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.

Currupt FCPX libraries in Blu-ray

I went nuts when I couldn’t recover my film projects. Thank goodness I still kept a copy in a hard drive.

Blu-ray containing Final Cut Pro X libraries
Archiving is a sensitive thing. And if you work in film it can be an expensive thing. So a long ago I chose optical media. DVDs, originally. Blu-rays, currently. When I am pretty sure I have finished working on a project I burn the original files and library in a disc and delete it from my hard drive. Then I can get it back it if I ever have to  to use the footage, or if a client wants me to do a second version of a finished project. I had never had any problems in the past, when I used video editors like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas and Final Cut Pro 7.

But this week my alarms have gone off when I couldn’t recover a Final Cut Pro X library from a Blu-ray disc. The Finder showed an “error code -36”. The problem might be related to the fact that FCPX libraries are not single files. They are a bundle, and therefore a container or folder, under the aspect of a file with extension .fcpbundle and a nice icon. But inside such a file/folder there are hundreds or thousands of small files. I bet the Blu-ray filesystem I use to burn my libraries doesn’t like all those little files.

I haven’t checked the actual reason, and I haven’t found anyone in the web with the same problem. For now I’ll solve it compressing the fcpbundle in a zip. Has anyone out there faced the same problem?

Have you Seenit?

Collaborative video makes you powerful. Imagine deploying a film crew at the other side of the globe (or around it) and receiving in near real-time all the footage in your studio. That’s what Seenit does and it’s cool.

I discovered them in the Pride in London last summer, they invited everybody to film their day. With the footage, they were showing compilation videos in Trafalgar square. Barely minutes after they were filmed.

I’ve been working with Seenit for some months now, and in this time we’ve created a wide range of collaborative videos.  From videos of film premieres to the life of professional athletes competing in British Athletics.

Yesterday we were editing the highlights of an event that took place in Singapore. From London. Technology is amazing when used well. And in the one year that Seenit has been around they seem to know how to use it creatively. Well done. It feels good to be a part of it.

The Hobbit premiere: to be or not to be?

On Monday the world premiere of the last Hobbit movie took place in London. I was there… but I wasn’t. Anyways, this is the resulting work.

It’s a short video made using the Seenit platform. Thanks to their online studio, just two people with their smartphones could film and immediately upload the footage they got at Leicester Square. I was a few meters away, actually, attending an event in Covent Garden and editing this video.

Within 3 hours we had it finished, and it was immediately published online.

After that, since I was very close, I walked by Leicester Square and saw with my own eyes how the staff was putting away the barriers. So, to be or not to be? Well, I wasn’t there… but I was.

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