Gigs don’t get much better than this!
At the end of last summer I went off to Italy to the Umbria/ Tuscany border to film a property for a high profile client of mine. The brief was to capture the flavour of the property. The ambience. What was not wanted was a real estate video at all, something much more like my Skywalker Ranch film. It is to go on the website for the rental of the property.
So I went to the property and stayed there for a week. I know…what a drag! I took an absolute shit load of gear with me! Why? Because I could. There was no excess baggage costs on the flight so why not?
Kit wise I took two Canon 5DmkIIs, 1 7D, and 1 Canon 1DmkiV. Lenses…erm…lots…check them out below. Mostly L series Canon lenses, 1.4x and 2x extenders, tilt shift lenses, big zooms, amazing wide angle lenses like the 14mm L series and the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8…the essential lens for any crop sensor Canon.
Other gear was my Kessler Crane 2 foot Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly, a 3 foot normal Pocket Dolly from Kessler Crane, the Oracle and Elektra Drive motor system for the timelapses, a miller solo 3 stage carbon fibre tripod with DS20 head (which I took in the pool right up to the head…it is a fresh water pool and it seems fine, the water was also totally calm so no chance of getting the camera/ lens wet but still made me a little nervous!), a manfrotto flat head tripod with 503 head for the pocket dolly, a couple of Gitzo traveller tripods…what else was there? Oh, lots of timelapse controllers, loads of batteries, cards, my Macbook Pro and some hard drives!
I also had some Vari NDs from Singh Ray and some Fader NDs. Oh and one final important bit of kit. Some nice fat cuban cigars for those long nights of timelapses!
It was a very relaxed shoot. Myself and my assistant Daniele Cuccia who took all the photos stayed in the property for the 5 nights…we were up all night most times doing the night time astro timelapses with the Kessler Crane Oracle Controller and ones which were static. The joy of having four cameras was we could get four different shots a night and pick and choose the best ones. Unfortunately even though they were supposed to be off the water sprinklers kept coming on as you can see in a couple of them, fortunately the cameras were not damaged!
When I shot the house, Daniele and I had to cover over all of the lights lighting up the house as if we didn’t the house would be exposed correctly but the stars would have been too dark. So we used dirt, old tiles, rocks and covered over them all, leaving the barest amount of light on the building and the cameras were able to take 30 seconds exposures and capture the stars really well. The shots with Elektra Drive and Oracle worked especially well. One of them looks hyper real and almost CGI…but I assure you it isn’t!
This was the first time I used the new Canon 70-200mm F2.8L II IS and I found moire on some shots that my version one would not have had issues with, the lens is just too damn sharp…it’s better than the video can handle!! A fader ND/ Vari ND softened it enough to remove them I found later on…
Having 5 full days to shoot something like was a luxury, but we didn’t waste the time, the property is huge and we wanted to capture it properly and some of the shots took a fair bit of setting up and waiting for the right light…
Anyway sit back, relax and be transported to a truly beautiful place!
A film showing off the beautiful property that is “Il Convento” in Umbria.
Shot with the Canon 5DmkII, 7D, 1DmkiV
I used the 3 foot Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly with Oracle controller for the timelapse moves and the 2 foot Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly too.
More on my blog! www.philipbloom.net
Music by James Newton Howard from “The Village”
Assistant and Photos by Daniele Cuccia
Video is copyright of Lucasfilm.
Philip Bloom tutorial on using the ORACLE Controller with the elektraDRIVE for our sliders.