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My short film “Autumn Memories”

November 16, 2009

This is my first short film inspired by all the great DSLR photography going on lately on Vimeo and other sites like Exposure Room.  I visited the Birmingham Botanical Gardens over the weekend and shot some fall colors with the people taking advantage of perfect photography weather.  Babies, bridal portraits, family pictures, sweet sixteens, senior portraits, you name it, there was somebody shooting it.  Click here to go to the Vimeo page where you can see the larger HD or full screen version.

YouTube just updated its site to allow users to upload videos in full HD 1080p resolution! Here’s the YouTube version of “Autumn Memories” —

The title of this piece is just a recognition of all the memory-making going on here in Alabama on what was probably the last perfect Saturday of 2009.

Shot with my Sony Z5U and color graded with Magic Bullet Looks 1.2 for Sony Vegas Pro, although I used a light touch with it.  I edited the piece, then copied the track with all the shots and placed the identical copy right above the original. I then applied MBL as a track effect, using a warm film stock look combined with some diffusion.

Then, for each shot, I just went in and lowered the transparency on the upper layer, blending it with the raw image underneath to taste. This way I could control how much “magic” to put in each shot, depending on what it needed. For some shots I went back and added an event level effect, such as brightness/contrast, a vignette, shift-tilt, or whatever it seemed to need to make it flow with the surrounding shots in terms of brightness and contrast.

If you are interested in DSLR filmmaking, check out Philip Bloom’s website; he’s the reigning expert of 35mm HD movies and has a DVD about how to do it. Again, this was shot with a pro video camera, but I tried to employ the principles of shallow depth of field and film-like gamma curves as well as a 24p conversion to get more of a “film look.”

This is sort of a mood piece, but I think if you use your imagination, there is a sense of story to it as well.  As I was editing it, I was imagining what might be going on in the lives of the subjects, and their photographers. Hope you enjoy it.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tonya Jones permalink
    November 22, 2009 10:02 PM

    Wow, I’m so impressed. This is fantastic!!!! I know who I will be contacting when I need a short film/promotional video done. I’m so tickled that I know someone like you John Marc. God has given you a very special gift and I pray that you will continue to use it for His Glory. In His Arms, Tonya 🙂

  2. November 23, 2009 12:26 AM

    Thank you so much, Tonya! Very kind of you; glad you liked it. Hopefully these will just get better. Please let me know if you have any ideas on subject matter for future short videos. I was thinking about Five Points in Birmingham, and possibly the Calera Railroad Museum when they do the Polar Express.

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