GEAR. DOCUMENTARY KIT
The run-and-gun filmmaker doesn’t have time on their side, requiring robust gear that won’t slow them down. We get advice from some award-winning documentary makers FILMING ON THE MOVE
WORDS. Robert Shepherd IMAGES. Various
M aking a run-and-gun projects a videographer will ever undertake. Once you’ve secured access – legitimately or covertly – you usually have to move at a moment’s notice, while navigating some very cramped and unforgiving conditions. For many, that means having small, lightweight kit is paramount. The camera is, of course, the key component of any filmmaking kitbag – television and film are visual mediums. However, from smartphones to heavy cameras, leading documentary makers documentary, while very rewarding, can be one of the most challenging
camera round the angles, so we thought there would be a particular advantage in being tiny.” The programme was shot on a mixture of f/1.4 primes from 25mm to 80mm, as well as with a zoom lens that went up to 80mm. “Sometimes you need the flexibility of a zoom in a very small room, even if the aperture wasn’t so great,” says Wishart. He recently invested in a Sony PXW-FX9, which Wishart describes as ‘quite handy’. That said, if he was filming in a GP’s consulting room again, he’d still opt for the GH5 or its equivalent, because it’s a much smaller camera. Peter Beard, co-founder of Story Films and director of Bafta- winning My Son the Jihadi , also prefers lightweight kit – partly because he’s ‘getting older’ and doesn’t want to carry heavy stuff. “I’ve been using the Sony FX6, which is the little version of the FX9,” he says. “It still shoots 4K and is an amazing little camera.
and citizen news-gatherers must decide very quickly what’s going to produce the best results. There are few better-qualified to speak to about this than the award-winning director Adam Wishart, who created 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room for BBC One and Apple TV+. He explains his modus operandi when making the Panorama programme GPs: Why Can’t I Get an Appointment? . It involved him and his crew working with very little space. “We decided to shoot everything on DSLRs and Panasonic GH5s,” he says. “GP consulting rooms are very small and we couldn’t get a bigger
SIZE MATTERS Acclaimed filmmaker Adam Wishart opts for smaller cameras in tight conditions
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