Currently in the Batcave…editing.

Hey true believers (it’s a Stan Lee quote if you’re not a comic book reader :P ),

Super short update.

We’re still alive, don’t worry ;).

I’ve been getting emails upon emails wondering why the blog hasn’t been updated. Simply put, been buried under a pile of footage :). Working hard to get these final edits out to couples as well as continue to service new ones. In this industry, it’s always a balancing act between editing, shooting, signing new clients, and keeping the previous ones informed/happy. I do my best to personally answer all the emails and inquiries within 24 hours, except for the days when we’re off island shooting, so for those waiting for an email, it’s coming! Just returned from the outer islands so playing catch up again with the pile of emails in the inbox. In regards to blog updates, stay tuned for some new wedding films in the coming days as well as some industry insight into what gear I use and recommend. I also have a few corporate films that I’ve shot in collaboration with a california based ad agency that has finally been cleared for display. (woohoo!)

In the meantime, I’d like to share with you an article I wrote for the event filmmaking industry’s leading magazine, EventDV! Here’s the link!

Enjoy!

Grace ‘ Jason – Same Day Edit (Honolulu, HI)

What a crazy fun day! :)

Short back story : Grace was referred to me by a wedding cinematography colleague who was unavailable to film her wedding. After replying to the initial consultation email, I get a reply that said, “RANDY?!??”. I was a bit taken back and was like, “Uhh…yeah?”. LOL. It turns out that Grace was a friend of mine that I met during her graduation from trade school and only realized after I emailed her back who I was. I didn’t know it was her either as all this time I thought she had a different last name, haha. I told her in passing that I shot weddings and this was my career, but seeing as how we didn’t talk very often, she forgot my website address and didn’t know how to get in contact with me. Errrrrr….. Well after catching up, meeting her fiance Jason, and talking about what she was looking for in a wedding film, the rest is history.

Grace and Jason tied the knot overlooking Waikiki Beach at the Hyatt. The wedding was a well executed affair thanks to the tireless efforts of Taryn Magalianes from “A Touch of You” Event planning and Grace’s brother Brandon, who makes a cameo during the same day edit film preparing the centerpieces for the gorgeous looking reception. I want to say publicly to Taryn : THANK YOU for all the help in the months leading up to the wedding and especially on the wedding day! I’ve worked with great planners and not so great planners and Taryn is definitely in the GREAT category :). Great job to Erin and Brian who pulled thru and helped me pull off this super time constrained SDE as well as the photographer Brian Jones from iDream Images for always being a class act to work with. Here’s the photo from the wedding : Grace + Jason Wedding Photos

Back to the wedding info, the girls are all in the beauty field and are very knowledgeable in Hair and Makeup. So naturally they would all end up being each others makeup artist. It was quite a site seeing Grace play both vendor and bride at the same time. She actually said that she felt like she was working rather than feel like she was getting married. And of course I couldn’t put her doing makeup and hair into the SDE as she wasn’t wearing any at the time. I’m also sure she would kill me if I did, LOL. To make the day more stressful interesting for this time constrained editor, she was also fashionably late to the 1st look + photosession ;). Thanks Grace, haha.

Well enough babbling, here’s Grace and Jason’s Same Day Edit :

Sombreros and Prank Jokes // Eunice ‘ Prince – Premium Same Day Edit (Riviera Maya, Mexico)

Home sweet home..Touched down back home in Honolulu a few days ago. Whew…what a whirlwind of a wedding season! It’s been 20k miles of driving + flying in the past 2 months, it’s great to have a bit of time to catch my breath :).

Now onto details about the film!

Eunice and Prince got married at the beautiful Rosewood Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico. It was a nice, intimate event with about 30 of their closest friends and family. They had a number of unique elements to their wedding : From Eunice’s stylish veil and Prince’s “Tiger Woods” performance on the links, to the epic processional on a..well, I won’t spoil it ;)…this wedding will definitely be one for the record books. My favorite part of the wedding was the music. A departure from the usual wedding cinematography musical choices, Eunice requested for some deep, soulful house as the backdrop for the P.SDE. It was a little different editing to this type of genre yet refreshing as it presented a fun challenge to still hit the usual high points and pacing but still keep the vibe that house music generates : chill, relaxed, and fun.

Although this wedding film flies under the Colour Craft Media banner, it is actually a joint venture between red Bicycle Media and CCm. James and Brian took the long journey to Mexico with me and it was quite the adventure. Brian Jones from iDream Images was also part of our crazy entourage. Here’s the wedding photos : Eunice + Prince Wedding Photos. We had quite the fun time traveling back from Cancun with the 4 hour layover in Mexico City. All I’ll say is sombreros & prank jokes and I’ll leave it at that. lol

Enjoy Eunice and Prince’s Premium Same Day Edit!

Eunice ‘ Prince – E-session Teaser Film (Brooklyn, NY)

With E&P’s wedding day fast approaching, we wanted to put out a nice teaser film for their guests to build more anticipation for their big day. They wanted to incorporate things that happened in their daily lives. The section in which she showcases her dance skills was one of my favorite scenes to shoot, being a fellow dancer myself. A few of her dance troupe members from isa[dance] were cool enough to dance with Eunice the night we arrived (despite it being SUPER late) and bust out a special dance routine made especially for this film.

This was my first time in the big apple and I was happy to spend it creating this piece. Got to explore the city briefly as well as visit B&H photo video. 2 huge store levels of photo/video gear….I’m proud to say I walked out doing minimal damage to my bank account ;). Thanks for James Pizarro from red Bicycle Media for the assist and Brian Jones from iDream Images for his help. It was a LONG 7 hour drive for us and we turned around a day after and made the same drive back to Ohio. Then, the next day after we got back, I made the drive back with Brian Marks to Staten Island to film another wedding. I’ll share that one as soon as it’s done :). Brian Jones shot the engagement photos, you can see them here : Eunice & Prince – Engagement Session Photos

Enjoy:

Cinevate Atlas 10 – 1 month review + film

Well it’s been a month since receiving the Cinevate Atlas 10. I am unveiling the 3rd and last configuration of the Atlas 10, the first 2 were covered in the previous blog post (Atlas 10 sneek peak and unpacking).

Picture 1 shows the Atlas 10 in it’s fully built out setup. The additions come in the form of a pulley system, additional bar and under carriage, and of course a rope.
01 Atlas 10 option 3
Picture 2 shows the pulley system in detail. For obvious reasons, It is attached on the side opposite of where you would mount your vertical slide tripod plate.
02 Pulley system
Picture 3 shows the additional bar and under carriage. Take note that the under carriage has the capability to accept Cinevate’s counter balance weight box with rods attached. This will help make vertical sliding a bit less difficult when you start putting heavier cameras on the Atlas 10.
03 under carriage
I’ve had the honor of having one of 3 prototype models out in the field and I’d like to share my experience with it in real life situations. Here’s the topics that will be covered : Noisiness, Weight, Handling, and What types of movements are available due to design.

Noisiness //
As you can tell from the work on my blog, I shoot mostly wedding films. For me, one of the most important aspects in a slider / linear tracking system design is that it doesn’t draw too much attention to myself either be it thru noise, awkward handling, and bulk. From the start, what I love about this unit is that it is virtually silent in a real life situation. It will make a small amount of noise, but not enough to have everyone turn their heads in a quiet church to find out where it’s coming from. The fact that it also has molded ball feet lends itself well to it’s lack of noise when being moved about. The feet absorb a lot of the impact when being placed on the floor so even if I set it down in a hurry, you don’t hear a huge thud of metal like you would with other slider foot base designs. The whole assembly is “housed” in a hollow protrusion which kind of minimizes the noise being emitted. During interviews, if you’d like to do some creative sliding, the noise won’t be an issue in the overall production.

Comparisons :
DP Slider – A tad louder than the Atlas 10 due to it not having the hollow assembly surrounding it. Not overly loud by any means but the Atlas 10 is a tad quieter, especially during the quick whip slides.
Glidetrack / Igus – By far the most quiet slider on the market. The dry lin plastic bearings are pretty much whisper quiet.
Atlas 30 - Being a bearing design, you sacrifice quietness for the stability and smoothness. Louder than I’m comfortable with in situations that call for silence.

Weight //
Before I learned about the Atlas 10, I was a bit frustrated with finding a good slider solution. I try to be very mobile on the wedding day, being able to move from place to place without having a whole bunch of gear that will weigh me down but still having tools available to get a particular shot if I seem something I want to capture. The 3rd fully built out option of the Atlas 10 adds a pulley system and another rail system beneath the main body. Being that they are metal, it adds much more weight as well. I didn’t have a chance to weigh everything, but the 3rd option is tough to lug around. I didn’t use the vertical option much during a wedding as we’re doing more run and gun type of shooting with minimal setup, so I stripped it down to the 2nd option and found it was much more manageable to traverse the urban landscape with. In it’s most simplest form, it is a bit more heavier than the DP slider and about close to the weight of a glidetrack HD. I was expecting it to be much lighter but realized that there is a certain give and take. Structural rigidity plays a huge part in having a solid slide and the Atlas 10 doesn’t cut corners there.

Comparisons :
DP slider (V-720 model) – The lightest of all the sliders by a small amount. It’s also the one with the least amount of material.
Glidetrack / Igus (HD model) – On par with the Atlas 10.
Atlas 30 - Probably the heaviest of all the sliders with exception to the fully built out Atlas 10.

Handling //
We’ve come to the most important part of a slider next to it’s quietness for my criteria. If a tool is tough to bring along, we have the tendency to just leave it behind. I love my steadicam pilot, but the fact that there is a certain amount of setup time involve and bulk factor when bringing it around makes it tough to manage with a 2 man crew. Therefore I only bring it to events of the wedding day that I feel absolutely call for it. The same can be said for my slider. After retiring my Igus slider, I was contemplating purchasing the Atlas 30. I’ve used it many times when shooting with colleagues and LOVED the smooth slide it can create but the one thing I absolutely hated was how it handled. The two bar design made it difficult to just sling onto my shoulder or grip one rod and walk with it. There would always be this sort of slipping due to the smooth finish. The Atlas 10 in it’s contained design is much easier to move around with. I can slide the carriage to the end of the rail, lock it in place, then walk with it by finding the center of balance more easily than the Atlas 30 or Igus (since my model of Igus rail and carriage didn’t have a brake yet I’m sure you can fabricate one). The DP slider was pretty easy to bring around due to it’s lighter weight and slim construction so in terms of HANDLING alone, it’s probably the best of all the sliders.

Comparisons :
DP slider (V-720 model) – Easy to move around with. No hassles.
Glidetrack / Igus – No brake system so the carriage sliding about is a bit irritating and a finger hazard. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have had that thing come barreling down the rail and pinch a finger.
Atlas 30 - Harder to move around with in a run and gun situation.

Available types of movements //
The first impression that James (from red Bicycle Media) and I got when we cracked open the case and started using the Atlas 10 was that it slid smoothly in whatever orientation that we put it in. Upside down, right side up, sideways, and vertical. This frees up many possibilities in terms of movement. Coupled with the vertical slide pulley system and the smoothness, you can focus on creating compound moves in your vertical slides as well. Here’s a short film demonstrating some of the movements, please keep in mind that this is more of a video doodle than a full out production as I had to return the Atlas 10 to Cinevate yesterday and this was shot in the short window of time I had. It is mounted on two soft chairs via the ball legs mounted upside down so keep that in mind when looking for sturdiness of shots. ;)

Comparisons (in being put in different situations rather than just on a floor or tripod) :
DP slider (V-720 model) – Due to having smaller rails + feet than the Atlas 10, I found that the DP slider isn’t as stable in different situations as the Atlas 10. This is not in relation to stabilized situations, but to being able to adapt to different situations.
Glidetrack / Igus – The carriage design of the dry lin bearings doesn’t lend itself well to being in an orientation other than right side up.
Atlas 30 - Not able to do vertical out of the box, but other types movements are no problem due to its very smooth and stable enclosed design.

From my experience and keeping budget in mind, this is the order I would rank the sliders with these key points in mind :
- Noisiness (1 being the least)
1) Glidetrack / Igus
2) Atlas 10
3) DP slider
4) Atlas 30

- Weight (1 being the lightest. Please keep in mind I did not use a scale as I did not have all the units handy. Feel free to correct me if this is not accurate and I’d be happy to fix it.)
*EDIT* I was just made aware of a light version of the Atlas 10 being made for travelers called the Atlas 10 FLT. It is going to be just as light, if not lighter, than the DP slider. More info on that as it becomes available.
1) Atlas 10 FLT & DP slider
2) Atlas 10 (option 1 & 2)
3) Glidetrack / Igus
4) Atlas 10 (option 3)
5) Atlas 30

- Handling (1 being the most easy to handle)
1) DP slider
2) Atlas 10 (option 1 & 2) + Glidetrack / Igus
3) Atlas 10 (option 3)
4) Atlas 30

- Available movements (1 being the most versatile)
1) Atlas 10
2) DP slider
3) Atlas 30
4) Glidetrack / Igus

The big question on everyone’s mind, HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? I’ve been told that the starting price of the Atlas 10 will be in the ball park of $500 USD. This makes it the most inexpensive slider on the market that has vertical slide capabilities coupled with it’s great performance in sliding. Based on value and performance, I feel it’s the best slider / linear tracking system on the market (or soon to be on the market). When Dennis told me about what he was offering and for the price, I was floored. Looking at where all the other sliders on the market is priced, it’s going to get even more competitive with the introduction of the Atlas 10. I hope it will lead to more innovations from all the current (and future) slider companies as I’m looking for the best tool that suits my work. At the moment, the Atlas 10 fits every check mark with exception of the weight. If it were made of titanium alloy then I’m sure that would solve that problem but would throw affordability out the window ;).

I’m working on Dennis to be kind enough to provide my blog followers with a discount code for the Atlas 10′s initial release so if that would be something you are interested in, please leave a comment with your email address. I’d be happy to share it with you should he decide to do so. In our initial talks about kicking the idea around when I mentioned some friends already were interested in purchasing, he said it would be a limited amount. With that in mind, if I do get a code with a limited use, I’ll be handing them out on a first commented, first served basis via email, then I’ll post it up on the blog. If it’s an unlimited use code with a time expiration, I’ll just post it. For the record, I am not sponsored by Cinevate nor am I expecting any sort of kick back for units sold thru the discount code (should one be provided). As you can see from the review, I try my best to provide an unbiased comparison based on my experience with the products.

Thank you for reading and please comment if this was helpful. :)

Thanks,
Randy

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