We caught up with Rex McWhirter, Director of Photography at Oldie on the best tips for shooting a high quality Instagram video for the #MyUnseenCity video competition. Rex was heavily involved in the filming and production of the #MyUnseenCity video launch and has years of filming experience behind him.
What is the number 1 tip you can give for a short, high quality video?
Have fun and keep moving, cycling is a lot of fun. We always believe that the amount of love and energy you put into your films will directly carry through to the final film. So have fun and focus on what makes cycling fun — adventure, exercise and discovery.
Here is the #MyUnseenCity launch video Oldie produced for Brompton:
What kind of environment should I look to shoot the video?
Pick a location that interests you or that has something special about it, for example, the unique way a railing produces an interesting shadow on the ground, or the sounds of the city beneath you when on a building rooftop. Some places just jump out at you as great places to film. For our film, we shot in a variety of locations, from a stunning green corridor at a girlfriends flat to a massive factory in West London, which is going to be Brompton’s new home.
If I am feeling confident, what editing programs are good but easy to use? (and free?)
There are loads available, we use Adobe Premiere Pro, you can download a 30 day trial for free. We really enjoy the editing process and this is where half of the craft takes place, from playing with colours to finding an awesome soundtrack.
If you could choose one city to film in where would it be and why?
Tokyo. We’ve never been, and going to a city with fresh eyes is always very fun — everything feels different and grabs your attention. From the big wide shots such as the city’s skyline to the little things, like how their subway systems, signage and even rubbish bins are completely different to what you’re used to. That being said though, the city you live in everyday can continually provide you stimulus, London does it every day, I guess it’s about dedicating time to absorb everything a city throws at you, and to use this as inspiration for your film.
Can you provide some tips on what you might consider as unseen parts of cities (i.e under a foot bridge)?
Go for a wander, or better still a bike ride, going down streets you haven’t been before. Getting lost is key to finding those hidden gems.
What angles or positions are best to shoot a bike?
We’ve always been big fans of cycling. The sense of freedom, the speeds you can go and the places you can go on a bike are what makes it unique — try and encapsulate this. Whether that be capturing the flow of your shirt in the wind as you ride through a tunnel or getting right in on the action and capturing a shot down by the wheel as the world flies by. A bike is one of the best objects you can film, it’s full of movement, rotating parts and shiny surfaces. All these visual stimuli are accompanied by an ever-changing soundscape when you cycle — it’s important not to under estimate how important audio is to this whole experience.
What is fun about filming a Brompton in particular?
Prior to last year neither of us had never ridden on one before, I wasn’t sure about it until I got the chance to try it and now I love them. The best thing is how they remind me of riding a BMX as a kid and how its compact shape makes you want to try new things like bunny hop off of speed bumps and tuck in tight when flowing down a hill — this was all inspired by filming Alex, Joe and Andy at the factory location, those guys had some serious skills and were using the Brompton’s in ways I had not seen before, it was so much fun that night.
The top 10 #MyUnseenCity Instagram videos will be judged by a star panel consisting of Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Josh Berger and Will Butler-Adams OBE. The winner will receive a free trip to London to compete in the Brompton World Championship Final and a Brompton Black Edition bike. Find out more about to enter here.