Creating Forest Pond

October 12, 2015

Doing a personal project was something I was planning to do for a long time. I've been a cameraman for over 13 years now and a few weeks ago I decided to finally go for it. 

The idea and location for the story came after a shoot in a forest -Gentbos- in Merelbeke, Belgium. Back then, I was hired as DoP by Clementine to shoot a viral publicity spot for "Vives hogeschool". There's a pond in the middle of the forest with a little island in it. So I got inspired by the loction.



My main purpose was to show what the DJI

Ronin with Easyrig and Flowcine Serene can do and add to a production. For those that don't now... It's a stabiliser that eliminates camerashake, so it looks like the camera is floating in space. On the downside... The Ronin weighs 7kg so some support is welcome, if you want to shoot longer then 2 minutes :-) 

In comes the easyrig. The Serene, like a little crane, eliminates the steps out. It works really well, but it also needs some practice to walk

the right way. 


First thing I captured were the aerials above the pond and that's where the whole project almost ended. After my first flight I ran back to my car for another battery for the drone. At the parking place there was someone waiting for me. He said I was flying above his garden and didn't like it. I explained to him what I was doing and that I didn't have any intention of disturbing his privacy. He understood and I continued. After my third flight I arrived at my car, but now the police was there. Now they were asking what I was doing and told me that they got a complaint. Luckly they were of the comprehensive-type and it didn't take long before they understood. All fine; as long as i didn't disturbe anybody. When I then asked them how the legislation is nowadays they told me: It's unclear :-)


With the Ronin-setup I can also pull focus wirelessly whith my canon lenses. Without this you generally end up with wideangle footage at a small aperture, so everything stays in focus. Not my cup of tea and way too limited type of shots you can make.


Doing the aerials with the diver "drawning" in the pond was a bit of a pain. Considering the size of the pond I was thinking... 2 meters deep in the middle? Turned out to be kneelevel! Painfull if you only want to see hands above the water :-)

So Tom Callebaut, diver of the day, kindly layed on his back in the muddy pond.





The shoot with the actor was done in 5 hours. The Ronin setup works remarkebly fast and Peter instantly know what I was looking for.

I did a lot of tracking shots, but also sliderlike-shots and crane-like-shots... all with this setup. Director/Cameraman/Drone-instructor/... Not easy combining, but I had a lot of fun. Hope you liked it. Leaves me to thank everybody who helped. Thanks!








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October 12, 2015

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