A case of the comics.

DIY-builds and hacks

In yesterdays post “Filmmakers hardcase for less than $35” I mentioned that I might cover the interior with vintage comic book pages. I spent about an hour thinking about it in bed last night and as I woke up this morning I knew it was something I had to do. I think it turned out really nice, and besides adding uniqueness to my cases, it should also give the insides some extra stability once it dries up.

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For this I used about two 1970’s Wild West-themed comics and some wallpaper paste.

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Filmmakers hardcase for less than $35.

DIY-builds and hacks, Film, Photography

Any filmmaker (or photographer) tends to accumulate lots of gear, or as my friend Murphy calls it; stuff. And as you know, most of the stuff is quite useful once you’ve dragged it all to set. My main focus these last years has been on getting my hands on all the wonderful tech-stuff you need (and want) and each time I’m heading out, I’m doing so with a bunch of suitcases, padded bags and backpacks. So I decided to step it up a notch and get some nice cases to keep my things safe, in one place, and to be honest; to make me look less like Kevin Costner on his rig in Waterworld (1995).

I did what everybody does and started looking at hardcases online. I decided that a few padded Pelican-cases would be nice. And then I came to my senses and realized that I’d rather save the $300 for more (you’ve guessed it!) stuff. So here’s what I came up with:

How to make your own fitted hardcase to keep your gear safe while looking fly.

1. Go shopping. I went to a second-hand store and found a really nice set of three aluminum cases in different sizes. I got really lucky here but you could just as well grab a hard-shelled suitcase (BONUS: the wheels and handle make transporting everything easier). The ones I looked at cost about $8. Make a run to the hardware store and grab a can of sprayglue, a sheet of styrofoam and a razorblade knife. Finally you’ll need a sleepingpad and some cloth.

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Set of three second hand aluminum cases ($15) – Sprayglue ($7) – Styrofoam ($2) – Sleeping pad ($6) – Razorblade knife ($1) & an old black T-shirt.

2.  Cut out a few pieces from the sleepingpad to fit your case. If you’re using a suitcase, you might want to start with some styrofoam in the bottom the gain some hight quicker (suitcases are usually quite deep but it all depends on what you’re planning to store in your case.) After this: trace around your objects with a marker.

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For my smaller gear (audio-stuff and ND-filters + fieldmonitor) I just used three layers from the sleepingpad, for my shoulder-rig I went with styrofoam. The nice things about working with layers is that you can customize the shapes to really fit your stuff. It takes some planning since you want your gear to lock in and stay put between lid and bottom.

3. Start cutting. You can use your first cutout as a stencil for the upcoming layers. Remember to customize each layer; you might need to make each shape smaller as you go, it all depends on your objects and if they’re flat or rounded.

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Don’t worry if your edges get a bit jagged and uneven. This will all be covered up with cloth later. 

4. Before adding glue, make sure everything fits the way you want it too. It might be a good idea to check how much space you got when your lid closes. Remember, you need to fill the top of your case to lock everything in. I made my bottom pretty deep so I didn’t really need the space in the lid. To save time and effort, I filled the lid with styrofoam.

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If you’re doing a lot of work with styrofoam and you need it to look clean – get a special knife for cutting styrofoam. I wrapped everything in cloth so I just went with the razor and ended up with fake snow all over the place.

5. Use the same shapes as before when cutting the top layer from the sleepingpad. Just think twice before putting it on with glue. Think vertical flip, mirror, the up-side-down and make sure it all aligns. The next to steps cover the shoulder-rig case so if you’re in a rush, skip steps 6 and 7.

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Sprayglue is very sticky so think twice before you put everything together. You don’t want to end up cutting new squares just because your brain wasn’t all there.

6. For big objects (which go deep), you might want to work with styrofoam entirely. I did this with my shoulder-rig and it saved me about ten layers of sleepingpad. It’s a bit more time-consuming to trace everything and you need to sculpt it a bit more, but just think of all that money you’re saving. And the fun you’re having creating something on your own.

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Here i wished I had that special electrical heated styro-knife, but if you’re careful a razorblade-knife does the job as well. More snow.

7. Keep cutting, adjusting, fitting, cutting. There’s a lot of in and out of the case when working like this, but the end result is satisfying enough, so keep going.

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8. Once you have all your pieces, made sure it all fits so that your gear is all snuggled up and locked in, sprayglue each layer together (build it up layer by layer in the case to make sure it all fits). After this, add another coat of glue and cover it with cloth. I used a T-shirt here but technically you could go out and get some furry material or go wild and cover it in, papier-mâché perhaps? I’m thinking of going wild with some vintage comics I’ve got, and if I decide to do so, I’ll post the result here later.

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End result. Three aluminum cases. One for the rig, one for the fieldmonitor and my ND-filters, and one for mics and the Zoom-recorder. All for under $35.

Was this helpful? Hit me up if you’ve got some questions or ideas for improvement. And thanks for checking in.

Social Innovation Animation – Or; why our standard nights were cut in half for three weeks.

Animation, Photoshop

When Amanda Nilsson and I got asked if we were interested in creating the intro video for this years Social Innovation Summit we knew right away that we’d be spending the next three weeks in a sleep deprived state if we’d take this one on. We said yes pretty much straight away of course. The summit is a massive happening, packed with awesome people and to top it all of SVT will be documenting the whole shebang. There wasn’t much time to begin with (isn’t that always the case?) and there was no room for the usual darkness and neck-twisting/breaking/crunching/snapping me and Amanda usually spice up our productions with. But still, we dove right in. Head first. Necks intact.

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We were working alongside a few experimental media students who got the task of creating a sound, to let the guests know when intermissions at the summit are coming to an end (kind of like the tone between acts in a theatre).  We managed to incorporate their sounds into the intro of our video in the hopes of making  a smooth audio-visual transition at the actual summit. If nothing else, we’ve got a dreamy intro for the logos.

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We had a look at the clients  website(s) and found a lot of orange in there. After moodboarding and storyboarding a few loose ideas, we located the do’s, dont’s and definite no! no’s! and begun sketching up a timeline. We also extracted the key values for the summit and had a look at the different speakers attending the summit. Here we picked a mix of (ten) people based on age and visual appearances. We gave them all a neutral costume so that we wouldn’t accidentally offend anyone (the ice might be thinner than you think here) but gave each character an individual print on the shirt.

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The scenes were composed in After Effects, and for most of them we used the AE 3D-camera so we had to build every component in each scene from scratch to make sure the resolution would be ok for the camera zooms. We used a lot of vector graphics and gave everything a vintage kind of feel using public domain images from the British library over at Flickr. This is an awesome, free resource, so make sure to check it out if you’re looking for some vintage hi-res book scans for your next project.

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We rendered some of the objects in the scenes individually exporting them with the Alpha+RGB settings and also used some wiggle and bounce expressions to make the animations a bit more smoothe and playful. Here is a link to a document containing some of them. Feel free to download these and try ’em out. There are plenty of informative tutorials up on YouTube, so save yourself some time and start using expressions.

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The film will premiere at the summit and I will post it here after. This was a great project to work on and although it was extremely time-consuming, I’m positive it will generate more of this type of work for us both. And more nights cut in half. No rest for the wicked.

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Thanks for checking in! Have a good one.

Grandma sticks it to the man.

Photography

One of the photos I took of my grandma during the #ArtstreetHbg festival earlier this summer ended up in print again. This time, in the cute little folder about Kulturveckan which kicks off in November. The theme will be “freedom”, and it’s kind of nice to have my grandma in there on page one since she grew up in what was eastern Germany  for some time. In a way, this photo makes me feel like she finally got to stick it to the man, in a weird roundabout way. Graffiti and street art is all about freedom and bending of rules and conventions, so I think this photo was a good choice for representing freedom. And I’m happy for myself to of course. It’s always nice to see your photos end up in print.

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Falcon II wins the audience award!

Film

Tonight we won “Publikens pris” (the audience award) at the regional screening at Panora cinema in Malmö. We didn’t make it all the way to the finals but winning this award by popular vote was a kick! Since we’re out of competition we’re dropping the film tonight. Here you go internet. To read more about the creative process behind this short, check out this blogpost.

Published in industry magazine.

Photography, Photoshop

During #artstreethbg the artists went through a lot of sponsored paint and Swedish industry magazine “Målmarmästaren” wrote a little piece about the festival. That’s all nice and neat, but for me the biggest thrill is that I got some of my photos published. Funny thing is that one photo is of my sister and the electrical box we painted together, and the other one is a photo of my grandma visiting the streetart workshop which was held on the last day of the festival. A nice little victory on a otherwise rainy Monday.

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FALCON II – Making a movie in 24 hours.

Film, Photoshop

Noomaraton is the largest film contest in Sweden and is held on the first Saturday in September each year. You register a team and on competition day every team involved gets the same criteria for making their movie. The competition starts at 09.00 a.m and ends 24 hours later. By then your film must be ready and uploaded if you want to stay in the competition. The rules are the same each year; maximum four crew members who work on the film (actors not included), one theme, three objects and three locations which must be in the movie. This year we got the following:

  • Theme – Reinforced reality
  • Objects – Flashlight, dice and stapler
  • Locations – Dining spot, snapchat and (town)square

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We knew from the start that we didn’t want to make a film which is safe and politically correct. We wanted to make the film we wanted to see and enjoy. So we went full 1980’s and completly overboard in the process. America vs. Russia, nuclear threat, training/final shootout montage, witty puns and punchlines, terrible subtitling and a (male) washed up hero of few words. Usually the films which win are the ones with a somewhat safe story so we’re not really counting on making it to the finals with this one, but we are very happy with the result.

Production was fun, stressful and tiring, just as expected. Here’s what our day looked like:

  • 09.00 – 11.00 – Screenplay
  • 11.00 – 12.00 – Props and costumes
  • 12.00 – 18.00 – Shooting scenes
  • 20.00 – 05.00 – Post production

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We all love this little short so much that we’re thinking of making a proper short with the concept. Actors Lille Peter Jönsson (Falcon) and Jonny Blomkvist (Petrov Wodka) are dying to see some more action, and a few other interesting Malmö-based actors are lined up if Falcon III makes it to production.

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The screening of FALCON II is taking place at Panora cinema in Malmö on Tuesday (September 12th) and the doors open at 17.30. Two films from each region make it to the finals in Stockholm. We’re not counting on it, but then again, stranger things have happened. As soon as FALCON II is out of competition I’ll put it up online.

(FALCON (I) has not been made yet, we’re still waiting for Hollywood to call.)

HAPPY WIFE FILMS 2017 CREW:

  • Director: Casper Jarmo
  • Cinematography: Robin Jansson
  • Setwizardry/Still photography: Amanda Nilsson
  • Audio recording: Christian Andersen
  • Actors: Lille Peter Jönsson & Jonny Blomkvist

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Posterwork: Casper Jarmo – Photography: Amanda Nilsson

To see the film follow this link.