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Mark K. from the Sloan School for Management called the other day with a cool request.  Can you bring the doorway dolly and help shoot some “B” roll?  Of course!  The doorway dolly is really fun to work with in the right circumstance, and this job was perfect for it!

Hi Hat and the Doorway Dolly

Graeme gets to drive

Sloan already had some stock footage of other parts of the campus, and Mark had just finished up shooting some interviews.  All that was left was some cool “motion,” and that’s where the dolly came in.

Because the floors inside the buildings were exceptionally smooth, the doorway dolly was a perfect fit.  Graeme and I headed in with the Sony FS100, some wide primes, the doorway, the Magliner cart, some sandbags, and got to it.

Hi Hat

One of my favorite ways to use the doorway is with the Hi -Hat.  If you haven’t seen a Hi-Hat, then you should check it out.  In a nutshell, its just a mini platform for the camera that lets you get really low.  I bought a 100mm base at FilmTools in L.A., and then made my own base in the shop.  Keeping the camera low on the doorway and sandbagging the hell out of it gives a nice, steady platform for shooting.  Of course you are not going to want every shot so low, but it is a great place to start when doing some epic movement shots.

The best kind of art director is one who knows what he/she wants, gives good direction, and then eases back and lets you do your thing.  Mark is just this sort of AD, and what makes him particularly cool to work for is that he worked for a long time as a commercial photographer.  When a client really can speak the language, great stuff happens.  Thanks Mark!



We’ve been on the road much of Feb shooting photography, but finally had some time to get back in the editing room and finish another film in our Investigator Profiles for MIT RLE.

This one is probably one of my favorites so far.  This Investigator deals with mostly theory, so the big challenge for us was how to illustrate thought.   To do this, we used a bunch of time lapse and motion graphic work.  It was a lot of fun to work with the scientists on the shot where their mathematical computations appear in thin air and then float into the ether.

We also continued our tradition of creating a custom music track for the film.  I hope you enjoy!

Here are some of the rushes that go along with the post Movie Tools.

The footage was all shot using the Eazy-Jib.



Phil holding the preview monitor as I operate the crane

This has been the month of movie tools!  First we were using the Steadicam, and over the weekend, we wrapped up with two days of shooting with the Eazyjib crane.


Rabbit and Phil the Intern dial in the counter weights

Fridays shoot day was focused on shooting “B” roll for our on going film series Called Investigator Profiles for our client The Research Lab of Electronics.

Investigator Profile Series for RLE

Investigator Profile Series for RLE

We were using the Eazyjib, which is a simple counter weighted light duty film crane.  The crane is split into three basic parts.  The head, the arm, and the tripod.   This system is fairly easy to break down and move around from scene to scene with two or three people.

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Last week, I ordered the new Profoto Acute B 600 battery-powered generator, and have been itching to get out to play with it. We were able to finish up in the office early today, so it was a great opportunity to get out and be creative!

MTB Rider at Wompatuck

MTB Rider at Wompatuck

We decided to drive over to our local state park (Wampatuck) to explore some mixed lighting problems and do some work with motion. Wampatuck is well known in my area for its mountain biking, so it was the perfect place to find a great rider and explore some creative thoughts.

As this is a simple, yet pretty cool effect, I thought it would be a good lesson to talk about, so here goes…..

Whenever you begin to shoot a photograph, it is good to have an objective in mind, so… In an nutshell, the objective was to have motion in the background (to show that the rider was rolling,) yet freeze his face to give it just enough production polish. There are certainly several things going on here, and it is easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start, so lets start with the most complex and work our way out of the box.

Securing the camera to the trailer hitch

Securing the camera to the trailer hitch

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There is no better excuse for getting out out on the water than under the guise of shooting some personal work.

00... Way way too early!!!!

Loading the truck at 03:00... Way way too early!!!!

Chris at the helm.  Thank GOD for coffee!!!

Chris at the helm. Thank GOD for coffee!!!

Today, I decided to get out into Boston Harbor in search of some new possibilities for my portfolio. We launched the boat in Hingham Harbor at 04:00 and ran the 8 miles out to the Graves in the dark. The water was perfectly smooth and the ride was great fun.

I wasn’t exactly sure of the image I was after, but I had some idea as I had been out to the lighthouse two days prior scouting. My objective for the day was to come back with two basic images. First, I wanted to shoot some cool panoramics incorporating the sunrise and the lighthouse. Secondly, I was after an industrial image inside the harbor by the airport. I will talk about that image in another post. Read the rest of this entry »


August 2020