Month: December 2014

002 in the bag!!!

So today I did something i’d never consider doing. I went to church.

I decided to give up with trying to call and email, trying to find the Elders, so I woke up early, got a shirt on and put my nicest shoes on and decided to drive down the the church for Sunday service.

The church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which is located 2 minutes away from Park Campus.


Whilst I was trying to find some research about Mormons, I came across this Echo article from the same day I met the two Elders in Cheltenham. A reporter from the Echo did a whole story on Elder Ross and Elder Shumway. Here’s the article:


So back to church, I decided to turn up on a Sunday at 10am, looking to find Elder Ross and Elder Shumway. Everyone I met and spoke to were so friendly and welcoming, they would greet me, shake my hand, pay an interest into why I was there and also help me look for the two Elders. I was pretty humbled at the kindness of the people I met today.

I met up with the two Elders just before the Sunday service got under way, again the kindness and good hearted nature of the people around was moving. I would sit down at the back with Elder Ross and instantly another Elder and two girls (Sisters), would approach us, Elder Hess would introduce himself, welcome me to the church, pay an intrest in who I was and wish me a good day. I guess it’s very odd when you go through life on your own, not many people really help you or approach you looking for friendship, but I felt that in church, there was a sense of being. Like everyone in that room loved one an other as if they were their own. It was really cool to be accepted by these people who i’d never met nor spoke to before.

Here’s a few notes I wrote down about the Service:

Photo 01-12-2014 12 24 40 am

After the service, I would ask Elder Ross and Elder Shumway if there was a small room we could go to and record this interview. The room they directed me to was pretty small, and had barely anything in it, which means there would be alot of echo. This is bad in my case as I was after the clearest audio possible. Nevermind, I got the Rode shotgun mic out, setup the tripod and got my settings correct. I shot the interview on the 50 1.8 at around f2.8 at 1/50. My frame rate was 24p, so i knew i had to double that to achieve the appropriate shutter speed.

I came totally un prepared, I just wrote down quick Who, What, Where, When questions down in my notepad in the car outside, and would then just ask questions off the top of my head after that. I feel the interview went really well, the audio isn’t the clearest, but i feel the engagement with the subjects and the topics they cover easily make up for the bad audio. At first they were both really nervous, although after a while they would relax and raise their voice to a more comfortable level. I feel the answers they gave were great, exactly what I was aiming for and gave me alot more information on what it’s like to live as a Mormon.

After the interview, I would wonder around the church with both Elders trying to get as much filler shots as possible. As I knew I wanted the video to be mostly filler shots with the Elders talking over the top. A little bit like the video Philip Bloom did about Amish people. This is what I was aiming for, the mix between face on shots with filler details around the church and of the Elders in another environment. Here’s Blooms video, I love it.

There’s also a really cool documentary about a certain set of people who are Mormon in Leeds, it follows a guy called Josh who has recently dedicated to devote his life to be a missionary. It’s a real touching documentary as you get to see his transformation from family living to becoming an Elder. It also teaches you alot about what it’s like to be Moromon, as well as some addictional rules that I didn’t know before. I found it a really powerful documentary and is really well shot. Here it is.

It was great to be welcomed and allowed to video the two Elders life in quite a lot of detail. I felt privileged to be able to video them and thanked them alot for all the help and hospitality they gave me. I dont think i’ve ever met nicer people. However, they did try to convert me.

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I joke, I wanted to learn more about their beliefs and wanted to know a little bit more about if God is real.

Onto the video editing. I’m pretty confident in editing video as i’ve done it quiet a lot with video games before. Which i blogged about earlier here:

I got the video done in about 3 hours in Sony Vegas 10. I was tempted to use Premiere Pro, but I know how to use Vegas and I dont work Premiere Pro. Knowing the software is a massive plus in the time management scheme of things. Here’s a quick screenshot of the Vegas editing timeline/suite.

mormons screenshot

Not much editing done, just playing with audio levels, making cuts and adding filler clips. I had to boost the Brightness and Contrast on some clips as it was just too dark, the interview with Elder Shumway was all too dark, so I had to up the brightness a little bit. My own fault, I didn’t adjust the settings when I moved the tripod.

I’m really happy with how the video turned out, I’ve never shot a documentary film before, let alone an interview. I enjoyed it alot. I think I actually preferred videoing today rather than photographing. It’s much more rewarding to create a video, rather than just capturing an image. I feel very happy with what i’ve achieved and have asked all of my housemates for their critiques and thoughts on the video.

I hope you enjoy the video also. Here it is, on Vimeo.

Documentary Perspectives – Book Layouts

I’ve been playing around with a few simple, minimalist style book layouts for a couple days now. I’ve decided to focus the book on the pit crew entirely, compared to mixing them with the driver portraits. I feel that the pit crew play such an important part into the inner workings of what goes in to being successful at a premiere race like this. I also feel that they dont get the recognition deserved of them. The hours and job the provide are full of stress and have to accommodate any given problem in an instant. Therefore I have decided to make this book dedicated to the pit crew.

Here’s a my favorite layout to date.


I did this in Lightroom. I like the way the images flow, and i tried to kep the more important image on the right hand page, as that’s where your eye is drawn with you turn the page. I like the use of smaller images incorporated with larger images aswell and I feel it adds to the flow and makes it a bit easier on the eyes.

I decided to keep my images rather large. They’re there to be seen, I dont see the point of having them so small that you’d have to lift the book up closer to your face to be able to see it better. I want the images to stand and jump off the page.

I need to work out a front and back cover, a title and also if i want to add page numbers or not.

So far i’m happy with how the books coming along, i just need some feedback on the layout and flow and if i should add more images.

Here’s the ISSUU link, with working and a much better looking presentation of the pages: