Life in a Day Wrapped, Phew…

More people were probably filming on the 24th of July 2010 than any other day…

Ridley Scott and Kevin MacDonald invited people to film themselves or someone of interest for the ‘Life in a Day‘ Project that was in conjunction with You Tube and the prestigious Sundance film festival.

Were you out filming..?

What and who did you document? What did you shoot your footage on? Its going to be interesting to see what everyone around the world used – HDSLR’s, HD, Film…….Iphones, Flips….!?

Myself and my crew which consisted of  three of us.  My friend Elisa acted as Producer, assistant and boom op (she wasn’t 100% keen on the last role – Soundies no fear your job is safe) and a friend Shezadi who acted as translator.

Having to rope in your friends is budget film making at it’s best, but the small crew made for some intimate and personal filming which I hope is reflected in the story. Having braved the Summer heat of Dubai and literally dripping in sweat it better had…   Seriously though, having the opportunity to meet and document Ayamatti life in one typical day was worth it alone.

Ayamatti is originally from Kerala, India and is now living and working in Dubai.

He is a proud gardener and general odd job man.  His day starts at 4.30am (when most of us are happily tucked up) with a prayer at his local Mosque, he then sets off on his bicycle to 7 individual villas where he maintains the gardens, washes the cars and generally takes care of business.  After completing his work, at around 12.30pm he returns home to escape the mid day heat (its now approx 50 degrees!), pray and eat lunch (on a piece of newspaper which acts as his table laid out on the floor of his tiny room).

Ayamatti likes to sit for some time and reflect on the day, he said he thinks about his beloved family back home in India that he’s proudly able to support thanks to his hard work and sacrifice of being away from them.

After this reflection Ayamatti visits another local Mosque to have the fourth prayer of the day, before heading back home to relax a little and perform his fifth and final prayer of the day, eat something and have a well deserved kip… all before the clock strikes 4.00am…..

Here’s a clip of Ayamatti getting ready for Prayer

24th July was a busy day for lots of people both in-front and behind the camera.  I am really looking forward to seeing what people filmed and a glimpse into many people’s lives around the world.  It’s a great opportunity for everyone to learn about others, their culture and the lives they lead…..

Here’s a great example of a life in someone’s day….created by Christiaan Van Vuuren

Being kept in quarantine like that must have been horrible… The crew must have been wrapped up in all sorts of gear…!

By the end of our day we were all happy to wrap, plus my triceps hurt, I put that down to holding the 5D MK II out in front of me all day…  I chose to shoot our film 90% hand held, due to the documentary format.  The Z Finder helped keep the 5D steady as it meant I had three points of contact with the camera and also allowed me to see the image clearly for focus, framing and exposure.  If I was planning to shoot a lot of future hand held work on a HDSLR, it would be worth investing in a hand held system like the Double Barrel or something similar to distribute the weight and make it more evenly balanced.

I have shot a few projecst on HDSLR Cameras and hold the mantra ‘It’s not what you shoot it on, but it’s how and what you shoot that is of real importance’. HDSLR cameras such as the Canon 5D MK II are getting so much press especially with DP/Director Philip Bloom promoting them.

When I first used a HDSLR last Summer on a BBC project I thought they were just a gimmick, but now I appreciate them.   The picture quality is really good and the shallow depth of field that can be achieved even with a zoom lens and wide aperture is quite phenomenal, it’s more akin to traditional film than any other digital camera I have used, well that’s in it’s price range anyway…   you know how much I love RED! Especially now the MX sensor has been released!  The only one thing I would say is the ergonomics of the camera don’t initially lend themselves to professional filming, but of course they can be adapted and pimped to do so.

To pimp our your HDSLR, go to:

Now all that’s left to do for both me and the rest of you that took part in the ‘Life in a Day’ project is the edit…….

I guess to create a full feature film they don’t want fully polished edits, with musics, grades or effects, they need  room for some creativity and to ensure the stories work together.  With mine being in Hindi, I am quite happy  as the edit isn’t going to be as easy as it could be… but I like challenges…  I’ve just got to fit this challenge around a weeks worth of shoots before the upcomming deadline.  Plus, I’ve got some clients flying out from Maverick Television based in the UK for this project – we’re shooting on DigiBeta!  Krazy with a K. I know!

In this current High Definition, Internet obsessed, fast moving world there’s nothing like a bit of old school and I’m sure Ayamatti would agree!