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Upcoming Project: “The Moment”

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Hi Friends! Please watch the short video below to learn more about the next film project I’m working on with writer/director, Drew Mayer-Oakes. “The Moment” stars Sundance Film Festival alum, Carolyn King and Latin American television and film star, Plutarco Haza, and is being produced by the super-sexy Ralph Lopez. I’m definitely excited to be shooting this one and being apart of an amazing production team! If you’d like to be involved in the project, please consider a small donation at the Indiegogo link here.

Learn more about supporting this magical new romantic short film from the producer of “Wolf” and “Katrina’s Son”. Visit our crowd funding page at igg.me/at/themomentfilm.

Anything Could Happen

Alyssa Bernal “Anything Could Happen” Music Video

I hope you enjoy Alyssa Bernal’s latest music video cover of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Can Happen”. Shot in and around downtown San Antonio over a 4hr time period.

Behind the Scenes video shot and edited by Stephen Castro of Miranda Studios.

Behind the scene pics shot by Continue reading

Recent Project: Senator Van de Putte

Along with my good friend, Richard Jemal, we had the wonderful opportunity to interview and shoot Texas Senator Leticia Van de Putte.  It was a real pleasure to sit down and talk with her.  Just after a few minutes I could tell she was a true servant of the people.  Unfortunately we are not allowed to post the video, but I did want to share the frame grab above. -Rod

REVIEW: CN600-SA LED Light Panels w/ wireless dimmer!

Here is a quick review of the new CN600-SA LED Panels. Being able to control up to 4 lights with one remote is great. Ohh..I forgot to mention in the video, but the wireless dimmer switch will also work in the older version panels. Sorry I didn’t have time to shoot a segment on the light quality, but please check out Matt Allard’s in depth video HERE.

Shot on: Canon T4i

Thanks for watching, why don’t you follow me on twitter!
http://twitter.com/rod_guajardo

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Gear: Canon 5D Mark III + Test Video + Q&A

5DM3 with Zacuto EVF, Gorilla Plate Adapter, and HDMI Pincher

I received the new Canon 5D Mark III two days after it was launched.  I have had some time to play around with the new system and although not revolutionary like the 5DMII, it definately has some upgrades that are important to me.  I will be posting another blog post with my thoughts on the camera, however, in the meantime, below is a short outdoor test video I shot last week on the Texas/Mexico border.

I have received a few questions on the test video above and will start sharing my responses below.

Q. Very nicely done, I must say, did you use a glidetrack? What in camera “picture processing”settings did you use? -RuneL via CanonRumors.com
A.  I used a IndisliderMini (which I don’t recommend) for the first 2 shots.  In camera, I started with the Neutral Picture Style, modified with Stu’s recommended settings below:

Start with the Neutral Picture Style
Set Sharpness to zero—all the way to the left
Set Contrast all the way to the left
Set Saturation two notches to the left

Q.  Very nice.  did you do any post processing to sharpen the video?  -Jacques via CanonRumors.com
A.  I did add sharpening in post with Premiere Pro’s built-in “Sharpen” effect.  However, for each shot it differed, but I don’t believe I ever went above the 40 mark.

Q.  Great vid. Can you tell us what settings you used on your export from Premiere? Did you use the Vimeo HD preset? My exports from premiere into Vimeo never seem to be this sharp (I assume this is 1080p 24fps). Thanks!-Ben M. via Vimeo.com
A.  Hi Ben, great question! Just so I don’t miss anything, I have taken a screenshot of my export settings and uploaded here for you: foursandyfeet.com/images/export_settings.jpg

Q.  Very Nice ! Did you used All-i or IBP codec ? -Matheus Oliveira via Vimeo
A.  Matheus, I used All-I for this. Thanks for watching!

WINNER! 2012 SA Neighborhood Film Project (Northside)

For the second year in a row, I competed in the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs and the San Antonio Film Commission.  The short film project is meant to “highlight the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures of San Antonio” and had it’s most entries to date, totaling 68 shorts from filmmakers across the city.  My entry last year, “Southtown Pedicab” won in the Southside, and this year we moved to the Northside with our romantic, under-dog, dancing tale, “Believe” starring HollyAnn Ovard and Richard Simkaitis.  For the second year in a row we were fortunate to take 1st place in our category!

Probably the most asked question I get about this film is how the idea came about.   Most of the time a reply jokingly, “watching dancing with the stars of course!”, and although I am laughing when I say it, it fact, it is mostly true.  My family and I have watched the show off and on for some time and I have always been impressed how the producers of the show would mix different styles of music with seemingly opposite styles of dancing.  So I had the idea of using dancers to showcase a neighborhood, but crap, I didn’t know anyone.  So I hoped on Google and started searching for San Antonio dance studios, found a few, but not quite what I was looking for.  With a few more clicks of the mouse I came across Ballroom Dance Academy.  After clicking through their website for a while I found exactly what I was looking for, a competitive dance duo made up of HollyAnn Ovard and Continue reading

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Recent Project: 2011 SA48hr Film Experience entry

View on YouTube

This past weekend we participated in the annual San Antonio 48hr Film Experience. For those unfamiliar with the event, basically you are given a genre and a location, then granted 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a film which must be under 8 minutes in length. This was my second 48hr challenge I have been involved with, the first being last year, with “Wild Sunday”.    I was lucky enough to talk producer-extraordinaire Ralph Lopez, “Katrina’s Son” and “Lilia” fame, into working on our team.  His wealth of experience, knowledge and can do attitude were a god send.  He was able to take care of everything from catering, to additional gear, to getting me power into the cave with a generator and 500′ of cable.  Thanks again Ralph!  Over 20 teams participated and all entries were Continue reading

Review: Express35.com Event In-Line Shoulder Rig

Coming Soon!  A video review of one of the latest pieces of gear from our friend Chris at Express35.com.  The all new Event Shoulder Rig was customer inspired and is marketed for those looking for something compact, ergonomic and balanced (comes with counterweight, yay!).  There are (2) versions available, an offset version for those who would like to use their non-electronic viewfinders, like the LCDVF or Zacuto Z-Finder.  This is perfect solution to get the eyepiece positioned directly in front of your eye.  I will be reviewing the second option, the inline version which will allow me the option to utilize my Zacuto EVF Snap and perfect for newer cameras with the flip-out screens like the T3i, 60D, etc..  I have been putting it through it’s paces and almost ready to share my thoughts.  Express35 is known for their high quality products, extremely reasonable prices and helpful customer service..  Their website is a must stop for all filmmakers on a limited budget.

If you would like to know when the video review is available for viewing, please leave a comment below to be notified.
Thanks!
Rod

PORSCHE “My Daily Magic” Film Contest Entry

**update 9/13/2011 – My finalist video has been completed and voting has started, CLICK HERE to check it out!

**update 8/12/2011 – I was notified on August 5th, 2011 that I am 1 of 10 finalists!  Phase 2 of the contest kicks off this week, first with a trip to Birmingham, Alabama to attend Porsche Sport Driving School, then come home to shoot my finalist video with a provided Porsche.  Excited!

“Oasis” – A man and his camera step out of the hustle and bustle of the city and find peace and beauty in the outdoors.

The Challenge: Create a 60 second video, under 50MB, focused on expressing the central idea of “everyday magic”.  Click here for more details and rules.

My family and I spend a lot of time in the outdoors and find it very magical, so it seemed only fitting to shoot at our favorite camping spot.  Shot entirely at Guadalupe River State Park, just minutes outside San Antonio, TX.

Contest sponsored by Porsche Cars North America and ReelzChannel.

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Behind the Scenes: “Wild Sunday”

Ever wondered what it likes behind the scenes of an ultra low budget film?  Well, thanks to San Antonio photographer and video enthusiast, Richard Jemal, you can now take a quick peek inside.  He was there as we started shooting our entry into the 2010 San Antonio 48hr Film Experience.  Check out his footage below!

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Current Project: Moby “The Day” Music Video

My submission into the Moby, Vimeo and Saatchi & Saatchi music video challenge. This is dedicated to all the fathers, husbands, son and brothers that have lost someone special….

A young mother suffering from a terminal illness finally succumbs to her pain and agony. Leaving behind a heartbroken father that is having difficulty moving on and their young, brave daughter. While reminding him how to live and love again, the young girl teaches her father how to welcome the future after a tragic loss. Continue reading

Ask Rod: Mounting Mics and Recorders

Hi Rod,
I notice in your video, that you have your Zoom H1 mounted in a shock mount on top of the camera. I am on the verge of purchasing the Zoom H4n and hopefully the Rode NTG-2 shotgun microphone. My intension is to mount the NTG-2 on top of the camera and the Zoom H4n (somehow) in a vertical position to one side of the camera so I can easily view the screen while monitoring the audio levels.  I would like to later add an external LCD screen to assist in better focus. My questions are: Continue reading

Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig Part 2

**6/23/2011 Update:  Part 3 with Zacuto EVF now posted!

Follow-up to my previous blog post, “Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig“.  This time showing a new piece to the shoulder rig, the Express.35.com “Rig X“. I am located in San Antonio, TX, if you are in the Central Texas area and would like a demo, just let me know!  Continue reading

Current Project: Arthur Woo “It’s All Good”

Arthur Woos’ “It’s All Good” music video has wrapped in San Francisco and I am now back home in San Antonio for post production.  Shot on (1) Canon T2i/550D, using available lighting, with Canon 50mm f1.4 and Tokina 11-16mm f2.8.  To be edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and colored graded with MBL and Colorista II.  Video to be released early March 2011.

Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig

A few days ago I tweeted a couple pics of my new Run and Gun DSLR Rig, the Cowboy Studio (CBS) Shoulder Support Pad.  Since then I have received a lot of requests for more information and additional pics, so here we go….

First off thanks to Caleb Pike and Phil Hoyt for turning me on to this idea and saving me hundreds of dollars!  I was looking for an affordable solution and this sure did fit the bill.

For those unfamiliar with the product it’s basically a low cost, lightweight shoulder rig, and retails anywhere from $20.00 to $30.00 online. I have used other DSLR rigs, including the Red Rock Micro eyeSpy Standard, which sells for $826.50. However, I must say I greatly prefer the CBS solution. One of the biggest features I like about the CBS rig is that it can be completely hands free. While using the Red Rock Micro system, I often found myself needing to use both of my hands, which was simply impossible. With the CBS I can do just that.  Ohhh..and did I mention how comfortable it is?  It’s much lighter then anything else I have tried and put’s less strain on my back and shoulders, which allows me to go longer with less fatigue. Continue reading

Recent Project: Tension Speak “Choke”

I was hired by local San Antonio rock band Tension Speak to create a new music video for their upcoming CD release, “This War”. They choose the track “Choke” and after a brief meeting with the band, and listening to the inspiration for the song I came up with a storyline. The song is about the world caving down on you, with so much pressure you feel like you are getting choked out.  I know I can relate to this, and I believed others could as well.  We were to use 4 members of the band to show 4 different vices, including alcoholism, drug addiction, no money, and cheating wife.  The lead singer, Fred Silva was to play the role of the “Angel”, stopping the other person from doing damage to themself or to others.  Sounded great on paper, but could I pull this off??  This would be my second music video, and after the first one, I was confident, but staying humble.  I went home that night, thought about it some more, came up with a shot list and went to bed uneasy. Continue reading

Recent Project – My First Short Film “Unimaginable”

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This project was a first for the majority involved, especially the crew.  I had just come off releasing my first music video and was looking for a new project to work on.  I was browsing casting/crew calls on ShortFilmTexas.com and came across an ad for a short film looking for a Director of Photography in San Antonio.  Continue reading

Recent Project- .com Web Commercial

Final product starring Valerie Garza:

Hired by .com credit agency to create short multimedia intro for website homepage, as well as, create custom voice-over for telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.  Also responsible for securing shooting location and booking the talent for this project. Continue reading

Review: D|Focus D|Riser

In a previous blog post I raved how much I was enjoying my new D|FOCUS Follow Focus V3.  However, one of the bummers for me was not able to use my new focusing solution on my Canon T2i/550d, with Canon 50mm 1.4 lens and BATTERY GRIP, battery grip being the key word here.  Thankfully, I wasn’t bummed out long, as David Aldrich, the man behind D|FOCUS Systems, noticed the need for a solution and is now producing the D|Riser!

Description for website:

“The D|Riser is a riser and offset block to raise the height of the standard D|Focus V3 gearbox.  The D|Focus V3 has a low profile design for a light weight and space saving configuration but in some cases it may be necessary to raise the height of the D|Focus V3. Continue reading

Ask Rod: Premiere Pro CS5 Export Settings?

via comment:  “What are your settings for premiere pro cs-5 and what do you export as?”  -Randy

Great question Randy!  In fact, I had this very same question when I first started using Premiere Pro CS5.  I was lucky enough to be pointed in the right direction by a fellow HDSLR shooter and Premiere user, Richard Allen Crook.  Below are a couple of screenshots I took of the settings I use to produce a 1080p, 16:9 aspect ratio video and 1080p 2.35:1 cropped cinema version.  Please remember, the export setting’s I use below is what has worked for me and might not necessarily be the right way to do it. Continue reading

TIP: B&H HDSLR Guide

Be sure to check out B&H’s new HDSLR Guide!

“The guide is an educational tool meant to provide critical information to independent filmmakers, photographers and cinematographers that want to create compelling content but would like to know more about the new form of filmmaking. In the guide, also find different categories of products that may be useful on a film set such as the latest lens controls, viewfinders, cameras, audio accessories, etc.”

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Review: LCDVF 3:2

After reading Nino Leitner’s Epic DSLR Viewfinder Review, I knew what had to be purchased next, an LCD viewfinder.  There are quite a few viewfinders out on the market, however I had narrowed it down to the LCDVF 3:2 and the Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2.5.  It did’nt take me long to decide which unit to get and there were three reasons why I went with the LCDVF:

1)  LCDVF has introduced a viewfinder made specifically for the Canon T2i/550D and it’s 3:2 screen.  So when I got it home, I knew it would fit my platform perfectly.  This was my most deciding factor.

2)  Cost.  The LCDVF clocks in at $119.00, and the Zacuto 2.5 at $395.00.  Not a huge concern, but after hearing that Zacuto has something that could be “game changing” in the works, I did’nt want to drop money on a Zacuto product that could be obsolete in a few months.  More on this, see #3. Continue reading

Review: D|Focus Follow Focus V3 w/ Canon T2i/550d

I got back from lunch this afternoon, and to my great surprise, a box from Jag35.com was waiting for me on my desk.  Inside was David Aldrich’s latest version of his D|Focus, follow focus system.

I currently do not use rods or a cage, so I also ordered the D|Mount, which will allow me to attach directly to my CanonT2i/550D.  I quickly unboxed both items and placed on my camera.  Looks like there are several different ways to configure, in the pictures below is one way I have found, (please let me know if you come up with something better).

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Recent Project: Josh Glenn “Vulnerable Minds” Music Video


 

Aug. 21, 2010 – Officially released!  Thank you for watching the debut music video for unsigned, San Antonio musician, Josh Glenn and first time director/editor, Rod Guajardo.

Update Nov. 16th, 2010 – Josh Glenn’s video “Vulnerable Minds” takes the best video award at the TMC Video Music Awards. Click here for the story with pics.

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Timelapse- Hong Kong Intervalometer w/ Canon T2i

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at creating a timelapse for a while now.  Last week I finally took the leap and ordered a knockoff intervalometer from ebay seller ADPLO.  Shipping from Hong Kong took 7 days to reach Texas, and last night I was able to give it a test run. Continue reading