Sydney, Australia - As filmmaker, citizen journalist and charitable organizer Shawn Ahmed, who founded the global poverty focused video blog The Uncultured Project, will tell you -- you can't move people with bad footage. That's where CoreMelt, the developer of advanced video plugin effects and their Lock & Load line of image stabilization tools come in.
''I see my work as part citizen journalist, part citizen philanthropist,'' Ahmed explains. ''I'm also trying to inspire viewers to do something. I'm trying to get donors, people on the ground and corporations working together. Having access to the latest filmmaking technology is crucial. Lock & Load makes a lot of that possible by helping me tell stories that need to be told.''
Working with YouTube, Ahmed's films have been viewed over 2.6 million times, raising money for an array of endeavors in Bangladesh and Kenya that have resulted in a clean water system for a village of over 50 families; rebuilding a school that serves over 100 students; providing emergency disaster relief to over 80 families, and helping the charity Save the Children's community health worker program that will ultimately aide over 10,000 children against major childhood fatal illnesses.
But while his work is noble, his workflow was anything but. The far-flung locales, where access to communication basics like electricity, were often at ends with Ahmed's filmmaking needs.
Consider this: For every hour of footage Ahmed shot it would take him an hour to transfer it to his MacBook Pro. From there he would begin what he literally called his "multi-day" process to stabilize the footage using Final Cut Pro's Smoothcam plug-in. Given the urgency of his work, spending inordinate hours of time just to stabilize the footage demanded a change to a more efficient workflow.
''I would spend most of my nights stabilizing footage,'' Ahmed says, ''and whenever the power went off, which happens frequently in the third world, I would nervously watch as battery power in the laptop drained steadily and the status bar on Smoothcam progressed hoping either the power would come back or Smoothcam would finish. If neither happened, I'd have to start the whole process over again.''
Ahmed discovered Lock & Load while browsing and downloaded the free trial, and instantly it completely changed his workflow. "No longer did I have to go through the waiting process," Ahmed adds. "I could edit the way I normally do, bring it into Lock & Load and it would stabilize the footage within minutes. What once took hours now took minutes."
After contacting CoreMelt founder Roger Bolton about his work, the company donated a Lock & Load license to his cause.
''CoreMelt's software brings a level of artistry to my films that I could never afford to achieve the traditional way,'' Ahmed says. ''Lock & Load gives amazing results instantly to blurred footage, eliminates ghosting effects and reduces rolling shutter artifacts that typically come from shooting on-the-go. Having access to the latest technology is crucial. CoreMelt is making a lot of that possible by helping me tell stories that need to be told.''