CHINA'S BIGGEST TV DRAMA WRAPS UP SEASON 2 IN HAWAII
The Freefly MoVi Pro was integral to the pace of production and the DP's aesthetic needs. We had the opportunity to speak with New York City based Camera Operator / MoVi Tech, Ryan Hamelin, about his experience in Hawaii.
Hey Ryan, it's Kevin from Sight & Sound Studios! Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us-- Let's dive right into it!
How did you first get involved with the Negotiator?
"We were recommended by another DP who wasn't able to shoot the show due to other time commitments. We had previously worked with the parent production company on a dance video DP'd by Ming Ju Hue and this was our first time working with Gordon Yu and the rest of the New York Team. Prior to New York the show had been shooting in China for somewhere between 50-60 straight days with only a single day off for the Chinese New Year. They arrived in New York City and we immediately began an 8 day stretch which ended with a plane ride to Hawaii and all you lovely guys at Sight & Sound Studios."
How was shooting in Hawaii different than New York City?
"Interestingly enough, shooting in Hawaii was much more similar to shooting in NYC than we expected. There wasn't really any new slang lingo for specific equipment like we deal with on international shoots, and the crew transportation and permitting were all very similar obstacles to running a shoot of that size back in Manhattan. Hawaii is uniformly gorgeous though, so I'm sure that made picking specific shooting locations a challenge simply due to the wealth and variety of picturesque scenery.
I'd say our favorite day of shooting was probably our boat to boat day. We don't often get asked to do water based shooting, and it was definitely a fun challenge to coordinate all the moving parts and determine what to shoot when. The MoVi handled the waves like a champ too, and considering everything we had to accomplish, I think the day went very smoothly. I also remember our car to car stuff fondly, but that's mostly because we ended up strapping into a kneeling position in the back of a pickup truck before driving all over an incredible park."
What are some of your favorite features with the new Movi Pro system and how do you think Freefly Systems are it changing the game?
"The MoVi Pro is really the gimbal everyone's been waiting for since the original M10 launched 3 and a half years ago. Sure it's got stronger motors, sure it's got a slightly improved payload capacity, but the real features are in the details. The integrated power system that allows the gimbal and a series of convenient p-tap ports to be powered off of hot swappable batteries is a huge deal for us as we're often running camera power and accessory power from multiple places at once. We actually had to invent a similar system to accomplish this goal with earlier hardware, so upgrading to the pro and not having to deal with that kind of cable management was a relief.
The ring with built in feet is such a smart design decision, because now you don't need a to be able to dock the gimbal, you can simply set it down. It makes building and balancing more convenient and frees up the operator to be more flexible with when and how they choose to utilize the rig. Paired with a Ready Rig, I think you have the perfect combination of size and support for almost any camera package."
What was your favorite thing to do in Hawaii when you're not working?
"We didn't have a lot of down time during the shoot unfortunately, but hitting up the Japanese Market at Shirokiya was definitely a highlight. After the job was over we were able to fly to a couple other islands and hike Shifting Sands National Park and Volcanoes National Park. Seeing active volcanoes, even from a distance, was a pretty incredible experience, and we really just wanted to keep exploring the islands. Hopefully we'll get a chance to return soon."
Check out Ryan's Reel & Websites