Tour Documentary

I am now three episodes into what looks like around an 8 Episode YouTube Documentary for this years tour. It would have been nice to have started this in Australia / Asia back in Jan/Feb but because the band needed a DVD for the I Found A Girl single release that couldn't happen. The plan with it is to make the 8 episodes (I say 8 it could end up being anything from 8 - 12) and then release a longer version with a bunch of unseen stuff around Christmas, i'm guessing that would be a DVD though i'm pushing for a digital version of it most likely on iTunes. As for what was filmed backstage in London, that'll be a little extra on the Live DVD I just Directed at The O2 Arena for the band. Anyway, onto the episodes :

The third episode was entirely shot on the new Sony A6300 and my Freefly Movi M5. It has the worlds fastest Autofocus tracking system in video mode and though it misses a few times (which if you watch very very closely you can see, it is in the whole 'mind bogglingly' good! The only problem I need to solve is if I have the 10-18 f/4 Sony lens on the camera the lens protrudes top and bottom and i'd end up damaging the lens if I mounted it on Movi. So at the minute I have the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 on at all times but thats a great lens anyhow, so not too worried. Have had some great feedback on social media on the series so far so thanks to anyone who's taking the time for that! 

On stage 'Moviying' with the @freeflysystems #Movi #MoviM5 in Newcastle. (Thanks for the photo's @paigeniamhh )

A photo posted by Dean Sherwood (@itsdeansherwood) on

I'll be updating my Flickr with a few photos at the end of the tour. All taken on the Sony A7RII. Here are a few for now and there are more on my Instagram too.

What does 12TB look like?

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Early morning colour grade in the suite on my iMac using FCPX and Denver RIddle's excellent Color Finale plugin (the plugin is the floating window in the screenshot below). Grade took around 3 hours, quite long as it's the first time i've balanced my new Sony A7SII camera to my FS7. Once all the shots are balanced (using both waveforms and vector scopes) I add my LUT of choice, in this and nearly all cases it's the superb range created by James Miller.

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Once the grade is finished I run back through the edit a few times checking audio on my Bose Companion Speakers and making sure I haven't missed anything. Usually i'll go do some other jobs and come back to an edit (if I have time) with a coffee a bit later in the day as that break from seeing it can often open your eyes to something new you have missed.

Alt text Backups are on these 4TB Naked drives that connect via these USB drive bays.

Once the video is uploaded (in UHD 4K) I run an important backup totalling just over 12TB in size, send some emails, reschedule some edits and plan for tomorrow's photo backup and reshuffle to my main edit drive (Promise Pegasus) drive ready for sending options for the 2016 tour booklet.

At 8pm the video goes live and here it is. Tried to make this as much about the boys as possible, there was a lot going on on-set and it's not easy to get good audio and with all the crew and extras it soon gets cramped so I try to get the moments in wardrobe and any moments more closed off from the set, which I hope works well in the edit...

The Sony RX100IV

This is not a camera review. It's just some tests on my own terms that I 'gone and done' whilst on a trip with Sophie, my girlfriend, to Belgium for my birthday. On paper, the Sony RX100IV looks like the perfect walk around pocket camera for me whilst travelling. 4K, tick. 100FPS 100Mbits Slow motion, tick. It can shoot up to 1000FPS, but it looks like dirty dirt so i'll never use it, unless it's for somewhere like Instagram maybe. Anyhow, here's the videos and a few photo's too. It's not a camera I would use for photo's. I love my Fuji XT-1 23/56 combo and I also just homed the A7RII with it's whopping 42 megapixels (and 4K internal recording ability), but that said, in a pinch, if I had to, I wouldn't shudder at taking a photo with this little beast. To see bigger versions of the photo's go to my Flickr and make sure you watch the 4K test in 4K, of course.

4K test/random frames on the new Sony RX100IV all shot at 25FPS 100MBPS in S-LOG2. Light grade added in FCPX. Mostly at 1600 ISO though some of the night scenes are 3200 ISO. 

100FPS test/random frames on the new Sony RX100IV all shot at 100FPS 100MBPS in SLOG-2. Light grade added in FCPX. All at 1600 ISO though the first & last scenes are 3200 ISO.

Living With The Apple Watch

I've had my Apple Watch for a few weeks now. Unsure whether it would be something i'd really need at the start it has become somewhat essential already. Freeing me up to become more productive and more active in my day to day life. Here's a sample day with the watch :

745am : Awake, laid in bed, I get a reminder on my wrist to remind Sophie to take her Quiche to work that’s in the fridge. I set it last night because I know she’d forget, and I'd forget to remind her.

8am : I get up and make my morning coffee for my morning coffee (that’ll make more sense in a moment). This morning it’s ice, vanilla ice cream, milk and coffee blended to make a frothy iced coffee, it's already 27 degrees Celsius outside so I figure I'm allowed this mix.

815am : My watch tells me it’s time for my ‘Morning Coffee’ list. I have a repeating Omnifocus daily task checklist which I usually perform in bed or in the living room. This morning I lay on the bed as theirs a nice breeze coming through the bedroom windows.

835am : Morning Coffee finished. On the daily tasks are things like sorting through my inbox, updating my calendar, checking through the touring app we use for updates and adding video/photo links to our group slack account.

9am : I get my morning Dark Sky weather update for the day, of course, on my wrist, while I wash the dishes.

915am : I walk to the shop to pick up some ingredients for my morning shake. Before leaving I setup an outdoor walk on my watch. Knowing i’m tracking heart rate/calories etc makes me walk faster which obviously has health benefits.

930am : I tick off ingredients on my wrist using Bring, and the shared shopping list me and Sophie have. I also glance two emails while i’m shopping and dismiss them for answering later.

945am : I make my morning shake. This morning it’s 2 apples, a banana, some lemon, cucumber, spirulina, flax seed, goji berries, wheatgrass and coconut water.

950am : As I approach my desk MacID taps my wrist and asks if I want to unlock my iMac, I click unlock and … well, it’s just damn cool!

10am : I take some stuff to the skip. I fire up google maps on my phone and head to the household recycling plant, getting haptic instructions on my wrist while I drive, I don’t even look at my phone for the journey. The watch directs me via tap combinations.

11am : Due reminder ‘ring mum’. I know that seems like something I should do anyway, and it is, but i’m trying to empty my human brain into my digital brain as much as possible so when I edit etc I don’t have that constant ‘did i forget to do something?’ question hanging over me.

1115am : Editing time. I leave my phone in the living room on purpose. If someone calls, I can take it on my watch and then using handoff take it on my phone if I want to, or I can send them a quick "I'll call you soon." Message from my wrist. With my phone not there and only my editing software open on my iMac, i’m ready to get some serious progress going with my edits today.

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1245pm : It’s a Saturday so there’s less emails coming in but the few i’m receiving I glance at on my watch and carry on editing, nothing as yet needs answering straight away.

1pm : I get a reminder from the activity app on the watch to stand up and move around for a few minutes which prompts me to make my lunchtime smoothy. In it goes Banana, Carrot, Cucumber, Spirulina, Blackberries, Wheatgrass, Flaxseed, Almond Milk and my magic ingredient to make it taste great, organic peanut butter. I walk around the house doing a few chores before heading back to the edit suite with my drink.

135pm : A tap from the British Airways app lets me know online check in is now open for my flight tomorrow. I reserve my seat and check in.

150pm : It’s time to stand up and move again. I put the rubbish out, do my 3 minute Yoga mashup and wash my lunch dishes before making a cup of tea and then carrying on with more editing.

3pm : I’m reminded I need to update my FS7 firmware via an Omnifocus notification. I pause the edit, grab my camera and get that done.

350pm : I answer a couple text messages using Siri and then get another reminder to get up and move.

430pm : 5 solid hours of editing and i’m done for for the day. I’ve made a start on one video and managed to upload two others for client approval. My phone is still in the bedroom, i’ve answered what i’ve needed to via the watch and left the rest for ‘after work’.

5pm : My phone has 72% battery and the watch 62%.

630pm : Me and Sophie head out for an evening walk. I fire up the ‘outdoor walk’ option in the fitness tracker and receive taps for each half mile walking I do, it’s only a short 2 mile walk but it’s worth tracking so I can push myself next time to either walk further or get my average heart rate up a little more by walking a little quicker.

740pm : I receive an update from Just Eat letting me know my take away order is on its way.

930pm : I put my watch on charge, it has 44% battery left. My phone is now at 58%.

To read more about me and the Apple Watch, here's a piece I was asked to do for Mark Miller's website.

The SmallHD (Big Package) 502 Monitor

Ever since I received my A7S and saw the difficulty i'd have focussing using it I wanted and needed, more importantly, a monitor to alleviate that problem. The LCD is good, but not great and the focus peaking is hit and miss to say the least. I stuck by it after trying a few monitors out that didn't really tempt me into buying one. The Zacuto Gratical came close, but at over £2000 I needed to be "Whoa that is awesome!" and I was more "Ok that's better but not great." Then, when my FS7 arrived and replaced my C100 as my main camera for video work, I again was a little disappointed with the LCD monitor. Not just it's lack of focussing ability, but the big clunky plastic viewfinder attachment as well. That's when I finally found what i'd been looking for. The Small HD range of monitors, I know, are amazing. But the problem I had was I didn't want a 7" screen on my camera. I move about a lot, at speed at times, I also get knocked about quite a bit and a 7" monitor would be too big. Then came the announcement of the 502 monitor. 5" screen, only slightly bigger than my iPhone 6, runs off of small canon batteries and is operated by a joystick so no touch screen to get your finger prints all over. I ordered one straight away. 

Attached via a Noga arm and now installed with James Millers DeLuts I use to edit I have the solution i wanted. Not all the features are available yet but that's cool, the basics are all there pretty much and after using it for two weeks daily I can honestly say it's the best monitor i've ever used. I can't recommend it enough. i had a few issues early on, but one email to customer support and within an hour I had a firmware patch from joey and everything was good again, great service. Here's a few photo's of the monitor on my FS7 and on the A7S at the bottom, that's a really nice setup for B-Roll by the way! 

Theta Fun

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you'll have seen i've been enjoying a new camera. Not the usual high quality 50 megapixel stills camera or 4K enabled film camera, no-no! This is the Theta 360 made by Ricoh. It essentially is a thin 2 lens camera that takes two photo's and stitches them together. You can view the scrollable full images here in my Theta gallery. It's also fun to  make stills from the images as well, here's a few below. Works way better in daylight, looking forward to a higher pixel version in the future, but still great fun!