Ransuil - long-eared owl

Long-eared owl

“There’s an owl sitting in a tree next to the window.” Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke? Well, actually it’s not. There really is an owl sitting in a tree next to the window. And this photo proofs it… What a beautiful sight!

Barack Obama’s motorcade

Exactly four years ago, on January 17th 2009, I was in Washington DC. It’s three days before the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States takes place. An event I was looking forward to for a very long time already. In fact, this trip was planned (and paid for) about four months earlier, in September 2008. Barack Obama and John McCain were still in campaign mode and the election was two months away. At that time, I didn’t realize I was about to experience an historic inauguration. An inauguration attended by two million people in Washington DC and billions (!) more via television.

Anyway, I finally arrived in Washington DC. After a tour inside the US Capitol and a visit to the National Mall, I walked to Lafayette Square, which is a public park in front of the White House. All I wanted was to cross the street and make some pictures of the White House… but a nervous security guard stopped me. He ordered me to wait for a few minutes. It didn’t take that long before a helicopter positioned itself right above us. Also, in the far distance, there was the (increasing) sound of many police cars… It’s the motorcade of Barack Obama! Immediately, I grabbed my camera and shot this video (see above).

Three days later, Obama was sworn in as 44th President of the United States.

Bolder 75

Last year, I had the privilege of being director of talkshow-event Bolder 75. It’s a talkshow-in-a-church (yep, that’s possible), with a live audience of about 1500 people. I never directed anything close to being a talkshow (and the camerateam never did anything like it either), which made Bolder 75 a new and unique experience for the entire team.

Everything was new, we didn’t know the interviewer (each show had its own host), had to find out where to position the camera’s (how do you film/direct a talkshow anyway) and didn’t know what to expect. But the results were great. Even better, last year we had four Bolder 75 events. This year, there are five.

Today, I read a blog of Renze Klamer, who’ll host all upcoming events. He included a great trailer video of Bolder 75, which I’d like to share with you (see video above). Also, you can watch all full episodes of ‘season one’ here. Renze mentioned he sees it as an honor of being host and looks forward to the events… That makes two of us.

6 seconds

A while ago, I read an interesting article. I don’t know if it’s true, but I learned that the angle/shot of a typical tv production changes once every six seconds (on average). This includes parts where the cut is really fast (1-2 seconds) and parts where it takes much longer (10-12 seconds).

I know this ‘6 seconds rule’ isn’t a law and the speed of a broadcast depends on the speed of the program. Nonetheless, I sometimes try to stimulate the team and myself to move faster by urging them (and myself) to reach this arbitrary goal of six seconds per shot/angle on average. Most often Always, we fail doing so (in our defense, sometimes we get really close). But with this video (above), I think we might reach our ‘goal’. Let’s see…

Duration: 225 seconds / Number of shots: 30

So, 225 divided by 30 equals… ehm… let’s see… 7,5. Aargh… I guess we have to try again next year…

UPDATE: It turns out we did reach the ‘goal’ of 6 seconds per shot/angle, but not with this clip. Instead, it’s this video, which has a duration of 187 seconds and has 32 cuts. This is an average of 5,8 seconds per shot. Wow!

Look for the differences… part two

Let’s do another one. Look for the differences between this video and this video (start the second video at 11.29 min). The intro of the first clip feels much faster, which prompted me to count the number of shots. Surprisingly, both clips have six shots before Heine starts to sing. For those interested, the first video has 32 shots while the second video ‘only’ has 28. For me, there’s a clear winner. Which video do you think is the best?