Go deep, GoPro

Posted: February 14, 2012 in Shoots in short
Tags: , , ,

Last year, on a whim, I bought a GoPro “wearable” camera for a job done in conjunction with fellow Safrean Michal Wozniak in Johannesburg. We needed to get some in-cab shots of a truck driver, and the GoPro’s 170-degree view was just the thing. But that was it – how do you justify buying such a unit for just one job?

Well, the real story was that it would be a great toy too – for shooting windsurfing and paragliding. And it is.

However the urge returned to put this amazing piece of equipment back into some serious action. And an opportunity presented itself last year in the shape of a corporate video made for a Cape Town printing company, USS Graphics. The job was tight – we had to come up with a concept, shoot and edit in rapid succession due to a presentation that was scheduled for two weeks later, where this production was to be used.

In addition, we had to do stills that were to be used in the video, and were going to double up as display prints in the company’s office during the big presentation. There was very little time for any of this. So, armed with my little GoPro during a recce, I realised that it was small enough to insert into the massive 1000-prints-per-second litho printers on the floor, and that the moving parts inside made for spectacular footage. And so our concept was born – we’d be shooting the same old stuff. But this time, we’re going in deep, and changing the point of view to make arresting visuals.

Two days later, we started shooting, using jib, tracks – and the GoPro. It was everywhere, stuck onto moving printers, behind screens, inside machines and off the top of a forklift platform, its footage eventually making up virtually half that shot over the two days we shot. Although the quality is not great, given the small size of the sensor, the material is good enough to cut into a full HD production provided you don’t overcook it – no sudden light intensity changes to cause blooming as the auto ISO adapts, and slow enough panning to stop the jello-effect.

In the capable hands of FCP editor Ruan Neethling, the GoPro more than brought its side – the clients were extremely happy with the production, and have used it successfully to pitch to major clients.

This behind the scenes post is courtesy of Wordsource Productions.

  1. Keith says:

    Jaco, you should try the newer GoPro Hero2. NExt time you have a serious job, feel free to borrow mine. You will be sold on the much higher quality. Regards, KP.

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