Independent - Activist Filmmaking 2015-01 Blog
Its been four months since my last blog entry.
In that time I have travelled to Australia, worked on my Occupy Film and worked as a journalist and videographer as the work pooped into my inbox.
While I was in Australia, Invasion Day (also known as Australia Day) occurred and I made a little piece about it.
I feel I should have a trailer to show for the Occupy London Film but what I have instead is 10 completed minutes, which I showed to a few people upon launching my Polly Tikkle Productions Facebook page. I will show it again to the 200th LIKEr . Its my only pressie to the fans:)
I then went off and got myself a full time job and I am not entirely sure if I want it!
Hopefully it will be fine. I am confused about starting a job which will mean that completing my film may prove impossible and all my video enterprise connections may vanish again. Its as an Audio Visual Technician in a college in central London.
Have you heard of ZoomIn TV? Neither did I... but they get 171,000,000 views a month!
They have been editing my footage and translating it into about 5 languages and I gotta admit its kinda thrilling to have someone else put that together. I generally do protests. I get £50 a pop for it. Shit money but its better than nothing. This was the work that pooped in. I guess I could have covered more protests but I had not heard about them. I shot three pieces for them in February/March.
I am reading Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything Book.
I am still halfway through it and my gratitude for its existence is all encompassing. I highly recommend it. At times it reads like a thriller novel and at other times I gotta put it down because I am overwhelmed by the information. I am a shameless fan of Naomi and to that end I would like to present her latest contribution to our airwaves via a link because I cannot embed on my site with the new embed codes .. It is on my to do list.
I also became active in the #DropTTIP Banner Campaign.
You may recall I spoke at length about the NoTTIP Hands Off Democracy banner that we made for the October 11th Europe Wide Day of Action against TTIP. A friend of mine and I decided to take it everywhere we go and the first spot we went to (as fate would have it my friend had a meeting in Scotland) was beautiful Edinburgh. H're is a wee video about't n some piks. It was a great day!
There is a global day of action against TTIP organized for April 18th. Stay tuned. Sign up to the NoTTIP.org.uk newsletter.
As I was working for ZoomIN TV I got to thinking laterally about my rig. I have an Sony FS100 and I have not figured out a way of sending my footage immediately to the ZoomIn Offices without my laptop. My laptop is heavy.
A Sony FS 100 + a Manfrotto monopod and tripod head appropriate for the FS-100's weight + a laptop and charger + batteries and other accessories is a heavy load to carry for the 1 - 3 hours of an average protest....for me. :) To be honest I am in pain afterwards.
So I got to thinking...well what if I start using my GoPro at these protests hooked up with professional sound gear and the Ninja2. I needed to test it before going off on a paid gig and I did, at the Climate Change March in March! I was pretty happy with the results. See for yourself
The hardware of the rig cost me:
£20 Manfrotto light monopod
£2 in bolts and washers/ I admit I hae a lot of bit and pieces from years of playing with video and breaking hardware.
I found the piece of wood under the stairs. I would recommend a thick wooden broom handle though. The roundness would make it easier to hold under your arm.
The piece of equipment the average semi pro is not likely to have is the Ninja2 and for me this is where the Ninja really shines for me. I have it to make my FS100 a broadcast quality camera but to b honest it makes my already heavy rig... heavier. In this nifty combinations of sound gear, go pro, the ninja finds its purpose in life/ It is a monitor that is worthy of its weight because the GoPro monitor is so small and it doubles up as one hell of a storage unit. This is particularly great because it seems that when the Go Pro is not recording, its battery life lasts and lasts. I did not have to record on the GoPro.
The caveats to this set up are that the Phantom Power on H4N Zoom needs to be off otherwise the Sennheisser radio mic drains off all the battery power of the Zoom. Another way around this issue is to plug in the radio mic with a quarter inch jack (unbalanced) as opposed to the XLR cable balanced. This is what I was advised to do by the Zoom technicians when I called them up about the issue but I have not got the right connectors lying around to test this and I wanted to write in the blog. The technician believed that Pin 3 in the XLR is connected to the earth which is draining the power.
Another caveat is that there is a nasty buzzing sound in the headphones which would be a concern had tests now shown that all the buzzing is on one track that has no sound on it. The output of the Zoom is via the headphone jack into the GoPro. Now the GoPro USB to Mini Jack Audio lead is mono. The buzzing is easily deleted in post production upon deleting the 'dead' track.
I may upload better photos soon! The rig got a lot of attention from other film makers in the march. It is unusual if I say so myself but its unbeatable as far as work flow goes and weight...also no focusing!
Ok folks that is all from me today.