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Trent Whittington's Blog

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Why not shoot 'Behind the Scenes'?

Recently I have been the cameraman on two student short films 'The Giving Tree' and 'Security'. With our campus condoning shooting HD on their HDV Cameras and only being told to shoot SD because we have more SD DV decks then HDV decks we had decided to stick it to them and hire out a camera ourselves. Without going into a whinging story about not being 'aloud' to shoot HD which I think is ridiculous considering the campus is open till midnight I thought it would be a good idea to talk about shooting behind the scenes footage.

So as we were not aloud to use the campus HDV cameras we decided to hire the Canon 5D mark II after much deliberation. It would be perfect for our shoot, finally being able too swap out lenses and the key factor for me which was shooting 1080p on a full frame sensor.

On the day of the shoots I found myself taking plenty of production stills to document the making of, this would also help for advertising later on. When shooting on dedicated video cameras it was generally a hassle to take stills on set because of the small crews we have. But with the 5D it went all I had to do was point and shoot and I could continue shooting for the short film seconds later.

Because the 5D is so light and robust it meant recording behind the scenes interviews would be easy and would not hold up the production. In other instances we would of had to have a dedicated camera for the set-up time but now it meant that whenever we moved the tripod we could do a quick interview.

Here is a quick edit of the behind scenes on our student short film 'The Giving Tree' based on the children's book and adapted for screen.
p.s. Creative Cow video hosting is great quality!

The behind the scenes stills and video arent necessarily something you think about on set, it is usually an after thought when editing but I think it helps to remember the experience and reminisce about everything that happened that day/month or year. Stills definately will help advertising for our short film and lets face it, who doesnt like the dvd extras of behind the scenes?

Posted by: Trent Whittington on Sep 13, 2009 at 10:23:12 pmComments (2) 5d mark ii, behind the scenes

SMPTE EXHIBITION 2009 - Sydney, Australia

Well today was my first ever broadcast exhibition I have been too. What can I say? it was awesome!

It's good reading and watching videos online about new products but its much better to see the cameras and equipment in real life, and be able to talk to people about it in person. All the major camera manufacturers were there ie. Sony, Canon, JVC, Panasonic all had amazing new equipment I had only even seen on the web. I really like the new JVC tapeless cameras, was good to have a play around with them for a while.

Some of my highlights:

Watching 3D without the need for glasses, and Stereoscopic 3D
Global Televisions Outside Broadcast truck
Blackmagic's new product line
RED Camera
Panavision Phantom HD camera
Adobe booth that was showing a prototype of flash enabled televisions

All in all was a really good day, only wish they did it every year instead of every 2.

Anybody thinking of going should definitely attend, they also have Industry leaders having lectures and all sorts of good stuff. It ends on Wednesday 24th July 2009. You can find more info on the SMPTE website at

Posted by: Trent Whittington on Jul 22, 2009 at 4:45:25 am smpte

Profiling Yourself

Since I have become making more and more videos lately to gain experience I thought it was time to start self-promoting myself. I had been putting off making a website for a while due to the cost, however now you can make a website for free so thats not an issue. However when it comes to self-promoting I am quite shy. It's never been that Im not proud of my work, because anything I publish I am proud of it in one way or another. Sure sometimes there are things that could of been done better, but I am still happy with it overall.

At the moment I am in the middle of co-producing an experimental web series with a friend that will test my cinematography skills. I am always more concerned about bits and bytes, codecs and camera processing rather then the aesthetics of actually creating a nicely well lit and exposed image. The good thing about creating this series of videos is that there is no limits to what we can shoot. In the past we have been limited to University outlines; now we can still use the uni cameras and equipment but without being forced to shoot a specific subject.

We are aiming to keep the crew to a minimum because we are aiming to shoot the public and feel they may not want to if there is a barrage of crew watching. The experimental series will be published on this website as well as on youtube and vimeo.

please check out my free website and let me know what you think @ NOTE: Please keep in mind it is still in construction

Look out for 'A Making of' soon as well.

Thanks for reading.

Trent Whittington.

Posted by: Trent Whittington on Jul 20, 2009 at 12:48:24 amComments (1) profiling

Reading the manual ACTUALLY saves time!

I'm the kinda person who when he gets something new, try's to be a genius and refuses to read the manual; then after hours going back and reading it only to figure out what I wanted to do should of taken 2minutes not 2 hours.

We started a shoot on friday around lunchtime for a student television commercial for one of our campuses sponsors. The shoot went well, the cast was amazing, but the travel to one of the locations was boring. We had planned to do a 6hour shoot in Sydney then a half an hour shoot 2hrs away on the central coast. We finished the shoot early meaning we got an earlier train.


On the train i had my recently purchased 9inch eee pc and wireless broadband and was looking for a hotel to book in a weeks time. The only time available for capturing into the HD suite at the campus was from 8:30pm-12pm So instead of getting home at 3 o'clock in the morning and going to Uni a few hours later was not going to work; so i figured I will book a hotel and stay in Sydney next to the campus. While looking for hotels online I had open of all sites the wonderful creativecow. After browsing through the fcp forums an idea came. Instead of spending hours logging and capturing in the HD sutie after hours and booking a hotel, Why not create a batch capture list?

The idea was great, being able to save time and MONEY! Thankfully on the train one of the crew members was also bored so I started a good old speadsheet in microsoft excel and starting writing a batch list while the crew called out the timecode and shot list. I spent about half an hour reading the fcp manual on how to write batch capture lists and just like that, I had saved heaps of time and money!

It pays to read the manual and go onto creative cow ;-)

Posted by: Trent Whittington on Mar 29, 2009 at 10:02:48 pm student, capture, batch, list, excel, eeepc

Changes of perspectives...

Hi all, been a long time since my last entry at the end of last year.

For those who read my last blog know that I'm a student at JMC Academy in Sydney, Australia. Having recently just returned back to go for my Associate Degree in Digital Television it has given my a great deal of understanding of different proffesional views on the industry. We have new teachers all round pretty much and all of them quite young (about 25-30) and there knowledge in such a short time has definately given me a wider understanding of the industry. We have lecturers who care little about how a camera works and others who are willing to spend hours discussing post-production workflows. It has definately changed my perspective from last year, and I have realised that people arnt in the industry because they dont wanna work in a supermarket its because they have passion and care about our industry and where its heading.
To be told and reassured there are still plenty of jobs in these tough economic times is great, it seems we aren't hit as bad as the U.S. or the U.K.

Knowing that the chance of finding a full time job has definately boosted my passion for the industry and cannot wait to get out there in the REAL WORLD.

thanks for reading :)

p.s. should be doing more blogs over the coming weeks/months.

Posted by: Trent Whittington on Mar 11, 2009 at 2:25:28 am student, jmc, academy, school, technology

This is how we learn...

Hello fellow COW,

This is my first ever blog on Creative Cow but have been reading Mike Cohen's and Walter Biscardi's blog ever since I came across the site over a year ago. I first came across the site looking for solutions to sony vegas 6 (i think it was) and was stumbled by the amount of knowledge in the field and have stayed ever since. For those of you that don't know me, I'm a student at the John Martin Cass Academy in Sydney, Australia. I have been interested in television and film ever since I was about 12 years old and decided when I reached year 9 at High School that this would be my career. I spent alot of time in front of the computer and behind the lens shooting DV when I should of been studying in Yr10 and 12. I delivered my first Dvd in year 10 when I was about 16 years old and sold about 65 copies of our school formal to the students in my year from which I edited and shot the whole thing by myself and instead of going out to after party's getting drunk I actually went home and started logging and capturing. (Thinking back I must of been crazy)
After finishing my Diploma in Digital Television this year at JMC I have decided to continue on to do my Associate Degree in Digital Television and then Bachelor's Degree in Digital Television in 2010.

So as I was browsing through the forums today it made me think of the technology young students like I have at our finger tips. I mean at JMC we use DV and HDV(Pro Res)with new Mac Pro's but in a recent video I watched online the person who was reviewing the Red 4k said 'It feels like a film camera from when I was at film school..'. It made me think that if we are using HDV on what we think are fast computers today, what will students be learning in the future? Red 4k for student work? That would be amazing and at the rate of the technology it seems as though it's only going to get better and I will be look back thinking 'Wow those quad core mac pro's are soo slow compared to today' just like many of lecturers say 'I used to think Media 100 was fantastic but its nothing compared to today'...

Thanks for Reading.

Posted by: Trent Whittington on Dec 4, 2008 at 2:20:22 amComments (1) education

Trent Whittington is a student at JMC Academy in Sydney, Australia who is very passionate about the television industry.
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