19. thirty seconds [or more] (ds106 #9)

Make a short, 30-second documentary, the topic is up to you.
No narration necessary. Show, don’t tell

Okay so I’m being liberal with the rules for this assignment, mainly because once I had filmed all my footage there was so much that I liked and I decided to make it longer. I started on this last Thursday when filming in Ueno park. Last Tuesday I bought a new camera, Nikon d5100, which is able to film HD video. Because I really want to put together some nice videos when my friend and I go to Kyoto at the beginning of next month, I’ve decided to practice as much as I can before hand – and this is a fun assignment that let’s me do just that!

When I went to Ueno early Thursday morning, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do my little film on. The park is the kind of place where you never know what you’re going to come across – like a troupe of Chinese acrobats that I walked by, sadly after my battery died (I did not expect it to go flat after only about three hours; now I know I need a back up or two for my Kyoto trip!). First I walked around a small shrine in the park, thinking I could do a short piece just on that. I also played with the idea of going to the zoo to film. As I was heading there, walking up what’s called Sakura Street – which is currently just a wide paved alle lined with bare cherry blossom trees, I spotted something that seemed out of place.

On this road, amongst all the naked branches waiting for April, there was one single tree in bloom.

This is a 寒桜 (kanzakura), a winter sakura!

I’ve never seen one of these trees before, and apparently this particular one was the odd one out because they’re supposed to be blooming in February. (Don’t quote me on the February thing though, I just made that out overhearing conversations between the old Japanese ladies looking at the tree with me). Either way, I was so fascinated and captivated by it, that I decided it would be my subject for the short little film.

Now, I haven’t really mastered the art of steady hand-held shooting, so sorry for the shakiness of some of it.  Edited in iMovie (cue giggles from anyone who actually works with filmmaking), cutting probably twenty minutes of footage? Changed the brightness, contrast and saturation a bit too, and added music: Il Secondo Giorno by Air.

…I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am for sakura season now!




6 thoughts on “19. thirty seconds [or more] (ds106 #9)

    • I heard sakura season in Tokyo will start around March 31st – it’s not that late is it? I don’t remember when it started last year…
      Either way, it’ll be beautiful! ;D

  1. I agree with your peers, this is a brilliantly done video. The pacing is perfect, the music is magical, and the effect of seeing the bird at the end almost makes it seem as if he was an actor. Wow.

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