Archive for the Scattered Images Category

NI Adrenaline Sports: Free Running Shoot

Posted in promo shoot, promotional videos, Scattered Images, Video Production, videography on September 8, 2010 by martystalker

Wednesday 1st September 2010

The first day of the new month brought together my good friend, Rick Trainor from Red Sky Photography, Colin Bane, a local free runner and myself on the Waterfront in Belfast. This was the second shoot in the NI Adrenaline Sports Project.

The Idea

The idea was spawned by Rick who came round to the office a few months back. I was happy to contribute to the project from a video and graphics point of view. The main aim was to raise awareness of local, young, extreme sports enthusiasts and give them the promotion that they deserve. We have also been overwhelmed by NI Bands wanting to contribute to the project’s soundtrack.

The Shoot

The priority for Rick was to shoot stills on the Canon 5D Mark II and to use his creative lighting set ups. I was happy to shoot footage on the Sony EX3, using a film-look profile from Martin Beek. I’m a huge fan of the camera and I love the results I get from it, especially when filming in Progressive mode. I decided to shoot Colin on a 1280 x 720p 25fps setting. Most of the footage shot of Colin was done in real-time but I overcranked the camera to 720p 60Ffps on a few occasions using the S & Q mode. After a lot of research prior to Alex Heyes’s skateboard promo in July, I found that this was the best setting for capturing smooth slow motion footage on the camera.

I wanted to play about with exposure during the shoot, with the aim of filming a selection of silhouetted scenes. The locations that Colin picked were perfect with great backdrops and I exploited the views as much as I could. Colin is a true professional in his craft and you get that message from the first moment you meet him. His enthusiasm leapt out and he was a great subject to work with.

Post Production

With regards to Colour Grading, I went for a grittier, blue, urban looking feel to the footage to match the theme of the shoot. Magic Bullet Mojo is an amazing plug in for your NLE system and I would recommend this software, especially if you want a cheaper alternative or to accompany any other Magic Bullet or colour grading software that you may already own. With the implementation of my Matrox H.264 compression card I’m finding working with HD footage a dream and render times have been cut massively. It complements my Matrox RTX2 card well and I’ve never looked back since.

Video will be online soon

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The Sudan Elections 2010

Posted in Scattered Images, short films, Video Production, videography on June 15, 2010 by martystalker

Scattered Images and Visionworks were asked by the Centre for Foreign Policy Analysis in London, to film Sudan’s first ever elections. Irwin Armstrong and I moved into the country a few weeks before the elections began to get our preparations under way. Irwin is a very experienced Cameraman, who has been filming for over 20 years and in many countries. So as you can imagine,  I was very happy to be part of his team.

From a technical point of view, it was by far the most difficult job I’ve ever encountered as a Camera Operator. Africa is a harsh environment to film in, not just due to the extreme temperatures but because of the high contrasts in light and dark colours that you face through the viewfinder. In the South of Sudan in particular, the very dark skins of the African tribes clashed greatly with the sunlight and bright backdrops.

It had been a while since I had worked on the robust and reliable Sony Z1 camera and I was looking forward to using it again, with the added luxuries of a matte box, wide angle lens and a cavision single grip this time. The dust issue wasn’t as bad as I predicted but I always had my lens cleaner and brush handy. One of my pet hates is a dirty lens and I was adamant that my glass was going to be crystal clear before each shoot.

It took me a few days to get to grips with the camera and the settings. Like filming for news, you had to be quick to react to events and changing conditions in light and exposure. After perfecting my iris control and framing subjects on early shoots, I was beginning to feel more confident and slicker on the controls. From a production viewpoint, we filmed in a lot of locations, particularly in the South of Sudan. We were a mobile team and very lucky to be kitted out with a 4×4 vehicle, driver and interpreter. We covered a lot of ground and as a result, we saw and filmed many amazing scenes. On one occasion, we couldn’t access a few voting stations by road so we decided to rent out a boat for the day and pay a visit. As you can imagine, many hadn’t seen white people in person before so we had hoards of curious villagers following our every move.

Unfortunately Sudan is still a very secretive country, particularly in the South, where they still have bans on photographing military installations, bridges, airstrips and prisons. In every State we visited, it was important that we obtained press passes but on a whole we faced little obstruction from the security forces. I learned a lot of from Irwin and my camera skills have moved on to a different/ higher level as a result. The documentary is the final piece of the Centre for Foreign Policy’s report on the elections. Although, there were obvious flaws in the system, the country did extremely well in staging their very first political elections. All eyes are on the Referendum scheduled for next year.

Mary’s Winning Streak

Posted in filmmaking, marty stalker, northern ireland, Scattered Images, Video Production, videography, Vimeo on June 7, 2010 by martystalker

I was asked by Kieran McAlinden from Creative Juices to help document an event in nearby Derrytrasna. Mary Breen, an 80 year old resident had won an Irish scratch card game and a chance to appear on the RTE Game Show ‘Winning Streak’. Each week, five players join hosts Kathryn Thomas and Marty Whelan for a shot at winning some fantastic cash prizes. In association with the National Lottery, the top prize on Winning Streak is an incredible €500,000 and players can walk away with more than that depending on how much they bank during the course of the show. Last year over €10 million was won by contestants taking part in Winning Streak Dream Ticket. Ten cars and 32 holidays were snapped up by lucky participants.

The Breen family are well known in the community and have been running the local shop for many years. Please view the video below of Mary Breen and her family’s once in a life time experience!

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 justgiving.com/belfast4haiti

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

Belfast4Haiti

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.

Red Sky Photography : Band Shoot

Posted in photography, promo shoot, promotional videos, Red Sky Photography, Scattered Images, Video Production, videography on February 11, 2010 by martystalker

Rick Trainor and I have decided to produce a selection of Behind The Scenes/Video Tutorials about his work. Rick, from Red Sky Photography, specialises in lighting, strobism, and all facets of modern digital photography. In this video we see Rick photographing the up and coming rock band ‘The Black Bear Saloon’ in Belfast. Future videos will focus on creative lighting and editorial photography. Keep checking back for latest videos and remember that you can find both Red Sky Photography and Scattered Images on many social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.

New Short Film ‘Good Morning Mr Jenkins’

Posted in filmmaking, Red Sky Photography, Scattered Images, screenwriting, short films on February 5, 2010 by martystalker

The final scenes have been filmed for our new short film ‘Good Morning Mr Jenkins’. After the recent success of ‘Bloodstained Footprints’ in the Entry Level Filmaka Competition, we have been given four weeks to write, film and produce a short film for the final Jury Level round. Click on this link to view the very impressive jury panel that will be choosing the winning film.

‘Good Morning Mr Jenkins’ is a story about a guy who has everything, a loving marriage and is great at his job. After witnessing an event one day, his life starts crumbling all around him. The film is now online to view and please fell free to leave any feedback in the comments section. Within the three minute limit I wanted to make something different, basically a whole film within the time allocated. You may see a few traces of other directors influences in certain scenes. I’m a big fan of Guy Richie and especially Tarantino,  I embrace the way he doesn’t conform to the “correct structure” of filmmaking and tells his story the way he wants to.

By Red Sky Photography

The biggest limitation for me on this shoot, as Director, was the fact that for most of the scenes, Rick Trainor (my fantastic and trusted Camera Operator and Director of Photography) had to step into the shoes of the main character due to the lack of time we had. So that meant that I had to remember how to use the video mode on the Canon 5D Mark II, which came back to me slowly I must say! After remembering how to correct white balance and exposure, we cracked on with the shoot, which took us to Larne, Moira and Lurgan.

The last day of filming involved a selection of classroom scenes with four children. You are always reminded to never work with children or animals in the industry but they were fantastic and produced the goods for me on every shot. Like most of my short film work, I have had to call upon friends and family to help me out. So I thank you all again for the support that you have given me. A big thanks also to Gary McKinstry from Carpe Diem Videography for coming down and shooting some behind the scenes footage.

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