Techy Stuff: Audio

Probably one of the most overlooked and underrated areas in filmmaking is audio. Audio is 50% of the experience and is often underestimated. Have you ever watched a movie on mute? Not even close to the same experience. Have you ever tried just listening to a movie? Eyes shut and just listening... you can still follow the story without much confusion. Audio is so powerful. Until I went to film school, I had no idea how much work went into creating the soundscape for a film. I thought I knew but it wasn't until I wrote and directed my own short film that I truly understood.Now obviously in the wedding filmmaking industry, we don't have the option of having an entire audio team come along on a wedding shoot. When we shoot, it's usually a team of 2 and we need extremely hi quality audio in a small package. Here are the tools we use and love.

||Shotgun Mics||When shooting on HDSLR's, do NOT use the on board microphones. They are complete garbage. Yeah I said it, garbage. Trust me even if you think it doesn't sound all that bad, it does. It may sound ok on your computer speakers but remember all the different types of speakers and systems your film will be played on, the onboard mics just won't do. We use two different types of mics, the Senheiser MKE400 and the Rode VideoMic. Both of these offer superb localized audio. We tend to like the audio that comes out of the VideoMic a little better but they are both fantastic.

||Wireless Mics||People often ask us how we capture the vows and speeches so clearly. The answer is wireless microphones. We use the Senheiser ew100 G2 system and an omni-directional mic. This allows us to strap a mic on the lapel of the groom and it captures crystal clear audio in about a 3 foot radius. Just don't forget to find the groom and set him up before the ceremony begins... that would suck.

||Recorder||Now with HDSLR's you've probably realized there are no XLR inputs. There are systems out there that you can add to your camera that will give you XLR inputs but we find those systems don't work well for us. It ends up being added bulk and not great quality. Instead we opt for dual system sound. This is when the sound is recorded separately and then synced up in post. To do this we use the Zoom H4N. This little gem is just what we need. It allows us to record for hours on end without dying and easily adjust quality settings and audio levels. We highly recommend the Zoom.

||Post Production Audio||Now since there is definitely no time to slate each shot you take during a wedding, syncing audio in post can seem a bit daunting. But have no fear, Plural Eyes by Singular Software will save you hours of time and headaches and is well worth the $150 price tag. This program syncs up all of your audio in your timeline for you. If your syncing audio manually, do yourself a favour and check Plural Eyes out.

So that's it. Extremely high quality audio in a very small package. If you have any questions on how we use these tools or anything else please feel free to leave a comment, shoot us an email or talk to us on twitter.

A big year ahead

So it's March already... did anyone else realize this? Man oh man this year is going by way too fast. Huge things are coming up this year and I can't wait for all of them. First off, my fiance/partner in crime, Erin and I are getting married in May. So while we're filming weddings we're attempting to plan our own and so far it's going great. It's definitely trippy having the tables turned on us. We're usually the vendor talking to couples and now everything is topsy turvy. Also in recent news... I'm gonna be an uncle!!! I'm so stoked! My sister Diana and her husband Steve are expecting and I can't wait for this little one to call me "Uncle Mac"! Oh and on the 26th I'll be turning 23. And to top it all off, we've booked more weddings for this summer than ever before. We're extremely fortunate to have met so many incredible couples and get to travel and create films for them.Erin and I are incredibly excited to finally kick off our married life together. We've found a place that we'll be moving into soon and we're having an amazing time getting ready for this next season. Erin's also going to start hopping on the blog so keep your eye out for that.

One of the questions we are constantly asked is "Who is going to film your wedding?". We realize that filming ourselves could prove difficult but don't you worry... we've got it figured out and we'll definitely be posting our highlights on the blog.

So on a random note... how are you? Good I trust. See any good movies lately? Thoughts on the Oscars? We'd love to hear your feedback on our blog. What you like about it, what you don't and what you'd like to see. Should we do some video blogs? Should we do a sort of "Question of the Week" feature? Feel free to let us know.

If you need some inspiration in the form of music... I'd suggest checking out "Build a Rocket Boys!" by Elbow. I've been eagerly anticipating this new album and it doesn't disappoint. Get into it!

PS Here is the view from our reception venue... not bad.

Bring it on 2011

Tomorrow is 2011. I can't believe it's already here. It always seems to amaze me how fast the Christmas season goes by and how quickly we're thrusted into the new year. 2010 has been an awesome year. We've been able to film some amazing weddings with some incredible couples, travel to some awesome destinations, and best of all I got engaged.So to cap off 2010 I thought I'd do a fun blog post of some of my favourites things in 2010. Random movies, books, tv etc. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what your favs are!

Movies: (Being a film school snob it was really hard to narrow this down but here it goes.)

1. Scott Pilgrim VS. The World - This little gem did terrible in the box office but is an incredible film. You should see it asap.2. The Social Network - Fincher at his best.3. True Grit - The Coen brothers do it again. Simple and engaging.4. Harry Potter - I'm a super geek when it comes to the books so it's a must.5. Black Swan - Mind bender

Albums:

1. Arcade Fire - Suburbs2. Tokyo Police Club - Champ3. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record

Books:

1. American On Purpose - Craig Ferguson2. When I Stop Talking You'll Know I'm Dead - Jerry Weintraub3. Rebel Without a Crew - Robert Rodriguez

Websites:

1. www.vimeo.com - amazing community of filmmakers2. www.berrics.com - skateboarding through and through3. www.slashfilm.com - for all of your film geek news

TV:

1. Community - Incredibly hilarious and self aware.2. 30 Rock - Classic3. How I Met Your Mother - Single handedly keeping the traditional sitcom form alive. Hilarious!

ok and I need to let my techy geek side show for a moment…

Gear:

1. Canon 5D MKII - full frame glory2. iPhone 4 - huge leap forward3. Canon 50mm 1.2 - beautiful

Apps:

1. Pano - Shoots really cool panoramic photos2. 8mm - Awesome super 8 mm camera filters3. Instagram - Vintage toned camera phone

Fall is here... that means Christmas is close

Even though the weather hasn't been showing it lately, the Fall season is upon us. I'm a huge fan of Fall, especially in Vancouver. I love the temperature, the leaves, the new Fall TV schedule, etc. The wedding season isn't quite over for us though. We have 2 more weddings to shoot this year, one of which is in Dallas Texas. So that'll be awesome.This blog post is mainly me just checking in with everyone out there in internet land. I want to thank everyone for their kind words about the new site and blog. We're really happy with the change and we're glad everyone else is enjoying it. We've been very busy lately editing weddings from the summer, booking up our 2011 season, brainstorming for the future, and also working on some promotional and corporate projects. We recently brought in some new gear and have been using it on a couple of projects. We're very excited to use these new tools in our work and are excited about the possibilities. Also as you know Erin and I are planning our wedding for next year and we've finally got our act together and booked a church and reception venue. We're extremely excited and can't wait. Also a lot of people have been asking us the inevitable question "but who will film your wedding?"... don't worry, we've got it covered :) Oh that reminds me... we had our engagement photos done by the lovely Jamie Delaine. Check them out here!

We are extremely excited right now... just in general you know? We're so pumped for Christmas coming up, the new year, getting hitched, pushing our work further, the new wedding season and all the awesome couples we have lined up. We're currently booking up the season so if you're getting married in 2011 let us know! We'd love to take you out for coffee and learn more. Contact us here!

PS Have you heard the new Sufjan Stevens album? oooh man it's incredible. Check out one of my favourite tunes here.

Tegan + Dan | White Rock Wedding Highlights

This past weekend I was lucky enough to film Tegan and Dan Klenner's wedding. Tegan and I have known each other since we learned to walk and talk. I went to church with her when we were toddlers and we went through kindergarden to grade 12 together. Needless to say, we go way back. Dan entered Tegan's life a couple of years ago and they fell deeply in love pretty quickly. They both have a passion for music, art, Value Village and the Church, which makes them pretty much made for each other. I was so excited when I found out they were engaged that I jumped at the chance to film their wedding. I reached out to them and lucky for me they loved the idea.
This wedding was truly one of a kind. The vintage inspired theme was spread throughout the entire day with lots of feathers and beach cruisers (check out Tegan and her friend's awesome vintage apparel and accessory company here). Tegan walked barefoot down the aisle for the backyard ceremony accompanied by music from Dan's former band mates of Hey Ocean. So awesome! I've never been to a wedding with such amazing live music. Dan is an incredibly talented musician and has tons of friends in the Vancouver music scene (Hey Ocean, Said the Whale, We are the City, etc.)
Below is their highlight film. I hope you enjoy it.
Also a little side note… Laurell and Trevor's Wedding Film was featured on the cover of Style Me Pretty Wedding Blog yesterday. Check it out here and leave some comments!

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Wedding Season is almost here!

So first off... The Oscars were on last night. Did you watch it? It's a long running tradition for my family to get together and fill out our ballots of what films we think will win. Unfortunately I didn't get the most right but I did predict best picture and best director. If you haven't seen The Hurt Locker yet you should asap!

Secondly I've been going none stop lately! I've taken on a handful of off season none wedding related projects and I haven't had much time to rest. I think I'm juggling about 6 projects but I'm really enjoying all of them. The wedding season is fast approaching and I couldn't be more excited! Especially because I get to kick off the season with a wedding in Texas! So fun! Below is a quick iPhone snapshot of the camera's POV while shooting an interview for one of my projects.

PS... current jam I've been listening to... "New Theory" by Washed Out

Christmas

So I'm looking at my calendar and it's only 3 days until 2010... 3 DAYS!?! Where did the time go? I trust you had a wonderful Christmas season. Mine was full of fellowship with friends and family and some amazing memories. I pretty much become a 10 year old around Christmas time. I inform everyone I come in contact with how many days are left until Christmas, I insist on watching every Christmas movie there is, and I love going downtown to see Christmas lights and do some shopping. I'm always a little down when the season is over, but I'm so excited for the new year. 2010 holds a lot of exciting stuff for Hello Tomorrow. Below is a glimpse of my Christmas with the family. I received a new lens for Christmas so I snapped a quick couple of photos. I'll be posting a new montage soon with my new lens for the Canon 7D.currently jamming to... The New Year - Death Cab For Cutie

PS If you haven't already seen Jason Reitman's new movie "Up In The Air" go see it!