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URSA Mini 4k Test & Review | Coffee with Yuta

By on Nov 13, 2015 in Corporate, Life, Reviews, Travel, Weddings | 10 comments

I recently made a purchase on the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini camera, after falling in love with the image of the original URSA. I bought it from Videoguys here in Melbourne, Australia. After extensive reading & researching in whether to get the URSA 4.6k or 4k, I decided on the 4k. A large part of this was to do with affordability in the current time, but also one of the stronger features of the URSA Mini 4k – global shutter at 60p.  For me this feature is crucial as a lot of the time I’m doing things on my own, so its useful to have the option to stabilise my footage without the ‘jello’ effect for example. I also make use of a monopod all the time, and tend to do fake sliding shots on it. This is where you use your whole body weight and move the monopod forwards by leaning, then tilting the head upwards so that it stays level. Sometimes you get wobbly, so being able to straighten the shot is useful too. These are just some examples (also the fact that I shoot at lot of 60p too). Anyway, onto the test! I went out with my Japanese buddies here in Melbourne. Yuta works at a coffee shop out in South Melbourne called Clement Coffee. If you haven’t been there yet, I highly recommend checking it out! I wanted to experiment with some indoor shots with available natural & indoor lighting. It also had a wonderful colour palette inside the coffee shop, so it had a nice aesthetic too. I was shooting hand held, to simulate the type of work that I do on a weekly basis. My trusty FS100 is slightly lighter than the URSA, but thats due to the Magnesium build of the URSA I would think. The URSA is light in my hands, but I think the addition of a top handle would be really desirable, as it does strain your wrists after a while of holding the camera from the side grip when on standby. I think I’d be able to shoot a day with it hand held, but it’s going to need to be put down for sure. It’s light, but not as light as a feather. I shot this coffee scene only on a Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens. Didn’t need any more range considering it was quite tight for room in the shop. While shooting this, I did notice the skin-tones have a ‘thickness’ to it, like how Daniel Peter’s described it on Dan Chung’s podcast last week. It’s a breath of fresh air after using Sony cameras for so long. Whilst Sony cameras are really great for certain work, the URSA sensor is just far more superior in it’s colour science. Something I’ve been missing for quite some time! The screen is really quite handy, however I think I’ll invest in some kind of EVF in the future. When shooting outdoors in full sun light, it was sometimes hard to judge the exposure, especially if you don’t make use of the histogram as an example. So some shots in a later film I will release seemed to be a little over exposed. Nevertheless, for indoor application the screen is perfect. It’s a great size to look at, you can accurately judge focus especially with the great peaking system that is built into the URSA Mini. The one thing I noticed, which has been an issue with many Blackmagic Design cameras is the fixed pattern noise. If you download the original file, you will be able to see that in some parts, the dark areas have the presence of the FPN. It’s not as bad as it was in the past, but it’s still there. Hopefully this can be eradicated soon enough through firmware updates, and perhaps on the 4.6k sensor it’ll be gone all together! I used 2 Lexar 128gb CFAST 2.0 cards, which both had about 10 minutes each of ProRes HQ recording at 3840×2160. I would definitely recommend buying more of these babies if you are thinking of recording for a long period of time. In the battery department, I used a spare Globalmediapro 95w V-lock battery that I had lying around. It worked perfectly fine, and was only down to about 75% after a few hours. I was of course turning the camera on & off in this time, so it will be a different story if it were on constantly. I think it’s important to note that not all V-lock batteries will read a percentage to the camera (like mine). There is a compatibility list on the Blackmagic website somewhere, so if your battery doesn’t read a percentage, it will show 3 bars instead. Enough of me rambling on anyway, have a watch and see what you think. Will post another test film sometime in the near future!...

SHINE Japan (日本)

By on May 28, 2015 in Japan, Life, Travel | 0 comments

I am in Japan once more. Back a year later for Shine Japan, which is a large creative ministry event put on by The 4 Points Japan. It’s been a really wonderful time over here, not because it’s such a different culture to be enveloped in, but also because of what God has been doing over here. From the many visions & prayers that people have declared over this nation, to the various healings & testimonies that have come out of this week, hope is slowly being restored to the Japanese. This is a run down on what SHINE Japan is (english below) SHINE Japanは、祈りと伝道のイベント。ダイナミックにクリエイティブに伝道するためグ­ローバル・ディ・オブ・プレーヤーとグローバル・アウトリーチ・ディと協力します。 SHINE Japan is the culmination of connecting Prayer and Outreach, in coordination with the Global Day of Prayer and Global Outreach Day into one initiative to reach Japan with the Gospel in creative, dynamic ways. I’m really open about what I believe in, and that’s why I don’t really hide the stuff I do in my spare time from all the commercial work that I do on this blog. As Christians, we believe that worshipping God is not simply just an act of singing a song on a Sunday, but it’s a daily commitment to live out like Jesus did when he walked on this earth. It means to truly do everything that you do with faith and with the full commitment to glorifying God. This is why I’ve chosen to fly over to Japan and use my craft to help make a difference in other people’s lives. Capturing and documenting the moments in which the Holy Spirit moves is incredibly important to reach a generation that is so visually literate. 7Media, who I met up with last year in Japan have been here for the last 5 or so years involved in different film projects. With a lot of momentum now, the quality of work coming out of this production company is top notch, and it’s brilliant to be able to work with such like minded people as well as skilled. Every day they have been bumping out these updates on what is happening this week, and with 2 more days left in this event, I encourage you all to keep following along every morning as we bring you the latest from over here. Oh,  I was also involved in a very special project that 7Media produced on the weekend, however I’ll keep this a secret until it’s finished. Lets just say it’s going to involve some baseball. I guarantee it’s going to be very very cool. Be...

ドードーの空 (Dodo no Sora)

By on Feb 5, 2015 in Corporate, Travel | 0 comments

Happy new year everyone! What a great start it has been to 2015. I traversed across the globe back to Japan, where I hung out with my girlfriend (Nao-chan) and had many good times. However, during this trip I also had the opportunity to make a promotional film for Nao’s parents Cafe. It’s a tiny little place hidden away in the backstreets of Sangenjaya over in Tokyo. However, it’s been getting a whole bunch of attention in recent times. There’s a website called Spacemarket (spacemarket.com), which essentially is a place to list a space that you own, so that other’s can rent it out per hour. It’s almost like the concept of AirBnB except it’s solely for events. So you’ll find some very interesting and unique spaces up on that website! Dodonosora is listed as one of the top places to rent on the website, and so with the launch of their new website (which was designed by my good friend Jireh Lee) I thought it’d be a great little gift to Nao’s parents to create something that can be used to further promote the space for events and just for regular cafe use also. The initial concept was to really tell a story about Takako-san (Nao’s mother) and her cafe. I didn’t really have an idea developed because I’ve never been there, and was living 8000 km’s from the cafe. Made it hard to plan something! However when I came together with Jireh he had a brilliant idea of using the poem which is on her website, and using this as a voice over on top of some music. It’s a really pretty letter, so cute and motherly, which is the essential feel of the cafe too. Production only took a few hours, as we had a solid idea of shots we needed after a brief discussion. We shot on Jireh’s new LX100 (in 4k) to test out the capabilities. It’s quite a nifty little device, and creates some gorgeous images in a controlled environment! You can see the shots in the video which is posted below. There were a few film crews that used this space while I was staying there for 2 weeks, including local news which did a segment on Spacemarket. Dodonosora was featured in the story because of it’s reputation on the website. Enjoy the film! It’s got a very homey, motherly, warm & happy cafe feel. Here is the narration translation done by Nao, which is the voice that you hear in the film. Yume tte iiyone. A Dream is something very special. Sore wo omou dake de yaru ki ga deru. When you think about a dream, it motivates you. Ganbarou, ganbaranakucha tte omoeru. It motivates you to do more and go for more. Watashi wa kimi tachi mitai ni yume wo akiramenai hito tachi ga daisuki desu. I love dreamers like you who don’t give up on your dreams. Dakara sou iu hito tachi no tame no basho wo tsukuri mashita. That’s why I made a place for dreamers like you. Hontou wa ganbarete nai, mou akirametai, somosomo yume nanka arya shinai.. `I’m not doing enough’ ‘I want to give up’ ‘I don’t even have a dream’.. Iroiro iitai koto wa aru darou kedo toriaezu uchi ni oide. I know you have lots on your mind, but for now, just come over. Guchi wo kobosu mo yoshi, ko-hi- de nagasu mo yoshi. You cal complain all about your day wash it away with a cup of coffee. Koko wa sonna kimi tachi ga katani seotteru mono wo orosu basho dakara. This place is where you can get all your burdens off of your shoulders. Sonna kimi tachi, soudemonai kimi tachi, minna kite iiyo. Dreamers like you, Non-dreamers like you, Everyone, just come over. Hahano futokoro wa kimi tachi no souzou yori mo zutto fukain desu. A mothers arms can hold a lot more than you think. Onaka ippai no lunch to, hoppeta ochichau sweets to, kokoro ochitsuku coffee wo youi shite matte masu. A satisfying lunch plate, the sweetest deserts, and a comforting coffee will be waiting for you here. I will always be waiting for you here. Haha...

Jacob & Esau

By on Sep 2, 2014 in Crowdfunding, Ethical, Life, Pozible, Travel | 0 comments

One of my latest projects that i’ve been working on (and quite possibly one of my favourites!) has been a film for the Pozible campaign of Jacob & Esau. This is a little bit about J&E, taken from their website. Jacob & Esau is an ethical fashion label based in Melbourne, Australia. While there are many ways for us to be sustainable, we have chosen to focus on the people who make our clothes. For our first collection, we have teamed up with local garment makers in Bali, Indonesia. Kholil and Wiwik are a husband and wife team who recently started running their sewing business from home. We have chosen to support and invest in their home business vision. This was in fact started by 2 of my friends from church & life, Jo & Esther. Both have come together from different educational backgrounds, with a passion for people & fashion. It’s truly a wonderful thing when you can really make a difference in someones life through such a unique initiative! The film I created was determined to be short right from the first meeting with these 2 lovely ladies. The thing with Pozible campaigns, or with any online film, is that a longer film which swamps you with information is in fact very disengaging. Research, statistics & findings are all pointing to the fact that people these days are beginning to develop shorter attention spans with the influx of current technologies, and the entire ‘instant consumer’ mindset. So to cater to this, its really worth getting creative, and try to pack a punch in a short amount of time. The film was completely done in Bali, Indonesia. We went for 1 week, to meet with suppliers, do a bit of research, find fabrics and meet the beautiful couple which will work on the first collection. The idea with the people creating the garments, is that there will eventually be more and more tailors getting on board and joining forces with J&E. All these people will also be featured on the J&E website, accessible through a unique code which is attached to each garment. This will give you a unique insight into how these people live, where they come from and really gives you a sense of attachment to the clothes you bought because you know exactly who made it. The slow motion footage I thought would give a very nice nostalgic & reflective feel, but also would be slow enough to retain detail in the shots. Considering the song I chose by Seryn was a little bit of a higher tempo, this worked pretty well with fitting in detail with short amounts of time. I usually run through the process of mapping out ever single beat as markers in Premiere Pro, giving me references points for when to cut J&E are all about people, so I also wanted this to really be a central component to the film. I wanted to show a lot of the authentic joyful moments to give viewers a sense of reality, to make them be seen as regular people who just really want to make a difference in this world. It was also meant to be rather fun, so combining all these elements I think it really had a lasting impact by the time you get to the final logo appearance in the film. The interviews were all completed within a couple of hours, in-between customers, roosters & traffic! Its definitely a loud place, so background noise is going to be there. However I think it gave the footage a bit of a charm in a way, it really wouldn’t be Bali with out the hustle and bustle of life! This is the type of clientele I’d love to be involved with in the future. Its a brilliant thing when you are apart of something that will truly invest in something greater. So please support this brilliant cause, and help them start this movement! Go to their Pozible page here > http://www.pozible.com/project/185814 Also visit their website & facebook page to find out more!  And without further ado, here is the final product....

The Pong 2014

By on Aug 16, 2014 in Life, Travel | 0 comments

Finally! A new post for the masses. I’ve been out of action on the blogosphere for sometime, I’ve been busy busy! This has been one of my latest projects that I’ve finished, which is linked into my previous trip to Thailand & Cambodia. I was there earlier in the year filming with Adrian Rowse, capturing footage for this promo film that I have just finished cutting! The idea of the PingPongAThon is that a group of guys get together to play table tennis. Mind you, it’s for 24 hours. These guys raise money to bring awareness to sexual trafficking of boys in south east asia. The money goes to organisations and NGO’s working on the front lines of this dark industry. I cut it in about a 2 days, with a very keen grin. It actually is a bit of fun cutting together some dubstep paddle smashes, especially with middle aged men! It shows a great comedic skilful side to the event, but also the dark dreary facts behind why these guys are doing what they are doing. This year there are about 25 events running all around Australia, a big step up from last year which was under 10 events. There will be about 1,000 guys taking part in this, with a goal to reach about $100,000 this year. Looking at previous year trends, the amounts have been consistently doubling. So here’s hoping that this I’ve created can really speak some conviction &  inspiration into men all around Australia. This is one of the God given things I live for, for my films to inspire and to bring forth change in people’s lives. Please enjoy this little film, it’s only short. But be inspired, be bold – and join in on the fun! Go visit www.pingpongathon.com for more information....

Neko

By on Jun 21, 2014 in Life, Travel | 1 comment

Community Arts Tokyo has a fantastic vision which I have come to love over the last week. I first contacted Abi & Roger Lowther over a year ago to see if I could come check out their ministry in Tokyo, and see what I could potentially do with them! I honestly didn’t know to much about them before I met them, as it was really hard to get in contact since they are so incredibly busy! One of the things they lack currently is an office space, and an events space to really work at full capacity in their ministry. This will happen eventually I’m sure, there are just some interesting road blocks for christian organisations in Japan. Community Arts Tokyo (or CAT as we all refer to it now hah!) has a real focus on using art to bring together a community of people, to reach out to those who don’t know christ, but also to encourage people to use their god given talents & gifts too. Art honestly is such a broad term, so any form under that banner will fly. At the start of the week they had a artist gathering at their place, which is a time for people to just connect with each other over food, and to show each other what they have been working on artistically & creatively. A large number of the people that attended were indeed musicians! (Incredibly talented musicians I must add!).    Im not sure how often this event happens, but I think every month. Nevertheless, its a way to connect with all kinds of people. Everyone is not a christian at this event, but is does bring up a good opportunity to speak about life while you share a common interest. And considering art is also the lifeblood of the Japanese people it’s such a perfect way to really engage with the locals. The projects i’m working on with CAT are quite simple actually. One is a fundraising film for one of the interns who has been living here for a couple of years. This simple involves cutting together some interview footage with my own overlay which I have filmed while here in Japan. It will mostly be footage of local life in Japan, to illustrate how beautiful the people and the country are, but also to highlight the spiritual thirstiness of the people. The second project involved doing some street interviews! Now this was very interesting. We went in thinking that as foreigners (myself, Ellie who is one of the interns, and Drew who is a pastor at a church) we’d have a much easier time of getting people to stop for the camera and answer a question or 2.  Unfortunately most people are so busy here that they don’t stop to give you their time. We did end up with 8 interviews in the end, but we were asking a LARGE amount of people. The purpose of the interviews was asking Japanese people about the 10 Commandments. Grace City Tokyo, who is associated with CAT are creating a sermon series on this topic, and wanted to really try something new and use video & film to engage the congregation a bit more. The concept of a film opening up a sermon in Australia is not new, but here it’s revolutionary! The third project is a music video for a song they composed. This is definitely something that other churches haven’t done much of, if at all. Usually you get someone who recorded a band playing on their phone, but nothing professionally made like a music video! That is a little more straight forward. It will involve filming 2 different locations, and they will be linked by a mobile phone selfie which will be sent between the 2 locations. The idea is that there isn’t a difference on where you worship, whether its at home or in church. And it also promotes the idea of a community getting together and doing something artistic! There will be a backing track with timing, and I will film each instrument once through. It’s the easiest and best use of time, because I can simply multiclip a sequence out of all of the footage! So this will be shot tomorrow, along side the OMF project which is starting tomorrow too! More on that in my next post! Enjoy your weekend my friends! Peace...