During the move to California, I found one of my really old point and click digital zoom cameras – a Nikon Coolpix L820 with 30x optical zoom. It’s a 7 year old entry level point and shoot camera and has 1080p video at 30fps. The image quality is barely okay. However, it does have 30x optical zoom.
On a whim, I shot some footage of birds and trees from my deck and cut it together with an opera 😛
The goal was to see what I could do with a severely limited camera.
However, given its specs (impressive autofocus, built-in ND and ability to shoot 4K and 120fps in HD) and ability to shoot Hybrid Log Gamma (Sony HLG2 and HLG3) along with other Cinematic profiles (Cine2/3, SLog2/3)… I think it’s an indie filmmaker’s delight… something better that might be worthwhile to consider instead of an iPhone or a GoPro.
I got my hands on one recently and am putting it through the paces — testing out the out-of-the-box profiles as well as moving on to car mount and flying on a gimbal scenarios. I intend to use it for my next short film “The First Rule” — a noir short that takes place mostly in a car (scheduled for Dec 2020/Jan 2021 shooting).
Here are some preliminary test videos I shot with it.
There’s no easy way to say this and I’ve been putting off posting this for a while.
Our puppy Kuma passed away on Sep 8th. He managed to slip off his collar at a rest area in Valmy, Nevada (during our cross-country drive) and ran on to I-80. He was hit by a car and died instantly.
He was barely 11 months old.
We missed his positive energy and his energetic presence that filled our lives so much that the next week or so seemed like a bad dream. We are slowly getting used to life without our lively “little” bundle of energy.
We are so grateful to Sheriff Ron Unger of Landerso County, NV for helping us bury Kuma and the kind people of Valmy, NV for helping us get his body down from the busy interstate.
We had adopted Kuma from Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, MA and he left such an indelible impression on all of us in his short but bright life.
To honor Kuma’s memory, we’ve decided to adopt Georgie, a 6 month old German Shepherd, from rescue. Georgie was hit by a car as a puppy and was left in a literal garbage dump to die. His injuries healed on their own and he walks with a limp. He’s now due for surgery to fix his dislocated hip. Georgie was rescued by the wonderful folks at Calpaws K9 Rescue You can read about Georgie’s story here
On a separate note, This is the very last footage we have of Kuma, filmed at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Later that day, he passed away.
It took me some time to come to terms with his loss and to even look at this footage. I thought it best to make this video to remember him as the playful puppy that he was, who filled our lives with so much positive energy in the short time we spent with him.
As I mentioned before, I set a personal goal to learn the craft of film-making over 2019-20. As part of this, some friends and I made our first film called “LATHE“. The film is now online for public viewing at the following links:
Since we made the short film as an amateur crew starting our journey towards learning the art and craft of film-making, I’ve decided to share the screenplay and storyboards for the same in the hopes that it helps the next enthusiastic crew as a possible starting point / learning curve “shortener”. 🙂 However, before you read the screenplay, we request that you do watch the short film first to avoid spoilers 🙂
About the script and the breakdowns
Since it’s a short film and I knew I’d be shooting and editing it, the script isn’t too formal. I was basically writing directions for the cast and myself (as the cinematographer) as well as for storyboarding.
My frequent comic book collaborator Vinay Brahmania was kind enough to storyboard the script which was more or less what the end result was shot as. We ended up taking out a few shots and adding some B-roll footage to give it a bit of breathing space, otherwise we followed Vinay’s breakdowns very faithfully. 🙂
You can download and read the shooting draft of the screenplay and the storyboards/breakdowns via the Google Drive links below.
As I had posted sometime ago, I decided to devote 2019 towards learning the art of making short films. Today I wrapped up the screenplays for all three of my planned shorts. Happy with the plan and execution. We already shot the first one and will be reshooting parts of it next week. The second one will be shot mid-October and the last one before end of the year.
I learned a lot by trying to write and make these shorts. All three of the short movies deal with some aspect of reality and I had a boatload of fun trying to write zero budget shorts with cosmic/supernatural undertones, casting them with my friends, and finally trying to get them made.
I couldn’t have done this without the help and support of my friends, co-workers and mentors. So hearty thanks to you all and now down to the brasstacks to wrap them all up.