Start the day with a laugh

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Love this advert from Cinesite although it’s a year old it”s the first time I have seen it…start your day with a laugh !

Beans is the first animated short film to be made at Cinesite. It takes the form of a mock-commercial. We see this movie as a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the quality of Cinesite artists’ work.

The film was written and directed by animator Alvise Avati and produced by Cinesite’s Animation Director Eamonn Butler.

Alvise approached Cinesite with an idea for the film. He says, “Working in visual effects, it’s usually other people’s visions and creatures that you’re creating. This was an opportunity to take some creative control and make a film of our own.”

The look of the lunar environment is based on NASA film footage and actual lunar photography. Eamonn says, “At the start, the film is quite serious in tone and then it develops, becoming more dramatic as it progresses before ending on a surprise. To support this, the environment needed to be photo-realistic. We also wanted to push the animation and effects as far as we could to make the film as dramatic as possible before the payoff.

Eamonn says, “In terms of the creature design, we worked in a very collaborative way. Alvise brought some great artwork and ideas as starting points which we developed through modelling, rigging and animation. We brought on more talented artists as we went to help develop the look of the film through textures, lighting and compositing.”

Because the creature would be seen so briefly, it was important for him to stand out and be scary. Alvise says, “I wanted the creature’s eyes to glow. We also added bioluminescence effects to parts of his head to make him stand out.”

“Beans is Cinesite’s first in-house, content-creation project,” says Eamonn, “and I’m sure it won’t be our last. This has been an invaluable and fun way for us to show what we’re capable of.”

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

New Dr Who titles designed by a fan and used by the BBC

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Imagine you’re a motion graphics creator and “Doctor Who” fan. In your spare time, you create an opening sequence to the new series of the show, featuring new star Peter Capaldi. You tweet the sequence to the motion graphics company who creates the actual titles for the BBC.

And then imagine those fan-made titles were so good, they got seen by series Executive Producer Steven Moffat, and were used nearly frame for frame on the actual new series of the show.

That’s exactly what happened with Billy Hanshaw, a freelance motion graphics artist who worked on the self-created title sequence for four weeks, and now finds his work will (essentially) be on television screens around the globe when “Doctor Who” premieres on August 23.

Billy “I’m a motion graphics professional, working on tv commercials and corporate presentations mostly. This was an exercise to see how far I could stretch myself over 4 weeks of spare time.

Published on youtube originally – it caught the attention of Radio Times, Huffington Post, BBC America and SFX magazine. Before publishing I tweeted it to the incumbent motion studio doing the titles for the show.

First section is the Doctors watch, and we fly inside. The journey through the cog-wheels end with our exit through the untempered schism. And into an escher-esque timey wimey never-ending clock face (a metaphor of time travel and the time vortex).

Our journey catapults us through the vortex into a void where the seal of Rassilon is drawn in aged metal, which is accompanied by the Doctor Who logo, with some subtle embellishments. The seal of Rassilon burns away, reminding us of the Doctor’s disdain for the Time Lords; revealing the new Doctor’s reflection in the back of the watch which then tumbles away to the black hole in the distance. (This section could have done with a better shot – but seeing as I don’t know Mr Capaldi’s press agent this one had to suffice)

The steampunk aesthetic is intentional.

Audio reproduced by kind permission from Chris Adams (Hardwire) who created this special arrangement.


Logo, Tardis and Time Vortex: CINEMA 4D
Everything else: AFTER EFFECTS (using various post fx and particle generators)
I did try Element 3D for some of the 3D assets, but went back to Cinema for flexibility.

© info: Dr Who logo, Tardis and photographic content are the sole property of the BBC – no copyright infringement intended.


HDW : Billy even gets a mention in the end credits…well done. If you want to contact Billy for commercial work : 


For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

H Preston Media “OPEN DAY” 28th August 2014

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Always a great day out at H Preston Media, meet John Preston himself the legend of trade-in’s, bring your working semi pro camcorder and see if Preston’s will turn it into a part exchange towards a new HD camcorder.

Don’t be late one day only…10-4pm, Friday 29th August 2014. Please remember H Preston Media are one of HD Warriors site sponsor’s tell John you are a fan of HD Warrior and you will get a further 5% off your purchase.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Rick Young’s Lighting Tutorial using 4 Dedo LED lights.

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My good friend Rick Young has a new tutorial out about lighting using a Dedo lighting kit, this will give you a basic knowledge on good lighting techniques. 

Rick “When lighting it can be just as important to take into account the natural light in a scene, as well as how to position and make use of artificial light. For many situations, the natural light needs to be supplemented or extended.

In this video, a 4 light setup is shown, using 3 x dedolight DLED 4 and a single Felloni. The results clearly show how the scene looks without any supplemental light, and with a complete lighting setup. It is the combination of natural light and the LED lights which makes this scene work.

By using the right tools and learning a few simple techniques, you can dramatically improve the quality of your images.”

Lessons in Lighting: extending natural light from Rick Young on Vimeo.


For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

A Cracking 1m tribute to a great man…Robin Williams

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I have been working in the NHS for over 20 years as an independent producer/filmmaker and sadly doctors like “Patch Adams” are few and far between. Doctors need to lighten up especially hospital doctors, Patch Adams was a true story of a man who came to medicine later on in life who saw his peers for what they were “depressing both in looks and in manner”.

Robin Williams fitted this role as an upbeat slightly crazy doctor to a tee and is one of my all time favourite films, this should be shown to all 5th year medical students as part of their “socialising skills”.

It takes great skill to edit a one minute tribute to someone and out of all his films choose a section of dialogue that sums up Robin himself thats why I have decided to run this…in honour of a great actor and honour of a great tribute.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Updated iPad Prompter software…Teleprompt+3 (£17)

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Prompting is relatively cheap these days once you factor two iPads into the equation the mirror (Datavideo TP-300 see HOLDAN website for details)  is £245 plus vat. The TP-300 has a control switch which is dedicated to work with DV Prompter (Apple APP) but I have found this software very buggy and crashes unexpectedly. The newly updated iPad prompting software Teleprompt+3 brings this software firmly into pole position and has a lot of features not seen on DV Prompter.


You can use Dropbox to import your scripts or cut and paste an email. My setup is to run the software on an iPad mini while mirroring your text on the iPad which sits underneath a 45 degree mirror.


Choose coloured text and highlight important text with other colours, you get Estimated time…Actual time…Elapsed time and Remaining time along the top of the screen. If you are using a 45 degree mirror you can’t avoid mirroring your text this can be a pig to edit if you don’t use a second unit like an iPad mini or iPhone which keeps the text un-mirrored and also controls speed etc.


A new feature of Teleprompt +3 is the ability to quick edit so if you need to change a word or spelling mistake you are not forced back out of the prompting screen back to the editor. The previous version of Teleprompt was unreliable and a pig to sync up to your iPad mini or iPhone. My preference is to use an iPad mini for control and the iPad to prompt, the iPhone works well but it’s all down to screen size, especially in edit mode. Lastly but more importantly the scrolling of the text is very smooth and infinitely variable.

Telepronpt+3 is overall far more user-friendly and logical in the way it works than competitors software with the addition of the quick edit mode is miles ahead of the competition.

For £17 Teleprompt +3 is a scoop and one copy of the software allows you to run the software on various IOS devices. Available from the Apple APP Store.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

CVP’s Let’s get glossy in Glasgow

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Today (Tuesday) I went along to the afternoon seminar at the Marriott Hotel in the centre of Glasgow to hear Tom Barnes a photographer from London.



Tom had an 85mm T1.3 Canon Cinema lens on the Sony A7s pointing towards the model the ISO is cracking but lack of 4K internal recording is a bit of a downer for me as it’s pitted against the GH4 which does record 4K internally and 10bit 422 externally.



The seminar was a bit too dark for my liking, I do like to see the person’s face especially if they are talking to me.


Fortunately I had my GH4 and the 42.5mm f1.2 lens with me as this picture was taken at ISO 2000, f1.2 @ 1/25 of a second.



Tom is an exceptional photographer seen here in his London studio using a medium Format, Mamiya DM-40 with Schneider lens.



The CVP event was well attended and my thanks to Colin and Danny for their hospitality as usual.


For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Coming soon…Cambo rigs Review and the Panasonic AG-WM30 Wi-Fi dongle

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Cambo announce new Panasonic GH4 Video Rig

The Cambo GH4 Rig features a single handgrip with a padded shoulder support and counterbalance. The camera platform has 1/4” fitting, which can be angled left/right and tilted up/down.

A unique feature of the GH4 rig is the ability to change the position of the padded shoulder support. This enables you to sit the shoulder support on and ‘inline’ with your shoulder, or in a ‘brace’ position pushed against the front of the chest, or positioned over and around your back. The reach of the grip can be adjusted and swivelled into the right position. You can even adjust the position of the camera so the shooter can look direct through the viewfinder or have enough room to add a 3x loupe.


Camera connectivity is becoming increasingly important as the need for an ever faster workflow grows. The AJ-PX270 features a wired and wireless LAN (via an optional, AG-WM30 Wireless dongle) that supports the existing Panasonic network functions such as remote proxy viewing, metadata viewing and amendment, and live uplink and playlist solutions. Further expansion of the AJ-PX270 network workflow is planned, which will include connection over a mobile 3G/4G/LTE network. Thanks to these network features, users of the AJ-PX270 can easily uplink low-bit rate proxy data and full quality broadcast content. The handheld camera’s network function makes the production workflow more efficient and accelerates the broadcast workflow from shooting to on-air

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Ronford-Baker tripods

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My good friend Rick has produced a video about a little known company called Ronford-Baker who make world class tripods, I say little known as I have never heard of them myself till today.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

The GH4 and the Commonwealth Games 2014

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I decided to use the Commonwealth Games as an excuse to let me find out a lot more about the GH4s photographic capabilities…it did not disappoint.



Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 @ ISO200, f4, 1/100, 30mm (35mm Focal Length = 65mm)   (Note : picture above)



Lumix 7-14mm f4 @ ISO200, f5, 1/200, 7mm (35mm FL = 15mm)



Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 @ ISO200, f2.8, 1/80, 26mm (35mm FL = 56mm)



Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 @ ISO200, f2.8, 1/80, 16mm (35mm FL = 34mm)



Lumix 7-14mm f4 @ ISO200, f7, 1/400, 14mm (35mm FL = 30mm)



Lumix 35-100mm f2.8 @ ISO250, f4, 1/1000, 89mm (35mm FL = 193mm)




Lumix 7-14mm f2.8 @ ISO500, f7.1, 1/400, 7mm (35mm FL = 15mm)




Lumix 7-14mm f2.8 @ ISO250, f5.6, 1/1000, 7mm (35mm FL = 15mm)



Lumix 35-100mm f2.8 @ ISO500, f5.6, 1/800, 60mm (35mm FL = 130mm)



Lumix 35-100mm f2.8 @ ISO500, f4.5, 1/1300, 100mm (35mm FL = 217mm)



Lumix 35-100mm f2.8 @ ISO500, f4, 1/1300, 100mm (35mm FL = 217mm)




LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm, f1.4 @ ISO640, f1.4, 1/50, 25mm (35mm FL = 54mm)


The GH4 is in my opinion is as good if not better than a few Nikon and Canon cameras I could mention, its size and lack of weight with its petite lens system is a joy to use let alone the class 10 speed 3 SDXC cards allowing 12fps constant speed for at least 6 seconds beating cameras 2-3 times its price and weight.

Wi-Fi allows you to compose your recorded media on your smartphone giving you an instant upload to various social media networks.

I have intertwined some of the hard working professional cameramen (did not see any ladies I’m afraid) if you spot yourself send me an email to and I will email you a copy of your picture.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

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