annika is one of the most successful golfers in the history of the sport. she's won over 90 international tournaments and was the first female golfer to hit a 59. she is currently pregnant with her second child and this new phase in her life is what we wanted to focus the film on. annika was very kind in allowing us into her home and letting us be witness to the everyday things that their family does. they prepared a meal together, played on the swings in the backyard, and generally just hung out as a family. having the form factors of DSLRs was such an asset as we ventured into their back yard trying to keep our speed up and our impact down.
featured tool // steadicam zephyr
ever since it's release, i have been a huge fan of the steadicam zephyr. the tool-less adjustment of the gimbal, and the adjustable posts at the bottom of the sled are huge improvements for shooting with DSLRs. when your shooting steadicam, your balance is so precise and so critical that it often becomes too time consuming to switch lenses in an out while on an event type shoot as this. with these two advancements to the zephyr, swapping a lens and getting perfect dynamic balance is generally less than a two minute process. the vest also get a major upgrade and the new system is extremely well built and rugged. at some point we need to do a full review of the zephyr in comparison to the other rigs, but for now let me just say that is by far our favorite in the sub $15k steadicam market.
we chose the zephyr as the featured tool for annika's piece because of two steadicam shots that particularly stand out to me.
at 2:15 we start wide and push into the sandtrap and walk down the bank in behind annika and she strikes the ball. ray and joyce were just to the right of the opening frame shooting long to get the inserts you see right after the steadicam shot cuts. it is a pretty subtle shot in entering the sandtrap but to actually accomplish a steep downhill move while maintaining a constant speed, level camera, and keeping your own balance is definitely something that takes time. at some point when your learning steadicam it ceases to be a separate rig and just becomes an extension of you. when that happens, you can find shots that require so much concentration just to stay upright or maintain composition and you lose any sort of sight on the rig.
at 2:33 as annika approached her shot on the green, we push in towards her, wrap around her to reveal the hole she is looking at and then tilt down and track the ball backwards into the hole. a shot like this is where dynamic balance is so huge. we are tilting the camera while rotating our body around the rig and alternating from a forward to a reverse walk.
we did a beta-testing clip with the old vest and arm (not the shipping model) if your interested in seeing that here vimeo.com/11183426