Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How do you shoot a car sequence - or even car show

This week I have finally got through to finishing off the Ferrari piece after some final project markings.

Anyways, so how do you shoot a car show with no budget or using videojournalism, without any rigs, jibs, dollys, reds, aerial mikes, filters, specialised lenses, mounts, and so on ?

All I used was the A1 Sony in HDV mode, the rest is Gonzo.


Cliff said...

Although I am sure one go gonzo, doesn't the Boy Scout Adage "Always Be Prepared" make sense whenever going on a shoot???

I pack everything in a photo backpack. ALong with my TRV950's, I never go without my Centru Optics .55 w/a lens adapter, polarizer and ND filters for my Cavision Mattebox. I would rather utilize a monopod than nothing at all. I always carry a tablepod for bracing against a wall or other nearby flat surface. Other than my Rode VideoMic, that's basically it.

If you HAVE to get the story right - why not do it right the first time?

Cheers mate,

Cliff Etzel

Dr David Dunkley Gyimah said...

Ahh it's the operative use of the word "right". How do you know I don't consider I got the story right? :)

I have worked alongside some VJ folk in Berlin. They were v professional and were carrying quite a chunk on their back.

What I also found out from a fraternity of VJs from around the world, there are different styles and approaches.

In the UK, when we started off, a few years back, we packed, but soon many of us ditched everything for just the camera. I do the same for Journalists I advise on training courses.

On more advance courses I open them up to filters, steadycams etc, mike arrangements - all solid TV stuff, but It's really horse for courses and what makes you the VJ comfortable.

I suppose I'm using "Gonzo" metaphorically, to give people an idea. But the truth is I have always been light and "aggresive" with the camera. I also shoot "dirty" as a signature. I can do a lot in post e.g After Effects.

On network TV stories in the past with time and a nice budget, yep I've had the whole shabang. Successor Generations for network Channel 4 News made from South Africa is one example. I even had the DVW900 camera. ( see previous post "Small cameras=cheap TV, Yes? No?")

On some shoots on viewmagazine it's been tripoded ( carbon fibre tripod v. light) and miked e.g. Sony Dual Channel Radio mic

For example Dream Girls, which I got two of my former students to do and we had oodles of time.

But stories e.g features, news current affairs "waiteth for no one" - that's my motto.

In docs and current affairs, I prefer to move quite fast around the story, eschew set/up reconstructions and am constantly thinking: "have I got the story". 8 Days is probably the most visible and high profile of this - all handheld sans filters etc.

Doesn't mean the gear you mentioned isn't apt, so long as you can work it pretty fast- great!

Again, it's about choice. I'm no Spileberg, oh no, but on "Saving Private Ryan", they stripped the camera of all luxuries to achieve that "frenetic" look landng on the beach.

Also, I'm not alone, quite a few VJs/ producer /directors I know e.g Claudio Von Planta shoot "neat".

Thanks Cliff. You ask incisive questions which I hope helps others to understand this strange thing that you, others, myself do.

Bottom line it's all about the story. Therre are no wrongs (well), just different methodologies at work.

re: the Boy Scouts, I was a member in my youth. Better to be prepared than to be sorry. And then in my VJ days, if it moves go handheld, if its still e.g. building, tripod. And when you're comfortable break another rule.

Dr David Dunkley Gyimah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr David Dunkley Gyimah said...

p.s silly me! A lot of the times I also don't want to be seen filming. Don't worry there are laws governing this, but what I mean is to be inconspicuous enough so there's no acting on anyone's part.
I can't tell you the amount of times I shot footage of the police or been out with them and going light has helped tremendously.

There's a scene in the Ferrari film where a man drops by in his car just to say hello, and I immediately engage him. Though he saw I was filming, I didn't want it make a song and dance about it, so I continued to film without looking at the monitor, but judging the cameras angle t get the shot.

You can see him on the Ferrari promo

Cliff said...

Ahh - Gotcha mate - you're correct in asking about what it means to get it right.

Thanks for clearing that up ;-)


Cliff Etzel