poppy field

Having spent the best part of 40 years looking through a viewfinder of some sort, sitting in front of a computer editing photos or videos, producing websites and managing social media accounts, it’s a very strange feeling to now say when asked, “I’m retired".

Despite no longer taking on commercial paid work, it’s virtually impossible to suddenly stop what you’ve been doing for the best part of your working life so, for the past 24 months I’ve been taking on work on a ‘pro-bono’ basis for church, charity or voluntary organisations. I hope that my experience, skills and equipment can now be put to good use to those who perhaps, don’t have the budget or funding to produce what they want or need for their media requirements.

The following 'blog' items are a mixture, some from when I was working commercially and now, some new items that might be of interest.

Recce becomes a shoot

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A member of our Chapel recently expressed an interest in doing some ‘Mini Messages’ for the Chapel YouTube page. He asked about using ‘cue cards’ and I explained I had a Datavideo TP-300 autocue unit, he’d not seen one in use so suggested I visit his location to do a demo.

He sent me his script which I loaded to iCue on full size iPad, when I arrived and showed him how easy it was to read his script while looking at the camera, he asked if I could shoot the piece there and then.
We picked the location and moved his tractor out so he could sit on the front wheel, while he went off to change into a more suitable shirt and jacket (and get his cap!) I setup the camera, a 4K JVC HM170 (the first outing of a recent eBay acquisition) and the autocue along with a Sony ECM77 tie-clip and a Sennheiser MKE66 with a basket and dougal as backup audio.

We started the shoot using iCue set to a speed of 5, within a minute or two he asked if I could speed it up slightly which I did, he then proceeded to do do the whole 12 minute piece in one take with all the inflection and emphasis of a professional who’d done it many times before!

When we’d finished he said ‘that was so easy I’m off to write a second script I’ve had in mind for a while”.

I packed up the gear to go home to edit in Resolve and upload to YouTube, back home I found I’d ‘lost’ the camera screw to mount the camera on the Datavideo TP-300 unit, an email exchange with Holdan Technical and they offered to sent me a new screw out FOC, so a big shout out and thank you to Holdan Technical.

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