One Man Band

Shot on the Sony F55 in 2K raw at 240fps unfortunately without the 2K OLPF as I haven’t got one. This stops aliasing and moire in this mode.

This started out as simply getting a few b-roll London shots for a film commissioned by the government I am making with my new business partner James Miller for our new production company. We needed some shots of the Shard and James suggested slow motion from the truck purely so it can be stabilised beautifully in post for real time.

Whilst doing this I got some shots of people in frame by default. When I got home and saw the footage I loved the slow motion, even though at the time it was just 150fps in XAVC HD. I decided I wanted to get some more because it felt like a variation of street photography, something I adore doing. In fact I have shot many a roll of film driving a long and pointing the camera out of the window and some human moment I saw.

I know some are going to compare to other slow motion pieces that are out there but they honestly didn’t influence me at all, I didn’t actually see them until they were shared with me after I put some snippets of the shots I was doing on Instagram video. Super cool stuff though! If anything has influenced me when it comes to slow motion it would be two things. Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out) music video directed by Jonathan Glazer and the astonishing Baraka by Ron Fricke

What I have been trying to do is capture shots which capture emotion or ideally tell a story. Very simple stories but stories nevertheless, like this one here. I haven’t shot any tight shots of faces, everything is medium wide to very wide.

I switched to the much faster speed of 240fps for the rest of the filming but this has to be 2K raw as it’s the only war the camera can do it. On the way to and from every shoot I captured more stuff. It took 3/4 times longer to get home each time because of it as I kept on driving the wrong way or in circles or doubled back on myself if I saw something/ someone!

The glass I used was mostly the Sigma/ GL Optics 18-35mm F1.8 and the Duclos / Tokina 11-16 F2. 8. F-Stop varied but I tried to keep the DOF deep-ish as I was not actually operating the camera because I was driving. Think of me as a glorified dolly grip! Although I did change focal length and adjust exposure when needed I concentrated on my driving of course but also making sure my speed matched the shot I was trying to achieve. You can see my beast of a truck in the reflections in the bus, plus look carefully and you can see the F55 too!

Here I tried to keep up with Dan, other times I judged my “drive by” speed to work in conjunction with the 240fps. Never fast as that wouldn’t work….and yes I am sure i annoyed many drivers whilst doing this but honestly in London it made little difference. If you drive at 10 mph or 30 mph you all end up at the same traffic lights!

Daniel Mckenzie-Cossou, who is the “one man band” of the title, is someone I have never met. In fact I only learned who it was I had filmed this morning after I shared my snippet on Instagram and asked if anyone knew who it was. Dan himself saw it and tweeted me!

I, like many of you, have done and still do what Dan is doing…dragging the gear to a location. I think he has a C300 in the Peli plus tripod and everything else….there is only so much you can carry as a one man band after all!

My F55 was on a tripod wedged around the passenger seat. A bungee went around the handle for security and I had my wonderful Small HD DP7 Pro plugged in for reference. It was as simple as that. The hard bit was finding the shots I wanted and controlling my truck to get what I needed, avoiding pot holes and bumpy parts of the road to get the best shot I could and the right speed.

The F55 is a great camera…I wish it could do 240fps in 2K in XAVC rather than raw! Saves on data. I have shot in total, so far, 11 512gb AXSM cards for the R5 raw recorder. in 2K this normally is 4 hours of real time video up to 30p. In 240 fps 25p which is what i shot in you can roll for 24 minutes per card. When played back as slow motion that equates to around 4 hours of rushes. Times that by 11 cards and that is around 44 hours of rushes to go through. I have barely scraped the surface!

I will do an edit soon from this…it’s just there is 44 hours of rushes! GULP! ?

Music by Tony Anderson: Fragmentation
Courtesy of The Music Bed

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Huge thanks to Daniel Mckenzie-Cossou for being the perfect oblivious character in this! There is a lot more of him walking before the start point here but it was less interesting as the shot was clear!

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