Brock Masters is a senior at the University of Central Missouri that is studying Digital Media Proudction and Marketing. He works for KMOS-TV and the University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation. He has made a number of short films throughout his career. He also maintains his own blog that covers the reality TV shows Survivor and Big Brother.
Recently, I made a trip up to Kansas City to do some shooting on a documentary that I am making. The documentary is about two twelve year old boxers that are also twin brothers. I went up to the gym they train at to get some footage of them and there were definitely some challenges that I faced when shooting. Some problems were easily fixed. Others, not so much.
First off, the gym they train in was very small. It is kept in the basement of a community center that is very old. To get an idea of how old this place was, one of the rings there had been there since 1917. Anyways, the rings were just barely able to fit in the rooms they were held. This really limited what I could do as far as camera movement goes. To actually move the camera around the ring, I had to take it into the ring first, put it on the other side of the ring and then do the same with the tripod. It was hard to get some shots, but the way I worked around this was by recruiting a crew.
A crew is a very important part of the film making process. Whenever you can, I highly recommend getting a few extra hands to help out. My crew was able to help making moving all the gear pretty easily and it didn’t take as long as it would’ve if I would’ve been by myself. I also had one of my crew members man a second camera on a handheld rig. This gave them the freedom to get shots that I couldn’t because it just would’ve been a process to move everything around.
The other big thing that probably will create problems in post production was the lighting in the gym. There were many different types of lights in the gym so it was hard to really nail down a color temperature. I ended up setting the White Balance at around 5000K and the footage looks alright right now. Because the cameras we used shoot so desaturated though, there is going to be heavy color correction going on. The challenge is going to be getting it to match the handheld cameras colors. The camera I shot on was the Black Magic Production Camera and the other was a DSLR camera. DSLR’s shoot color pretty much to a T so that is what I am going to try to match up.
Keeping the brothers in focus when they were sparring was also a little difficult just because they were moving so fast. I constantly had to ride the focus to try and keep them from being blurry. If I could’ve done it again, I would’ve changed some of my camera settings such as the aperture to give me room to work with.
All and all the footage turned out really well and I am excited to get to editing on it. What problems have you encountered on shoots?