We were commissioned to produce a film for Team London Bridge. The brief was to highlight the area and to explain some of the BID's key activities.
We shot entirely on Canon 550D's (Rebel T2i). We used a selection of lenses, Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS, EF-S 15-85 IS, EF-S 18-55 IS (cheap kit lens) EF 50 f1.4 and Nikon 50 f1.4 Fotodiox pro adaptor, Zacuto Z-Finder. For power we used the Canon battery grip filled with rechargeable AA's. Support - Manfrotto monopod, Libec tripod, Glidetrack slider, Proaim matte box rails and FF. 16GB Panasonic class 10 cards. Sound - Marantz CF recorder, Sony gun mic, Sony ECM-55 tie clip. Post - FCP and AE with sound sync in Pro Tools LE. 365 Group clapper board.
We really enjoyed working with the 550D's, they are lighter than the 7D even with a battery grip and not once did they overheat, hesitate or fail in anyway. We used only natural light, the Canon EF L 70-200 f2.8 IS is amazing, its tough too! I dropped it on to a stone floor on the first day, it hardly marked it and worked perfectly. the Nikon AIS lenses work very nicely, with nice manual aperture rings and proper focus barrels they were a joy. Without any form of IS the Nikon lenses demanded we use some form of support, hand held was out of the question. Sync'ing sound in Pro Tools was a breeze but the Marantz recorder was a pig! Eating batteries like a robot! Next time we will use a Juice box / beach box or maybe even a Zoom or Tascam.
IS (image stabilised) was a major bonus, giving results far better than steady shot on Sony camcorders. The Zacuto Z-finder is expensive but its a very handy tool, it does one thing VERY well, which it was designed to do. Using a monopod with the 70-200 gave almost tripod steady shots and took the weight off our arms. The 365 Group clapper was brilliant, well made and tough. The Sony gun and tie clips were brilliant, let down by the marantz (boo).
The timelapse shots were done by human (me) as I didn't have a timer or shutter release, I just stood there for hours counting to five in my head and pressing the shutter release. The last shot was from London Bridge looking down the Thames and took 3 hours, in the freezing cold. I counted to 5 and hit the button throughout. I entered an altered state of consciousness towards the end! I processed the stills in After Effects. The other time-lapse shots were taken from two tiny gantries on top of Tower Bridge, we had to work on grates which were loose!! We shot many more time-lapse shots but could only fit a few into the final film.
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