Friday, 7 June 2013

Adlab Zambia Showreel

So i know i haven't blogged in a long time sincere apologies for that i promise thats going change. Am working on a new and better blog coming your way soon.

Anyways, just thought i should share this video with you guys. A breakdown is coming your way and please feel free to let me know what you think and also advise where you thunk i could have bettered it...


Monday, 24 September 2012

Jayrox - Nkalata

Firstly sorry for not blogging, a lot has been going on and there is a lot work i need to share. Learned a few new tricks and been practicing a lot. *And now back to regular programming :-D* A few months ago Jayrox of the Zone Fam came to me and gave me a track called "Kwenachokela" to do a video for, we wrote the script and where pretty much ready to shoot but the guys changed the song to "Nkalata" which was a little more ideal cause the guys wanted to thank everyone that had supported them.

The video was shot on 7D with mostly of it on 50mm f 1.8 prime lens and an occasional scene on 24mm f 2.8. The song we where shooting is off Jayrox's album "Mvesanai", the song featured Verbal, Dope G while Thugga and Dida (The producer) did Cameos.
The original script as beyond epic but had to change it cause of a couple logistical issues. 1st thing we shot was the cameo with Chembo which went really well cause she had been to acting school and brought it out combined with her natural talents. In the original script we had transitions such as zoom into TV screen and zoom out revealing a laptop screen and eventually the whole room showing a different fun watching the video in a different room but like i said logistical issues killed it all :-(. Again hands down to Chembo, she was easy to direct and threw in a few of her own acts *Blowing the kiss was all her*. 
Dope G
We later shot some studio scenes at Goemi which where really good but had to dismiss them because the scenes where not working for us, this was mostly because lighting the room was an issue and every time we went for something dramatic the light would be in view of the camera so we opted to stop. We decided to do a black background scene and moved the set to my house where things went a lot better cause i had enough time to prepare the lighting and properly mount the backdrop, also been home meant i knew exactly where everything was for a little DIY *Smiles like a retard*. I set up a 3 point light system, the setup took a while cause i wanted to get the light right and the DIY drill had to be perfect of risk loosing my lights but i wanted some dramatic shots so i was not going to be defeated. The shoot it self went well, my favourite scenes where the closeups with only 2 lights turned on (Hair and fill light). My assistants for the day where Alexanda Zulu editor of Music Xtra margazine and Zone Fam manager Holstar. Overall the last day of shooting was the best with lots of laughs, while we where shooting some of the guys where playing Xbox (Thank you for damaging one of my controllers guys *Fyola*).
In post we added a few clips performance clips shot on mobile phones and they worked well in my own opinion. In terms of Color correction i had something else in mind but did not have enough time to do it cause i had a lot on my plate during the time (couple of out of town shoots and some work stuff i cant share cause of none disclosure agreements). Here is a link or this one, Take a look at the video and let me know what you think.
Thanks again 

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Chilu Lemba - Chiuta

Mr Lemba after the video had been graded

The Shoot
It is impossible to watch DSTV without Chilu Lemba poping up in a voice over, From the time he was a DJ with Radio Phoenix he has been an inspiration so when he sent me an email asking me to do a video for him i was both humbled and nervous, 1st thing that came to mind was i should not screw this one up. The song we where shooting is called "Ciuta" off his forth coming album titled "Flowers, Needles and Drumbeats" We juggled with a few concepts and had to consider the fact that he was in Zambia (Love my country) for a few days and had to shoot 2 videos whilst here,one with me and the other with MT Productionz Zambia. My style has always been simplicity while following what client wants so we came up with a concept that worked both ways but he gave me lots of creative freedom with a few suggestions here and there. Because we had started the shoot late i had very little time to do it and we took as many takes as we could. Overall Chilu was professional and easy to direct, we shot his scenes in 3 hours and later shot the Zone Fam and Mr Vezzy scenes in a different location and on a different day.
The Tools
The Video was shot handheld on a Canon 7D with a 50mm f1.8 lens, x3 800 watt Redheads, black backdrop and a reflector on some scenes.
Post Production
After all the shoot, putting the video together was easy. I edited in Adobe Premiere Pro and used some Adobe After effects to clean up and correct some of the clips.
My weakness is color correction and i experimented with a lot of grades, after days of trial and error i added a bleach bypass and black and white filter in Magic Bullet Looks, the video looked pretty decent but was over exposed so i reduced the exposure and all looked well. The next step was to send still frames to Chilu and hope he would approve it, He was pleased with with what he saw but i thought to my self,"still frames do not tell the whole story, there are times when you loose focus in the next few frames so maybe it would be better if i sent him an actual video before we wrapped up the video". He liked the the video version too and i finished up the video by cleaning all jump cuts and added transitions where deemed necessary.
Magic Bullet Looks in action

Before and after
Things i learnt
1. There is no such thing as too much footage, take as much as you can so you can have options in post.
2. Magic bullet looks still has killer functions for treating video.
3. Step out of your boundaries and try something different when color grading, you never know the client might just love it.
4. Mr Vezzy and the Zone Fam are friends that will come through even when it is at their expense, thank you Holstar and all the guys.

There are a few things i would like to change in this video but its out so am a little late, Anyways take a look at the video on YouTube or Vimeo. i hope you'll like it. Let me know what you think.

The Holstar The Zone Fam's Manager
Dope G one of the Zone Fam members
Thanks for reading my blog


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Random Photography Part 2

So once again i thought i should share some of my random shots, after a few months with my camera i have taken a few lucky shots and today i will share a good number on them and hopefully share a part 3 of Random Photography pretty soon. I have said it before and i probably will say it again in the near future, I am primarily a video guy and photography comes secondary to me but i do like what my camera does once in a while and of late the the lucky shots have been coming in excitingly short intervals. To be honest long exposure photos are my favorite i love looking at what the camera captures after a long exposure piece, One evening while enjoying a long exposure session at the University of Zambia footbridge a trail of police cars drove past with their lights flashing radiantly and like a child unleashed on a box of sweets i pointed my tripod mounted camera in the right direction and hit the shutter button quicker than canon intended it to be pressed, after patiently waiting for 30 seconds i had hopped the results to be beyond awesome but was slightly disappointed when i looked at the picture...made me wish i could ask them to drive past again, Check out the results below.
Long Exposure with police cars passing
A few years back i took my very 1st long exposure photo with a Nikon D3000 and the results drove me insane, it was the start of a what some would refer to as been addiction. As my amateur eyes looked at the results i was blown away, i had never seen my home city look so beautiful and though i could not see some of the problems in the picture it was pretty awesome and i wait... I am still proud of it cause it was the birth of an addiction i cant quench and sadly don't have enough time for anymore.
My 1st real long exposure photo.
Studio photography also intrigues me, i love photos of people with part of them drowning into the darkness with light illuminating a fraction of the body :-D.... I have a hunger to learn and these are a select few of what should be deemed as been decent photos.
Mukumbo Our Accountant at Adlab
EMR Adlab Studio Director
EMR Adlab Studio Director

Top Theophilus Mvula AKA DJ Traffik
Bottom Chinyonta Musimuko From Hot FM
Aside from my few studio photos, i have done a lot product and photography, am head of production at Adlab (i love it there :-D ). We do a lot of  such shoots for our clients for bill boards, TV commercials, and so on. I have read up on such shoots so they come a lot easier to me but what i am falling in love with is random things like leaves, A microphone on a mic stand and so on...Take a look and let me know what you think, some criticism would be grand.

Random Leaves i saw on the wall

One of the food pics

My favorite picture right now

Adlab Car, Thing of beauty

Nikon D3000 the camera that gave birth to my addiction
Thanks for reading my blog.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Holstar - past present and future

The set with Martin behind the Camera

A few months ago i did a video for The Holstar for one of the singles off his mixtape called The Extraordinares produced by Tech-zilla. The concept was simple, one location, Lusaka city in the background and very little extra's who where friends so the shoot was bound to go smoothly and as a plus i had Martin Manjolo to assist as D.O.P. 
The location was Zimco house which is the home of radio Phoenix Zambia, this is the 2nd video i have shot in this building mostly because it is the most accessible location for me. The 1st video i shot here was Amablax and 2one - Umugete which was done in studio 2 of the radio station and since this one was on the rooftop it pretty much counts as not been the same location....i think hehehehehe.

We had a 7D, 50mm f 1.8, 24mm f2.8, x2 200watt lights and a dolly. The song we where shooting is called "Past, Present and future" and the plan was mixing old scenes of Lusaka city with new ones but i had to go through days of footage and time was an issue so we stuck to the new scenes.
Canon 50mm
What we wanted was some drama in the sky and some smooth dolly shots that where not obvious and during the shoot Martin came up with a brilliant idea to dolly towards the subject and since we where shooting with primes all we had to do was pull focus, the result was pretty good scenes that looked like zooming in and out and when we used a 24mm lens the results where lovable. We also did some hand held shots but i feel we slightly  under utilized the dolly but we used it nonetheless. The video was edited in Premiere Pro and After effects to fix up a few issues. Check the video out here and let me know what you think.

Somethings i learned are:
1. Always make sure you monitor the extras
2. The bigger the set the more assistance you'll need
3. Always check you are properly exposed 

Free download The Extraordinares

Thanks for reading my blog and if you can do point out my mistakes cause i love this work and whats the point of continuing with it if i don't get better at it.


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Random Photography Part 1

So today i thought i should share some random photos that i have taken with my new best friend 7D :-D. Been learning lots of things and have been experimenting a lot over the last few weeks. I had a 550ex for a few days and it brought me joy, Took lots of pictures with the guys at the office and the clowning around made the whole experience a joy. Am primarily a video guy and when i bought my camera it was for video but once in a while i would do a long exposure photo that would bring me loads of joy, of late i have been slowly falling in love with photography ( mostly because i have taken a few lucky shots). My biggest inspiration has been Gareth Bentley, i have been looking at his photos, looking at the data trying to recreate the photos with my camera. 

Kapelembe Sikanyika and Emmanuel Mwila

Joanna Hickey Damalis
In as much as photography is different from video it was plenty of similarities too, my favorite advantage it has over video is the fact that i can use really low shutter speeds that offer a wide range of creative opportunities, i was thinking to myself what if i can some how find some common ground between photography and video now that would be really interesting, especially when you get into post and treat your photos in lightroom. Editing these photos was an eye opener for me cause it teaches new things for      correction in video.
On another experimental shoot for Radio Phoenix Zambia i had a blackdrop and some studio lights, in my 1st attempt the subject was too close to the backdrop so it was too visible so i moved my subject further from the backdrop and like magic it worked, moving the light to the side helped to create even more drama and further darkened the background as is in the case in the picture below to the right of Luciano. Am still primarily a video freak but photography is really interesting too and i plan to take a lot more seriously. 
Luciano Haambote
Tafadzwa Chirisa
Long exposure
I love long exposure photos, here are a few that i have taken in the past few months. 
Location: UNZA, Lusaka Zambia
Focal Length: 18mm
Aperture: f9
Exposure: 30sec
Lens: Sigma 18-200

Location: UNZA, Lusaka Zambia
Focal Length: 18mm
Aperture: f9
Exposure: 30sec
Lens: Sigma 18-200

As usual take a look and let me know what you think, also tell me what i could have done differently in any of the pics. Thank you for spending your precious time to read my blog.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

What goes up must come down

Its with heavy heart that i write this post, after 5 years of radio i have had to step down due to increased health problems. The last 5 years have been magical and i have been blessed with having had been in the presence of mighty talented musicians, producers and writers whom i now consider to be friends. Thank you to everyone that tuned in and apologies to everyone whom i offended during my time on radio, am only human and i know thats no excuse but i hope we can look past our differences and become friends. Special thank you to management of radio phoenix for the chance an i hope i did not come shot of what was expected of me.
I would love to mention names but for fear of forgetting a few i wont plus the internet is not enough to list all of you :-(

Thanks for the last time

Jamiel formerly Dj Scratch