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.

Shooting a contemporary bird

Filming a dance performance is fun. Specially if you haven’t seen it beforehand and you don’t know the movements. It’s like  shooting a bird (with your camera) performing an erratic flight.

This is Nuno Fado, a gig from portuguese singer and dancer Nuno Silva that I filmed. Of course, before starting, you have to check the space and how much of it the dancer is going to use. As well as the light (not that you can do much about it). Then take care of the audience not blocking your shot (without disturbing them) and make sure you are recording the sound output. I personally use a microphone transmitter directly into my camera, but for this gig I was provided the final sound mix, so I just had to synch it.

After the entire video is done, I show it to the dancer and ask him to highlight the best bits. Why? Because if I have to make a wrap up video I need to know what looks artistically best, and it might be different to what the filmmaker thinks.

The funniest part is putting the transitions from song to song, and make it feel good with the constant change in rhythm and mood.

Good feedback

It’s nice to have good feedback about your work. It raises your moral, rewards you for the hard work you’ve done and sets a challenge for your ego. It’s the applause to the artists that work behind the screens/scenes.

Featured in the newspaper Ara

The video I made for the international campaign “Ara és l’hora”, about Catalonia asking for a referendum, has over 100,000 views in the official YouTube channel. Plus the replicated videos such as the one from this newspaper. Taking into account the potential audience of just over 7 million people, I would say it went viral. This is the problem of making videos for a niche audience; the number of people it reaches is always low. But anyway, I think this is the most seen video I’ve made as a freelancer. And I’ve tracked the feedback in Twitter.

The video was originally twitted by the official campaign account (fantastic video, it will move you) and was massively retweeted and favourited.

The word people used the most is Goosebumps!Goosebumps and tears seeing this video, more goosebumps… Then adjectives such as good videomoving video, really movingmagnificent, beautiful,  wonderful, FANTASTIC, cool, impressive and no words. Also deep comments like it’ll touch your soul.

Views of the video for Ara és l'hora

Some people twitted in a rush just after seeing it, I guess, and that shows in the language: OK, this video is REALLY NICE, F**K! (I love this one), this moves me… very much, I’m crying… And people urging to watch this video!, and please share it. And others who recommend this video very much.

Of course, a lot of these comments refer to the events the video shows, not the video itself. In other words, I don’t know the importance of my work in the response of the audience. But I like to think that the way the events are presented (the video edit) is of great importance.

After all, it’s me who always says that one thing I do well is turning an already good idea into an awesome idea by presenting it the right way. It’s good to see that people like your baby.

Now now, enough narcissism and get back to work.

A thousand cameras at Mindshare’s Huddle

Last summer I learned about a smartphone app that allowed you to co-create video. I tried it to film as a contributor, and it made me immediately fall in love… I’ll tell you the rest of the love story in the next post. Suffice it to say that I regularly work with Seenit now as a video editor, and yesterday we all co-created video at the Mindshare’s Huddle event.

The Huddle is a day full of collaborative discussion forums about the future of media. Understanding “media” in a broad meaning, as everything that has to do with communicating something through a channel is media. As I saw it, it was about online video, marketing and advertising, apps, collaborative stuff and cool techie things. Really fun.

But the truth is I couldn’t pay much attention because I was helping Seenit make this video (featured at The Drum). This one and 6 more videos that were being shown in the very event in near-real time. How could this be possible? This is the magic behind the platform. It allows everyone with a smartphone to become a crew member and film whatever they want. These are the thousand cameras. The footage is automatically uploaded to the studio, where the video editor in charge (me, in this case) can choose and download the clips.

I want to pay Seenit the attention it deserves, so I’ll write about it again shortly.

Productions on demand