“Goedemorgen” means Good Morning in Dutch and is the title to a short musing video that I captured on my morning walk through Amsterdam a few months ago. The city is known for quite a few different things, but there’s two things that make it special for me: the empty canals and bridges in the morning and the people making their way about on bicycles. On my last trip out, I woke up early to capture this and to try to share this feeling of entrancement that the city has on me.
The one thing that bothers me a bit about waking up before dawn to shoot is that eventually the sun rises, people start their day and then it becomes normal again. The tranquility is broken and often in a rather abrupt and anti-climatic way. For “Goedemorgen,” I decided to reverse the time line and start at the point just before this happens, when the magic is still abound, and then work my way back to just before sunrise. I changed the chronology of the scenes, but also decided to edit the footage in reverse to give a sense of time unwinding. This was especially fun to see with the bicycles moving backwards. I want to explore this process a bit more in future videos, especially when paired with slowing down the footage.
The film was shot on a Sony A7II with the wider shots from the Zeiss 24-70mm f/4 and all the other shots from a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 on an adapter. While I did a most of the shots hand held, a few were shot on tripods for extra stability.
Editing was done in Final Cut Pro X in a 24p timeline using 60 fps footage that was either retimed to 24 fps or slowed down 40% to get a slow motion effect. Grading was done in FCP X with the built in Color effects panel along with the Color Finale plugin. This is a very quick and easy way to grade for me and requires very little rendering time and no need to export the footage out of FCP X and back in. For quite a few of the shots, I started with a Color Match in FCP X between two scenes I wanted to have a similar tone and then I fine tuned it as described above. Color Finale was especially useful to give me the tone curve that I wanted and allowed me to edit like I would a normal photograph, which I’m more accustomed to doing.
As with most of my videos, I like to start with a certain piece of music in mind to help me fit the pieces into place. For this, I went with a lovely track called “Brooks” by Kai Engel, which can be downloaded used for free at freemusicarchive.org.
I have a feeling I’ll be back in Amsterdam to do a follow-up video to this one.