BLACKRAPID Guest Post by Murray Close | Photographing Hollywood Movies with Murray Close
OVER THE COURSE OF MY CAREER THERE HAVE BEEN
various pieces of equipment that come along and fundamentally change the way I work. The Leica M6, the Canon 5d MK III, and my introduction to BLACKRAPID camera strap support system are a few of them. Whilst on assignment in the forests of Quebec on “Chaos Walking” with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, I had the opportunity to fully road test the BLACKRAPID camera straps wading through rivers and hiking up hillsides to keep up with the fast paced hand-held filmmaking.
2018 STARTED WITH A PRETTY BIG BANG WITH THE RELEASE
of “Red Sparrow” starring Jennifer Lawrence and I have also been shooting Mark Wahlberg again this time on a production called “Mile 22” in Bogotá, Colombia. The filming called for major traffic arteries to be closed to enable us to blow up vehicles and to stage a massive gun fight in the center of the Colombian capital. With 5 Panavision cameras filming the action I was separated from my working bags for most of the day and relied on my BLACKRAPID Double Breathe harness and Sport Breathe single sling camera strap to support 3 cameras around my body and a BLACKRAPID Wrist Strap Breathe to keep my M10 close at hand. In an ideal world I wouldn’t want to load myself down with so much gear at one time, but this configuration allowed to me to work on the run and not be without any lens or camera I might require.
ARRIVING ON SET ARMED WITH THE CORRECT EQUIPMENT
and necessary background preparation to collaborate with the project effectively is essential. It is important to understand the content of the film, the message it is trying to convey, and who the targeted audience is.
MY PREPARATION WILL INCLUDE READING OF THE SCRIPT,
reviewing the “mood boards” and breaking down the script to ensure that I have the correct equipment readily available. This is a key point since by understanding the potential filming scenarios of rain sequences, special effects scenes, etc. and will dictate my equipment package. I always use my Think Tank Photo cases and BLACKRAPID camera straps for my Sony and Leica systems. I like to keep duplicate kits with different lenses to help with my work flow and I find the BLACKRAPID Hybrid Breathe and BLACKRAPID Double Breathe strap essential to my work.
IN ADDITION TO THE PHYSICAL PREPARATIONS I ALWAYS
like to spend some time talking with the DP and Director about the look and tone of the visuals to be photographed. I strive to ensure that my work reflects the vision of the filmmakers and provides a consistent representation which is quite often the first visual seen by the public. With the prep complete and the sleepless night before the first day of photography over it’s time to get the sleeves rolled up and begin filming. Knowing the background and experience of the crew is always helpful especially if I’m not familiar with the core group, although after 75 shows its rare that I am the stranger on set.
MY ADVICE TO PHOTOGRAPHERS WANTING TO GET INTO THE INDUSTRY
would be to get as much experience as possible and hone your craft whether it working on short films, additional 2nd unit still photography, or aiding an experienced established photographer who may be able to provide insider’s advice. Your portfolio will be your “calling card” so ensure it is up to date and shows the viewers a range of work in different working situations.