Cameo and collaborative video

Last weekend I used Cameo to create a video that got 3000 views in 24 hours. On Saturday a public demonstration took place in Greenwich, London. Lots of Catalans formed a huge human V asking for democracy, to show that they want to vote to be independent from Spain.

This was a great opportunity to use Cameo for the first time. I love Vimeo, and wanted to try this for a long time. But since I don’t make home videos I couldn’t find an excuse.

3 people made this video together. I like the collaborative dimension Cameo gives to instant video creation. The cons are that you’ve got to have a good internet connection in your smartphone. When you record a shot (of up to 6 seconds) it is instantly uploaded, so any further editing is done at the server.

I’m busy with another project and I didn’t have time to edit at my studio, so I chose the “pre-made” option. Cameo lets you choose a title, a song and a theme. You only have to shoot, put the clips in the right order (yours and those your contributors filmed) and tap “share”. Your phone is your studio.

With that, we had a nice video a few minutes after the event ended. The result is not bad. What do you think?

Hyperlapsing Vines

Last Tuesday Instagram released Hyperlapse, the app to record hand-held time-lapses. The good thing is that it stabilises the shots very well, so that when you play it at 12x speed any camera movements look smooth. The bad thing is that to do so, of course, the area of the image used is reduced. Since smartphones don’t have optical stabilisation systems, the app has to use software to get rid of the jitter.

That means that the already narrow angle of the iPhone camera is even more tight when you use Hyperlapse, because it needs spare space in the edges of the original frame in order to move the final frame. Definition is also sacrificed. The good thing is that when you record, the screen already shows you the cut, final frame. Actually, if Hyperlapse uses an algorithm similar to the one Microsoft explains in this video, it is much much more complex than that.

Since I don’t use Instagram, I filmed some hyperlapses and pretended to publish them in Vine. Hyperlapse doesn’t encourage you to film in landscape, and since Vine has a square aspect ratio, I decided to film in portrait. It seems that holding your iPhone vertically you can keep it more stable. Big mistake! When I wanted to import those hyperlapses in Vine, they didn’t play.

Vine can’t work with vertical videos generated by Hyperlapse. So I downloaded Lumify, a very nice video editor for iOS. I had to compile my Vine video in Lumify, taking care of zooming each vertical video, so that when imported to Vine and therefore cut into 1:1 aspect ratio, no letterbox would be seen. Then imported it and published it. On the other hand, landscape videos are rendered fine in Vine.

The result? A speed up video inside a frame in a frame in a frame. My eyes are now bleeding.

The Alps through the lens

Summit of Mont Blanc, in the Alps

I am a climber. Last week I climbed the Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe. And me being a filmmaker, of course, I  wondered if I should film it. I don’t find compatible living or shooting an event. I’m either enjoying it o filming it. The approach is completely different.

The days previous to my trip I planned to get a GoPro and atatch it to my climbing helmet. But that would add some weight, and I had to think of safety first. Then I thought of using my beloved Lumix TZ10, the compact camera I use to take pictures in my mountaineering escapes. I would take it with me, of course, so I could use it to film 720p video.

But then I visualised myself filming the adventure, and it wasn’t as fun as living it. It was an exciting challenge, but I already had one huge challenge: climbing to the summit of Mont Blanc though the Italian fairly-difficult route.

So, dispite uniting these two passions of mine, filming and climbing, I chose to focus on the latter. I know how much of a perfectionist I am when I’m working, and I didn’t want that Albert to interfere in the fun and safety of the trip.

I still want to properly film an alpinist activity, but it has to be one where I’m sure I’m not putting myself in risk.  So much to learn from people like Phil Coates.

Let’s work together

imageOne of my professional goals is to build a team that I can trust. Meeting new people is something I enjoy a lot, and I find that a team works better when you’re not only colleagues, but friends.

Last Saturday I had the chance to work for the first time with Hèctor Solé, an outstanding and insultingly young cameraman based in London. We already knew each other, so you could say we were already friends. But we had never actually worked in a shared project. This time we did. And it was a pleasure.

As soon as he arrived at the Tate Modern with his massive Panasonic P2 camera and backpack we started calibrating it with my smaller Panasonic cam. Hèctor is a lover of the image, he loves the technical side and he knows perfectly how to set it up in order to get the most beautiful image. He knows the details, and I knew instantly I could trust him with it all.

When it comes to directing, I usually have a very clear idea of the final product, and I know instantly when new ideas fit into this goal I have already produced in my head. Putting it in plain word, sometimes I can be a bit bossy. But during the event my admired cameraman was absolutely flexible and happy with my idea of the documentary video we were filming.

When two professionals get along this well, it’s a shame not to take advantage. Let’s work together, I say!

Hi world! I’m a filmmaker

Hi there! I’m Albert Bonet and today is my Londonversary. Exactly one year ago I moved from Barcelona to London, searching for experiences. I’m a freelance filmmaker, and I want to use this special day to start something I should have started the day I set foot in London: writing in English. I do this for me.

So, not much more to say for now, but you can expect loquacity from me. I’m going to build the website of my company, Productions on demand, and I am going to use this space to write about my professional journey. I am passionate about what I do, and I’m sure I will enjoy it a lot sharing it with you.

This is my way of saying, after one year of being a Londonder, “Hi world! I’m a filmmaker”. There is no design yet on the site, as you can see, but as wise people say, “you’ll never be fully prepared, so go for it”. For now, you can browse my projects.

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Productions on demand