Photography – It’s a mugs game?

Well excitement fell over the Vivid Photo Visual studio today, with the arrival of a new piece of equipment for Graham. A couple of things for those that don’t know me too well. I’m always buying equipment, mainly Canon, and I love a good cup of tea…or if Glen is making it, just a cup of tea!

So what way could I possibly combine 2 of my passions?

For those of you familiar with Canon L series lenses, you may well be looking at the photo above and thinking, yep a pretty average photo of Canon 24-105mm F4 IS lens! Well let me stop you there Sherlock! And for those Miss Marple’s amongst you, well spotted, the chrome filter thread!

Surely not a special edition Canon lens made only for Graham? No…….it’s a mug! How cool is that? A Canon 24-105mm IS Mug. So the first thing to do…. ‘Glen pop the kettle on mate’

A not so great cup of tea, in a great mug.

Technical Specs

Just to give you the technical specs of my newly purchased mug; it’s a life-size replica of the 24-105mm and even comes with a lens cap to keep your brew warm for longer! What more could you want?

So time for a quick break and an almost enjoyable cup of Glen’s tea.

Probably the coolest mug in the world!

Where can I get this Amazing Photography Mug?

And where did I get my great mug? Well my mate Paddy buys genuine Canon 24-105mm IS lenses and scoops the middle out. He sells them for about £15. You better get one fast because I don’t think he’ll be in business much longer! Actually it is better to click on the following link to Amazon selling the mug.

If you would like to find out more about our commercial photography service, please visit out corporate photography page.

Vivid produce innovative animated time-lapse video for Tecmark

Eye Catching Time-lapse Video

A few months ago whilst scouting locations for our Miniature Manchester time-lapse video we were fortunate enough to cross paths with Tecmark. Tecmark is a UK based Digital Marketing Agency. They specialise in mobile app development and marketing, as well as Search Engine Optimisation. They have offices in Manchester and London. Tecmark had seen some of our time-lapse video output including our ‘miniature Manchester’ video and wanted a similar style video.

Time-lapse video with Animated graphics by Vivid Photo Visual
Who are Tecmark?

Website Homepage Video

Tecmark were due to update their website and wanted an eye-catching video on the Home Page. They wanted a video that portrayed how technology has made our lives easier. How Mobile Apps mean we can have information instantly, wherever we are. We worked very closely with Richard, Kevin and Scott from Tecmark to come up with a Storyboard.

Video Storyboard

Time-lapse video with Animated graphics by Vivid Photo Visual
Working on the storyboard

The basic idea would be to show a young man at work. There would be a repeated scene doing the same task but in the years 1991, 2001 and now 2011. As the years have progressed, that task has become simpler. We wanted the film to have a movie trailer feel, that grows in pace. It would build up to a final scene with bespoke animated graphics. This would show how people use mobiles for so many things in our modern world.

Prop Search

Once the final Storyboard had been agreed, we had to source props. We wanted the same feel to each decade with subtle changes. For example with the computers used, going from an old PC up to a iMac to an iPad. As we’re all football fans we used the nearest football tournament mug to the year. So we had Italy 1990, Euro 2000 and Africa 2010. There’s also a few other props on the desks, cassette walkman for 1991, Sony mobile phone for 2001 and an iPad for 2011.

Filming and Editing

Time-lapse video with Animated graphics by Vivid Photo Visual
Danny outside Manchester Library

We filmed it over 2 days in Manchester and used local actor Danny Jackson, who we’d worked with before. To make the video stand out we created and animated bespoke graphics to really show how consumers are using smart phones and tablets to access the world around them. This all cumulates in the final scene. Danny is seen walking through Manchester’s iconic St Peters Square. He is using his smart phone and information just pops out of the screen. Then the scene opens to a wider shot and everyone is using their phone for information.

Adding Graphical Animation

It was really important to make the video standout. We obviously used the time-lapse technique but we wanted to complement this look with something that elevated the promotional video. With the theme being about the changing nature and impact of technology on our world. For this we implemented bespoke graphical elements that showed the person’s mobile information being displayed above them as they moved through the scene. This was also used on objects like the local transport networks.

Animated time-lapse by Vivid Photo Visual showing Manchester's St Peter Square
Manchester’s St Peter Square

Final Thoughts

We are really happy with the final film and it fits perfectly on Tecmark’s new website. We received great feedback from Tecmark, who have already used the corporate video at trade shows as well as on their website.

We’re looking forward to working with Tecmark again in the future on video production jobs. If you would like to find out more about our time-lapse video production service, please visit our time-lapse video page. Please click on the following links, if you would like to found out more about our animation video production service or contact a member of the Vivid team.


‘Slip and Dive’, Vivid film the new Daystar music video.

Well something a bit different from our last blog, no Miss Stockport but Vivid’s first ever music video. Vivid were asked to film a music video for Manchester band Daystar, for their new single ‘Slip and Dive’.

Ryan, Jack, Simon, Tom and Steven – Daystar

Who are Daystar?

For those who aren’t familiar with Daystar, they are a young guitar driven 5 piece Indie Rock Band from Manchester. They have just released their first album ‘Daystar’. The album was produced by Ronnie Stone who engineered Mansun’s Hit album ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern‘.

Music Video Production by Vivid Photo Visual
Simon Monaghan of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Stockport Video Shoot

The location for the shoot was the Moolah Rouge recording studios in our home town of Stockport.

Behind the scenes at Moolah Rouge ©Bob McGowan

We arrived and set-up prior to the bands arrival. This gave Glen a bit of time to do his usual ‘Human Beatbox’ which he has to do whenever he sees an open mic. Fortunately none of Daystar witnessed this so we didn’t instantly lose our ‘cool film crew’ image!

That happened later on when Glen asked the band to give a little more ‘Jazz Hands’ in their performance! To be fair to Glen, he had threatened us in advance that he was going to use the phrase Jazz Hands so at least he stuck to his word.

Simon Monaghan of Daystar performing Slip and Dive – Vivid Photo Visual

Dedicated followers of fashion

The band arrived and despite the Lead Guitarist looking like Ollie Murs (only joking Ryan!), they were top lads. Laura Sellers, their stylist arrived and together they picked out the clothes for the shoot. Within 30 minutes we were ready to roll, or maybe 45 minutes as Simon decided the first jeans were a little too tight!

Ryan Arnfield of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Full house

The room was pretty full with; the 5 piece band, the Vivid team, Dave Cooper and Phil Cuthbert from the bands management. A couple of photographers that knew the band, first was Bob McGowan who kindly has allowed us to use some behind the scenes shots on this blog.

Behind the scenes on Slip and Dive ©Bob McGowan

The second was Matthew Comer, who works closely with the band and has taken some of the stills on their first album. Finally, and to prove it wasn’t only a male only affair, was the stylist Laura, who worked really quickly and got the lads dressed and ready to shoot within record time.

Simon Monaghan of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

I think because the room was full it created a great vibe and the band really went for it. It’s not easy doing multiple takes and still looking like it’s your first.

Under The Spotlight – Simon Monaghan of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

3 cameras = 3 Hours

We filmed the video with 3 cameras, and it took 3 hours. In-between takes or when I felt the other 2 cameras were enough, I managed to take a few stills of the band during the shoot, to share on the blog.

Jack O’Connor of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Passionate Music Video

The shoot went very smoothly, and although this was the bands first video shoot, they were very professional and passionate about their performance. I think the hardest thing for any band is playing live in time to the original album track. Live performances always differ, you hold a note back, extend a note out, add an extra drum fill etc…. you can’t do that when making a music video, it has to match the album recording, and they did this very well.

Steven Woods of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

By 10.30pm we were happy we had all the footage we needed so we packed up and said our goodbyes. It was down to us now to edit the video.

Simon Monaghan, singer of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Now for the Edit

For the look and feel for ‘Slip and Dive’ we wanted a high contrast monochrome look. We had filmed it with unsoftened fairly harsh lighting, with this look in mind. It was a great video to edit and we have to say, although listening to the track 100’s of times whilst editing we still enjoyed listening to it. As someone said “it’s one of those tracks that conjures up images of youth dancing through the minefield of a paranoid drug influenced urban sub culture” I don’t think I could have put it better myself….in fact I know I couldn’t!

Tom Mallas of Daystar by Vivid Photo Visual

Vivid’s 1st Music Video

This was Vivid’s first music video production and we really enjoyed making it. It added a bit of variety from our usual web videos and company profile videos. We wish Daystar every success with ‘Slip and Dive’ and hope to work with the lads again in the future.

If you want to see more of Daystar, or purchase the single, here are some links;

If you want to find out more about our music video production service, please click on the music video production page.