in videography, videos

The Engagement of Micah and Nicole

After acquiring my new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, I longed for an opportunity to try it out. So I asked my colleague, Nicole, if she’d be interested in shooting an “engagement video” with her fiancé, Micah. Neither of us had never done such a video before, but the possibility of a relatively novel way to announce an engagement to their friends was exciting to everyone involved.

This video was shot at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Belltown (a very competitive spot for family/wedding photos, as there were 2-3 other shoots going on in the area at the same time as ours). For this shoot, I used the following equipment in addition to the Blackmagic camera:

Alright, baby. Let’s do this thing!
— David Chen (@davechensky) October 16, 2013

Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens – This lens was just refreshed and is now significantly pricier than its older brother. It delivers great image quality, although the lack of “manual focus” option makes using this lens manually a bit of a chore.

Polaroid Video Chest Stabilizer – When I first started investigating DSLR video, I was pretty shocked at how expensive some of the accessories were. $470 for a Red Rock Micro DSLR rig? Surely there was a cheaper solution. In fact, this $55 Polaroid stabilizer is just what the doctor ordered for Blackmagic Pocket Cameras. While the rig itself is really flimsy and hard to tighten to a degree that I really felt satisfied with, it worked perfectly for such a small device. It would also work with a DSLR and maybe a pancake/prime lens, but any more than that and I’d seriously start to question the safety of my gear. Overall, I think it gives the final video a good “handheld” look, without being overly jittery. As a bonus, it’s super light and easy to carry around. I could see myself shooting a bunch of footage with just this camera and this rig (audio would need to be captured separately).

Tiffen ND Filter – Essential for shooting outdoors and achieving shallow depth of field.

As usual, I used FilmConvert for most of the color grading. For comparison, here’s an ungraded shot and a graded shot. You can see how flat the initial image is, as well as how much info and detail is contained in the ProRes HQ file that can be pulled out in post.

The only thing I wish I’d been able to do was shoot more b-roll of the couple doing other activities. But the scope of this project was very limited (only about an hour of shooting in one location). Next time!