Proud and pleased to be a Performance Partner for the British Bobsleigh Team. We have been asked to make a documentary that captures the struggle and triumph of the team as they follow the road to Sochi 2014, and also use our cameras to help the team analyse and fine tune their performance. All the behind the scenes footage needs to be captured as well as training practice and competition days. It’s a big job and we needed to upscale the the gear needed to make sure every nuance is captured in HD broadcast quality footage.
We have a complex requirement for the Bobsleigh team.
- Our gear needs to be broadcast quality
- It needs to be light
- It needs to be sometimes discreet
- It needs to be modular in design
- It needs to be used inflight
- It needs to be used for interviews/action/scenery/research
- We need high framerate capability
- We need shallow DOF for interviews and candid shots
…. and the list goes on….
We eventually settled for the Panasonic AF101 with an external recorder to enable the ProRes 422 footage we need. This camera and external recorder is on the BBC’s list of approved cameras and is one of the most compact models available. It has also been out a while, and so has no bugs, and appears bullet proof and is highly recommended by such industry experts as Philip Bloom.
Whilst this rig looks chunky, it can be used in a number of different ways – this is the full system with external monitor. It can be shrunk to just the camera/external recorder easily, and also has a low level handle to allow low angle shooting.
We are also taking our Sony NXCAM with its high frame rate capability to allow us to help the team analyse each part of their technique. This camera is relatively weather proofed and compact, plus has a great zoom and fast lens so is versatile and quick to set up. With a high performance laptop we are able to provide instant replay to the team.
However, for really discreet shooting we will keep a T2i with external mic and portable light. The firmware is changed to the Magic Lantern which gives us manual audio levels plus ability to up the bit-rate to a higher professional level. This will only be used for a small portion of the documentary, but will be invaluable in situations where a full rig would be conspicuous.