Sweating in the editing room

So, this one looked pretty easy, right? I’ve got the brief, I’ve got the requirements and some of the assets. Get young, semi-professional sportspeople under heavy sun. Well, I was about to discover the delights of image researchers.

This is the final advert after 8 revisions. The music track was a hit, the first candidate was perfect. But stock footage libraries are quite limited when it comes to variety, I found out.

Of course, it all comes to being precise in your search. But sometimes it’s difficult to describe accurately that image that you imagine in your head. Yes, of course Thesaurus come handy. I find that usually language is not enough. And not just when you’re putting feelings or emotions into words. Also images that, in turn, express emotions.

Great exercise nonetheless. Hey, and I’m enjoying colour grading more and more! Soon I might even get good at this.

Dancing for the Queen

No, I haven’t danced for her majesty. But hundreds of people around the UK did a few weeks ago when London celebrated Queen Elizabeth II belated birthday (it is actually in April).

The Royal Academy of Dance is one of the many institutions that have the Queen as her patron, so they coordinated the dancing that took place in the parade. Quite a dedicated group of people rehearsed a lot to deliver their best. And they filmed it on their phones! And this is what made possible this wonderful and energetic short film about their adventure.

And no, I haven’t figured out how to dance. Yet.

From Cannes to the world through London

It is an exciting interconnected world. Last week took place the Cannes Lions advertising festival. A team of MEC was visiting it and recording their discoveries with Seenit in their smartphones. In the meantime, in London, there I was receiving it and editing those recordings into nice short videos.

And I learnt a few things from Cannes too. Not that the weather was any similar.

Choir CD recording

The Pink Singers have just released their 4th CD, filled with songs that have been arranged by members of the choir themselves. So I brought my cameras to one of the recording sessions in ENO’s Lilian Baylis House. Here’s the story of the day.

I must have been overexcited, because I filmed so much footage that I couldn’t use in the end. Like the mixing session before the full choir arrived, or the peaceful tuning of the piano. All that footage that you keep “just in case”, for some day.

Albert receiving a token

Last week the Pink Singers had their 33rd anniversary, where they presented their brand-new CD and they were kind enough to give a small token to its contributors. And apparently that included me.

You can buy “By Special Arrangement” in their website.

Saturated paradise, very fast

This is a timelapse video I filmed last summer in Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. A seven days hike gave us some very beautiful scenery, as always. This used to be my favourite place on Earth. It’s paradise for hikers, climbers and nature-lovers.

In this video I could experiment with some plugins to try and give it an HDR look. I shot everything with GoPro Hero4 Silver, protune on with flat colours. When I edit, I always do very simple colour grading. With this project I spent hours to fine colour grade every shot.

I found that I had to step back form the screen from time to time, because my eyes got used to the super saturated colours and contrasted lights. And actually, this translated in an increasing  fairy look as the timeline advanced. Finally, when I finished grading the last shot I had to start again to try and balance the first ones with the last ones.

Now, when I look at the final work, I don’t see unreal colours. I can’t remember how they were before I boosted them. Reality is more than HDR, so we might as well exaggerate technical images to try and relieve the original paradise.

But wait. No, there is no substitute for nature.

Thank you river for the water

Every year, hundreds of Londoners gather in the Thai Buddapadipa temple to celebrate the Loy Krathong.

During this festival, people pay respects to the river for the water we use. Many Thais and foreigners come for the shows, the ceremony and, of course, the food. The magnificent Buddhapadipa temple, in Wimbledon, is usually a quiet, peaceful place. But on special occasions like the Loy Krathong the grounds that surrounds it fills up with life, joy and food.

But you can also be silent and make donations to your day of birth, while dropping coins one by one into countless bowls. The peace this brings is unexpected to the western mind.

In this report we also get inside the actual temple to talk with a Buddhist monk about this shiny temple and the beautiful celebration to pay respects to water.

Peace and wisdom

To drink tea is to meditate? Check my latest product video.

In this crazy accelerated world it’s very easy to lose connection with ourselves. Meditation is an ancient tool available to everybody to anchor and feel the present. Maybe drinking Bodhi Tea will help in that matter. This is what I’ve suggested in my latest product video.

It will be showing this weekend (18-20th September 2015) in Westfield London, where The Colours of Thailand is happening again. And where you’ll find Bodhi Tea to try and to buy.

Connect with your natural rythm and feel this delicious moment with a cup of thai herbal tea.

Crowd-filming a choir festival in Mallorca

A few days ago I was in the Balearic islands during the Mallorca Gay Chorus Festival. Apart from producing the concerts for the Pink Singers, I made the official film of the event, that you can see here.

I used Seenit, so that singers and audience could film using their smartphones. The turnout has been awesome: 44 people filmed 275 clips. More than 5 hours of raw footage I condensed in 10 minutes of film featuring both performances and behind-the-scenes moments.

And yes, I made up that word. If there’s such a genre as “found footage”, we can say “crowd-filming” (and it sounds better than “crowdsourced film”). The first one is for collage films, made using footage that was not intended to be used in an actual film (excluding mockumentaries). It should be a sub-genre of “crowd-filming”, understood as a documentary made of clips which purpose is to be used as part of a film.

Eating roses

For some time now I’ve been filming roses. Beautiful. Delicious.

This is “The Cuisine of Roses“, a food festival in a town very near Barcelona that’s well known for creating and growing new kinds of roses. I’ve been taking care of the communication of this event since it started, from the graphic design to the website, and of course, the video.

This is the highlights of the most recent one, which took place in April 2015. Craving for roses?

Dolphin killers

In Japan they kill 20,000 dolphins every year. A few months ago hundreds of people gathered in London to protest against this slaughter. And this is the film I made about it, “Red Cove”:

The protest was organized by the Dolphin Project, led by Ric O’Barry. Thanks to this I learned about the documentaries “The Cove” and “Blackfish“, that depict how in-humanely we treat whales and dolphins.  When I was a kid I went to Loro Parque in Tenerife and saw the dolphins show. It felt natural to me, to see those animals perform for the audience. It was their job. The 7 year-old Albert didn’t realise how atrocious it was to hunt a being and turn them into a slave for life.

OK, dolphins are highly intelligent and sensitive creatures. So is that why they should be treated as humans? Because they resemble us?Firstly, humans treat other humans in a very in-humane way. And secondly, don’t we see that all creatures have the natural right to freedom?

Those were, anyway, the arguments I wanted to point out on my interviews. That dolphins are not but the tip of the iceberg. And, following my philosophy, I wanted to broaden people’s perception about the value of life and how unloving and violent some behaviours are, in this world.

Productions on demand