As well as being a Director, I also work as a Director of Photography (sometimes doing both) and often use my own equipment. I really enjoy interesting, ambitious projects I can shoot and edit myself and when my time isn’t taken up writing treatments, filming, testing or photographing I like to travel and film my own projects, like this one in the Arctic Circle: https://vimeo.com/60835364 where I went to work on my timelapsing skills.
Over the years I’ve tried, texted, bought and sold camera equipment, finding the smallest package that I could shoot almost anything with. Unfortunately there’s no magic camera that can do everything yet but the below range of equipment is as close as I think it’s possible to come at the moment. I can shoot underwater or from the air in 4k (perfect for HD delivery), I can shoot in high dynamic range to prores or in raw in 4k and can even shoot 4k at 120fps or 2k at 240fps in raw. I have cameras that can shoot in extremely low light, for instance I shot this short film with just moonlight: https://vimeo.com/112667226 . I have also shot the Northern Lights in real time, something that has only recently been made possible by extremely low light sensitive cameras by Sony. I can pack most of my filming equipment along with batteries and cards into hand luggage which is why if I specialise in anything it’s extremely high end, cinematic filming with a small footprint.
I use a wide range of equipment as there isn’t one camera or one lighting package that suits every scenario. I charge a day rate and a discounted equipment rent and I have enough of a range of equipment to be able to shoot almost anything and for most budgets.
That includes but isn’t limited to:
- First Camera: Canon C300 Mark II, Approx 15 stops of dymamic range, excellent skin tones, high speed and high bitrate options up to 4k, excellent face tracking for gimbal or ‘one man band’ work.
- Second camera: Sony A6300, super 35 sensor, Approx 13 stops of dynamic range, this shoots an excellent 4k, downscaled from 6k and face tracking autofocus for gimbal/steadicam work. It has the versatility of looking like a small rangefinder stills camera, but being built for video it shoots in log for high dynamic range filming to a broadcast level bitrate. It’s weather resistant and is small and light, it makes an excellent backup camera or low profile camera.
- Stills cameras for timelapsing: Multiple SLRs and mirrorless cameras along with Kessler slider and oracle motion control system for motorised, repeatable, controllable dolly moves. I also use a Sony RX1004 for extremely low profile filming and underwater filming as the quality is much better than a gopro in both 4k and high speed as well as colour matching other cameras well.
- Lenses: Multiple stills lenses, ranging from ultra wide to super telephoto. Both autofocus and manual.
- Aerial drone: DJI Phantom 2 with gimbal and GoPro 4 with FPV for lightweight, safe, controllable 4k aerial filming that can be monitored from the ground.
- Action cameras: Multiple GoPros 3+ and 4 as well.
- Lighting equipment, mostly LED and battery powered, softboxes, lightstands, reflectors
- Audio (I generally recommend a specialist here) – XLR to main camera, multiple shotguns and boom, Zoom H4N,small recorders and lav mics for on-person recording