Welcome Aboard the U.S.S. VidMuze
In February I reunited with Mike and Ryan on the VidMuze team as a grip and audio tech for an eight day production. Our crew traveled from the mountains of Asheville to the coast of Wilmington promoting the community college system of North Carolina. On our journey we visited several colleges and documented the unique programs each school has to offer. My favorite day of production highlighted the marine technology program at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC. Since we could use natural light for most of the day, my role shifted primarily from grip to safety officer.
Set Safety at Sea
Boating and filmmaking are two of my favorite things, so to experience both working in tandem was an absolute blast, but it wasn’t without it’s challenges. Thanks to Dan our producer, we had great point-personnel at each location ensuring safe operation of machinery and vehicles. In Wilmington, these contacts were captains and instructors at the college who steered the ships smoothly and communicated any directional changes to minimize risk of injury or damage to gear. This allowed the VidMuze team to focus on camera movement with the ReadyRig holding our RED Scarlet-W on the Freefly MoVI M15.
Swapping lenses, moving equipment from shore to ship, and keeping balance on moving vessels takes focus; our lenses had to stay dry, Mike needed the support of an extra pair of hands as he held the rig, and Ryan had to keep his balance while using both hands on the MoVi Controller while pulling focus.
While Mike and Ryan executed the shots, I kept a firm hold on the ReadyRig strapped on Mike’s back and with my other hand anchored us to the handrail of the ship. To establish our subject, a large vessel called The Cape Hatteras, we circled in a smaller boat, capturing beautiful parallaxing footage of the students dropping a trawl net. Afterwards, we boarded The Cape Hatteras for some close-up action of the students studying their catch, reading navigation charts, and updating field notes. Throughout the process I watched our surroundings and facilitated communication between our camera crew and the ship crew, occasionally “Hollywood-ing” a light as needed. All gear was loaded and unloaded with clear communication, sure footing, and both hands. The operation could not have been smoother and as a result we grabbed some amazing shots!
Cape Fear Community College offers a program that is preparing young adults for careers that I didn’t know were possible before my experience documenting them with VidMuze. The footage we captured will be shared with countless young people looking for an exciting career, and perhaps our camera work in Wilmington will help them find it. It was fascinating to watch the students learn the ancient trades of fishing and navigation with the modern tools to make it as safe and efficient as possible. I’m realizing now that at the same time I was learning an exciting craft with the VidMuze team; safe and efficient filmmaking.
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