Phil gets into a TUFF one.

[Caution Stobe Warning: there are parts of this video that may be troublesome for folks that are sensitive to strobing.]

[September 12th, 2012, Wednesday Update: Today the silent version is playing all over the Toronto Transit System's video screens. To celebrate, I have replaced the 480p silent version (festival version) with the premiere of the HD with music version only on this Vimeo site. This is still a work in progress as it only represents 1/3 of the final version which remains in post production while I write this update. Thank you for your interest.]

I am pleased to announce that the Toronto Urban Film Festival has selected my “Blueprint for Travel rev. 1.2” for exhibition. This is part one of a three part work in progress. The piece will be screened in the festival as well as on the video screens that serve the Toronto Transit System. The TUFF criteria included silent and exactly one minute. It blows my mind that my work will be viewed by so many commuters.

I also have a chance at winning the “TUFF 2012: VIEWERS' CHOICE AWARD” (Awarded to the film that receives the most online votes during the 2012 festival).

Let’s face it, it’s an election year!

I would be honored if you voted for my video here:

Voting started on Wednesday, September 5th, and continues until 12 noon (Toronto time) on Friday, September the 14th. People can vote once per day, and will have to log in to vote.

As we say in Chicago "Vote early and often!"

More info about this film festival here:

In the coming days I will update this silent version with a 1080p music version on this Vimeo site and let you know.

Thanks, and all the best to you and yours,

Camera: Sony HDR-CX500v
Editing Suite: Sony Vegas Pro 10

This whole piece is from a 5 minute take while traveling on an Amtrak train passing the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge (newer one on right) and the Carquinez Bridge (older one on left) in Crockett, California in July 2011. After I finished editing this into "Blueprint..." back in June, 2012, I took two more trips on the same rails to get the needed filage to finish parts 2 and 3 which is still in post production.

I think there are two major factors contributing to the stabilization: one would be that the camera is truly on rails, and the other being that the train slowed from about 65 MPH down to around 35 MPH while passing through Crockett.

The most expensive dolly in the world, an Amtrak train, is almost free for all of us to use (about $32 USD for a round trip ticket between Richmond and Suisun/Fairfield, California, less than 35 miles one way).

Rail shot pointers: bring a rag to clean at least the interior window, choose the upper deck as the outside windows are a bit cleaner, press the camera to the window and hold it steady, shoot with your widest angle lens at infinity, lock down your exposure, bring a spirit bubble level with double stick tape and mount it to the camera top, keep an eye on it and the camera display.

On my most recent trips I used a semi-fisheye wide conversion lens. In this case I needed to be more careful about light leaks from the lens edge, and I used a Joby Gorillapod to assist on holding the camera steady against the window by spreading it out in a horizontal T formation, put your hand on the vertical part of the T. Also, use the rag that you wiped the window with as a cover over the outside of the conversion lens to prevent edge light leaks.

Finally, the angle of travel with regard to the Sun is crucial in exposing or in this case not exposing how dirty those outside windows truly are.

j vimeo.com/48982407

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