Friday, June 1, 2012

We are working for SEASONS THE A PROJECT!

Sorry guys, we've been busy with our own work these days (My hubby Janice is working as an office staff and I work as a technical manager for our internet cafe) and we haven't released any video yet, but we're recently working on a music video and will hopefully be released next month or on July.  Right now, we work as videographers and producers for the rising Filipino KPop/JPop Dance sensation named The A Project.  The A Project consists of 4 pure Filipino ladies, namely Avonne, Arriane, Collette and Cheenee.  They cover both KPop and JPop dances.  We produce videos of their special performances in some KPop/JPop events, performances from dance contests as well as dance practice videos.  We are also planning on shooting some official dance videos for them.  Be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more awesome dance videos!

Here is a video where the girls participated in a "KPop flashmob" event held during Hallyu of Fame 2 (Caloocan City, Philippines).  This video has been shared in some Korean sites!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our Horror Web Series "KAWALAN" Ends - PLOT EXPLAINED!

At last.. our web series has ended!  Did anyone had a hard time understanding the entire plot?  I bet you couldn't.

As I've said on my first post, the whole thing wasn't meant to be a web series, the Episode 1 is actually a horror short film alone.  And since everyone asked for the part 2, we brainstormed with ourselves and created this web series.

We just created a sort of a psychological thriller type of a film.  We wanted viewers to rack their brains - and effectively, we did it.  I think that's the whole point of a psychological thriller.  Influenced by several types of horror films, we thought of a possible "brain-racking" plot, like most of the horror films.  As you can see, the Episode 1 is all about a ghosts.  As the series progresses, the plot is being explained towards murder.  So not only we see ghosts in the web series, we see murder.

To sum up everything in Kawalan's plot - friends go to a some kind of a forest (where there are many trees and plants), they hang out, and been f*cked up, and eventually a killer goes in.  That's just it.

But, to explain further, it's about revenge.

A group of friends - Jah, Ferdie and Diane - are hanging out in a banana plantation.  They had picnic and had fun.  After they had lunch, Jah invited Ferdie to go for a walk, and Diane was left alone.  The two had gone for quite a while, making Diane a bit worried.  After a few moments, Jah rushed back to their place and told Diane that she and Ferdie got separated.  So the two girls part ways to find him.  Suddenly, after minutes of searching, Diane found a now rugged Ferdie with lots of blood on his face.  Diane asked him what had happened.  Ferdie told her that Jah has died.

The deranged Diane ran off to nowhere because of the terror, and suddenly she met Jah on her way.  Terrified to know that Jah is already a ghost, she ran away again.  Jah did not understand what was going on, so she followed Diane.  On her way, she found Ferdie lying on the ground.  

The flashback was seen and was set at the time after Jah invited Ferdie for a walk.  While they are having fun hanging out, a masked figure was seen hiding from the trees looking at them.  

The flash back scene ended and was set back to the present, showing Jah walking blankly away from the dead Ferdie and didn't notice a necklace entangled on Ferdie's right hand.  Meanwhile, Diane found another guy, somewhat a caretaker of the whole plantation, and she asked him for help.  But they got separated along the way.  Diane met Jah again and Jah assured Diane that she's not really dead.  The girls both ran for life and this time, they met face to face with the masked figure.  The two girls got separated and the masked man got Diane's hand.  Jah hit the man's back and got unconscious.  Diane took the mask off the man's face and behind them as another masked figure.

The masked figure behind them revealed Ferdie's face.  Jah turned her head back and saw him, but failed to alert Diane because she cannot touch her.  This revealed Jah's ultimate truth that she is already dead.  Diane also turned her head to her back and saw Ferdie, and touched her on her shoulder to reveal another flashback.

Diane saw how Ferdie and Jah got separated in Episode 1, and she saw how Ferdie killed Jah after a fight.  Ferdie, now injured, walked away with a necklace entangled to his right hand - revealed to be Jah's possession - and met the masked figure.  The two got into a fight after Ferdie reached for his gun, and was killed with a knife by the masked killer.

The scene set back to present time, realizing Ferdie and Jah were not there anymore.  She looked at her back and realized that the masked killer was the same man he met as a "caretaker" of the plantation.  Terrified, Diane ran and pursued by the killer.  Diane got away from the killer by Jah's evil apparition, and hid behind some trees.  She saw the killer from afar looking for her.

After some more hidings, the killer eventually got Diane and tied up her hands.  Diane asked for a reason why he wants to kill her.  The killer told her that her friend killed her sister.  He explained further in detail the real reason.

In the first place, way back before the start of Episode 1, the killer and his sister, Jah, planned a plot to kill Ferdie, because Ferdie killed one of the siblings' friend, due to his obsession to Diane.  Back in Episode 1, the killer explained why Jah invited Ferdie for a walk.  It's because they wanted to take Ferdie away from Diane.  In that way, the kill for Ferdie would be easy.  But everything went wrong when Ferdie killed Jah (due to his obsession with Diane - he only wanted to be alone with Diane).  For that, he avenged his sister's death by killing Ferdie (the flashback scene from Episode 3)

The killer is about to take Diane's life, but was distracted by a voice nearby.  So he checked the place where he heard the voice, and Diane got a chance to escape.  Her escape leads to a certain place where Ferdie dropped the gun, so she picked it up and pulled the trigger to the killer.  Diane was now left all alone in the plantation.  I guess that explains it all.

Sooooooo, I hope this post had helped you in the plot of our web series.  We just racked your brain as much as we racked ours.  Fair enough! ;)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nikon D4 vs. Canon 1DX: Video Category

Since last month, two giant camera developers have been battling with their own DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras, each with unique physical features and image qualities.  Right now, they developed their own flagship, the Nikon D4 and Canon EOS 1DX.  I know that these DSLRs are not built to make videos, but let's see the video comparisons. (courtesy of FenchelJanisch)

This video is shot in full HD by Canon EOS 1DX with Canon 50mm F/1.2 and Canon 85mm F/1.2 at ISO 1600 and shutter speed at 1/50.  As you can see on this video, the Canon EOS 1DX creates an awesome film-look at low light.  Sharpness is okay and the "bokeh" as well.  The focused objects are a little off, but it's good enough.  This must be the cause of its video compression feature - the H.264 video can be switched between all inter frame and IPB with bidirectional prediction to reduce file size.

This video is shot in full HD by Nikon D4 with Nikon 85mm F/1.8G and 14-24mm F/2.8G at ISO 3200.  Same as the video above, it also creates an outstanding film look at low light, but this time the sharpness of the focused objects is better.  Considering the high ISO used, you will notice that the video is not "noisy" or there are no "grains" on the black parts of the video.  This DSLR is simply built for night shots.  Plus, I heard that Nikon D4 has manual sound level controls for video.

Now, for the side-by-side comparison of the videos...

I'm a Canon fan boy myself... I really am.  BUT, in video category, I would say NIKON WINS this time.  If you look closely enough, the images on Nikon are sharper than those of Canon, and the Nikon D4 is has less noise at low light situations than Canon EOS 1DX.

Nikon D4 is planned to be released next month, February 2012 at recommended retail price of $5999.95.  Canon EOS 1DX is expected  to reach dealers in March 2012 with a list price of a slapping $6,800 (body only) and the UK price is expected to be around 5,300.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Own Video Shoot Workflow Revealed!

Putting the right scenes and cutting the unnecessary footage are very essential to effective film-making.  The real story of your film is being drawn out when you do your video editing workflow right.  In this post, I'm gonna share you my own workflow to effective film-making.

First, think of a concept for your film!  This is where you crack your brain often.  Brainstorming with yourself is really difficult but it's challenging.  You must think first for a particular genre of your film, whether it be a comedy, drama, action or horror.  If it's a comedy, you have to think of a particular joke, and make it long by adding a story behind it.  The same goes to horror genre.  You can combine these elements into one film, like action-comedy, action-horror, action-drama or whatever you want.  You must have a wide (not wild) imagination so you can think of a good concept and script for your film.
This is a typical "brainstorming" scene between me and my production team on what to shoot.

Second, you might wanna put the correct settings on your camera before you shoot a footage.  You have to do that so you won't have any more difficulties in post-production.  Correct exposure from your camera depends on what time or what place you're shooting at.  If you're shooting in daylight, you have to turn down your shutter speed and your ISO (keep in mind that when you dial down your shutter speed, your camera will create a "jello effect" - the objects from your footage go slanting when you're panning the shot around).  If you're shooting at low light, you have to turn down your aperture to about 2.0 whilst dialing up your shutter speed and ISO (keep in mind that when you turn up your ISO to about 3200 to 6400, your shots will have grainy effect).  Swapping lenses is a good idea too, most of the time I use my Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II lens because it is perfect for film-making and for low light shots.  It also has great shallow depth of field and it's perfect for keeping your subjects in focus.  And yeah, by the way, the standard frame rate for a good film look on your footage is 1920x1080 at 24fps.  If you want to shoot a slow motion footage, you might use 50fps or 60fps depending on the sensor of your camera.  You must be careful at your exposure, so you won't have difficulties in color correction later.  During your color correcting process, you might crush all the "blacks" and light up too much your "whites".  To avoid this, you might wanna turn your brightness and contrast all the way down and turn down your saturation a little bit.  In this way, you can easily do the color correction in post.

Shooting a scene from "Kawalan" Episode 3

As for me, I shoot a particular scene for two to three times with different angles, because I only have one camera in my gear.  I do this to keep the subjects or actors/actresses in focus.  Focusing is very essential in film-making, because it gives the subjects in focus the importance in the scene.  I always give a 5-second extension in each shot I make so I can cut the footage easily in post.

User interface of Sony Vegas Pro 10

Third, the editing time!  Make sure that you made all the shots for your film and make sure you have lots of free disk space on your computer.  Usually, each of my projects eats about 3gb or 4gb of free disk space.  As for me, I use Sony Vegas Pro for cutting the unnecessary footage and arranging the right footage in order.  I use Sony for quite a while, because of its user-friendly interface - you can just drag and drop your footage or audio files onto the timeline.  Cutting footage is just a breeze - pressing the hot key "S" allows you to cut some selected areas of your footage.  In this software, I also add sound effects and background music to the footage as well.  Now, for the background music - you have to be careful in choosing any music for your footage.  You have to use royalty-free music or sound effects unless you might wanna ask permission to Lady Gaga first before you use the song "Bad Romance" as a background music for your dance video.

User interface for Adobe After Effects CS4

Since Sony Vegas doesn't have the full capabilities for adding visual effects, I now use Adobe After Effects. This software is very good in adding realistic VFX and 3D especially the motion tracking stuff.  Adding VFX using AE is quite a pain, because most of the time it eats up your RAM, thus slowing your computer often.

After putting some necessary visual effects, I now enter to the dark realm of color correction.  This is the hardest part of video editing.  You must take a careful look at the skin tone of the talents, because it is very important.  You don't want your talents to look like The Hulk because of their green skin. 

After I finish all the editing, I now render my project into one video, usually in Windows Media Video HD format (1080p at 24fps).  This is the best quality for  web content videos.  If you upload this on YouTube, the system will automatically set your video to 1080p HD.  

Then, that's pretty much it!  So good luck with making videos, and I hope this post helped you a bit in any way.  If you have questions, leave a comment below. =)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - Next to Close?

Experiencing like this when you're downloading from FileSonic?

Megaupload is dead.  And now, we see this?

FileSonic is a file-sharing website that operates similarly like Megaupload.  To be able to download at higher speed, one must be registered and must pay for its  Does this mean that all file-sharing websites finally reach their end?

According to Wikipedia, they were not the only one who withdrew the ability to share links to files.  Other file-hosting websites followed suit, including,,, and cancelling affiliates programs or allowing users to only download what they themselves uploaded.  So that means you can only store your files as back up, not for sharing.  Sounds pretty bad to me.

Canon Powershot S100 - Perfect for "B" Camera Setup?

In early December, Canon announced this amazing Powershot S series and the successor of the S95, the Canon Powershot S100.  For me, I think this is a good "B" camera setup, because it is a point-and-shoot digital camera that can shoot full HD movies at 24fps with quite good autofocus system.  It has DIGIC-5 processor, actually higher and more updated than my Canon EOS 600D (with only DIGIC-4 processor).  We are having difficulties shooting a scene with multiple angles, and this could be the best alternative for another DSLR.

The S100 is in effect a completely new camera compared to the S95; almost every key feature has been upgraded or updated:

  • 24-120mm (equivalent) lens range, F2.0-5.9, built-in neutral density filter
  • 12.1 MP 1/1.7" Canon CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • ISO 80-6400
  • 2.3 fps continuous shooting (9.6 fps for 8 frames in High-Speed burst mode)
  • Full HD (1080p24) movie recording; H.264 compression, MOV format
  • Optical zoom in movie mode
  • Super slow motion movie recording (640 x 480 @ 120fps, 320 x 240 @ 240 fps)
  • Direct movie record button
  • Built-in GPS unit with image tagging and logger functions

Canon Cameras Philippines announced just recently its basic price, a slapping P28,998.  It is not yet released to other camera shops like Henry's, and if so, it would sell for about P25,000.

From a Musician to a Cinematographer

Some people do change.  I think I'm one of them.

I remember back when I was 12, I learned playing guitar for the first time.  By the time I learned it, I became addicted to it and came to love this hobby.  I went from school battle of the bands to professional bands.

But, sometime in 2006, I stopped playing guitar to the point that I can barely play anything.  That was the time when I became addicted to computers, particularly browsing the internet.  While I was watching some videos on YouTube, I found this:

This video caught my attention.  This has started the firework.  I gotta do something like this!  I said to myself.  So I browsed online for a perfect camera that shoots HD.  And then I watched Jared Abrams's videos about HDSLR's.  I became addicted to his videos about camera preps and stuff, and it came to my mind that I need to buy one of those.  So I bought a Canon EOS 600D, an intermediate-level DSLR capable of shooting HD movies (1080p) at 24 fps.  The price was quite a pain in the ass, but it's worth it.

But way back then before I bought a DSLR, I already shot some action videos with my brother's cellphone, which was a Nokia X3-02 with 5 megapixels.

I wanted to use Final Cut Pro for video editing, but I cannot afford anymore a Mac, so I used Sony Vegas Pro for editing footage and Adobe AE CS4 for visual effects.  I'm going to show you my video editing workflow for the next posts, so stay tuned.

I first shot the video "Expired Unlimited Text" with my DSLR, so it has a little bit good quality.  I wasn't aware of the proper focusing, correct exposures and stuff, but it turned out pretty well.