This week, Dunlop got us on board to show people the benefits of a new product that cleans and polishes floorboards, taking them from dull to shiny with ease. It’s DIY stuff, and usually a job of this type requires some creative thinking to work around the fact we’re dealing with some low-to-the-ground shots, not to mention a potential tangle of arms and legs obscuring the action.
Gun DOP Richard sprung the solution on us – a third camera!
Usually we work with two cameras, one on a jib that moves up and down to grab some aerial footage of the floor-polishing action, and another with a long lens to capture intimate close-ups of what’s happening. That’s enough gear to get the message across, and create a video that looks great.
But in this case, we went the extra mile. The third camera was mounted on a 1.5m slider with a motorised, remote-controlled pulley system. Essentially, you find your focus, then have the ability to pan across the shot, injecting movement and dynamism to what would otherwise be some pretty static shots.
With two of us running the three cameras, it was a like a one-man band – those guys you see with an accordion in their hands, drum pedal strapped to their foot, tuba wrapped round their neck and a cymbal on their head. We were constantly adjusting each bit of gear to ensure everything ran smoothly, and when we called “Cut!” we’d have to make sure every camera was stopped.
On the day it was pretty hectic, but a look over the footage proved the extra bit of stress was well worth it.
The only trouble is, we’ve been spoiled now. The end result looks so sweet that there’s no way we’ll be able to go back to two cameras!