Behind the Camera with Chris Johnson of


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Back in the Studio

What an epic journey the past few months have been. After travelling thousands of kilometers by plane, bus, car, train and by boat filming in Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Denmark, I am back in Melbourne, reviewing tapes, writing and beginning to edit the first components of 'Whales of the Mediteranean Sea'.

We will produce and post 5, 10 minute documentary films on over the coming weeks with educational materials for students and teachers. You will be able download new episodes in our Cetacean Investigation series examing the science of whales, dolphins and porpoises around the world.

These online shorts will be the beginning of a longer documentary film project to be completed in the coming year. From May to the end of August, I was fortunate to film on various research boats and interview some of the top cetacean scientists in the region. We were able to capture some stunning footage of whales and dolphins, including a social group of 13 sperm whales in the Ionian Sea in Greece. In addition, we documented some of the conservation threats these species face.

Many people spent time with us over the months, discussing the complex issues surrounding cetaceans in the Meditereanean. While travelling and filming in various places, I wrote numerous stories for the 'behind the camera' blog. When each episode is uploaded, I will post these accompanying behind the scene stories from the field.

Right now, I am working at our home studio, reviewing the 45 hours of footage. I am editing the programs using the new version of Final Cut Studio and will use new features in the editing process including the ProRes format, and the Smoothcam feature that reduces the amount of 'shake' in a shot. I have done some tests, and for filming on boats, it is an exciting new tool to help smooth out certain shots. I will post notes about the process using minimal equipment on a limited budget to produce HD material. I will write about some of the new exciting developments including the new RED camera which was released a couple of weeks ago. I reserved one a year ago (#825), and from some of the initial footage posted online, is going to change everything for independent filmmakers!

The first video will go up in the next two weeks, with additonal videos being posted approxiamately every 10 days. Subscribe to the earthOCEAN newsletter to be alerted to when these are posted on our website.


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