It's amazing that it has already been two weeks since I was in West Virginia with the Principia Climbers, time does have a habit of floating away during the middle of the semester I suppose. Anyway, I have managed to finally produce a promo video for the club from footage of the trip. Firstly I need to give a big thanks to Joey White for letting me use his really great GoPro footage. Joey rigged himself with several GoPro's everyday of climbing and captured some excellent POV and actions shots of not only himself climbing but of the beautiful rocks, faces, and views. The last shot in the promo really nails what I was looking for in terms of inspiration and feeling.
I chose "Kings and Queens" as the song because of the light hearted, inspirational, and (to me) mountainy vibe it gives off. There is something about the chorus that always remind of mountains and makes we want to explore and see everything.
For the filmed a really cool shot of Alex carrying rope up to a wall at New River Gorge. I instantly knew, as I filmed it, that it would be the opening shot. I placed the 5D II w/ 17-40L on my tripod which I further adjusted so that I was hold two of the tripod legs with the last leg on my shoulder. This make-shift rig allows for some surprisingly steady walking shots that include an aesthetically pleasing sense of motion, versus walking and trying to hold the camera in my hand. I used this technique almost exclusively in my Spring break film last year when I had the Black Magic Cinema Camera.
The rest of the footage I pieced in place based on the gut feeling I had. There is a vague sense of continuity throughout the short anyway, but I really just wanted to capture the essence of the trip; how I felt and how I feel like others felt.
Not in the promo are a ton of more detail shots of equipment and gear as well as several short interviews I did. I am hoping to use this extra footage in later climbing films, which might be coming out sooner rather than later.
I graded all the 5D shots in Davinci Resolve, using a Kodak print film LUT and adjusting brightness and exposure through log sliders. From there I adjusted the tone and color to a saturated blue/yellow palette without going to extreme. My aim was for the feel to be punchy but not overly in your face. Finally I added a decent amount of vignette to each shot. The GoPro footage I just graded in FCPX as it was not filmed in a log color space. The coloring for this was pretty simple and quick with no shot really requiring a lot of attention, I didn't even have to using keyframing and tracked power windows in Resolve.
I had a really good time working with the club and making this film. Next semester I plan on taking a much more active role in the club after my swim season ends. Hopefully I will gain the skills to actually get up a wall and film some sweet vertigo shots.