France Trip Update: Day 7-8

Sorry for the light postings. It is a lot of work and between shooting and driving I am really tired. I am including some technical details at the end of this posting on how things are going from a techie standpoint. And of course some photos (remember they are blueish because I can’t edit or color correct on here!)

Day 7
(12) Chateau de Chenonceau
(13) Chateau de Villandry
(14) Chateau de Azay-le-Rideau
(15) Chateau de Rochecotte (We stayed there!)

Day 8
(16) Chateau de Langeais
(6a) Dolmen de Bagneux
(17) Chateau de Saumur

The Loire is amazing and the weather has been great – just a light mist one morning. A couple of highlights for you:

We ran to Langeais to be there first thing in the am and at 9:30 they did indeed drop the drawbridge (and I got it on film). Because it was a Sunday they also had a market which was a lot of fun.

Backing up a little bit our stay at the Chateau Rochecotte couldn’t have been better. Not only is it an amazing castle but one of the owners agreed to let me interview her. She was nervous and some of the questions she answered in French (which I said was fine – I will have it subtitled when we get home). Some questions she answered in English though (so I knew what she said) and then she took us on a tour of the grounds and into the woods and we spent over an hour together and it really was magical. Afterward we ate dinner at the Chateau and WOW it was a real event – even nicer than the night before – I think tomorrow (or the next time I have Internet) I will devote some of the blog to a discussion of food. She gave me a bottle of wine which we now have to figure out how to get home.

As a surprise to Jenny and Tim I drove on a little side trip (all of 10 min) to the Café Dolmen in Saumur which houses the largest Dolmen in France – it was pretty kewl. Not a castle but a very large and very old stone structure nonetheless.

The Bed and Breakfast in Angers is lovely – we are starting to hit regions where the bathroom and toilet are separate. This is GREAT if you are traveling with other people. The proprietor really doesn’t speak any English so I am not going to even try and interview him.

It is strange how the film part of this is going. I have been able to film everywhere but almost all handheld. I have recorded very little audio and I have also gotten a ton of photos. As the trip progresses the post production of the film keeps changing and I can safely tell you I have no idea what the final product will be like yet.

Some technical stuff:

So far I have taken:
12 Hours of Tape
1390 Photos

I have used the tripod twice: once during the interview and the other time to watch the drawbridge drop. Generally it is hard to carry and no one lets you use it. I am using this $50 pro-cam sports mount handle thing I bought before the trip and it works better then expected. The bean bag mounting thing was a waste of time. So was the whiteboard it just isn’t convenient (however the superclamp I bough to hold it as well as the car window mount did prove useful for the microphone).

From a microphone perspective I am only use the Rode shotgun mic – it has good wind and ok noise elimination and I am able to sneak it in most place. Often we only pull it out when I want the ambience or will speak myself. The base of it broke but I was able to attach a tripod mount to it and it mount to the underside of the pro-cam mount it is pretty funny looking and quick to disassemble.

The rainslicker I got for the video camera I have used a couple of times and works well. For the most part I do not use the good handheld wireless microphone. The white balance card for the video camera I have only used a few times because I move to various lighting situations too quickly.

I have lost two lens caps. The video camera one just vanished and the zoom lens cap is floating in front of Azay-le-Rideau.

The GPS logger is working great s a live GPS feed into the NetBook computer I brought with me and have sitting on the dashboard for turn by turn directions. All of this goes into a backpack that never leaves my touch!

OK so there are some technical details for my geeky friends.

And some more photos for your enjoyment.





[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]