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Beholder DS1

I have been using Gimbal rigs for some time for smooth gliding movement with the bigger camera rigs.
Pictured here a DJI Ronin with a Red Epic Dragon, 20mm Arri Zeiss Ultraprime, Arri LCS, Easyrig, Serene Arm and Puppeteer.

brendan mcginty

But I have also been looking for something far smaller and simpler to allow for smooth hand-over shots.

And now I have it. A Beholder DS1, 3 axis stabilised handheld gimbal which has a payload of 1700 grams. Pictured here with a Sony A7s (my 12000 ISO extreme- lowlight solution) and a cinevised Nikkor 18mm.







I have found the DS1 incredibly simple to set up, balance and use. And it was delivering smooth gliding shots almost as soon as I had the camera mounted on there. It will shoot in the regular upright position, underslung (getting you very low to the floor) or in a sideways position.
Its 'follow mode' is very intuitive to use and there are comfortable tweakes to angle to be made via the units joystick. 
Designed in the US, manufactured in China, 32-bit gyro control...and with its extraordinary price tag, its a bit of a winner!
http://www.hobbywow.com/en-beholder-ds1-3-axis-handhled-gimbal-stabilzier-32bit-camera-mount-support-canon-5d-6d-7d-dslr-p239660.htm


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Travels in Hyperreality

I always find shooting in the States visually exhilarating. Its a landscape and culture so deeply ingrained in our cinema, literature and music that everywhere I turn feels ecstatically familiar. 













“America is the original version of modernity. We are the dubbed or subtitled version. America ducks the question of origins; it cultivates no origin or mythical authenticity; it has no past and no founding truth. Having known no primitive accumulation of time, it lives in a perpetual present.” 
― Jean BaudrillardAmérica



brendan mcginty

brendan mcginty


brendan mcginty

I was shooting with two Red Epic Dragons from 16oz Studios. The A camera ran with two Angenieux Optimo zooms and the B camera was permanently mounted in a gimbal rig with the Super wide Duclos 11-16mm T.2.8.
An incredibly versatile combination tirelessly tweaked and maintained by AC Charlie Perera

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Norwegian Arctic

Shooting in the dramatic Norwegian Arctic with a Red Magnesium Weapon A cam and a Red Epic Dragon in a DJI Ronin Gimbal.

Brendan McGinty




Brendan McGinty

The arctic landscape is always ideal for photography. 
Hard, low light, dramatic sky, super-clean atmospheric conditions and all the beautiful snow and ice.
I used two Angenieux lenses on the A camera, the Optimo 16-42mm and the 30-80mm. 
In the gimbal we were running a Duclos 11-16mm for extremely wide, low gliding shots.
Working in these lower temperatures definitely sets some logistical challenges... keeping your hands warm while being able to work being high on the list of these. Battery life was aided by a mix of thermal covers and chemical hand warmers. The auto black balance on the Weapon worked like a dream at these lower temperatures... keeping the camera at a constant green light and ready to shoot.
The gimbal, mounted via an Easyrig from the back and side of a Skidoo, turning the bumpy ride into infinite smooth track.






Brendan McGinty


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194.36 fps

Shooting a promo piece for Tigi at 194.36 fps on the Red Epic Dragon. 
Flowing hair, cloth and ribbons begin to move gracefully at this frame rate.

Brendan McGinty


This is the maximum frame rate on the camera at 2.5K, and it's at this resolution where I find the Dragon still delivers a great picture for a 1080 delivery. 
I find if you run the ISO low ( I ran at 400 ISO) and drop the compression to its lowest, the pictures are fantastically clean and sharp.



Brendan McGinty

You are obviously asking a lot more of your S35 optics with the S16 crop at 2.5K, so I wouldn't run lenses wide open. 
I was shooting with this Optimo 30-80mm at T5.6 which held up perfectly at this stop.




Great working with the Tigi creative team and director Serkan Nihat again!

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Making History


When it comes to filming History, the photographic benchmark is particularly high. So when I was asked to shoot a history drama with long time collaborator Chris Holt we poured over the many great examples of period photography. There are several inspired approaches to the past, but we were particularly drawn to Justin Kurzel and Adam Arkapaw's breathtaking Macbeth and to the challenge set by Barry Lyndon's bold reliance on candle light.

After some testing we settled on Zeiss Arri Ultra Primes for the shoot and these all stayed wide open at T1.9 for the duration (hats off to AC Dan DiMartino for keeping it all sharp) I had leaned towards the Master primes originally, and in some of our candle lit scenes could well have done with the extra half stop, but there is a touch of the 'vintage' in the UPs wide open that was perfect for the piece.






We ran across 3 cameras, A and B bodies ( with B camera operator Charlie Stoddard staying on longer lenses for alternate angles on all scenes) with a third Red Epic Dragon permanently mounted in our 6 axis stabilized rig.


Brendan McGinty



Brendan McGinty

We were particular keen to keep the camera moving as much as possible but in a way that might evoke some of the courtly power play and regal nature of our subjects... settling on a 6 axis stabilisation system of Easyrig, Serene Arm and Puppeteer cradling a Ronin system which would manage the other 3 axis.

Given the constantly moving, 360 style that the Ronin brought I lit almost exclusively from the windows by day and with fire and candles for night... large amounts of haze providing all of the fill that was needed. Although I love the Skintone OLPF in the Dragon I ran with the Low Light filter given my dependence on sometimes terrifyingly low levels ambience.








Always love working with Chris who brings the eye of a painter to each new project.

Brendan McGinty

The locations, costumes and textures were always going to play a part as characters in the piece and I was spoiled for choice with these






Brendan McGinty

Brendan McGinty





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Secret Life of Twins wins RTS for Photography

Still reeling from having won an RTS for my work on the "Secret Life of Twins'.
Loved working on this film with maestro Luke Wiles at the helm, and the sterling support of the OSF production team.














Big thank you to AC Charlie Perera, Gaffer Martin Smith, Tony Hill with his remarkable satellite crane and the critical technical support of the 16oz camera team.


Brendan McGinty










And here is a link to a promo for the film:


brendanmcginty@blueyonder.co.uk
Instagram.com/brendan_mcginty

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Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder

"Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder" a docudrama I shot earlier this year is about to go out on Channel 5.
Two x 1 hours, directed by Chris Holt with historian Suzannah Lispcomb.


Suzannah Lipscomb

Suzannah Lipscomb

I used a set of cinevised Nikkor primes for the documentary sections and then switched for the drama to Arri Zeiss Ultra Primes. Love the look of these on the Epic Dragon at T1.9... which is where all of the work was done.












Was a real pleasure making this one, should well be worth watching.

And here is a trailer:
https://youtu.be/fCxiZyDGptA

www.brendanmcginty.co.uk
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6 Axis stabilisation

I have always shot a lot of hand-held. It's still the most intuitive operating style, the one most in sync with the human movements of your subject. But the breathing and sway it brings can denote an extra point of view, the presence of the camera watching in the scene.
The Easyrig was the first step away from this, still handheld but with a stability and glide that moved it away from the point of view camera. I still love the Easyrig and for handheld work I will always reach for it.

Brendan Mcginty

Brendan Mcginty

Brendan Mcginty

Until recently only a Steadicam would keep this sort of mobility whilst erasing the presence of the camera, offering some of the smooth solidity of the heavier grip set pieces.

That is until the current crop of gyro stabilised systems came to the market.
I had been using the DJI Ronin with 3 axis of gyro stabilisation. This combined with an Easyrig and Flowcine's Serene arm would provide for four axis of stabilisation.
But it is only now with the addition of Flowcine's Puppeteer that this rig feels like a real game changer.
The Puppeteer brings a further two axis of stabilisation to the rig.



So thats 6 axis of stabilisation, and there are only six axis of camera movement. 3 axis with gyro stabilisation and 3 axis with mechanical/gravitational stabilisation.
The results are spectacular, very smooth even on an 85mm lens. Operationally I prefer the 16-32mm range for moving with an energetic subject. But the rig will happily hold an 85mm like a tripod.

Puppeteer


Puppeteer


DJI Ronin

The range of camera movement opened by this rig does feel slightly revolutionary. 



www.brendanmcginty.co.uk
instagram.com/brendan_mcginty

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Ronin 4 Parkour

Shooting Parkour, the ultimate mix of urban physicality and heroism.
We wanted to shoot with considered, steady camera movement to evoke some of the gladiatorial majesty of the Traceur. 
The terrain we planned to track across and through was rough, uneven, obstacle ridden, broken concrete.
DJI's Ronin seemed a good choice. Here seen combined with a Serene arm and mounted with an Epic Dragon and a 20mm Ultraprime: 



                                       

                                          

What this rig gave us was the ability to float through and across these obstacles with a more measured photographic consideration. We achieved rock steady moves both with and against the seemingly reckless athletes, through concrete corridors and across jagged concrete obstacles.


The choreography of camera, bodies and concrete, orchestrated by director Luke Wiles.

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Thailand

Shooting for the first time in Thailand provided a wealth of photographic colour and texture. From the picture postcard islands to the neon night bustle of Bangkok to the jungles and Buddhist temples of the North I was saturated with visual inspiration.












The constant joy of shooting in 'exotic' locations is this heightened photographic stimulus. No amount of art direction, costume and set design ever seems to get you to the same place that the documentary approach yields.

Although all of these images above were shot with a set of cinevised Nikkor AIS primes, I also utilised Canon's Cine-Servo 17-120mm zoom (T2.95-T3.9 PL) for the first time.




This zoom offers the extraordinary focal range of 17-120mm which in the world of PL glass has not really existed in a lightweight option. The lens feels like it shares the heritage of Canon's video zoom lenses, and will I imagine be popular in the broadcast documentary world. But its precisely this heritage that made me dislike the zoom. The focus ring was too accelerated for real focus pulling, the iris stops way too close together for any 1/3 stop increments, and the performance drop off from 90-120 quite noticeable. I suspect I have been spoilt by Angenieux's offerings, but I also found its imaging quality, its 'aesthetic', quite lacking. Although Canon boast an 11 blade iris to deliver a distinctive bokeh, I saw no sign of the distinction. The flare quality I found off-putting and 'streaky' and the stop drop-off to nearly T4 a bit tricky for night work.
The rapid focal change from 17mm to 120mm does however set it apart for certain types of shooting.

Not for me though. 



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