Exhibit A, Big Blue Whale Studios

Exhibit A, Big Blue Whale Studios

Big Blue Whale Studios is a collective of creative minds that has come together to create awesome media. ‘Exhibit A’ is Big Blue Whale Studios first release and we could not be more proud. By combining a number of different skill sets including photography, timelapses, graffiti, body painting, music production and video editing we have created an exciting, attention grabbing video piece that is sure to draw the eye.

My contribution to the piece was video editing and post production. I was supplied with raw timelapses of graffiti and body painting, high quality photos and the original music composition. It was my job to combine these elements into an engaging and cohesive video. I started with the basic edit in Premiere. Once happy with the flow I imported everything into After Effects and started creating the high impact transitions. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to achieve in terms of transitions which helped establish the look and feel but I was soon free wheeling and the ideas were coming thick and fast. From start to finish it was just over a weeks work.

It was a great experience and lots of fun to be involved in a project with so many motivated and creative people. Everybody involved from Big Blue Whale Studios is very happy with the outcome, I hope you are too.

You can check out more work from the other contributors here:

Scott M Salt Photography
Anthony Harvey Photography & Design
Mister Batlow
Civilised Mess

The Never Ending Film Project

Reach for the Lazers Final Film Version


Not much activity on the blog recently but that does not mean I am not working hard on the film. This last month I have been working super hard on completing as many sections for the film as possible whilst still working on projects that make me money. This juggling act has been difficult and is one of the main reasons it is taking longer than expected to get the film finished.

A couple of months back I upload Reach for the Lazers Version 1. This new version has been streamlined, it has a much nicer flow and tells a better story. This is also the first sequence from the film where I have implemented colour correction. Colour correction is not my strong point and I have a lot to learn so expect the colour palette to change over the coming weeks. I have also incorporated post production effects in After Effects to make the sequence more exciting and engaging. This is the level of detail I wish to achieve for the completed film. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to detail.

You will have to wait for the final film to find out whether we send the problem or not. Check Version 1 here for a comparison and let me know which you prefer.

How to film a Swipe Cut and other useful tricks

As you may have realised from previous posts I am a big fan of Vimeo. Another reason to love them is their Vimeo Video School video series. If you are interested in filming, video effects, cameras or just about anything that involves motion design then you will want to check out their videos. They are literally overflowing with great motion design and film ideas.

One trick I have seen a number of times but never fully understood is the swipe cut. The swipe cut is an easy trick to connect two separate shots into one seamless sequence. In order to achieve the effect quickly pan out of your first shot and then pan back in to your second shot. When it’s time to edit, find a similar blurred frame from each pan, then splice them together at those points to create a transition between the two shots.

3 Tricks For Your Impossibly Small Film Crew

If you want to check out the full tutorial click here.

My first Swipe Cut attempt

Remember to share your swipe cut links in the comments below.

5 Simply Amazing Animated Videos

Hey up chaps, I have not posted for a while due to holidays, broken computers and having to work for clients to pay my rent. To get things rolling again here are some recent videos that grabbed me by the eyeballs and got my attention. Enjoy.

Caldera by Evan Viera

An emotionally strong short film that delves deep into the mind. Stunning characters, animation and lighting with a hint of Ghibli. Watch on a big screen with the volume LOUD.

Premier Automne by Carlos De Carvalho & Aude Danset

Another breath taking short film with a strong visual presence that explores 2 very different worlds. The level of detail in the designs is simply stunning, great use of particles.

Mike Luck – Cityscape by maxmana

A music video that has a real cinematic feel. A retro futurist 3D drive through city and desert full of crystals, purple , curving roads and a super rad car.

Easy – Mat Zo & Porter Robinson by The Line

Another music video but this time hand drawn. Clearly inspired by Japanese anime this video tells the story of a pop star and her floating pet. The end confused me though!

Splash by Paulo Wang

Abstract paint explosions and more. This video features some great fluid simulations and lots of brightly coloured paint, lots of fun.

If you liked the videos be sure to comment and share with your friends.

Deep Water Soloing in Gibraltar

Deep Water Soloing in Gibraltar

Here is an early version of the 1st Deep Water Soloing sequence for my upcoming Climbing and Travel film. With this sequence I set out to create a fast paced montage that showcases the amazing deep water soloing in Gibraltar. At this moment in time the basic edit is 90% complete. My aim is to further refine some of the edits and include some cool transitions and effects. I also want to include information on each of the climbs as well as colour grade the whole sequence.

Later deep water solo sequences will have a much slower pace. They will concentrate on complete routes and projects. We found it very difficult to film the action. The cameraman was either hanging off a rock, perched on a ledge or sat in an inflatable boat. Getting multiple camera angles proved difficult. However, through trial and error we got some great footage and editing the sequence together helped me figure out the sort of footage that works well.

A big shout out to the early morning crew, Simon, Gino, Mike and Piotr. 2013 is going to be even bigger. Here is hoping I can start sending some routes šŸ™‚

Amazing Parkour videos

Back in my early twenties Parkour was my main sport. I loved the freedom of movement, the satisfaction of progress and the reward of efficient flow from obstacle to obstacle. My body could not keep up and a build up of niggling injuries prevented me from continuing. Fast forward to today and the progression of Parkour videos is truly amazing. What was cutting edge 10 years ago is now the standard. Parkour and film making also seem to go hand in hand with some impressive edits being put together. Here is a collection of some ofĀ favorites.

Storm Origins – Concrete Circus Freerun Film

Parkour and Freerunning Stunts – RIDING WITH A GHOST

Clean your mind. Summer 2012. Parkour

Team Farang Tour – The Temple

Let me know if you want more videos as I have lots more to share.

Cliff Jumping in Gibraltar

Cliff Jumping in Gibraltar

Here is another preview from my upcoming climbing and travel film. Ant and take a break from Deep Water Soloing and have some fun cliff jumping in Gibraltar. I really wanted to create a relaxed summer vibe that featured some bubbly water themed music. Shot entirely with GoPro cameras this was a lot of fun and a little scary.

The finished clip will feature some effect shots to spice things up. I aim to animate some fish as well as a few other surprises. Below are some sketches and illustrations to give you an idea of the sorts of elements I want to incorporate. Can you guess where each illustration will go? Let me know in the comments!

Cliff Jumping in Gibraltar

New Boulder Problem in Alcaidesa

Reach for the Lazers Boulder Problem

A new boulder problem in Alcaidesa that Ant and I found, cleared and cleaned. This preview from my new climbing film shows some of our many attempts at sending the problem. You will have to wait for the final film to find out if we manage it though.

The boulder problem starts in a cave with some unusual hand holds. A powerful pull is then required to get out of the cave followed by some awkward slopers. The second half becomes a pumpy traverse with big reaches for the hands and little ledges for the feet. Lots of effort required to get to the end.

For the editing of this piece I wanted to tell the story of first discovering the problem and then working the project. The music plays a key role in telling the story with cuts made to the beat. This was also the first time I used a film burn as an effect. The finished film will show in more detail the clearing and cleaning of the problem as well the final send (hopefully :-)).

Let me know what you think in the comments and stay tuned for more video previews, climbing action and an in depth look at my workflow.

James Holtom Gibraltar Design 2013

January is almost over and 2013 is in full swing. My aim for this year is to get more Gibraltar design clients. With that in mind I have been working on updating my website to entice new clients. Specifically, I am designing a new Home Page to replace the existing one. Users are currently taken straight to the Portfolio Page. Although pretty this does not explain the purpose of my site. A new page with mission statement, work samples, key links and overview of design services will replace it.

Below is the new James Holtom Gibraltar Design home page, click it for a more detailed view. Changes may still be made but it is close to being finished. Let me know your thoughts?

Gibraltar Design

I am also updating the SEO (Search EngineĀ Optimisation) for my website, making it easier for people to find me. Another area of my site I will be working on is my blog. I will be posting a lot more about my passions andĀ free timeĀ activities. Expect news and videos regarding my video project about climbing in Gibraltar and Andalucia. I will be uploading Premiere and After Effects tutorials to help fellow film makers and will continue to post my favorite Vimeo videos.

Stay tuned.