How Not to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.

Description:

A documentary filmmaker interviews two video game streamers who recently released a “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” guide. Mid-interview the unthinkable happens and the trio are stuck inside with little food and even less survival tactics as a real zombie apocalypse unfolds.

Reflection:

The process of coming up with the story was a lot of fun. We sat around as a family working out what Scott and Mo (the two streamers) get up to after the apocalypse begins and my son came up with the name “How Not to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse”. I originally wanted to act as the documentary filmmaker for the video and do the pitch in an emotional vlogging style to give the audience an idea of what to expect. I came up with the idea to beg the ABC for help, after I read the “Assessment 4 Help Section” written by my lecturer. Ultimately I think it’s a better idea for a pitch or kickstarter video. However, I believe that more atmosphere in the video would have made it more convincing. For example, an appearance by some zombies or Scott and Mo, would have shown a greater ability to deliver a completed show. Better audio would have also helped with the atmosphere. Unfortunately it was not shot during an actual apocalypse and cars kept driving past. Still lot of fun for the whole family.

Profile

I have worked in the film industry since 2010 on a variety of film and TV sets as Director of Photography (DP) and Gaffer. I have been employed at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) since 2014 as a Best Boy and Tech and Tutorial Officer. More recently I moved to a teaching role in the Bachelor of Arts (Screen) at AFTRS.

There have been many opportunities to work closely with DIP, BA and MSA students as they navigate camera and audio equipment to create their own films in studio and on location.

Here I am on a horse.

My passion for film and my understanding of the technical side of filmmaking ensure I have a broad knowledge that has translated well into my teaching role. Personally I am interested in helping to nurture the future of Australia’s Film industry.


‘Letter to My Future Self’

Daniel,

Remember when you started your first communications course? You were brimming with self confidence and thought you knew enough to teach it: “Why am I even here?” you wondered.

Part of you knew why; a quiet voice reminded you about the things you didn’t know – creating engaging content, story arcs, traditional storytelling techniques in modern social media. You may be able to technically create a story but can you find an audience?

How about a vlog about your lap of Australia with your children? Content purposefully created to suit the way you like to absorb media now. Content that’s not too clever or shiny, but it captures your interest in a way that doesn’t require your full attention; niche subject media that you leave on while you’re cooking, swiping through instagram and watching ads (and subliminal ads) on YouTube Top Tens.

You love watching vlogs that teach you: top ten travel tips, a social movement in Russia, a video game streamer. Maybe, like twitch streamers, one media platform should be your main focus? Other social media platforms could be used like advertising to remind the audience of the main niche. Using social media might also become easier, saving you time; instead of treating them like separate platforms, stills from the vlog are posted to Instagram and conversations around the niche are explored in Facebook.

Did you find an audience? Are you happy with your online personality? Are you using social media or is it using you?

ISO in 20 Seconds

Back when photos were taken on film it was rated by ISO. For ex: 100iso would be for daytime and 500+ would be more suited to night or indoors. We still use the term ISO to measure digital sensors sensitivity to light but now we can change it in camera without having to change the film.

The consequence of increasing the sensitivity to light is the ability to take photos in darker situations at the cost of digital noise. Which presents itself as small colored dots.

Shutter speed in 20 seconds

If you are hand holding your camera and don’t take a photo with a fast enough shutter speed your photo will be blurry. A good rule of thumb is the mm of your lens is the minimum shutter speed you can shoot. On a 100mm lens you shouldn’t shoot any slower than 1/100th of a second 50mm 1/50 etc. Like any good rule of thumb, the rule can be broken. Resting the camera on a fence, leaning the camera against a wall or using a tripod will let you use much slower shutter speeds. If you choose to use long shutter times, stars can appear to leave a trail across the sky. Waterfalls can take on the appearance of tissue paper. Just remember whatever moves in your photo will be blurry.

Aperture in 20 Seconds

Aperture is adjustable on manual lenses or on a camera body when you’re in manual mode. It opens to let in more light, yet oddly the smaller the aperture number the bigger the opening. If it was getting dark in the afternoon you might set your lens at f2.8 or the lowest number your lens can go. The consequence of opening the aperture to let in more light is your depth of field gets shallower and less of your photograph is in focus.

Photographers will shoot with a wide open aperture not just to let in more light but to creatively  isolate the subject, letting everything else go out of focus.