A mountain, two Norwegians and a camera

It was a beautiful day in the beginning of January. The snow had settled like a white blanket covering the earth. I grabbed my camera and a shoulder rig before heading to the pickup spot. The blue VolksWagen shot over the bridge in high-speed and the breaks squeaked a little bit before the car stopped in front of me. I put my gear in the back and hopped into the front seat next to my friend Benjamin.

Let the adventure begin.

I think we all have some friends that we just know we are going to do fun stuff with for the rest of our lives. Benjamin is one of those friends for me. We’ve been making films, playing music and designing websites together for a solid amount of years. Back in January, we decided to go on an adventure and just film something. Everything was really spontaneous. We knew we were going to film something that would fit Benjamin’s music, and we knew we wanted to go to a mountain. From there, we just drove through the country side of Norway and stopped along the road when we saw something cool.

One of the things I learned with this project is how key lighting is. We shot this during a whole day, but the light in Norway at the time is almost a full day of “the golden hour” (which is a time of day where the light is really colourful and soft), which usually just appears one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset.

The second I learned was this: location, location, location! How much do we really want to sacrifice to get the best location possible? We could have settled for something less, but deciding to climb the mountain and getting to the amazing view. It really paid off!

I’ve discovered this about myself, that I need a reason to film. I’m not the kind of person who enjoy to just capture nature and random things that pop up. It needs people in there, because with people, you suddenly have a story. It can be as simple as getting from point A to point B, but it makes the video way more interesting.

Anyways, have a look at the video and let me know what you think! Anything you like or dislike? Or maybe you agree or disagree with something I wrote? Would love to hear back from you!

One last thing! If you want to hear more from Honestly, please check them out on their websiteYouTube or Spotify!

Enjoy!

– M

Smoke Lay Low – Honestly from Morten Furre on Vimeo.

What do you have?

I love to follow the NAB show that is currently going on in Las Vegas. The different companies bring out the new cameras, gadgets, software updates and so on. It’s exciting, because technology is moving forward, and we are getting bigger and better tools to make movies and tell out stories.

On the other hand, I get a bit sad. I look at all the new goodies coming out. The cameras, lenses, gimbal stabilizers and so on, and it all seems so far out of reach!

I am a low budget filmmaker. At the moment, I don’t have the money to invest in a lot of gear or to rent anything better. I own a Canon 550d, two lenses, a tripod, a shoulder rig and some audio gear. To be honest, I don’t always like my camera, and wish I had better gear all the time. But the truth is that I am really lucky to even have what I have.

One thought that struck me a while back when I was wishing and dreaming about a new camera was this: If I learn to use the gear I have now, I set myself up for a win when I get the chance to upgrade. If I can’t tell a story properly with a $450 camera, then I probably won’t be able to tell the story with a $2500 camera or $20 000 camera.

One movie that I really like is “Monsters” directed by Gareth Edwards. The reason I really like this movie is because it was written, directed, shot by Gareth Edwards himself. On set, which was different places around South America, most of the time the crew consisted of him, the two actors and a sound guy. His camera was a Sony PMW-EX3 with a 35mm adaptor at the front, giving him the option of putting DSLR lenses on it. Several times in the movies, the quality of the images itself isn’t good at all because of how the camera handles low light. But none of that really matters, because the story gets told and mr. Edwards just decided that he had an idea, and he was going to use what he had access to, and just make the movie. (Btw, I highly recommend to check out the behind the scenes for the movie.)

Alright, to wrap it up: My point isn’t to despise better cameras or to make you think that “I never should upgrade to better gear unless I am able to tell the story first.” In fact, better equipment are greater tools to tell the story! What I found is this: Usually he people who have done something great in this world was not hindered or stopped because of what they didn’t have, but they took what they had and made something great out of it.

So what do you have? Would be great to get some comments about gear and even see some videos that you have made with what you had access to! It can be anything from a high end production to a home video. Leave a comment and let me know.

– Morten

‘Thief!’ or ‘Thief?’

Where does the line between being inspired by something and copying go?

I remember when I first started doing graphic design. I said something like “I am not going to copy or use anything made by people from the internet. I’ll make all the graphic elements my self..” There is probably no need to say that this didn’t get me really far.

It is so easy for us today to go online and get inspired, find resources and learn from tutorials. And with everything available by just a quick google search, it is also so easy for us to just copy what we see and make it “our own”. I mean, who is going to find out if I use a design for something?

Or what about filmmaking? There are lots of movies out there that build on the same concepts, and even comes close to the same story. Are they just inspired by the same thing, or did something think they could “copy” something, tweak it a little bit and make it work? In my “Storytelling” class at my college we learned about the concept of “Reinvention”. It is basically taking a story and putting it in another setting. Our assignment in that subject was to write a short film, based on a bible story. This was a great exercise, and I loved writing the script. But it raises the question if I was just copying and tweaking, or actually being inspired to tell a story in a different way.

I guess this could be an endless discussion. I just thought I’d ask the question.

What do you think? What separates copying and being inspired, and where do you draw the line? Would be great to get some comments on this.

– Morten

Go! Go! Go!

A couple of weeks ago, my “Location Camera” class teacher walked in and gave us the task for the day: Make a 2 minute skit that is awkward and takes place in a car. Deadline: 3 hours. Let’s go!

Now, this has happened before. We got a small list of guidelines for the skit and off we went. Last time, I was prepared. I already had a script that I wanted to film, so it was easy. This time though, I was not prepared at all. And, as mentioned in my last post, my brain went “Nothing Found”. Luckily, my friends and I got an idea after 45 minutes of brainstorming, and we pulled it through. (I’ll see if I can get a link to it sometime soon.)

In spite of the stressfulness of these turnarounds, I actually really enjoy them. The reason is that we get challenged to just make something. ANYTHING! Just get the task done. Most of the time, what we produce isn’t going to be the next big YouTube hit or make it to a short film festival. It does however, challenge us to take what we already have learned, our skills and ideas, pull it together and produce something that we all can enjoy and have a laugh at.

The second reason that I like these kind of projects is that they require that I work with my class mates as a team. I quickly realise that I can not create the idea, film, act and edit all by myself. In the end, if I ever am going to create a feature film or do any massive projects, I need more people around me that can help out. It’s not about me at all, it’s about telling the story together.

– Morten

“Nothing Found”

That’s what welcomed me when I first opened this blog. The reason? I hadn’t posted anything yet. (Obvious, I know..)

This happens to me a lot, especially when I am trying to find ideas for a new story or just being creative in general. My brain tells me: “Nothing Found”. So I sit there. Trying to dig through all distractions and working with every single hint of an idea that I can possibly think of. But again, I usually end up on “Nothing Found”.

What I realised was that the more I try to look for an idea, the harder it is. Usually, the best ideas that I’ve had has come when I really don’t think about it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I’m just going to walk around and do nothing, then one day something big is just going to hit, and that’s when I’m going to start writing. I believe I need to write and work on my creativity every day (That’s partially why I started this blog). My point is that when inspiration hits, I write it down. It can be as short as a small note on my phone, or I sit down and write the first pages of a script. That way, I’m not stressing out when it seems like my brain is going “Nothing Found”, but rather just relax and take a hold of inspiration when it strikes.

– Morten