Umda – A technical breakdown

As a reference for the style of shooting for Sonder Melbourne, I have often referenced Umda – a music video by David Aufdembrinke. This has been one of my favourite films in the last year and has truly inspired me with it’s style. For my personal choice blog, I would like to do a technical breakdown of the film as it is invaluable to the research behind Sonder Melbourne.

Visual Filming – The film from was shot during a six week travel through India. It was shot using a Sony A7, and three old Nikon lenses and a single tripod. There were two main reasons for using this equipment – one that the old manual lenses made it look like a analogue photo camera and David wanted that because people react differently to a camera when they think you’re taking a photograph as compared to knowing when they are being filmed. The second reason was the low cost of the gear, which meant that a lot more risk could be taken with this equipment, which one would not do with a more expensive kit. This would be absolutely necessary in getting the type of shots for such films as one is more open to the ideas of how the camera can be moved to get a shot. For example, David tied the camera to a stick and stuck it outside a moving train to capture a video that way. Use of hyper lapse was very important in this film but due to the speed of the film, a lot more shots were required and to be on the safe side, he got 12,000 photos for hyperlapse. The footage itself was ten hours long, from which he was able to cut a 4 minute video.

Due to the kind of shots and pre-planning of what he would do in post production, stability of the camera and perfect framing was not of great importance. The effect of an old grainy VHS film with exaggerated and bleeding colours leaves an option of high zoom and re-framing option.

Nothing was staged for shots required, it was shot naturally, in a documentary format. Most of the shots were unplanned.

Post Production – Editing Style – The film is made with match cuts, which means that every shots ending has been matched graphically to the next shots beginning. The fast movements between shots has been inspired by Japanese cartoons for children, which is what gave me the younger age group insight. It is amazing how much more a child picks up as compared to an adult. The editing was done completely in Adobe Premier. The idea was to shift through shots before one could comprehend what had happened, hence just leaving a sense behind. He calls this style ADD-Editing. In an interview with Dezeen Magazine, David explained that he was inspired by the disregard of pixel resolutions he witnessed in Indian videos, and so just used every effect in the editing suite, which is why could scale images to 600 percent to match them to lead in and out.

The hyper lapses have been stabilized to look like a fast, fancy video takes. The clips were linked into After effects to create some of the effects.

Colour Grading – The colour grading is the most interesting part of the film for me as a VHS tape was used to colour grade with the use of two different strength magnets to pull the colour and make it bleed. The final effect could not have been guessed before, but was a pure experiment. The video was recorded on two different tapes, one with the magnets and one with cuts. It was testing and then do again to get different affects. I would like to try this myself in my video but have not made a decision on it yet. Though exciting, I do not have the means as yet.

Audio – For me the audio was amazing as it added to the film itself, gave the perfect beats for the perfect visuals. But, that was all it was. Finding out that the film had been made as a music video was very disappointing as the music itself is lost in the beauty of the film and is not but a mere enhancer. A powerful one, but not a standalone. One you’re not really listening to. It was a remix of six songs by varied artists.

So, in conclusion to this research, I do think I would get a completely different outcome as it is all an experiment, but I love the idea of using a camera like Sony A7 and three old lenses just because I loved the reasoning for it. Before this research I had been ideally thinking of using a 70mm lense and was very sad that the uni does not lend them out, but I have my answers now. With colour correction, I plan on using Premier and After effects as well but no VHS, as much as I want to. I will save that for a later project. For the audio, I want to use whispered thoughts, music as an enhancer and sounds from the city, make it three level.


Audience Analysis – Sonder Melbourne

Sonder Melbourne is an experimental short non-narrative film for online platforms like Youtube and Vimeo, targeted at people traveling to Melbourne or just trying to find an understanding/experience of the city online. I am trying to create a new age film to replace outdated advertisements targeted at a younger market who don’t want to hear why it would be a good idea to visit the city, but are looking for an experience that will excite them. The goal of the film is to create an immersive experience of what it would be like to be in the city itself. I want to use it as the most powerful tool to create tourism and inspire people to come experience everything the most livable city in the world has to offer. The film itself will explore the wonders of Melbourne through the diverse culture present here, discovering the life, the vibe and the unfathomable thoughts of people who make this city come alive.


Sonder means the realization that every person around us has just as much of a vivid imagination and world as we do. The film is not a traditional documentary nor the verbal telling of a story, it is a discovery, an unguided meditation, an immersive experience of Melbourne and it’s people. The story is built through imagery jumping from location to location, from coffee to skateboards, from the river to the ocean and had a backdrop of various peoples’ thoughts and Indie Melbourne music. The fast movements, the excitement, the experience is what will set the film apart.

Audience - New Directions

This image is the original research I had on what my audience would be. But since, I have narrowed it down slightly more by realizing that my audience are also people who like to meditate, which is another way for them to find themselves and their inner piece. When meditating they use guided meditations and are always looking for new ways to discover. They are very modern and strive to find something new to watch, to read or even to feel. And when they do, they show their friends to share their excitement.

I plan on creating this film using 12 weeks that make my next semester and would like to officially launch it online in October, 2016. Being a single short film, it goes online all in one go, after which according to the still-in-discussion-stage marketing plan, marketing of the video through word of mouth and creating a buzz on social media is the way forward. Hopefully, upon success, by the start of December, tourism websites would like to use it to inspire people as well.

I hope to find that the audience shares, likes and comments on the film and that there are discussions on sites like Twitter and Facebook about it. In the long run I hope to achieve my goal of using it as a new type of film to increase tourism, hence proving that there is a market above commercial art.