18 days ago Gustav Johansson made my life very difficult by releasing his new film 'Sydney' for the language school EF - Live the Language series. After months of loving Paris I now can't decide if this is my new favourite video. This stunning series of promotional films takes a basic premiss a city, a journey, throws in beautiful young people and some really cracking graphics.
It's a great example of how a series of films can maintain the same theme and feel even when they are exploring very different cities.
Gustav has taken the original concept and stuck with it throughout the whole series but allowed it to naturally evolve and develop into some beautiful and evocative films.
He's thought about every aspect of the production equally and while it may be difficult to replicate the inventive soundtrack of Sydney which was composed by Magnus Lidehäll (I especially love how the music changes when they are in the aquarium) it's a lesson to everyone not to just take some stock music and shove it on the soundtrack hoping for the best.
The typography are another work of art from Albin Holmqvist. Like the soundtrack they are not just an added extra but a really integral part of the whole concept although I feel they are on screen slightly too quickly to really appreciate them.
For me though Paris ultimately has to win. I just feel Gustav has gone overboard with the high 8 scratchy post production vibe on 'Sydney'. If he'd just kept it perhaps to the beach scenes for me it would have worked perfectly, but feels like it's been applied to pretty much every shot and I think it distracts from the beauty of the film. 'Just because you can doesn't mean you should' still holds true.
So I've made my decision Paris here I come - well until I can I'll just watch the video again and again and again
On a video forum site some (and only some) of the 'TV professionals' were up in arms about self shooting – one said the Shoot It Yourself product was 'c**p' and had a limited shelf life, another widened the debate to self-shooters in the media industry slamming them as little more than 'secretary's with cameras...'
Well my hackles rose – I thought this debate may have been put to bed some time ago but obviously not...
Exciting times ahead for UK Video Skills Training. We've just signed up to twitter (ukvideoskills) and started our new blog all on the same day - think we'll need a G&T at the end of the day to recover.
Thought we'd start this new blog with a couple of old favorites and some speculative rumors. According to various media outlets this week the all new iPhone 5 is due very, very soon and UKVS cannot wait to get our hands on it. It will mean some hard work reviewing our popular 'QuickShoot' iPhone filming and editing course but if the leap of video capabilities from the iPhone 3 to the iPhone 4 is anything to go by it should be very exciting.
Remember our 5 top filming with an iPhone tips:
1/ Use airport mode
2/ Film landscape
3/ Use an app like Filmic Pro so you have control over white balance, exposure and you can see the audio levels
4/ Use an external microphone like the iRig or check out www.lifeisaprayer.com for some really detailed audio information and choices
5/ Use a tripod - please!!!!
So to some old favorites. Each week we'll try to bring you a round up of the very best new videos and podcasts out there but to kick us off I've included a couple of my all time great videos.
For it's amazing sound track, dolly filming and great opening sequence this mountain biking (I know!!!) video is the business. Even if it does make me feel old for not knowing what 'shreading' means.....Nearly one and a half million views on YouTube can't be wrong.
And now for something completely different from the Mast Brothers - it's an advertisement for chocolate but like nothing you've every seen before. Grab a cuppa sit back and enjoy it.
Now don't tell me that you don't want to pick up a camera right now and try shooting something similar - well either that or have a very large bar of chocolate.
UK Video School Training - everything you ever wanted to know about making great videos..and some things you didn't!