Making sandwiches look like they’re epic opponents in a boxing ring requires some ridiculous camera moves.
A T-Rex Superscope lens mounted on Red Epic, mounted on the camBLOCK I modified to work as a 5-axis crane rig. Looked messy, worked a treat!
You can see it in action (and some other nerdy Graetzmedia shoots I was involved with) in this little BTS promo:
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After the Violent Soho/Graetzmedia single-shot clip Covered In Chrome was nominated for an Aria award, we knew the follow up had to be really special.
Director Dan and I had been discussing if we could use the camBLOCK motion control system to do a low-budget version of the famous “Children Of Men” car chase scene. We did some tests in the back of a van and realised that the robot would be able to move while under acceleration, so we started planning.
Shitbox car purchased and modified. I came up with systems to allow director Dan to control the moco rig live, moving throughout the entire length of the car while he was huddled in the back underneath dirty clothes and sleeping bags. I figured out a quick-release system that enabled the transition between car interior and hectic live performance, which I may have done slightly differently if I’d known that transition would be mediated via my jumping in the passenger door of a moving vehicle.
Behind The Scenes
What followed was one of those wonderful creative experiences that makes the hard work of filmmaking completely worthwhile.
Continue reading Violent Soho – Saramona Said: Music Video
After designing and 3D-printing modifications to convert our 3-axis camBLOCK motion control system into a monster 5-axis crane rig, I needed a project to test out the system. Fortunately my buddies Little Scout were about to release their new single, and the aesthetic perfectly fit the multi-pass, audio-reactive ideas in my head.
Motion control gave me some delightfully crane-y multi-pass camera moves, and audio reactive lighting made the band members magically appear only when their instruments made noise.
This clip won Gold in the Music Videos category at the Australian Cinematography Society’s 2013 Queensland awards. Continue reading Little Scout – March Over To Me: Music Video
This was an interesting shoot. I flew to Sydney to represent Graetzmedia in a big commercial production, with the camBLOCK motion control system packed in 2 big Pelican cases. Turned up at FOX Studios, walked in to the giant soundstage and announced myself as the Motion Control guy, to receive the response “No you’re not. Where’s all your gear?”
There were a lot of grizzled advertising shoot veterans with surprised looks at the end of that day. camBLOCK handled the full size Alexa with aplomb, and we spent a very pleasant time filming lots of copies of a pretty lady in different bikinis.
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On this shoot I got to stand out in the sun with the camBLOCK motion control robot while everyone else was driving around an off-road park and splashing through mud.
Got some really lovely badge-work shots of the car though, so that’s a thing.
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As soon as my producer friend Matt Redlich moved his recording studio into the spectacularly beautiful wooden building he dubbed Grandma’s Place, I wanted to film a music video there. Matt had just finished recording Ball Park Music’s new album, so I organised a meeting between the band and the Graetzmedia crew to see what would come.
The challenge: Reinvigorate an old-style “random stuff happening in various places” music video concept with some next-level VFX and motion control.
In collaboration with director Dan Graetz, I did a bunch of science, taught the Motion Control robot to pull perfect Hitchcock Zooms time after time, shot some crazy multi-pass performance shots to create virtual choirs, and came up with a plant-growing timelapse/realtime “seed charmer” shot which blows minds on the reg. Continue reading Ball Park Music – Surrender: Music Video
Remember when I made a toaster remotely explode on cue and shoot flaming bread into the air?
For this Graetzmedia production I created an animatronic, pyrotechnic toaster, animated the closing logo and motion control camera moves, and did general Shoot Things for a couple of days of silliness around Brisbane. Silliness I was able to immortalise by editing a Behind The Scenes clip:
Bonus Points: The skateboard smashing scene was shot at the house of my good friend Jum. I hope he will use this piece when he eventually goes to sell the house. Continue reading Penny Skateboards – Plastic Pride: Advertisement
Since taking delivery of his camBLOCK Motion Control rig, Graetzmedia director Dan wanted to shoot a piece seamlessly combining timelapse with slow-motion shots. Collaborating with iconic skate brand Z-Flex was the perfect opportunity.
A detailed pre-production shoot allowed us to test our compositing techniques and locations, and make sure the shots we’d planned were going to work without too much painstaking rotoscoping.
This video won a Gold in the “Experimental” category at the 2012 Australian Cinematography Society Queensland awards, and went on to win the Golden Tripod at the National ACS awards!
It also features the beautiful soundtrack of Cowper – Morning Prayer, which I’d filmed with the camBLOCK a few weeks before.
There was a lot of industry love for this piece, so I edited a behind the scenes piece for Graetzmedia, to show everyone how it all went down:
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I’m really proud of this one.
Both video and audio for this clip were recorded in a single session at the flood-destroyed Graetzmedia studios in West End, Queensland, Australia.
To achieve a perfect focus pull over the 4-minute staring contest, I modified the camBLOCK moco system to control a follow focus whip. This clip was the first shoot to utilise this technique. Several months later, camBLOCK shipped their official focus/zoom motors.
There is no trickery in the single-shot nature of this piece. Cowper really can keep his eyes open for that long. In the dozen or so takes we shot, I think he blinked in two of them.
Continue reading Cowper – Morning Prayer: Music Video