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Old December 11th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
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How to prepare for the Heineken Regatta?

I have been invited to film the Heineken Regatta 2012 edition at Sint Maarten in March.

Apart from such practical issues as licences, press cards and stuff like that, there are three issues that I would like to ask here, so I will be prepared beforehand. No problems with the shots from the island, but we also plan to shoot from a RIB for a couple of days. See also All about rigid inflatable boats -- for RIB enthusiasts and all rigid inflatable boat users

Three questions in that regard:

1. In addition to a Canon XF-300 and a Sony Z1, we are looking at a shoulder camera with autofocus lens. Any suggestions?

2. Any suggestions for salt water protection for these cameras? Maybe something like this:
Ewa-Marine #VXF-3 Underwater Housing f/Canon XF300 / 305 VXF 3
or are there more affordable alternatives?

3. What to use for relatively stable shots. Tripod is out of the question on a small RIB and since this is a non-commercial endeavor, investing in two steadicam rigs is also out. We can mount a small Extreme HD action camera on the RIB for insert shots.

Anybody who has ever made a trip on a high speed RIB in windy waters will recognize the problems of protecting the equipment against salt water sprays and stabilizing shots on such bumpy rides at speeds of 30+ Mph, following the contesting sailing yachts.

I just want to be prepared, so if you have other suggestions apart from the three questions asked above, please give them.

While awaiting your suggestions, I'll have a cool Heineken.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #2
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Re: How to prepare for the Heineken Regatta?

With regards to the overwhelming number of reactions, do I get another Heineken?
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Old December 13th, 2011, 05:57 PM   #3
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Re: How to prepare for the Heineken Regatta?

You need at least a six-pack.

In daylight you could get away with the relatively cheap Sony MC2000 as a shoulder mount cam. It's practically disposable. Other shoulder formats are probably too expensive. I happen to have two for sale (if you don't need PAL) so let me know if you're interested.

Protection-wise, I like Porta Brace for their slickers. Full housings are likely to be too bulky on a pitching boat, as the folks at Deadliest Catch have determined.

For stabilization, if you can't use a steadicam or similar rig, a shoulder cam on a human body may just be the best solution. The knees are great shock absorbers (or at least mine used to be. No longer, sadly).
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
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Old December 13th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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Re: How to prepare for the Heineken Regatta?

This is gonna be instructive for you!

Rule # 1: Stay wide as often as you can. Piloting close is better than zooming in in nearly every case. (unfortunately piloting close to a racing boat during an actual race it will often make the captain of said object boat really, REALLY mad - so don't say I didn't warn you!)

That's pretty much it for the rules.

The only other thing I'd suggest is that you find a friend with a pickup truck - and search out the WORST bumpy road in your area. Stand in the truck bed with a lifeline and the actual camera you're going to be using - and have the driver run you up and down the road over and over and over again while you shoot. Start slow and work up to more speed over as many weeks as you can squeeze in before you have to do this "for real" - kinda like any sensible person would train a bunch leading up to running a 10k.

Bring back the footage of the practice runs and watch it. It's going to be terrible. That's a given. But by doing the exercise, it will be marginally LESS terrible over time as your body and muscles adapt to operating a camera in horrifically unstable conditions.

If you do that constantly, your legs and balance will at least be "somewhat" developed to cope with what you're going to be facing out there.

Oh, and study up on some new curse words and prayers - you'll need both of those along with a good local masseuse during the ramp up to this.

Good luck.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: How to prepare for the Heineken Regatta?

Also, consider a fast shutter shooting style. Yes, it will give a stuttery look, but the images will be sharp and crisp. With a traditional, 1/48 or 1/60 shutter, each image will have blur to make the overall video motion look smooth. But that same blur can make the images look dull.

There's no one answer here. It depends on the mood that you are going for. You can also shoot a couple of looks. For instance, shoot real time with a slow shutter and slow motion (even if only 30p played at 24p) with a fast shutter.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 03:11 AM   #6
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Re: How to prepare for the Heineken Regatta?

Thanks for the replies guys. Helpful.

The trip has been planned, accommodation arranged and press accreditation is almost done.

We'll be filming one race from a RIB, one race from the starting boat and the finish from another, yet to be determined location and one race on-board of one of the larger yachts.

Equipment is a Canon XF300 and a Sony PMW-350K and the material will be shot in 1920 x 1080/25i 4:2:2 50 Mb/s mode.

First question: What is the easiest way to set a custom profile for both cameras, so CC work will be minimal during editing? Say you have a CP for the XF300 and you want to set a custom profile for the Sony to match as closely as possible to minimize color correction in post. How would you go about it?

Second question: For the Canon XF300 I have almost decided on the
Ewa-Marine #VXF-3 Underwater Housing for Canon XF300 / VXF 3 B&H
Not because of underwater shots, but to protect the camera from large sprays of salty seawater. What would you suggest for the PMW-350K?
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