I make films, photographs and electronic music. I build electronic musical instruments

Working With His Hands

A couple of weeks ago I shot some footage of my Dad working in his workshop. My goal was twofold: shoot some nice images and get experience with my new camera, the Panasonic AF101. I wanted to capture the process of creating something with your own hands. This is something that a lot of people do not know any more as it is so easy to buy some cheap made-in-china stuff. For me, building something yourself gives great satisfaction as you can built it exactly the way *you* want it to be and that gives a great sense of accomplishment.

Basically, everything was shot with available light coming through one big window. I did use a LED light but I forgot to bring the Minus Green gel so all shots where I used the LED light looked awful, especially the skin colors. I tried color correcting it but I couldn’t get it right so unfortunately I had to leave some shots out of the final edit. In the article “Green Spike from LED Lights” you can read more about that.

Nothing was staged or directed, I was just an observer with a camera. I only asked for a little pause when switching lenses for close ups or for setting up my slider for dolly shots.

I had about one hour of raw footage and first sorted the shots based on content, i.e. “drilling”, “checking measurements”, “sanding”, “head shot”, etc. Then, I searched for royalty free music and decided on “Prelude in C Major” by Johan Sebastian Bach which I downloaded from A-M Classical. As long as you mention A-M Classical in the credits of your film you are allowed to use it without written permission. Fair deal.

I used this soundtrack to arrange and time the individual shots. When I was satisfied with the edit I did a little color grading: crushing the blacks a bit and warming up the colors.

The main lens used was a Nikon AIS 35mm f2.0 (manual focus) but I also used a Nikon AIS 85mm f1.4 for the close ups and a Nikon AIS 24mm f2.0 for wide angle shots. The lenses where rigged with the Cinevate Durus follow focus which is a joy to use and I used the Cinevate Atlas 30 slider for the dolly shots at the end of the film.

Oh, you can check out the end result here.