The Old Zoo at Griffith Park - A Short Camera Test

AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
edited May 2012 in General
[size="4"][center]Old Zoo at Griffith Park[/center][/size]

Hey guys! Today I bring you some older footage that we recently uncovered in some of our current production work and editing of projects due out this summer- and Ben compiled it into this video. Check it out! His description below:
[sub][indent][size="2"]"Shots of the Old Zoo at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA.
The moment I arrived in LA last summer, new camera in hand, I was eager to find new and exciting places to grab some footage. Several sources online told me that the Old Zoo, a literal abandoned zoo with cages and chasms in the middle of Griffith Park, was one such place. The sources were right - the old zoo was one of the coolest places I've ever been, and early into the summer I grabbed this footage with my new equipment. However, it wasn't until late April of 2012 that I actually found the footage and decided to put it together - hence this video being released now.
Edited in Sony Vegas 11 and cut judiciously, so some movements aren't quite right - but it is what it is. Some camera movement done on indiSLIDERmini base model, others handheld or on my Bogen 501 HDV tripod. I really enjoyed the look of the Nikon lens for this setting, it has a softness and a green haze about it that 'works' here - although I wouldn't trust the lens/adapter combo for everything.
Lens used is the Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8 AF-D on the Canon 60D with Neutral Picture Style, adapted to EOS using a Fotodiox adapter."[/size][/indent][/sub]

Let us know what you think!


  • AculagAculag Website User Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    Nice looking stuff. Like most of these little test videos you guys do, though, I find the music overly dramatic. In fact, I'd say that about pretty much every camera test that anyone uploads. ;)
  • MatthiasClaflinMatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    edited May 2012
    I'd agree with you Aculag, but the music with the test is pretty much the only thing that makes the test bearable. Would you want to watch a minute and a half test if it had no music or sound of any kind? I'd say it adds depth to something that would normally be considered one-dimensional. Albeit not making it really anything more than a test, just a more entertaining test.
    @Andrew/Ben, the cinematography looks great! Fantastic DOF and beautiful pan/tilt/dolly shots. Great job pulling focus as well. Nicely done, and entertaining enough to watch from beginning to end.
  • AculagAculag Website User Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    edited May 2012
    Would you want to watch a minute and a half test if it had no music or sound of any kind?
    If I'm watching a clip like this, nine times out of ten, I'll turn the audio off. Just because a clip doesn't have mournful piano music doesn't mean it doesn't have to have any audio at all. I think some kind of interesting sound design that reflects the subject of the video can elevate a clip far more than soft music can.
    For example! Watch this video.

    A very, very cool video. Without music, it's still cool to look at, but the only real purpose the music serves in this case is to give the viewer something to do while watching (listen to music.) It's a nice piece of music that will leave viewers thinking, "That was beautiful."
    Now watch that same video, but using this as a soundtrack.

    Completely different feel. If someone had taken that audio and edited it a bit, it makes the video incredibly engaging, impactful, and no piano/string accompaniment needed.
    Obviously it comes down to intent, and I'm sure a lot of people would hate watching a space video with a bizarre ambient soundtrack. It leaves you with a completely different impression. But imagining Andrew & Ben's test clip with some subtle nature ambience gets me much more interested in the subject than the music does. Not to say the music doesn't suit the footage, because it definitely does, but I keep expecting it to pan over to someone crying because their father is an alcoholic. ;)
  • MatthiasClaflinMatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    Ah, now that I understand you a bit better Aculag, I would agree. I was under the impression you thought a video like these shouldn't have any music outside of the audio taken during each shot, however looking back, that was a foolish assumption.
    I think that tests like that should have some amount of sound design to be effective and interesting. I do think that overly sad/dramatic music is overused for most tests of this sort. I would also agree there. So long as there is some sound to engage the audience in some way, I'd be a happy camper. ;)
  • BenBen Website User Posts: 51
    edited May 2012
    Hey, just wanted to chime in about the music - I actually chose to do this camera test because I'd had some music in mind. Although I think Thomas Newman's stuff can get played-out, especially The Shawshank Redemption theme 'Brooks Was Here' (the very track used in this video) - once I saw the old zoo at Griffith Park and imagined large lions and bears and other animals in these small, medieval-looking cages and enclosures; I couldn't help but feel sentimental for more Newman music that echoed the same feelings of imprisonment and yearning. Because Shawshank is about imprisonment, fate and meaning, I decided that music made for that film would not just be appropriate here, but indeed strengthen the actual footage.
    That being said, in my Petrified Forest National Park test right when I got my 60D I decided to use whatever scoring was on my computer after having just done a 'clean install' of Windows 7. Coincidentally, the soundtracks to Revolutionary Road and Road to Perdition were amongst the only cinematic (or otherwise non-rap/hip-hop) tracks I had. Also, having never really used scores by anyone else in anything we've ever done (you probably know how big a stink we make when people use unlicensed scores) I think it's kind of fitting.
    In essence, the footage was shot and edited with the track 'Brooks Was Here' actually in mind beforehand, so I'd say it's worth watching with the music. In my opinion, if I'd just gone to, say, a skate rink with a 70-200mm L and shot some Phillip Bloom-esque slow motion shots of kids with their parents and set it to similar music (as many a YouTube user has) I'd expect that to be sort of trite and over-the-top. But because this is, well, actual wrought-iron bars and broken cages where many animals actually died, I think the dry, dramatic sentimentality of the piano actually fits quite well. It causes you to think, if only briefly, about what you're seeing, and imagine it as a whole - rather than just view a disparate montage of pretty pictures.
    As I've only ever done two or three such tests in the past two years, I think it's safe to say I don't plan on exhausting this tenet too much. :D
Sign In or Register to comment.