Tag Archives: Featured

Jasyn Lucas: Flin Flon Station Museum Mural

June 23, 2014. Jasyn and I were on the road to Flin Flon early in the morning after he let me know about a mural he had to paint a few days prior. The mural was behind the Station Museum, and the goal was to create a film based on time lapses.

Summer was upon us, and it was going to be a hot week with sunny conditions and no chance of rain. When we arrived, we set up our campsite, which was only a few seconds’ walk from the job site, and we set up a tarp to store his supplies and my camera gear.

The weather was even hotter than I imagined! We constantly kept hydrated and I was always in fear that my camera would overheat from the extreme amount of long exposure time lapses I took.

Jasyn Lucas - Flin Flon Station Museum Mural Banner

That said, the first night was brutal! It cooled off immensely and dropped to 10 degrees Celsius, I had trouble sleeping because it was so cold. The next day, I bought a sleeping bag, which increased my camping experience to the Fairmont level.

It seemed like we were the only ones who were actually camping, because everybody else in the area were in campers and motor homes. I actually preferred my experience to theirs!

The campground was exceptional because there was a washroom and shower facility that was well maintained. I never used to like camping, but I had a fun time despite myself. Bugs have always bothered me, but they didn’t this time around, even though there were bees everywhere (inside joke: Jasyn dislikes bees)! Hahaha.

Jasyn Lucas - Flin Flon Station Museum Mural Poster

I always thought Flin Flon was a nice town. The extreme hills and little shops remind me of a Canadian San Francisco neighborhood. I really enjoyed myself there and could easily see myself living in such a place. While The Pas has more conveniences, Flin Flon is just a prettier place, in my opinion.

I did a few things differently with this film aside from all the long exposure time lapses. I animated all my titles. I also stuck to a single music track, which kept the amount of content limited. Review times were greatly reduced as a result, and that sped up my workflow. I tried using Magic Bullet Looks to do my grading, but it was tedious and the interface wasn’t intuitive. I guess I’ll stick with manually color grading with Colorista II!

I think the coolest thing I did in this film had to be the animated photo. When we drove around one evening, we stopped at a cliff side overlooking the lake and town. I snapped a photo of Jasyn, and it seemed like a perfect opportunity in post production to experiment with a parallax effect using 3D in After Effects. I also used the Puppet Pin tool to simulate motion, and the results were amazing (to me, at least). I try to find a couple new techniques to experiment with in each film I make.

Jasyn Lucas - Flin Flon Station Museum Mural Panorama

The techniques I picked up while working on wedding videos for the past four months really culminated in this fantastic film. If I had started work on this before the wedding films, I don’t think it would have turned out as well as this did. Like Jasyn mentioned in this film, I can’t wait to pick up more techniques so I can further elevate my filmmaking skill set to the next level.

Lauren and Todd: A Wedding Film

This is the final wedding I filmed over the summer. It was a hot and humid 16 hours of non-stop guerrilla filming, and even though I didn’t wear my suit this time, it really didn’t feel any different!

I was introduced to Lauren and Todd through my brother, who met them in University. I’m pretty sure I met Todd at some point while visiting my brother. I’m about 71.3% sure (let’s see Todd calculate that one! :D). But even if I didn’t, I got to know both Lauren and Todd while filming and during post-production.

It was the first time I got to work with such a sweet couple. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my first two wedding film couples, but something about Lauren and Todd made me want to depict their story differently because of their “chemistry” (haha guys, I made another science joke for you).

Lauren and Todd - A Wedding Film Banner

Call me a sucker for romance or a big romantic at heart, but a major part of me are put into these wedding films. I say this because in the wise words of wedding photographer extraordinaire, Joe Buissink, “You can’t take a photo without leaving a piece of yourself.” The same rings true for film; every frame is a part of you.

It was the first time I got to use 16-35mm f2.8L and 100-400mm f3.5-4.5L glass. I tried to rent my favorites, but Vistek’s stock was all booked up by the time I made my rental order. Needless to say, the 16-35mm became a quick favorite of mine. I’ve since bought a Sigma 24-105mm f2.8 ART to keep the costs down, but I miss the short focal length of the 16-35mm.

The biggest challenge about this shoot was that Lauren wanted me to be as unobtrusive as possible. I chose glass with long focal lengths so that I could catch the action from afar, but every once in a while, I snuck in close so long as I didn’t get in the way, because shaky footage is inevitable with long shots using only a monopod. The audio was also difficult to capture, so I relied on the soundtrack to tell the story through emotional cues. I also spent more time in post production trying to balance the color temps of all the used clips so that the look would be more uniform. I eyeballed most of it, so it’s not perfect, but I didn’t have enough time to learn SpeedGrade or figure out how Magic Bullet Looks worked. With so many clips coming from different environments, it was difficult to unify temps accurately. The ending title was also a huge blunder; I did it in Premiere using the Pen Mask tool at first, frame by frame. Halfway through, I scrapped the whole idea and did it the right way in After Effects. Even now, I have no idea what I was thinking when I started doing that. So much time wasted, but I sure learned that lesson the hard way! An unexpected issue that I ran into was a lot of the clips were dark, so i had to really bring up the brightness until I was seeing high ISO grain. Since I did this with most of the clips, I used this as my overall look. The couple was so busy that I didn’t get a chance to have them record secret messages for each other. To compensate, I quickly put together two short vignettes during the photo shoots, so I hope they enjoy them.

Lauren and Todd - A Wedding Film Poster

With three wedding films under my belt, people have asked me why I enjoy making them so much. I recently joked with a fellow photographer that it’s probably because I’ve never been married or in a long-term relationship, so the wonder of marriage is still fun to me. Seriously though, I like it because marriage is a happy occasion for everybody involved. The bride gets to be the most beautiful woman for the day. The groom has to wait with anticipation to see her until the ceremony. There’s bad news in the media everywhere. Would I rather film the news or film a wedding? I guess the choice is just obvious to me.

The other part of it is that I love stories, especially about people. Weddings tell a story, and I get to be a part of that story and tell it to many people. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a filmmaker and that I make films. I’m not just a videographer, because that title is just technology focused. As a filmmaker, I’m an artist and films are my craft. I like to write stories, and film seemed to be the next logical step in my life.

Next year will be interesting, as I will start charging for my services. I wonder how many new couples I will meet?

Check out this project on my Behance portfolio!

Project Thompson HD: Episode 2

Dennis Foley returns in this episodic documentary series now officially named Project Thompson HD. In this episode, we sat down to talk with Rachel Chartrand-Templeton, a wonderful woman with a heart of gold who leads her team of dedicated people at Juniper Centre Inc., a facility serving the community’s individuals with special needs.

After the success of the first episode, Dennis was trying to secure a guest that would be a good follow-up to Jasyn Lucas, and he found it in Rachel, who keeps giving back to the community.

When it comes to the Juniper Centre, both Dennis and I are no strangers. Dennis has a personal history with the organization, while I have been serving their IT needs for many years. While I cannot speak for Dennis, one of our mutual friends, James, works at JCI (Juniper Centre Inc.), and he brought me in to help them out with their computer issues several years ago. After ending my career in IT, I decided to continue helping them out in a 100% donation basis, after seeing their budget constraints and big hearts for our community. I always feel welcome at JCI whenever I visit, and it’s Rachel who I’ve started to see as a person you can really open up to.

Project Thompson HD: Episode 2

This shoot was interesting, as it’s the first one I’ve done that utilized the majority of my film equipment in one session. I also learned a lot again, and I ended up purchasing a second lavalier mic for Dennis after seeing the vast difference between the lav and dynamic condenser mic. I’m also convinced that the Zoom H4n sounded really good to me during my first few shoots, but when I recorded using the lav mic, it showed me just how terrible the Zoom really is for my application. Using lavs will alleviate the issue for now, but I’m going to require a preamp (or a JuicedLink, hehehe) at some point if I want to move into film entertainment and continue using boom mics. I’m also running into challenges operating one camera. My editing work would greatly benefit from a second and third camera, but alas, I will have to wait and try out a few before I commit to buying again. The GH4 looks amazing, but the C100 also caught my eye despite its hefty price tag. I had also considered BlackMagic but I’m not too sure if I’d appreciate their workflows. Nevertheless, I need to rent them at some point during a job to see which one will work best for me.

Project Thompson HD: Episode 2 Poster

I hope you enjoy this video. Stay tuned for more later!

Check out this project on my Behance portfolio!