Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Shoot

So, After much Pre-Production, location scouting and technical investigation we were finally ready to shoot. For this I called on my good friends, talented technicians and lady friend for a morning of shooting. As I planned to film on a Friday morning I called up the Bristol Film Office who advised me there just happened to be another shoot going on at the exact same time in the exact same place and that it wouldn't be possible to film at that time. I kindly thanked the lady, hung up the phone and filmed there anyway.

For the shoot I hired out a number of pieces of equipment from the media centre. The first and most important piece of kit was the camera. New to UWE this year were the additions of the Panasonic af101 film camera. These are some pretty slick camera's, shooting in HD, but the nice part is the use of different lenses.

We had the choice of using either a 14mm pancake lens standard 35mm macro lens. The choice of lens is very important in the post production process, especially when it comes to matchmoving as excessive lens distortion can be problematic in gaining a smooth track. After some tests we decided to still with the 35mm macro set to infinity. This allowed us not to worry about focus issues, both on location and in post production.

As the location test shots had demonstrated, a hand held camera was proving very difficult to track. There were a number of ways around this including a ghetto setup tripod steady cam, however as we had the use of a dolly at our disposal, we decided to go for the Key West dolly (no track).

The dolly proved very good at attaining smooth motion although some stabilization will need to be added on the final shot de-jitter some of the pan.

Ollie, Rob and myself setting up the dolly and camera.
Once all the equipment was setup up we did a number of takes, testing out lenses and varying heights of the camera. Every take that was shot was logged. Additional measurements were taken such as; camera height, from ground, use of lens and measurements of objects and architecture on location to input to matchmoving software in order to recreate the environment.

After a number of tests, this is the final shot that I settled on. This shot, although far from perfect had a smooth fluid enough motion to track and good height off the ground in order to see the geographical features.

All in all the shoot went very smoothly and we managed to get a good enough shot to manipulate in post. I feel that the location reccies and pre-production test shots were immensely valuable in order to avoid any major mistakes that may call for a re-shoot.

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