Our list from 2011, which you can view here was needing some major updating. Our gear has evolved and processes have been refined!
- Canon 5D Mk II x2
- Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
- Canon 35mm f/1.4L
- Canon 135mm f/2L
- 15″ MacBook Pro x2
- 27″ Thunderbolt Display x2
- 500GB G|Drive mini – Portable storage for travelling and shooting.
- 2TB Time Capsule – Used for our backups via Time Machine.
- 6TB DroboFS – Used to archive photos and videos, automatically put on Glacier as well.
- 2TB G|Drive RAID x2 – One on each desk for bootable backups of everything.
- Amazon Glacier for archiving finished projects.
- 16GB x3 SD Cards.
- 16GB x2 Compact Flash Cards.
- 32GB x2 Compact Flash Card.
- 1GB SD Card – For H4N.
- Lightroom 4
- Photoshop CS6
- Final Cut Pro X
- Davinci Resolve
- Motion 4
- Sublime Text 2
- Adobe Encore
- Incase DSLR Slingpack
- Lowepro CompuTrekker AW
- Kelley Moore B-Hobo Bag
- Dolica Proline Monopod
- Manfrotto Tripod x2
- Zoom H4N
- Rode Lavaliers
- Zoom H1 x2
Simplifying Our Workflow
We’ve tried to take our list from last year and simplify, one of our continual goals in life. We want to do more with less and to do it easily. Let our tools get out of the way and create awesome films. So when it came time to create beautiful art in 2012 we wanted a lot of these processes automated and worry free. Our data needed to be safe and protected as well as our gear did as well.
We chose to shoot with the same cameras for the obvious reasons, we get the same image out of them and all accessories are interchangeable between the two. We love the 5d Mk II, even if it’s retired now, as it gives you a lot of options for run and gun shooting. Plus it has the beautiful full frame sensor on it. Really creates an awesome shot. We have some future cameras in mind, but you can’t beat these guys at the moment. We’ve loaded ours up with a couple custom picture styles and the Magic Lantern software as well. We’ll run these cameras into the ground before our next purchase.
Our choice of lenses is small, but they definitely get the job done. We’ve covered an interesting focal length with the three and have found it really works for us. We chose the L series of lenses for the best picture quality we could get on our cameras. Outside of this we use a bit higher capacity cards and have to make sure they are super fast. If you have slow cards sometimes the camera will have to stop recording to wait for the card to catch up. That could mean you miss a very important moment. Our current cards have never given us trouble.
Shooting with the 5d Mk II has it’s drawbacks and one of those is audio. They do record audio, but it’s pretty unusable in a professional setting. So we use a couple of handy dandy pocket recorders and mics for when we need professional audio. For weddings we always mic up anyone giving a speech, and during the ceremony, reception, etc…
Shooting watchable video really requires that you have some sort of stabilization as well. We mostly shot on our two tripods for all of 2012 and loved what we could do with them. A nice tripod head lets you do some beautiful moves, and I’ve even used our smaller tripod as a quasi steadicam in situations. We’ll be beefing this up in 2013. 😛
Now that we’ve shot a video, it’s time to ingest, organize, and backup! I’ll usually stay up all night once we’re back from a wedding simply importing footage and converting it for easy edit in our editor of choice. We’ve experimented with Premiere a little bit in 2012, but still use Final Cut Pro X professionally. After some rest, I’ll come back and organize and sync some of the footage up for Mindy. This is renaming clips, adding keywords, and creating synced clips of the ceremony and any other clips that had separate audio and angles shot. This makes it easiest for Mindy to jump in and start editing! The clips she wants are easily available and clearly labeled.
Once an edit is locked down we move into color correction. We’ve done most within FCP X using a couple of plugins, but are slowly moving to Resolve. It’s massively powerful and will greatly expand our options and performance at this stage of the edit. Once all is finished we batch export from FCP X and prepare for delivery and sharing. Discs are created in Encore and we use Vimeo to host our videos for sharing online.
When the discs have been received by the couple we’ll start to archive everything. We delete all rendered files from our projects, keeping the original clips and edits, plus the exported files and disc menus, etc… We put the project on our archive drive, and it’s organized there and automatically put on Amazon Glacier for offsite backup.
We’re then ready for the next video to be edited!