Located in ' Boerne, Texas, it is home to 100 acres of Hill Country trails and wilderness. Cibolo Creek is one of the treasures found here that starts from the springs in the outskirts of the city. The nature center has about 3 miles of different trails.
There are four ecosystems at the nature center. When you first arrive, you will see the live oak savannah that is a woodland. After passing the trail head, you will be greeted by tall grass prairie that stretches high and as tall as a human. Further along the trail is the riparian forest, which is absolutely breathtaking. The trees canopy over each other to create a magical scene. You can also walk the boardwalk along the spring-fed marsh which is surrouned by many dragonflies.
Amber and Avery are the cutest mother-daughter duo. I wanted to use a cinematic editing style to create their story. If you look up the definition of the word cinematic it just gives you an umbrella term of anything motion-picture related. To clear things up, I see the word cinematic as being defined as emotional and captivating. I see it as videography that makes you feel, as cheesy as that sounds. Before even getting to our location, I had planned out a couple of the shots I was going to take. The way you film something can change the story of a video so easily. This style of video requires a lot of attention to the details in framing, angles, transitions, camera movement and sound. Sound design can take videography to another level. Post-filming, I knew I wanted to find a soft song to layer with some of the natural sounds that were captured. I chose Ms by Alt-J. The beat of this song really encompasses the feeling I was going for. It ties everything together in a sweet way and adds another element to the cinematic feel.
On the morning of November 4, 2019, we all made our way to Cibolo Nature Center Farm in hopes of getting these types of captivating videos I defined as cinematic. When we arrived, it was clear that Avery was not having it. Even though Avery dug her hands into the dirt within the first five minutes of arriving, and Amber wanted to tear her hair out, there was still something to capture. The entirety of this video was filmed over about 2 hours, and I really had to work to capture the little moments. But boy, did the little moments turn out to be sweet. This experience made it all the better. Through verbiage like “let’s take a nap” and “let’s twirl,” I was able to capture some of the cutest candid footage. Other clips weren’t all that easy and before I cut some of the footage it seemed to not tie into the “cinematic look” I was going for. However, all it took was a couple of strategic video cuts. Unless I told you otherwise, you would never know that Avery actually looked terrified when being spun around. I hope you all cherish the pockets of good moments that were caught on video as much as I do.
They truly share a beautiful and undeniable bond.
During their shoot, I managed to get some candid and posed photographs. I wanted to continue with that cinematic style and add a vintage element. These images were edited in Lightroom to create a light and airy feel. The images of Avery with the leaf give you a peak into her curious and young soul.
The rule of thirds makes a photo so much more pleasant to look at. I really tried to keep this in mind while shooting, but the magic of editing is that you can frame to your liking afterward.
For Brianna’s film, I used the same cinematic style with a focus on sound design.
Sound design is another way to enhance the cinematic effect of a video. Elements to consider are atmospherical sounds, music, and dialogue. These all tie in together to truly create a scene and draw emotion. There are different techniques for this, and I used a balance of foley and location sounds. Foley sounds are created outside of the scene with special equipment and editing. Location sounds are, of course, sound recorded on location. During the shooting phase, try to get as many locations sounds as you can. It helps to think of what your video is going to sound like in the post-production. The key to sound designing is to edit the video first, and then go map and rewatch to map out what sounds you want. After this, you can start layering them on top of one another. This creates more of a realistic feel to your sound.
Sound design can guide an audience into what they should be feeling. I was going for a blissful and peaceful feeling in the visual editing of this to match the scenery. The audio elements in this story have that same feeling and I wanted to make sure that they complimented each other. In this video, I layered wind sounds and leaf crunching. I opened with a monologue and faded into the music. During the transitions where it seems like the footage is going forward, I added “whoosh” noises to match that. There are also more subtle noises that blend into the music that makes it sound more alluring than it would have without them.
I learned that sound design truly takes trial and error to see what will layer well. Some sounds just may just be too distracting on top of each other. Video is fully a visual medium and sound design should be there to serve and enhance not take away. This technique has been used in many of my favorite cinematic videos because of that added element. It is a creative art form and when used correctly, it can create magical scenes. Like I said the goal is to feel something, and sound design does just that.
Incorporating things like depth of field, various angles and close-up shots, can help create a photo story. Attention to little details and using props like the leaf add more to your photos. I like taking photos of the same scene from at least 3 different angles.
I like to get a mixture of symmetrical landscape shots as well as non-symmetrical. Together, all of these images balance each other out. Pose-styling is another thing that can help you achieve a different feel to your images. The "laying" pose she is doing adds a dramatic feel.