Blog

Old film with new colour

New above, old below

At the beginning of 2007, almost exactly ten years ago, we shot the last learning project during our studies. My (main) task was to edit the film. I thought the result was successful (especially considering the circumstances). But what always bothered me were the unnatural colors and the blatant video look. Due to a lack of time, this was our final film.

In the end I had saved the whole project on an external hard drive. This hard drive was hidden in the closet for a long time, until years later I had access to a Mac with Final Cut. I used it to export the project files, but I couldn’t import them into Edius. So I let the project rest again. Earlier last year, I upgraded my editing machine. And after watching the great tutorials on color grading on the new version of Edius by Matthew Scott, I needed some material for testing. This movie was the perfect solution. After a lot of tinkering I was able to at least partially import the project into the editing system. So I edited one scene, and because I enjoyed it and the result was quite appealing, I edited another one. And then another one. And at the end the whole film.

Because the project could not be exported cleanly from Final Cut, many sounds were missing or were no longer usable. A completely new sound cut would have been connected with an insane amount of work. Among other things, we had the sound backdrop of the outdoor stage of the WDR open house during the shoot in the park at the state parliament in Düsseldorf. So I had to use the existing audio track and was only able to make a few small changes.

New above, old below

I desaturated the colors significantly, since the camera (Panasonic HVX200) had a very high color saturation in the default settings. Red and green cast were corrected as well as the slight overexposure due to the low contrast range. I also zoomed in on some shots and changed the size slightly. Unfortunately, the compression and the image quality of the source material is not very good, so that the changes all had to be done within a narrow range. In some shots you can also see that I used this margin to the maximum. The goal was to create a more natural, but also a slightly darker color environment.

It should be mentioned that we had a budget of an astonishing 250 € at that time. At least the sparse equipment was provided (except for the skateboard dolly). According to our calculation we spent 249,87 €. I don’t know what we put into it privately anymore. In the end we learned a lot from this restriction and we can all say that we still profit from it today, especially when it comes to improvising.

 

Styx stunt prep

Making of Styx

Yesterday I shot pictures for a making of for a feature film. “Styx” is the name of the production, which is partly shot in Malta and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The funny thing about the shoot was that there was a stunt at a location in Cologne, where I have done stunts with action concept many times before, with parts of the crew from back then, because that company was hired for the stunt. So there was a little reunion with good colleagues and the realization: actually nothing has changed.

Waldweg

Our long distance hike (part 2)

After being grilled by the sun, swimming and doing karate breakdance moves in the first part, we continue in this part.

 

Day 9 – From Behringen to Reinsehlen
Hiked Km: 13,8 Km
Insight of the day: Relaxation feels good

Lunchtime meal
Lunchtime meal

To shorten the last two days considerably has done our bodies a tremendously well. We are making very good progress, our feet and hips are not hurting as much or as fast. The first two thirds of the way we don’t meet a soul except two friendly mountain bikers. Shortly before our destination, Camp Reinsehlen, where we have been two years ago, we take our lunch break in the middle of the trail. Nevertheless, we arrive too early in the camp, but this is not bad, because now we can surf the internet extensively due to available WiFi and electricity. When we get our keys we first wash almost all our clothes, dry the tent, take a shower and make ourselves comfortable in our room. Moreover, we enjoy the rain which does not affect us now. In the evening we finally have the long awaited heidschnuck ragout.

 

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Backpacks

Our long distance hike (part 1)

This year’s holiday was actually a compromise. But a fantastic one. After we had planned several other holiday destinations almost completely, our plans were crossed every time. And when my car was stolen and used for a burglary just before the holiday, the motto for this year was: cheap holiday in Germany – hiking and camping.

Our backpacks
Our backpacks

The Heidschnuckenweg was voted the most beautiful hiking trail in Germany in 2014 and it is intended to be hiked in two weeks. We had three weeks time. So after some planning around we decided to hike from Celle to the outskirts of Hamburg, spend a few days with friends there, drive out of Hamburg and hike the last days to Lübeck. We are not necessarily hiking pros or insanely athletic, but the adventure was still exciting.
Now we still needed the appropriate equipment. We already had most of it, but we got some in the local Globetrotter, that we visited more than once. One week before the trip, when we had everything together (at least that’s what we thought), we wanted to do a test packing day and also a walk with the luggage to test if everything fits and if we might need something else. Eventually the test packing lasted from 12 noon to 12 o’clock at night. During the first packing attempt both backpacks were clearly overloaded with about 25 kg. That of course meant that we had to leave even more at home than we had anticipated.
The hours went by and our bagpacks were repacked and stuff was sorted out again and again. In the end we put every single piece on the kitchen scale to identify the cause of the weight. As a result, the following week we went back to the Globetrotter to get extra-light containers and refill anything that was too big or in a container that was too heavy. This way we could save some hundred grams. Everywhere we saved weight and only took the most necessary things with us. This went so far that I soldered a cable short, because I could save another 50 grams. In the end my backpack weighed 18 kg and Maraike’s weighed 16 kg. But without the 3 liters of water in our water bladders…
In advance we planned the whole route with Google MyMaps, where we uploaded the hiking routes and could see how we have to tackle the individual sections logistically. That is: Accommodation (campground or hotel), food (for some sections we had to buy food for three days before, because there was simply nothing on the route), length of the daily route, etc. With all this preparation and a lot of enthusiasm we set out for an experience we hadn’t had yet in this form.

In the following now a loose arrangement of stories about what happened to us during the days of the hike.

 

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MoCap

Nerd music and MoCap fun

Nerd music in its purest form can be admired in a video, where a musical floppy disk lover has combined 64 floppy disk drives, 8 hard disks and 2 scanners to reinterpret well-known songs: The Floppotron. And there’s something for Nirvana fans as well: Smells Like Nerd Spirit. On his blog he explains how his music machine works.

Another fascinating video demonstrates today’s possibilities of modern motion capturing technology. Absolutely fluid and organic movements combined with great effects result in this video.