Over the summer of 2013, I headed up the Second Unit on a new natural history film presented by one of the world’s greatest naturalists, David Attenborough. Our aim was to bring the Natural History Museum in London to life, in 3D.
The finished program, “David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive” premiered on January 1, 2014 on Sky1 TV in England. An advanced “Black Tie Premier” was held at the museum and attended by selected guests, including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The next showing is scheduled on Sunday, February 16 at 8:30am on Sky TV.
3D is generally a slow way of filming, using more light and heavier grip than 2D. So, it was decided in this film, to shoot the Second Unit sequences on stills cameras. They are smaller, lighter, and can have exposure times of seconds meaning lighting levels could be greatly reduced.
I have been using a great new jib setup almost daily for 8 months now, and I am really impressed with how mobile and effective it is . To get the motion we need, I mount my Red Dragon or Alexa Mini camera on my MōVI M15 stabilizer, which is attached to the Carbon XL 7 jib crane. What is particularly interesting about this setup is that I can quickly swap between handheld MōVI mode and jib mode, and because I already have my camera package trimmed down to be incredibly light for handheld use, it is ideal for using with the jib. The jib is also carbon fiber, so it requires very little counter-weight. Even at full length, which is 18.5 feet, I only need about 80 lbs to counter balance the roughly 20 lb camera and MōVI setup.
At the 2012 NAB show, The Carbon XL 10 System received the Digital Video Black Diamond Best of Show Award.
The Digital Video Black Diamond Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the advancement of video technology.
Black Diamond Award nominations are made by an impartial jury of industry professionals. Final selections are determined by the editors of the Broadcast/Video division of NewBay Media. In selecting the Black Diamond Award winners, the editors must unanimously agree on the merits of the product or technology and on how it serves the Digital Video readership.
“Our teams searched the NAB show floor for products that were truly deserving of recognition,” says NewBay Media Broadcast & Video Group Vice President & Group Publisher Eric Trabb. “Recognition with an award at NAB from the Broadcast & Video Group is a strong vote of confidence and admiration from this leading industry publication.”
Jeff Victor of Digital video magazine made the presentation to Neal Williams of Carbon XL, and Jeff cited the significant engineering accomplishment of the Carbon XL design team.
Many visitors commented that the Carbon XL 10 System was the best product they saw at the show, and their first choice of all the crane-jib systems on display.