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Unconcealable: Hillsville, my video submission to HGTV
416 18 2-10 22:46
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LUX.aerial
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The American TV network goliath that's HGTV (Home and Garden Television) recently requested small towns across America in need of restoration and revitalization to submit videos of their town. Video submissions will be used to select the next small town location for the new season of HGTV's wildly popular "Hometown Takeover", a series which radically rejuvenates an entire town over the course of a single season of the show.

When I heard my old hometown was considering submitting a video, I quickly contacted town officials and offered to shoot and edit the film on their behalf. Officials answered with a resounding, "Yes, absolutely!" So, over the course of what amounts to a single day of shooting and about 3 days of editing, along with some footage I'd captured in the town previously, "Unconcealable: Hillsville" resulted.



I'm rather happy with the results, results which would have been impossible without a few select items from DJI.

Firstly, the Mavic 2 Pro. Still the most versatile, highest quality photography-drone for aspiring filmmakers, the Mavic 2 Pro with its one inch Hasselblad camera and folding arms strikes the perfect balance of image quality, rich color data and portability. All aerial scenes were shot using DJI's 10-bit dLogM format with a custom profile of -1,-3,0. Color grading and corrections were made possible by the outstanding LUTs provided by SpectrumGrades.com, in particular the PURE master set.

Next up, ground footage was shot using two cameras. The first one, a Lumix GH5 by Panasonic, utilizing the natural color profile with -5 of contrast, fastened atop DJI's Ronin SC. While handheld gimbles do take some practice to use effectively, they can replace the need of tripods, cranes, booms, etc, in many situations when used properly. I've found the Ronin SC to be more than capable of handling most scenes I've attempted to capture while using it.

The second camera used was that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max from Apple, Inc. in concert with DJI's Osmo Mobile 2 and the iOS app FiLMiC Pro. While the Osmo Mobile 2 wasn't designed to deal with the larger and much heavier iPhone 11 Pro Max (particularly in terms of the device's width and weight) I've found that by making a few hardware alterations, the Osmo Mobile 2 holds up fairly well.

Final notes: Editing of "Unconcealable" was a mixed bag of applications across both the Mac and iOS/iPadOS platforms, most notably Da Vinci Resolve and Luma Fusion. Musical licensing was secured via a paid subscription to EpidemicSound.com and musical seclection was chosen from the excellent library the site has on offer.



As to whether or not "Unconcealable" will lead HGTV to select Hillsville to feature on the new season of Hometown Takeover, time will tell. But either way, I'm proud of how the film turned out and happy I was able to create it for the community.

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2-10 22:46
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DAFlys
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Nicely done, really tells the story well.
2-11 01:40
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DowntownRDB
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What a moving story your video tells.  Very nicely done.  Thanks so much for sharing.  
2-11 04:57
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ALABAMA
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Enjoyed watching!  Nice work.
2-11 05:52
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Woe
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Very nice work. Congrats
2-11 06:09
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Montfrooij
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Very good video!
2-11 07:35
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maddox
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Stunning work, great job. Hopefully it will be chosen
2-12 06:39
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JMynes
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I considered moving to Hillsville a couple of years ago. Now I wish I had.
2-12 08:51
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Matthew Dobrski
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I'm a big fan. The lady's monologue may benefit from better audio, but if this piece is not up to broadcasting quality standards, then there's something wrong with TV industry. Bravo!
2-12 13:00
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LUX.aerial
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Matthew Dobrski Posted at 2-12 13:00
I'm a big fan. The lady's monologue may benefit from better audio, but if this piece is not up to broadcasting quality standards, then there's something wrong with TV industry. Bravo!

I agree, the spoken portions (the lady's interview in particular) needed more work.  Although I've already submitted the video, I think I've finally discovered how to properly cancel out the vocal frequencies used from the other audio tracks used in a given project. I've had some difficulty figuring out how to do this properly. Any more info you might provide on this Matt, or anytime else, I'd greatly appreciate.  Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated!
2-12 14:47
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Matthew Dobrski
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LUX.aerial Posted at 2-12 14:47
I agree, the spoken portions (the lady's interview in particular) needed more work.  Although I've already submitted the video, I think I've finally discovered how to properly cancel out the vocal frequencies used from the other audio tracks used in a given project. I've had some difficulty figuring out how to do this properly. Any more info you might provide on this Matt, or anytime else, I'd greatly appreciate.  Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated!

The question is how usable is the audio track you've captured during this interview. If it's recorded just with build-in camera microphone, it is most likely not of the high quality and contains a lot of unwanted room ambience. The only thing I can think of is to ramp the music bed down just before monologue, pump up and equalize the spoken words as much as possible to your liking, and get the music back to a desired level after. Good luck!
2-12 17:29
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LUX.aerial
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JMynes Posted at 2-12 08:51
I considered moving to Hillsville a couple of years ago. Now I wish I had.

Wow! I’m always surprised, and excited, to hear that there are people who are  interested in moving to this area. It’s one of a kind, that much is for sure.
2-12 22:03
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LUX.aerial
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DowntownRDB Posted at 2-11 04:57
What a moving story your video tells.  Very nicely done.  Thanks so much for sharing.

Thank you. I’m glad the story came through, despite my technical inexperience. That’s much appreciated.
2-12 22:04
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Beemerider
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Moving and very nicely done! I live up the state from you in Statler Brothers territory...Staunton. I've worked in the area many times as I am kinda/sorta retired from the cell/broadcast tower construction and maintenance industry. I've worked all over our beautiful state (and many others) but nothing beats Virginia. I even once got brave and ventured there with a friend during the Labor Day Flea Market. Amazing! My legs gave out long before hers. She and her sister try to go every year. When I'd be working and staying in any town I would try to visit and enjoy as many local restaurants and businesses as I could. I recognize many of those in your video. On days and weekends off I ride old BMW motorcycle all over Va, WV and NC. Many times stopping in Hillsville for fuel and food. Always a treat. And the ladies are very pretty too!

Wayne
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2-13 02:09
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DowntownRDB
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LUX.aerial Posted at 2-12 22:04
Thank you. I’m glad the story came through, despite my technical inexperience. That’s much appreciated.

You're welcome.  Have a fantastic day.
2-13 02:37
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CoollyMcAwesome
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Loved it! Like a moving national geographic essay. Made me feel what the town, it's history,  people and how special it is not only to you but to preserve the past of Hillsville. Nevertheless as you pointed out it attractions which brings in visitors, because the people of Hillsville are wonderful and decent folks from another time, a time some people yearn for. I certainly wish the best  for Hillsville. But what ever happens I am sure Hillsville will just do just fine. I like the color grading sort of muted realistic feel, the old lady talking I barely hear her, with the music, which is perfect for this piece, what she was saying almost like being drowned out, those snippet like couple and the dog, a part of it is like a behind the scene except, like a rough cut, not perfectly polish but does give you the realism and genuineness that is sometime cut out. The places around town, perhaps places you hung around as a kid. the two ladies walking and the looming dark storm clouds. Lots of little things to me hints of being forgotten in some ways, yet Hillsville still carry on, a place like many small towns is the birthplace of America


Anyway, you have a good eye for storytelling, all the best! Thank you for sharing.
2-13 23:29
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Lysak2003
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Rally touching video! Great work!
2-14 06:46
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VooDoo_PPL
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Super Cool!!
2-14 08:03
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Toedles
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Such an awesome video, beautiful little place.
2-14 20:51
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