For those that don’t know I have a dog named Roy, we call him Roy Boy.
You’ve seen him in a few of my blogs. He is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. I never thought I’d love a dog as much as I love this little guy. My wife is crazy about him and crazy about corgis. I say she has OCD “Obsesive Corgi Disorder”. For Week 35 we took Roy to the 2014 Corgi Picnic, a gathering of Corgi’s and their humans.
I thought it would be cool to get some slow motion footage of the dogs so I decided to shoot it with the Sony FS700, a great camera for slow-motion, but not so great for run and gun event recording like this.
I had some issues shooting with it. There are a few overexposed shots, and the framing isn’t great on some of the slow motion shots. The Sony has an end trigger for the slow motion, meaning it buffers the image, and once something happens you wait 8 seconds and then hit record and it records the previous 8 seconds. It can be tricky to know exactly when to hit the record button to make sure you get what you wanted, I’m getting better at it but I still need more practice, especially in run and gun situations like this.
The slow motion capabilities are awesome, but using the camera for hand held event recording isn’t the best. First the monitor is in an awkward spot (on top of the camera), if you hold the camera up high, or down low, you can no longer see the view finder. The monitor was also a little hard to see, it was a sunny day. It comes with a viewfinder tube, but when you put that on it limits how you can hold the camera, I took it off because I wanted to be free to capture things quickly and capture things in different ways (mainly low angles). I also had a few exposure problems, this was totally my fault, I was in a rush and at some point I must have bumped the Neutral Density filter, I didn’t notice for a few shots, so some of them are overexposed. Had I been able to see the monitor better I probably would have caught it faster.
The second problem is that there is no record button on the handle.
It’s on the side, so if your holding the camera by the handle for a low close to the ground shot, there is no way for you to hit record. You either have to reposition and hit record, or use your other hand. It’s very frustrating.
For audio I used the Rode NTG2 Shotgun mic. This is a great mic, I highly recommend it.
I didn’t have headphones, so I wasn’t monitoring the audio. I set it for a general level and left it at that. I know that’s not ideal, but I went with it. That brings up another slight issue with FS700. The hot shoe mic holder is a little cheap. It’s plastic, and it’s hard to get it tight, I had a few instances where the mic fell off the camera, a more solid hot shoe mount would be a welcome addition.
The other camera I used was my GoPro Hero 2. I wanted to get the dogs perspective so I mounted it to Roy.
He’s a pretty good cameraman. I think the footage added a little bit of fun to the video, and highlighted the corgi’s big ears. I mounted it to him using the head set mount, again not perfect, but sometimes you have to make things work. I saw another guy at the picnic that had his GoPro mounted to his dog with the actual dog mount, it looked great and I’m definitely going to buy one. I was planning to use the wifi back and control the camera with my iPhone, but I was recording with the Sony at the same time so I decided to just let it run the whole time. You can see some of the raw footage here.
It was fun to do an event for the 52 Week Challenge, I hadn’t done one yet (other than Week 8’s opening Day). I’ve done a lot of event recordings. There’s a few things I try to do when recording events. One, I try to get a variety of footage. Two, I try to get a story. For this event the story was Corgi’s. So I asked a very simple question to all the people, and that was “Why do you love corgis?”. That question got me the basic theme of the video, sometimes I’d say “Tell me what you like about corgis” and sometimes I’d ask a few follow up questions, but for the most part that one question was all I needed.
I did ask permission to record the event, and I did ask each person if I could interview them. For the most part everyone said yes, a few people declined though. Be professional, nice and appreciative when you talk to people, just don’t go point a camera in their face.
Another thing I try to do when recording event and interviewing people, is to try and get interesting looking people/dogs. As well as, a variety of people (young, old, male, female, different races etc…). Also, once I interview someone I try and get a few B-roll shots of them to add interest, but more importantly to give me places to hide audio edits. I almost always cut peoples answers up, to tighten them, take out “um’s” and make the piece flow better.
I wanted the piece to be fun and light, so I chose a fun song called “Summer Whistle” from Audio Jungle. I also thought the whistling tied into the dog theme.
I also wanted a fun font, so I picked the font “Grilled Cheese”. I colored it the orangish color of the corgis. At the end I put a heavy black stroke around it. It’s cheesy, but it fit with the fun feel of the video.
Apparently people really like Corgi videos. I’ve had 2,774 plays on vimeo in 2 days. Not a lot, but a record for me. We had a blast at the picnic and can’t wait to go back next year. Thanks to everyone that put on the event and all the people that let me interview them and film their dogs.
Corgi’s are great dogs, they are smart, easily trainable, energetic, funny, good with kids, have short legs, no tails and huge ears. I love my Roy Boy.
You can watch Week 35 “Corgi” here.