Camera bodies are really the new film stock, so heres is a round up of a few camera rigs I have shoot with over the last few months (and a quick bit about why that package was chosen!).
Alexa, Zeiss Master Primes
Nothing really beats the Alexa and nothing beats Master Primes, so whenever I'm shooting a project with the budget, its a great option! This setup was used to shoot a broadcast PSA to raise awareness of speeding in work zones.
Because we were shooting near a highway, we had a lot of limitations on where we could place lights. It was also a super windy night, so flying a 20x was not an option. The result? The idea of bouncing a 4k into the grip truck and an 8x!
Wireless focus system = a must when shooting handheld with such a beefy rig.
A rare BTS shot of myself without a camera on my shoulder.
Alexa with the Canon 30-105
Same project as above, but different concept and spot. We interviewed real workers about the dangers of working on highways. We used a "bungee" rig to give the illusion of handheld. Why not just handheld? Because we were shooting 18 individuals over a 10 hour day, and constantly having the camera up and ready, kept the day moving fast, while also saving my back!!! The zoom was also picked to keep the day moving fast.
Red Dragon Epic, Black Magic Cinema Camera, EF Glass
For a new feature doc project, we utilized a Red Dragon as A-cam and a BMCC as B-cam. We shoot 6k with the Dragon (so we could cheat 2 fame sizes out of the master) and 4k in the BMCC. This way the edit could maintain 4k, but still have room to move around on A camera. While a 2nd Dragon would have been ideal for B-cam, we choose the BMCC as the best budget friendly 2nd camera.
Arri Amira, Fuji 19-90
I was hired to direct and DP a few short films for the New York City Ballet. The project incorporated a number of camera formats (some archival was shot on the c300 and EX1), but we choose to use the Amira and a Fujion 19-90 for all the interviews and additional B-roll. The wide end of the 19-90 was great for covering dance (alway want to get those extensions!) and the long end of the zoom was great for the interviews. The zoom also allowed us to move quickly, as we had to shoot around real rehearsals and busy schedules. The high frame rates on the Amira was a nice creative tool as well.
Sony F55, Canon EF glass
Damn, I wish I could say more about this project but they got me an NDA! Long story short, I got to go to Germany to film rally car racing! The F55 would already chosen before I was hired, but I will say the frame rate options and the global shutter proved to be fantastic for shooting fast action. The choice of Canon glass was somewhat budget, and somewhat logistical. Since we were shooting racing we couldn't also get close to the action. I knew we were going to have to move around a ton, and I decided a small zoom like the canon 70-200 would allow for so much more coverage (in terms of set up) over a cinema lens such as the Optimo 25-250.
Using Canon glass with the F55 is tricky. We had an iris controller (The box on the top right), but it was funky, bulky, and didn't always work. Knowing this possible problem in advance, I brought along my Tiffen variable ND, and kept it on the front no matter what lens I was shooting. This way I could just pick an F-stop I liked, and then use the internal NDs and variable ND to get the exact exposure I wanted. This may sound like a pain, but I found it just as fast as changing iris on a regular cinema lens.