Camera kits

The Timeless Islands - Dragon and DJI Ronin Gimbal

The Timeless Islands - Dragon and DJI Ronin Gimbal

“We are young, we run green” starts the commercial film for CalMac. The video crew certainly needed to be tireless and energetic for their 4-day shoot which ties together an endless stream of islanders each filmed in their own setting and each singing a line from a cover of Supergrass’ “Alright.”


“Given the location is a ferry ride away and the fast nature of the production itself, travelling and shooting light was essential.” Says producer Beth Allan from Forest of Black. “We usually use the Alexa with Cooke S4 lenses but that combination was unsuitable because of its size and weight. So we looked to VMI to supply a portable solution and they were happy to spend time with us to get the kit we needed.”


The production was shot on a Red Dragon in 4K and Cooke Speed Panchro optics with frequent use of a DJI Ronin gimbal. 

“The camera twinned perfectly with the gimbal to give us great pictures and beautifully fluid tracking shots. The Ronin steadied the pictures, whether the DOP was moving or simply needed a stable shooting platform. We were pleasantly surprised with how easy we found working with the Ronin for the various types of movement we were after. We actually ended up being on it way more than we had imagined which kept things nice and fluid without too much switching to sticks or handheld.” Continues Beth.


In terms of the camera itself, the crew found the Red very good to use on the run. She notes:

“We just recorded onto media cards and organised the data each night. As a workflow and as a camera, the Red was fast and efficient; we were never kept waiting for the camera to be ready." 


The crew were especially pleased with the results achieved by the Panchro lenses. Tests at VMI’s offices suggested that these venerable optics would hit the right balance of optical performance and practical convenience: the light weight of the Panchros making stabilization of the gimbal far easier. 


"Digital 4K shots can be very crisp, almost too sharp. What the Panchros gave us was a beautiful 16mm vintage look, really lovely flare and an attractive texture. We are really pleased with the feedback we've had on the video.” Beth concludes.

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