Monday, February 25, 2019

It has been a while ....

It has been quite a while since I posted to this blog - over 2 years, during which time a lot has happened.

I have been filming quite a large number of interviews for WarGen (see the last blog), approaching 30 of them and I have been helping the Manchester Indie Film Makers Group (based at Manchester Central Library) to make their latest production for a live audience, Six Million Voices, in June of this year.

But singly the most interesting piece of gear that I have obtained is a 3 gimbal stabiliser for filming on the move, the DJI Ronin-S purchased soon after it came on the market, last Summer. This piece of equipment complete with a focus control attached to it has made a major difference to my filming life, enabling stable footage to be achieved while on the move, backwards, forwards, you name it! And most importantly, the ability to focus pull at the same time. My Lumix GH4 camera is not best known for its smooth autofocus abilities, so this is a very important feature.

This picture shows a typical rig of the equipment with one of my trusty GH4 cameras. There is a stereo microphone mounted on the camera's frame, and a sound recorder mounted together with a wireless receiver. In this case, we were filming a short interview, the subject moving forwards and the camera moving backwards, maintaining a more or less constant distance between them. The stereo mike provides some depth of sound while the lapel mike provides a clear voice from the interviewee.

Chris Burton walking the corridors of Manchester Central Library 
while talking to camera.
Often, I have a 7" monitor mounted on the Ronin-S as well as this gives a much better screen for manual focus.

This is not light equipment for continuous filming, probably weighing in all 5 or 6 kilos depending on what is on board, so you need to develop strength in your arms.

But more about that another time.

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