Day 4 was our second day at Camp Pendleton. We started the day at one of the training areas for urban combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. For this commercial, we wanted to simulate what a typical training day is like for a Marine. So we made heavy use of the in-helmet POV camera we built the day before.
It was definitely cool watching the Marines run through their exercises to secure a building. I got a bunch more shots, check out my Flickr page.
Then onto the firing range. We spent a little while trying to figure out a way we could mount a rifle to the Diablo High Speed camera without destroying it. Eventually we built a rig that had the gun in about the same spot as it is in this picture, with the camera focused on the ejection chamber. Seeing casings fly out at 1000fps is pretty cool.
So the Diablo is different than the Vision Research Phantom HD in one major way – it doesn’t have a mag. It can only hold one shot on its internal memory and it needs to be offloaded to a computer before you can shoot it again. This offload process takes at least an hour and if the camera loses power during this process, the memory is cleared and the shot is lost. So I had to sit on the firing range for an hour with the Diablo, a laptop, and a generator, waiting for the shot to download; while everyone else moved onto the next location. Then when it was done, a Marine picked me up in a Humvee. He handed me a flak jacket and helmet for the ride. I thought he was kidding. He very much was not. The second step of the Diablo offload process is to convert the raw file to a TIFF stack. Since I thought I was going to ride in a van, I already started the hour-long process on the laptop. So I rode shotgun, which was surprisingly cramped, while holding a running laptop, as we drove over 3 foot potholes, through rivers, and over 6 foot bushes where there was no path. I got out of the Humvee and had Marni snap this picture of me. Yes, the file was OK, and the shot was sick!
This was also Super Bowl Sunday. Go Packers! Being from Wisconsin, this was the only thing on my mind all day. Andrea, the Makeup Artist, was also from Wisconsin, so we started listening to ESPN Radio before the shoot day was even done. Pretty sure our screaming and yelling messed up a few shots. When we got to the last location, we all went to the RV to watch the satellite. Apparently they were still shooting, but I didn’t care. The producers all knew this was a consequence of hiring me for this shoot. Of the Marines that were football fans, they were all Packer fans (including some guys from Milwaukee) except for one guy (he’s on the right in the picture). It was a pretty tough day for him.
Shooting wrapped during halftime. I ran outside to grab this shot, then we drove back to the hotel. I finished watching the 4th quarter in the hotel bar. I was getting a lot of strange looks from the other people there as I was yelling at the screen and giving high fives. I don’t care if it’s the kinda place where all drinks cost in the double digits, everything is lit with accent lights and everyone’s wearing different shades of black. I’ll turn any bar into a Packer bar, even if I’m doing it all by myself.
See more Day 4 photos on Flickr