Want to see what challenges there are shooting at super slow-motion1000+ frames per second at DCI 4K? Well Read on.....
Hint: Whatever lighting you think you need... Get More.
During the 'great lockdown' of 2020 (having passed the peak and been given the green light to shoot again..) There was an opportunity to head on over to at Panny Hire to shoot some product videos on their Phantom VEO 4K camera for a spec shoot.
The Phantom VEO is a science camera first and foremost, with the ability to shoot:
4k upto 1000 frames per second
2k upto 2000 frames per second
I believe that when the Phantom cameras were first developed, it was to study biology and physics. Think of it like a bird taking off; how it works its wings in real time is indistinguishable to the naked eye, but with a camera like this, it allows the possibility of really studying slowing down minute details that we as humans would otherwise miss.
Pannyhire.co.uk's Phantom VEO
Of course, it's also happens the perfect camera to shoot tons of cool slow-mo stuff on.
You might be familiar with Gav + Dan of 'The Slow Mo Guys', who've made a youtube channel exactly for this reason: (https://www.youtube.com/user/theslowmoguys)
The camera isn't cheap, around £80,000 - so not buyable for the average user by any means.
The frustrating part however, is that with it being half in a government lockdown, our resources were very limited, we weren't able to go out and acquire any props, so we had to make do with what we had.
Luckily we had wire, glitter and a working tap.
Above is a small floorplan of the set-up we introduced on the setup. Our lighting included:
3 * Aputure 300d
1 * Aputure 120d.ii
1 * Aputure LS1 panel
..and an assortment of diffusion.
Not the most glamorous of locations, but without a fully functioning studio, we made a great little setup in PannyHire's unused space.
The Aputure lights were the perfect set of lights to be using. They're LED so don't emit a crazy amount of heat, there's a significantly less demand on the power draw and they do not flicker when shooting slow-motion video. In this case 2000fps - 80x slower than real world motion.
Method to the madness.
After we spent a day pretty much lighting everything, without a real plan we just set out to get the best that we could with our camera on a set of legs.
Suspended on a very frustrating bit of fishing wire, we managed to balance the can just right no to have that glare come off the logo (which ruined the shot) and not have it perpetually spinning on its axis.
By then it was a real case of just trial and error, throwing materials infront, behind or both at the can to see which looked best.
The product is targeted towards more of a festival crowd, so the glitter suggestion really worked, but I think because this is a drink, we wanted something that made you thirsty. As cool as the glitter is, there's something majestic about watching water bounce off and run down a can.
Cansecco, Rosé, 2k, 2000fps
Unfortunately at the moment, I'm migrating a lot of content + data between different systems. Luckily before hand, I put together a small clip with a little grade and added the wire-removal tool in Da Vinci's Resolve.
It's not perfect, as mentioned I've done a bit of a move about soon after the shoot while I could so I can set up for when things get back on their feet again.
Final shot with Phantom VEO 4K - Thanks to Cansecco for sending over the product.
Annoyingly, the glitter material is also stored on a couple of drives that are in my 'to-sort' list. Keep an eye peeled as i'll likely update the blog with a small gallery of videos that look.
so with that being said....
...to be continued
If you're interested to know more about the shoot and can't possibly wait for any updates, send me over a DM on instagram at:
...or you can use the contact form on the main page!
Andrew McGovern is a Video Content Producer and DIT based in South West London. From big-budget feature films to commercial videos, 'Elvis' as he's known to his colleagues has experience in many types of filmmaking.