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The Proverbial "film" is Rolling!

Updated: Jun 25

I'm pleased to announce that the pieces are slowly coming together for my Ottawa Valley short film I talked about in my last blog post! I have the theme of the video nailed down and I created a list of locations to include. A story that I will narrate over the video is coming to life, drawing from my childhood experiences and my fascination with abandoned places. To date, I've already visited 20+ locations and shot 70+ video clips. The results have been very pleasing thus far!


Screen captures from the short film



So Many Stories


When I sit down and start putting ideas to paper, I realize how many different videos I could possibly make regarding Pembroke and the Ottawa Valley area. So many great memories come rushing back to me - fishing with my Dad and Grandfather, bike rides to the Petawawa catwalk with my Mother, family camping at Achray, Sunday road trips on the Opeongo Colonization road to the old cabin, and long drives down HWY 41 to attend college. All these memories will need to wait for their story to be told. For now, I'm focusing on something different.


All these memories will need to wait for their story to be told

Framing the shot at Pembroke Champlain Trail Museum - photo credit Sylvia Whitmore



Finding Direction


With so many possible roads to wander down, I kept gravitating back towards my hobby of hunting down old ghost towns and abandoned artifacts. Focusing further on this, I came up with the following themes to guide the story and video:

  • the hay-day is over

  • whisper in time

  • provide no answers, only questions

  • I come from the valley

Theme in hand, I dug through my old photos and books and compiled a list of locations that would suit the video theme:

  • Balacalava

  • Newfoundout

  • Cache Lake Train Trestle

  • Killaloe Mill

  • Calabogie Steam Engine

  • Petawawa Catwalk

  • Arnprior Chain links & tracks

  • Abandoned Locks near Petawawa

  • Lake Traverse Log Chute

  • Brent Log Chute

  • Algonquin Logging Museum

  • Pembroke Champlain Trail Museum

  • Lime Kiln

  • Indian train station on B trail

  • Woito Station Rail Line Bridge

  • Pansy Patch Park

  • Eganville Mill ruins

  • Mattawa Train station

  • Old steel factory in Pembroke

  • Barn at Upper Valley

  • Madawaska mill ruins

Capturing video at Eganville Mill Ruins



Video Technical Details


I decided to shoot all the video clips in 4K resolution instead of the typical 1080 that I usually choose. The (new to me) Canon 1DX Mark II allows me to capture high bitrate motion jpeg (MJPG) video files that look absolutely stunning! On a bit of a side note, I'll need to upgrade my computer video card for the final edit since my 12 year old unit really doesn't handle 4K without running out of memory! For the color profile, I settled upon CineTech by Vision Color for a beautiful film like look that gives blues a unique aquamarine color cast. Frame rate is the standard 24fps to achieve the typical cinematic look our eyes have become accustomed to when watching film. The Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L III USM is my go-to lens as it offers a nice wide angle when needed. To slow the shutter speed down, I'm using a B+W ND filter.


Canon 1DX Mark II - Canon's Flagship Photo/Video DSLR Camera


What's Next?


I want to keep a consistent look throughout the final video. I made a point to film before the green leaves had arrived and, when possible, on cloudy days. The goal is to have a gloomy forlorn feel, one that will trigger the sense of abandonment of the locations. Because of this, filming outdoor locations is on hold for now. Summer will be spent on capturing video from indoor locations and working on the story narrative.


The goal is to have a gloomy forlorn feel, one that will trigger the sense of abandonment

So stay tuned folks! And if you have a location you think might suit well with the video theme, please get in contact!


Till next time ✌

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