Monday, May 10, 2010

first cuts movie + meditation workshop

Last November I experimented with a gopro mounted on a 3 feet stick attached to the end of the boom.
At the time, I quickly checked the result and wasn't particularly impressed by it, so I decided not to invest any time editing it, also because I was plenty busy sailing and surfing... best winter ever!

Lately I needed to free up some space on my hard disk and I ran into those files again. Before deleting them, I thought I'd give the world a sample of the result, in case someone would find inspiration from it (warning: the camera was often hitting the water in the turns...).

The ideal place where I would put a camera for wave riding is somewhere 6 feet behind the sailor's head. I even thought about building a waist belt (or integrating a plate in an harness) with a pole sticking out the back slightly angled up so that the camera would end up being in that magic spot, but no matter how stiff the connection would be, it would still be too wobbly I think...
Plus, being worked in the waves with a 6 feet pole sticking out of your back doesn't sound like the safest thing one can do...

Maybe a little RC helicopter might do the trick, but with a few problems:
- you need someone who controls the helicopter (and he better be reeeally good at that)
- not sure the other sailors would like to have such a thing flying around in the lineup...
Or maybe a little RC boat? Or even better an RC surfer!
Nah, I'll go instead for the idea I just had. I can't sail these days, so I can invest some time building it.

Some more information of introduction are necessary... sorry.

- When a mount is out of reach, the related clips are super long and editing them to find the worthy action is a tedious job. But I did go through all of them (we're talking two complete sessions) and cut only the pieces that I thought contained interesting stuff. When I do this first cut, I'm usually quite "generous", meaning that I include more than what I think it's strictly necessary, because I don't know yet what's coming next and how the whole video will look like.
When I finally got to the end of it, I said:"that's it, I don't want to put more time into this. I'll publish it as it is...".

- In the first session the camera was mounted upside down, so I tilted the video 180 degrees with the editing sw.
(The firmware patch for upside down filming for the HD camera will be available soon here).
The result is that Lower Kanaha now looks like a port tack spot...
Couple of pretty shots with the sun low on the horizon in this one.

- My editing sw/pc combo (Windows Movie Maker/Sony Vaio with 1 GB ram) is showing clear signs of distress when editing this large HD clips.

- Total lenght is almost 16 minutes and when I looked in my library of music to see if there was a song that matched that lenght, I was stoked to find a glorious piece of music (sorry, tastes are personal) that matched perfectly!

My favorite genre of music when I was a teenager was something called "progressive rock". Genesis and Pink Floyd are usually mentioned as two well known bands to describe the genre, but there were many other good ones.
In Italy we had a couple of bands that managed to have a bit of international success. One of them was called Premiata Forneria Marconi (the blog aficionados will remember that I saw a concert of them last year in Italy).
Back in 1974, they recorded an LP called "Live in USA" and I picked a song called Alta Loma Nine Till Five out of it. Once again, a glorious piece of music in my world.
If you don't like it, just turn the volume off... but you'll miss the best part!
The "poor" editing is actually a bit of a shame, because such a great soundtrack (so many mood swings and rhythm changes) would deserve a much better job...

Allright, enough words, here's the video. But before watching it, please follow CAREFULLY the instructions:
1) watch ONLY if you have enough time
2) watch ONLY if you are in a relaxed state of mind
3) watch ONLY if you are in a quite environment and you can connect decent speakers that can reproduce bass frequencies to your computer (or use good quality headphones). Unfortunately the original recording is quite poor, but that makes the requirement for a good sound system even more critical
4) make yourself comfortable, grab your favorite beverage and eventually assume your substances of choice to help you get even more relaxed.

Enjoy (click here to see it a bit larger).

First cuts from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

Second topic of this post is a meditation workshop that my friend Cheyenne is about to start on May 14.
I was so lucky to be invited to one of his workshops and I found it EXTREMELY interesting!
Here's more info (click on the photo to read).

I also put a banner with a link to his website up. Why?

Lately, I've been contacted by a reader from Colorado.
I love what you are doing and it makes little business sense for me to advertise since my business is here in Colorado. BUT, I do live on Maui about 1/4 of the time ... love the Ocean, love to Windsurf etc.
AND I want to support your gig. It's brilliant. Your articles, and your pics are something I look forward to daily.
More so when I am not on Maui, working hard, and counting the weeks till I return.
So my thought is this. Sign me up for a year, and let's promote someone worthy every month. That can be the Humame Society, a local event, a new place to eat, a Yoga studio or whatever.
Let's pick someone who CAN benefit from this great exposure. I could care less that they know it's being paid for by someone else too.
You come up with some ideas, I'll have a few ... and we'll pick some lucky winners.
It will be good Karma for both of us.
What do you think ?

This is what I replied:
That's a brilliant idea! I like it so much that I thought about donating a monthly banner myself too!
You pick yours and I pick mine, and every month two businesses/institutions/events will get a bit of exposure thanks to you and me... how's that?

He's gonna start in June, instead I'm gonna start now and donate a month of banner to Cheyenne and his Paia Meditation Studio. Check it out, he even has online classes.

By the way, just in case you haven't figured it out yet, a month of a banner on this blog is a great original idea for a gift! ;)


Niclas said...

GP, watch Wyatt Miller's videos at He's got some really cool footage when freestyling, using a pole from his harness I think.

Anonymous said...

Check out Ben profitts south africa film which has a custom made harness camera mount which works quite well too.



Rik Belgium said...

Also Ben proffit had quite a cool mount behind his back in South-Afrika...

works pretty well I think...

Robin said...

Hi G.P. check this little GopPro vid from Ben Profitt (

This is an old chest harness with a carbon batten glassed into a wood block which was bolted through the back, allowing the camera to mount on top of the batten. This positions the camera behind and above the sailor's head.



Sharon said...

I've done Cheyenne's meditation workshop twice now and it rocks. You laugh and learn as you begin to see a new way to look at how your mind works, I can't recommend it enough.

cammar said...

Thanks guys.
Both videos were helpful and quite disappointing (from the vision point of view), but they gave me good points.
Actually Wyatt's one wasn't too bad, bummer that he wasn't riding waves.
I emailed Ben a bunch of questions, let's see if he answers.

Thanks Sharon.
Maybe I should attach your avatar to Ben's email to motivate him to answer... :)

Niclas said...

GP, since I've thought about this myself for a long time, I sent a question to Wyatt. His answer:

"It was basically a dakine thermoform harness with a metal plate bolted to the back. then welded to the metal plate was a bendable tube of aircraft aluminum that rose above my head and back a bit. It worked really well and never hit me in the head or anything. I was really surprised how stable it was. Definitely worth while."

cammar said...

Thanks Niclas.
I think the magic spot is a little more upwind of the sailor, and definitely lower, rather than over his head.
And maybe slightly off to the side, so that the sailor's butt won't be exactly in the middle of the screen.
I'm not sure you can get there with a harness mount like that, so I was thinking to either something connected to the board or to the rig...

Anonymous said...

Haha.. don't worry i'll answer!! I'm pretty good like that ;) ...although.. after saying the angle of the footage is shit! ..I might not bother!! haha

p.s To be fair it's not my design. Paul Wagstaff (Waggy) from Bay sports in CapeTown designed it. Might be worth dropping him a mail.

he has the mounting and can tell you length of pole etc..

I can tell you though i got rinsed and no problems at all.. but it wasn't a hookipa rinsing!!

Camera was angled as far down as it would go.. i prefered the view!! ha

cammar said...

Thanks Ben.
I guessed you weren't too impressed by that footage judging by how little of it you used in your clip...
Awesome sailing, by the way!

Anonymous said...

Yeah.. thats the problem with any of that sort of footage.. It's a really good edition but you dont want too much!
I like to mix it up a bit.. which the Gopro is great for!

I am going to try it with a bigger pole.. so i'll let you know how it goes!

Hope you have more wind than we do here!

cammar said...

Please! And post some photos of the rig on land...

I agree that mixing up different angles is the way to go.
But that takes time and I usually prefere to keep the blog rolling and quickly slap together videos from one angle as soon as I take them.
It helps giving the idea of a frequently updated "diary"...

You sponsored guys instead are probably more focused on producing high quality videos once in a while, rather then multiple lower quality videos every other day...

By the way, in case you haven't seen it yet, here's the best gopro windsurfing video I've seen so far.
A lot of work behind, but lovely end result:

Anonymous said...

Totally agree.. the diary feel is good.. I'll have to get back to doing mine a bit more regular! Been slack since i got all my camera equipment stole a bit ago!

As far as the gopro goes, i'm getting into it. But i've only just bought one.. last week! The one in the movie was one i borrowed off a mate! But i reckon there is a lot of potential to get a killer angle.. good luck in the quest!

p.s Movie is good.. certain top/bottom turns/aerials etc look better from different angles.. nice! I like the end of the boom mount for riding.. looks good!

Anonymous said...

Good job: can u tell me something about hardware and software u use to edit your clips ?

cammar said...

Hardware is described in the post. SW is Windows Movie Maker (I converst the mp4 files into avi before editing) and as I was saying in the post, the combo is now showing its limits with big hd clips.