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Nino Film Blog | September 19, 2014

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Short film: “Construction Waltz”Up in the Air with Canon T2i/550D

Short film: “Construction Waltz”Up in the Air with Canon T2i/550D

Recently a prospective client in the construction business gave me the chance to take a spontaneous swing on a huge construction crane with my Canon T2i/550D in my beautiful hometown of Innsbruck. Of course I took it … check out the results and some “behind the scenes” photos of the crane, the cage we were standing in, and the hook we were hanging from.

The crane operator was right next to me the entire time in that cage. He is able to remotely control every movement of the crane, both the rotation of the boom as well as our position on the boom and the height of the crane. It is therefore possible to move to every thinkable location within the radius of the crane. I wasn’t aware of the enormous flexibility of these cranes before that.

That whole thing is nothing for people with vertigo!

See that hook on that crane? Yep, we were hanging from up there in a cage.

The cage I was standing in with the crane operator who remotely controlled the entire crane movement

This is the hook the cage was hanging from

Music:

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Shot with:

Comments

  1. coole bilder. wusste gar nicht das baukräne so schnell sein können. schade das es keine bilder von dir im korb gibt.

    grüße aus dresden

    • Thanks Maik! Will reply in English so everybody can understand. Yes, those cranes can really be fast, I was surprised too. Some of the shots were done at maximum speed and this was the best way to do it as our cage started swinging every time we tried to do slower movements.

      I’d also like pictures of me in the cage, but it was too spontaneous to organize that. I shot some BTS with my helmet camera, the very awesome ContourHD 1080p, but you don’t see much different shots like the ones you just watched, so I didn’t post them (just with the 550D in frame of course).

  2. That’s beautiful Nino. The movements are so elegant and smooth. Did you use software to stabilize your shots somehow? Well done!

    • Thanks Edwin! Yes, I used the plugin “SmoothCam” from Final Cut Pro, it does everything automatically. Especially the shots with upward and downward movement were a bit shaky, it smoothed everything out perfectly.

  3. Wow, that really looks stunning. Need to ask a local Construction Firm to help me out next time I need Areal Shots. Impressiv!

  4. Wow, that looks incredibly scary! Fantastic shots.

    • Thanks Bradley! Yes, it was a bit scary, but I didn’t have time to think about that because I had to focus on shooting for the half hour I was up there :-)

  5. LOVED IT. Very nice work. Looking forward to meeting you next weekend.

    P

    • Thanks so much Philip! Means a lot coming from you. Really look forward to meeting you in Prague too!

  6. Love the shots where the camera was moving on one axis only. They really look like some highbudget technocrane shots!

    Cheers from Salzburg
    Sascha

  7. wow … really nice and kinda epic …. nice job !!!! … did you use a tripod ore some kind of support ?

    • Thanks Michael! No, I didn’t. Actually, I was planning to use the tripod, but it was impossible: the metal bars of the cage kept getting into the frame as it was moving (the rotation of the cage itself cannot be controlled, therefore you have to pan “against it”.)

      I just used the 550D with the strap around my neck and pulled it away from me, that allow some comparatively stable shots without any rig.

  8. Great job Nino! I am truely impressed with the elegance and beauty of the shots. Keep up your great work. :)

    • Thanks Gregor! Hope to meet you again soon. Congratulations on being accepted for UCLA!!

  9. isi123

    Wow, outstanding stuff. I wish i could go on a crane ond do stuff like that.

    • Thanks Isi! Yes, that was a great opportunity and I just grabbed it.

  10. Cool! Obviously a construction crane is even better than a film crane! IS it the encoding or do I see the 550s limitations every now and then- rolling shutter and sometimes slight inexplicable glitches?

    • Maybe some rolling shutter, but I really can’t make it out much on these shots. The glitches probably stem from the stabilization plugin “SmoothCam” that I used,

  11. ALEX

    AMAZING! SmoothCam for that much stuff must have taken forever to render. Great stuff though, it doesn’t hurt that your from such a beautiful town either… Those mountains are gorgeous

  12. Jordan

    Awesome video, and again great soundtrack choice, conjurs some deep thought. Bravo!

  13. Beautiful and so inventive – great handheld work! Vicky

  14. Johannes

    I just filmed my last short film with the canon 550d too. The picture Style was Super Flat, and I tweaked the curves on the pc.
    Just watch it and enjoy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF7_zxs_Obs

    I think its pretty good for a dslr!

    • Funny one! Be careful with the zooming out though, as you can see it’s shuttering quite a bit.

      • Johannes

        Thanks for the tipp!

  15. Great stuff. Is there a reason why you chose the Rebel to shoot it and not a “proper” video camera? The roling shutter is very apparent at 1:24 and there after…

    • Partly because my EX3 is still in repair and partly because there was very little space up there! (And also because of the fact that this wasn’t planned – they just asked me if I could do this quickly because they were going to dismantle the construction crane two days later).

  16. toni berlin

    first of all thank you for sharing your experiences.
    this reminds me of the new movie “enter the void” because of the crane shots. anyway i have a question: “which lens did you take and did you take a filter?”
    greetings from berlin

    • I used my Canon EF 24-70mm without an ND filter! (There’s no shallow depth of field in these shots as it would have been impossible to adjust focus all the time with the camera held outside the cage.)

  17. appreciated lots, I have to say your site is amazing!

  18. I loved this… It was like having a jet pack on and flying around. Not that I know what flying a jet pack is like :) At least this is how I imagine it would be!

    • Thank you Carl! Yes, I was very lucky to get that opportunity, and I only then realized how unique this perspective is when I was up there!

      I’m really looking forward to talking to you on your show!

  19. many thanks a with regard to composing that

  20. Aham

    Great video Nino. What editing software did you use please and did you color correct? Is the after effects software any good? thanks

    • I use Final Cut Pro and color correct with Apple Color. After Effects is great, but wasn’t used for this short film.

  21. Fantastic! You’ve really started something, Nino.

    Now all you need is a Vimeo contest – best one wins the latest in steadi-aerial rigs – a full construction crane. ;-)

  22. Love this!!

  23. isi123

    Looks amazing every time i watch it. I will be shooting some high angle shots soon. Any suggestions on the aperture i should go at to keep deep focus? Using a T2i and 50MM 1.8

    Thanks!

    • Thanks! Try using something above f/11 and everything will be in focus. You could even use a kit lens – which I normally don’t recommend – if you are doing these kinds of shots during daylight. I had to move fast and was glad I had a zoom with a respectable wide end on it … believe me, you don’t want to start changing lenses in this thing! Image stabilization would be VERY recommendable too.

      • isi123

        Great! Thanks for a quick response. I don’t think i will be on a crane. Not as luck as you :-)

        But will be on top of a building so most shots will be static. Will use a tripod to keep everything steady. Thanks again!

  24. It’s a beautiful shot.simple but full of meaning, zen photography .. I really like this.

  25. Kenda Weigert

    Danke für diesen interessanten Artikel. Alles sehr schön eingerichtet! Aber ich habe da mal eine Frage: Das Plugin rechts – wo finde ich das? Liebe Grüße

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