Out of Thin Air

Belvoir Shoot

(from the Run and Gun Videography blog)

Belvoir Castle, on which estate I live, has been the subject of a 2 year project to bring into being the recently found 200 year old plans of Capability Brown, probably the most famous landscape architect in England. In the last year a TV program has been in the making which airs its first of 3 parts tonight.

Quite aside from all that, Belvoir Castle has become a world-class shooting estate with people coming the world over to shoot here during the season. It has been being run by Phill Burtt, the David Beckham of the shooting world.

It was decided just a few days ago that a Belvoir Shoot video should be done and gotten onto the Guns and Pegs website, the largest shooting related website in the world for both those seeking venues and those looking for them. This was to coincide with the airing of the Capability Brown program.

Luckily I had some footage shot last year to add to the mix.

It turns out now that this is my favorite marketing video to date– shot completely off-the-cuff, mainly with the Sony PXW X70 and some NX30 footage.

It’s a long and interesting story that I may detail in an update of Run and Gun Videography–The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide, but for now, just a couple of notes.

  1. I probably take the ‘don’t use tripods much’ to an extreme. The only tripod shot in the video was the Phil Burtt interview. But look closely at the opening and ending shots of Belvoir Castle with the titles. I amazed even myself, because, believe it or not, that was hand-held standing a mile away from the castle.
  2. Notice the echo in the Duchess interview. I actually recorded it with two mics, one lapel (rather sloppily attached I note) and one rifle. It is a real echoey room to begin with. The rifle picked up too much echo so I didn’t use it. The lapel picked up none. So I mixed the lapel and then added echo from the FCPX audio effects–ironic, because I’m usually trying to get rid of it. In this case, it sounded really dumb without echo.

Anyway, I’ll leave it at that for now.

You Americans might not understand what you’re looking at. It’s just the time-honored tradition of English shooting, right on down to wearing the right outfit, with breaks for champagne and sloe gin, bacon or sausage sandwiches, ending up with drinks and a dinner.

3 responses

  1. On the audio:
    I often mix mics to make the right amount of reverb.

    I have a separate recorder I often use for my projects, a Zoom H6, and attach one of the mics that come with the package, an MS mic or an XY mic. Then a mic close up, and a gun on my camera (a Røde Videomic Pro on a Canon Legria HF G30, which is a high-end consumer camera. It was as far as our money could go and we really needed something to start with.)

    If you have one mic that is close enough and another one that is further away with more reverb, the delay between the mouth and the mike just sounds like more reverb. So you can use the channel with more reverb (gun, recorder, whatever) to add a natural reverb to the lapel mike. Which is kind of nice.

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  2. Lester–I think it’s mainly colour balancing you’re seeing. I don’t do anything special for shooting–in fact most of that was shot in intelligent auto. But afterwards I use the FCPX scopes, and Color Finale color correction to bring everything in range (blacks to zero, highlights to 100) adjust color, saturation, etc. to optimise the look of each shot as best I can.

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  3. Lovely video. Nice “creamy” look. How do you achieve that. I use PXW-X70 and NX 30 ( based on your write-ups) and are really pleased with them both. I still end up with the “video look”. I do mostly hand held.

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