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Friction blog

Some might call us passionate about all things film, some may say we are obsessed and some may just come out with it and call us downright geeks. None of it would be wrong.

We’ve created a blog to share our thoughts on new kit, software, movies, and basically all things film and media.

Feel free to read some of it, none of it or all of it. We’d always love to hear your thoughts so always feel free to jump in on any conversations.

 

Friction Five: Dancing in Transylvania

Friction Five: Dancing in Transylvania

Josh Williams (above), one of Friction Collective’s Videographers and Creative Directors went to Romania last year to film with the incredible charity, People Against Poverty. Josh also made this little film; an improvised dance piece filmed on the top of an absolutely beautiful mountain during sunrise. We had lots of questions so asked Yasmin (who heads up all things marketing for us) to catch up with Josh for a quick #frictionfive interview to find out a bit more. You can watch the edit HERE.

Yasmin: Where did you shoot First Light – Transylvania?

Josh: This has been asked before and the truth is I don’t think we ever actually knew the name of the mountain, though it is in Transylvania, Romania, which is a Beautiful part of the country. *Goes on a google investigation* I’ve had to just try and work it out, apparently it is called the ‘Ceahlau Massif’.

Yasmin: What project were you working on at the time?                                                            

Josh: I was there to follow the progress of a project to build a small farm which will support an orphanage in a small town called Perische in Transylvania, Romania. I’ve been on similar trips to make different videos for People against Poverty, the charity behind the projects. The projects have developed so much over the years (definitely check out the videos). After the building is finished the groups then explore some of the more picturesque parts of Romania. Going to this mountain is a new addition and involves a roughly 2 Hour hike each way. We are normally only there from sunset to sunrise. It’s so worth it for the view.

Photo: The Attila Project – which you can check out here.Photo: Some of the Children Josh met when filming The Attila Project.

Yasmin: How did First Light come together?                                                                                  

Josh: I had been up the mountain before and seen it at sunrise, which was actually the first time I got to fly my drone. Just incredible, but I have never particularly been into just filming places, I think I need something to be happening in that place otherwise it doesn’t really interest me enough to spend the time editing it. I was on the look out for a subject and became aware that Brad (Bradley Cull), who was part of the People Against Poverty program, was also very into his dancing. I asked him about it and he was keen from the get go, so we just had to find a spot, Make sure it was cool with the man in charge, then just get up and do it.          

Yasmin: How did you film it and where did you get the soundtrack?                        

Josh: I don’t want to spoil the magic too much but it was actually one of the presets from the drone app, to circle around a subject, I had the control to speed it up or down, or bring it in closer but other then that it just did it itself. Felt like cheating but there is no way I would have been able to get it that smooth and consistent otherwise. The only difficulty was that it doesn’t allow you to be close to the ground whilst doing it, I managed to get around this by taking off 50 meters away where my altitude was about 10 meters lower.  So I tricked it into letting me! One of my ‘go-to’ guys for music is an artist called Josef Efi, I found him on soundcloud a while ago and after getting chatting with him he realised we were actually in the same tutor group in school, which was nuts! He has a radio show on Balamii Radio and he seems to always be up to lots of cool stuff, one to follow! 

Yasmin: Awesome! And finally what are you up to at the moment?                                                                                  

Josh: I’m working on a documentary based on a Venezuelan skater called Jarpy. There’s a lot of crazy things going on in Venezuela at the moment so I’m trying to show a bit of that whilst also following Jarpy, his skating and daily life. It’s been really fun to work on but also incredibly difficult trying to edit a lot of footage which is in spanish…I don’t speak Spanish at all but am getting some much needed help. Very excited to get this video out there soon!

Watch this space! Thanks Josh! 

Friction Five: The Instagram Photographers You Should Follow Right Now.

Friction Five: The Instagram Photographers You Should Follow Right Now.

We had a bit of a mental whip round in the Friction Collective HQ to share with you some of our favourite Instagram accounts that we’ve stumbled upon so far in 2018. We’re constantly blown away by the never ceasing creative machine that is Instagram, which is always inspiring us with our own storytelling and image making. If you don’t already, come and follow Friction Collective @frictioncollective.

 

 

 

1.@Stevemccurryoffical needs little introduction; he’s been a photographer for over thirty years, creating some seriously iconic photography. We’re amazed by how much his photographs tell a story. The old Chinese proverb ‘a picture that says a thousand words’ sums it up nicely.

 

2. @RKRKRK is a Tokyo based photographer who is known for capturing the essence of Akihabara, a place in Tokyo, Japan. After the second world war, Akihabara was known as ‘Electric Town’. It was the place to shop for household appliances, as well as black  market goods. Nowadays it’s known mainly for it’s anime and manga, and video gaming.

 

3. I dare you to scroll through Tobias Haag’s Instagram @airpixels  and not get into some other worldly trance. You can see why global rucksack brand Fjalraven have championed Haag. It’s hard to choose a favourite; each and every one is as enchanting as the last and look like a Tolkien daydream.

4. In his new book, ‘The Last Testament’, photographer Jonas Bendiksen (@jonasbendiksen) documented men who believe they are the second coming of Christ. Over the course of two years, he traveled around the world to meet seven different men who publicly claim they are the son of God returned to earth.

 

5. Ross Symons aka  @white_onrice  quit his day job to make tiny, whimsical origami and we love it. The name comes from the adverb ‘Like white on rice’ which literally means to be as close to something as you can get. You can check out his website here where you can follow tutorials on how to make your own tiny creatures. It’s the little things in life…

 

When Friction Collective met Jasper Thompson

When Friction Collective met Jasper Thompson

An amazing thing is happening in Bristol and it’s culminating in the form of bright yellow painted, corrugated steel; Jasper Thompson, owner of Jasper’s Jamaican Diner is the founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless, who have been converting shipping containers into living accommodation, to provide shelter for those who are without somewhere they can call home.

 

Bristol has a the second highest number of homeless people in England; figures have doubled since 2011.

While government is busy bickering, there is little being done about the issue. Right now, it’s down to us to help. We went down to the diner to speak to Jasper and to check out the containers. The first thing you notice about Jasper is that he is an incredibly busy man, running the restaurant and charity ‘Help Bristol’s Homeless’ is by no means breezy, though he is surprisingly calm in demeanour.

Jasper who is an ex army major, explains how he first began helping people around the streets of Bristol. “It’s funny, you don’t quite notice until you’re looking. I had a bit of spare time on my hands and I just thought to myself, ‘I’m going to do something to help.”

Jasper posted a Facebook status asking if anyone could donate any spare clothes and along with his wife Tania, who now also runs the charity, they went onto the streets of Bristol and gave out soup, clothes and provided hot water for washing. Jasper continued helping on a weekly basis. As the number of homeless turning up increased, so too did the Facebook followers and along with it, the donations. Jasper came up with the plan to use donation money for shelters; at the same time a friend donated a shipping container – and they have been converting them into little, much needed abodes ever since.

Currently Jasper has a number of people working on converting the shipping containers, including some of the homeless people that Jasper has met along the way, all with the promise and incentive of living in them once built.

Jasper hopes to continue this business model across the South West and ultimately nationally.

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If you’d like to find out more or to help Bristol’s homeless and donate online click here.

Friction Five: Drones

Friction Five: Drones

We’re so excited about having acquired our very own drone at Friction Collective, that we thought we’d do a piece celebrating the best in the market. We don’t want to drone on all day though (sorry, not sorry), so here’s our top five selection for 2017.

 

1.DJI Mavic Pro

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DJI Mavic Pro The fold-up, fly-anywhere state of the art in consumer drones £1099

Exactly what UAV fans have been waiting for; a lightweight, portable drone that folds into a package the size of a milk carton, flies for 27 minutes for up to 4 miles away, avoids obstacles, shoots epic 4K footage from a stabilised, auto-focus camera no larger than a thimble, and then lands automatically in the exact same spot it took off from.
You can fly it via Wi-Fi using just a smartphone and gesture control, meanwhile, allows you to take selfies and make the Mavic follow you simply by waving your arms in the air.

2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro Compact prosumer drone gives high quality aerial footage £1546

With four-sided obstacle avoidance and a one-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing 4K footage at a phenomenal 60 frames per second this beauty is perfect those looking for high quality video and photography. The Phantom’s battery has been upgraded and will stay aloft for up to 30 minutes, sufficient time to take it to it’s four mile limit and then back again.

3. GoPro Karma

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GoPro Karma £899

The Karma is compact and collapsible with props in place, much like the DJI Mavic Pro. It’s not as small as the Mavic but still eminently portable. The front-mounted three-axis gimbal accepts the Gopro HERO 4 or 5 and the 4K and 1080p video those cameras produce is pretty good.
The Karma’s maximum range is 3km, not masses but enough for most pilots. Amazingly, users can also remove the camera and gimbal from the drone and clip it into a supplied Karma Grip for smooth cinematic ground footage.

4. Parrot Mambo

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Parrot Mambo £73.99

Cheap and cheerful, this indoor drone hovers in one spot perfectly. It also comes with novelty clip-on fittings that allow it to shoot tiny balls at a target or pick up items the weight of a sugar lump. Top indoor choice.

5. DJI Inspire 2

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DJI Inspire 2 £3000

Last but not least, the DJI Inspire 2. A professional, elite drone. This is definitely the best in the market.
The Inspire 2 is made from carbon fibre and magnesium and its dual battery system and huge motors will take it to a speed of 58mph and a flight time of up to 27 minutes. The landing gear is retractable, allowing pilots, or a second camera operator, to shoot a full 360º panorama. It also comes with forward, downward and upward-facing obstacle avoidance sensors for extra confidence when flying in difficult locations.

Friction Five: Drone Photography

Friction Five: Drone Photography

Instagrammers, photographers and filmographers around the world are using drone technology to capture breathtaking aerial shots of cities and landscapes. It makes for a refreshing and inspiring outlook on both photography, form and the world we live in. There’s so much incredible work out there, here’s just a few of our favourites.

 

Chongqing, China by Nick Chu

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Photographer Unknown

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Accra, Ghana
‘Rush hour lasts all day in Accra!’ – Ofentse Mwase

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A frozen river in the US.
SkyPixel

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The Huia Dam in Auckland, New Zealand. Brendon Dixon

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Friction Five: Do You Speak Video?

Friction Five: Do You Speak Video?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or you have the will power of a saint and haven’t yet succumbed to the social media zombie habits that most of us have been all but consumed by,  you wont be surprised to hear how incredibly popular video has become online.

Entertaining, evocative and educational; video is a language which everyone speaks. In terms of engaging your customers, video does the hard work so you don’t have to, and in an insightful, personal way (if you want it to).

Here’s five quick, digestible reasons why video is the future and how it can help you and your business, whatever it may be.

1.Traffic

We’re not talking road rage, fumes and horns. This is the good kind; engaging humans. The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website that has a video, 50% of mobile traffic is used on videos. By 2019, 80% of traffic in the internet will be due to videos. This is more than 3/4 of virtual traffic. As a business owner, having a killer strategy and a flow of creative video content for your brand is key if you want to stay on top.

2. More clicks

When you include a video in an email, the click-through rate increases by 200% – 300%. This is why heavy text-based emails are replaced by simple yet engaging videos. Make sure to add “video” on your subject line.

3. More SEO

A study that was conducted on search engine results pages revealed that more people prefer video results than text. Videos prove to be eye-catching and interesting. It encourages people to stay longer in a specific site. When you are posting your video to YouTube, make sure that the title matches how someone would search for what you are posting.

4. More Viewers

60% of video viewers are likely to watch more than two-thirds of the video. When compared against text-based marketing methods, videos promise higher rates of retention.

5. Let it shine

And by that we mean your personality. One of the most fundamental benefits of video is to be able to tell your story. Video is a quick and effective way of creatively communicating your passions, your skills and your offer as a business or brand. With video there are a lot of aspects you can control which, when combined together allow your personality to shine through. For example the sound or song choice, the words or dialogue, the way your video is shot, what you choose to shoot or include in the final cut are all creative choices which allow your audience to get to know you a little better, and ultimately feel an affinity or appreciation for you or your brand.

Friction Five: The Rituals of 5 Highly Creative People

Friction Five: The Rituals of 5 Highly Creative People

All creatives know it can be hard to just BE creative on demand. There is no button we can push, no pill we can take. If you’re house is sparkling due to some very successful procrastinating and you’ve ran out of all other possible faffing avenues it might help to look instead at the habits of the creative greats and see how they keep their creative little trains choo-chooing.
If you love these, check out the amazing book by Mason Curry Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

Stephen King

Writer Stephen King starts every day at 8 to 8:30 a.m. and doesn’t stop until he reaches his daily goal of 2,000 words, usually between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Before sitting down to write, he takes a multivitamin with a glass of water or cup of tea and makes sure the papers on his desk are arranged meticulously. “The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day,” he told his biographer, Lisa Rogak, “seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.”

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Bernard Malamud

Bernard Malamud stuck to a disciplined routine from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day which usually resulted in a page or two of finished copy. He scoffed at the idea of mimicking the work rituals of great writers. “You write by sitting down and writing,” he once said. “There’s no particular time or place, you suit yourself, your nature…. The real mystery to crack is you.”

Twyla Tharp

Choreographer Twyla Tharp’s dance begins at 5:30 a.m., when she wakes up, throws on her workout clothes, and calls a taxi to her gym on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put into my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the taxi,” she wrote in her book, The Creative Habit. “The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.”

Maya Angelou

Author Maya Angelou’s solution was to go into isolation. She had trouble writing in her beautiful home because “I can’t work in a pretty surrounding. It throws me.” So she rented a small hotel room with a bed, a wash basin, and little else. “I try to get there around seven, and I work until two in the afternoon,” she told interviewer Claudia Tate. “If the work is going badly, I stay until 12:30. If it’s going well, I’ll stay as long as it’s going well. It’s lonely, and it’s marvellous.” On returning home, Angelou showered and prepared dinner, so that when her husband arrived, she wouldn’t be totally absorbed in her work. But sometimes after dinner she would read to him what she’d written that day. “He doesn’t comment,” she added. “I don’t invite comments from anyone but my editor, but hearing it aloud is good. Sometimes I hear the dissonance; then I try to straighten it out in the morning.”

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Garrison Keillor

Storyteller and radio host Garrison Keillor avoids the lure of the internet by writing on a legal pad with a rollerball pen. “I don’t think that one should sit and look at a blank page,”. “The way around it is to walk around with scrap paper and to take notes, and simply to take notes of the observable world around you…I think everything everything starts with the observable world.”