5 February 2016

ST MONICA TRUST

Last year I spent two days filming at a retirement village in Somerset for St Monica Trust. Contrary to what you might think it was massive amounts of fun, we could all learn a thing or two from 90 year olds, they had more energy than me.

One of the highlights of the shoot was driving through Cheddar Gorge at 1am, and before you ask, yes it was amazingly creepy. Check out all the lovely residents below.

 

21 January 2016

CLOGAU - HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES

In August 2015 I filmed at some amazing locations for the latest Clogau campaign. Over five days I filmed at Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey and Pembroke Castle. It was quite an experience to be the only people at these amazing locations that are steeped in so much history.


I particularly enjoyed being at Hampton Court Palace as it has so many different areas to explore. Pembroke Castle was also incredible as it's over 900 years old and I got to direct my first aerial drone shoot there.
Check out the videos below.

   CLOGAU COMPOSE


   CLOGAU - GOLD OF ROYALTY


   CLOGAU - BEHIND THE SCENES

5 January 2016

DJI OSMO TEST

Happy 2016!

Over the holidays I hired a DJI Osmo to play around with, so here's a few quick thoughts on it. Essentially it was a lot of fun to use, I loved being able to get extremely low or high angle shots with absolute ease. The gimbal itself works amazingly well, responding to movement quickly and accurately. I only had to calibrate it a couple of times which you can do at the press of a button, and calibration only takes around 30 seconds.

The downside is the camera, the Osmo comes with the Zenmuse X3 camera which has a 1/2.3 sensor. After trying the various resolutions and frame rates I can say that 4K (UHD 3840x2160) is the best. I tried shooting 120fps in HD but the quality is terrible, basically unusable, 50fps is ok but still not great. Due to the size of the sensor it's not that good in low light, so I'd recommend only using it in very well lit situations, mainly outside on sunny days. However the dynamic range is not great and quite often I found the sky to be completely overexposed. I will admit I had everything on auto and didn't delve into the manual settings at all so that might help. You can use the newer Zenmuse X5 cameras with the Osmo handle, they give you a 4/3 sensor for better dynamic range and a M43 mount so you can use different lenses, but with a hefty price bump.

The best thing about the Osmo is how easy and intuitive it is to use. Relatively complicated camera moves can be accomplished on the fly without practice. You can also use the thumb-stick to manually move the camera but I never found it necessary. The front trigger is very useful, with a quick double-tap the camera resets itself to a forward facing position.

I don't think the Osmo will find it's way onto any film sets any time soon, it's not a patch on a decent camera with a steadicam or big gimbal, but obviously it's not meant to compete with them. It's definitely useful if you're a self-shooter working within corporate, or a no/low budget filmmaker looking to get the odd cool shot here and there.

Below is a variety of footage I shot over Christmas whilst on dog walks with my family. As such most of the footage is 'following shots', which personally I love but some might find boring. Either way it should give you an idea of what the Osmo can do during impromptu situations. Put simply it's a lot of fun to use.
(Yes I added a 2.35:1 crop to try and make it more cinematic, that silly old trick).
DJI Osmo Test from Jamie Hooper on Vimeo.

17 December 2015

DARK DRAMA MOOD BOARD

In early 2016 I'll be shooting my next short film. It's a departure from my usual type of work and much more serious in tone. The film will be very visually dark, with lots of hazy backlighting and contrasty imagery.

Something I always do once I've finalised a script is create a mood board as it helps me visualise the mood and tone of the film. This time I've created two mood boards, both comprised of cinematography from some amazing films, but they're separated by aspect ratio, one being 1.85:1, the other 2.35:1.

Check them out below and see how many films you recognise. (Click for higher res).


2 November 2015

CINEMA JAM HOOP

The lovely people at Cinema Jam have been kind enough to make me their Jammer of the Month on their magazine The Spread. The interview covers such topics as my approach to filmmaking, why my films tend to be dark comedies, and my previous films including Plastic Love and Terry and BrendaRead my ramblings here.