Tag Archives: nova film

Nova Film celebrates its 5th anniversary

“Time flies” they say. As cliché as it sounds, this is the least I can say when I think Nova Film is already at its 5th year in the business. It’s almost unreal to go back in time and see ourselves as the small team of 4 in our first offices in Ste-Foy, where we were basically jumping on every possible contract that involved video and money, to looking at today, where we’re now one of the biggest production company in Quebec City and dealing with national and international companies and agencies. It’s even a bit scary to think about what will happen in the next 5 years, taking in consideration this mind-blowing evolution.

Last Thursday, we hosted our anniversary party at Caserne Dalhousie, which is the production facility for Ex-Machina and world-renowned creator Robert Lepage. Over 150 of our clients and partners came to celebrate this very important milestone for the company. It was also our opportunity to release our brand new logo, designed by Quebec agency Hatem+D.

Two video-projectors displaying our brand new showreel and a Twitter feed showing everyone who wished us #BonneFeteNova, a gigantic lighted Nova Film logo, a 20-foot-high DJ booth, an ice sculpture to poor liquor and two immense paintings by Quebec artist Joelle Blouin were just a few of the components of the setup we put together to make sure everyone wowed at the room when they entered. And they did. While us, the Nova team, are very professional people, we also know how to throw a party like few can.

The evening started off as more of a cocktail, where Francois and David, the two founders of Nova Film, spoke on the microphone to the crowd to thank them for their constant trust and support, and eventually introducing our much-anticipated 2012 Showreel. As the evening went on, the ambiance grew and soon the sound of DJ Adam DoubleYou filled the room and quickly transformed the cocktail-style event into a party that those who were still there to witness will not soon forget.

I strongly recommend that you check out our new website and Facebook page, on which you can see all the photos from the evening. If you missed this, then we hope we can celebrate our 10th anniversary in your company.


Nova working with Festival d’Été de Québec !

Note: All artists photos belong to Cyberpresse.ca

Seriously, where to begin ? This year, Festival d’Été de Québec, which I will go ahead and say is now one of the biggest music festivals in the whole world, contacted Nova Film to produce a short video demonstrating the ambiance reigning in the city during the 10 days of shows. Let me start by saying that in terms of fun and wow-factor, this is hands-down the best contract we’ve worked on yet.

The people from the organization were very cooperative, giving us all-access passes and letting us do what we had in mind, as long as it didn’t interfere with the artists’ media restrictions. Right from the start, the objective was to produce to least footage possible, because in the end, this will be a 60-to-90 second video. Focusing on quality instead of quantity, we set up a list of various, original shots we could create for every show, every stage, and the city in general.

All shot with the office’s 7D and my T2i, we grabbed every lens available to us, and pretty much every piece of equipment we own and we went to work. Dollies, 80-foot cranes, sky-high rooftop shootings, steadycam, poles, timelapses, body-surfing shots, hand-held shots… there’s pretty much nothing we didn’t bring to our game for this project.

Dave and I when we were going up an 80-foot crane to film the 100 000 people attending Black Eyed Peas.

Not only did we produce amazing images, but we also had the best seats in the house for every show, and need I tell you that there were some amazing shows going on ! We were off for the first Friday, because the forecast predicted thunderstorms. So, I decided to go see Dream Theater and Iron Maiden under pouring rain. Dream Theater is band I wanted to see for so long, and they did not disappoint. They gave a solid performance and John Petrucci proved why he’s considered as one of the top guitarists in the world. Then the always entertaining Bruce Dickinson, who speaks good French, accompanied by the 5 other members of Iron Maiden, came on stage. Despite the fact that they left out a couple of classics, like Trooper, Aces High, Run To The Hills and The Clairvoyant, they delivered a solid performance and Dickinson had a unique connection with the crowd.

Bruce Dickinson singing like he’s still 35.

On Monday, it was time for some handheld shots in the crowd, and was there a crowd gathered to see Arcade Fire ! I couldn’t believe my eyes seeing that many people gathered for a band I believed to be underground. They gave one hell of a performance, way beyond anybody’s expectations. This was definitely one the shows I enjoyed the most during the Festival.

Arcade Fire

On Wednesday we went to do some steadycam shots at The Cat Empire, a band that, despite the fact they’ve been in Quebec a few times, I knew nothing about. Well, this is definitely my musical discovery at this year’s Festival. Rarely have I seen a band perform better on stage. They sounded great, they interacted with the crowd and they always pushed their songs a bit further to get the crowd into it.

The Cat Empire

Friday was definitely the night I anticipated the most, with K’naan opening for the Black Eyed Peas. K’naan gave a tremendous performance, and one of the highlights of the shooting was when we got up in the crane at sunset to film the crowd during Wavin’ Flag. This was really something special. Then the Black Eyed Peas got on stage, and media restrictions prohibited us from having video equipment on the site. So, we put our gear away and enjoyed a couple of songs. The crowd was going crazy for what is probably the biggest band on the planet right now. I would have went ahead and said that it was pretty much the biggest crowd I had ever seen in my entire life, but then there was Sunday…

The Black Eyed Peas, giving a show that will definitely be remembered in Quebec.

Sunday… what can I say ? The Festival decided that Rammstein would close the celebrations, and to be honest, I thought that was a bad decision. I thought Rammstein was an old metal band that nobody listened to anymore… Was I wrong ! Honestly, I had never witnessed anything like that. Die-hard metal fans came from around the world to see this show. There wasn’t a single inch left in all the plains of Abraham for someone to be there. The crowd must have been well over 100 000 people. We went on top of the Concorde, the highest view point for the plains of Abraham, to make a timelapse of the first 30 minutes of the show. Once again, this was definitely one of the most insane views I had ever seen. We saw the whole city to our left, with the ocean of red flashing pins that everyone wears during the festival to our right.

One frame of the 160-frame time-lapse we shot on top of the Concorde.

We then put our gear away and went to see the rest of the show. While I’m not a huge fan of their music, I must say that this show sounded probably better than any show I’ve been to. The sound was unbelievably clear. But what definitely made this show one of the best in this year’s Festival is the visual aspect, that included more fireworks than a 4th of July party. I can’t even start to describe how it was, but if you ever have the chance to see this band, you’ll understand !

Rammstein !

Finally, I’d like to congratulate everyone who worked at bringing such a memorable event to Quebec City, and I’m anxious to see what you have in store for us next year !

New Nova Film motion design reel

Well, another year is done at Nova, and once again looking back at the company last year and today, it seems like we fast-forwarded in time 10 years. When we released the 2009 reel, about exactly the same date as today, we were 4 employees plus one part time employee in an 800 square-feet office in Ste-Foy, a suburb of Quebec City, working on a couple large scale projects, but mostly doing corporate videos for small local businesses. We’ll be six full time employees when Phil comes back from Thailand, in a 1800 square-feet loft in downtown Quebec City, more specifically in the St-Roch area, the new media and advertising center of town, where Ubisoft, Beenox, LG2 and a handful of other companies are. While our main field of work still is corporate videos, the amount of TV advertisement we’re doing is increasing every month, and our clients list is becoming more and more impressive. We just renovated the office to turn one open-space area into a closed editing studio with an 8-core MacPro with 16GB of RAM, two 23″ 1080p displays and a 37″ HD TV hanged on the wall to output the projects full-screen as we work, something we would only dream of having 6 months ago.

Enough about the history lesson, and on with the reel. I’m very proud of it, since this year the content is 100% from me, and I think it looks kick-ass. I’ve already been having a couple of questions on how I’ve done the intro shot, and here’s the answer. A while ago I learned about a technique called camera mapping, and found this tutorial which I thought was insane. My main objective was to do the signature with a 3D tracking technique, since I think what I’ve done up to now in terms of tracking has been good, but far from perfect. What sucks though is that right now the weather in Quebec is not super good, the full-of-brown-snow scenery isn’t particularly interesting, and I really wanted to do something outside to get the best light without too much setup. So I decided that it was time for me to take out this tutorial and try camera mapping once and for all. Coincidentally, Nick Campbell released another cam-map tutorial about the same time, so I had two sources to pick up techniques.

I’m really happy about how it turned out and I think it gets you hooked up for what’s too come. I’m really not a big fan of 3D, especially modeling, but this kind of type animation I’m really into. So take a look at this, and if you want to see the complete projects that are shown, hit up www.novafilm.ca and take a look at the different sections.

Update about myself !


Feels like an eternity since the last time I spoke about what I’ve been doing at Nova. So here it is. It has been one crazy summer, and let me tell you that I paid my share of over-time for leaving 10 days to Vegas and LA in July.

Back in July I did two TV spots for some events in Quebec, which were the Wakest, a wakeboard competition, and Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France, which is a Renaissance festival to celebrate the early days of the creation of Quebec City. (The Wakest one may seem weird, because it was a 4:3 ad that was cropped to 16:9 for the website)



Then in August, we produced two TV shows that will soon air on V-tele, which is the rebranded TQS channel by Remstar. We did two event coverage shows for Gestev, which is an event management company known worldwide, especially for putting together the Red Bull Crashed Ice in QC. The two shows we did were for the Delerium, an urban BMX competition, and also for the Wakest which I spoke about earlier. There are two wrap-ups of the 30-minute TV shows on Nova’s website.

Then I DP’ed and edited a corporate video for Industrielle Alliance, the biggest Insurance company in Quebec. I was stoked about this one since we used the Letus35 adapter for the whole shoot, and the result came out great, even with little light. I’m even in one of the shots of the video !


I also DP’ed another corpo, this time for an English client, with JF Larouche agency for Myca, a pharmaceutical company. I was also in charge of the 3D animation for the whole thing.


Last but not least, we were also in charge of all the video projection for the Military Tattoo, which is a multimedia show presenting military music bands from all over the world, put together by Dufour Events. In short, we had to edit 25 wrap-ups of some mainstream movies, because the bands were all playing music from famous flicks. Then, we also had to do over 30 title animations for the various bands and themes of the show. And all this was projected on a circular screen, so you can imagine the composition problems it caused. If that wasn’t enough, we also filmed a soldier on a green screen doing every single salute from every possible side. Then, on stage, there were four 4′ X 8′ LED panels with maybe 10 feet between each of them, where the band members entered the stage. We then had to match the green screen footage on the LED panels with the real-life soldiers. And we also used that soldier to create an introduction, which I DP’ed, edited and co-directed with director Ghislain Turcotte, for the entire show. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun and it was so different from everything we usually do that I really enjoyed it, even after back-to-back 71-hour weeks !


Anyway, this is about it. Things slowed down at the beginning of September, which was a huge relief, but the rush is kind of coming back now, so I’ll have more work to show in the coming month.

Vegas baby, Vegas !

I haven’t been posting stuff often these past few weeks on here, and the reason is simple: way too much work ! I’ve been working on some documents for a web-tv show I’m trying to get together for next winter, and most of all, we’ve been insanely busy at Nova Film. It’s almost inhuman to think we can meet every deadline that is imposed to us, but somehow, we manage to succeed. Once all this work is uploaded on the website, I’ll post something to let everyone know.
Anyway, all that to say that starting tomorrow, I’m officially on vacation for 10 days, and my buddies and I are leaving for 4 days to Las Vegas, and then 6 days to LA to check out the X-Games.
It should be one hell of a trip, and my blog posts in the next week or so might be a lot more about the trip itself than media stuff.
So keep checking to see what we’re up to in the States, and when I get back, I’ll make sure to find some sick stuff to post to compensate for my absence lately.

New Nova Film website and Jardin Hamel ad!

It was long due, but it is finally here ! The totally redesigned Nova Film new website (I feel like an infomercial when I write like that) ! We changed our old Flash site for a brand new HTML, which I must say is a lot more user friendly, and is simpler for us to manage also. It was designed by Philippe Tetu, a co-worker at Nova Film, who also does some web design on the side.
We’ve updated with some new projects, but I wanted to point one in particular, since I was the one creating it at like 97%. It’s the Jardin Hamel motion design ad.
It was a concept developed by the agency Bleu Outremer in Quebec City. Check it out !