We just made a short behind the scenes video of the iPad shoot (it is also in the Video section of the blog).
Please know that this was completely experimental and we learned a lot. Here are some of our takeaways:
1. If we had any sort of budget, we would have created a rig to hold all 100 iPads. As it turned out, we had to use students to hold the iPads so we had to use 38 instead of 100. The rigs we designed that would have held the weight and the angle of the iPads would have cost too much money (I was willing to shell out $50 or so but our designs would have cost even more).
2. Using people to hold the iPads caused a huge variable of the angle of the view. Consistency was a huge issue.
3. The inability to change the focal length and with only one zoom option of the iPad camera, we could not “zoom” in enough to get rid of the background elements, especially the bodies of the encircled students.
4. With everything else being discussed in the planning and design phase, we were able to actually test the camera quality of these iPads and, as you see, they really struggle in low light. If we redo this experiment, we will have to film outside with a lot of light and with a acceptable rig for all 100 iPads.
Here is the video the students created this past spring semester using 38 iPad Airs to record the action of the scene, including the frozen action spin move that was made famous by the Matrix movies.
There were some complications and some things we could have done better, but it was a simple experiment that could be adapted in the future for better results.
With another semester in the books, I realized I had a lot of old footage from students over the years. I had created a reel about three years ago with about a year and a half of footage from that point. Now, I am unveiling the new one created for the last two and a half years.
In addition to this video, I have added a few more student videos to the video page of this blog so check them out when you get a chance.
Also, the iPad camera shoot video that spoofs the Matrix will be posted soon but there is an accompanying behind-the-scenes video that we are trying to finish first.
Here is a great video episode from the comedy series “Community” that encompasses a lot of the passion we see from our film students in making their own “masterpieces.”
If you don’t already watch “Community” on Yahoo, I would greatly recommend it.
Community: Season 6/Episode 8
I encourage you to check out this latest video from the creative minds that brought you “Smellovision,” Paige Fischer and Meghan Oney (with some special acting from some talented family members).
I will be adding it soon to the Video section of this blog (along with some other newer additions from this semester – so check back soon) but I wanted to give you a look at the great art that is coming from our campus.
The video was completed for CST 250 (Art of the Film).
Jonathan Balsamo (pictured above) and Chris Stallings had the pleasure of visiting students at Woodbridge High School and discussing some aspects of the film program at the Woodbridge campus of NOVA.
You can see the RED Epic camera pictured here in the photo. Students can learn to work on this cinema camera.
For a sampling of some of the classes offered here on campus, please refer to the “About” section of this blog site. In addition, please feel free to contact Chris Stallings (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any further questions about what is offered.
Film student Aaron Kimmel took this overhead photo of some of the action of our iPad shoot on Monday. Notice the action in the middle surrounded by the students and lights in the background.
We will post more about this event in the coming days. Everyone should be getting online and enrolling for film classes for this coming fall semester.
Now is the time to start thinking about your summer and fall classes. Please consider Video I (PHT 130) or Video II (PHT 131) in the fall or Film Appreciation (CST 151 or 152).
I will give more details in the coming days.
Students from PHT 130 (Video I) will be using 90 iPads to recreate the famous freeze frame special effect when movement is “frozen” and the eye of the camera revolves completely around it.
Students from many different classes will be aiding the film students in completing this tricky maneuver.
We will have more visuals at the completion of the video but if anyone is interested in participating, please come to the Black Box Theater in the WAS building this coming Monday, April 20th, at 10:30am and stay and help out for thirty minutes until 11:00.
It is always rewarding when our film/video students are able to find work in the industry, either on a volunteer/intern basis or in a paying “gig,” whether it is freelance production work or more steady employment.
One of our students (Paige Fischer) worked as an intern at 522 Productions in Alexandria, Virginia last fall (2014) semester and did such a wonderful job she was hired onto their team.
In fact, I happened upon a video on their Website where she appears in their “Approach” video for the company’s site. See her in the background of the screen capture below.
Paige Fischer in content video for 522 Productions
This semester we have a student (Evan Roseberry) from our Video I class last semester who is interning there this semester. I am confident he will enjoy the same level of success as Paige.
Thank you very much to 522 Productions and the other local companies with whom we have partnered to give experience to our students and let them explore their own creativity while also exploring job opportunities.