Red Bull 'Conquer the Crown'



Director Ryan Heron asked me to be the Director of Photography for this clip for Red Bull.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Post Production was handled by Mandy in Auckland with Smoke Artist Andy Timms and Colourist Dave McLaren.

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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

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