Military Rider – produced by One Eyed Bird, in conjunction with Brain Farm Digital Cinema
A few years ago I worked on a project called Semper Ride, a motorcycle safety film for the Marines. The number one killer of off-duty Marines is sport bikes, so we created a short video and a series of PSAs with famous motocross athletes such as Tommy Clowers and James Stewart. We also enlisted respected instructors like Chris “Teach” McNeil, and Super Bikes! host Jason Britton. The idea was to use riders and personalities that we thought the Marines would respect and listen to, and not make the video seem preachy. Well, it worked. The number of sport bike deaths fell and the military came back to us wanting to do more.
The result is Military Rider, a series of PSAs featuring a “Good Rider” and a “Bad Rider”. As for the talent, we shifted focus and used Teach only as a stunt rider, and used active duty Marines as the main “actors”.
My main job for this was Media Manager. I took the cards, drives and tapes from the cameras and dumped them to hard drives while checking their integrity. It’s not quite considered the DIT (digital imaging technician) position, as we also had techs on hand for each of the cameras. My secondary roles were as Cineflex tech (along with operator John Trapman), and Unit Stills Photographer. I also drove the Cinetruck down to LA from Jackson Hole. I almost didn’t make the trip because I came down with the flu only a day or 2 before I was supposed to leave. But a visit to the doc got me some Tamaflu and a weather delay bought me a day of sleep, so I was all good. In case you’re wondering, it’s about 17 hours from Jackson to LA. I passed through Vegas twice on this trip without stopping, very odd for me…
Oh, I’d say my fourth job was to learn as much about the cameras and equipment we were using as possible, and pick everyone’s brains. I was especially interested in the Cinedeck recorder.
SI2K with Cinedeck – mostly used for POV. We used both PL-mount ARRI 16mm Ultra Primes, and smaller C-mount lenses.
RED One with Mysterium-X – this was our A camera. We had ARRI Ultra Primes and an Optimo Zoom.
Cineflex v14 – we used the top, front and rear mounts on the Cinetruck and shot everything at 60p to be slowed down later
Y5 Diablo – a 1000fps camera similar to Phantom cameras
N5 – a smaller high speed camera, similar in size to the SI2K, used for POV
For field media management, I used my 4 year old MacBook Pro, eSATA dock for SSD drives from the SI2K and Y5/N5 laptop, CalDigit VR drives, a FW800 Compact Flash card reader, and ShotPut Pro software. I also had my MXO2 Mini and a 7in Nebtek monitor to check the video.
I also brought along a Mac Pro to keep in my hotel room (and later, in Tommy Clowers toy hauler travel trailer). The Mac Pro had a second CalDigit VR drive, which was a mirror of the field CalDigit drive, FCP7, Blackmagic Decklink 3D (it’s maiden voyage, so to speak), an internal RAID for capturing tapes from the SRW-1 deck for the Cineflex, a 24″ FSI monitor acting as both computer monitor and HD-SDI video display, and Cineform HD software for converting the SI2K Cineform files to ProResHQ. I transcoded all the media to ProResHQ on the Mac Pro, and we also watched dailies every night.
Even though I tested for every conceivable issue we would have with these cameras before I left the office, we still had problems. I’ll detail those in later updates.
See more photos from Days 1 and 2 on my Flickr page.