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WORLD TOUR #7 : AUSTRALIA > NORTHERN EUROPE

Before returning to familiar shores, the last few days of our Australian adventure were spent in one of my favourite cities of the tour, Melbourne. As per all our time with The Amity Affliction in their home country, we were very well looked after and the 12th floor hotel suite gave me an incredible skyline to timelapse.


FS700 w/ 7mm

After the demise of my 7D, I’ve been using the FS700’s ‘slow & quick’ mode to shoot some timelapse peices. It can be slowed down to shooting 1 fps, to output a single movie file – which makes post-production quicker, but give me less flexibility with image manipulation and scaling. It’s ok, but I’ll still be using some of the other DSLRs on tour to shoot longer timelapses.

It’s been a joy to shoot in all of these venues in Australia, the shear scale of them giving footagequality that couldn’t have been achieved in any other territories. My favourite being the Palace Theatre in Melbourne, with a triple tier balcony and rigging balconies above the stage it gave more options for shooting positions than anywhere we’d played prior. Multiple shows here (again) meant chances to experiment with angles. As I’m shooting more and more shows on this tour, the need for unique shots is more apparent than ever, if I am to keep the live shots exciting across the span of the entire film.

After my earlier experiences with the Canon 70-200 f2.8 L, my friend, and great photographer James Hartley – out with us for a few days suggested I used his 70-200 f4. It’s lighter and shorter, and sat much happier on the metabones lens mount. No picture unfortuantely, as I was swapping between lenses mid-set, but safe to say it’s something I’ll be investing in.

Although not the headline band, Architects have a solid following in Aus, and I’m sure will return for a headline run in the near future. After our 2.5 week Australian excursion, we boarded aircraft 1 of 3 for a 22 hour journey back to familiar territories.

Mixed emotions from everyone at this point. In many ways, it’s the end of our big adventure of foreign lands – the band and crew have toured Europe numerous times, and for me there is less visual interest in the cities we are now visiting, and less days off for excursions. On the up-side, it’s Architects first ever European headline tour, they have their crew (Front of House/Guitar/Drum tech’s) and the comfort of a tour bus, so for the band it will be a much more relaxed month. Not transporting all our gear through airports most days is definitely welcome change.

Our first week in Europe began in Copenhagen, where we arrived to our bus which we’re sharing with good friends While She Sleeps. Despite the 18 of us, the space means I can travel with a bit more gear, so I arranged my jib to travel with us. As with all of this project, my desire to bring as much of a cinematic production value as possible to the film means using the jib whenever possible. It’s a great feeling to be able to travel with all my equipment, rather than barebones as often forced to.

Travelling on a tour bus means most of the driving is done at night, and we spend the whole day at the venue. It’s much easier to find time and space to sort and edit footage. I’m cutting rushes as I go, and hope to get more footage cut with the spare time I have. In Australia and South East Asia we were much busier on a daily basis, wheras here there’s often some dead time in the day. I intend to write a few more detailed technical posts in the coming weeks, with one particularly focused on workflow and managing a project of this size… (3000+ clips, nearly 700GB so far).

Because most of the travelling is done at night, I’ve not been able to shoot much travelling footage. On past tours I’ve always enjoyed driving through Sweden and shooting the beautiful scenery though on this occasion, we passed much of it at night, up until a mammoth 900 mile drive from Norway to Belgium.

All the shows so far have been great, particularly in mainland Europe. It’s refreshing to see an Architects-focused crowd after the Australian shows, and with the coming week in Germany & Poland they’re only going to get better. Shooting these I’ve been alternating between the usual split of glidecam & wide-angle, and hand-held with 35mm/50mm primes.


Stockholm: FS700 w/ 7mm fisheye

Last night in Dordrecht, Netherlands has to be one of my favourite ever shows to shoot. A fully packed venue, which I’d actually visited a couple of years prior with While She Sleeps, though the best part was the fantastic lighting on stage.

Our tour manager Ben took over the lighting desk for the evening, and provided a hugely-refreshing amount of ambient light on the stage and crowd. Usually I am pushing the camera to ISO 1600 or above when shooting live, recently switching to Picture Profile 3 to reduce noise as much as possible. Last night I was able to shoot at the base ISO 400, keeping noise to an absolute minimum. For my slow-motion shots, I upped it to 400 fps – usually I only use 100/200 because of low light limitations. On some shots I was still seeing highlight peaking, so increased the shutter speed or used 1/4 ND… unheard of in live shooting.


FS700 w/ 11-16mm f2.8 – 400 fps, ISO 400, 1/1000

Fantastic to get such a clean image at such high speed. A really great start to the European tour… particularly looking forward to the Eastern European shows in Poland, Slovakia and Bratislava, which should give a bit more cultural reflection to the rest of Western Europe.

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to write a few more technical blog posts on my equipment, workflow and techniques. If there’s anything you’d like to hear about, please let me know in the comments or on twitter.

[BTS Photo – Maximilian Tynan]

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