About Me

Welcome to a blog about a film-maker, one who could be described as a story teller with an experimental approach to technology.

Hello, my name is James Tomkinson and this is my microscopic slice of the world wide web which should give an idea of what I do.

I think we can agree that people make films in a number of different genres. Mine is drama, a human story of either fact or fiction recreated in a gripping performance. Although that isn’t a dictionary definition it is what I write and capture either ‘in camera’ or on-stage.

An interest in building things has stayed with me throughout my younger years. I have to admit my DIY skills could use a little polishing yet that didn’t stop me from designing and refining the designs for my stereoscopic 3D rig since 2010 the results of which are on my YouTube channel.

Feel free to have a look around.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Digital Story Board


Digital Story Board

Nearly everything in this world comes with a manual, from DVD players to lawnmowers. Pity my brain didn’t. I’m still trying to figure out how that works.

I say that because you’d think that scriptwriting is just about sitting down with a pen, a notebook and a head full of ideas. Well in the first instance that is the case but I have recently discovered a new way of combining writing and storyboarding which forces me to think about all of the intricate details of a script that I don’t initially think about when scrawling an idea down on paper.

My method involves opening up a timeline in an editing package and inserting nothing but many different text objects, one for each camera shot. This forces me to think through every move the performers will make, how the camera will behave and what types of shots will and won’t work.

This method of translating my story from paper onto a timeline just using words makes me approach my script not from a writer’s perspective but from that of a film-maker.

This method works for me at any rate.

A screenshot of this 'digital storyboard' method

While we’re on the subject of scripts, the script for the tests of my Mk2 performance capture setup is ready to take to the stage and what is more I’ve found a camera that is light enough to take on the job of capturing the facial expressions that the performers will give.

The 808 key fob camera is only 12 grams and the actual camera unit itself, once removed from the circuit board, is about 2/3 grams. Plus at only about £30 - £40 each they will be good for experimenting with as a pose to a £200 camera.

All this means that my performance capture project is back on track. More news on that to come as and when it develops.

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