How to clone yourself in Adobe Premiere Pro CC

This week I want to start doing tutorials in both Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X. One thing that looks complicated but is very easy to do is to clone yourself. To do this there are a few things that you need to do to make it go easily.

First you need to be locked down on a tripod as you do not want any camera movement whatsoever. You can always add some camera movement in post if you choose.

Next you want to make sure your lighting in consistent as any changes will show up in the final product.

if you are going to do any interaction with yourself during the shoot make sure that you have your script nailed down. I did a very simple script for this example but you have to make sure the timing is correct.

I suggest doing this all in one take so I shot myself ordering up a clone and looking to my left while not speaking but looking at my clone coming into frame. Then I got up and did the other part of me walking into frame and sitting down.

Now to put it all together

import the footage and cut it into two clips one clip with bee the first part of you speaking anf the second clip will be your clone.

Stack the two clips on top of each other and this is where the timing is important. One you have them in the proper position search for the crop tool and add it to the top clip. then I cropped in from the left to revel the frames underneath. To get rid of the hard line I just feathered the edge to make it blend in and that is how to clone yourself.

If you have any ideas for future videos that you would like me to do please comment below and I will do my best to accommodate you.

What I have learned in my first few weeks as a business owner.

It has been just about a month since I left my job to run my business full time and I wanted to share some of the things I have learned so far.

First is branding. I reached out to my friend Dimitri Williams of Chasing Dreams Management and asked him to make me some shirts with my logo. I ordered a bunch of shirts from him and also a decal for the back window of my car as well.

I got the shirts a few days later and I was at Target doing some shopping and a man approached me asking about my services. We would up talking for about half an hour and he has hired me to do at least 6 videos for him. My investment of $160 for the shirts has already paid off and it was only the 2nd day of me wearing them.

Next is networking. I have tried a few different forms of advertising including facebook ads but I have not gotten a lot of traction. What has worked is by going to local networking events and talking with others and hand them my card saying if you ever need any video work done please feel free to reach out to me. People have already reached out to me and will be doing some work for them in the next few months.

These were my two big takeaways from the first few weeks as a full time business owner. I have also made a video about it and you can watch it below.

Sony FS5 review after a year of use

I have had my Sony FS5 cinema camera for just over a year now and I have had the chance to put it through it’s paces during that time. I have used it on corporate shoots, events, short films and even a reality show.

This camera was expensive costing my $6500 but I feel that it was worth every cent. Having a 4K camera with no record limits like I have on my Sony A7ii along with advanced audio with the two XLR inputs and built in variable ND filters make this an amazing camera.

The cons of this camera are the LCD screen as it is not of the highest quality and I really wish that it had a built in sun shade or the ability to attach a loupe like the FS7 has. The other con are the upgrades that you have to pay for like the Raw and HFR upgrades for $500 each. Sony has provided me with a free HFR upgrade so I can record constant 120FPS internally to the SD card instead of 8 second bursts. They have since released the FS5 mark ii that has all of these upgrades included so I wish that the current owners could get the raw upgrade for free or at a reduced cost.

Other then that I highly recommend this camera. I have left my video review below.

A new chapter starts now!

Hi everyone. I am excited to type out this blog post as a goal that I have been working towards for the past few years has finally been achieved. I am finally 100% my own boss. Yes you heard right, yesterday was my last day working at the camera store.

For the past 2+ years I have been working at Peace camera and when i was not working at the store I was spending every waking minute working on building my business. Over the past few months I have been fortunate enough to land some pretty big jobs that will pay me enough that I can dedicate all my time into the business.

To say I am excited would be an understatement. I am beyond excited to now do what I love to do as a full time business. With this change is a reboot of my YouTube channel. I plan on putting out a new video every single week starting with the one that I will link at the end of this blog post.

I want to personally thank everyone who has been supporting me throughout this journey especially my family. I also have some amazing friends who have had my back this whole time and I love you for it.

Please make sure to stay tuned as I will be putting up a new blog post every week to go along with the corresponding video. I am going to end this now and I look forward to the journey ahead.

Yes it's been a while!

Yes it has been a while since I have done a blog post. Life has gotten in the way and I have been very busy. Today I decided that it was time to take some personal time for myself and go out and shoot for fun and not for work.

The destination was the North Carolina Art Museum to see the You Are Here exhibit. A bunch of interactive art installations. I asked my good friend Angela to go with me as I have not seen her in a while and I miss hanging out with her.

The crowd was huge but we were still able to navigate the exhibits. The first one we encounters was just a display of white lights and and I wanted to make some abstracts. 

  

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Next we wandered into my favorite installation the big cube. We stayed in here for quite a while shooting this at all different angles. 

 

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Another cool interactive exhibit was this projection that pixelated you and it made for some cool pictures. 

 

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 One weird selfie

One weird selfie

As far as the other pieces I really didn't get some of them. Overall it was a fun time we then went and got some food and then headed home.

I really think that this was good therapy for me to go out and shoot for myself and not for work. I will try to blog more often Next week i will talk about the cool project I have been working on.

What happened with my big project?

Happy Sunday everyone. Today I wanted to give you all an update on what has been going on with me. A lot of people have been asking me on how my documentary film project on abandoned spaces has been going and for me it is on hold. With all of the medical issues I have been going through the past couple of months like my constant migraines and my hiatal hernia, plus how much work I have been getting for my business I decided to place this on hold. 

So speaking of medical issues after a few visits to the Dr and some new medication I am happy to say that I have not had a migraine for almost two weeks now. The hiatal hernia is under control so I am happy about that but on the flip side mr Dr is sending me to see some specialists to see if they can get to the root of the problem. 

So I think that I am going to wait until the holiday's before I restart the project. Hopefully by then I will be feeling completely better and can tackle this project head on. 

Now I need to end this blog post for today as I need to get another video editied and sent out to the client. See you all next week.

Know what your worth and charge for it!

In this weeks blog post I want  to talk about an experience I had last weekend and the mistakes I made and I encourage everyone of you to not make the same mistake.

I was contacted a few weeks ago by my friend Jess and she was hired to shoot a sweet 16 party and they also wanted video so she contacted me to ask if I can do the video for the client. When she told me it was a sweet 16 party I thought to myself a bunch of teenagers running around eating cake and dancing to some music and I can get some cool footage and put together a nice little highlight video for them and that would be it. I quoted a price for that and was hired to do the job. 

Fast forward to last Saturday. Jess and I meet up at a Starbucks before the event to go over a game plan and I was feeling good. I only brought my Sony A7ii with me as I didn't think that I needed to break out the FS5 cinema camera. We walk into the venue which was the clubhouse for the community. As we were setting up we met with the client and he told us that he was expecting 100 people and that there would be quite a few performances on the itinerary. Now this is where I realized that I had undercharged. To me that was almost like a wedding where I would be charging around three thousand dollars. (now I am not going to say what I did charge but just know it was low) The event lasted just over 4 and a half hours and I shout about 70 gigs worth of footage. The client paid me and I went home. 

That night all I could think about was why I did that job for so little money. Was it that as I am trying to build up my business that I wanted to get as many jobs as possible? Did I really need the money? Did I feel that I was not worth more? All these questions kept me up that night. And the only answer that I could come up with to these questions was that I did not ask enough questions or the correct questions to accurately quote the job. I just assumed what a sweet 16 party would be like. Now don't get me wrong the ceremony was very nice and the entertainment was good but now instead of editing a 10 minute video it is going to be more like an hour long video that I need to edit.

So at this point now as I am copying all of the footage over to my computer I decided that I will not make this mistake again. Yes I would like more work but I need to get paid what I am worth to do that work and not just give a low bid to get any job I can. I sat and thought long and hard about what my rates are going to be and stick to it and if the client does not want to pay that amount then they can find someone else. 

So now I have decided what my rates are going to be and I am going to be sure to ask as many questions as possible to be fully informed of what the client is expecting and then give my rate according to the answers to those questions. 

Fast forward to this past Friday and I was asked to give a quote for shooting an engagement party. They wanted 6 hours of coverage all shot in 4K and will possibly need to hire a 2nd shooter for the event. I gave two quotes one for just me and one for 2 people and I stuck to my guns on the price and I am waiting to hear back to see if they are willing to pay that price. If not then I move on to the next client.

Basically the whole point of this post is to share my experience with you so hopefully you will not do the same with your work. You need to decide what you are worth and then charge that and stick to it. There are too many willing to do work for next to nothing and I think that it the wrong thing to do. Yes as you are starting out you cant charge an outrageous amount but as you gain more experience you need to be raising your prices.

I really do hope that this blog post was helpful to you out there. This experience taught me a valuable lesson and I will never make that mistake again. Now back to editing the video for the client. See you next week.   

 

The blog is back and the triumphant return of #Shapesandshit

Hi everyone I know that it's been a while since I wrote a blog post. Let me explain my absence. For those that don't know Jeannie and I broke up and that hit me very hard and I went into a depressive state. I am no longer ashamed to admit that I suffer from depression and anxiety and I went to the Dr. to get back on some meds to help with that. The medication seems to be working well and I go back to see the Dr. in two weeks to re-evaluate and see if changes need to be made.

I am also very thankful for a group of friends to reached out to me and lent an ear to listen and give advice and I am so thankful for that. I have some amazing friends and I am so happy to have them in my life and I love them for it.

Since I was starting to feel better the urge to get creative again has come back and I reached out to my friend Emma to see if she would like to do a fine art shoot with me and she happily agreed.

Now for those of you who don't know about #shapesandshit this started a couple of years ago when I was shooting my friend Emily and we were in a park and I was posing her to blend in with the shapes of the rocks and I said we are making shapes and shit and she said that I should start using it for all my fine art work. So began the #shapesandshit hashtag. I even own the domain name for it. 

So on to the shoot. Last week on our day off we went out to Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro NC which is an old Nascar track that has long been abandoned but turned into a park with walking trails. The old concrete grandstands are still there along with some of the buildings. I knew that if we went early in the morning when most people were at work the park would be fairly empty and we could pull off the shoot with no issues.

We arrived at the park and there was a couple doing stair climbs when I wanted to shoot so we decided to walk around to the back of the speedway to see what we could find to shoot in the meantime. We saw a bench and with nobody around we started our shoot. 

Emma is very flexible and does a lot of pole fitness so I knew that her poses were going to be epic. We shot off a few frames on the bench and was able to get this amazing shot.

 

 Bendy

Bendy

After this we walked around back to the grandstands and the couple was gone so we started figuring out the poses that we wanted to do. Emma was very good in figuring out the poses and we just started shooting and we got this images which blew me away when I saw it.

 

 Zen

Zen

I have this in both black and white and in color and I cant decide which one I like better. Emma likes the color version hence why I am posing it here. We did get interrupted a couple of time by walkers but since it was dirt we could hear them coming and Emma was able to cover up quickly. We continued shoot a few more poses. 

 

 Backbend

Backbend

 Vulnerable 

Vulnerable 

 Contemplating

Contemplating

Since it was very humid we decided to start to wrap up but I had an idea for one more shot using the frame of a window in on of the concession stands at the top of the grandstand.

 

 Framed

Framed

That wrapped up our shoot and for me this shoot was very therapeutic for me. I know that I am happiest when I have a camera in my hand and I am creating art. I need to get out there a lot more and continue creating on a regular basis for myself. While I am glad that my business is getting busier and I am shooting for work a lot more often noting compares to doing personal work. 

So that is going to wrap up this weeks blog post. I hope you enjoyed it

New name, Same business

Hi everyone happy Sunday and I wanted to share with you some exciting news. Since my business is expanding into video I decided that I wanted that change to be reflected in my business name. I gave this a lot of thought on what to change it to and I finally decided on David Spector Media.

I was thinking about David Spector Productions or multi-Media but after talking to a few friends of mine and they all said the same thing "Keep it Simple" I decided to go with David Spector Media.

 

I kept the same logo design and just made the changes to the text. This will keep some consistency as returning visitors to my website will see basically the same logo. I want to play around with some of the themes that Squarespace has and see if there is anything I like better.

Now the next steps are to change the name on all my social media sites and order new business cards. I will continue to keep www.DavidSpectorPhotography.com linked to the site for a while to let everyone get used to the change and update their bookmarks. 

So that's going to wrap it up for this weeks blog post. I want to get back to work on the site and other changes I need to make. I will see you all next week.

My biggest investment in my business

Hi everyone I apologize for missing a blog post last week but I was away in Atlanta visiting my sister and her family. If you read my blog post from a few weeks ago you may remember how I was investing in a video camera as the video side of my business was expanding and I needed to have a proper video camera in order to be able to do more jobs with a camera that has a lot more capability then my Sony A7II.

I did a lot of research on cinema cameras before I decided what to buy. I looked at Canon, Black Magic, Sony, Red and I decided on the Sony PXW-FS5. The main reason I went with Sony is that since I already own a Sony camera with Sony lenses I would be able to use those lenses on the new camera. Another main selling feature was the price point. At $6450.00 for the kit that I bought is the best value for the buck in terms of performance and features. Yes $6450 is a lot of money to spend but compared to the bigger brother to the FS5 the FS7 mark ii we are around $12K for that camera and even more for some of the other camera's

 

Another selling feature to this camera was the size. It is a very small compact camera which is perfect for run and gun style filming and is a great documentary camera which will become the main camera for my film I am doing on abandoned buildings. The body weighs in at just over two pounds so even with the lens and the handles on it I can easily handhold this for long periods of time. 

The Sony FS5 is also filled with some unique features as well. The biggest feature in the built in variable ND filters. Now most cinema cameras have built in ND filters but this camera has a variable ND built in so you can gradually increase or decrease the amount of ND in very small increments. Other cameras have hard stops of ND.

Another great feature is clear image zoom. This allows up to an extra two times of zoom on any lens including primes. Sony has figured out the math to do a digital zoom without any degradation of the picture quality. This means that even prime lenses are now zoom lenses. 

Super slow motion on this camera is really good to. I can do up to 240FPS super slo-mo in 1080 HD at 8 second bursts. It can go up to 960FPS but it is in SD and the picture is not usable. 

I have been spending a lot of time playing with this camera and I have a lot to learn still with it. I have shot one video with it for the Peace Camera YouTube channel and I then shot a video about it that I will link below. I will see you all next week.