To Klynt or not to Klynt…
I’ve got to a point where I have started to compile my documentary together. I have started to use Klynt to build the project, however I have found limitations with the design aspects that are incredibly frustrating, text and buttons move from where they sound be located when previewed in a browser. To add to this, Klynt websites do not work on mobile devices because it uses Flash, an outdated piece of software that is about to be discontinued by Adobe in a few months. I am at a quandary, a crossroads you would say. From a test this evening, I can produce most of the features and design aspects in a WordPress site and future-proof my project, including allowing it to be mobile friendly.
I think I will take the WordPress route and see how I fair…
With just over a month until hand in, panic has starting to set in. I’m sure this is usual for every student with a deadline, but I have concerns that I may not be able to complete all the aspects that I wanted to include in the documentary.
I have rough cuts of my films, the interviews are rendering, but this takes nearly an hour for each one, I need to design my Klynt interface and write content, I have scheduled the drone flight for Friday morning and I need to go through the archive of the Trust to find images to scan. You may notice that I have omitted the 360 group interview from my list, I still want to film it, however I think this could be the item that gets pulled if I run out of time. There is of course the write up of the project, as always with students I haven’t been blogging as I have been going along, so there may be a frantic flurry of posts towards the end of the project hand in.
Like the England football team, I hope I don’t fail at the final stages of my course…
From speaking with the artists at the canal basin, I have decided to do a group interview with the main trustees. To add an element of interest I want to shoot it in 360. From shooting the individual artists in the studio I have found that one of the issues with the Insta360 Pro camera is that the audio levels are very low. I set out to see what alternatives I could use in an interview situation as the audio is more crucial than the visuals. I thought about using a clip mic on each on the panel members but this would require mixing the audio on a specialist system and a lot of post production. I did a search on the internet and found mention of using a Zoom H2n audio recorder that can record spatial sound being used with the camera for Facebook live. I looked further into this and found that there is a post on the Insta360 forums linking a Zoom H2n to the camera. Using a separate recorder has it’s issues, The camera has a very loud cooling fan that it samples and removes from it’s internal audio recordings, this would have to be done in post production with the Zoom unit.
I have updated the camera to the relevant firmware and have booked out the Zoom to experiment with, however haven’t got the correct cable to link to the USB-C port, so I will have to book out a USB hub to overcome this issue. I will post my findings to see if I can improve the audio in preparation for my interview.
Since I found out about the YouTube 360 app, I have been researching into documentaries that use 360 video to tell their story. There are several major media outlets that have produced films, including National Geographic, Discovery Channel and the New York Times. One of my favorites so far comes from the NYT magazine, who have a dedicated channel to 360 videos including daily stories. The film, called ‘Walking New York’, is about the French artist JR who uses large scale images posted onto the urban landscape, in this case the square in front of the flat iron building in Manhattan. He uses an image of a immigrant mid-stride to reflect that 40% of the population of New York are immigrants. The film documents how the piece was produced.
It was interesting to see techniques used and how the artist was addressing camera or the viewer. I’m not sure if I would use this idea, as I am filming my interviews as part of normal film and documenting elements of the artist working in their environments with both the 360 and normal cameras.
I have had some success with arranging filming sessions with two artists, one I shot yesterday, and one is booked in for next Saturday. I have also had a response from a third who is interested and I am trying to work out a date with.
I have rendered one of the 8K 360 videos of Alan Dyer out over night. I think I may look at editing this video with the second camera I was using for a different view point. I changed the camera height in this film from my first attempt with John Yeadon as I had feedback that the point of view seemed to be a little low. I had set it to John’s head height when he was kneeling on the floor working. For the film of Alan Dyer, I set the camera height to my head height. I think it works better this way, although I haven’t tested it on the VR headsets to see how it comes across on that viewing platform. These films take around ten hours to render approximately six minutes of footage on my laptop. I may have to see if I can access a more powerful computer.