Posts tagged fs700
Houghton College

Houghton College and borrego solar have completed a 2.5 megawatt on-site solar energy installation – the largest on a college campus in New York State.

sutro studios was there filming and capturing the story.

 

Day 1

 

The system will generate an estimated 3.15 million kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation—the equivalent amount of energy needed to power 370 homes annually—and will allow the college to realize a 23 percent first-year greenhouse gas reduction and save up to $4.3 million during the 25-year power purchase agreement contract period.
— WXXI News

Atomos Shogun recorder in action at Houghton College, NY.

A screen grab from the shot shown above. We usually quickly apply a simple grade on top of the footage, to just start getting an idea of the feel and mood for the whole video.

Houghton is committed to being carbon neutral by 2050. This new solar array will get us 23 percent of the way there,” he said. “We expect to save $119,000 on electricity during the first year of operation, and $4.3 million during the 25-year power purchase agreement contract period.
— Brian Webb, Houghton College Sustainability Coordinator

The campus of Houghton College is perfect to film.

The FS700 and Atomos Shogun provide a ton of flexibility in capturing great footage if you know the camera well, and understand the power of color grading in post-production. Here we have a very quick and simple grade to test a certain look for the footage. 

The solar project reflects both Houghton College’s commitment to renewable energy and our commitment to form creative partnerships for the greater good of our region,
— Shirley Mullen, Houghton College President

Our creative team filming behind the scenes one of the student interviews. Levi Pike of Redbone Media to the left shooting on his 5Dm3 and SmallHD monitor, and Tommy Sunderland (right) of Borrego Solar conducting the interviews.

The students at Houghton College are extremely well spoken, and these were some of the easiest interviews we have ever filmed. We took advantage of a natural shade structure to be able to capture soft lighting outdoors, during a pretty bright sunny afternoon. Simple color grade applied to start testing skin tones, and overall look of the image and interviews.

The project was created and built by Borrego Solar Systems Inc., a designer, developer and installer of grid-tied solar photovoltaic systems, and financed by WGL Energy, through a power purchase agreement that covered the costs.
— Olean Times Herald

Atomos Shogun quickly became our favorite tool in production. That microphone is pretty incredible too, especially for outdoor environments.

Another screen grab of the students we filmed at Houghton. We love playing with composition for the interviews. Outdoors always provides great flexibility and opportunities for cinematic backgrounds, and for guiding the eye in a subtle way.

With this solar installation, Houghton College has taken a leadership role in sustainability in the education space. You’re going to see a lot more 2.5 to 2.6 megawatt solar arrays being constructed all around the state in the upcoming years,
— Amy McDonough, Sr. Project Developer, Borrego Solar
 

Day 2

With this project, Houghton College has shown itself to be a leader in clean energy investment in New York State.
— John B. Rhodes, NYSERDA President

Indoors filming an interview with Brian Webb from Houghton College. Litepanels LED are great for this kind of setup and give a nice soft light with great control of color temperature and hardness.

Shooting indoor interviews in office settings is always a challenge. You have to think about composition to make it interesting, and lighting that typically is very artificial and lifeless. Since we're going for a more cinematic tone, you can see here how we planned this composition for the interview. With Brian on the right of the frame, lit by a couple of soft LitePanel LEDs, the key from screen right, we can still take advantage of the outdoor campus to capture some contextual and interesting activity.

This is one way that we can do that with reliable and renewable energy that will remove a significant portion of our fossil fuel usage and create energy with a contract that we have now for 25 years with Borrego Solar to essentially lock us into a solid rate that’ll be economic and hopefully save about $2.5 estimated million dollars for the university over the 20-year period.
— Marshall Green, Public Relations Specialist, Houghton College

Levi Pike from Redbone Media was our assistant throughout the shoot. He's helping with sound testing for an indoor shoot with the President of Houghton College. We only had a couple of minutes available to us to film an interview after the luncheon meeting with the people associated with the solar array project, so we had to plan this carefully. With a very clinical and relatively uninteresting room, we found an American flag in the corner, and quickly realized this could be the perfect setting for an interview background. We used gaffers tape to secure the interview spot to save time in the end, and to extend the flag on the background wall.

And here's the result, with a quick small color grade applied. With two LitePanel LEDs and diffusers, we get a pretty even and attractive lighting effect for this interview. The key coming from screen left, and a soft fill is pointing towards the wall on screen right to fill in the shadows a bit, and create a bit of a vignette around her. For such a simple and challenging shot, we can still get a cinematic look if you take care in observing what's around you before filming.

The solar project reflects both Houghton College’s commitment to renewable energy and our commitment to form creative partnerships for the greater good of our region.
— Shirley Mullen, President, Houghton College

Closeup of one of the thousands of solar panels part of this new solar array at Houghton College, by Borrego Solar.

A screen grab of a shot we did of one of the rows of the array at Houghton College. Thanks to Borrego Solar, this solar array will be one of the largest solar arrays in an American college campus. Here, we set the FS700 filming a bit of a long shot on a tripod, so that we can speed it up in editing/post and capture the reflection of the clouds moving across the array. It's one simple way of adding interest to what typically can be a pretty cold mechanical shot, and it works really well for this perspective. We are also playing with lines to add a more dynamic and richer depth to this shot.


About Houghton College 
Houghton College is a liberal arts institution that challenges students to academic excellence in the context of a relevant Christian community and empowers them to enrich the world. The college of 1,000 students is located in Western New York just 65 miles from Buffalo and Rochester. For more information, please visit http://www.houghton.edu.

About Borrego Solar 
Established in 1980, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. is one of the nation's leading financiers, designers, developers and installers of commercial and utility solar power systems. Borrego Solar's photovoltaic systems are efficient, reliable and cost-effective. With more than three decades of experience and more than 1,000 solar power installations completed—totaling over 150 MW—Borrego Solar offers a complete line of solar system design and installation services throughout North America. Borrego Solar was recently ranked as the #2 commercial EPC in the United States and the #2 commercial contractor in California by Solar Power World. For more information, visit http://www.borregosolar.com.

We <3 Keyboardio

We've recently been working alongside Keyboardio to create a video for their upcoming crowdfunding campaign. We won't go into too many details for now, but we couldn't be more excited about this product.

The work this incredible team (husband and wife) has done over the past couple of years to design, create, and bring this product to reality is staggering to say the least, and the product feels, and looks nothing short of amazing.

We can't wait to have the video ready for all you guys to see, but we're still a couple of shoots away. And of course, we couldn't be more excited to finally get our hands on one of these keyboards ourselves and use them in our everyday lives at home, and at work.

As a quick teaser, check the two video grabs below for today's shoot.

Szabo Shoot

Back in November we started filming a short documentary video for online distribution about local artist and sculptor Michael Szabo. It's still an on-going project, and one that we're very excited about.

It's been incredibly inspiring to see Michael and his team work tirelessly in their warehouse in San Francisco, and capturing some great cinematic shots while they build stunning new art.

This project will keep on going over the next two or three months, so we can't share much until then, but for now, check out the two following screen captures from our most recent shoot.

Stay tuned for more...

Green Initiatives

Introduction

We were recently hired to work with Borrego Solar and the Town of Easton, MA to create a video showcasing the outstanding efforts of their Green Initiatives program. Being the first town in their County to go green, it was a complete privilege to meet first hand the people and projects that keep pushing forward the renewable energy efforts, creating jobs, saving money, and counteracting climate change for future generations.

As we couldn't be more excited to have been awarded this video project, we've decided to create a production/post-production diary showcasing how we approach the project, sharing some of the challenges we face, and eventually the final video product.

Thank you for your interest in reading this, and please don't hesitate to ask us any questions. Storytelling is always at the center of every project we do, no matter what the scope of the work is.

Keep creating.

- Afonso


Monday 5/19

We've submitted our first rough cut of the video, at 2m:30s duration, and we couldn't be more excited about it. This is part of our editing process, where we get notes from our clients at Borrego Solar about what we can improve in certain elements.

Being a rough cut, things like sound and grading are still not final, amongst other things, but the main structure and flow of the story is there, and that's the most important thing.

The video feels good, looks great, and we can't wait to be able to share more details about this soon. Stay tuned...

 

Wednesday 4/30

Our main shoot day. This was to be a long day. With guests starting to arrive around 10:30am for the ribbon cutting ceremony in Easton, we had to film the live event non-stop, and film three interviews with main Town of Easton representatives in the afternoon.

We were really lucky. At this point, it hadn't stopped raining in the Boston area, so we were afraid the shoot wouldn't go as well. Fortunately, and weirdly enough, the rain stopped for the two hour window we needed to cover the event, including setup time for all the cameras and gear.

We had three cameras filming the event, one FS700 with a 70-200mm lens, a 5Dm2 and a 5Dm3. That way we had at all times three cameras shooting the event, and we could seamlessly cut between different perspectives in post.

We also set up a boom mic above the podium with a wind filter, to make sure we'd capture the best sound possible without interference from audience sounds, generators, or environment noises. It worked out perfectly.

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Tuesday, 4/29

As we keep charging batteries and making sure everything is set up properly, it is time to pick up our assistant videographer and regular collaborator from Logan Airport. Levi Pike is a great and talented videographer, with a keen eye for detail and composition, and we couldn't be more excited to work with him on this.

Make sure you check out his website at RedBone Media.

With Levi in the car, it's time to head out to Easton for the first time, meet some of the people in the Town Offices, and start shooting some b-roll. We have our drone with us, the incredible Phantom 2 Vision+ that just came out a month ago at NAB.

 

Our first stop is at one of the solar arrays that Borrego installed for Easton. We use the drone to capture some fly overs, and we were fortunate the stormy weather held off a while longer.

Straight of the drone footage for one of the solar arrays

Straight of the drone footage for one of the solar arrays

Since we were shooting a live event the next day, we headed onto the main site to get a feel of the land layout, pre-plan where to put our gear, cameras, and see how the event would be organized.

And of course we used the quadcopter to take some more aerial footage of the main installation. We were amazed by the scope of the solar array, and to learn more about the project. This new solar array by Borrego Solar will generate enough electricity to power more than 230 homes.

Working with the Phantom quadcopter is nothing short of amazing. We can get really outstanding HD quality footage, and even 14 MP of raw photographs. Despite of heavy wind, we could still control the drone in a really stable way. For more information about the Vision+ check out DJI's website.

Straight from our drone footage in the main solar array.

Straight from our drone footage in the main solar array.

 

Monday, 4/28

 

We just arrived in Boston, MA. Due to simple work logistics between the offices of Borrego Solar in the East Coast, and the Town of Easton, we are actually staying in Lowell, MA to make it easy to pick up gear, have our pre-production meetings, and travel back and forth to the location of the actual shoot in Easton, MA.

We arrive early in the morning after the usually uncomfortable red-eye flight. Virgin America never ceases to amaze us though, with their ongoing efforts to make the standard economy class feel a bit more fun at least than every other airline we've flown.

Cramped seats of modern flying

Cramped seats of modern flying

As we arrive in Lowell, MA we start immediately planning our shoot for the remained of the week. The main schedule will involve three days of work. First day, mostly B-roll shooting, second day, covering the main event and filming interviews, and finally third day dealing mostly with logistics from backing up footage, transferring everything accordingly, and returning rented gear.

Speaking of rentals, we typically use BorrowLenses.com for a lot of our shoots. They provide an outstanding service at all times, and for bigger rentals they even put you directly in their VIP support system, with priority everything. Make sure you check them out next time you need to rent lenses, cameras, lights, or whatever else  you can imagine. The prices are fair and the quality of the equipment is just perfect.

And on a side note, if you use them through this link, you are actually helping us without even having to pay extra for it!

As soon as we pick up the rented gear, we're happy that we got a big car. We typically choose our lights based on each project needs, scope, and budget. For this case, we got a couple of LitePanels and ARRI lights, some of our current favorites for indoor interview usage.

BorrowLenses.com  always ready to help us out when needed

BorrowLenses.com always ready to help us out when needed

Everything starts getting ready for the shoot

Everything starts getting ready for the shoot

It's a long day, but a very necessary one. Better to prep all the gear as early as possible, test the lights, test the batteries, microphones, set up the cameras with the right color profiles, and plan the shoot as much as possible.

 

Haiti/Rise2Shine Episode 02 - Update

We're almost ready to publish the second episode of our Haiti/Rise2Shine web series, which you can follow on our main Haiti page here, but we couldn't stop ourselves from sharing a still frame from this new video.

We loved this little girl. We were visiting her "home" at the base of the mountains close to Fonds Parisien, an hour away from Port-au-Prince.

She is one of the children enrolled by Rise2Shine at their pre-school, and one of the poorest kids in that community.

One of the children from Rise2Shine.

Zazzle

Making three videos for the same clients at Zazzle and Rickshaw: one around 4 mins long, one around 1 min long and another around 30 seconds long. It's fascinating the different challenges the time constraints provide to still create something engaging, compelling and grabbing while still telling a solid story from beginning to end.

It's all in the little details and we love it. Here's a screen grab from one of them. We'll be writing an extensive blog post with behind-the-scens and everything explained of what we've done once the videos are released. It's been amazing working with these clients!

 

zazzle

Rickshaw/Zazzle

We had an amazing film shoot last week with the guys from Rickshaw and Zazzle. We shot several interviews and filmed a ton of b-roll showcasing the details and their process of creating one of the highest-quality bags you can get in San Francisco. All local. All made there. In the store, which is also their factory. Incredible people, with an insane passion for what they do and for making people happy, creating stories with each bag. We're creating their story. We filmed their story. And we'll be showcasing a detailed behind-the-scenes soon, but for now check out these photos from our Instagram feed in case you haven't seen them. Stay tuned for more details soon.

A Story of Beer

We woke up this morning and went straight to work with the awesome people at Oct28 Productions. We filmed some great slow-motion footage with the FS700 for something they are currently working on. Stay tuned for more details, but if you haven't seen the opening video on our website, have fun with the link below.

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Florida

Just spent the weekend filming a series of interviews in Florida for a personal documentary I'm working on. You can see the trailer for Laura on our film page on the navigation menu. We used the fantastic Litepanels for these interviews, that provide a great control over the quality of light while adding a lot of comfort to the people being filmed. Loved these lights.

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Recap

The last video we filmed, edited and graded in the backseat of a car during a 800-mile roadtrip to LA and back to SF with the guys from GUSTIN. They were searching for more premium raw denim to add to their Kickstarter success and denim collection. Three 1 to 2 minute videos were created from scratch during this trip, while filming everything with a GoPro and a Sony FS700. Footage edited using a MacBook Pro laptop and Final Cut.


Premium Denim

As part of the Roadtrip effort Sutro Studios took with the guys from GUSTIN to document and create on-the-fly little videos telling this incredible journey in search of premium raw denim to add to their Kickstarter page, here's a video of highlights as they were choosing and carefully analyzing samples of all kinds of denim in LA. Shot on the FS700. Edited in Final Cut.