Monthly Archives: July 2011

Sunday was a definitely a fun day. Yesterday, I had the good fortune to work along side a talented group of professionals that included Director, David Fishel, and Director of Photography, Ian Bloom on a short film born from David’s imagination and captured using the Phantom v640.

Pulling focus at a T-Stop of 1.4 and watching the Phantom capture life at 2000 FPS was amazing. Learning the software was equally intriguing from Ian. Shooting at such a high frame rate using an approximate ISO of 200 demanded a large amount of lighting and definitely added to the already toasty temperature of the studio.
The camera was mounted on a Caroni Lambda head via a Z-Jib (also know as a Zero Gravity Boom Arm) that offered DP a number of options to maneuver the camera around the set.
It’s always great to work with a talented and able crew that share a passion for a illustrating a good concept especially with such a fun set of toys.
Like most of the U.S., New York City is currently experiencing a heat wave and for the past three days I’ve documented this tropical spell while shooting time lapse for a new show to be aired on the Travel Channel.

The production company and crew were great to work with and provided me a enormous amount of freedom to get the shots. I had an opportunity to use the Meade Coronado mount and 497 controller as well as the Orion teletracker.

Both worked extremely well. I am partial to the Orion since I have more experience with this model and can navigate the controller easier.

The rig was mounted on top of a Sachtler ENG 2 D HD tripod with a Video 20 S1 fluid head. I definitely got a workout from carrying this monster set of sticks around NYC, but they provided me a very stable platform to mount the motion controlled head and 5D camera package.

Here are some pics I shot with my iPhone during my shoot:

I look forward to sharing the results with you from my three days of urban trekking when the show airs in the fall.
Tonight I’m gearing up to film a performance for my friend and long time collaborator, Jorge Rubiera and his band, Animal Tropical. They are making their NYC appearance tonight at The Cake Shop in the Lower East Side. Balancing a Paps Blue Ribbon budget and a desire not to spend any more money, I decided to pool together a bunch of loose parts lying around my apartment.
Tonight I created my first Frankencamera (insert thunderbolt and a screaming damsel sound effect here).

The core of the rig is a Zacuto Universal Baseplate, V3, and 12-inch rods ($530). Yep, it’s an expensive baseplate, but it comes in very handy for my steadicam operating because it allows you to manipulate the side-side adjustments to help stabilize various cameras and setups. The camera is a Canon 7D ($1400), Canon 24-70mm lens ($1400) with a Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2 ($375) and the follow focus is the IKAN Follow-Focus Cine-kit ($400). The light is a Bescor LED-70 ($70) and I’m using a small offset bracket from RedRock Micro as a handgrip.

Finally, after realizing that the rig was going to be too heavy for me to handhold the entire performance I decided to use a Manfrotto 244 Magic Arm ($100) and a standard super clamp as a shoulder brace and counter weight.
Sound will be recorded with a Zoom H4N mounted in the back of the room. A line will be either plugged directly into to the Zoom from the sound board or we will have to settle with capturing the ambient sound.
Pros: Perfectly fine to be used as a blunt weapon in the Lower East Side and it didn’t cost a thing since I owned the stuff.
Cons: At $4275 Not cheap by any stretch of the imagine and definitely not appropriate for a paying client.
However, it good to know all those episodes of MacGyver didn’t go to waste.
I look forward to posting the results of the shoot.