After an exhausting 20 hour journey, I met the band at Beijing airport. We had 2 days off before the fist show, and were all keen to explore the city and surroundings of a country none of us had visited before. In the blog posts forthcoming over the next few months, I’ll try to give a bit of background on the equipment I’m using, what I’m using it for and why etc.

Day 1 saw a trip to the Great Wall of China, and incredible spectacle. For the excursion I shot on the FS700, with all kit in my Kata rucksack. Suffice to say this was an exhausting task – the great wall is not easily traversed, never mind in 30 degree heat. But what an incredible sight it was.

I’ve only shot a couple of times with the FS700 in daylight prior to the trip, and it really excels. It’s useable enough to switch between setups & camera settings quickly, whilst delivering a superb image. The super slow motion is already proving addictive – but for the right reason.

Usually of these kind of activities I’ll shoot mostly wide, with the 11-16mm on the Glidecam. In addition to a small selection of cutaways on the 35mm to break it up in the edit. I couldn’t afford to shoot many tight shots as the scenery is just too stunning. It wasn’t an easy task transporting the kit, but I feel the balance of taking enough to kit to capture properly was met.

Interview setup: A-CAM: FS700 w/ 35mm f1.4 on 501 + Jag 35 slider. B-CAM: 7D w/ 50mm f2. Rode Mics NTG-2 + lavalier

We’ve spent a fair bit of time in vans/taxis/trains travelling to different sites, and I’m capturing lots of footage out the window of the visually-rich surroundings. The FS700 on super slow motion mode can get some really incredible sights, with so much motion of the vehicle introduced. I’ve also been experimenting with this little tool, an (eBay special) rotating time-lapse base for GoPro. I often use the GoPro for time-lapse work as it’s so simple and unintrusive. The rotating base will hopefully add an element of motion to push the production value of it’s output.

Travelling from Beijing > Shanghai, we took the bullet train. A mighty 200mpg. Times like this give me a great opportunity to shoot. The band will usually be on laptops or sleeping, and I get a few hours to experiment with shots. I nailed a really great shot of Dan with the slider, timed over 60 seconds with a gentle pan on the fluid head. In the edit this is speeded up 6x to introduce additional motion of himself and the scenery outside, while the much slower camera movement is emphasised.

The first few shows in China have been very interesting. It’s definitely a very new thing, having such heavy bands play live gigs here, and the crowd react very differently to those in Europe and the UK. Myself and the band agreed the final film should be completely truthful, and reflect exactly the audience of the shows, which I’m really looking forward to capturing.

Looking back at some of the footage, I’m incredibly happy with the first few days of shooting.

Forbidden Temple, Beijing: FS700 w/ 11-16mm f2.8 handheld

Beijing: FS700 w/ 35mm f1.4, Jag35 chest rig, Manfrotto 501 on Jag35 motorized slider

Shanghai > Gangzhou flight. FS700 barebones w/ 24-120mm


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