ZANDER’S COSMOS PRODUCTION DIARY

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Hi, I’m Zander and this is my rolling production dairy charting the making our my first feature film COSMOS. Hope you enjoy!


4th JULY 2015
“BMPCC Bolt On”

OMG we did it. We suited and booted and got to that cut-through again with plenty of time. Ell cleaned and suckered the sucker on the bonnet, and I rigged the monitor in my vehicle. Bish bash bosh – bobs your uncle and we’re getting lovely quality shots. A definite improvement over the GoPro – poor thing, still it’s not designed for low light and does get to fly around gettingn awesome stabilised shots on the Drone! So I guess you can’t have it all.

We did POV, slow and fast and then I pursued. Ell went for it and by golly dishtailss the blinking tank that is our hero car. It was epic (and a little scary.. But mostly epic). I also did some leading shots, looking back at Ell. We later discover that that the light was too intense from the headlights – we’ve decided that we should raise the camera slightly and take it out of the line of sight. That’ll be the next outting. Well, you live and you learn.

Very chuffed with the results anyway, will look the biz. Out.

BMPCC attached to pursuit car bonnet (hood) with an ARRI Limpet Mount

BMPCC attached to pursuit car bonnet (hood) with an ARRI Limpet Mount


29th JUNE 2015

“Trivial Pursuit”

So nine days later and we’re back. This time off to that little cut-through on the way to one of our favourite pubs; The Swallow’s Nest.

We got fast and slow variations before heading over to Clent. I tell you, this driving malarkey is exciting (and a little scary). We pushed it a little today and got nice and close. We went all over with the route and tried to get some nice variation. Of course whenever anyone else is around we’re back to ‘not filming a car sequence’ mode. We’re not idiots.

We got back and checked out the footage. It looks awesome… But does suffer in the low light. We had thought we’d found a way around it with shooting during dusk but it’s still not ideal. We’re toying with the idea using the BMPCC. A somewhat scary concept but we have a nice strong ARRI limpet mount so it shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll buy an optical flat to protect the lens from any gravel that may be kicked up by car tires… Maybe, if we choose to go down that route. I know it’s one of those things we’d never regret. Unless of course the camera comes crashing off the bonnet and we have to buy a new one…

Zander out.


20th JUNE 2015

So it begins – First Shots (GoPro)

So here we are, finally. It’s certainly been a long time coming. After being blessed with finding a group of talented actors, we were then cursed by that same talent. Turns out good actors are in demand. So back in April, after our final script readthrough, we all became suddenly aware that this movie wasn’t going to be shot until September. Still, they will make the film and so waiting is a small price to pay.

In the mean time Elliot and I have tasked ourselves with getting whatever shots we can. Why waste the time? We have a few shorts on the go but this has to be the priority. It’ll be the one that gets our foot on the ladder.

With it being the summer (apparently), sunsets are long and lingering, perfect conditions for filming with the GoPro. Early tests found it to be terrible at handling full on darkness; though a few of the pro settings improved the image. We found that heading out when the sun is riding the horizon is the best option. Firstly the ambience from the sky gives the GoPro just that little bit of extra light to work with but secondly you get beautiful silohuettes of trees and telegraph poles scrolling by. Once graded down slightly it’ll look the business.

So off we went. Elliot driving the “big car” (the insurance started for him TODAY. No hanging around!). GoPro suckered to the front, iPad and app for control and we were on our way. We were of course totally responsible drivers, at least when there were people around. No speeding mind you, just a little zig zagging across the central lines for dramatic effect. Everything looks a lot faster on the GoPro anyway, so with a little sound design and some blood pumping music, it’ll feel like we’re at Monaco Grand Prix!

It was a success. We checked the footage on our return and we’re pleased with what we got. Great to finally get something in the can. So much has gone into this up until now but there’s nothing quite like filming, that’s the bit you dream about.

Next stop, pursuit and leading footage from another car. We did some tests last year and phwoar did it look good. Should be fun. Z-out.


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