Published on Monday, 14 May 2012
Austrian filmmaker Richard Ladkani sought a special, cinematic look for his documentary ‘Gas
Monopoly’, the first feature-length documentary shot on the Sony F3 in Europe, using OConnor
gear to shoot in extreme situations.
|The project follows Slovakian journalist Martin Leidenfrost on an adventurous journey to the people running the world’s energy and gas business. He enquires into the future of the gas supply and, in doing so, runs into questionable deals, monopolies and shifting power. A 90-minute film, it required technical daring and consequently posed a challenge for Richard, who is an experienced cinematographer, as he recorded Martin’s experiences in Moscow's Gazprom headquarters and travels to Istanbul, Azerbaijan, Brussels and Siberia to discover the true nature of the global dependency on gas.|
|"I wanted to give this road-trip style documentary a special look and was free to experiment with camera technique. Anything was possible as long as I didn't overstrain the budget and the tight filming schedule. I included the Sony PMW-F3 in camera tests for my documentary because it has often been used in cinematic film production, due to its high quality output and the capability to adjust depth of field." tells the story of Martin Leidenfrost, a journalist and author from Slovakia, who travels to the hidden geopolitical world of gas.|
|PMW-F3 with OConnor Handgrips
In the course of testing whether the F3 would be suitable as the main camera for his documentary, Richard Ladkani decided that to efficiently work with the F3, he would need specific accessories. He put together a set-up consisting of OConnor O-Grips handgrips, Universal Baseplate, CFF-1 Cine Follow Focus and O-Box WM Mattebox.
"The OConnor O-Grips handgrip system can be constructed from multiple modules and, after spending some time familiarising myself, I found that they sit comfortably in my hand and can quickly be turned in different directions, letting me stabilize the camera set-up in every filming situation. Because we used the O-Box mattebox with a clamp ring I attached the grips to the rods to limit pressure on the lens." With the OConnor Universal Baseplate, the rods can be adjusted upwards or downwards on a rail measuring about 7cm. "This is great when you have to lower the rods. When using larger lenses such as the Zeiss LWZ.2-Zoom in our case, the manoeuvring room under the lens can be very helpful."
Individual image composition
Richard did most of the focusing himself. "I really like being able to also attach the driver gear under the lens," he said. "This way you can push the focus wheel very close to the lens and avoid hitting your face while filming handheld." The OConnor O-Box mattebox was important for capturing the cinematic look. Richard used it to precisely control light and light reflexes for distinctive camera effects. “This customised image composition was part of the project’s concept and wouldn’t have been possible without a high-end mattebox system.”
The O-Box and sunshade were also quite rugged, which was necessary because the budget and tight filming schedule demanded a level of dependability. "We had a number of filming situations where we had to react and work quickly. A versatile set-up that prevented us from losing time changing between hand and tripod shooting was critical," said Richard, "whether we were in freezing temperatures in Siberia or in intense heat at Azerbaijan. The OConnor accessories worked across these extremes."
‘Gas Monopoly’ made its world premiere on 20 November 2011. www.ocon.com http://pro.sony-asia.com