Hang around the production industry long enough and you will begin to have an appreciation for the phrase “what’s old is new again”. Essentials for success still start with a good script, talented crew, and a first rate camera package. It’s the ancillary pieces of gear that you keep in your bag that can really add that extra touch to your production.
15 years ago we discovered lipstick cameras and a whole new world of shots opened up. These were originally developed for the medical devices world but quickly became the darling of production houses everywhere. We put them everywhere: on my motorcycle, end of a pool cue, robotic lab equipment, barrel of a shot gun, surgeon’s headpiece, even in a pool – you name it, we rigged it. Only problem is that they had to have a wire snaking to a big, cumbersome, field recorder, took awhile to rig, and were a little slow exposure wise.
Today, cameras are as plentiful as blades of grass. Every crew member has some sort of HD capable camera with them on set. From an iPhone to a 5D, it’s crazy. My favorite though is the GoPro HD Hero2. This little phenom is absolutely packed with potential.
We recently used 2 of these beauties on a shoot in a steel mill. We had limited time and had to maximize our footage. With the plethora of rigging accessories available this camera really can go anywhere. We placed it on overhead cranes, numerous vehicles, and a few danger-laden shots that you would never risk your Director of Photography… let alone a high-end camera. While my DP concentrated on beauty shots, my Go Pros were picking up time lapse and action shots that really came in handy during editing.
I felt the same sense of giddiness that I had when I rigged my first lipstick cam – only now, the footage is so much better. Definitely check one out if you have a chance. Or, you can rent a GoPro HD Hero2 from us for just $50 per day and see for yourself.