TimeOut Magazine

Over the weekend, I tried something new.

I have always been a fan of TimeOut London magazine and have an interest in the blog that runs in tandem to the publication. This cross media element has more content for the reader to consume and helps the audience to engage more in the content. Over the past few months, at university, we have been learning about the importance of cross media and how the audience invests more time in the content produced.

So I have been learning more about Adobe AfterEffects and there is a section on the blog called #WordOnTheStreet. This article looks into some of the strange things that are said on the streets of London. So i married the two together to create a new piece of media. I took inspiration from the short videos that Buzzfeed.com do and evolved the style of videos that they do into a style of my own. They also helped me source royalty free music on sound cloud to add depth to the piece.


I tweeted the blog boss and now it’s on the website being seen by thousands of people in London.


To see the inspiration for the video then clock this link.





TV Documentary Part 2

To come back to them, we decided to do a documentary on BlocBeatz and House music. This would be an exploratory documentary in which we look at the music industry and how people make money from music nowadays. The reasoning for this documentary and it’s focus was that contributors would be easy to get hold of and it’s a subject that is the focus of our target audience. To further explain that House music is a popular genre which inspires young people to buy music and start to create there own through remixes and DJing.

We wanted to have a youthful look to the piece so having researched the look of ‘youth’ documentaries, we found them to be colourful and have an urban look.

When I mean urban then I mean shots on the streets, urban decay, graffiti and modern cityscapes. The contributors were happily made contact with via BlocBeatz records and the recording process happened over the course of 2 weeks with the final weeks time being allocated to the editing process.

The role I took was Director and Editor which give me some creative control over the look, editing and VFX process. The result can be seen below.


TV Documentary

The next part of this blog discusses what I did and learnt from the TV documentary module at Birmingham City University.

This module’s final piece was to create a documentary from what we learnt over the 6 weeks in the workshops. The process was a long one discussing various techniques that are used in the TV documentary genre including narrative, interviews shots and look but one of the most useful parts was the discussion on documentaries that were being shown throughout the 6 weeks on television.

We looked at Body-shock documentaries, pieces about subcultures of society and expiatory documentaries about life as a student. Each one really followed a theme in which a presenter or voice over artist introduced a situation and was taken over by the action of the subject or theme. This process of making a documentary would be beneficial to making our final piece.

But now the DS tasks…

The only real DS taks of note (or that I can show you) is the tutorial video that was made in which we practised we camera and shooting techniques to make a short instructional video in which we explained how a tripod was put together.

The video link is below….

This video was filmed on the trusty warehouse of the 650D, graded slightly in Adobe Lightroom to bring out the shadows and mids about more and then edited (by myself) on Premier Pro. The video would take the premise of voice describing the action on screen. This was a process that had been discussed in the workshops prior to the filming. The audio was captured on the 650D and added to the edit later.

The title sequence that we used was created by myself in After Effects using a plugin called Sure Target which uses null layers to focus on the words in a 3D sequence. This process could be done manually but it would take along time to produce. The final video was praised for it’s simplicity and the choice of shots especially the pull focus in which extending the legs was described.

I enjoyed making all aspects of this video and think it is testament to the methods that I have learnt over the years in education.


Music Promotion Part 2

Next part in this franchise I call Music Promotion.

The next part was to finally do a music video. As you may or may not know, I currently work for a record called BlocBeatz (http://www.blocbeatz.com). I convinced them to firstly give us an artist to do a music video for and tie it into a cross media piece where a clothing brand would be promoted. The clothing brand was Disorder Boutique and they would provide t-shiorts for all talent to wear.


The shoot would just cover a basic amount of shots and we would try to create a ‘glitch effect’ that would match the music in post. This glitch effect would be achieved mainly by the Plugin – Twitch which is available for free at Video Co-Pilot. The rest of the effects would be added afterwards in post giving the video a pulse which matched the house music beat. All the permissions slips were signed and the location was released for our use. The custard factory has great graffiti backdrops and I would love to speak to the artists to see if I could do a time-lapse video of them painting.

Problems we had was the lack of involvement from the artist and model as in that they would not act any scene. So we were reliant on the post to make the video interesting. The camera used was my trusty 650D through a 18-50mm lens on a tripod, with the tripod being used as a steady cam when the walking and pans shots were filmed.

The result…

Things I would do again,

I would think more a concept for this video and hopefully add additions of a different scene but the artist and model were not available for any other shoots. This would make the video more interesting and have a different point of reference after the slow 360 pans.

and so concludes the franchise of Music Promo.

Music Promotion…

Blog Posts can be long, I understand that now.

So when writing the last post, I realised that I should update this blog a section at a time. Things can bet boring otherwise.

The next main DS task for this module was to film an actual performance.

It was arranged for us to film a lady called Lobelia perform her cover of “Junk” by Paul McCartney. This shoot was arranged for us to learn about 3 point lighting and how to set up DSLR cameras properly. This process is documented on the BBC producers website. (Link Below)


Having set up the lighting, our tutor then told us the process in which you set the cameras properly. The camera that was used was a Canon 7D, a camera way more advanced then my 650D. The light metering process gave us the opportunity to play around with the ISO on the shoot.

Lobelia mimed to the track whilst 3 cameras caught the action. The process in my mind was that we needed a steady 2 shot and shots featuring Lobelia and the left and right hand of the screen. The track is quite melodic and soulful so it was discussed that slow fades from each shot would match the music.

This is the final result after being edited in Premier Pro CS6.



Now to get serious…

Looking back over the last semester of University, I didn’t really take this blog/website that seriously. This is to my detriment I must say but I have earn a hell of a lot since I last blogged.

The camera techniques I have evolved over the last 3 months have been invaluable in improving my CV and in fact, through work experience, I have gained a few more contacts as well.

So let’s start from the very beginning….

Since I last posted, I have did two production modules of which included Music TV Promo and TV Documentary. The final projects of these were to make content with a cross media piece. In this over saturated media world that we live in and consume everyday, media cannot be a standalone piece. Media must breed media to keep the consumer coming back for more, for example, How many shows do ou see nowadays with a twitter hashtag or website? The purpose of this to carry on the interest and allow the user to invest there time in the show and prove some ownership. Thios involvement infects the audience and allows retention and communication with users. This further broadens the audience and thus provides revenue and justification for the inclusion of the main content on air.

This is all very complicated…..

So let’s discuss what has been created….

Firstly Music Promo…

The first DS task that we had to do was a promo video for the park outside university. Here is my attempt.

I wanted to create something that was inviting but a bit mysterious also. The park itself is more used as a pass through point in which students get to there respective universities. The shoot was done on my Canon 650D with a 35-150mm lens with 25fps. When it came to the water fountain, I changed the fps to 50 so I could slow down the footage but still retain the sense and detail in the shot.

After the shoot, I continued with my experimentation with Adobe Lightroom to colour grade the batch of files together. I went for a colour which showed a warm out look and film burn transitions to add to the vintage look.

All these effects were added in Premier Pro CS6 and exported into a MP4 file for presentation.

The tools that Adobe gave me to complete this task really expands the creative process. The sheer scope of what can be done to make my vision come alive is brilliant and will continue to use this software from now on.