Tuesday 23 September 2014

Real Estate Video Update

After a hectic few months, it must be time for a quick update!

 We are really getting into real estate videos at the moment. With summer just around the corner, it is the best time to sell a property. Starting from just $350, our packages are very affordable. Click here to view a summary of our pricing.

We have just invested in a new high-end cinema camera system, the Canon EOS C100.

Paired with wide-angle lenses that are perfect for property interior and exterior shots, it's a fantastic addition to our kit. Check out this video, shot entirely on the C100:

We have a lot going on at the moment, so stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday 3 June 2014

New teleprompter

We've been shooting numerous corporate videos recently, and the need for a portable teleprompter has become apparent.

A teleprompter is a device that allows text to be projected in front of the camera lens, so an interview subject can read the text while looking directly into the camera. This makes for a more natural performance without the need to memorise lines.

We have just ordered a product called the PRomptBox:

It is a small, portable teleprompter that uses an iPad, Android tablet or Smartphone (we'll be using our Nexus 7 tablet). Setup is as simple as inputting the text into an app and selecting the scroll speed. And best of all, it folds down flat in seconds to fit in a small bag!

We're constantly adding to our arsenal of professional equipment with gear like this. Stay tuned for more updates once the teleprompter arrives!

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Aerial video

I have been flying both full-sized and radio-controlled aircraft for around 10 years, and have completed 25 hours of training in a fixed-wing aircraft. I started flying multi-rotor "drones" about a year ago when I saw them as an opportunity to improve our videos. Aerial video is a fantastic tool when used in real estate, event and promotional videos.

So we decided to invest in an aerial video platform. And after several weeks of careful construction, it is finally up and running. We decided to go with the DJI F550. The F550 is a hexacopter (6 motors) and has a few benefits over the popular DJI Phantom, such as its ability to carry a bigger battery for longer flight times.

We currently use a GoPro Hero 3 for our aerial video work. The GoPro is a fantastic camera for this purpose, as its wide-angle lens is able to capture huge amounts of detail in a single frame. The GoPro is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal, which allows us to shoot incredibly smooth and professional aerial video.

When the camera is hundreds of feet up in the air, it's hard to frame up the shot. To assist with this, a video transmitter feeds video to a set of video goggles or an LCD monitor on the ground. This allows us to see exactly what the camera is seeing in real time.

There has been a lot of controversy recently regarding the commercial use of drones. Until early this year, the CAA required individuals to hold a special authorisation in order to fly drones for commercial purposes. This requirement was recently dropped, so there is currently nothing stopping video producers like ourselves from using these tools. However, it is likely that in the near future, new legislation will be brought in. When this happens, we intend to gain any necessary license to continue our aerial video work.

Tarawera Ultramarathon

Tarawera Ultramarathon Short Documentary

We have just wrapped up our third year of producing the official mini-documentary for the Vibram Tarawera Ultramarathon. Our involvement started in 2012 with a single camera and two-time event winner Kerry Suter helping out behind the scenes.
It was a crazy week. We caught up with Anton Krupicka, we interviewed numerous elite world-class athletes, and I was even brave enough to hang out of the side of a helicopter to shoot some stunning aerial footage around the Rotorua region.

In 2013 we teamed up with Aaron Smart from Smart As Productions. Aaron has a lot of experience shooting live action events, and he was a great addition to the team. Unfortunately due to fire-risk from a severe drought, the last 40km of the course was closed and the race couldn't make it to the planned finish in Kawerau. Instead, the course turned back on itself at the 60km mark, and finished near the start at Lake Okareka.
It was a stunning day despite the difficulties, and we think the video that we produced really captures the essence of such a fantastic event.

In 2014, the Tarawera Ultramarathon became part of the Ultra-Trail World tour, which puts it on par with the top 10 ultramarathons in the world. We decided that in order to capture the scale of such a massive, world-class event, we needed to step up our game.
A 6 camera crew was formed, including a dedicated drone operator to capture aerial video. We arrived in Rotorua 4 days before the race, ready for an action-packed 5 day shoot. Some of the scheduled events included a fun run, the race registration and even an official Maori greeting at the famous Te Puia cultural centre.

In the week leading up to the race, the weather forecast wasn't looking promising. At 7pm on the Friday night before the race, it was announced that the course would be shortened from 100km to 73km due to the inevitable arrival of a cyclone. For safety reasons, a large part of the forest that the course ran through was being closed.

After months of pre-production and planning, this really threw a spanner in the works for the film crews, the race organisers and the athletes. Months of our planning was thrown out, and we spent the remainder of the night piecing together a new plan for race day.

To everyone's surprise, race day arrived to reasonably clear skies. We managed to shoot some stunning footage at race start and around Blue Lake with just some mild drizzle getting in the way. It wasn't until mid-day that Cyclone Lusi really arrived. But thanks to wet-weather protection for our cameras, we made it through the day with no major technical difficulties.

Overall, it was a very successful shoot. We feel privileged to be involved with such a great event. The event organisers were faced with more than their fair share of challenges, but still managed to pull off a fantastic race, Hopefully we'll be back next year, hopefully the sun will be out, and hopefully we'll make it to Kawerau!