Movie Filming & Editing Blog

I've just got back from Production Room in Leeds and have in my hands a new Korg Volca Beats analogue beats generator. So I've put together this quick, on the fly video review. It's more than a review, it's a beginners tutorial, sharing some of my first experiences. I also give an honest impression and thoughts and figure out things like, "how do you switch it on!". This is not a comprehensive sponsored review.
More importantly what this is is an honest, real world perspective from a newbie to this particular facet of music creation. Enjoy and share with others. Spread the love as the saying goes!

A few noteworthy mentions.

Thanks to Richard from Production Room in Leeds for all your advice and the cuppa!

Massive thanks to Luke from Korg.

Mentions to ProGuitarSkills and Lucy Kitt.

Korg Luke @ production room

Summary of my Thoughts on the Volca Beats for Music for Videos

Simply brilliant! OK so I was surprised that it didn't have a power adapter. Big deal at this price the extra costs are nothing and really it's a lesson learned to check what's in the box. Once you start playing it, it's addictive and more importantly intuitive so that you are focused on being creative rather than being techie. I think the price is too cheap but I'm not complaining. It makes the other Volca units an attractive proposition. Would I recommend one - absolutely. It's a 'no brainer' on so many fronts. size, portability, integration and importantly it sounds fantastic! 5/5. Well done Korg!

Hit those share buttons! - Mark

Tags: music, Korg,

Categories: Behind the Scenes

Add a comment | Posted by Mark Zaretti at 09:05

So today saw one of the first proper days of sunshine in West Yorkshire and not a day too soon. So meeting with Dennis, one of my photography students we headed into the woods near Calverley for a photography training session. Today was all about putting theory into practice with many hands on examples of setting the ISO, shutter speed and aperture size. Aperture? remember the smaller the number, the larger the hole. The larger the hole, the narrower the depth of focus and more light gets in too!

Blue the collie, Eating water - Action photography

But we were not alone today. Blue my Blue Merle collie came along too. So when we got back to my house I decided to give a quick lesson in capturing action shots. I was hosing down his mucky paws (the dogs!) and said to Dennis, see if you can get a few shots capturing the water as it splashes off him. Blue loves water, though he's no swimmer, he loves trying to eat it. Well he is a Collie dog!

Setting up the DSRL for fast action shots.

It was a bright day so plenty of light. The dark glass of the patio doors behind us gave a nice contrast too. We wanted as quick a shot as possible which means about 1/1000 of a second shutter speed. This allows us to capture individual water drops. But at that speed and on the lens Dennis was using we're going to struggle to get enough light in to expose the shot. So we opened the aperture as much as possible. In this case about 5.6. But still not enough light. So we then dropped the ISO from 200 to 800. So that's a lot more sensitive and still not too much noise. Now we're able to get a properly exposed shot with a nice fast shutter. But after a few shots Dennis realised it's a lot about timing and focus. The best way to get round timing is to set the shutter release mode to continuous shooting. This way when the shutter release is pressed the camera will take lots of pictures until you release the button. Click, click, click. Depending on the camera that can be up to about 12 pictures a second! So much more chance of catching that special moment!

But what about getting the focus right? Well the trick was to focus on the tip of the hose pipe and then lock the focus by holding the shutter button half way. Another approach we discussed would be to focus and then turn auto focus off. Provided the photographer doesn't move forwards or backwards then the focal plane will remain.

Fast action photos - Blue Merle Border Collie playing with water

So when you want to capture fast action with your DSLR then remember it's about using the aperture, ISO and shutter speed to maintain a fast enough shutter speed. You can also set the shooting mode to continuous and focus to manual. Have fun and to learn more about photography training in West Yorkshire, get in touch!

Add a comment | Posted by Mark Zaretti at 21:52

During a break on a photography training class one of my students commented "your lifestyle is so glamorous". I nearly choked on my coffee! But it's a fair comment based on the fact that I'd recently returned from filming in India and was about to fly out to Budapest for more filming. So I thought it would be fun to film the journey to show what it's like being an international travelling documentary camera man/film maker.

For those of you who'd like to know more about the equipment then here's a few blogs I've done before:


PS. this video above is just a bit of fun, it was filmed on a backup camera as the main camera was packed away and the audio is on-camera. For professional work we always use off camera audio etc.

Add a comment | Posted by Mark Zaretti at 22:52

Steven Trim, founding director of Venomtech Limited, the UK's only provider of venom products for scientific research discusses why they use Spartmedia to film their public product launches, tradeshows and public presentations. It's great feedback and he also explains the benefits to business of using the resulting promotional online videos. With improved client rapport and engagement among some of the reasons he cites.

Add a comment | Posted by Mark Zaretti at 14:03

Operating The Main Spotlight For A Fashion Show - Dane Court Grammar School 1989!

I've been sorting through some storage boxes having relocated my film production company to Leeds, West Yorkshire and I stumbled across this black and white photograph. It shows me at the top of a spot light scaffolding tower. I recall that sitting about 20 feet below me was the main lighting control desk, which I'm talking to via those rather old-school looking headphones. Talking of old-school, this was all back in 1989, I would have been 15 years old! So I guess you could say I've been working in media for a long time!

If you were at Dane Court Grammar School in Broadstairs round that time and have any memories of the event which was the "Multi Cultural Evening Fashion Show" then it'd be great to hear from you!

Add a comment | Posted by Mark Zaretti at 15:01

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