Red Bull 'Conquer the Crown'
Mon, May 6 2013 02:15
Director Ryan Heron asked me to be the Director of Photography for this clip for Red Bull.
To be perfectly honest, when we first started talking I thought "what a fantastic idea… it will never happen…they will never give permission for a road closure." When Ryan called me up with the green light I couldn't believe it!
This job involved a lot of logistics. There was plenty of prep, and we had a great, experienced crew. We were able to section off the road into three parts. With each section we were able to have a five minute road closure every thirty minutes. Which mean't we could send Mad Mike Whiddett through for one run each block. With such a small shooting window we needed to make the most of each run.
We used several cameras on the job. Two Red Scarlet's shooting at 4K so that we could reframe and stabilise in post. I shot one of the Scarlet's for the establishers and end sequence, and it was also the camera I had on the tracking vehicle. Simon Tutty operated the other Scarlet on the tripod shots. Jamie McKenzie bought down his Sony F5 and he was shooting the slider shots. Daryl from Phantom Effect came down with a Phantom V642 which we shot at frame rates up to 2500fps. Minicam expert Ben McAlister was in charge of the Go Pro Hero 3's. Finally, we had Peter Thompson there with his Cineflex in the helicopter.
We were lucky enough to have Pete Bradshaw as the Grip / Precision Tracking Vehicle driver. It was the last job for the 'Expert' vehicle before retirement… and I think we gave it a good send off. I shot from both the front and the rear using a gyro stabilised bungy system. We planned through the shots careful, and chose the corners where mike would be at a close (but safe) distance to the lens. We essentially kept to separate lanes and Mike would then drift the car through frame with Pete holding a safe line, and me holding on and locking into the frame that I wanted. It was fantastic seeing the control that Mike had and the shots that we were able to pull off.
Post Production was handled by Mandy in Auckland with Smoke Artist Andy Timms and Colourist Dave McLaren.
This was a great job to shoot. Really different to conventional car commercials where we have to stay at the speed limit and keep within the white lines!
Photos courtesy of Graeme Murray and Miles Holden
Mon, Mar 18 2013 01:43
I was the 2nd Unit DP / B Camera Operator on this TV Commercial for Nikon.
Henrik Hansen was the Director and Marc Flennert was the DP.
Big Fish was the production company and Leilani Tomaszewski from the Sweet Shop handled the production in both Australia and New Zealand.
We filmed exclusively on Nikon D800 cameras. At the time they had only just been released, and we were pleasantly surprised by the image. They were great to work with, and provided a really nice picture.
We mostly used their Prime Lenses, and a semi flat picture profile. We did tests with an external recorder, but found that there was little benefit for the added bulk and complications.
We filmed part of the spot in remote Fiordland, New Zealand with access by Helicopter.
We filmed the other part of the commercial at Lake Gairdner, Western Australia. We stayed at Mt Ive Station. It was a major undertaking to get the crew there. We travelled in convoy, in Toyota 4x4's with extra water, tyres, and in constant radio contact. It was a very long journey… but the location was worth it.
Lake Gairdner is a Salt Flat Lake, and it was beautiful. We travelled all that way for the early morning reflections and we spent about a week to get the perfect shot.
Our Australian crew was excellent and their expertise at working in the outback was very appreciated.
We also shot a few more stand alone clips for Nikon, and they will be released over the coming months.
It was a great shoot with a wonderful crew, and I am hoping to work with my Australian friends again soon.
Thanks to Joe Wigdahl and my assistant Paul Shakeshaft for the photos.
Shotover Camera Systems with Red Epic
Sat, Mar 9 2013 12:41
I recently had the opportunity to operate the Shotover Camera Systems stabilized gimbal for a wine film project.
The gimbal is six axis stabilized, and the results were perfect.
Alfie Speight was the pilot, and we filmed in the Gibbston Valley, near Queenstown, New Zealand.
We flew with a Red Epic camera and an Arri / Fujinon 18-80mm lens. (I used the wide angle as I wanted to be very close to the vines for this shoot. The Optimo 24-290mm is another easy lens to fly).
The system also takes Alexa, and both 2D and 3D are supported.
The Red was integrated very neatly into the setup. I had full menu control of the camera through the laptop controller, and I could adjust frame rate, shutter angle etc very easily. It was just like using a Redmote, but with a joystick.
I had overlay lens information from a PCB, and my Focus, Iris, Zoom position could be displayed or hidden on the monitor as required.
We achieved some beautiful images. I look forward to shooting with the Shotover again soon.
Sam Neill 'Cornucopia Vitus'
Mon, Jan 28 2013 01:11
Here is a fun little job that I shot for the 2013 Pinot Conference. Roger Tompkins was the Director and we shot it on one of my Red cameras with a tiny crew.
Ssang Yong 'Rexton'
Sun, Nov 11 2012 03:14
Leigh Hart from Moon TV asked me to be the DP on this car commercial for the new Rexton.
We only had one day to shoot the job, and there was a lot to get through. Stunts, pyrotechnics, bonnet rig, side rig, dialog, tracking vehicle and aerials. The only way to achieve all of this in one day was to shoot without road closures. Moon TV found a great private track at Boomrock, just outside Wellington.
I flew up from Queenstown with my Grip, Josh Dunn. All of my equipment is packaged for travel. I bought up a Red Epic, Red Scarlet, Leica Primes, Canon Zooms, Monitors, Mattebox, Filters etc. Everything we needed for a two camera shoot. Josh travelled with his full rigging kit and even a 3' slider. With my Air New Zealand status we flew with all of this gear for only $60 excess luggage costs!
We picked up the rest of the crew locally, with Roger Fenstra on focus, and Kim Thomas assisting.
Because we had a very small crew we were able to move quickly and efficiently. Leigh was Directing as well as staring in the commercial. Once I was happy with a take, we would review playback directly from the Red camera and move on.
Having both the Red Epic and the Red Scarlet on set was a huge time saver. I was able to shoot one of the cameras while the second one was being pre-rigged for the next set up. This allowed us to move very quickly. Also, because of their small size I was able to rig both cameras on the bonnet at the same time, so we could shoot a two shot and a close up simultaneously.
A few of the behind the scenes pictures of the 'camera crew' being taken out by the water were 'leaked' on Facebook before the commercial was released. This caused a huge amount of feedback, and the viral campaign was a great success.
Here is the infamous 'Camera' that was taken out during the filming of the commercial… (rest assured, everything went as planned).
I really enjoyed shooting this commercial. Everyone involved was fun to work with. The script was refreshing, and I am very happy with the result.
Thanks to Brady Dyer for the photos.
Sir Michael Hill: Family Tree
Mon, Oct 8 2012 03:37
Here is a short video that I made for Sir Michael Hill. Glen Wallace from Announce Design organized the shoot, and I took care of the Production.
I filmed on my Red Scarlet camera in 4K HD so that I would have the option to reframe in post. I also took full advantage of my Macro Lenses, capturing great close up's of Sir Michael's cartoon drawing.
It's always a pleasure to work with Sir Michael. I always learn something from him, and I hope that you find his cartoon meaningful.
Annabel Langbein: Simple Pleasures
Mon, Oct 1 2012 06:13
I was the B Camera DP for a few weeks on the current season of Annabel Langbein that is screening on TV One.
Hamish Wilson was the main DP, and responsible for the shows great look. I spent a lot of time on the Mini-Jib, and it was great fun shooting so many hero food 'pack shots' each day. Not to mention all the tasty food!
We shot on Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD Cameras. You can catch it at 7pm Saturday TV One, or online.
Cinematography Montage 2012
Sun, Sep 9 2012 03:49
Here is a selection of my recent work.
Thu, Jul 12 2012 03:46
I recently shot a campaign for Hellers.
The commercials were produced by Shuriken and Directed by Richard Bell. It was great working with Richard. He has an extensive background in the industry having worked on some of the most iconic music videos made in the last 20 years. His planning and Direction made the shoot go very smoothly.
It was good working with Leigh Hart aka 'That Guy' again. Leigh is always professional and is a pleasure to work with. The last time we shot together back in 2008 we made this spot for Speights.
We shot Hellers on the Red Scarlet with Zeiss Super Speed lenses. It's such a great camera to work with and I am very happy with the results.
We had a great team on the shoot. We negotiated the weather, and shot around the shortest day of the year to capture 3 commercials in 3 days.
Sarah Alainn 'Breathe in Me'
Thu, Jun 28 2012 03:09
Universal Music Japan asked me to be the Cinematographer and Director for this music video for Sarah Alainn, for her debut album 'Celeste'.
(This online copy is a very low quality short version. There is a HD Blu-ray disc included with each CD).
The Album has just been released in Japan, and is currently ranked at number 5 in the iTunes charts.
We filmed around Queenstown for two shoot days, taking advantage of some of the beautiful locations. Miz Watanabe was the NZ Line Producer. The Japanese Production company was Cinq. I had worked for them previously, almost 10 years ago, and it was good to strengthen the relationship.
I chose to shoot at several spots around the region where I have not filmed at previously. Taking advantage of the sun at each location.
I shot on my Red Scarlet camera, and used my vintage lenses. I decided to use a lot of lens flares and optical effects to make Sarah look ethereal.
Sam Strain was my grip and we used a Panther Mini Jib extensively, along with some tracking shots in the forest.
Stu Gotting was my DIT and we delivered Colour Corrected ProRes 422 movie files at the end of the shoot.
It was a great shoot with a high quality result achieved by a small team. Sarah is hugely talented and I really enjoyed working with her. I am confident that her album will be a success.