Reddit AMA: GoPro Production Artist

On Friday I participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), where users of Reddit could post questions for an entire day and I would go through and try to answer all of them! It was an awesome opportunity to give insight to some rad & dedicated GoPro users and fans.  The following is a highlight of some of those questions.  Thanks to everyone that participated!

If you haven’t checked it out, the official GoPro Reddit page is an awesome place for inside info, fan videos, and helpful tips.

Full GoPro Abe Kislevitz AMA

[–]DesignNomad

  • Could you share a litte bit on your personal experience getting connected with and eventually hired by GoPro? I know that a lot of people here would love to work for GoPro, and I’ve heard from an… inside source… that being hired by GoPro is pretty fun/interesting.
  • What is a typical day-in-the-life for you? Do you work remotely or in the office with everyone else? What is your favorite part about your job? Is it true that you guys have free cereal in the cafeteria? :)
  • You mentioned that you do most of the in-house testing… do you work closely with the product design team? Do you give your prototype products to the end user for testing, or only internal testing? Does GoPro do ethnographic work when researching new products and improvements?
  • Also, will you add me on LinkedIn? Or, can I add you?

EDIT: thought of another one:

  • Since what you do is fairly recreational in nature, how much time do you dedicate to work when you’re doing something recreational? For instance, if you go skiing, do you go skiing specifically for getting footage, or do you go to ski, and just happen to get footage while you’re out?

[–]abekislevitz

  • This first one can be answered pretty well in this interview – scroll down to how did you get started in the industry:http://www.shayboarder.com/2011/08/industry-profile-gopro-production-artist-abe-kislevitz.html
  • I am in the office about 2/3 of the time now probably. I work in the office with everyone else, we have a media dept of about 20 people in house at any given time (lots of contractors in and out). Everyone is always working on different projects – when I’m in the office sometimes I’m on a big project where I’ll lock myself in the edit suite we’ve got and crank away. Othertimes I’m on smaller tasks like commercial graphics, commercial formatting, helping with some coloring here or there. Favorite part is owning a big project – feels good to take on something huge and see it through to the finish. Equally as good is being on site at rad events like Euro X Games.
  • I don’t do most of the in-house testing, but I do do a lot as sort of a personal thing – I’ll ask what product designers are working on and see if there’s anything to test. I have some of the most experience actually using GoPros in the field at this company so I usually like to think my feedback is pretty valid. Our engineering/design team is being built out ridiculously fast so protocols are changing daily, not sure what sort of background research they’ve got in place right now. *LinkedIn – I usually don’t check friend requests on FB or LinkedIn.. I try to get to personal messages but a lot slips through the cracks :/
  • For skiing and doing USC edits it’s probably about 50/50. If I know it’s going to be an epic park day I’ll get the cams out sooner than later. If it’s an epic pow shred I’ll think about skiing first and filming 2nd – that usually entails just making sure I have some sort of POV on to capture the experience. I’ve had a few injuries over the seasons so filming has always been my fall back, but i really do love getting awesome shots. A lot of it depends on the mood of my riders and the weather, just gotta be on your toes if something is gonna go down. I always have at least 2 GoPros in my pocket on the hill.

 

[–]zwakephoto

whats the best way to start working in after effects and how can i add it to my workflow, especially render out of after effects to get best quality

[–]abekislevitz

Best in the sense of getting started to learn how? or how to start in the workflow? To learn just start looking up tutorials online- there are hundreds. Check out video copilot and Andrew Kramer, he has great tutorials. You want to get acquainted with the tools in AE and the only way to do that is follow tutorials until you know what you’ve got at hand.. Then you can start learning how to come up with your own solutions.

As far as workflow, I use Final Cut 7, so I’ll edit my whole video, then export individual clips that need AE applied, pull those into AE, drag individual clips down to the ‘New Comp’ button. Now you’ve got a composition the exact length, framerate, and settings of your clip. Add your effects an use the render que to render out using Quicktime ProRes422.

If you’re in Premiere it’s a lot easier, you can just right click on the clip in the timeline and replace with AE Comp.

 

[–]raphaeledwards

How did you color the snow in “The Weekend”?

Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=Jj2fjQHzXDM#!

[–]abekislevitz

Do you mean the rainbow stuff? Do you know how to use Track Matte’s in After Effects? I basically drew a matte layer with my wacom tablet in AE (low flow, high feather). Used some colorful film burns set to ‘color’ transfer mode and used the matte layer as the track matte. This way the color will only show where I painted on the frame. Takes a long time going frame by frame but with a tablet and a fast computer it’s not bad

[–]SLOskier

Whoa whoa whoa… Using a tablet for AE? This is total news to me. Can you elaborate a bit on what you’re using / how this works?

[–]abekislevitz

Yeah! It’s awesome with the brush tool. You have to double click on the layer to get into the source layer, then you can use a brush. You can paint on the layer with color, or paint using the alpha channel so you are essentially erasing the layer. Here I took this screen shot with an example – don’t pay attention to the video content or the layer but I have up the settings I use with teh brush on the right and the way you would set the layer to use the alpha layer as the track matte http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/2546/screenshot20121214at103.png

 

[–]ultramar10

What’s your editing software of choice?

Also what’s your work flow for the slow motion shots you do.

[–]abekislevitz

Yeah I got really familiar with editing in Final Cut 7, it’s just so rock solid and fast to work with. Really a shame it can’t even utilize the modern computer architecture – it could be soooo good :(

Regular slow motion – I’ve got a tutorial for that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TtXN5iKyH0

The super slow we use twixtor, there are a lot of tutorials online for that. It’s hit or miss, you have to fiddle with it until you get a usable section of a shot without warping. If you see warping, give up and move on :)

 

[–]shuteru

Hi Abe,

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to answer our questions.

As a professional photographer, this question will be rather self-serving, but I’m sure there are others out there who would like to know.

1) What would be your top recommendations for photographers to do if they wanted to work with your team?

2) Is there an established channel directly to GoPro where we can submit our portfolio for consideration ?

3) Do you like fish tacos? If so, which place sells your favorite?

[–]abekislevitz

  • 1) In the media team we work primarily with videographers, right now the social team are the ones that work with the photographers to get photos for online. The easiest in would be to consistently produce good photo content that people are noticing online. Have you seen Robbie Crawford or Kyle Ohlson’s stuff? Everyone at GoPro knows who they are because they use GoPros nonstop and got good at it. I guarantee Kyle will have a job here when he finishes high school/college if he wants it.
  • 2) Yeah check http://www.gopro.com/careers Right now there’s a photog position open, you can submit resumes and what not through that.
  • 3) yes. in Half moon bay there’s a great place called flying fish. dank fish wraps.

 

[–]fabelol

do you use a steadycam/glidecam or something comparable?

[–]abekislevitz

Depends on the project. I’ve used a Glidecam HD 2000 on some ski shoots on occasion. Usually I resort to my trusty ski pole and a steady hand for shooting at 1080-60, then if I want to do some higher res stuff like 2.7K or 1080-med I’ll take a run or two with the glidecam.

[–]techsnapp

does gopro have a large assortment of gear or do you rent it at your location where you’re shooting?

gear as in lights, steadycam stuff.

[–]abekislevitz

We have a good assortment of stuff in-house.

 

[–]ArcGhosts

What kind of degree did you get do achieve such an awesome job?

[–]abekislevitz

I got a mechanical engineering degree at USC, but honestly that has nothing to do with it. Nick Woodman was a big part of my hiring and 2 weeks into the job he asked ‘so did you graduate?’

The biggest thing school offered me was connections to a great group of people and an avenue to hone in on what I wanted to do in life. I was always into graphic design and the creative arts so that’s what I did for all of my jobs through college. I had to work pretty much full time to pay for everything so I dedicated all my time to web design/development, graphic design, and video editing.

[–]DesignNomad

Sounds like you should have been in industrial design instead of Mech E! :D

[–]abekislevitz

Well, I actually went to school as a freshman wanting to be in Product Design – I was told at USC they wanted to cater to everyone’s wishes and dreams. I went to the head of the Mech E dept with the course outlines from Stanford’s product design major. I just wanted to add some design courses and skip fluid dynamics and heat transfer, that kind of blabla stuff. Anyway, was told there’s no way to change or revise majors.

If I could go back I’d triple major in industrial design, film, and computer science – I love backend programming. I wrote a carpool app for our ski team in php & mysql 4 years ago, still running strong!

[–]jury_rigged

so if you couldn’t change the courses in your major what did you do?

[–]abekislevitz

Just went through all of Mech E. I took one extra semester (USC financial aid allowed up to 4.5 years) and took 4 classes – database development, web application development, iphone development, and an independent study with the director of USC’s Digital Innovation dept (Information Technology). Almost took a job in web development

 

[–]El_Biatcho

Being on the ‘3rd’ version of the gopro camera and undoubtedly seeing the many different ways people use the product, what has been the most unexpected way to see your camera being used to date?

[–]abekislevitz

That’s a good question – I guess it doesn’t usually surprise me to see all the different random ways they are being used because I’ve seen a LOT of footage – that being said, everytime I see a video with a little kid it hits me in a certain way. GoPro on the head of a 2 year old playing hide and seek = epic. GoPro on a tire swing looking at a 4 year old girl swinging and being engulfed in pure bliss was equally stunning. I guess it’s just so raw and natural, you can’t fake the emotions they have

 

[–]bobsterman91

How did you start working at GoPro? Did you contact them or the reverse? And how is it working for Nick?

[–]abekislevitz

Check this link http://www.shayboarder.com/2011/08/industry-profile-gopro-production-artist-abe-kislevitz.html

Working for Nick is rad – he’s always so fired up and into what we’re doing. He’s been involved with media from the beginning and he still sits in for hours with us on big projects & commercials moving clips around, chopping stuff up and figuring out what’s gonna work best.

 

[–]coolstorycorey

  • Thinking back to when you first started working at GoPro, are you surprised at how far the company has came since then? Or were you guys expecting this kind of growth? I think you’ve mentioned that GoPro only employed about 30 people when you started.. is it a bit overwhelming to think that you’re closing in at almost 500 employees?

[–]abekislevitz

Very surprised. It’s definitely a huge change with how we do things and how we’re treated outside of work. My first event with GoPro was winter Dew Tour in 2009. No one wanted to wear our ‘toy cameras’..we didn’t have any athletes signed, it was all just bro hangouts. Like ‘uhh well I have a friend that’s good at jumps, he’ll wear it.’

Now my media compadre Bradford is in hawaii filming with Kelly Slater, I was just in Breckenridge with Shaun White. Weird.

Anyway, the company itself is definitely overwhelming. We grew so fast that we had to move into a huge office building full of cubicles…ish (it’s really really nice, but definitely not the same as sleepy Half Moon). Off the record, I don’t think it represents the company super well at this point in the juncture, but maybe in the future we’ll build it out to be more of the GoPro vibe. I envision our media dept with vaulted ceilings, a movie theater, and a big collab area with screens on the wall (i can dream right). Right now we’re pretty cramped with desk after desk.

That being said, it’s an epic company to work for – everyone is always excited and the people around me are inspiring.

 

[–]Skwomp

I have heard extensively about the Go Pro Camera. People seem to love it. As someone who knows nothing about the camera, in one sentence, why is your camera so popular and have such a following?

[–]abekislevitz

The ability to record my life’s most passionate moments and share them with the world (in extremely high quality for size)!

 

[–]bobsterman91

Do you ever see yourself branching out on your own? Maybe starting your a video production company or the like?

[–]abekislevitz

I mean, I kind of did that before I worked here and try to keep my own thing going – it keeps me sane. Granted, I don’t have time for anyone else’s projects other than my own. I just don’t know the job security, and I love working at GoPro and the prospect for what it can be in the future.

 

[–]LeoZuckerman

Hey Abe. I’m pretty involved in media production with the newly launched UBC Ski&Board Freeride team. We will be putting most of effort into our big mountain ski trips/videos but I think you’ve inspired me to try out a park edit! (which is traditionally covered by Maurizio). Anyway, I think you were in a similar position as me a few years ago, so I definitely have some questions…

  • Firstly, I find it hard to pick up sponsors for online video content. The industry seems to be more keen on sponsoring athletes, not filmmakers/films. How did your affiliation with GoPro come about? Was it more a case of you seeking them out, or did they come to you?
  • I would suspect this next thing to be somewhat frustrating for someone in your position, but do you ever wish you could use higher-end camera systems (RED/Alexa/Phantom even DSLR)? Do you ever feel like you’re missing out on producing higher quality images and having more manual control? I love and hate GoPros/iPhones for this reason. I find their constraints breed creativity, but can often be a real pain.
  • And lastly, is your software knowledge in post production completely self-taught? Did you get started by using tutorials like video copilot, etc.? I have to say, your editing and VFX always impresses me.

Thanks for doing the AMA. I know you try and help out the community with your knowledge/tips and that’s awesome. Keep on, brotha!

[–]abekislevitz

  • The sponsorship thing is tough, it’s still hard for me to find sponsors for the USC team. GoPro is the only company that has really stepped up other than flowing a few free items here an there. Oakley hooked up the top guys with suits but it was a personal connection. It’s hard for them to see the value even when you’re getting way more views than the pros. Your guess is as good as mine!
  • It would definitely be cool, but the cool thing about GoPro is it becomes more about the story and the editing than the production time/effort. I never have used a real camera.. I always wanted one but couldn’t afford one. GoPro gave our team 2 cameras (non-HD) and that’s pretty much where my filmmaking got started. I’m in a weird position where I didn’t come from a background of shallow depth of field and long lenses. It makes you get creative and try to capture new things..thinking more about the creativity of the piece than how a slider is going to look in a field of grass at sunset.
    • Yeah it’s all pretty self taught, just do lots of tutorials and figure out how the tools work.

     

[–]donohomd

I have read a lot about people shooting in 2k on the H3B and cropping it down to 1080 without losing quality. Is this something you guys do on your promos? If so, what software do you use to accomplish this? I haven’t been able to find any tutorials or examples of people actually doing it. Just people saying it can be done. Thanks!

[–]abekislevitz

Yeah, it’s quite a great thing to be able to do. We did it a few times in the HERO3 reel – it’ll happen naturally when you use smoothcam or warp stabilizer on a shot. In your editing program you’d just zoom the clip in (should start at around 70%), then just move it around until you get a shot you like. If you’re editing for youtube you can really get creative with your crops since you’ve got a lot of resolution to work with

 

[–]coreoski

This also made me thing about something the hero 3 could possibly do now that it can shoot in 2.7k… the narrow and wide options for 1080p: i always avoided using them because I figured it was just digital zoom, but is it essentially recording full 1080p by basically continuously cropping 2.7k to still retain 1080p now? If that makes sense?

[–]abekislevitz

yeah the medium and narrow definitely aren’t digital zoom – it’s not optical zoom either, obviously..a weird hybrid.

So the sensor is 12 MP, 1080 wide uses that whole sensor and scales it way down to 1080P (because 12MP is huuuge – 4K is 8MP).

1080 Med uses the middle portion of that sensor and still has room to scale it way down.. since it’s only using the middle of the sensor it’s like taking 4K and cropping into the middle, so details will appear bigger/closer – and less fisheyed since you’re just dealing with the very center of the glass elements and not the full fisheye edges.

Narrow is even more cropped in. The reason you’ll see lesser quality (more grain) in narrow is because you’re closer to actual pixel size, where it’s not that great of quality. The wide modes have the full sensor to scale and lose all those artifacts that you would see at the pixel level, but narrow doesn’t have that.

 

[–]jury_rigged

Can you talk about some of the mounts you’ve made inhouse but not released commercially? I think one of the coolest nature of GoPro is the DIY aspect surrounding it. I always want more explanations of how you get your jaw dropping shots primarily so we, the average user, can look as pro as GoPro.

on that note, can you share some tips and techniques that can make our home videos as cool as GoPro? it’s free marketing for you guys after all?

[–]abekislevitz

There’s a lot of stuff we’ve created but nothing too out of the ordinary. My favorite is the rotating helicopter mount (the one that swivels around the subject on the head). That’s just a rollerblade wheel attached to a gopro mount on the bottom with a carbon fiber pole on the top. Cameras hang on either end using the handlebar mounts.

  • Biggest biggest tip – keep your lenses clean.
  • Follow some official tutorials on editing to get the best quality out of your footage.
  • Get close to your subjects – fill the frames
  • Get smooooth footage.
  • Make sure you get enough footage that you can throwaway bad shots. All we do to make great videos is shoot a TON of footage and throw away the bad shots!
  • Know when to cut out the crap – We all get very attached to our own videos but sometimes 10 minutes straight of POV isn’t worth watching to anyone else. If you’re making videos for YouTube let go of some of your money shots, don’t be repetitive.

 

[–]jury_rigged

Biggest biggest tip – keep your lenses clean.

do you use Rain X or other “get water off the lens” products? i notice a ton of home footie has water droplets on it but your’s never do. is that because you throw out the bad shots or cause they actually dont have water on them

[–]abekislevitz

Nah – at least not so far with the 3. If we were shooting kayak or motocross in the rain we used to RainX the lenses and it works quite well. In water or surf do a big lick right before the action – the spit acts as a hydrophilic coating and keeps a layer of water on the lens which keeps it looking clear without droplets.

 

[–]jury_rigged

are you part of the filming team at any of the events? how many cameras do you use? what methods do you use to get them in the places you get them? (alternative mounts, do you use steadycams?)

[–]abekislevitz

Yeah, I’m usually on hill at Dew Tour, X games, etc. Winter X Games we had probably 60-70 cameras. I usually don’t use more than about 5 at a time (2 to mount on athletes and 3 to have for myself – pole cam, static cam with mini tripod, and some other variant).

 

[–]Wally_Jack

What Mac are you currently using for all your editing?

[–]abekislevitz

I have a retina macbook pro and a 12 core mac pro with 64 gb of ram

 

[–]dank_bass

This is going to be a lot, but I’m very interested.

Where did you attend college? What did you study? What did you get a degree in?

After college, how did you find a job? What kind of jobs have you had before this one?

Where do you find people and locations to film?

Do you guys have somebody who makes music specifically for the commercials? If so, where did he come from?

Are any of you into extreme sports such as the ones you film? What got you started?

How did you get connected with GoPro?

Sorry about all the questions, hopefully you can answer them!

Thanks in advance. You guys rock.

[–]abekislevitz

University of Southern California – Mechanical Engineering (got a degree in that). I lined up GoPro before I finished college through our ski team, I was making videos. Before GoPro I worked at USC doing web development for all of the groups/departments on campus. I also did freelance graphic design (designed skis for a ski company).

Most of our filming locations and subjects are determined by GoPro sponsored events or athletes. The GoPro media dept is a leveraging commodity for big sponsorships and marketing – like we’ll be the title camera of X Games if the media department attends and creates course previews for all of the events.

We don’t have anyone in house that creates music, no. We have a lot of artists that are friends of the company now from being with us from the beginning.

Yes, I’m mostly into freestyle skiing, got started in high school after I wanted a change from rollerblading!

Check out this link below for more info! http://www.shayboarder.com/2011/08/industry-profile-gopro-production-artist-abe-kislevitz.html

Thanks!

 

[–]captaingregs

How are you able to get such clear shots in all of your videos? Whenever I use my gopro it seems to be distorted and slightly blotched in places. Is there something wrong or do I just need to clean it? If so, what is the best way to keep it clean. Another thing i’ve noticed is that when it is in the protective casing the blur is more visible. Any tips would be much appreciated.

[–]abekislevitz

Just always try to keep your lenses clean. I always wipe down the lenses before I film any shot. keep a lens cloth or goggle/sunglasses bag with you when you film. start with cleaning the inside lens before it’s in the housing.

 

[–]Lencmb

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this Abe! You have been a big inspiration to myself and the rest of GoPro fans. Keep up all the hardwork.

My question is…when you are approaching a new project, how do you prepare? More specifically do you start with a song and an idea of how you want the edit to look (i.e. picking certain shots) or is it a matter of shooting as much as you can and just working with it from there? Or a combo of both?

[–]abekislevitz

No problem! Stoked to have such an active and engaged community!

Depends on the project really. For my own personal stuff I always try to go into videos with a creative concept so I know specifically what I have to film. That being said, the skiing part is usually just film what we can and get rad shots – that’s always more of the ‘document what happens’. Occasionally I’ll try to have some new filming ideas for the ski stuff, but nothing too scripted. For the creative intros I usually will go into the weekend saying ‘Ok guys, I have this idea where we connect from teh beach to the snow so we have to film x Y and Z to make that happen”

It’s hard because the ski team is first and foremost a place to go socialize and have fun – I only get a few weekends there a year now so I have to be extremely efficient with plans and time.

[–]Lencmb

Right on! So how about work projects?

Also, how did you create the text effect at the beginning of “The Weekend”? The handwritten text that shakes. I tried to find a tutorial, but I don’t even know what to search for. Thanks!

[–]abekislevitz

work projects are pretty scripted from the start, but as with any gopro documentation and athletes, you just kinda strap em up and see what happens.

Text in the weekend was done in Flash. I traced out logos in flash using my wacom tablet and drew it 3 times over to get some variation in the text. Just repeated that a bunch of times.

 

[–]twaibel

Hey Abe, thanks for taking the time out of your day to do this AMA. We’ve talked a little bit before and my brother knows you, Chris, and Caleb from USC. Anyways, I plan on attending USC as well next year to study entrepreneurship. I would also like to keep doing some video/picture editing on the side. What would you suggest I do at USC to keep up with my interest in Graphic Design? I don’t exactly know what USC has to offer in this area since I have only been focused on Entrepreneurship. What would you suggest? Look forward to hearing back from you. FIGHT ON!!! -Travis

[–]abekislevitz

Not sure really – there are a lot of cool clubs on campus that I’m sure need graphic design help. My avenue was being the secretary of the ski team every year so I would design our website, T-Shirts, videos, etc.

 

[–]kaf1880

Trojan here and big fan of your USC Ski team edits!

How’d you balance Viterbi and going up to Mammoth every weekend to shred pow?

Gotta say your edits are keeping us going through finals here!

[–]abekislevitz

Thanks!

Hmm.. dedication to skiing I guess. I pretty much didn’t party at all my first two years of school. I would usually pull an all nighter every thursday night getting work done, hop in a car friday, do homework Saturday nights, and then come back and all nighter on Sundays. I worked about 25 hours a week to pay for school so that was most of my week outside of homework. Once senior year rolled around I figured out how to study/work and manage having a good social life.

There’s definitely no magic answer and I can tell you I wasn’t getting the same grades as my classmates. I just knew my GPA didn’t matter and that I wasn’t going to get a job because of my school stats. I came out with a 3.4 in the end which i was fine with

 

[–]djisupertramp

Hi Abe, pretty happy with this happening. Thanks for the time you takee for us. Really cool of you.

  • What do you mainly use to stabilize your edits in post production ? After Effects basic stabilization plugin ?
  • For a ski sesh’ with a Hero 2, would you rather recommend shooting 720p 60fps or 960p 48fps and downgrade it to 720p afterwards to keep as much image as possible in the frame even after post-stabilization and get all the shots smooth ?
  • Does the cage rig, the media team uses for surf shoots really helps to get smooth shots or is it just an easier way to hold the GoPro and mics ?
  • How do you call that title sequence you made in “The week-end” video intro with the pen effect ? Can’t find any tutorials ’cause I don’t really now what to google to find it.
  • Where did you get these scopes effects in Party in the park 2 ? Can’t figure that out. At least, could you tell me which keywords to google to find it (am french so don’t always find the right words to figure that out)

Thanks a lot if you take the time to answer Abe, I’ve been reading your brand new blog entries this mornin’ really interesting and following you for quite a while now, really inspiring keep it up mate.

Jeremy

[–]abekislevitz

No problem, thanks for chiming in!

  • I don’t like to stabilize that often – my general motto is if the shot is too shaky to use, it’s a crappy shot. With HERO3 you’ve got a lot of resolution to work with so it’s pretty rad to try and stabilize. I use the warp stabilizer in AE, I really like the results with that.
  • I think you’re referring to the Norberts from K-Tek. Having more weight and more hands on your rig will get a smoother shot. Some people have shaky hands that will come through if there’s no weight (just a gopro). Try mounting to something heavy vs light, you’ll see a difference.. Don’t make it too heavy or you’ll shake from muscle fatigue!
  • Hmm, not quite sure. I used Flash and hand traced all the logos 3 different times so I would get slightly differing looks. I combined them together holding on each version for about 4 frames. That’s just repeated a bunch of times. Try looking up animating in flash.
  • Hah, all of the graphics in PITP2 are hand made in photoshop. Look up HUD maybe, I looked at some ‘heads up displays’ and video games as inspiration. Hope that helps! Thanks Jeremy!

 

[–]captaingregs

Abe, How am I to begin in coding? I am super interested, but have no idea where to start.

[–]abekislevitz

Do you have access to lynda tutorials? My roommate just started learning CSS and I listened to a few of the tutorials – really awesome. Do you want to do web coding or programming? For the web start with HTML and just do some tutorials online, there are lots!

 

[–]zwakephoto

Hey Abe! Where did you learn to use after effect and premiere ? I know some of the basic of after effects and can use final cut pro pretty well but i wanna be able to do what you do! You inspire me so much and ever since I saw your videos i wanted to go to USC and work for GoPro. I’ll be applying to USC next year hopefully as a Photography Major and a Video Production Minor and ill be sure to join the ski/snowboard team! Don’t ever stop what you love to do! It’s Incredible man!

[–]abekislevitz

Thanks man! It’s all self taught from tutorials online. Check out Video Copilot and Andrew Kramer’s stuff. Learned the tools then you can start experimenting with your own stuff

 

[–]xdamanx

  • What are a few of the things you dislike about the Hero3 (whether you want it to be added in the future, or you feel like something has been taken away from past models)?
  • When you are the follow cam (while skiing), how do you time, and determine the distance that you stay behind the rider? Is it just a matter of practice, or do you actually have a strategy? Last time I tried it, just about landed on my buddy ;)
  • With your photos on the Hero3, what do you typically do to your skiing ones? I know there can be a lot of variation between each shot; but what do you generally do to most shots? Sharpen, increase contrast, vignette, etc.?
  • Are you guys going to develop some LUT’s specifically for the GoPro Camera? Do you have any that you use right now? Care to share?

Thanks for doing this Abe! Keep up the awesome work, and get your media buddies in here!

[–]abekislevitz

  • Dislikes on the HERO3 – Don’t like not having a 3.5mm stereo input for the mic – USB dongle is annoying. In the frame mount I can’t plug in an LCD screen. The wiFi app UX flow is pretty arduous to change modes – not fast or easy. Battery life is not great.
  • Follow cam is just practice and knowing your riders well. I always ask what direction they are carving off the lip and usually time dropping in at the same time as them, fall back a bit and catch up on the lip going over the jump.
  • it’s a combination of a lot of things really. I’ll just do a tutorial, explaining a certain method won’t make much sense. It’s all very visual.
  • I think cineform guys have all the LUTs, ive been meaning to ask them about that whole situation. David Newman from Cineform is on twitter, he can answer that.

 

[–]rfleason

How did I miss this! :)

Mr Kislevitz, thank you VERY much for this (GoPro_HERO I’m betting you had something to do with this), it’s great getting this kind of attention and accessibility to a company, community is what moves this.

I hope I’m not too late, my question is, “What features do you think the GoPro is missing or would you like to see in future releases? Have you had any input into the features that make the Hero3 so awesome?

[–]abekislevitz

No worries, glad you guys are stoked! I love providing information, getting everyone up to speed with some new info (makes for better marketing materials too! user generated videos!)

Hmm, I think it would be really cool to have adjustable lenses, even if it’s just CLOSE and FAR. The lenses are all focused at like 60CM so anything closer is out of focus, but everything in the distance is perfect. You can screw the lens in farther and anything close will be focused and far away stuff will be out of focus – it looks super cool.

I can’t speak on a lot of my feature ideas because they might become reality at some point! :) I’ve definitely had input, but mostly just on a user experience and things that don’t seem quite right when using the camera. Hoping to have time to give some more input over things in the future

goproama

  • Vaughany

    hey big fan of your work i watch pretty much every video that you post within an hour.

    I want to ask you if you ever consider coming to ride in australia one year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/abekislevitz Abe Kislevitz

      Thanks! Probably won’t make it down there any time soon!

  • Jake Dyson

    Dude, first of all, your work is such an inspiration! Don’t think I would of ever picked up a GoPro and started filming if it wasn’t for your edits! Truly awesome/radical stuff man! I’d love to film with the GoPro team one day! Which brings me on to my questions:

    1. What qualifications do you need as a Production artist?
    2. Does GoPro offer Work experience?
    3. Have you enjoyed working at GP?

    Thanks dude!

    • http://www.facebook.com/abekislevitz Abe Kislevitz

      Thanks! Great to hear.
      1. Pretty high standard of video production experience, it’s all based on portfolio. I put out a job app and turned down probably 100 portfolios, looked at 2 seriously.
      2. Not that I know of
      3. Of course!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/xMrMushx?feature=mhee James Woodhouse

    Hey Abe, I have a few questions to ask.
    – I was wondering what your average work time was for your normal edits ?
    – What kind computer do you use to edit ?
    – Do you audio Sync your video’s before or after the actual video editing ?
    – And is 2.7/4k resolution useful in a skiing/snowboarding environment ?
    Thankyou, and what grade did you start video editing?
    ahah thanks

    • http://www.facebook.com/abekislevitz Abe Kislevitz

      - Hmm that’s really a tough one, depends on how much time I put into After Effects. Usually it’s about 2 weeks of work if I were to work full time (8 hrs a day) with weekends.
      – Usually a mac pro
      – Not sure what you mean – Sometimes I put together a rough edit, lay the audio track down then edit to the music.
      – Yeah 2.7K is great for steady stuff – even headcam stuff – it’s so detailed and realistic.

  • http://www.youtube.com/stoicka93 Josse W

    Hi Abe,
    I’m currently trying to build the same mount as you had in The Weekend (skier, with orange jack) which gives a 3rd person perspective.
    Did you do it by using a backpack? How long would you say the pole needs to be? Or, how far was the camera above the helmet?
    Thanks in advance.

    • abekislevitz

      That was made witha windsurfing harness. The pole we used is a telescoping pole so when it’s down it’s a bit below the shoulder and when it’s high it was about 1.5 feet above his head.

      • http://youtube.com/user/Stoicka93 Josse W

        This one? I saw Andrew Shipp replying on the founder’s Facebook the other day.

        • http://youtube.com/user/Stoicka93 Josse W

          Thijs told me you will actually test this one next week! Awesome!
          Unfortunately it is beyond my student budget, I’ll stick with experimenting with a fishing rod in my backpack haha ;)

  • Stephan

    Hey Abe,
    Do You use any filters on the GoPro? (CP or any other)

    • http://www.facebook.com/abekislevitz Abe Kislevitz

      Nope, just straight out of the box

  • Jake Dyson

    Hey Abe, sorry just got another question for ya. I’m trying to find a song similar to “Ready for the Weekend” by Icona Pop but i haven’t had much luck. Would you happen to know one or two songs similar? That would be awesome! Thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/abekislevitz Abe Kislevitz

      Hmm.. I don’t know any similar off the top of my head – I feel like there are lots of swedish bands that have similar vocal tones. Look up LadyTron

  • Vaughany

    Sorry about the second question but can you do more tutorials as you helped out my After Effects editing, and also what should i do to learn more advanced tricks in the off season. Thanks Abe you legend

  • http://www.youtube.com/stoicka93 Josse

    If you have some spare minutes, please check this one Abe

  • Bobby Sunner

    Yo Abe, love the new site and your work! Had a quick question for you. I’ve noticed great detail in your sound design for a lot of your edits (especially in your DSLR-like Mt. Hood edit) I feel like I’ve been lacking in this department. Do you use or have any suggestions as far as royalty free sound effect sites or do you record your own sounds effects? Just wondering what your thoughts were on the subject b/c I feel that it is an aspect of film making that is underutilized.

  • Dani L

    Hey Abe! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! Short question: do you use the ProTune mode in your videos? And if yes/no – why? Thx!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1850372209 Rob Lamb

    Hi Abe, so glad I found your site thro Facebook. I do a lot of stills work but I’m new to video. I’m using a GoPro to do some underwater work in a pool. It’s done on a pole so there are sometimes framing issues and I’ve been using Cineform to crop and re-centre but the Cineform workflow re-sizes the video before it processes the file. So I want to crop and re-centre a 1080-60 stream and then re-size to 720-60 using what’s left of the frame in order to get the best image quality from the frame. Can you suggest software that can do that? This isn’t a big part of my work so there’s a limited budget for editing software. Thx a mil, Rob

  • ivan

    hi abe, thx for your vids! surprised that you are giving so many advices, tips and take all this time to answer fans questions! thums up
    i just bought a gopro silver and have one question:

    as there is no 1080 60fps mode, would you recommend me using the 1080 30fps wide mode or 720 60fps wide?
    especially when i`m diving…off to thailand in a week, so would be happy if you can help me out, so that i can take the best shots with my gopro!

    can you just explain shortly in which cases you would use 1080 30fps w and when 720 60fps w?

    thank you and keep it up!

    btw: just saw that you design skis too, they look AWESOME!

  • Gabe Bayona

    Hey Abe. Just wanted to say you are an amazing video editor, and just looking at this I think it’s great how you take time to answer all these questions, and that you are really a great person. You are a great inspiration, with every video you spark an idea into people’s heads, it’s amazing the feeling that I get when I see a new Abe Kislevitz video on my youtube Feed. Keep up the good work, and if you could, check out my channel youtube.com/gabedoodles, you basically inspired me to make most of them. Again thank you, if you are reading this.

  • Ben

    Abe, I was wondering what kind of anti-shake software you use at GoPro in order to get such smooth footage that you see in all the GoPro showreels each year? Thanks!

  • Brian

    Oh gahhd, had I known about the genius that is Abe Kislevitz earlier I woulda joined in on this AMA, so many questions. You should do another, soon, when you’ve got some free time.

  • Amos

    Hi Abe,

    What kind of filters do you/the GoPro team use when filming underwater? Also, have you ever used a polarised filter whilst filming around water? (In surfing edits maybe)

  • http://www.ArtworkNotAvailable.com/ Keith Hopkin

    It’s interesting how fixated everyone is on the scribble text. Years ago it would just be a given that this type of thing is a hand-drawn animation. Today, everyone wants a quick plugin for everything. Anyway, great work as usual!

  • Emanuel

    Hello
    Your GoPro Movies are amazing and how you edit it is awesome. I have the GoPro Hero 3 Black and I like to film with it. I would love to do this as job, or I just would love to work for GoPro. What do you do in your job? And how did you get this job? I t would mean a lot to me if you would answer me. Greetings Emanuel