The Good Stuff

Credits:

Cast: Mo Younes
Copy Writing: Sherif Mokbel / Derek Mullings
Voice Over: Nigel Glasgow
Aerial Cinematography/VFX: Ihab Ali (icon-ap.com)
Music/Sound Design: Khaled Hamdy (khaledhamdy.net)
Special thanks to the Panasonic team: Hitesh Ojha / Aymen Elkhidir
Production: circus-studios.com
Script/Cinematography/Edit/Directing: Sherif Mokbel

It was an honor and a pleasure to be chosen to shoot and direct the Panasonic Middle East GH3 official Launch short film.

To really put the camera to the test, I chose a sports theme project to mostly be shot at night using the minimum resources possible from lights, gear, crew and most of all… NO BUDGET!
The reason is that the camera is an amalgam of a Pro DSLM (mirrorless) caged in a compact body, and it caters to both Pros and amateurs equally. So basically you can achieve Pro Results, even with the minimum setup… yet with a lot of ideas.

Since I am a Canon user, it was quite interesting for me to get my hands on the GH3 especially after seeing how its predecessor the GH2 shook the market.
My first impressions were very positive especially after I shot a comparison test video with my 5D mark III (Watch here: vimeo.com/62269059). I realized that I have a much sharper compact camera that can shoot at 50FPS in full HD! Which pretty much put my 5D in an embarrassing situation!
IMPORTANT NOTE: I was not paid to shoot or to praise the camera. All thoughts and opinions on this camera now and in the future are my own and will never be influenced by any monetary or contractual arrangement.

Impressed by quality and results, I decided to push the camera to the limit and shift my gears to guerrilla filmmaking. Here’s my plan…

Gear:
A tripod and a monopod!
With the only exception of an RC Copter used in the aerial shot in the last scene, since I wanted to make use of the the camera's lightweight and get some creative angles.

Lighting:
Harnessing the available streetlights was my mission... Pretty hard task I must say... but it worked
Single AA battery Powered palm sized LED light was scarcely used for rim lights.
My car headlights were also used as a floodlight when shooting in pitch-black environments (in the first scene with the Hoodie still on till he took it off).

Lenses:
Panasonic Leica DG 25mm f:1.4 was mainly used the in 90% of the film.
Lumix G 14mm Pancake was used in the aerial shots.
Lumix 12-35mm was used when the light was fairly usable at f:2.8 mainly in the early morning shots right before the aerial shots.

Camera setup:
MOV at 50 Mbps
50FPS
ISO 1600

Crew:
Copter operator: The aerial scenes were shot by my genius Robotics engineer friend Ihab Ali who built the copter himself initially for his GH2.
Gaffer: I used my sister in law once to hold the LED light in the first hoodie scene.
Apart from that it was me operating the camera alone.

Post Production:
I edited the film myself on FCPX, and with the help my copter friend Ihab, we managed to stabilize and clean the aerial shots.
Extra dust was selectively added using mDusts (motionvfx.com/store,mdusts,3,99,1,1.html)
Lens flare was added using mFlare (motionvfx.com/store,mflare,3,68,1,1.html)

Music and sound design were composed by my talented composer friend Khaled Hamdy. A very well crafted piece I must say that really lifted the whole project to a higher level.

j vimeo.com/62274504

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