Fast yo-yo’ing at the Zion Gate

Jerusalem is full of history. There are eight gates in the wall of the Old City. Joseph thought it was a good idea to use all the gates to highlight his yo-yo skills. We started off at the Zion Gate.
I just got a new macbook and it can scrub much faster, enabling me to experiment more. I always liked fast cut edits, but rarely did ’em since it gets to be very tedious with slow computers. Now, that option is wide open!


Hummus from scratch

When I tasted hummus for the first time in the U.S., I thought it tasted like chalk powder. No wonder — the store stuff probably has been sitting there for days, full of preservatives.
This recipe, utilizing baking soda, is pure goodness. It’s fast and produces taste well beyond everything else I consumed.

30 minute TV show shot with hacked GH2

We have been using a professional graded Sony camcorder to shoot 30 minute TV shows. The footage I’ve been getting was ‘blah’ at best. There is no shallow depth of field to speak of, and the excessive video noise, no matter how much we crank up the light, was driving me up the walls.
One day, I decided to shoot the whole episode using my GH2, figuring that it can’t be any worse than sony. It turn out a little soft, probably due to not focusing right on the money. Regardless, the show looked filmy compared to the Sony professional camcorder. The entire B-roll was also shot with GH2.

“That’s a RAP” Episode 1: Three-camera edit about graffiti

This shoot of the pilot show “That’s a RAP” was interesting since we mixed three completely different beasts; Panasonic GH2, Canon T3i and Sony HVR-Z5. Plural Eyes came in handy for matching up all the videos and a Zoom external sound recorder on the timeline.
I did a rough job on color correction in the beginning, matching up the cameras close as possible, thinking that I could fine-tune it after the edit. However, I learned too late that it is much more time-consuming to do it after chopping up all the clips and creating multiple nested sequences, so I left it. Note to myself – color correct first when the edit is complex, especially with multiple cameras and several nested sequences.
In overall, however, I am pleased with the way it turned out. Of course, it could be better, but the most important thing was getting it done in time. I am especially delighted with how GH2 performed for low-light indoor graffiti slide shots. Some of them were shot in ISO 1600 at f1.7 with Lumix 20mm Pancake, and they turned out crisp and clean. $7000 Sony HVR-Z5 is still giving us excess video noise problems. It needs to be replaced with either FS100; better yet, FS700!

Fence climbing goats

I was at Jericho for an assignment. As soon as I got out of the car, I noticed all the goats going nuts over all the greens. Some of them were ingenious enough to climb on the fence to get the best parts of the plant. I have seen mountain goats on TV, but I never thought domestic goats would do something like this. It was fun video’ing them for five minutes, to show the world that Jericho is rich with bible history and fence climbing goats!
The bible verse in the beginning was composited in with After Effects. I was polishing up my tracking skills with Mocha.

30 minute TV show production

My main job nowadays is to shoot, edit and produce 30 minute shows to be broadcast around the world. This is one of the first edits. It has lots of great shots from the Gaza Strip. My little GH2 is an awesome little camera that does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of each event. 20mm pancake is a an excellent low light lens, especially for indoors where I have to use whatever natural light that is available. However, I am quite disappointed with a professional Sony HD camera we use to record the sermon. The amount of noise it produces it unacceptable and it simply is not very crisp. My old $400 Sony cx100 looked better.
Anyway, the show will get better as it matures. I am pretty satisfied with the look and feel of it at the moment.

Glidecam packed one minute commercial

The Living Bread International Church facilitates tours for spiritual minded individuals.  My job in last 10 days was to document the whole event and create a commercial for TV shows we are about to create.  The one below took very little time to create since I shot almost all the footage with edit in mind.  Glidecam HD 1000 was used in every location since it’s more exciting to watch than static shots.  I am going to sell my Merlin Steadicam.  I simply could not stop it from swinging side by side.  I think it’s a design flaw for lighter cameras such as GH2.


Baptism, Dead Sea and Glidecam

I just got done video’ing a tour group facilitated by Living Bread Church where I am a media guru. It was a 10 day shoot of carrying around a Glidecam and a camera backpack all day. It’s a good thing that GH2 is so light!
All the footage, some of the spectacular, is a property of the church, but Pastor Karen was kind enough to let me use a few clips for a personal family video.

Dome of Rock

We had a rare opportunity to tour the inside of Dome of Rock Mosque yesterday. Controversy notwithstanding, it is full of history. I brought my steadicam and took some nice footage.