Sydney Harbour at night – Timelapse

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(Read in 1950’s radio narrator voice….): “Has THIS ever happened to YOU?”

Client : “We need to establish Sydney in the first few shots of our TVC/Corporate/Demo/Hype video. A timelapse would be nice…”

You (Editor) : “OK… do you have a shot for me to put there?”

Client: “Um… can’t you just find something on the internet?”

You (Editor): “…well, yeah, but we won’t own it, so we might get in trouble. Or we could licence something… it’ll cost between $50 and $400”

Client: (Gives you the look that says ‘make it happen for free somehow’)

Well buddy, today that CAN happen!

When I’m out shooting B-roll (that’s what we videographers call the non-dialogue ‘pretty scene setting’ shots) I often squeeze out a few shots that I can use in my own private collection of go-to material for cases such as the above.

Let me share this one with you: The 1080P file can be downloaded from my Vimeo page, contact me on if you want access to my original ungraded 4K camera files.

Kearon’s Free stock footage – Sydney Harbour, Night from Kearon de Clouet – Director, DoP on Vimeo.

You may use this footage in any video production you wish. Ah, I can feel the good Karma already.

Now go and edit together something awesome!

Kearon de Clouet

Free Stock Footage – Palm and Clouds Timelapse

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DOWNLOAD LINK: Get the master file from my Vimeo account here.

Here’s a little something to remind you of what you really wanted to be doing last weekend!

While I’m out shooting productions, I often get the chance to grab some nice bits of ‘Stock Footage’. I usually post them up to Pond5 to sell, but this year I thought, “Hey, why not give away some shots?”. Here’s the first.

Free Stock Footage-Palm Tree and Clouds Timelapse from Kearon de Clouet – Director, DoP on Vimeo.

You may use this footage on any project you wish, uncredited.

Now – go edit something awesome!


Kearon de Clouet
Content Producer / Cinematographer

Getting that ‘Film Look’ with a DSLR

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Yeah, it’s a bit of a ‘Holy Grail’!

MANLY – Kearon de Clouet’s V-LOG test on the LUMIX GH4 from Kearon de Clouet – Director, DoP on Vimeo.

Many DSLRs ‘crush’ the data in the blacks and whites, giving you what looks like a more ‘final’ image, but at the expense of your video file – see, you have now lost the nice rolloff in the blacks and whites – making the image much harder to colour grade in post production.

So, how do we capture all the nice bright and dark bits on a DSLR? You use a colour setting that DOESN’T throw away all the data you want to keep. Something that doesn’t look right in-camera, but will make your post-production colourist offer you a beer. Or a case of beer.

With Panasonic releasing a firmware update to give the GH4 a couple of extra stops of latitude by utilising an ‘s-log’ type of exposure curve, I went down to Manly Beach to give it a test in some extremely bright light conditions. I was pleasantly surprised – while I expected the V-Log colour space to hold up in the usual 25fps 100mbit shots, I didn’t expect it to hold up so well on the 96fps slo-mo shots. Not bad at all.


Shot on Panasonic Lumix GH4, Firmware update 2.4 (around 12 stops of latitude using V-Log)
Lens: Lumix X series 12-35mm
Editied on Final Cut Pro x (in an hour, no less!)
Graded in FilmConvert Pro, using the Kodak 5207 Vision 3 film setting.

Music: ‘Polaris’, by Jordan Critz, courtesy of The Music Bed.

Now go out and shoot something!

Kearon de Clouet, content producer, videographer.

Running and Gunning with the Sony PXW-FS7

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Finally! I’m happy to report that I now have a camera that’ll shoot a 10-bit 4K image.. sure, my GH4 shoots 8bit 4K, but really, for top end work you need a top end file type with lots of gorgoeus colour data in it.

While the FS7 quite deservedly is being lauded as the ‘must get camera of 2015’, there are a few thing one can easily tweak on it to make it even better. A recent job for Sydney Trains had me needing to shoot on my Sony T2 Primes, with a slider, wireless monitor setup, sound etc etc (read as: lot’s of gear to lug around), on and off trains and trains stations all over sydney. Whilst we couldn’t control the locations, at least we could control performances via our three key actors (a nice change!).

This little video shows you how I’ve got my FS7 setup to be comfy and well balanced for this shoot. Hey, why not share the tecchy love while wating for breakfast?

Oh yes, that IS my Philip Bloom pocket dolly being slightly overloaded… But I do generally have a Manfrotto magic arm supporting each side. Strong, and small(ish).

Shooting green screen with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

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Shooting green screen with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Yep, I finally did it – relied entirely on my BMPCC (that’s what the cool kids are calling this camera) for a paying shoot!

As is always the case when shooting greenscreen, you want the most colour data you can catch – and as the BMPCC shoots Apple’s ProRes HQ codec internally, it’s a no-brainer codec-wise. But as far as ergonomics and monitoring (both video and audio), things aren’t quite so simple.

My options for shooting greenscreens to Prores HQ are a few: I could use my Blackmagic shuttle pro to record ProRes HQ out of my PMW-EX1, or my PMW-F3 cameras – but bother require more interconnect, power supplies. It’s more equpiment to lug, and if shooting on the F3, a case of lenses too. Of course, with these bigger cameras, one is very easily able to check focus and audio – a task that (for me) requires extra gear with the BMPCC.

Of course, I did some tests with this setup that resulted in me using it on the ‘real gig’.

BMPCC (of course)

Alphatron viewfinder (so I could check consistency of background lighting and low and highs)

My home-made ‘mgic mirror box’ autocue

Sennhieser G2 wireless radio kit into a wooden camera ‘A Box’.

Rode pinmic

(Chris Bird, my lighting/camera assistant on the day, getting a lesson in reading the waveform monitor in the Alphatron viewfinder.)

Now for the IMPORTANT radio to camera setup – I know a lot of people who don’t actually listen to the quality of thier audio, only to know ‘that it’s there’. Get it right!! I found the best signal vs distortion came out of the radio reciever at -20db. Yep, unbalanced.

Also, VERY importantly, this camera does not have audio levels! Really!!! I’m not kidding: Blackmagic… listen, you’ve made a great little camera that completely disrupted the status quo of small pro cameras, but to go that far without audio levels is crazy. My solution is to pair it with the great Alphatron viewfinder.

“A viewfinder?? How does that help with knowing your audio levels, Kearon? Wha???”

Here’s the thing… the HDMI out of the BMPCC happens to also carry the AUDIO signal. And as the Alphatron viewfinder shows audio levels on it (above the picture), presto! You have reliable monitoring that doesn’t even need lining up!
(Me in the drivers seat, wondering if I look silly with such a small camera. Hey, the client can’t see it behind the teleprompter anyway!!)

As it all goes down to an SD card, I was able to chuck the media into FCPX on my laptop while Chris was breaking down the set and packing, and within a couple of minutes was able to show a 30 second chunk of media keyed on a white vignetted background, with an ever so slight warmup in the colours. Clients love that sort of thing: they love knowing before you’ve left that everything looks and sound great 😉

So I’m having my post-shoot coffee, writing this, and feeling like I may keep my little Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera after all. Good little toy. Did the job, and small enough to sneak into anywhere!

My new camera + world class glass!!

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You’re looking at my new rig (OK, it’s a hired lens on this setup, but you get the gist…)!

So now I’m set for ANYTHING! TV, Broadcast, BBC deliveries, series work, you name it. On this baby (with my T2 cinema primes).

Can’t talk now… I’m off to shoot some nice pics!

Z-Day – Zombie film. My camera test day with the S-log enabled PMW-F3

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Today I shot some setups for a Zombie movie I’m DP’ing. Kieren Wuest (Director) has graciously allowed time on set for initial setups and tests… it’s a real luxury to have testing time! What I learned from todays shoot:
– I need a Lamparte Follow focus with hard stops (I shot today without a FF… I have an old Red Rock)
– We’ll have to rethink the framing/staging on the ‘zombie kids’ shot.

I’m shooting this with my S-Log enabled Sony PMW-F3, with the sony T2 cinema primes and a hired Zeiss 18mm prime. I’ll have the camera mounted on a dolly and Jib, giving me a lot of movement, but more importantly, reducing reset times (this is a 10 minute film, to be shot in only two days).

I’ve gone into this project with a few distinct ideas of what I wanted to achieve as a DP, one of which being I wanted to shot a more ‘European’ looking film than a ‘Hollywood’ film, but still making it watchable to a ‘popcorn and coke’ audience.

I also want to ‘light it dark’. We found a lot of the windows were blacked out, giving us a little more control… this was all shot with available light. I think all we’ll do is have some lights on standby to create some edges when we need them. Shooting S-log onto a Ki Mini (in Prores HQ) will give us the options to really have some control in post to darken it up, and to put power windows on faces (if we need them).

Crime Stoppers: 4 TVC’s, 4 Locations, one day.

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With a crew of only four, we went out to shoot 4 x 30 second spots for ‘myPD’. Here’s the last setup (runnig through it just before dusk…). Handy having a firetruck there to wet the road down! (You’ll notice the plastic bag over the borrowed Ki Mini 10 bit recorder – Thanks Craig!).

I’m sure the spots will end up on my showreel at some stage – I had some fun keeping the camera movement quite lively, getting a real spur-of-the-moment feel.

In post, I’ve found the grain in the dark night shots (one light… so we could see all the emergency lights relfecting) pretty harsh, meaning specific de-graining would have to be applied. I should’ve shot S-Log on the PMW-F3 rig – well, I’m shooting a music video next week with the F3, so we’ll get a good comparison!

When 3000 people all laugh at the same time…

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The skits I recently shot and directed for the ImagesPOST produced/ci create creatived were a lot of fun to work on. We had 6 setups on the day, in one location (you can see some of them on the main page). Featuring comedian Gary Eck, the ‘Conskroocious’ character is in reference to the Founder of Flight Centre, ‘Skroo’ Turner – and these skits played at Flight Center’s Global Gathering at Singapore a couple of weeks ago. (I was there… it was amazing!)

Here’s a grab I shot on ‘show day’.