12v DIY LED Filmlight – without soldering.

DIY-builds and hacks, Film, Photography

More than once I’ve been planning a shoot (both film and photography) and stumbled upon a big problem. No electricity. If you’re documenting your urban explorations, or shooting a scene at night in the woods, a flashlight isn’t always going to cut it. This has bugged me for quite some time and I’ve been wanting a battery-powered LED-panel for ages. But as you know, these come with a pretty juicy price tag. I’ve been checking out tutorials where people build their own panels using LED-strips which are cut up and soldered back together with wires. Soldering is a thing I have yet to master, so I started to think about alternative solutions. This is what I came up with.

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I built this lamp using 10 meters of (5050) RGB LED-strip which I got dirt cheap from eBay. RGB-strips come with a remote, which lets you mix your own colours so the possibility to get various coloured lights, from the same lamp, without filters really got me going. Soldering RGB’s would be even harder for me since there are more connectors (four instead of two) so I started to think about how to line up the strips without cutting them apart.

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I live nearby an IKEA, and I really like to walk around the shop to see if there are things which can be modified into filmgear. Cue the wonderful TROFAST box. This box is cheap, lightweight and comes with a lid in frosted plastic. Perfect if you want to soften your light. The edges are rounded so I figured I could just loop the strip (folding is a big no-no) around the inside walls of the box. But looping them on the sides probably weakens the output a bit since it’s not shining directly out of the box. I thought of it for a bit, and realized a reflective surface could give me an extra needed push. So I went to the hardware store (Hornbach is my home away from home).

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Here I found aluminiumtape (my new spiritanimal). I roughened up the walls of my box with P120 sandpaper to make sure the tape would really stick. I found a nice place at the top where I could put the beginning of my strip (a small box-reciever for the IR-controller with a DC input). The alutape was fun and easy to work with and the LED-strip stuck to it perfectly as i began looping it around the walls.

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I attached an adjustable flagpoleholder made out of metal to the box. These are easy to find online and most of them will fit onto a C-stand. On the back of the box I put some industrial strength velcro so that I can attach my Anker Astro Pro II powerbank (12v output) and fire the lamp up wherever I may end up shooting.

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As I mentioned before, the lid for the box is frosted plastic so it works like a diffuser. To make sure the lid doesn’t fall of when the light is angled, I drilled four holes in the box so that the hooks of the elastic SKÅDIS straps from IKEA would stay put.

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The lamp lit up beautifully when I tested it in a pitch black room, and I’m really happy with the way this build turned out. I can store all the cables and the remote inside the lamp, (since it’s a box), and there are no delicate parts on the outside of the lamp which could become damaged when transported.

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I hope you found this useful and that you’ll have your DIY-eyes with you the next time you set foot inside an IKEA. The place is packed with objects just waiting to be transformed. If you have any questions about this build, let me know.

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By the way! What is your best IKEA-based build when it comes to creating filmgear?

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.

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.

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.

 

 

The Ilse Weisfelt interview. 

Film

Ilse Weisfelt is a Dutch illustrator who also paints massive murals since her graphic shapes and clean style works well on a large scale. This interview was made for the ArtstreetHBG project and if you’re interested in how I set up and planned the whole interview (tech-wise and editing) you can read about it here

Dutzie Posterdrop.

Film, Illustration, Photoshop

One day left in school – with two projects left which will be presented tomorrow. In our three week animation course we produced two shorts, one made in Animate (former Flash) and one in After Effects. I will be putting both of them up here tomorrow but for now I’ll settle for the poster for our lip sync animation “Dutzie”, voiced by Christian Andersen.

Dutzie poster

The Mayhem-poster.

Film, Photography, Photoshop

This past week me and my group have been working non-stop on our short documentary “Mayhem”. One of my friends was kind enough to spill hits guts in front of the group during a two-hour interview. We shot the whole thing with three cameras (two static one handheld) and used a portable recorder tp capture sound.

Once we had our main footage, we went out on location to get some b-roll footage to go with parts of the story. The deadline is tomorrow morning at 9.00 and we’ve been hammering away on the film like slaves. It’s hard to get a great 2 hour interview down to 10 minutes without chopping the stories apart too much. We’ve skipped some amazing stuff completely, but we’re confident that what we have is a fair and interesting portrait of a peculiar, bizarre and wonderfully strange human being. Here’s the poster.

Poster small

3 days of drinks, drugs and death – The making of Daydrinkers.

Film

Our latest assignment in our video production course threw us into a world of wonders. The brief was simple enough:

“Create a short film with a running time of approximately 5 minutes. No spoken dialogue, parallel cutting, a varied cinematic language and a classic story-arc.”

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For this we had 3 days. Day one was spent on a screenplay and storyboard. Day two the actual shoot and the final day in the editing room. We basically knew that we had a bar to shoot in, a sexy lounge and of course the old but never boring streets of Gåsebäck. We also knew we wanted to run somebody over – and have a great partymontage. The key to our story came with the handcuffs and while some of you might think of police and robbers, the first thing that came to mind here was a escort with a kink.

While the story was lost on some when we showed it in class today, most agreed that you could pretty much smell the fumes coming through the screen. No matter what, we worked our asses off and managed to create a cute story with some really nice shots in just 3 days. And that counts for something. Here’s our flick.

Feel free to give us your two cents in a comment below.

“Mitt hjärta jublar” – Trailerdrop

Film

Today me and Robin Jansson released the trailer for our shortfilm “Mitt hjärta jublar”. I can’t believe we got this film made in such a short time. I also can’t believe we had the energy and focus to actually pull everything together while working and studying full time. On top of this I had my second kid on the way (who was born about a week after we hit “export” on the final version of the film).

This has been a ride to say the least. Now we’ll see how it does in front of an audience. But no matter how it goes – we created something from scratch, and it turned out the way we wanted it to. Here’s the trailer:

Mixing 60fps with 24fps? (Or; how the Tuscan tragic came to life).

DIY-builds and hacks, Film

A while back I shot a video for Magdalena Wolk’s song “Tuscan tragic”. We wanted to do something quick and simple, so adding some sort of flair to the visuals was essential. Shooting a quick video is a great way to give a song you want to put out that extra push. Here’s how we did it.

We had access to a photostudio with a white backdrop so being able to control the lights was a big plus. I also have an old VGA-projector laying around so we decided to project pre-shot footage onto Magdalena and the white background, while she was performing. Doing this instead of adding footage with a blending mode/opacity change gives you more interesting footage since the projector emits a ray of light, hitting the moving subject in various angles, adding lights and darks. And life.

Magdalena had some great random footage from her travels, some of it shot with a cameraphone. For our project, this worked great since we knew we wanted a natural and heavily mishandled look. Both me and Magdalena are huge fans of vintage footage, so coming up with the different aspects of this video wasn’t really that hard. We mixed Magdalena’s footage with my ink in water footage and edited it together with the full audiotrack as a base.

We did add one more effect to this video, found in the chorus. Magdalena moves in slow motion, but her lips are in sync with the words. How? Performing at double speed while shooting at 60 fps. We shoot the chorus separately, with Magdalena performing to a audiotrack running at double speed. When you bring your footage into your editor (Premiere Pro in my case), all you have to do is change the speed/duration of the clip down to 50% (half the speed of your track running at double speed – duh) – and you’re in sync with the original audio again.

Now – I did have some problems using clips shot at different framerates (the rest of the video is shot in standard 24fps) in the same sequence, so I had to edit together the chorus in a project of it’s own, and then export it at 24 fps. After this, it worked fine.

I did some research and found out that the optimal convertion would be to bring footage shot at 60 fps down to 40% when changing the speed of your clip, if your video is meant to be exported at 24 fps. This because 60 X 40 = 2400. I’m sure there’s lots of information about this elsewhere – but it might be worth testing if you’re planning to try out this effect. Of course, your audio will need to run at a matching speed when shooting.

The wind in the slowmotion footage comes from a leafblower I bought at a yardsale for about $20. The dust and scratches are real filmscans, (most of them come from this brilliant place called filmlooks) which I put on top of my footage using the screen and overlay blending modes in Premiere. Finally, I added a transparent .psd layer with Super16-borders to sell the look a bit more. We shot this video in about three hours. So I’m quite excited to see what we can pull of when we add some more time and planning next time. Make sure to check out Magdalena’s other stuff if you liked this video, since she’s easily found on Soundcloud, YouTube and Spotify.

Got questions about the process? You know where to put them. Full video below.