The Berlin Duran Duran shoot was quite an adventure that twisted and turned this way and that. The plan was to shoot a Duran Duran concert using a range of Sony Super 35mm camcorders, however in the days running up to the shoot the band had been forced to postpone some other gigs due to illness. On the Monday before the shoot we were all sat at home waiting for the go – no-go phone call from the producers. The call came at 9pm, we were go, so first thing Tuesday I was off to the airport with 75kg of kit to fly out to Berlin with the very real threat of either Heathrow airport or Berlin airport getting shut down by Volcanic ash from Iceland. In the end my flight left 20 mins early and the plane was even backing away from the gate well before everyone had taken their seats in a mad dash to get to Berlin before airspace got closed.
My self and Den Lennie (of F-Stop Academy) in the advanced party got into Berlin OK and spent Tuesday collecting some of the rented and borrowed kit and getting it in to the venue.
However by the Wednesday morning the whole shoot was turning into a serious challenge as Berlin airport was closed by the Ash cloud from the Iceland volcano just as key members of the crew including Gavin the director and James the producer were due to fly in. They ended up going to Dusseldorf and getting the train up to Berlin. In addition some of our rented kit was delayed as well as the stage and rigging crew, so everyone was running behind, frantically trying to source more kit locally. We have to say a BIG thank you to FGV Schmidle in Berlin who went out of their way to help us out.
We had 6 F3’s, 2 FS100’s the SRW9000PL and an EX3. The EX3 was going to be used on the back of a Canon HJ21x7.5 Cinestyle lens with a 2x extender from the back of the venue to get some close up shots that we just could not get with any of the PL mount lenses we had on the 35mm sensor cameras. Long, fast 35mm lenses are few and far between.
To get the look that we wanted the cameras were all set up with custom picture profiles. I designed a picture profile for the F3’s that would give maximum latitude to help handle the high contrast range that the concert lightning would bring as well as de-saturating the image to prevent the coloured lights from clipping and thus give more scope for grading and post work. Detail correction was set up to give a small amount of very fine detail boost to keep the images crisp without looking like video.
Two of the Sony PMW-F3’s were kitted out with Angenieux Optimo 24-290 T2.8 lenses and Pre-Production Zacuto EVF’s. What a gorgeous lens, the EVF’s aren’t bad either! Hopefully I’ll get more time to play with both of these in the future and a review of the EVF’s should come soon. The Optimo’s allowed us to get beautiful mid and close up shots from the venue sides with nice bokeh and super shallow DoF. At the rear of the venue as well as the EX3 we had an F3 with an Angenieux Optimo 15-40 on a track to shoot wide shots of the stage through the crowds. The remaining F3’s were to be used with Nikon DSLR lenses in the 75 to 300mm range via MTF adapters (thanks Mike) and a prototype Adaptimax adapter (Thanks Steve). The other F3’s were going to go on tracks at the front of the stage or on the stage wings to pick off close ups of instruments and band members. We also had a pair of Sony MC1P mini-cams but we could not rig these until the stage crew arrived and we weren’t expecting them until early on Thursday morning, the day of the shoot. The FS100’s would be on stage, hand held and on tracks using prototype Birger mounts and Canon L series lenses.
Then the bombshell dropped. The event was postponed. The lead singer Simon LeBon has been suffering from Laryngitis and he still wasn’t well enough to sing. So the remainder of the evening was spent packing all the kit away and rebooking flights and schedules. The concert will now be held on the 8th of June, again in Berlin. I’m going to be flying back to London from Cinegear and a 3D event at Samy’s cameras on the 6th, passing through London ( 3 hours between flights) on the 7th where I will pick up my F3 kit and then travel on the Berlin, where we will once again try to complete the shoot. Photo’s and more gear porn to follow.