Monday, 27 December 2010

Democracy of Filmmakers - Vimeo Video School

Anyone who's checked out Urban Orienteer before should know what a fan I am of Vimeo. Aside from the quality of both the site and its content, what really stands out for me is the supportive community it has fostered and the creative encouragement it provides for amateur filmmakers. In keeping with this ethos the site has just launched its own Vimeo Video School. Aside from helping users achieve great results, perhaps relatively modest gestures such as this really do help achieve the 'democratisation' of filmaking implied by one enthusiastic user's comment.

In addition to categorising over a thousand user created tutorials as part of the initiative, Vimeo have also provided updates to their Video 101 tutorials for beginners and, of particular interest to myself, a new series called DSLR Basics specifically for photographers using their Digital SLR cameras to capture video. The series is presented by Vimeo's Andrea Allen and filmmaker Philip Bloom who is best known in the Vimeo community for his stunning timelapse photography:

[Video - Sky by Philip Bloom on Vimeo]

The film above was shot over the course of five days and nights in Dubai. Considering the time and patience that goes in to something like this it is fair to say he has learnt a trick or two over the years.

A selection of the videos I found most useful are embedded below along with links to the others. Each of the films in the DSLR Basics series is around 4-5 minutes long, and accompanied by a set of notes for context on the corresponding page.

1. Introduction to DSLR Cameras - Deciding which camera to buy.

2. Setting up your DSLR - Preparing the camera to shoot:

3. DSLR Lenses - Choosing a lens.

4. DSLR Accessories - Choosing accessories to help you shoot with your DSLR.

5. Shooting video with a DSLR - Camera settings and shooting techniques:

6. Recording sound for DSLRs - Ways of recording sound with external devices.

7. Timelapse with a DSLR - Using your DSLR to condense time:

8. Night time Shooting with a DSLR - Shooting footage in low light:

With all this I suppose my New Year's resolution should be to go out more, practice more, and make better films. See you out there!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

London Education Cuts Protest - 24th November 2010

On the 24th November 2010 Urban Orienteer joined the student March from ULU to Whitehall to protest the proposed government spending cuts on education.

A bit late but I thought it might be worth showing a different side of the days events.

The best part for me was when the dash at Aldwych. The police ruined it for themselves by blocking the route along the Strand, so everyone diverted round King's to the river...much to the confusion of both the police and oncoming traffic. All good fun. My highlight of the day! 

After the police got everyone back on track they made their way via Trafalgar Square to the road block at Whitehall. I Slipped out of the kettle just before the clampdown. Note the kettle was in place well before anyone started using that knackered Police van as a climbing frame.

As the fun was over I did the off. Didn't have any sugar cubes for the horses.