Losing Control, Releasing Nature – The Directors Cut!

In the last of my series of films re-examining my output over the last 10 years, I present the definitive edition of my film celebrating my wife’s silver gilt award at the RHS show.

The background to the film was that Cesca’s Garden Design class had headed down to the Malvern show. The springtime show in Malvern has a history going back 30 years and it was at the anniversary show that Cesca’s class went for such an ambitious theme for their garden.

You see, everything in the garden is placed according to the design, but made to look like it had naturally grown over as nature took over a plot of abandoned land. It was so successful in execution that most people visiting the gardens didn’t even realise it was an exhibit. Beautifully designed, it appealed to the judges as a work of pure art, a poem to the power of nature in the middle of gardens showcasing control over nature. While, at the same time, being totally man-made, so really showcasing the understanding of how nature reclaims and grows. It could have so easily just stood out as “fake”. Concept art imitating life, imitating art. Great stuff. The judges loved it and all got it. Awarding the team the treasured Silver Gilt award. It awards Gold, Silver-gilt, Silver and Bronze medals to exhibitors at its Flower Shows, so to get the award for such a high concept was outstanding.

About the film.

I had only been able to spend 10 minutes filming the garden on a really dreary day that pushed all the shadows into mega dark blotches killing all the joy from the footage. Also the wind was really high so the camera wobbled all over the place. My first cut of the film was an attempt to fix those issues with my knowledge at the time. It wasn’t a huge success and I despaired of ever improving it. However, it being Cesca’s birthday this weekend I was determined to reinvigorate the entire piece. I read about a technique to turn 50i footage into 25p and using that to build a slow-mo version of the cut.

The following tutorial shows you the best way to get as smooth slow motion video out of your footage. It’s a bit involved, but it’s worth it if the slow motion scenes of your videos are central to what you are trying to show (e.g. skateboarding slow-mo). This method uses the bob+weave de-interlacing algorithm that makes 50i or 60i interlacing streams to become 50p or 60p (progressive), before we slow them down. This way, the slow-motion algorithms have more frames to work with, therefore creating a smoother slow-mo effect similar to what some get from expensive high-frame rate cameras.

http://eugenia.queru.com/2009/02/09/butter-smooth-slow-motion/

While I hadn’t shot the footage in a high shutter speed, I tried the effect and realised it really helped.

Upgraded it looks like this:

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So, began the agonisingly slow process of rendering every cut into 25p, a process involving three renders of each component. I then rebuilt the film from the ground up.

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Dumping the original music and redoing every transition and effect. I then stabilised every frame as best as possible.

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The final result is far superior to the original with the following upgrades:

  • New music
  • Total re-edit
  • Stabilised
  • “Butter smooth slo mo” effect
  • Total re-colour
  • Sharpen
  • Text upgrades
  • HD Render

Essentially a new film from the same stock footage.

 

So, in celebration of her birthday, I present “Losing Control, Releasing Nature” The Director’s Cut!

 

 

2016-10-18T18:49:52+00:00

About the Author:

Bio: Philosopher, film maker, writer and IT expert. Occupation: IT Consultant, film-maker and writer. Interests: Debate, cooking, computer-gaming, reading, writing, videoing, martial arts, air­soft, movies, diving, skiing… (The list goes on — Basho is a philosopher and therefore into everything!)