GoPro Paintballing - How it was made...

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First of all I want to state this isn't a commercial video and I'm not being paid by either Point Blank or GoPro (as awesome as that would be) to make this video.  I made this video as an experiment to see what i could get with the GoPro Hero2; and this is the first video i've made with it so far.  It was all shot at 720p and 60fps so I could slow the footage down to get more detail on the fast action, sacrificing image quality from 1080p though.  I also set it to timelapse mode twice to get a high quality image and a different style.  

My plan was to take the GoPro and as many attachments both official and makeshift to get the most interesting angles I could manage with what I had at my disposal, this included:
     GoPro Head Strap
     GoPro Helmet Front Mount
     GoPro Vented Helmet Strap
     K-edge High Handlebar Mount for GoPro
     and Cricket Bat Rubber Handle Sleeve to cushion the handlebar mount

First of all I set the camera to the wide setting, which is 170 degrees wide, I did this to be certain I got the whole image in that I wanted; as there is no screen I could never be certain I wasn't cropped stuff out.  I started off with the camera on the end of the barrel looking back at me to get a reverse first person perspective in a snorricam style image; with the world moving behind me as the gun and myself stay in the same position.  My plan was to change angles each time we came back to the main area between games so I had a range of angles to edit with; hoping to fake cuts of reverse angle and then people being shot etc etc.  

We were there for the full day and played around twelve rounds of paintball, and was a variety of different game types in different locations at the Point Blank site.  I came away with 90 minutes of footage to cut down to what I wanted to make into a 2-3 minute video.  

When I got the footage back I noticed that there were shots that were very very short, like 1 second short.  I realised that the camera had cut out on it's own repeatedly throughout the day meaning I was missing angles I wanted and/or action shots at those angles; I could tell this because as we all know every GoPro video starts with a blurry, out of focus image of fingers or a hand or someone's confused face asking 'is it filming?  oh there we go'.  And some of footage started and stopped with no one near the camera.  I am assuming this was down to the camera being on for around 8 hours and in direct sunlight for most of that.  The most footage I had was in the forest areas, leading me to believe the camera was cooler here in the shade and therefore didn't overheat as often.  One angle I was particularly looking forward to was the shot looking down the front of me revealing the helmet, the gun, feet, everything (a short snippet is at the beginning of the video).  The video stops as we arrive at one of the game fields and didn't start again, about three seconds before it stops I lean over to ask my sister if it still has a flashing light, she says it does and then the footage stops when i stand back up properly.  Within the first few days I had extracted some stills from the timelapses and placed them on my 500px (link below) and shown them to Point Blank who really liked them.  

It's taken me till now to get the video edit done for several reasons, one being that I work full time, so I don't have every hour to spend on it but also the project was massive due to all the footage and lastly finding the right music.  I wanted a piece that was edging on techno/dance music that's used in other GoPro videos including the official ones but I struggled to find something I wanted to pay money to use; this went one for weeks and months, and theres no point me starting the actual edit without the soundtrack.  I was initially looking on the Vimeo Music Store due to the low prices for personal use but found very little on there I liked and also the website design for it is so difficult to navigate that I got fed up and went elsewhere; If i was going to put this together it had to be the right track and not just second rate.  I tried The Music Bed that struck me instantly as a better store with more control and a far higher quality of music.  I stumbled upon Salomon Ligthelm's track VRSN and loved it instantly, it seemed short (although it ended up being a power struggle to make the footage fit the time) but the pace was good, I liked the sounds used, it felt professional and it seemed like it would fit.  I downloaded the trial version and got cutting; this was in late October.  

I didn't purchase the song till the 18th of this month as until then I wasn't 100% sure I would release the video, as I wasn't very happy with the lack of action footage I had, which mainly came down to the camera stopping of it's own accord but also the wide angle meant anything of me shooting at distance or wide angles of fields looked like no one was playing but me; and that wasn't exactly what I was going for.  

Lastly grading and the sound FX.  Obviously I wasn't using the in-camera audio as it is mostly the paintballs rattling around but also it was in the waterproof casing meaning very little audio reached the small mic and is tinny anyway, although that end shot is the in-camera audio, I did however add gunshot sound FX to add more power.  I was grading natively in Premiere and started out with the usual 'Brightness and Contrast' setting, to get an initial look and then built layers up including unsharpen mask to sharpen the image, simple colour corrector to lower the saturation, a tint of brown to both blacks and whites (10 or 15% depending on the shot), to make it dirty looking, another contrast filter to make the brown seem more natural and finally Colorista II to pick out darks and raise highlights and generally make adjustments to match the shots together which involved adding green to the shadows, blue to the mid-tones and orange to the highlights but this differed slightly on some shots.  

I hope you enjoy the video and I would love to hear anyone's opinion and feedback either on here or on Vimeo.  

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