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Shooting A Raft At Sea

Published : 7th February 2010

Have any of you got any stories or novel ideas on shooting on water or cheating it?

I have to shoot quite a lot of kids on a oil drum raft at sea for a upcoming 26 part TV series. Now as

ever our budget is tight and have to no doubt cheat some of them. They tried filming from a boat tethered last year and also in shallow water with the operator standing next to the raft etc. Both I don’t think they were happy with. Filming out at sea in deep water also with kids etc not going to happen etc. I had mentioned that we could build a platform in about 2 mtrs of water but where we are filming (Western Australia) they have massive tides (up to 9 mtrs!). Low water looks too lappy on the raft (you don’t get in deep water) and..the sound guys hate the water breaking on the beach for obvious reasons so they want deeper water as well.

Cheers for any words of wisdom but please don’t quote water world or say...don’t! as I have a whole bunch of EPS that have to be done.

Dave Le May
Cinematographer
Perth WA


To hold the horizon level, use a MakoHead Camera Stabilizer.

It works exceptionally well for this scenario.

John Dann
Mako Products, Inc.
10197 SE 144th Place
Summerfield, FL 34491
352 288 0111 fax 352 288 5538
www.makohead.com


Hello Dave,

My first thought would be to build a submerged raft, just below sea level, completely surrounding the hero-raft (landing stage/wharf). Make it heavy and sturdy so it creates a comfortable stable working platform. Keep it in position (rotation) with small boats and manoeuvre it to the position you'd like.

This way all kids are safe within the landing stage and you have a 360 free field of view.

Again, my first thought, don't know yet what disadvantages could be or what I have overlooked...

Good luck,

Onno
KeyGrip / Manufacturer
Amsterdam Holland
www.solidgripsystems.eu


>>"Have any of you got any stories or novel ideas on shooting on water or cheating it?
>>I have to shoot quite a lot of kids on a oil drum raft at sea for a upcoming
>>26 part TV series. Now as ever our budget is tight and have to no doubt cheat some of them. "

It sounds like the challenge is finding a location that works for you.

We worked on a project with similar location and budget constraints a few years ago, however ours was a night shoot. We needed rough-looking seas. We went to a local wave pool at a water theme park and it worked well. How much of a horizon do you need? Would a lake or lagoon location work?

I assume crocks might be a problem there too? Good luck, let us know what you end up doing.

Michael Murray
adrenalinefilms.com
Orlando, Florida


>> "Have any of you got any stories or novel ideas on shooting on water or cheating it? I have to >>shoot quite a lot of kids on a oil drum raft at sea for a upcoming 26 part TV series. Now as ever our >>budget is tight and have to no doubt cheat some of them. "

Michael Murray's reply (with reference to a local wave pool) reminds of the outdoor pool/pond (can't really call it a proper tank) on the Universal lot in Los Angeles with the big, wide and tall painted background, complete with blue sky and clouds that was apparently used for Jaws: The Revenge. Probably for inserts, I dunno. (I wonder if it's still there? I haven't been on the Tour for a long time.) With your climate in Perth maybe such a large pool exists somewhere that would allow you to build a painted background like that. I'm not talking blue or green screen, but rather an old-fashioned painted background made from sheets of plywood on a wooden frame. With some wind machines to stir up a bit of chop and some fog for aerial perspective, it might cost less than the time you'll lose shooting on the ocean. (Been there, done that, still seasick.) Is it a cheesy solution?

Hey! It was good enough for Jaws: the Revenge!

Greg Lowry
Scopica Inc. | Scopica 3D
Vancouver


Greg Lowry wrote:

>>..the outdoor pool/pond (can't really call it a proper tank) on the Universal lot in Los Angeles...I >>wonder if it's still there?

Yes, you're referring to Falls Lake, up on the hill behind the backlot. Shot there more than a few times...

Mike Most
Technologist
Woodland Hills, CA.


Dave Lemay wrote:

>>Have any of you got any stories or novel ideas on shooting on water or cheating it?

Dave,

Here's a link to "Falls Lake" at Universal. This puts pictures to what
I described in an earlier email. Quite effective. Maybe you can build
a smaller version for your project? Just a thought.

http://www.thestudiotour.com/ush/backlot/fallslake.shtml

Greg Lowry
Scopica Inc. | Scopica 3D
Vancouver