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.