Start of a new challenge for 2023
- My own rules -
1 Format: Video
But I will put my own spin to it. I decided to go with the video format to practise and learn the skills I rarely have used in the past couple of months. In fact these skills are a super rusty.
2 Topics: broader focus
@rubencress have done a great job working with specific objects and show them from a different perspective. Of course I could do 10 second shorts with macro videos and cool light effects but my expecatation is that a video should contain more than visuals for the viewer. That's why I think a broader topic (like "indoor plants" instead of "rubber fig") is needed so I will stretch the rules a little bit. I will include side facts, history lessons and more to spice the topics up.
3 Gear: Sony FX30
Additional to my rusty skills I have purchased a new camera - the Sony FX30 which is a entry level cinema camera. The features und usage is very much different to my old camera - the Sony a6400. Both are APS-C (so I can use my old lenses) but the rest is something I have to get used to and learn by practise. With the Sony FX30 there is Cine EI which enables you to shoot with the base ISOs (800 and 2500) to achieve the best possible image when it comes to dynamic range and noise. With this I have to pay more attention on exposure while still taking care of composition and everything else.
4 Schedule: Monthly
Video is a lot of work if you want to do it right and the pace of an every day post is nothing I will be able to accomplish. So I set the bar way lower and committed to post one video every month. This way I will have enough time for pre-production, shooting and post-production. Only when you combine all three you will be able to achieve the for you best possible result.
Even with this schedule it will be hard to keep up with the workflow as the year is filled with work intense times, holidays and my dayjob. But I will do my best to accomplish this schedule. If needed I can always make shorter videos or embed less different kinds of media or shot types included.
I am excited about all the knowledge I will gain by working on this challenge. After making my first video for this challenge (see below) the obvious points I have to work on gotr exposed. There is a to learn and to experiment. I know it will be much fun and exciting for me (and hopefully for you).
Now let's dive into this month's entry!
This month: Indoor Plants - Our green friends
photo by me
We all have indoor plants but I have people in my life who rarely see the importance of indoor plants except their beauty. In this video I am going to highlight some facts about indoor plants and I even teamed up with @grindan and @snook to achieve a special class room feeling sequence within the video. The goal is to raise awareness that indoor plants and humans are living in a symbiosis and since they help us with oxigene we should also help them by taking care for their water, sun and soil needs.
The process of pre-production was fairly simple: I have researched a bit and started to write the script for the video in a google doc. After writing and refining the script multiple times I continued to think about ways to visualize the specific paragraph in video form and what kind of media I can use.
From there I split the different kinds of media (animation, footage, voice over) and defined shot types like closeups, medium shots and wide shots. In the pre production I had the idea to integrate my slider in a few shots which worked quiet good to make the video more exciting.
I had this idea to create a short animation explaining photosyntesis and transpiration in a kind of school vibe. But because my voice is omnipresent throughout the video I asked the fellow hiver @snook if she could record the voice for me. And she took this even further and handed the task over to @grindan to create the voice over which she have done great! Thank you both for your help!
I think the different voice underlines the fact that this animation is something I really have watched in the TV and not created it by myself. Please visit the profile of @grindan and check all of these nice #fiction posts! (most recent: A Crone known as Creativity )
The animation was played back on an old portable CRT TV via HDMI 2 Avi converter. The shot is too dark for my taste but it captured the overall aesthetic I aimed for.
For one in my opinion important shot I took portraits of a few plants. My plan was to tell the viewer about long living plants and symbolize it with pictures hanging on the wall. Just like with pictures of your family. And also this worked quiet well in my opinion. In good old DIYHUB community fashion I crafted little frames - the ones you can see throughout this post.
The images are printed with my printer on standard paper and that's why they are not as saturated as you would expect. They fit the needs of the video and I did not think about including them in this post here. Next time I will use better paper to have a better end result for sure.
4:3 Aspect Ratio
This is a major decision I made before I actually recorded any footage since it affects the style and mood of a video. Almost every video we watch today is in 16:9 or 9:16. With this challenge I also want to experiment with different aspect rations and aesthetics so I decided to try a more nostalgic flair and went with 4:3. In camera I activated a 4:3 overlay so I can frame the shots better. Video recording is limitted to 16:9 on the FX30 unfortunately.
Last but not least I wanna tell you a bit more about the music I have picked and used for this project. Basically it is only one track called "Distant Grace" from the latest EP by a band called Fantasy In Notes in which a friend of mine is the producer. He made it possible that I have a version without drums because like that I can move snippets of the track more freely around inside my editing timeline.Fantasy In Notes on spotify
2 years ago I have produced a music video for their track called Vicinity. If you wanna check it out click here ;) If you want to simply listen to their music (which I highly recommend) then: check Fantasy In Notes out on spotify!
I dont have to say much about the sound effects because I rarely used some. But if I use sound effects then I find them on freesound.org.
Now the big "I did this and that wrong". Since I have never used the Sony FX30 for an actual video project I struggled a lot with the correct settings and I had a big pain in post production. I messed up:
- frame rates
- white balance
and basically everything else you can mess up. This video taught me so much and I am very happy about the overall process and the result I achieved while making so many errors. I tend to be a perfectionist but with this project I was able to break out of this mindset and finish the video nevertheless knowing that the next project will be better. I feel that I am going to grow a lot as a video creator / film maker over the upcoming 11 videos.
Now I know where my weaknesses are and what I can and have to improve to up the quality of my videos. In theory I know everything but when it comes to useing the knowlewdge I struggle. Often I become overwealmed of the shot in my head so I fully forget to check exposure for example. After experiencing the pain in the edit I purchased a color checker card with actually accurate colors and grey levels I can always carry around. This way I will be able to set exposure way better instead of eye-balling it and the additional gear will hopefully remind me to do so.
The final result is something I am proud of even though I see all the issues in the footage and execution. I know these shots could have been way better if I only had experience with the camera and its settings already. But the work I put into it, all the things I was able to correct in post and the things I have learned I am really proud of.
When it comes to sound I had some issues recording the voice overs. I am just not used to record them and my voice still sounds robotic even though I re-recorded it multiple times. But also this is something we can learn and by making this video I have gained experience. Now I know on what I have to focus when writing the script and while recording the voice overs. Fingers crossed for next time.
I can not wait to use all the experience I gained over the last weeks making the video. The next one is already in pre production and will be very different to this one. I want to try out many different styles and genres with this challenge. It will be fun.
If you have any questions about the process or specific shots please let me know in the comments. Technically I could create behind the scenes footage or editing break downs but if nobody is asking for it I will use the time for the next contest entry ;)
Now I have one questions for you related to the video topic:
How old is your oldest living indoor plant and what kind of plant is it? Mine is a ~15 years old mallow we have created many off springs from already. Today its children live in various homes from our friends and family.
Ohhhhhhhhhh!! This turned out SO SO SO well!!!
I am so happy @Grindan did the voiceover. She nailed it!!
And thank you for the end :D You made me smile from ear to ear!~!
My daughter-in-law gave me one plant, and I watch it like a hawk to ensure it is happy! But this winter it is so cold I am just hoping it survives the cold. I am doing the best I can. Let's see if I can keep one plant alive for a year and maybe I will get another one :D
Thank you so much for the nice words and for helping out as Cast Assistant :D
Yes @grindan did a very good job :)
Fingers crossed for your plant coming over the winter! Some times it is hard to find the reasons why they struggle - but when you have found it you know it for the next time :P
When I did the voice over, I thought it was just a fun science thing... The meaning behind your video is absolutely stunning though! You are right, we should take care of our potted friends with love. We owe them many thanks. I will be repotting some plants soon 💚
Thank you for the beautiful shout out, and for the intriguing video! I think your editing was incredible!! 😁
Thank you so much for your contribution and your kind words :) Yesterday I repotted two more of our plants and removed old leaves from many others. If I need your help again I will let you know ^^
Indeed, I should take more care of my indoor plants then.
Thanks in the names of your plants :P
Holy shit, this is awesome! #wewantmore! Nice edit as well, very creative.
Actually, we have an indoor plant problem at home currently, it's housing a few million baby flies/mosquitos, so this is a great reminder to change the soil as soon as possible.
Thank you man for your idea, motivation, input and your comment! I procrastinated for such a long time and built up so much resistance that I needed this. With your initial impulse I have a monthly goal now and I know that I'll learn a lot on the way and that I can finally express the creativity built up in the past months :)
I am not going to rest now btw. I already have laid out all following video topics and a few already with draft scripts attached. So #youllgetmore!
Expect more formats and styles to come :D
Glad to be the trigger of it, but it's all you man! This really proofs that sharing = caring, and people thrive if they share their insights with each other. Loving Hive every day a little bit more :P
Nice man! Feel free to ping me every time when you post a clip, I think @lackofcolor will enjoy watching these type of clips as well.
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