says:

      Also – can’t find the tip box on your site.

    2. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks very much!

      I used the blackmagic on my first SA mini doc. Fine on sticks. Sucks handheld…

  12. jljones says:

    Like it… Not sure about the subtitles. They’re not necessary in my view. Comes across as a bit patronising to me but just my thoughts…

    I was in SA at the same time…. Weather not great. Some said it was the wettest October they could remember…

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      it was a tough choice. Had it up online for a few days without and so many comments that people couldn’t understand him. to be honest I agree. I did the interview and the edit but transcribing and figuring exactly what Elmon says at times was tricky. Londolozi themselves said I would probably have to sub him. Didn’t want to but had to…

      If you read the blog post I actually do talk about this and that I will do Dean too when I get a chance so it works for hard of hearing too…

      P

  13. RAM Video says:

    GREAT STORY. Your best work yet, I loved it.

  14. Hey Philip, beautiful piece indeed! I adore animals and cats in particular (big or small ;).

    My question is at 00:55 during interview shoot of Dean you zoomed-in a bit (probably realizing during the shoot that you liked the zoomed framing better). I know you normally hate zooming during a shoot, my question is why you didn’t prefer to have a cut away ? Would really like to know your view on the matter.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      cheers Eddie

      i do little handheld push in and outs on some types of shooting…i HATE servo zooms, always! this has more of sense of urgency though and deliberate stylistically. Very much like the show 24. This was all shot handheld apart from the interviews!

      1. Thanks a lot for the reply Philip, I really value your opinions.

        Actually at 00:55 it’s a hand held 1DX head shot of Dean when you zoomed in a bit (not push-in), just a slight manual zooming in during the shoot (looks as smooth a servo, but obviously not), if you could take a look at this. I always tried to avoid it like the plague but I guess it is acceptable in rare cases as you pointed out.

        1. Philip Bloom says:

          that is what i am referring to Eddie. a slight zoom push in…like 24 that i mentioned in last reply

          p

  15. Duane Shrode says:

    Any insight on grading Phil? I see you crushed and saturated a little… love to hear more on your post workflow.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hi Duane, I kinda just went quite natural really. Nothing fancy. Trickiest bit was simply getting image to match well…lots of fiddling!

  16. Engaging little doc, and (again) amazing considering your shoot schedule. Apparently an exceptional tracker as well to have encountered so many of the key local species in so short a time.

    The 1Dx is damn impressive.

    If I had any critique… I wonder if the interviews could have been aided by putting the characters more in their environment, instead of isolating them from it. Your work with Redwaan, Pelele, and the Ponte residents, for instance… you imbued a solid sense of environment (speaking of the interview shots specifically). In this bit, Dean & Elmon were just faces in front of an undulating green blob. I missed a view of the veldt behind them. But perhaps there was enough environment in… well, ALL the B-roll.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks!

      appreciate your thoughts

      Needed a controlled environment to get their stories from them…with more time (as opposed to day and a half) I might have been able to get all this out over many quick chats…but just speaking to Elmon in the vehicle the first trip outi knew I needed to do a much more controlled place to get what I needed as English wasn’t that strong for him

      P

  17. simonspear says:

    It’s not that it is a great mini doc (which it is) or that it visually looks wonderful (which it does). It is the fact that time after time you appear to be able to film for a few hours and then turn your creation into something more than the sum of its parts. Truly inspirational viewing!

  18. Philip, I have enjoyed all your films, most recently the 4 South African Films, which you have so kindly taken the time to give us all details regarding shooting along with technical information. Many thanks.

    ‘The Tracker & The Banker’ is a great story well told, I really enjoyed it.

    I agree that the 1DX seems somewhat sharper then the 5D Mk3, but not sharp enough to justify the difference in price for video use.
    As a stand alone camera the 1DX would be good, but when compared to the FS700, the 1DX shoots a soft image overall, which makes it appear somewhat flat compared to the FS700 which shoots a sharper Image which makes the foreground subject punch out beautifully from the shallow depth of field background. You get what you pay for.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks! its def sharper than the 5d3…sharpness isn’t everything though and for me it’s a nicer normal speed image than than the FS700 easier BUT doesnt have all the perks that camera offers…

  19. I loved it! Beautiful!

    I ordered (and payed) an FS700 in July but still haven’t got it and I’m getting really, really tired of waiting. I even bought a Metabones adapter in July (I have nice Canon lenses) because I thought the camera would arrive after a month as it was stated on the web shop’s site. Now there’s a Metabones 2, and I still haven’t used this one…
    (Is Metabones 2 much better?)

    So, I’m thinking about cancelling my order and buying a 1D X instead. Since I also like taking stills it might not be a bad idea? If you had to choose between the FS700 and the 1D X, which one would you buy?
    And how does dynamic range compare between them while filming?

    Yes, the FS700 comes with better audio recording, but I’m used to filming with my GH2 and 7D with an H4N so I’m used to it.

    Since you have both, which one has the better overall image and use (for filming) to your opinion?

    Thank you for the fantastic things you show us!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Really tough to say…

      The FS700 is such a good camera, great image, great features, great sound and pro connections. For me the 1DX is a more pleasing image…but it’s a DSLR still with all the issues inherent with them…

      1. Well, that made it a bit easier.

        I spent the night trying to find out more details about the 1D X’s and FS700’s dynamic range. According to a test on Provideocoalition, the FS700 has 14 (or almost) stops DR, which on paper seems really good. What bothers me most is the recurring statement that the FS700 has a video looking image. I think I know what people mean when they sat that, but at the same time when I see your stuff it looks great. So maybe it’s just a question of what we in Sweden call “skit bakom spakarna”, or in short SBS (meaning crap behind the controls), and that you Sir are doing a great job. :)

        If I may bother you with one more question:
        When it comes to rolling shutter and handheld, which of the two cameras is delivering a better image (not taking the ergonomics in consideration here)? I really hate the jello effect created by my 7D and even worse by the GH2, and I started salivating reading about the global shutter on the F55 (although it’s way out of my economic range, at the moment).

  20. sergio cassini says:

    hey philip,great work!
    how do you deal with white balancing all these different lenses,since you can only memorize max 2 different whites?
    do you fix it all in post?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hi sergio. I shot all of this at 5600K apart from the very end night shot which was 3200k…simple as that! :)

      1. sergio cassini says:

        thank you for your reply,
        this is how i do as well,but i was shooting something for tv and used two canon lenses and a sigma
        ranging from 16-200,problem was that working with preset,the lenses had slightly different color(green,magenta)
        and the shots wouldn’t colormatch since the lenses aren’t prime lenses.i now work with a white balance app on the ipad
        that let’s me create a daylight or tungsten white,so i can white balance different lenses regardless of current lighting situation.by the way the app is from kameramann.de and very usefull.
        cheers,s.

  21. Harrie says:

    Hi Philip,

    I have enjoyed this film quite a bit more than your previous ones. Did you enjoy doing this one more than previous ones ?

    There are a lot of compliments going around on your blog and i agree with most of them but not all. I usually don’t agree with all choices made regarding your angles. It, to me, seems that you are searching for the right angles -in the film- when that part of the research should be done. Portrait of a percussionist was in my opinion the best example. Way too tight, often too low and there was little variation.

    Sound is your Achilles heel. It contains a lot of noise, it’s fragile, too flat and it has phase-problems. To make things worse; you don’t ‘ride your faders’ during the mix. Sometimes the mike looses track of the speaker and you don’t correct that in the mix, which you should because it’s apparent. I am aware of the fact that the introduction to the signature VBAG was made on the fly and that the audio is not very important. Well, the sound in that feature is just plain unacceptable. Not for anybody in any case ! Why ? Because i need my Sennheiser reference earcups to hear what you are saying.

    So, the bottom line is; watch your audio !

    Don’t get me wrong, i am not here to annoy you. I am a huge fan of your work for years now but what notices me is that your audio is getting behind on your visuals.

    Cheers,
    Harrie

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hi

      Appreciate feedback even if I don’t agree with you. Remember. This is one man band operating with DSLRS. Something has gotta give. Perfection in these situations is close to impossible. Check out the feature Confuence. Proper soundo. Makes world of difference. I am very aware of the importance of sound of course. Having been a professional in this biz for 23 years.

      Vbag video yes. Not great. Was not made aware of quality until I got into edit and had to hide with music. Personally I think it sounds better on speakers than headphones.

      Too tight on projectionist? Again. Totally subjective.

      Thanks for taking time though. I do appreciate the feedback!

      P

  22. nathanscamera says:

    I was looking to share a slo mo video of a can of coke I did with the FS700, although it may not be as soulful and intellectually stimulating as Philip’s piece in Africa, it does have very heavy branding. Shot with the FS700 at 250 frames and then slowed down some more with twixtor.

  23. happyally says:

    I came across your website (and I follow you on twitter now, twitter: allyson_flores) because I was in Londolozi Oct 19-22 2012 (Probably a week before you were there!). When I came back home to Cali, I looked up “Londolozi” vids on Vimeo and saw your video. I’m no film/video guru but I absolutely LOVE your piece. I admit, I still watch it over and over again! Thank you for doing this!!

  24. keark46547 says:

    Hey phillp. please help me answer this

    i need help!!!!

    I have 2 question to ask u. pls help me

    1. Why did you use Marvel cinestyle for this video instead of Cinestyle

    2. I have been used 5D mark3 for one year and the video quality is superb with cinestyle.
    now im using 1dx and also shoot with cinestyle. My video footage isnt clean like 5dmk 3. I dont know what it is call. When i shoot the wall with the light, the wall is having like a wave color on it. when i shoot with 5d. i dont see it. on mark3 it would be like a grain on the wall, not having wave color like this. I dont know what happen on my 1dx. or 1dx isnt good with cinestyle? what do you think phillip?