Future of Biolapse

So it looks like Carnivora Gardinum was a hit. Lots of views, lots of exposure, very excited on how well it was received.

I enjoyed the results and satisfaction of seeing my short film enjoyed by 160,000+ people, and that enjoyment is over. Time to move on.

For the last year I have worked on this film which has become my baby. I worked hard for it, cared for it, spent lots of time on it, nurtured it. And now that it is done, it has become my enemy. I must beat it, I must do better, I find no satisfaction in yesterday’s victories, I view them as an enemy, a vehicle of complacency.  No specific work has much meaning, rather, an entirety of work derived from years of effort is how I prefer to gauge my success.

In other words, I’m just getting started.

I bought a camcorder. To be honest I find DSLR video to be a pain in the butt. Always dealing with mics, lousy focusing, the larger sensor is great for subject isolation but on BTS videos where I cannot see the screen it usually results in poor focus and bad audio. This is a failure of my own, others can do spectacular work with DSLR video. It is just tough to film yourself in a one man operation.

I have always found camcorders lacking as well. Tiny little sensors, lousy low light performance, etc.  However, with the requirement of simplifying that level of workflow I took a look into camcorders again, and found one that really surprised me.

I now own a Canon VIXIA HF G20. This is my reward to myself for all the hard work on the last video. It cost me a pretty penny, but the reviews were very positive.

What I LIKE about it is it works very well in low light for a camcorder.  I was skeptical but it really surprised me. It may not be as good as a 5Dmk3, it is leaps beyond any small sensor camcorder I have ever seen.  The audio out of it needed a little bit of tweaking, but once I figured that out that audio is actually very good. Far better than DSLR’s mics. It is at least good enough right out of the gate so there will be far less fussing with microphones. It has 32 gb memory built in, the batter gives about 2 hours of use, the focus works pretty well in low light (tiny 1/3 sensor makes for very deep DOF and makes it even more forgiving)

What I DON’T like, is I have to trust it. It is very automated, once you have it setup, it just does what it does. Im used to controlling every aspect of a camera, I almost always shoot in full manual mode these days, so this is a bit of a challenge to trust it. So far, it has done very well. Also, it is touchscreen, which would be awesome if it was a capacitive screen, instead it is one of those old shitty resistive styles and not too responsive unless you are touching it with a fingernail.

So why did I get one?

Well, I like doing video blogs. I plan to really ramp up the amount of video content for the Biolapse site for better behind the scenes access. If I no longer have to worry about poor focusing of my Fuji’s in video, if I no longer have to fuss with microphones, if I no longer have to wonder whether or not I am in the frame, then making videos becomes far less of a hassle and I will be far more likely to do it.

Plus, after what I spent on the thing, I better get my money out of it.

So right now my Biolapse studio is dark. No cameras shooting. No grow lights on. I don’t like this. It has been weeks since I have been shooting. If I am not shooting, I am wasting valuable time. While I do not have a clear idea on my next project yet, this is a great time to experiment around and try new things. I have a Shitake mushroom log which should arrive early next week.