Leaking Shower Horror Show

Running a YouTube channel can be hard work and spending days on a video that gets a few views is frustrating. Now things are getting interesting on our Skill Builder YouTube Channel.

We’ve filmed several projects at Abacus Bathrooms in Harrogate over the last three years. Our viewers have found the instructional video series really helpful.

We repair a mouldy shower in this project. It’s touched a nerve with our viewers because the house is only 10 years old. The viewing figures and comments on YouTube are really exploding so we’re happy.

35A Extension – Old Skool SD edit

The recent popularity of our extension projects on the Skill Builder YouTube Channel has prompted us to look through the archives for some gold and when I found some MiniDV footage from 2005 I wasn’t sure if it was worth editing.

Once I got over the fact that it looked really fuzzy and awful, I could see that the content was actually really good and besides, most of our viewers watch on their mobile devices where it doesn’t look too bad at all.

Editing this footage on a system designed to cope with 4k was really super-quick and encoded in no time.

The viewing figures are looking good and the comments have been overwhelmingly positive, so I’m looking forward to digging out the footage and stills for Episode 2.

Impact Driver Showdown

Impact Driver Review – Speed & Power Showdown

We’ve had a lot of fun testing impact drivers from Dewalt, Bosch, Hilti, Makita, Milwaukee, Metabo, Panasonic and Hitachi over the last 4 months on Skill Builder. Every manufacturer of professional power tools was asked to send us their best model for our head-to-head battle.

All of the individual models were reviewed back in December, but the video that our subscribers really wanted to see was the showdown. The Dewalt came out on top, but that doesn’t seem to matter because many of our viewers have picked a colour and will defend their team to the end.

All of the individual tests can be seen below, let us know what you think.

Bosch GDX 18 V-EC – youtu.be/8UifYYM3RbA
Dewalt DCF887 – youtu.be/xTWJzfxhtZY
Hitachi WH18DBDL – youtu.be/KHwS3Tyc0Y4
Hilti SID 4-A22 – youtu.be/cWojSxuQkJE
Makita DTS141 & DTD170 – youtu.be/JvBPhFzsuL4
Metabo SSW 18 LTX 400 Impact wrench – youtu.be/LZvD-9hveXc
Milwaukee M18 FQID – youtu.be/ISE73oT5pLE
Panasonic EY75A7 – youtu.be/QnI2f48ygeg

Sussex Installations

Is Your Van Secure?

Working on the Skill Builder YouTube channel sees us filming all kinds of products across the land, but one of our favourite trips was to Sussex Installations to solve a big problem.

We work with expensive power tools and when you’re travelling long distances to your shoot locations, sometimes you have to leave those tools in the van. We’ve been quite fortunate over the years given the rising amount of tool theft from vehicles but eventually, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get bitten.

We spent the day with Jeff Scott from Sussex Installations along with his workmates Matt and Danny, and filmed them at work making our Vauxhall Vivaro a much more secure vehicle. So, no more door peeling or lock picking and if anybody wants to break into the van it’s going to take quite a bit more effort.

Sussex Installations don’t just work with vans, they can secure your car too. Take a look at their website: www.sussexinstallations.co.uk

BMD Production Camera 4K

Motion Controlled Photography

One thing that’s always frustrated me, is that moment when you’re looking through raw video material and you find what looks like a promising slow relaxed pan. You let the shot play along and observe its beauty, and then halfway through you see a little ‘blip’ that ruins it! This is one of the problems when you work with human camera operators, they make mistakes and they’re not perfect.

Motion control solution

I’ve looked at several motion controlled photography systems over the last few months, but the one that really appealed to me was the Genie from a company called Syrp. When I first saw that it used a rope to pull itself along, I thought it seemed a bit of a Heath Robinson contraption, but then I saw some sample footage and realized, this was no toy. You can even set ease-in and ease-out for perfect complete moves.

We now have our own Genie which we initially used in conjunction with a Kessler Stealth slider and although the results were good, usability was an issue. Part of the Genie’s rope pulling system requires that you fasten two metal clips at either end of the slider, which is a problem with the Kessler slider because there’s not enough space. It’s entirely my fault because both Syrp and Kessler offer complete solutions. Kessler have a motorized solution called elektraDRIVE which is great, but it is bound to the slider. The Genie is more flexible because it can be used in other ways, as demonstrated in their promotional film where it’s used on a skateboard among other things. To complete the Syrp solution and get the most from the Genie we have ordered their modular Magic Carpet slider which will make life easier (we hope).

The video below shows our first batch of test shots from my garden.

P&A Wood Coachworks

P&A Wood Anniversary Open Day

P&A Wood Rolls-Royce & Bentley heritage dealers asked Motion to provide two camera units to follow the events during their 50th anniversary open day celebration.

This fantastic event at Great Easton saw the launch of their new showroom and coach work facilities. The unique parade of vintage Rolls-Royce & Bentley cars and flying display topped a wonderful day.

Canon EOS 650D Video Test

Many freelance camera operators now offer a DSLR acquisition solution to their clients for beautiful cinematic footage that was unobtainable with their traditional video camera. We have used the Canon EOS 5D (Mark II and III) on several shoots over the past few years and the results have been pretty good and the clients very pleased.

On a personal level, this got me thinking that I should stop taking both a Canon EOS 350D and Canon HV30 camcorder with me on holiday when one of Canon’s new EOS models can take care of stills and video. I’d bought an EOS 650D as part of a time-lapse recording project a few months back and decided to try it as an alternative solution to carrying two cameras.

It didn’t take very long to identify a big problem with using this camera for video, at least with the EFS 18-55mm kit lens. Have a look at this clip and you’ll see what I mean.

So, unless I wanted an odd whizzing sound on my personal videos I had to look at getting a different lens. After a little Googling it seemed like the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM was the obvious choice as it had the new stepping auto-focus motor (that’s the ‘STM’ bit) which is quieter and optimized for video recordings.

Three days and £269 later I had my new lens and I’m pleased to say it’s almost silent and I couldn’t hear it at all on the video recordings. The speed of the focus is pretty good too, in a test at my wife’s fashion show it coped well in most situations, but struggled to focus on the models as they walked straight toward the camera.

I can stop carrying two cameras on my travels now. The 650D may not be as quick and easy to use as my trusty old HV30 camcorder, but having just one camera (with one set of batteries and cables etc.) that can produce great stills and video has made life much easier.