Something that didn’t occur to me when attempting writing a screenplay, was to think visual. In a book, the situation is described to you in a certain tense. Past, present, future. Depending on the perspective.
I’m learning that screenplays and scripts are designed to give a visual description of what you would see in screen, with the addition of audience movements and sounds. It seems that instead of a book giving details about why a character is the way they are, it gives brief descriptors.
When it comes to scripts, if feels almost like a comic book. Describe a tile, dialogue, movement, repeat.
Cue step number 2 in this endeavour
A friend of mine sent me a script, and a plan. The plan is to win a competition for a very well shot action sequence.
Knowing my talent and, well my imagination, he asked if I would be available to film the scene. I told him I would be up for helping.
Thats when I read, reread, and read his script some more. I can see it. in my head, how I want it to look. How it will feel, where the action sets are, where the best story telling pieces are. Where we can add drama, where we can add tension. So I wrote a story board for it.
Directorial Debut is in 3 days.
I have successfully streamed and recorded a trial run using my set up. It’s decent enough for a DJ, small production company, and even video casting.
The problems I have encountered, and how I will overcome them!
Back in year 1 of CMT I was introduced to hacking. May sound like I’m going to get your online details and steal your identity, but no. This particular type of hacking is in the form of technology based, physical equipment. I was introduced to Arduino… And Teensy.
Problem 1: The speed of the laptop I used for the test is actually terrible. It takes about fifteen minutes to load a basic program, like documents. I think the timer is about seven minutes when you right click, and that is a long time to wait for a simple menu. So, imagine what happened when I plugged in four rather powerful webcams. Fantastic guess there guys, yep, you are right. None worked. To overcome this, and if you have similar issues, I recommend you try this first, I had to lower the resolution down to almost watch face size. The results though, the lower the resolution, the more of the cameras worked. When I had the resolution at 1364 x 768, only one camera worked. Two worked at 908 x 512, and when I got to 496 x 278 I had all four cameras working. However, as you can imagine, 496 x 278 picture quality is that of opening your eyes under water. We’ve all done it, and it’s fuzzy. Yeah, you could see the pictures, but it was not the quality I was after.
Problem solved! So to speak.
Problem 2: Changing scenes without using the laptop. Open Broadcast Software (OBS) is free to use and as of yet, I have not found a suitable controller for scene switching…or have I?
I have set up my scenes and used the in software ‘HotKeys’ to set up numbers 1 through 4, 9, and 0, to represent scenes. 9 is the stream take-over, which is a scene that is basically the thumbnail that shows to allow viewer to see the stream will begin soon. 0 is the end credits or after scene. And 1 through 4 are various camera angles sent up. For example, one camera has been cropped on two scenes, as it’s a wide shot if covers two people on a sofa. By cropping the shot on two separate scenes, I can use one camera for two angles. Win!
But, I’m stuck with the laptop camera being available but, it just watches the person directing. Insert Teensy here!!!
I’m gonna build one. I’m going to use a teensy I bought for a past project, program it to allow buttons to send a keyboard signal, probably numbers. This way, the scene changes can be controlled by the host of a live broadcast, much like most video tubers have. Obviously mine will be a lot lower budget, and made out of what ever I have available to had. The first trial run of this will be on May 5th, for the marathon, mentioned in another blog.
Problem 3: I’m having a little trouble with audio. Getting sound into OBS is easy, also I have microphones and a USB mixing desk so that is all good to. However, having the mics in frame, is not the professional look I’m aiming for. I want them either off camera, or completely hidden/blended in with the scene. I’m probably going to go with lapel microphones, with extension cables to the mixing desk. Each extension will be in place before the guests, actors, tubers, are in place, with all levels tested. This is not the best way to get the best sound out of the situation, but as mention many times, I’m aiming to be affordable to people like me, who just want to do what the professionals do, but to an average Joe budget.
The design is simple. A teensy, six buttons, a few cables, and a hand holdable case…to which I have an old harmonica that is broken, but has a useful case.
The Plan: Once the coding of the teensy is done and tested to ensure it controls 0, 9, and 1 through 4 on a standard qwerty keyboard, I will drill a few holes in the box to fit the teensy, buttons, and USB cable. Then, I’ll temporarily attach everything and test it. Once happy, I’ll glue and re-glue all the bits inside the box, and then before completion, I’ll cover the box in sticky back decorative plastic or stickers, and glue it shut. I’m still deciding if I’m going to ‘pad out’ the inside to give it some dexterity while being held. This will be decided during test phase.
UPDATE 1: I failed with this, I wired the buttons wrong. So, I found a Twitch Switch tutorial on YouTube, and I’m going to follow that.
I bloody did it. Well, huge thanks to www.nuts&bots.com for the tutorials, design, and code.
Here is the fully working, progression photo blah blah for ya. Enjoy. Also, if you want one, email me, and I’ll build you one to.
Yep. I branded it too. 😂
On May 5th I will be working… Bloody hard. Could say equally as hard as those amazing people running in Newport’s Marathon.
First of all, I am really hoping the weather is fantastic. Not for me, but those fabulous nutters running the big ol’ race. Although, as I’ll be helping provide tunes on the corner of the Lysaght Institute junction, I want a nice, rain less day.
Are you running?
The whole point of me being there is to help you guys, get through the trek. As it’s over 25 miles, and we are on mile 2 & 24, I am taking requests!
If you are running, or cheering for a runner, come down to Lysaghts and see one of the cheerers. Give them a song to play for you or someone you are cheering on, and we’ll get it in for them, as they pass. For those unable to make it to the station, I will be live streaming the day below.
A few years ago I was tasked with supporting a friend with a podcast. It was epic, and fun, and called Let’s Chat Geek. You can find more about it in the projects tab. It occurred to me that being able to offer a streaming option as a service, would come in very handy for people who just want to ‘do’ what ever it is they’re doing. For example, Shane @letschatgeek, just wanted to sit in front of a mic and talk. He was happy controlling the Web-based business side of the podcast, but needed a techy to do the producing bit. Cue Foz.
When I joined, I had limited knowledge and equipment to carry out a podcast. So, I purchased some cheap mics, a cheap Macbook, and a cheap mixing desk. I learned it was not difficult for me to do what was needed. We achieved what we wanted. But, it was recording the show, then I would do a little editing, and then Shane would upload it.
Over the years, I’ve thought about filming, and producing, and editing film. I bought a decent camera, and took some epic photos:
Yep, all me. Not bad, huh?
This was the start. Luck would drop another opportunity on my lap when Time & Space Productions contacted me asking for editing assistance. Thomas met me a few years back at an audition, that didn’t go anywhere. But, it brought me to him. He sent me some footage and asked my to edit the footage into a ten to fifteen minute show. So, I did…with additional extras. The show required an introduction, title cards, credits, sound. Pretty much, the whole nine yards…so I complied and The Mighty Fozzy Entertainment was born. If you want to see what editing and additions I did, check it out in the projects tab.
Where are we now?
Hale to the Ale is on series two. Currently in preproduction. I have been tasked with finding a faster, more professional way to film. And I think I have found it.
Through DJing, I have noticed a lot of DJs live stream their performance over Facebook. Through my gaming, I know there is a way to do this through other means. One, the biggest of all, YouTube. Recently, I have been playing around with different webcams, through Open Broadcast Software (OBS), and old laptops, and I think I have found the next way of filming. By the way, everything I do is to a budget, for this my budget was one hundred pounds. This budget is yet to be reached. I purchased four HD webcams, a USB 3.0 splitter, and a midi key controller. These, in collaboration with OBS will be perfect for streaming.
Our first test, using mobile tethering, will be during Newport’s marathon on May 5th 2019. If this date has passed, see my YouTube page for the video.
The luxury I have for this, is that it ticks a box in university. I have to complete a performance for one of my final projects. The external examiner will be watching the stream. Hopefully, he or she would have read this, and will know that I will be replying to comments in the stream during the day. No, I’m not taking requests unless you are a runner.
So, tune in on May 5th for the first test of the stream, and May 8th for the second trial of it.
If you want to know more or want to learn about this service, contact us via the contact tab.
This post is in progress, as the project is ongoing. Thanks for reading 😘