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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

New Brighton Beach

The crew returned to the beach at New Brighton on Sunday 24.

Sasha was filming short clips for a piece he is making about people enjoying the beach.

I was busy trying to figure out how to get decent shots of mussels and coastal marine plant life while considering light and depth of field. These stills were taken of life growing on the pier columns.

We meet up with a chap about to leave for Antartica to work on a natural history programme. He normally uses a Sony PMW-EX1 camera. He was curious about the camera rig and camera because he had just bought a Canon EOS 5D Mk2.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Early morning Kowhai

Early this morning, I was filming outside the front door of my house. It had been raining and there was heavy dark cloud. Every so often the sun would punch through and the native plants would light up.

I used the Canon 5dmk2 with a EF 24-105 lens. For any macro shots I used the extenders.

Here are some stills from the same spot - the lighting changed a lot minute by minute.

I was looking for bugs but they seem to be on holiday today.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

On New Brighton Pier

The Bush Telly crew tested out the new Cineslider at New Brighton Pier last night in strong winds.

The seascape was magnificent.

Sasha made some engineering modifications to the camera rig which have made it more rigid.

I'm going to make up an aluminium base plate to mount the Cineslider to the tripod.

Sasha is designing some outrigger feet to make the slider more stable on uneven ground.

Crew member Andy is coming around later today so I'll get a chance to see the base plate he made up for his tripod.

Other ideas we had was to find some way to mount the SmallHD monitor on the end of the cineslider for the operator, and a way to tilt the cineslider.

I'm researching the use of HDR techniques for filming these magnificent landscapes in their full glory.

As I'm writing this, Dr Simon Pollard,  one of the Bush Telly Trustees, is doing his regular Science Commentator slot on National Radio - Nine till Noon. He is on every second Wednesday at 11.45am.

Today it is
"Why males are bizarre and why they evolved.".

The next shoot is this coming Sunday.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Flower day in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens

It was a beautiful sunny day in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens yesterday, when the Bush Telly crew visited to test out the new prototype camera rig S-1. We tried out everything we could think of while filming flowers using total manual camera control.

The crew made a big list of what was forgotten to bring or needed fixing. The idea is to focus on the problems that get directly in the way of a good shoot.

We will be filming every few days, until the bugs are ironed out, and then start real filming in a few weeks.

Filming will be on 2hrs short notice via the crew mailing list - dependant on weather and key crew availability. It would be good if all crew members had at least a turn so we can get warmed up as a team. The Canon EOS 5d Mk 2 camera is fantastic but it's more like a movie camera than video camera and needs a hell of a lot of practice to get top results.

To bring next time:
  • Top flag for Arri matte box
  • ND filter
  • Cineslider
  • Coffee
  • Camera bag for 5dmk2
  • Rain cover
  • Sun hats
  • Support for long telephoto lens
To fix or make ASAP:
  • Stabilise handle
  • Long handle in the way
  • Right angle HDMI adaptor needed on camera so it doesn't poke camera operators nose
  • Where does on board mic clamp on?
  • Where does headphones plug in?
  • Make base board for low hat
  • Make back plate with Velcro for radio mic receiver
  • Solve SmallHD monitor poor visibility in bright sunlight at 6 o'clock despite sun hood

Sunday, 17 October 2010