Eibon Films Horror, Fantasy and SciFi writer / filmmaker and friend of the weird

7Nov/170

I am an idiot GH5 user… but I’m not the only one!

So I bought V-Log finally for my GH5 camera - and that wasn't easy! (but that's another story - I've added at the end).  But how could I get it to work???

Why I am an idiot:

I followed every hastily written or edited instructional article and video I could find and none of it seemed to show me how to replicate what I was seeing in the pictures and videos - no matter how well written (like this one: http://www.4kshooters.net/2017/04/10/panasonic-gh5-how-to-install-v-log-l-footage/ ) . Because all of those videos and articles assumed that you were not stupid, like me - or assumed that you already had a level of knowledge, that you in fact do not... yet. Apologies, if you are not as stupid as me. Laugh at my idiocy! But here's where I went wrong when trying to access the Creative video modes...

So let me hlep you out and point out where I went wrong and many others, on forums and redit threads seem to also go wrong when trying to get V-Log working.

GH5Vlog21

See the Green circle above - enclosing the white mark - that is where you need to line up the items on the revolving dial, to activate the Creative Video mode (With the movie camera and M symbol) from the 'Drive mode dial'. And do not line it up with the 'One/off' button white line (enclosed by a red circle in the image above), as I was doing and many other users seem to be doing!

Then, if you've correctly installed V-Log, you will magicaly see it appear!

In my defence - I have not finished going through the manual. I bought my camera from a Swedish retailer and sadly only got Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish manuals. So sadly I am trying to work my way through an English manual which I only have in PDF format. So this is a classic moment where men should read the manual first, before trying to fudge their way through it, as I was very clearly doing! Had I done that I may have remembered the little white dot and not got it completely the wrong way around.

So it's great that I can finally play with V-Log and shoot my movie and carry out some pre-production tests!

Re getting V-Log - the saga:

Normally I try to set my default settings for camera useage and shop sites to English, because most people deliberately set the language of such sites to the regional default. My Swedish isn't yet good enough to happily follow technical subjects - although I can carry on brief conversations with barmen when ordering a pint. I found that I was unable to buy V-Log from the Panasonic UK website, as I no longer have a UK address. I couldn't order it directly from the Swedish Panasonic website either!  So I had to buy it from a local Swedish retailer.

The package then has to be issued by Panasonic and shipped to the retailer who then packages it up for you! This meant that I was waiting over two weeks for the activation code, from the point of purchase, as these retailers do not keep them in stock.

Then when it arrived, it was not sent to my actual address. It was sent to a random Post depot, where I had to go to sign for it, producing my ID and then receiving a ridiculously large and very light box. Said box, upon opening, reveals another box within - wrapped up better than you would wrap a piece of expensive glassware - and inside that is a small manual and a black envelope. Overkill indeed! See it all pictured below...

GH5Vlog

I appreciate that V-Log is expensive and highly desirable. And it is necessary to avoid people sharing the codes and trying to circumvent official channels etc. But surely they can find a way to mail you an envelope to your door? The average postie won't have a clue what the package contains... and god help you if you need V-Log in a hurry for an urgent shoot! You'd be better off borrowing it in advance to avoid waiting!

But no it's not a sustainable / environmentally friendly process and it will generate plenty of needless packaging...

 

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8Oct/170

Sickness is a time to reflect and learn

I had just penned a new short film script, one designed to be predominantly shot in one location for ease of production and shared it - and after very positive feedback from my good friend and creative partner Darwin - I was super keen on shooting the film and working out some of the gear we might need to be able to capture it, including some audio gear.... and then disaster struck. We had a death in the family; a very tragic and sudden death. And everything obviously went to sh*t...

...A while after this, when my mind was slowly turning back to creative things, and the days were slightly less preoccupied by grieving, and I was gearing up to let Darwin know that we would soon be back on to film, and then I got the flu - and even threw my back out again while coughing violently.

I have an atrocious immune system and I rapidly succumbed to filling up baskets with tissue, coughing up buckets of green slime and bemoaning anything that involved physical activity or concentration. But despite the illness, I find these things go through phases of creativity, from the random and less focussed to full blown acts of inspiration - where you can even forget your suffering, for a while.

First, it's watching films and shows that you've never had time to get around to watching from your sick bed. And reading the books that have been neglected when you're restive and can't decide on anything else to watch. Because you're too headachey and sick to do anything more challenging. And sometimes those inspire you to watch other things and they get your brain all fired up; and enjoying such visions can stimulate new or cause other dormant ideas to resurface...

Then when you're pumped full of cold medication, you start to contemplate what's lacking. For me it was thinking of camera and audio gear, thinking of problems with the structure of a feature script, worrying over how to bring my creative vision to life...

Until you start to heal, and some semblance of the former energy returns...

Having that time to think and a lack of energy to do anything else was invaluable. The dreams stimulated by the cold meds were a useful catalyst also.

I noticed a Martin Scorses Masterclass and the Shore Scripts Screenwriting course and signed up for both, taking advantage of the early sign-up pricing (after all I was too sick to go out partying and spend the money in real life, why not put it to use, right?) and even diving into the first lectures and doing the pre-reading. After lurking online in the web store, I eventually made it outside and went to the actual camera store (after heading to the pharmacy) and checked out the audio gear I've been drooling over and figured out what I needed.

I'm not entirely mended yet. But I am itching to get at it.

For now, I am enjoying the build up to my favourite holiday, Halloween. And taking part in a film a day challenge - 31 days of horror - #halloweenFest. And I'm working my way through the lectures and tasks... and I'm playing with the new toys and learning how to capture the sounds I think that I will need.... while revelling in the classic visions from master filmmakers. And I'm glad that even when I couldn't stand my own infected shell, and the fluids it kept emitting, I could still make use of the time.

I just need to shake this damn fever... and get back at it when I'm ready.

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15Jul/170

Don’t Forget To Breathe – in production now

Film poster for DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE

DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE

DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6207538/?) - a film I co-wrote with Darwin Reina, is being shot right now in Barcelona, and I'm not there. It's a weird feeling. On the one hand, I am super stoked that the film is going ahead - after a lengthy but much needed pre-production period. On the other, I'm feeling a bit disconnected from it - a social media lurker, merely peering in through the lens of posts on Facebook and Instagram and checking up on progress. It's strange... so why am I not there?

I've been working my fingers to the bone recently - I had some very tough script deadlines to meet and some business travel to conduct. All of that is now done. And soon my holiday starts. But right now I am exhausted. Any creative will know that feeling of having recently achieved something significant, but then being in a weird limbo of not knowing if it is even any good? If people will even like what you've created? And having given everything to hit that deadline and to then be utterly crushed as the weight is removed from your shoulders - and the rest of you sags to the floor. The fact that I am able to sleep right now - in my new house and new bed - is propping me up. My brain is firing on all cylinders creatively, having been well-warmed up by the recent productivity, but I need to allow myself to rest and not dive into the next big thing right away. And that also means that although I technically could jump on a flight to Barcelona.. and book a hotel... should I?

Image of a magnetic whiteboard

Creativity lives here... or does it?

I've worked on films before and it is exhausting. It's an amazing process - long days, lots of standing around, great camaraderie etc - but although it can be incredibly rewarding and give you a chance to forge new creative relationships, it can also be very draining. If it was in a week, I'd be there. But right now... I need to cling on to rest.... My holiday starts then. But right now, I'd be no good to them. I'd be the worst kind of on set hanger on. A sleepy and irritable guy,  and feeling like a zombie the whole time, trying to follow what's going on and needing everything to be explained to him again in another language - and merely delaying and exacerbating the inevitable crash that will follow. After all the film is being shot in Spanish and although I did a year of it in school, it was 35 years ago and I can only order a cool beer right now. I'd only have to get people to use English, and it would bring the wrong kind of vibe to what is by all accounts an otherwise smooth production. So despite being torn, and really wanting to be there, I must give in to my need to rest. After all, I've been working crazy hours, often 7am to 1opm all week round for weeks on end, and doing this since November!

So all I can do right now is urge you to check out the social media feeds, follow and share the posts and await the eventual film - as I am doing.

I'm waiting in case the cast or crew have a question about the script that I can help with. I'm going to be there to help Darwin with the edit and the post production. And when we make the next films that I am writing for him, we'll do it together.

For now, I have a big magnetic white board to fill, and it's crying out for some index cards, some story beats and some fresh ideas. I can do this from an arm chair. It's a kind of rest. It's creative. But I'll also be hawk-eyed on my social media feeds...

Good luck guys! ¡Buena suerte!

 

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16May/172

Still alive and well?

Hi - this is your absentee creative, back from the presumed-dead. I am very much alive, although very much still in work hell. It's a long story, but essentially to make up for a very slow year last year, we agreed to work ourselves into a potential breakdown in order to guarantee this year was profitable. But it comes at a cost. Such is the crazy world of working in my industry. We work while we can, as much as we can, to invoice as much as we can. But I think that the crazy late nights, every night and working weekends, every weekend, are now at an end. I even enjoyed an actual weekend this weekend! And I've planned a long summer break of creativity.

Soon I can return to editing the Vlogs, [potentially ignoring] this blog, and picking up my dusty film script to resume editing it / polishing it for circulation and submission, and releasing that damn short story already.

Elsewhere in my world... I feel a list coming on:

  • I've been working on a video ident for a musician friend, which gives me the opportunity to spend whatever free half hour I have (yes really, that little time free) to work on it - and hope to share it soon It's 15 seconds of After Effects motion graphic 80s video tape inspired goodness. We're just waiting for the key ingredient, the music, to be added to it before sharing it. - This task was to force me to dust off old and unused skills and see if I can still fumble my way around After Effects, since it's been updated. I can indeed! But I know I have much to relearn.
  • A script I wrote for Darwin Reina, is being filmed in Barcelona in July and has been adapted into Spanish. Yes this is dejavu, the production date changed, but it should be going ahead this time - DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE.
  • I'm about to release my 40th Vlog. Yes in one week I will have been vlogging for a whole year. And I will soon share my thoughts on the medium and what I've learned from doing it. I know they're just a bit of fun, but I feel good having created 40-somethings that would never have existed, had I never filmed them or done anything with the footage. One thing I can share now, they've been a great excuse to force me to ignore or suppress my grief, to get up and go out and experience life rather than lie in bed sulking, to try and capture a snapshot of it and bring it to life in some form for others to share. And I feel that I'm only getting started. If you want to check them out, you can find them here: VLOG PLAYLIST
  • I've been scripting constantly for work for 5 months - so I know I can deliver, come rain or shine, even when I feel like doing anything but, and more especially even if I can't share them with anyone due to non-disclosures.
  • I've done more real estate transactions than I would care to ever do again, all at the same time, to try and simplify my life! Yes that's not a typo. And in 3 weeks I will soon have a new home, with a proper writing studio again!

Anyway, enough of that. There'll be a real post soon... Thanks for stopping by!

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6Jun/162

Things are happening

 

LeeandDarwin2.jpg

So today, I was out and about with my good friend Darwin Reina - Spanish ex pat  filmmaker also living in Sweden - and we were doing some shooting for a new VLog. It was the second day of shooting. It was just a bit of fun, our take on the fun that is 'National Dag', but hopefully between us we'll have created something worth watching. We've been experimenting with a way to update people with what we're doing, and experimenting in order to find a particular visual style / format for such video blogs. For now we're checking out Vlogs, especially those by the world's greatest - Casey Neistat (seriously, check him out especially) - and we're seeing what works about each video blog that we watch, what doesn't work and then trying to balance that with what we can achieve / pull-off convincingly.

LeeandDarwin.jpg

 

For me these opportunities are a great chance to hang out and be active and shoot something. It's also great to play with new gear - namely the Go Pro Hero Black 3 (mainly using for covert filming in public places and for timelapses) and the Canon 700D DSLR (for great all round filming uses). I've been so impressed by what both can achieve, I'm looking forward to seeing the finished / edited footage. In fact, I've been so impressed that I've ordered my own Canon 70D (no I'm not missing a zero - I've bought a newer and slightly more expensive camera). I'm looking forward to teaching myself more about all of the various settings - those settings that I never had to learn back when I used real semi-pro camcorders to do my filming.

Another bonus was that I also came up with an idea for a super short short horror script. It will be interesting to see if we can pull this off. I think people will enjoy feeling the hairs on the neck lifting up when watching it, if we can pull it off. What was interesting was that Darwin tasked me with coming up with something specifically for a set duration and rather than say "it can't be done" my brain was happy to rise to the challenge.

I also wrote a new comedy short film script this week. Well, technically it was me polishing up an old short film that I was inspired to write back in 2008, during a slow day at work. But transferred it from a notepad text file - yes I often start off just capturing ideas / scenes in simple text files - before I then transferred it into Final Draft and reformatted it. Once it was in the right format I was properly able to see the holes in it and fill and polish them. The reason I dusted this one off? It will be perfect to shoot. All we will need is an office and 4 actors. If we do it right, it will get a few laughs and hopefully a few shares. And it will give me time to get this other short horror short script finished, ready for the next production effort.

So things have been happening. It's baby steps. I'm still not 'right', but I'm taking it as it comes.

 

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20Jun/100

Breaking in – The COLLECTOR

SAW 3, 4 and 5 creators have a new film coming out - THE COLLECTOR - which looks amazing. And well worth a view, in an otherwise Horror bereft cinema schedule.

Collector poster

Check out the clip on the HORROR CHANNEL. Or go to the official website and watch the atmospheric trailer.

"For handyman and ex-con, Arkin, a quiet home and a family on vacation is an "opportunity". For inside the house lies a jeweler's safe, and inside the safe is a rare gem - his only hope for repaying his ex-wife's debt and keeping what's left of his family intact. Unfortunately for Arkin, inside the house is also a box containing the latest specimen in a collection catalogued in blood, bone and tears - a human specimen packaged as “bait”. While the trap may have already sprung shut on parents Michael and Victoria – cutting short their vacation before it could even begin - the jaws have yet to close on teenage daughter Jill and eight-year old Hannah. As the seconds tick down to midnight, Arkin becomes a reluctant hero trapped by a masked “Collector” in a maze of lethal invention – the Spanish Inquisition as imagined by Rube Goldberg – while trying to rescue the very family he came to rob."

But, more importantly - SAW creator Darren Lynn Bousman - continues his excellent Blog posts on 'breaking in' to the business here:

PART 3

PART 2

- I know I know. A tenuous link between the two. But one is educational and the other is entertaining. And there is a bit of a link.... enjoy. ;0)

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9Jun/100

Great article – by SAW Director Darren Lynn Bousman

LIFE LESSONS IN LA-LA-LAND - WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU IN FILM SCHOOL – part 1 / 4

Read the article here, to find out how he got into the business, just as he was about to give up: http://www.darrenlynnbousman.com/life-lessons-in-la-la-land/

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