Shipstern Bluff – Luke Eblen user showcase

Luke Eblen is a filmmaker, photographer and album cover designer based in Australia who mainly works on commercial videos, but this surf video with music producer What So Not took them offshore to the notorious Shipstern Bluff, a big-wave surf location off the coast of Tasmania.

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Luke Eblen

Give us a bit of detail about yourself – background, profession, how you got into filmmaking and your current role

I began shooting video on an old JVC miniDV camera. I’m currently working across many commercial video projects but my main ongoing project is the one featured – What So Not who is also a very dear friend, we have a knack of pushing each other creatively and in life in general, its a very positive union.

Tell us about your film – how did it come about?

This film was a very special moment, Chris ( What So Not ) had just performed at Splendour in the grass (huge music festival in NSW, Australia) – We had traveled to Tasmania to chill out before a show, little did I know Chris had asked the Tasmanian surfing community via IG story if anyone could take us out to Shipsterns’ Bluff ( notorious surf break at the southernmost tip of Australia). Chris had spotted a huge swell on its way to Tasmania and the wind appeared favourable too….. the rest is history and in the film.

Why did you decide to use FilmConvert for this particular project?

I liked the way It softens the colour a little, I was using a Sony A7S2 (100fps for the waves, 4k for the non waves, not log as it was too bright and I didn’t have an ND for the hire lens I used).

I used a 70-200mm canon lens but for some of the hectic wide shots, I used my iPhone XS in 4k handheld on rocky seas in the boat. There was no time for lens changing and fiddling around the iPhone was actually perfect 2nd camera ( because there was heaps of light) The FilmConvert grade merged the footage from both cameras nicely and enriched the water colour, it gave it a “mood” and a refinement.

What was the particular look or style you were going for with your video?

The video was quite immersive, I put myself into quite daring situations at times. So I didn’t want the film to feel too “graded” but I wanted it to have touch of refinement vs consumer feel. I guess it was a cinematic doco. We also debuted a new song in the film featuring Daniel Johns of Silverchair. This film got the attention of several media outlets, notably, we got 15 minutes on Triple J national radio discussing it, which is super hard to do. FilmConvert gave it a finishing touch and help create a cinematic experience.

Tell us about your workflow. What settings, film stock, camera profiles and tweaks did you use in FilmConvert?

I shot this in Cine4 on A7s2 some in 4k some in 100fps ( the waves themselves )

I used the FJ8543VD film stock – no grain using an adjustment layer.

The intro shot has had some premiere grading also to give it more contrast but the reminder was purely FilmConvert only

I try to shoot things accurately “in-camera” so there are minimal adjustments there after…. In this case the whites overexposed in a few surfing shots and I used the 3-way color corrector to bring some derail back into the whitewash of the wave.