Bibliography

http://lynda.com – Online video tutorials & training -Website
(Accessed 23rd Nov. 2014)

-http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/slow-motion-premiere-pro/ -Website
(Accessed 15th Oct 2014)

-http://www.revisionfx.com/products/twixtor/ -Website
(Accessed 15th Oct 2014)

-http://sciencefocus.com/review/decoding-reality -Website
(Accessed 15th Oct 2014)

-http://sciencefocus.com/qa/time-real-or-illusion -Website
(Accessed 15th Oct 2014)

-http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521133605.htm -Website
(Accessed 15th Oct 2014)

-http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-time-an-illusion/ -Website
(Accessed 15th Oct 2014)

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Textual analysis

My piece has taken the form of a documentary, this is a break from what I am used to producing and so I had to put in much more critical thinking behind the composition of the edit.
The film opens up with a shot of the Mount Edgecombe estate and a glimpse at the surrounding area, these shots were used at the beginning to give the viewer a sense of space and to give them a vague understanding of where they were.
The next shot is a pull focus which moves from the bushes outside Mount Edgecombe to a focus of the marquee where the Drawn To The Valley event is taking place.
This shot was used as it felt a much more natural transition from an outside location to inside, as if you were walking the viewer through the grounds and then guiding them inside the main event.

After bringing the viewer inside the marquee the piece begins to introduce the heads of the organisation and gives the audience a brief insight into what kind of artist they are, I found this effective as it enables viewers of any background, be it an artist or just someone walking by, an insight into who these people are and what they are doing at the event.
This is followed by shots of the centre piece, the nature goddess.
I used shots of the artists constructing it from the beginning as it illustrated what they are saying while the footage plays, each talking about their own individual art style.
Seeing these art styles being used in front of you gives the viewer a sense of what they are talking about and opens their eyes to the something they may not have given much thought to.
The combination of audio to demonstrate the visuals is a powerful tool and one that is repeatedly used in this piece to reinforce what is being shown and to inform the viewer throughout.
This chapter of the film is then brought to a close with artist ‘Tessa Jane’ saying about how the event has given her a greater understanding of natural beauty and how she is now ‘drawn to the valley’, this was used to round off the chapter as it related back to the nature goddess which was shown throughout but also to make use of a shot of her walking away into nature and the event.
The combination of these small elements give a greater impact to the chapter as it reinforces everything you have been told up until that point but with the shot of her walking away it opens up the transition into the next chapter of the story.

The next chapter is brought in with a rapid change in conversation, this was done to give the viewer a sense of back and forth as if they are having a conversation as they are guided around the event, this is also important as it focuses on the main point of the exhibition, getting children involved with art.
To demonstrate this message many shots of the kids making random pieces of art were used, this gave a sense of diversity to what the viewer sees as there are many quick cuts mixed in with long takes. The quick cuts were used to showcase finished work and give a sense of what was being made while the long shots contrasted with the quick ones as they were used to give a sense of immersion to the audience, to make them feel as if they were walking around having a look for themselves.
To greater improve this immersion shots of the children looking at the camera after seeing it were used, this was done to give the viewer a sense that the kids were looking back at them while they were being guided around.
This chapter is also quite important as the interview audio used is very profound in its message.
The interview talks about never knowing when someone may be inspired and when you can trigger that creative drive in someone, this audio was used because it blends well with the visuals of the kids being fully engrossed in what they are doing, it demonstrates the point more than the words alone could.
This chapter is brought to a close with a reverse of the original pull focus shot with some orange colour correction to give the impression it is now later in the day.
This shot was also used in reverse to give the viewer the feeling they are now walking from inside to outside once again.

The last chapter focuses solely on the venue of Mount Edgecombe, this was done to give a feel as if the guided tour was coming to a close as the day began to end.
To create this feeling darker colour correction was used to make the day feel much later.
The shots used are very artistic in terms of their composure, much different to the rest of the film and this was done as the content had shifted.
Originally the camera was guided to give the viewer a feel of walking around the venue but as this chapter focused solely on the location, the most eye pleasing shots were used instead.
The film then finishes out with a sunset on the horizon, this particular shot was used to make the viewer feel as if the day had ended and its time for them to head home.
The whole piece was designed as if it was a guided tour and the shots and editing style used captures that quite nicely and the success of that style makes the viewer feel as if they were there for the day.

Extra thoughts on my project

From the start of this project I had stated that I wanted to improve the composition of my shots as this was an area I felt I had previously been lacking in. I had decided to shoot a slow motion underwater video as I felt that would be one of the easier ways to showcase my development while gaining some pretty atmospheric shots. From shooting underwater footage of liquids colliding I felt I would be able to gain experience in capturing manipulation of space, shape and colour this however didn’t work out as I was unable to get the resources I needed.
This meant that I would have to try and implement some of the elements from this initial idea in to whatever it was I would shoot.
I kept this in mind when I went on my client shoot at Mount Edgecomb, it had a wide variety of environments which would allowed me to capture my original proposed experiments but in a completely different way.
When it came to capturing footage which focused on colour, I found it quite easy as the location had a large variety of lush wildlife, I tried to capture this diversity in the landscape by shooting more than one type of plant life at a time, for example shooting a vibrant blue flower then pulling focus onto the green leaves behind it. I felt that while framing one main colour got my point across, pulling focus and combing the colours of two different flowers gave the shot a lot more contrast making it much more appealing to the eye.

I play with colour in many of my shots for this piece however I found that light also had a big part to play. I was up at Mount Edgecomb for two days, one for a location rec and the second for the actual event, each of these days had vastly different atmospheres due to the lighting and the weather.
The first day was misty with the sky being a pure grey making the natural light very dull and even creepy at times. I used this natural light and the fog around the estate and used it to create a sense of feeling lost and trapped in confined spaces. To create this effect I used very close up shots that had a naturally darker element to them, my favourite being of a pied piper statue.
The statue while in a bright light such as it was on the second day looked quite interesting and approachable however on the first day the grey tones and mist made it feel almost omnibus and menacing. I wanted to capture that feeling and shot it from many different angles to give it the sense of it moving ever closer to the viewer.

In the main piece I had gathered 4 interviews from the people around the event, I then used these interviews to construct a narrative for the film, I did this because it was extremely helpful when mapping out a timeline as it gave the film chapters.
Using the audio from the interviews I was able to emphasis some of the shots I had gathered, an example of this is when my interviewees are talking about inspiring children or giving them that creative spark. I used this audio as I felt it was a powerful yet understated comment, then overlaying footage of the kids playing and making art made the quote that much more impactful as it was being shown right to the viewer rather than them just being told about it.

Over the course of this project I focused on light as I needed to learn how to work with manipulated light and natural light.
I worked on the manipulation of colour as I needed to learn how to compose a shot and also how to correct it to make it much more vibrant and pleasing to the eye.
I wanted to work on the use of space on a set/location as it would teach me how to create an atmosphere with limited resources.
Most importantly I wanted to work on my cinematography as I have been lacking in that area and only by improving upon it would I get closer to working as a director later on down the line.

Project review R.E.D

My R.E.D project has made several changes throughout its development, my initial proposal was to create a film that focused on shape, space, colour, and texture all whilst trying to dabble with slow motion. Through various tests and lack of specialised equipment I found myself unable to create the film I had originally pitched. This caused me to take a step back and think about my options and what I was really capable of doing with my limited resources.
I was lucky enough to have a professional placement with the Open Studios artist group, this required me to head to Mount Edgecombe to shoot a documentary about the group and the event they were running.
While on this placement I noted the variety of colours around the location and the mixed environments it had to offer, so I began to shoot whatever I saw. This on the fly shoot delivered some unexpected results as I had ended up capturing over 12gb of footage, all of which was diverse and had its own feel to it.

I began to play around with the footage and created a few tests which focused on different ideas from my proposal, completing these tests I was able to have two short pieces which focused on space and shape, while having another that focused on colour and texture.
Through editing these pieces I found myself finding new skills and improving on ones that had faltered in the past months. My understanding of colour correction had increased significantly and I found my footage looked much better for it, with much more vibrant colours or darker tones depending on the style I was going for.
Not only had my post production skills improved but I found myself way more competent with a camera, especially with the Canon C100 which I had never used prior to this shoot.
I found that I was thinking more cinematically about the environments before me and what would be the best way to encapsulate them, this was an unconscious development that I was making but one that I had briefly spoken about in my initial pitch to the group.

I had originally said that for my final major film that I wanted to focus more on the cinematography aspect of my work as I felt that in previous pieces I had been lacking in that area. While shooting on the fly and experimenting with the camera I was attempting techniques that I had never used before, mainly pull focuses. Through this I was finding that I actually got some really well composed shots with some added depth to them due to these techniques.
Working as both a cameraman and an editor on this project gave me quite a lot of creative freedom as I could get a great shot on set and plan out mentally where it would go in the finished project, being able to do this not only improved the way I conducted myself on set but gave me a lot more confidence when discussing with the client what I planned to do and how that related toward what they were looking for.
This subtle and unconscious development is something that I would like to carry on into my final major film and the experiments done within this module will follow me throughout the foreseeable future as a film maker.

The decision to make the final film for this placement my R.E.D project came from various sources over the past months, I found while editing the piece that everything that I wanted to experiment with was there in front of me, just not in the form I had originally envisioned.
Playing with this footage further only cemented the fact I wanted to use it due to it taking me out of my comfort zone.
I have never shot a documentary piece before, not since the interview project from the first year, and so I had to think outside of the box. I am used to shooting story driven narratives and so I decided to take that style and implement it into this piece, as after all a documentary follows a narrative as well.
I began interviewing the organisers behind the group to get an idea of what they were about and why they were running this event, from these interviews I gained an understanding of the underlying story I had in front of me.
I took this to the editing booth and began to lay down a structure with Kurt who had worked with me on the shoot. This collaboration made things a lot easier to see as we both had a similar understanding of the story behind this piece, which ultimately only made for a stronger film.
Using online resources such as Lynda.com gave me a lot of help along the way as I could stop and look up online lectures on a variety of topics ranging from how to shoot a documentary to how colour correct footage.
I found the collaboration with Kurt worked really well as we both have very similar shooting and editing styles which we have used to form a basis for future films throughout the year, I feel this joint work ethic we have going will only help me develop further when it comes to conceptualising and creating my grad film.

The piece itself encapsulates everything I originally wanted to get from this project and while I managed to experiment with shape, space, colour and texture it took on a form entirely of its own, I have become a much stronger film maker due to the issues I encountered such as lack of equipment for my ideas, overcoming these difficulties forced me to think in new ways and taught me much more than I would of learned if everything went according to plan.
This module taught me a lot more then I originally thought it would and it has forced me to grow and improve as a film maker on and off the set, I now am a much more confident director and camera man who now feels much more confident leading a group toward a completed film.

Production Journal

October 15th-
On October 15th I began the planning for this module, knowing that this piece of work is largely about research and development of our own personal skills I looked at my previous works for inspiration.
Seeing the past two years on this course in a short amount of time allowed me to really see the areas I had most improved in, giving me a great idea on where my strengths lay, however I could also see where I have been lacking in the past two years.
Seeing these weaknesses in my own work really inspired me to try and be better, I began looking at various techniques that would play to my strengths but would also enable me to work on my weaker skills such as the lighting of a shot, my framing and composition and my all around technical ability with the kit itself.
This project will also allow me to put some future thought into my final major film, taking research from this module and bringing it forward will be an invaluable experience.

Highlighting these weaknesses enabled me to think of projects I normally wouldn’t of undertaken, however after watching a few videos online I am now actually excited to try my hand at them, these techniques and projects include the manipulation of time with slow motion, this will allow me to learn some technical skill with the camera such as frame manipulation and shutter speeds.
Animated storyboards will allow me to plan better for pre production while also getting me more in tune with what I will need for the on set production itself, it will also allow me to work with animation which is something I have wanted to try my hand at for a while.
I will have to refine these ideas into actual experiments that I can attempt in the future.

October 21st-
I have refined my ideas down into actual projects and have presented them to my class mates, some seem interested in my ideas for the final major film and have given me some tips on the programs I aim to use for my slow motion manipulation. On the encouragement of a course mate I have had a deeper look into the program Twixtor which is what I originally had planned to use to achieve my slow motion effects, after looking at the program I have seen that it is not all its cracked up to be.
Twixtor requires very specific settings on the camera for it to work properly or work in a manner that looks good, knowing these settings on the camera is a definite help for my development however I may have to look for other ways to achieve the slow motion I am aiming for.
At this point in time I am still wanting to carry on with my slow motion idea as I feel it will be a great show reel piece and something that I could implement into a film later down the line, I have just filled out a equipment request form for various pieces of kit to experiment with over the coming reading week.
My hope is that with such a wide variety of kit, ranging from LEDs and three point lighting rigs to the new Canon C100 and a multitude of lenses I will be able to experiment with slow motion and visual composition techniques.
I have also secured myself a professional practice placement that will run through out the year, I feel that using this vast range of kit for this shoot will allow me to capture some great experimental footage, this will also be developing my skill set which is what I have aimed to do from the outset of this project.

November 2nd-
I have just completed my week of work with the kit over reading week and much has happened.
I have conducted various experiments over the reading week and have learned a great deal, I have learnt much about the kit that is available to me and about my project.
I now have a great understanding of the Canon C100 due to repeated use and how I can manipulate its settings to provide the best quality footage possible, but I have also learnt what it cant do and just like the other kit at the college, cant shoot the type of slow motion video that I want for this module.
None of the kit at the colleges disposal aside from the canon 7D can up the fps past 50 and even then the 7D can only shoot at 60 which is okay but not enough for what I had in mind.
This revelation has allowed me to rethink this project as a whole and through this I have begun to focus more on the shape, space and colour of the footage I have collected, rather than the fluidity of the movements.
I originally wanted to create an atmosphere inside a fish tank and capture how a mix of colour in slow motion could create an almost alien world, this proved fruitless with the tech I have available, however I did capture footage of a similar nature with a lava lamp.
Although this footage was not what I originally intended it made as a great test for me at the start of the week and will be used as an example of my development through out this module.

IMG_0761
IMG_0760
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While on this week off from college I have also completed some professional work for the ‘Drawn To The Valley’ event at Mount Edgecombe, while at this event I was able to further my knowledge of the camera and work on my cinematography which is something I have said that I want to improve on from the beginning of this module.
This opportunity also allowed me to use the varied landscapes at Mount Edgecombe to capture a large variety of test footage. Each piece of footage I have collected will allow me to work on creating atmospheric yet widely different experiments, one of which includes how colour and sound can effect the same piece of footage.
Learning about the camera and its potential is the first step for me in this project, I now aim to take the footage gathered and work on it in a post production setting. Editing of this footage will increase my technical ability within the Adobe skill set but will also allow me to further my experiments.
Manipulation of colour and texture is the next step for me with this project and it is one I eagerly look forward to making.

November 16th
After some consideration and many hours of playing around with my footage from the Drawn To The Valley event I have decided that I will be using the finished project from this placement as my RED project.
This is something I didn’t expect as it is a competley different type of film than I am used to making, usually I work with narrative film or experimental film as I feel that is where my strengths lie however working on a documentary will allow me to develop my skill set further as a film maker.
I look forward to the results that working on this edit will produce as I feel I have already come far just from working on this placement.

November 23rd
I have been working endlessly with Kurt in the edit suites to complete this film, there have been numerous set backs which have included losing the entire near finished edit. This set back was crippling as I felt the work within it was very strong and something that yielded great results for my development.
Through editing this piece I have begun to work on colour correction, something that I have never used before, just from tinkering around with it I have found ways of making more natural transitions and giving a feel for the time of day.
Starting from scratch on this has been a great effort which has included many hours in the suite but it is finally finished with some aid from the Lynda.com website.
I have been using Lynda for online lectures, for this project I have been looking at the documentary sessions and talks on colour correction.
Using the knowledge I have gained from these tutorials I know now what to do to give a documentary a better flow and how to make the shots match up, specifically editing the lighting of a shot to match the one previous, this will create more natural lighting be it inside or out and will give the sense that the viewer is actually at the event experiencing it for themselves.
I have also been making some tests to work on manipulation of space, for this test I have been using tightly confined shots to give a feeling of confusion and claustrophobia, something that is essential for a horror type piece, which this test is.
This was also my first attempt at manipulating lighting, this can be seen by some crunched blacks but I feel the darker tones really bring out the more menacing aspect of my shots.
I have used some of these same shots in the actual edit with a much brighter colour correction and the contrast is great, each giving off their own unique vibe and fitting the individual pieces excellently.
colour screen shot

December 2nd
I have given a short presentation to the rest of the class on my film and have received some great feedback.
The responses have been utterly positive but have also steered me in a direction for my grad film, mainly in terms of the developments I have made throughout this project.
I have gained a great knowledge of the Canon C100, improved my ability to edit greatly as I know now some of the more complex features of Adobe CS6, especially when it comes to colour correction.
Combining this knowledge on set will be great for my future projects as I will able to pull up a wave form monitor on the camera which will enable me to see the colours of the shot way before I get into the edit suite, this will allow me to adapt and plan on the fly if there ever is a problem with a certain shot.
All around I am happy with my progress on this module and I am feeling much more confident when it comes to making my grad film.

My week of tests (27/10/14) – (03/11/14)

Over the past week I have rented a variety of equipment from the Colleges ERC, this equipment ranges from their new canon C100 to various light and sound rigs.
I got this equipment to spend the reading week trying out new techniques, these experiments varied from on set production to post production.
While shooting with the Canon I attempted to change the frame rate and shutter speed while shooting objects such a lava lamp or a glass of water, my reasoning for shooting these objects in particular was due to the way they moved. Capturing the ever changing lava inside the lamp allowed me to shoot very atmospheric and hypnotizing footage, but it also allowed me to mess with the speed that it moved.
This was my first experiment, by changing the frame rate and shutter speed the footage became naturally slower due to the insertion of more frames and thus easier to manipulate.
I found that my experiment had worked however due to the darkness of the room the footage had black bars pulsating throughout, after some research into the camera I found that I was able to stop this from happening by going into the cameras shooting settings and turning the flicker off.
The footage looked great but I found that the amount of frames required to shoot in the style I wanted wasnt possible on the camera as it lacks the ability to shoot in 60fps, after some research into the colleges kit it appears that none of the available resources have the ability to shoot in anything higher than 50fps.
Through editing the footage in Adobe Premiere, it is clear to see some of my experiment had worked and I was able to get the image manipulation I was initially looking for on certain close up shots.

Through this first experiment I have already learned a great deal, I have learned how to manipulate the settings on the c100 to reveal the best results, I have also learned a good amount about the equipment I have at my disposal which has now allowed me to reevaluate some of my ideas for my project, as some of them are simply not possible to create at this point in time. This revelation is disappointing as it means I will have to change some of my ideas for the final piece of this project however I have learned many valuable lessons from this simple experiment at the beginning of the week.

My second experiment of the week involved my professional practice work, while doing a location rec at Mount Edgecombe for the ‘Drawn To The Valley’ arts show I decided to capture some extra footage for this RED project. The footage that I captured focused greatly on space, shape and colour, three of the four things I wanted to research in this project.
While at Mount Edgecombe I filmed various things, such as the lush greenery and plant life they had on site, my thinking behind this was to refine my ability to manipulate the colour within a frame.
I wanted to look at how the colours in a shot greatly effect the atmosphere and mood.
The estate on Mount Edgecombe gave off various different vibes depending on the lighting during the day, at times it looked bright and inviting, giving the feeling of a happy setting, however as the day went by the same shot began to make the house look dark and imposing. I found this subtle change in lighting interesting as I had been there all day and hadn’t noticed the dramatic change until I looked at it through the camera, this is where the idea for colour correction on a lot of the footage I shot came in.
I want to be able to manipulate the various colours in a frame to give a specific effect e.g bright greens to give the impression of a lush and thriving forest, while the viewer could really be looking at a bush on a bit of a dull day.
I captured various pieces of footage at the event all of which featured a vast amount of colour and texture which I feel will allow me to create short but powerful mood trailers.

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From this experiment I have learned the important role lighting and colour have played in my previous works, I have seen how I have neglected some of these elements and the negative effect it has had on my films.
I have also known that this is an area of improvement for me for a while but after this experiment I feel like I have taken the steps necessary to improve my own technical ability.
While shooting this footage I have also focused on my cinematography, as this was something I had outlined in my initial proposal to the group.
Having atmosphere and colour in mind I found myself naturally shooting appropriate high quality footage without even thinking about it, I see this as a steady sign of improvement as I am now pushing the boundaries of what I considered a good shot before, I have also found myself taking the same shot over and over again until I get it just how I want it, no longer settling for it being ‘good enough’.
This change in attitude and style I find pleasing as it shows that within such a short period of time the level of development I have been making without realizing it.
I aim to take this change in attitude forward with me as I feel it will allow me to now constantly push the boundaries of what I can accomplish as a film maker.

This week of tests has been a great success for me as I have made strides in my own technical ability but mental ability as well, experimenting and researching new techniques has re-ignited the creative spark and drive I have frankly been missing these past few weeks.

Initial proposal of Ideas and concepts for R.E.D and Grad Film

Starting third year I have been assigned a new module which focuses on my own personal research and development, for this I aim to look into three subjects which interest me or of which I am not the most confident.
I already had some ideas on what it was I wanted to work on this year before being assigned this module so I have a few sources I can already bring in to this.
I want to look into a few areas that currently interest me, these ideas can all link up however and follow into my final major film.​
My main area of development for this module is to improve my cinematography and camera abilities as I feel that I am lacking in that area.​
To rectify this I have begun looking into unique visual styles of film making, these styles include manipulation of colour, space, shape and time, something that I have already tinkered with.​
Taking my previous experiments and fully fleshing them out I feel will give me a new way of looking at a shot as it will reveal new dimensions I may currently not be seeing.
For this module I want to look into slow motion and try to take it forward into the final major film, my main reason for this is due to the fact I will be able to look into space and shape manipulation. ​
Using a mixture of water and food colouring will allow the shapes and colours to distort, capturing this in slow motion will hopefully produce a set of atmospheric shots and could lead into what I feel will be an interesting and suprising style of visuals.

The first idea for this module is looking into the dynamics of slow motion.
I have always been interested in slow motion and have played around with it before but never really utilised it to its full potential.
I have recently found a plug in for Adobe premiere which allows you to slow a shot down to 4000X the speed which will be interesting to use for a number of reasons, the first being whether or not the plug in actually works the way its designed to as taking a normal shot and slowing it down immensely may ruin it, the benefits of using this plug means that it will allow me to improve upon my editing skills as well as technical skills.
Another reason this will be a strong idea will be due to the subject being shot, I want to try and capture various movements of water to see how it flows and watch the shapes it creates. This will also be a good idea as it will allow me to focus on the cinematography of the shots which will in turn improve my skills in other areas.
I have a few other ideas for subjects to work with, the main one being a snow globe as I feel I can capture various dynamic and interesting shots, I also want to try and use a lava lamp in this style to create similar surreal effects.

My second idea for this module focuses on animated storyboards, the idea came from watching a short film titled ‘2am in the pm’ (J.G Quintel 2007) which features animated storyboards but gives off its own distinctive style, I want to try my hand at creating something similar to test my abilities but to also improve upon my visualisation of ideas as I normally never do storyboards. This would also be a good project to undertake due to my interest in working on an animated film, it would be a good starting point to understanding the process as a whole but at the same time develop my pre production skills.
I feel this would an interesting project for me creatively as I would be allowed to make anything happen, I wouldn’t be limited to any restrictions bar my own imagination.

My third and final idea for this module is the one that is most fleshed out, the piece itself revolves around the philosophical prospect of time. For this film I want to really focus on my camera work, the cinematography of the shots most of all as I feel that area is one of my strengths that I neglect.
Using this project to improve on little aspects of camera work will be a massive help in the long run especially when it comes to making the final major film for this year.
The story itself focuses on the final days of a mans life and his thoughts on his life as a whole, the man begins to talk about how his life was constantly measured by deadlines and the ticking of the clock, from this I want to delve into what we perceive time to be as a whole, is it merely a man made construct to count down our days or is it something more?
I have researched this topic heavily and have a number of resources which I feel will help me in the coming weeks not only for this module but the final major film if I take this project forward throughout the year.

Resources gathered so far:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521133605.htm
http://sciencefocus.com/qa/time-real-or-illusion
http://sciencefocus.com/review/decoding-reality
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-time-an-illusion/
http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/slow-motion-premiere-pro/
http://www.revisionfx.com/products/twixtor/