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Commercial, Documentary, and Creative Filmmaking
Portraiture, Commercial, Creative Photography
Editing, Color Grading, Audio Mastering, and Finishing
Salt Water Surf & Supply
Instagram Video, Directed by Calvin Ha, 15sec
Hairy and Merry Pet Spa & Dog Wash
Web Commercial, 90sec
Spec Travel Promo Video, 2min
DVD Title Menu
Web Commercial, 30sec
I started BumfordStudio in 2013, rounding out a diverse work history that included aviation, cartography, post-secondary education, and fabrication. Taking pride in my work and my clients, I have a strong passion for projects that open eyes and tell stories. In my free time I enjoy surfing, photography, learning languages, reading about science, and programming.
Documentary and Dramatic Filmmaking
Editing, Color Grading, Audio Mastering
Spherical/Cube Interactive Panoramas
Commissioned Paintings and Drawings
Per Project Rates
Each project is unique and custom-quoted. Please call or e-mail to discuss your project and quickly receive an estimate or detailed proposal.
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BumfordStudio, based in San Diego, provides a local alternative for professional video services. All aspects of production, from start to finish, are handled in-house.
Even with commercial video projects, the goal is to tell a story in a cinematic way.
I partner with local cinematographers, sound recordists, and other production professionals, and together we are able to produce first-rate content for online or broadcast distribution.
If you are considering using BumfordStudio as your production company for commercial, documentary, or creative purposes, I would be happy to learn about your project. We also enjoy recording live music performances and producing music videos.
Also, if you are assembling a production team and are in need of a 1AD, editor, or colorist, do not hesitate to call.
Editing is my favorite part of the post-production process--it's when I get to see the creative vision begin to take form as a finished work.
There is a strong artistic component to editing. Making decisions at this stage requires careful listening to the "creative conscience," and, of course, trial and error.
I put a lot of weight in the advice that Walter Murch offers in his classic book on editing, In the Blink of an Eye. Generally, I look at the first frame of a shot as a photograph, and always mark the last frame in real time, usually watching silently.
The idea for finding the ideal mark out time is to watch in real time and mark the cut, then note the frame, and go back and do it again. If, on the second go, the last frame was different, I'd ask myself why--was there something about that action that needed to be truncated (or extended)? After watching the shot again, and watching for a few seconds beyond the mark-out point, I'd try it again. After a couple tries, I should know if I am "on time," by trying to let the action itself dictate when the shot is complete.
Walter Murch's explanation for why cuts work in movies is because we blink. I try to find that natural moment to blink and shift the attention to the composition of the next shot. Of course, one can force cuts sooner or hold shots longer to influence the audience. After all, Murch's breakdown of the elements to the perfect cut ranks emotion number one!
When there is a score, I choose carefully when certain cuts or actions on screen occur with respect to the time signature of the music to build rhythm, tension, or resolution.
When I think that I am finished with an edit, I leave it alone for a while, then watch it again to see if any cuts seem forced or unnatural. When it looks like the movie made itself, then I know I am finished. It's not an easy state to arrive at, but that's what deadlines are for!
Color Grading is another one of my favorite things to do--I should just say that every part is my favorite part, since I am a filmmaker at heart! It is particularly rewarding to grade the color, especially when shooting with a true cinema camera. While editing puts the story back in order, coloring puts the life and emotion back into the picture.
Every project is unique, but generally, I have a pretty straight-forward workflow when it comes to coloring. I start with applying two primary corrections. The first is for exposure and dynamic range, and the second is for temperature. Now that I have a "color-corrected" shot, the third step is to fine-tune certain areas within the frame, like areas that might be too bright or dark, including tracking certain objects with masks. Fourth, I apply a "grade," that is, using the color in the scene to set a mood. There might also be colors that need to be shifted if two different cameras were used in the same scene. Last, I check the color continuity of the shot within its scene compared to the other camera angles. For example, if there is one certain shot within a scene that looks particularly great, I will use that as a reference by which to color the other shots.
The software does have a shot-matching feature and the option to save corrections as "looks" to apply to other shots, but sometimes that will only get me so close, and sometimes the results are unexpected. Getting the color "right" requires the experience of knowing what change each shot needs to match my chosen "reference shot," and then knowing how to apply that change. Most often, it takes some trial and error, like going too far one way and then bringing it back, or stepping up incrementally until "that's it." This process is very similar to the way I mark out a shot while editing. I am trying to find a natural point that is determined by the scene.
It's important to consider both the linear progression of a film and the story as a whole, so I also compare adjacent scenes, and consider the context of each within the entire project. Characters change over the course of a film, and so do their perceptions of their environment. It's the "color" of their view.
Audio Mastering is a vital part of the finished work, and I would say that the audio is at least 50% of the equation. The audio of any project must be of professional quality--there is just no way around it!
In its simplest terms, the video work comprises shooting, editing, and color grading. Analogously, the audio process comprises recording, mixing, and mastering.
For recording, I hire a sound recordist on projects requiring scripted dialogue or the use of a boom mic. On single-person interviews, I like to use a wireless lavalier, and for background sounds, a stereo recorder.
With mixing, I take the same approach to dialogue, foley, and score as I do with mixing music. I am trying to guide the listener by focusing on certain things in the mix. It's just like separating instruments with EQ and amplitude automation. I use the same principle to spotlight an off-camera piece of dialogue or to decide when the score should swell in and overtake the background sound.
My approach to mixing is similar to color-grading in that I try to take a step-by-step approach. While not always in exactly the same order on the effects rack, I will raise the gain as necessary to remove the excess headroom and compress or limit the harsh transients. I remove unwanted noise using a combination of parametric EQ, FFT filters, and custom notch filters. These reduce the noise from things like air conditioners, very high frequency whines, and environmental noises like construction equipment. I am generally very conservative when it comes to noise reduction, and would rather re-record something if possible. It's almost always faster and easier than "fixing" it. If necessary, I use a very minimal application of the noise reduction process and redraw the frequency threshhold for the noise floor. I use parametric EQ to cut or very slightly boost a certain aspect of a performer's voice or to correct for an echo in the room that was hard to hear while recording. I usually wrap up with a multiband compressor specifically tailored to the performer's voice in the scene.
Like color-grading, now that I have the audio "neutral" and "balanced," I can mix the sync audio, music, and background tracks together and add in the foley that will boost the sense of "being there." I may go back to the edit and make decisions about when a character starts or finishes a line off-camera. I often combine tracks into submixes at this point to automate pan and amplitude, and, if necessary, a master compressor.
Finishing involves titling, credits, graphics, and exporting the finished project into the required format for distribution. This could be encoding for an embedded video on the web, for broadcast, or for Blu-Ray or DVD. There may be some last minute changes that need to be made to any of the other steps in the process, which is becoming easier with the increasing amount of integration between the various kinds of Adobe Creative Cloud software.
Matching a Canon 6D (left) with the BlackMagic Pocket CC (right).
Notice the secondary correction done to the table in the background to match the blue Canon hue with the aqua of the BMPCC.
An example of a parametric EQ curve for an interviewee that aggressively filters a high frequency whine at 11.3kHz. Notice the boost at the low end to adjust for an undesirable echo in the room and the high and low pass filters.
An exaggerated example of a notch filter used to reduce the sound of a jackhammer in the distance. Notice the black gaps on the spectral display to the right of the playhead, even with the lines representing the harmonics of the jackhammer. Typically, notch filters are used to eliminate electrical outlet noise at the fundamentals of 50 and 60 Hz and their harmonics.
Broadband noise reduction using a noise print and redrawing the tolerance curve of the noise floor to affect only frequencies below approx. 4kHz.
This grade for footage shot with the Sony F35 used 4 layers: One to spread the values, another to neutralize the temperature, a third for fine-tuning, and a fourth for temporal matching across the duration of the interview.
Editing non-scripted, documentary-style projects often results in finding hidden surprises--shots that reinforce one another through congruity in composition, symmetry, emotion, or action.
Editing scripted projects can be a truly enjoyable experience. It is a process of both rediscovery and creation, guided not only by the original script, but also by the genesis of the unfolding story.
Portraiture is far and away my favorite aspect of photography currently, since people are my favorite subject. I really love taking pictures of people outdoors using available light, and also have a portable studio for indoor portraits.
Commercial photography services on offer include documentary, event, and marketing photography, and also spherical panoramas for touch interaction.
Creative photography is something I am constantly discovering, questioning, wondering about, and doing. I like the versatility of photography because it can be used to freeze a moment in time, tell a story, or relay an emotion. It can show people things that they've never seen before nor will ever see. It can make people realize something about the world they didn't notice with their own eyes. It's not just about capturing light, but sharing something about how you see the world with others.
Retouching digital files to correct for skin tone, blemishes, fly-away hairs, etc., is available on a per-project basis.
Painting commissioned works in oil on canvas is something I really like to do when there is a break between the bigger video projects. Drawing and painting are at the core of my artistic roots, so it is always nice to return to them.
I spend a lot of time creating studies for a painting's composition before beginning. This includes sketches and small quick paintings to see what I like before setting off on the full size canvas. Setting a strong composition to begin with sets the momentum for the rest of the painting.
In my early college days, I experimented with dadaism and surrealism, including automatic drawings that I would start with no preconceived notion of what the drawing ought to become--I was expressing a state of mind with composition and color. Later, the more I concentrated on the composition and subject, the more clearly my idea was expressed.
I credit painting with giving me the eye for color demanded in grading video footage and editing digital photographs. Although the colors of pigments in paint and the wavelengths of light combine in different ways, it's just a small step from the physical palette to the digital color space.
Hummer H2 Brake Rotor, oil on canvas 30" x 40"
San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden
Documentary-Style Training Video, 2min Excerpt
Shot matching a Canon DSLR (left) with a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera (right). After correcting for the dog's coat and the floor, a secondary layer was applied to the table in the background, which is rendered blue by the Canon, and aqua by the BMPCC
Sony s-log from an F35 digital cinema camera graded neutrally to bring life to the interview subjects while reflecting the peaceful setting of the Japanese garden. The greenish cast from light reflected from the foliage outdoors has been subdued.
The narrow horizontal lines on the left side of the playhead are frequencies from a jackhammer operating in the distance during an interview. The black gaps immediately to the right of the playhead show the effect of a notch filter on the jackhammer. The extremely narrow bands of the filter make an imperceptible impact on the fidelity of the interview subject's voice.