Shooting Slow Motion On Phantom Cameras

A couple weeks ago I got a chance to learn about and shoot on a line of cameras specifically designed for capturing fast actions scenes and then slowing them down to enjoy at a slower rate than normal. It may seem pretty straightforward, like something your iPhone can do, but trust me there is a ton of technology packed into these cameras and it looks a hell of a lot better then your iPhone. Most of these cameras require a technician to operate because it's a waste of time to try and figure out day of. Check out the Marmalade's Identity Reel and how they use the Phantom and a robotic arm to achieve amazing table-top shots. 

Vision Research the company who makes these high frame rate/slow-motion cameras really started making these cameras for scientific and military endeavors. It’s only really been in the past 10 to 15 years that the filmmaking community has gravitated towards using these cameras in their productions. And I am glad they did, because doesn't everything look better in slow motion?

Able Cine in Burbank has been offering classes on how to capture and shoot with these cameras for a while now and it was only until recently I decided I should offer this as a service. So now I'm on the technicians' list there and there's a good reason why.

In all honesty, these cameras are too complicated to just pick up and start shooting like a regular camera. Fist depending on the camera, the way you record media involves a two-step process. The Flex and Miro use internal buffer systems to first capture the image only then can you record to the cine mag where you can pull your files off of. Additionally, you can set your trigger to 0 or 100%. Meaning, your can either record after the action has happened or somewhere in between and in most fast action cases after the action you want to record has happened then you hit the record button. Or if you want to set the trigger to 50% then it will only store 50% of the buffer and fill the next 50% from the pull of the trigger. Look at it as a time machine, the camera is always recording. So you can see why you need a certified dedicated technician who understands the workflow and that can also act as a DIT to ensure you are not wasting time and money trying to figure out things on set.

 

Whiskey Sky Media is now proud to offer Miro, Phantom Flex, and Phantom Flex 4k technician services to San Diego, Northern California and the Monterey Bay. Please drop me a line if your production is in town and in need of a Phantom tech.

A Weekend in Joshua Tree National Park

One thing that struck my wife and I when we arrived was how alien the landscape was. It truly looked like another planet. First thing we did when we got into the park was to climb the nearest rock formation to get a better view. 

 Top of the first rock outpost.

Top of the first rock outpost.

 Looking down at our car.

Looking down at our car.

 There are some prickely plants in the park! 

There are some prickely plants in the park! 

A lot if not most of the campsites in the park are first-come first-served. We actually didn't find a campsite in the park the first night and had to settle for a site outside the park. I think we stayed at Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground the first night on an exposed side of a dusky hill with a lot of other campers....not recommended if you can find a spot inside the park.

On our second day we headed to see if we could get lucky an open campsite at Jumbo Rock ( one of the best campsites imho). And we did, we got lucky and as we were driving in around 11am someone told us where they just pulled up stakes and we went straight to the site and got it. 

 Here I am trying to setup a  MōVILapse  before the sun set.

Here I am trying to setup a MōVILapse before the sun set.

If you go to Joshua Tree give yourself time to explore, I see a lot of people that never the leave the campsite. The park is huge and there are so many amazing hiking trails. Also if you can stay longer then a weekend you'll be glad you did. 

A road dirt road that you should have 4-wheel drive for led to an abandoned mining shaft. Geology Tour Road was a cool, semi off the path loop that made you feel like you're getting away from it all.

 Great spot for time lapses, night or day.

Great spot for time lapses, night or day.

 Old Joshua Trees on this road

Old Joshua Trees on this road

 Top of an old mine shaft.

Top of an old mine shaft.

 Old mine shaft

Old mine shaft

If you like arches then you should make a point to stop by White Tank campground. The only arch in the park, but a nice one. 

All in all it was a super fun little camping trip, I can't say enough about the park and how beautiful it is. One thing I know for sure is that I'll be back and just as eager to explore the amazing granite rock and trails.