Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Monday, 29 December 2014

DeerCam1 Revision 2 - optimising iPhone microphone background noise reduction

Field testing DeerCam1 with the Griffin Survivor case revealed an audio anomaly that was attributed to the iPhone's excellent background noise reduction DSP being confused whilst encased in Griffin's excellent dust-resistant military grade protection. Whilst in the case the iPhone would record a 'clicking' or 'ticking' noise in the higher frequencies. Weird! Multiple tests across two devices confirms the Griffin case as the cause.

DeerCam1 / Anker Glaze Case / Shoulderpod S1 / Manfrotto Pixi
With shooting of 'Dark Is A Long Way' due to commence 17th January 2015, a new solution has to be found. The Griffin case had manual cut-outs applied which resolved the issue, but did not satisfy my OCD. If I have to have cut-outs, why not get a case that already has cut-outs?! But also a case with an integrated screen protector which (proven whilst shooting GAIN on 4S) helps continue shooting in bad weather and rain without needing somebody to hold an umbrella over the iPhone (somebody holding an umbrella = additional admin).

Currently field testing DeerCam1 suited up in the Anker Protective Case. This case has a generous cutout around the back camera and microphone and a cut-out for additional mics - this should allow for unfettered DSP whilst recording.

Generous cut-out around back camera and microphone

Port cut-out for side (noise cancellation matrix) microphone

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

DeerCam1 Assembled, Ready For Action

So today I assembled the barebones shooting kit that will be used on "Dark Is A Long Way" which is shooting out in the field in January 2015 - ie, what is likely to be cold wet Great British winter - so make that a boggy frost encrusted Hampshire field.

It won't be the first time shooting in boggy blustery conditions - along with Evil C, we shot GAIN way back, in similar conditions using iPhone 4S (including on-board mic audio).

So I learned a lot on GAIN - like, using the Griffin Survivor military grade case enables you to easily keep shooting through the rain versus naked iPhone. My only real concern with the iPhone 6 Plus is that, along with iPhone 5, there's not enough clearance between the front camera and mic to effectively stick on a Rycote Micro Windjammer
The windjammer really helped in the blustery conditions with the 4S. I'm not a fan of past attempts to suppress wind noise with DSP but it doesn't look like I have much of a choice.

So in order of importance, here is the specific production kit for Dark Is A Long Way - I'm happy to say it all fits in the tiny boot of my Toyota IQ and is really light and easy to carry (of course):

1. iPhone 6 Plus gold/champagne
(could be any smartphone, but I tried a few and iPhone is what I keep going back to).

2. Griffin Survivor All Terrain
military grade case for iPhone 6 Plus. In my view this is essential to give you confidence in the event of dropping the device in a boggy field.

3. ShoulderPod S1
adjustable tripod adapter for smartphones. Even without using a tripod, this gives you a much better and comfortable grip on the device.

4. Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod
(joystick head). Sometimes you just need to keep the camera still or do a controlled pan/tilt, or maybe go Dutch.

I also have AirNinja approved Lightning bus microphone and ultraportable 3800 lumens LED lighting -- but they are separate subject posts.

I've also identified the video recording app I will use which suits the way I work, so it's all good. Now on with pre-production! (basically, paperwork)

Friday, 12 December 2014

Deer Studios Embraces AirNinja Movie Method

Another quick update. The slate for the recently established Deer Studios looks something like this:

1. Sexton Lovecraft and the New Sensation (promo in post-production as part of larger campaign to launch the new live-action franchise with the same actor who did the cartoon voice)

2. Scissor Happy (collaboration with Portsmouth based Fat Finger Films in post-production)

3. Dark Is A Long Way (collaboration with Provincials in pre-production will be shooting in Hampshire in 2015)

4. Pompeywood (working title for documentary about UK indies continues shooting throughout 2015)

5. The SUCCESS (working title for Simple Unexpected Credible Concrete Emotional Story Series in discussion phases)

6. Crooked Features HD 10 year commemorative re-release (re-mastered mockumentary shot in 2004 re-releasing for high-definition streaming formats very soon)


Deer Studios is the AirNinja movie method manifest. Compact, capable, keeping it simple, making movies, moving forward.