Monday, 30 March 2009

Software Test...

Been trying out a couple of different video editing software's, in an attempt to find one I'm most comfortable with. Tried Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere Pro. Decided to use Adobe as it seems a lot more functional, is laid out easier and has more options to get the look we're going for. Run into a few problems with the footage though, which I'll need to figure out. At the moment, the footage isn't a true 16:9 which we had hoped for it seems that the way we have been shooting on the Sony PD150 camera has just been cropping the footage to appear wide-screen. This isn't my area of expertise so I will get more clarification on resolving this problem when I next meet up with my friend who is taking care of the shooting and video editing side of things. As you can see from the test footage posted below, the filters and effects are currently effecting the whole screen rather than just the enveloped footage. I'm sure it will be pretty easy to fix for someone not as novice as me.

Test using part of bath sequence shot at Pontoon Dock,
with some scratch and noise filters added over the top of some time delay blurs using
Adobe Premiere Pro.

This clip shows the footage alongside some audio i sequenced roughly using Steinberg Nuendo.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Woolwich Expedition...

Spent today filming round Woolwich. I live nearby so had a good idea of places i wanted to go, so we didn't waste much time. Got some really good footage, not so much sound but i can easily head back to the sites and get more. Here's some photographs of some sites we went to and us actually filming. We used a Sony PD150 camera for all the footage and i captured the few sounds we got today using an Edirol R9 recorder.

Incinerated Power Supply

Some Melted Burglar Alarms

Eerie looking Exterior Windows

We liked this brickwork for some reason

Good old razor wire

Graffiti on Glass


Glass or Diamonds

Gutted Shell of a building

Close up


Test Footage...

First pieces of footage we've captured from our recordings. All unprocessed raw footage taken straight from the camera.

Pontoon Dock Derelict Pub

More to follow...

Pontoon Dock Images...

A few video stills from our very first shoot at Pontoon Dock. The whole bath tub sequence we filmed looks amazingly good in the black and white, and its definitely going to be really interesting to see what we can do with it. I'll upload the actual video as soon as I capture the rest of our DV tapes.

All filmed using a Sony PD150 camera

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sound Ideas...

Just been trying to build some beds and loops to help inspire us and get us moving in the right direction when we start editing our footage (which hopefully all going well, i'll be able to show you some come the end of this week).

First experiment uses some synthesis teamed with the recordings of a clock sound in the Woolwich underpass and atmos recordings taken at Royal Docks.

Second experiment is a chance recording of the underground I made, when testing the recording equipment on the way to our first excursion. Plus there is the sounds of locks being moved recorded at the pub we found in pontoon dock, and a synthesised pad.

More examples to follow later...

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hackney

Having done some research I've managed to find out who the owners are of this property and I emailed them, and they've granted me access to the site at some point over the next month. This is a real bonus as I've seen lots of photographs of the site and it looks really intriguing.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Things have been a little slow the last week, as we've had problems securing recording equipment to go and shoot with, plus its been hard arranging freetime to shoot as we've had lots of other projects needing completion in the last week or so. That's all over and done with now so 100% dedication to the cause from now on.

As mentioned equipment hire has been a problem, so rather than waste a day, I went out with a digital SLR camera and took some stills at some possible sites around the Woolwich area. First two pictures are the Woolwich underpass and the last is the Woolwich skate park on the newly redeveloped Arsenal site.

Also had a meeting with my friend about designing my website for the project. He said he'd happily create something and we're going to meet up in 2 weeks time, once I have some more material, and put together the theme and overall design of the site. Spoke about the minimal but abstract idea I had before which he thinks is the best way to go.

Tomorrow, heading out to do some shooting round the old Woolwich Arsenal site and Silvertown, then time allowing head down to Dartford to the rotting barges. As well as shooting will try and capture some of the footage we have already and upload some bits to show you how its progressing.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Urban Explorers...

Found a massive network of websites for urban explorers... I've joined several websites and had conversations with quite a few other enthusiasts. I've been put onto a whole host of new derelict sites which hopefully i'll be able to get to in the next week or so. Other members of these forums have been interested in both the project and and some have even mentioned meeting up for a mass urban explore to try and find new sites and help a novice like me get the footage i need.

Also been in contact with a film-maker who is interested in helping the project and has footage of some old sites that have since been redeveloped since he went there. i hope to keep in contact with him as i think he could be beneficial later on in the project when it comes to advice about the video editing and creating a narrative to the piec as he has lots of experience in this field.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Music vs Soundscape + Website

been thinking a lot about the content for the sound today and how it should fit and how it should glue everything together in the video. Unsure whether to go quite surreal and make the sound really atmospheric with lots of layers blurring together, or go the opposite and add elements of rhythm and musicality to the pot. Probably going to have to be some combination of the two just unsure at this stage how to do it and still work with footage we gather. Tried out the rhythmic use of the recordings today, in a quick experiment.

Contacting a friend about adding some final orchestral elements to the score when the video is complete if needed to add some extra depth.

Spoke about the website to my friend yesterday and that looks like its going to definitely happen. meeting him next Tuesday to discuss ideas, plus he also knows someone who works for English Heritage so potential there to get into some old buildings if it can be arranged.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Next Outing?

possible sites...

Rotting abandoned barges in River Thames near Dartford
North Woolwich (Ferry, River Underpass, and along by the river)
West Ham (again)
White Hart disused electrical depot, Plumstead
Putney Hospital, Richmond

Website Ideas

Today, i tried to make some interesting backdrops for the abstract website we're going to create to promote the video... this probably the best of the bunch, will talk to my friend about developing into a site of some sort. really set on keeping it minimal and leaving it for people to be intrigued about the whole product.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

First Outing

After checking out a load of "urban explorer" forums and armed with a Sony video camera and a couple of microphones, we decided West Ham and the Docklands area would be a good place to start our hunt for decent sites to get footage and recordings of. most of docklands is under redevelopment of some sort, so there is plenty of buildings to check out, but the major one we wanted to scout was Spillers Millenium Mills. A huge abandoned flour mill right next to Victoria Docks. Found the site but no decent access, definitely somewhere we will come back to though. got some external footage of the building and some atmos recordings of the local dock. Also found an abandoned pub just SE of the mill, which we managed to get into the garden of and take some really good shots of old beer kegs, a randomly placed bath and some other paraphenalia. nice site for sound as well, had some industrial buildings surrounding so got some recordings of walking round the pub garden kicking rubbish with industrial diggers and slamming metal in the distant. Added bonus that the area is right next to London city Airport, so got some airplane recordings too.

Footage to follow