Gini Rig First Field Test

Had an opportunity to do a small mini documentary for a family today. The original intent was to document their 2 year old, and a newborn. I had some ‘brothers’ theme in my minds eye before the shoot began, but things took a different turn. Basically, most shots for videos are planned, rehearsed, and executed. When shooting children, planning, rehearsing goes out the window, and all you have left is the execution. And if you blink, you’ll miss everything. It was much harder than I thought it would be. But I think in time, I’ll be quicker and have a better idea of what I’m doing. Basically, during post process, you’re at the whim of the footage you took to piece together some semblance of a theme.

I opted to not to bring along my lilliput field monitor. My clamps did not arrive yet, and it would be too bulky to attempt to mount it to my tripod or slider. The equipment I did bring was:

-Canon T2i
-1Ds MK II (for stills)

-24-70Lmm 2.8
-14mm 2.8
-24mm yashica
-35L 1.4
-85L 1.2

-.6 ND filter
-rhode shotgun mike
-zacuto viewfinder
-Konova 1meter slider
-1 tripod, 1 lightstand (to support the slider)
-extra batteries

The 24mm prime was brought along just in case the 24-70 ended up being too heavy to get certain shots. I had time to setup, and plan for the establishing shots. Setting up the slider wasn’t too bad. The problem with using a fluid head with the slider though meant that I was limited to horizontal or Z-axis shots. The other caveat is, since the slider is 1 meter long, I essentially need two tripods to support the slider’s weight.

The shoulder rig worked flawlessly. It added some stability to the shots, and I think what really saved me was the Zacuto viewfinder. All the ambient light outside rendered the 3inch built in LCD useless. I’m curious how the Lilliput would fair under such conditions, and I’ll bring it along during my next shoot to see how it fairs outdoors. I learned a lot during this first gig. But most importantly, I’ve figured out two basic principals.

#1. you MUST nail the exposure on all the video shots. I don’t have the hardware to run fancy post processing on the videos, so the exposure has to be close to right the first time around. It’s not like I can shoot RAW and edit post process if I miss by a few stops.

#2 you MUST nail (or come close to hitting focus). I’m still awaiting my gears from d|focus. So I left my follow focus at home. Pulling focus is crucial, and it’s hard to try to keep do that, plus try to get the proper exposure during changing lighting conditions, all while trying to maintain as close to 1/30 or 1/60 shutterspeed, and composing the frame on the fly.

#3 Shooting good video is very hard. Things that I’ve brought to the table from my film shooting has helped to some extent, but to do video, you need to always be on your toes and think on your feet. It’s not as forgiving as shooting stills.

Here’s the final output. Used AVS video editor. It’s the easiest software that I have to edit quickly. It doesn’t have the strong features of Premiere, but I’ve tried that and it’s a best of an program. Maybe one day when I upgrade my computer.

The shooting time took roughly 2hrs, and editing was about 3-4hrs to complete.


About greenbeanfx

Photography is what I do =) If you wish to contact for a photoshoot, send me an email or comment on a blog with your info and I'll get back

Posted on October 3, 2011, in Aperature and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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