Archive for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Category

The Voodoo Music Video Shoot

Posted in Canon EOS 5D Mark II on May 19, 2010 by martystalker

Initially the girls from the band ‘Voodoo’ had watched our latest music video for ‘The Black Bear Saloon’ and liked the style. They had a theme for the video and an idea which I knew we could expand on. Voodoo wanted to portray three various alter egos: the model, the DJ and the Socialite and we needed a story that connected the three individuals together. After a basic script was locked down with help from my sister, Helen, I went away and planned the pre production phase of the shoot. Voodoo have a lot of connections in the club scene in Belfast which proved to be a large bonus. It also meant I didn’t have to potentially undergo long hours on location recces as they had already got permission to use two large clubs called ‘Rain’ and the ‘Kremlin’.

On the morning of the shoot, we were kindly joined by the guys from Hooptedoodle Films, who have been filming the band for a documentary due to be aired on terrestrial television in the next few months. Any exposure is good exposure and I am looking forward to watching the final piece once it is complete. Richard from Woodside Photography was also present to take a few snaps of the production on behalf of the girls. Another add on to the team that day was Chris McGeown, who emailed me literally a few days before the video shoot and expressed an interest in voluntary work on the set. I accepted and he proved to be a great asset, helping in both grip, lighting and runner duties. The shoot was a success and Rick Trainor produced the goods for me once again as camera operator and DOP on the Canon 5D Mark II. Big thanks to the following people: Michael Mulholland who played the photographer role, Ryan Hoey who played the sound technician and all extras who appeared in the video.

Every Director and Camera Operator has a favourite bit of kit in their production gear. Mine is the Marshall V-LCD70p-HDMI monitor. Yes, it is pricey but I do believe if you want to push the Canon 5D Mark II or any other DSLR camera to its limits in varying conditions then an external monitor is a must have piece of kit. Overall, the production ran smoothly. There’s nothing better than having clients who are positive and up for anything that is thrown at them. We had fun and that was the main thing. Blog photographs by Richard Woodside.


Marty Stalker Director Showreel

Posted in Canon EOS 5D Mark II, promo shoot, short films, Showreel on March 10, 2010 by martystalker

My latest Director Showreel is available to view online. The company predicts a promising 2010 with regards to short films and documentaries.  The track is ‘Street Map’ by Athlete’ and it was used on a Sky One HD advert. I was totally inspired by this advert and I had to use it in the showreel. Promotional image of myself at the end of the video was shot by Rick Trainor from Red Sky Photography.

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The 48 Hour Human Timelapse

Posted in Canon EOS 5D Mark II, filmmaking, short films, Timelapse, Video Production, videography on March 9, 2010 by martystalker

The 48 Human Timelapse was completed at 0700 HRS on 6th March 2010 on a roof top in Belfast. It was a long haul and obviously we faced many hurdles along the way (It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t).

After watching collections of inspiring timelapse pieces from the likes of Tom Lowe and Philip Bloom on the internet, I got a taste for it. However, I felt like I needed to put a slight twist on matters, why not introduce a human subject into the timelapse itself? I approached Rick Trainor, an excellent 5D Mark II operator and Director of Photography, with the idea. He was keen as always and extremely supportive, even though there were apparent limitations which he highlighted early on in the meeting.  I knew what I wanted, but I also knew that the only way I could make it happen was to have Rick on-board. As a Director, Rick has always delivered the goods for me and I am extremely thankful of the time he sacrifices, his invaluable skills and personality that he brings to every production.

The idea: capture a human subject for a 48 hour duration.

As soon as our family and friends got wind of what we were planning to do, they naturally thought we were crazy. I felt comfortable enough to put myself forward as the human subject- who else would do it anyway? I needed Rick behind the camera, his camera and lighting skills by far exceeded those of mine. We also decided that we would dedicate this endurance test to help raise money for Haiti and continue the support that the Belfast 4 Haiti event had started.

After getting knocked back by a few locations due to insurance issues, I contacted Ciaran from Kaya Studios, a popular recording studio situated at the top of Blackstaff Mills. I had seen the location on a photograph on MySpace and thought it was perfect. I was ecstatic when Ciaran gave us permission to use the roof space next to his studio. If it wasn’t for his generosity, the event would not have taken place. The TC-80N3 Timer Remote Controller arrived from Amazon and Rick took it home to play with. The fact that the controller was limited to 99 captures in total before having to be reset was going to be a challenge in the least.

It was into the fourth hour of the shoot, when I realised the mountain we were climbing. The aches and the joint pains from sitting in a chair for a long period slowly crept in. However, it’s the little things that you take for granted. I had to urinate into a plastic bottle which Rick had to keep emptying out for me (now that’s friendship for you). The nights were extremely cold and we were waking up to sheets of ice on the roof top and over our equipment. Beating sleep was impossible and I began to frequently experience mini naps during the second day. The remote controller had to be monitored on a regular basis due to the 99 shot limit. But when the finish line came, we were both extremely happy with what we had achieved (refer to special dance moves during credit sequence). I couldn’t wait to take the stills back to the studio and fire them into After Effects.

For a more technical perspective of the timelapse shoot from Rick Trainor, please click on the following link:

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. A big thankyou to the following people:

Sean Duncan from Redcap Productions, Gary McKinstry from Carpe Diem Productions, Kieran McAlinden from Creative Juices, Alan Morton, Vinny Hurrell, Mathias Sorum and Vital

48 Hour Human Timelapse

Posted in Canon EOS 5D Mark II, filmmaking, Red Sky Photography, Scattered Images, short films, Video Production, videography on March 2, 2010 by martystalker

After getting involved with Belfast4Haiti, Rick and I wanted to do something extra to raise awareness in our own social and business circles to hopefully get people talking about the Haiti and Chile disaster. We settled on heading in a direction that would take us out of our comfort zones and encourage others to do their bit.  We are planning to complete a 48hr time-lapse piece involving a human subject and we are hoping to raise £500 in the 48hrs of filming it. The event will also be streamed live on Twitter on scheduled occasions for people to follow.

Time-Lapses are a beautiful and modern interpretation of our world in motion.  It has become common place in cinematography and some pioneers have travelled the world capturing our cityscapes with extreme dedication.  We decided to do our own time-lapse piece in Belfast city but with a difference.

This poses a number of issues from a technical perspective not to mention the obvious sleep deprivation involved in being the human subject (sat stationary for the duration of the time) and the photographer/cameraman.  I decided to put himself forward for the challenge and we set about organising it.  We are still awaiting confirmation for the location but the image above will give you an idea of the proposed backdrop.

We will be dedicating this piece to help raise funds for both countries and all money will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee

You can follow us on Twitter and below is a trailer for the piece.


Posted in Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Red Sky Photography, Scattered Images, Video Production, videography on February 16, 2010 by martystalker

The Belfast 4 Haiti fundraising gig took place on 31st January 2010 in the three staged Limelight Complex in Belfast. 50+ Northern Irish bands played to over 1300 people to raise money for the relief efforts following the Haiti earthquakes. Over £22,000 was raised for the Disasters Emergency Committee. I was fortunate enough to have captured the whole event with the assistance from Rick Trainor from Red Sky Photography and Sean Duncan from Red Cap Productions.

The security staff at the venue allowed us to move around the back of the complex to film at each of the stages. It was either that or trying to squeeze through the hoards of people with expensive camera equipment above my head. The EX3 and 5DMark II cameras performed exceptionally well in the low light conditions and I had to do little colour grading and correction in post. Such amazing raw images that both cameras produced at the event. Two up-and-coming Northern Irish bands, Yakuza and Axis Of supplied the tracks for the video.

The Black Bear Saloon Music Video

Posted in Canon EOS 5D Mark II, filmmaking, Scattered Images, screenwriting, short films with tags , on December 13, 2009 by martystalker

It’s all about the lighting!

I was approached by the drummer of The Black Bear Saloon, Mike Barr, at a wedding show a few months back. He had seen my work before on my website and he asked if I would like to direct and film a music video for their track ‘Face The Future’. I needed one for my portfolio so I lept at the chance. Once home, I navigated to their MySpace page and listened to the track and a few others featured on the site. I must admit, I wasn’t expecting the band to be that good, I was pleasantly surprised and I instantly became a fan of the tracks featured, especially ‘Face The Future’.

Mike had an idea in his head and he had drawn up a storyboard of the basic content and structure of the story. I liked the idea and took it away to write up the screenplay and beef out the story. I felt the video needed scenes that stood out, so I introduced a few controversial moments and a nice twist at the end. Once the screenplay was locked down, I began writing up the pre-production notes. This is was when we started realising how big this project was going to be. The prop list was written and we managed to secure perfect venues (The Ballyboley Inn and the Limelight especially) Once everything was finalised and the lads completed numerous costume checks, I planned the shoot over an ambitious 1 and 1/2 days.

The Friday Shoot

We arrived at the Ballyboley Inn and met the very welcoming landlord. The bar was only open on a Fri and Sat night so this suited us. It was a drizzle rain at this stage so I wasn’t too worried. We began to set up the production gear and the lads from the band went to pick up the two key vehicles that were to feature in the music video, Mike’s beloved Mustang Shelby GT500 and his VW Camper Van. After numerous equipment checks and rehearsals with the lead actress, Moyah Lavery, we sat and waited for the return of the band members. Mike called explaining that they were going to be late back as Aaron, the lead singer, had filled the wrong fuel in one of the cars and it would have to be towed back to the garage. You can plan a production schedule to the minute detail but there are things which are just out of your control! Once the lads finally returned, we began shooting the first scenes. The rain increased and I began covering the lighting and camera equipment with umbrellas- not good! I remember standing in the entrance to the bar, looking out into the heavy rain and fog- it was decision time and I hadn’t even squared away four scenes yet. Do we go or do we stay? I knew deep down that this was the only opportunity we had  to get this done. I grabbed a light stand and received a small electric shot down my left arm. Ok, the lighting equipment had to be moved inside and dried out, it was starting to get a bit dangerous. I was now faced with no lighting and the camera equipment was slowly becoming very damp! Lighting was something which was rammed into your head in film school and without it, I had nothing! It was then that I noticed the car park had a floodlight and I got the lads to position cars so the lights from the vehicles were lighting the set. This proved to be a good move and we could now finish and film the remaining scenes for the evening. Rick, my camera operator and DOP,who was using the Canon 5D Mark II managed to capture this scene using the ‘cuffed’ lighting set up explained before:

The Saturday Shoot

We arrived at the Limelight and went straight into the production. The day shoot had to be tight as the majority of the scenes had to be done by the evening! We welcomed Carrie Davenport set who was a friend of the band and began taking a selection of BTS photographs (She also got dressed up as a Bear at one stage, so I was happy she was around for that scene). After a few dodgy looks from the Limelight staff and members of the public, we finished and got out just in time before the bands started setting up for the evening gigs. I’ve never prayed for rain so much in my life! For continuity reasons obviously! We arranged to meet at the KFC in Larne, for a dirty feed and to film the car and driving scenes. In an ideal world, the locations would be within a 1 mile radius of each other, but not this case. The rain began to pour, I was happy and I had remembered my waterproof trousers this time! Once the car footage was captured, timing was already slipping. We returned the vehicles to Mike’s garage and I decided to film additional scenes at this location rather than move on to the last one 20 minutes away. The heavens opened up even more, morale was slowly draining from everybody. 3 scenes to go. . . . it wasn’t going to happen! We finished the shoot and decided to arrange a time the following week to finish the project off.

The Final Shoot

By re arranging the film shoot to a different day we managed to find an even better location for the forest chase scenes in the script. Was it worth carrying the heavy generator up the hill to the forest? Of course it was, as we managed to bring all of our lighting equipment with us: It’s all about the lighting folks! I must admit, the chase scenes came out more scary than I previously envisioned. The last scenes were completed at the Band’s abandoned practice house and gave me and my lighting guy, Richie, a chance to get dressed up as a Bear and start smashing stuff up. All scenes were now done and everybody was happy.

The Equipment

This was only the second time we had used the Canon 5D Mark II camera on a film shoot. I, like many wannabe film makers, once contemplated getting the 35mm adapters and lenses for my HD camcorder. After the results that this camera has produced, especially in the low light, extreme weather and temperatures that we faced, I will now be  concentrating all of my time and energy on building up my production kit around the Canon 5D Mark II. I am lucky to be working with an excellent DOP, Rick Trainor from Red Sky Photography and family and friends who are willing to sacrifice their time for me. Without them, I would have nothing!

‘Goldie’ The Black Bear Saloon’s next Music Video will be ready by the end of January 2010. A teaser trailer will be released before Christmas, produced by Scattered Images Video Production

Bloodstained Footprints

Posted in bloodstained footprints, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, film festivals, filmmaking, Red Sky Photography, short films on September 7, 2009 by martystalker

The Short Film ‘Bloodstained Footprints’ is finally finished after a few delays in post production. A special thanks goes out to everybody who was involved and you can watch the film via the ‘Projects’ page on this website or by clicking on this link