Monday, May 4, 2020

A little update...and a video review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered

Hi there! It's been a long time since I've posted anything on BluJav, so here's a little update on what I've been up to lately. Oh, and I made a video review of Modern Warfare 2 Remastered:

If you've read my post that I posted a couple of years ago, you would know that I have discontinued producing content on this site on a regular basis to focus on my filmmaking career. The last review I ever did was a written one on the Blu-ray of the movie That Girl in PinaforeSince that post I've been continuing my work as a freelance video editor, started a small home-based post-production business and even manage to direct a short film last year for a competition. It's called Through the Lens and you can click here to check it out if you want.

However, as everybody knows right now, we are in a midst of a coronavirus pandemic, and because of that, many of my editing and other film and TV jobs are either postponed or cancelled, not unlike what other film and media industry professionals around the world are also facing right now. So almost everyone is stuck at home either in quarantine or lockdown. Here in Singapore we are in a "circuit breaker" mode, which is essentially a partial lockdown, where non-essential businesses have to either fully telecommute or close until the "circuit breaker" measures are lifted.

As you can imagine, this left me with a lot of time at home with not much to do besides binge watching movies and TV series, and also gaming. Which brings me to this video review of Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered. This game was released without much fanfare, and it was something I was interested to check out, since I played a lot of Modern Warfare 2 back in the day. Also, since my last video review in 2015 (wow...that was a really long time ago), I have invested in much better filming equipment, like a new Panasonic GH5 camera, new audio equipment like better mics, etc, mainly for future short film productions and other video jobs. I have also recently upgraded my editing PC to handle heavier freelance edit jobs. So I thought since I have the time now, it would be interesting to see how a BluJav video review would be made if I made it with the new gear that I have now. 

So without further ado, here's my video review of Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered. If you would like to read on about some of the challenges I face making this video review after a long absence, you can read on right below this video. 

One good benefit of making this video review is I get to practice my production and editing skills, especially in the absence of many of my video and edit jobs due to the pandemic situation.

As you can imagine, even this short 5-minute video review was pretty challenging to make, especially since I shot the green screen footage entirely in 4K at 60 frames per second, and recorded easily over 8 hours of footage of the the game from many sources including PS4, original Xbox 360, and also from the PC version, which I also recorded in 4K 60FPS.

As mentioned earlier, I work as a professional video editor, so I hope you'll indulge me in letting me share some of my editing workflow in detail. For video editing software, you may have heard of Adobe Premiere, and I myself had used it for all my previous video content, but one of the most popular editing software used in the high-end film and TV industry is Avid Media Composer. It's not a software many YouTubers use, partially because of its steep learning curve, but having used it extensively on many edit jobs in recent years, I have grown to like it, and even purchased a licence for myself for my post-production business use. So i used this opportunity to really test out 4K60 video editing on my system, and whether it is feasible to edit video reviews like these on Avid. Turns out that even with my new editing PC, editing 4K 60FPS footage is still not very smooth, even after transcoding (converting) to an intermediate codec like DNXHR and ProRes. Transcoding your footage usually makes it easier to scrub your footage (this is a common practice in many professional film and TV workflows), but it turns out that the bitrate of ProRes/DNXHR at 4K60 is higher than my hard drive can handle, so I ended up editing with the raw untranscoded clips instead, which still isn't ideal, but at least it doesn't stutter as badly.

So with this new content out, you might be wondering if BluJav is making a comeback in full force. Unfortunately it's still very unlikely at this point, and especially not video reviews, because it's really time consuming to make one. My career focus is still on making films rather than just doing reviews. But truth be told, I made this video review because there really isn't much for me to do at home right now. A lot of media industry professionals are out of a job at the moment. This pandemic crisis is affecting people's livelihood in a pretty unprecedented way. I only hope once things settle down, I can continue my work in the film industry and perhaps update you guys on my future works. I am still working on a platform like social media page or a website or something to share my film works on one place, but if that happens successfully, I'll post an update so that I can direct you there to continue following me with my work. Until then, stay safe everyone!

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