Indie Film Live

Saturday, June 24, 2006

VT station flexibility

We have just finished with our shoot at our latest location, a week and a half of night shooting, working from 5pm till 5am. This was our biggest set-up for the film that we have so it was pretty exciting. We got to shoot some scenes in slow-motion, at 48fps, we can't get it up to 72fps yet as Silicon Imaging is still working out the software for us.

We have shot various scenes at a couple of locations and it got me to thinking about the setup at each location, and how each situation is different. Let's take a look.

On our first day with the SI-1920 we were shooting in Cape Town High School in their hall where we built an entire set. The setup was pretty nice, as we had built the set in the open floor area and the VT was set up on the stage, on two big tables. The cables were just run straight down to the camera's in the room.

This setup worked perfectly as there was enough space for everything. We had no problems apart from the small grounding issue as previously mentioned.

We shot there for a couple of days and then we moved to the Athlone Power Station, where we had to change the setup a little bit. Our first scenes in the power station was shot in a very small room, we barely had space for both camera's and the actors. Luckily, as we still prefer to shoot with the head only, the VT station was not a problem. All we did was set up in a completely different room, about 15 meters away and simply ran the cables from the heads down the hall.

Still at the power station, but just at a different spot we shot our scene with the car bonnet exploding open with smoke and water pouring out. The setup here was very nice as we shot in a sort of work room, so we had a bit more space.

We simply set up a portable fold-up steel table and put the VT on there. We had the camera on a track car and as you can see in the photo our VT was behind all this, so we could look at the camera movement and see the shot on the screens, which made co-ordinating the scene a lot easier as there was a lot of little actions that all had to be qued one after the other.

After the scene with our car popping open we had two days where we shot away from the power station before returning for a couple of days of night shooting.

First we had a day at the campus of the University of Cape Town where we had two setups. Our first for the day was an outside scene, and of course it was cold and wet, but the camera's didn't give any problems. The VT was set up in a tent about 10 meters from the action, and since it was raining we had to keep the door closed so no rain would blow in and soak the PC's. For the scene we were only running one camera, so the little space wasn't a problem at all.

Our second scene that day was in one of the classrooms in the University, where we once again had a lot of space. By this time the team was already quick to dismantle and re-assemble the VT station so setups were going smoothly. The scene was shot in the little room you can see through the door in the back of the picture.

The next day was a lovely shoot, it had stopped raining and we were shooting outside in clear weather. Our shoot was on an open field, so we just put up the VT in a small open-sided building just to the side of the field. The shot was a nice long track scene, we posted a clip from that in one of our previous blog updates.

After that it was back to the power station for a session of night shoots. Once again we were in a different spot (the place is huge and looks amazing). Tried and tested we once again set up our
VT on the fold-up steel table and was up and running in no time. Just like with at the school we had enough space to sit comfortably around the monitors, just a small way away from the action.

That brings us to our location where we just finished. We blocked off a huge part of a street in the middle of Cape Town. We had A LOT of extras, police cars (supplied by Renault), gun-fire, protesting, fighting...

Our VT setup here was very interesting. We actually got all the equipment into the back of a television type van, including our sound recorder. Not only that, but the van was part of the background for some of our shots, so the whole VT team had to crouch down behind the van out of sight, but we still pulled it off, with a little room to spare.

Oh, we also recently got our wafians into nice boxes, you can see them in the two photo's above.


  • Enough with the VT placement! Tell us more about the cameras, lenses, rigs etc. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:54 AM  

  • oH my bad ! readin down now :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:14 AM  

  • lots of cables..... in future do you see it less tethered?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:30 AM  

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