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Technische Daten

Dieser Artikel ist leider nicht verfügbar auf Deutsch
Fast, slick and <br class="br_visual" />double-quick!

Fast, slick and
double-quick!

© Richard Walch

May 2015

Canon Ambassador Richard Walch recently shot a film for Quant cars with the EOS C100 Mark II and EOS 70D DSLRs. He explains to CPN Editor David Corfield the shoot’s unique requirements and why he chose these two cameras to get him the results he required...

“It wasn’t easy filming on the back of a bike, but I loved it!” smiles Richard Walch. “To make it even more of a challenge, I was sat back-to-back with the rider, so I couldn't even see where I was going...”

Challenges like this are not uncommon in Richard’s life. And in this case, riding reverse pillion on a 1200cc BMW while keeping focus on one of the world’s hottest cars was one of his more exciting commissions. But thankfully, a carefully chosen pair of cameras ensured focusing was the least of his concerns. Being DoP on the shoot, however, gave him far bigger headaches...

© Richard Walch

Please click on the image above for a film by Richard Walch on the innovative Quant car, shot with the EOS C100 Mark II and EOS 70D DSLRs.

“I was asked by a Swiss film production company called Feit Film to be DoP on a film for Quant cars in Zurich,” Richard explains. “The team at Feit Film I knew from my early days as a snowboard photographer and I’ve worked with them before, so they knew I could work fast and ‘on the fly’, which is what they wanted. They needed to show the amazing QUANT E; an electric car that is powered by the ground-breaking nanoFlowcell® powertrain and energy storage concept being used in real-life situations for its presentation at the Geneva International Motor Show. So I suggested some ways of working with it in a series of tracking shots with the bike and they went with it.”

Teamwork and creative collaboration

Right from the word go, Richard was under pressure to get the job done – in double-quick time. “We had the car for just two days and we had to make sure we knew exactly how we would shoot it through the streets of Zurich,” he remembers. “We chose three possible routes through the city and overnight we drove all those three routes and decided on which one was the best. In the morning we came in real early and got the rigs sorted with cameramen positioned at various locations on the route, all of whom were waiting for the car – and off we went! I rode on the back of the motorbike with an EOS 70D on a monopod and followed the car all the time. We had two days of beautiful weather and it all went really smoothly, great team-play with all the cameras and the support crew on the equipment working like a dream – I couldn't have planned it any better!”

© Richard Walch

Part of the brief given to Richard Walch was to show the car in a series of stills from various angles. Here, assistants pose around the car with Speedlite flashguns, triggered remotely from Richard's EOS 5D Mark III.

“I am really focused on a shoot and I don't panic,” Richard states. “I was quite nervous a couple of days beforehand because there were so many things we didn't know about, so I was pretty wired about that but when I started shooting I knew what I had to do. Strategic planning – that’s the name of the game. There is no time to think about photography or technique because as a DoP you spend more time worrying about production issues such as – in this case – what if the car has a technical issue or if it starts raining.”

Choosing the right equipment for this job was actually Richard’s best decision, and the success of the EOS C100 Mark II and EOS 70D’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology to track a moving subject was to be the pivotal point of the whole production. But having never used a C100 Mark II digital cinema camera before, Richard wondered if he would find the same core EOS values he has come to appreciate from his usual DSLRs; namely usability, great handling, exceptional AF speed and superb quality footage. He needn’t have worried. “The C100 just worked straight from the word go,” he enthuses. “It was fantastic. It was small and light and fitted straight into my hand like it belonged there.”

Richard continues: “We shot with EF L-series and EF STM lenses: on the L side we used 16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8 and 200-400 f/4 Extender 1.4x zooms. The 200-400 telephoto-zoom is one of his favourite lenses and Richard has used it on many shoots before, including this rather cool portrait session with the EOS-1D C. “And as for the STM lens, we had an 18-135 f/3.5-5.6. This is a great piece of glass because it is small, light and uses STM stepping-motor technology for smoother and quieter focusing. Plus it also has a big focal length range, which makes it much more valuable when you don't have time to change lenses,” he reflects.

Richard imparts valuable advice for emerging filmmakers looking for the best quality equipment: don't discount these Canon STM lenses. “The quality on the STM lens we used was really good. Sometimes it is not important to look for the best lens because inevitably it will be the most expensive, and certainly one of the heaviest. Forget that. With a movie it’s all about the tonal look and feel and I think that is way more important than something being maybe five percent sharper.”

EOS 70D: a very capable DLSR

As well as the C100 for the key long-range shots and statics, Richard put his faith in the EOS 70D, and was not disappointed. “I decided on the 70D because in the current Canon line-up it has the most advanced autofocus in combination with a flip-out touch screen, which I needed when I was filming the car from the low angles we needed for the film. I didn’t have room for a monitor on the back of the bike as I had the camera mounted on the monopod, which I was handholding, so I could position the camera just a few centimetres from the ground.”

© Richard Walch

Canon Ambassador Richard Walch films from the back of a motorcycle, with an EOS 70D and EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens fixed to a monopod. Here he uses the monitor and Live View for filming ‘on the fly’.

“I knew the only way to keep up with the car was on a motorbike. So I needed a camera with solid autofocus – that was my number one priority. That’s why I chose the EOS C100 Mark II and the 70D in the first place; for the Dual Pixel CMOS AF. For this shoot I didn’t care about 4K because the output for this film was for the web and a screen presentation at the Motor Show. I wanted to capture that ‘live’ feeling of a car on the road.”

“The goal was to use the C100 whenever the centre of focus was in the middle of the picture. So for the long lens shots and when the car was static we would use that, and when on the bike and showing wide shots I would go for the 70D because it is so light and – with the flip-out screen – I could monitor what I was doing while I was filming. It worked perfectly.”

“The only limiting factor on the 70D is that for filming it only has one codec, so I recorded all the footage as MOV files onto a 512GB CompactFlash card and used the higher 60fps frame for certain slow motion effects.”

“The trick – as I discovered – is to mix the two cameras together for the best versatility and creativity,” he advises. “You have the creativity with the 70D and you have the money shots – the basics – with the C100. The codec matches on both cameras and the quality of footage is the same.”

Pulling it all together

Richard, in his own unique style, combined classic filming techniques using dollies with a more freestyle approach, and it worked a treat. “Going for the fast and loose approach on the bike really was the important element that the film needed,” he reveals.

© Richard Walch

Canon Ambassador Richard Walch goes for a low-angle long shot with the EOS C100 Mark II and EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x lens.

“We shot nine hours of material in the end which was a lot of material for the editor,” he recalls, “But I have to tell you, Feit Film was working with a stunning editing team back at the post-processing studio in Berlin. In the space of a few weeks we went from concept to film and ready for display on the Quant stand at the Geneva Motor Show. I was stoked how it all came together,”

Richard reflects: “Filming is a team thing. I love being part of a creative group because it means bigger projects like this. It’s when I’m most happiest: managing people and experimenting with equipment. And the final stage is when the real magic happens: in the edit. The final stage in the whole production process brought all the footage we shot to the next level and made me thankful that I had chosen the right cameras; the footage was absolutely sharp and perfect.”

“I always want to push myself to the next step and I never stop learning,” Richard admits. “I think our client Nunzio and Arturo La Vecchia were happy about the outcome of our production. They worked hard to bring this amazing car to the start line and we managed to produce a film that electrifies people about this new technology. Touchdown!”

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Schaukasten

Filming from a low angle on the back of a motorcycle was made infinitely easier thanks to mounting an EOS 70D DSLR on a monopod and holding it upside down near the ground, while the car followed behind. Taken on a Canon EOS 70D with an EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens at 31mm; the exposure was 1/80sec at f/13, ISO 100.