Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
Being on a low-budget-current-affair-one-week shoot on the
In my opinion, it’s incredible difficult to run a business in
The not falling behind thing is almost impossible due to the fact that internet on the
The not falling behind thing is almost impossible due to the fact that internet on the
I wish the budget allowed us to do the mobile studio filming with some lights. I ended bouncing the sunlight from my golden reflector into the studio and as long as there were clear skies, it did the job just fine. No back light unfortunately, but a beautiful golden glow. Ever since I started traveling with my microphone boom pole I believe I have added nice subtle production value to my web casts. The down side to the boom pole setup is that I need more man power, but now there are no more unnecessary microphones in the shot and the M66’s audio is just perfect.
I put in an extra effort to track down some epic musicians for the edits. Music is just as vital to a good edit as story and pictures. Sometimes I believe more than 50 % of the edits go down to the soundtrack. It really has to be a complete package from story to picture to sound. Being the producer I am the one with the vision of what I want to achieve with the production. How the music and the pictures will set a mood and feeling to the event. At the end of the day I need to be happy with the edit and once that happens the chance is pretty good that the audience will also be satisfied.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
The biggest problem is that you set goals for yourself and when you reach them naturally you want to go bigger and better when the next project comes your way. Well, maybe not everybody is like that, but I know the Walsers are certainly built in this manner. With this job it was no different, but to achieve it I had to convince the client that if he wants to raise the bar further he has to increase the budget. I am not a particular great sales person, but this time round I knew that it was the only way to go forward, especially after the Parlotones blending film. In some ways you shoot yourself in the foot since this particular client might take longer to commission me again. The thing is the additional cost will go purely towards the hiring of better equipment to add production value and not more money in my pocket. The flip side of spending the money on the gear and stay humble is a mind-blowing end product that is not going to stand back for anything. If we want to take on the big guns and play in the 30 sec commercial space we better start pulling out a few more stops. This will however mean that I cannot blame the equipment anymore. If the commercial is not good now, then its just me who is not good enough.
I planed the ad pretty well, but with all the country hopping misunderstandings kept on crawling in. So much that 3 days before the shoot the only thing that we had left was the Cape Grace’s Bascule bar and their yacht. We hung on to our false hopes and my brother Pieter, the client and I held an urgent Skype call meeting. The question was should we terminate the project and delay it for a later stay. Walking away from it now was a crazy sinking thought. We came so far and now stopping? This kind of talk just inspired me more that we can make this thing work. Getting so close and then ending up not doing it was not what I wanted to hear and in my eyes no option.
Miracle after miracle started rolling in and we solved the problems one by one. I had to alter the script slightly, but mostly for the better. Just as we had thought we dealt with all the issues and found solutions for the problems the Cape Grace told us that there has been a misunderstanding and we cannot have the bar and the boat for the shoot anymore. It was the only two things that we actually had and the reason why we were committed not to abandoning the commercial. Loosing this would mean in theory we have nothing.
With a great deal of praying and Gods Grace over the Cape Grace we went in full blown on Thursday morning for the 2 day shoot. Things just fell in place like it was always going to be and so much better than we originally planned. I never had any doubt that it was going to work out, but when we lost the yacht and bar I was pretty disappointed about the entire affair. To cut a very long wonderful story short it was a big success and I am looking forward to dig into the editing. There are a lot of people worth mentioning that without them this ad would have been nothing at all. Thanks so much guys for sticking with us through the experience and help making it happen.
Steve Straker – (Hands on Wine). Siskha Brand – (Hands on Wine). Pieter Walser – (BLANKbottle) Planning, Actor, Assistant. Wilhelm Walser – Sound, Runner, Gaffer. Aneen Walser – Fill in actor, Make-up. Juan Slabbert – Fill in Actor, Runner. Allan Mullins (Woolworths) –, Actor. Ivan Oertle (Woolworths) – Actor. Okkie Slabbert – Actor. Johan Slabbert – Actor. Rob Kellerman – Band. Fred May – (Shofar) Band, Matthew May – Band, Ira van der Merwe – Shofar. Johan – Bodyguard. Calab Heymann– (Red One Africa) Camera Technician. Mario – Kaapseklopse. Andrew Rosettenstein – (Cape Grace). Eldine – Make-up artist. Christian and Alana Walser – Transport, Catering, Manfred Thieroff – Navy mission. Beba Hauptfleisch – Support, and finally the big master in the heavens, God for making the impossible happen. Ooh boy we would have been lost without Him.
Editing will probably start in the next few weeks. Just need a little bit of sleep first.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
The film started and the attention was fixed to the screen. I concentrated on the quality of the sound and wasn’t really nervous. Everything went perfect and the people loved the 7 min short film. There after the Parlotones played live and unplugged for the guests. The guys gave it all and it was an incredible experience. Together with the band rocking, we drank the Parlotones’ wine – Giant Mistake. It couldn’t have been a better evening. There I stood in one of the most luxurious hotels in Cape Town, signing Giant Mistake Bottles, with media from all over and rocking with the Parlotones after watching our film. For sure a highlight of my career. Go and visit www.theparlotoneswine.com and enjoy the film yourself.
My last day in Australia ended on a pretty relaxed high note. After packing all the gear back in its boxes I went for a final quick surf. It was perfect. 3 ft left peeling sand bottom point break with only a hand full of surfers out. I had the opportunity to shake off all the hard work of the past weeks and just forget about all the responsibilities and enjoyed the surfing.
Monday, 7 September 2009
For my trip to Australia, to cover the World Waveski Titles, I needed a new hard drive to back up my files. I read that LaCie drives are 'no good mate...' I do have 4 of them, but I am still of the old school, shooting onto tape. When I got to Zurich, I found that the price of the G-Drive I intended to buy was increased by CHF 200.- and this was not within my budget. I decided to scrap the original plan and went across the road to the first Apple dealer and bought another LaCie 500G for half the price of the G-Drive.
Emirates is really the nicest airline I have ever flown with. Firstly, 30kg of luggage is allowed on board - a gorilla filmmaker's dream! How cool!! Then probably the best of all was that we flew with the new A-380 monster Airbus. Whoooo... what an amazing plane. Wide Screen TVs, epic food, even power at your seat to charge your MacBook Pro for that last minute edits at 10 000 ft.
Many more meant-to-be's took me safely to Australia and all the way to my job. By now I have completed several news feeds that are available from www.subgraviti.com/worlds09. Check it out!
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
What a hard weekend. All for just 30 seconds. Anybody that’s not part of this filming world would not understand how much work goes into a 30 second commercial. I most certainly forgot.
After picking up all the hired equipment with a huge van, my navigation system sent me all around Frankfurt. Navigation systems and I am great friends. I remember so clearly how it once sent me right though a parking lot. I even had to get a ticket. At least I got out without paying. Imagine that.....
On Friday I made my way to my final destination. I wanted to set up all the gear the night before to make sure I was not wasting any time during filming. Saturday morning my assistant/ cameraman/ director/ lighting/ gaffer arrived and around 8 we started setting up outside in the street. All the actors arrived shortly after that and final practice and make-up was in full swing. Just before 11h00 we started filming outside on the crane. The head actress playing the character “Loreley” did a fantastic job under very hard conditions. There were really a lot of people in the streets. Then we had to close the roads and traffic was piling up for hundreds of meters. It was also hard to work with the general public, to play along and walk natural without looking in the direction of the camera while we were bagging the shots for the 30 sec puzzle. To say it was hard, would be a complete understatement. Continuity was virtually impossible but I remembered an interview with Danny Boyle about shooting in Bombay and how he just had to go with the flow of things as they tried to shoot a film in the highly populated streets of Bombay. If he could do it with a 7 million budget then I am for sure up for the challenge.
Back to the matter at hand. The day went extremely well. I got most of the outside shots, staying fairly calm. One classic shot is worth mentioning. I had to shoot a crane shot of wet tracks across the road coming from the Lady Loreley's bare feet. We tried several different methods but none was successful. Spraying water under her foot soles, standing in water, carrying her on a chair and then printing foot by foot. At the end the only thing that worked, was rubbing cooking oil on her feet, carrying her seated on the chair and print foot by foot. It was so successful that 2 days later, when I left for home, the prints were still in perfect condition in front of the hotel entrance.
At 22h30 Saturday evening we packed the gear and called it a day. On Sunday I was up and rocking by 6h30 setting up an extremely complicated restaurant shot. The problem was that I wanted to incorporate the great view from the Rhein river. This meant lots of natural light coming through the windows. We had 5 very powerful HMI daylight balance lights to light up the room. The glass windows and mirrors added to the adventure of the game. We did the lunch time shoot at breakfast time to have the restaurant as full as possible. Lots of interesting close-up’s with dripping water and great moving dolly shots to make for another epic day of filming.
All and all I am pleased with the outcome. My assistant, Lawence Richards, did an outstanding job and is a very talented producer to work with. Nattily, in the roll as the Loreley, worked extremely hard and was absolutely sent directly from heaven for this commercial. I cannot imagine another actor doing it better. The fantastic hotel staff helped as runners and made sure we always had refreshments. The end product will probably be available online some time in October.
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
I was commissioned to shoot a film of events happening over a period of one year at one of the most spectacular mountain huts in the world, the El-Paradiso. We are now halfway into filming. I had to make a teaser about what we are producing so the client can already use the material in marketing his business for the coming winter. Music was produced by Olivier Girardot. Over the next 4 months filming for a complete short film will continue.
Go and view the trailer at www.el-paradiso.ch under movies or just view it below.
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Any case, straight after arriving, I saw a lot of possibilities for filming beautiful behind the scenes footage. The mist was low over the
I was a little worried after seeing that the first lot of girls was not what I had in mind. The hands and feet were the most important aspects and they did not match the criteria. But then things changed for the better. We found the perfect actress for the roll. She had everything that the client wanted and after practicing the part a few times everybody on the team was convinced that the production was on the right track.
The next day I spent a great deal of time on the background interviews in connection with the client's business and did some fox pop interviews with his customers as well as more beauty shots and cut-aways. Although I was a a little stressed before I arrived, things are starting to fall in place and I am now looking forward to the actual filming of the commercial next weekend.
Friday, 7 August 2009
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Thursday, 2 July 2009
This coming weekend we will have the premier for the closing of a small school in a village called Champfer. It was a nice little project for me and a challenge to make something good out of it. I also learned a lot about people and especially working with children. The biggest challenge was that the children at this school speak Romanich as their first language. Romanich is the closest speaking language to Latin and I understand nothing from it.
Well I am pretty happy with the outcome of this little documentary and I hope the people attending the premier will be to. I just want to give a special shout out to all music artists for your help and support in this production. Well here is the film.
Monday, 22 June 2009
Just the other day I had a really interesting project to do. I was commissioned to do the behind the scenes filming of the media frenzy around the Boris Becker wedding. Was really an interesting project. Especially to see what a stupid job it is to be a paparazzi. Around 30 photographers were fighting to get the best pictures and there was I with official permission to film wherever I want. The Paparazzi guys were forever asking me.. who are you?… I just smiled and walked right through them into the VIP area to get my shot, not saying a word.
Friday, 8 May 2009
Check out www.subgraviti.com/projectxxx09.php