Blog 017 | Film Equipment: Size Matters

  • 06/09/2016

This blog, brought to you by UPP Studios, discusses why size matters with respect to film equipment. Some people, if they are unfamiliar with

Gopro Photography film equipment, may believe that a larger piece of film equipment opens you up to more cinematic possibilities, as with size comes more buttons and perhaps functionality. On the contrary, not only are there smaller cameras that have an inordinate amount of capabilities, but also, sometimes, it doesn't make sense to trade versatility for functionality. Now, with advancements in technology, one can have both functionality and versatility in the same device. Today, there are many devices on the market that achieve these goals. The two that stand out are the iPhone and the GoPro. To be clear, I'm not saying that these two cameras are the best two cameras on the market for filming. Rather that advancements in digital technology lead to the development of these cameras whose size facilitate their versatility. Furthermore, this versatility has allowed filmmakers at every level, from novice to expert, to capture some amazing footage. So much so, in fact, that entire television episodes, and even feature length films, have been shot using the iPhone (see blog 015 DIY). 

In addition to great quality footage and advanced slow-motion and time lapse capabilities, the iPhone's size (and the fact that the camera is packaged in a phone) allows for discreet guerrilla filmmaking. Film permits can bring production to a stand still because they are extremely expensive. Small cameras have allowed low/no budget filmmakers to enter the professional filmmaking arena, no longer deterred by an "entry fee" of sorts. On top of guerrilla filmmaking, a small camera can get a unique shot that a larger camera might not be able to, like sliding an actively recording camera into the body of a guitar. Finally though, as size matters with film equipment, a small camera allows for much more exciting and unbelievable action footage, which brings us to the GoPro. Go Pro is widely known as a camera used for extreme sports. Red Bull has teamed with GoPro to do some amazing things. In one video they collaborated on, a man jumping from the edge of the earth's atmosphere with a GoPro attached to his helmet. There are many shots which would normally require major rigs in order to accomplish, that are now accomplished with much grater ease as a result of the creation of the GoPro.  This has allowed less experienced and less financially sound filmmakers to compete at a professional level with the extraodinary footage they're now able to capture. 

UPP Studios

Film equipment comes in many shapes and sizes. The larger the camera, the larger the rig must be to accommodate the camera. If a steady-cam is being used, the bigger the camera and the more attachments it has, the more weights you will have to add to the steady-cam rig, to off-set the weight of the camera. UPP Studios has seen the difference first hand between building rigs in consideration of one camera size versus another. Producer Adam C. Lively owns a Panasonic LUMIX gh4, while producer David M. Goldman owns a Sony NEX EA50UH. While the Sony is a fantastic camera, it's size serves as an impediment (it is a third of the size of the Sony). The DIY rigs that Adam C. Lively has built have been much easier to use with the Panasonic. This is in addition to the fact that, like the iPhone, the Panasonic is a much more discreet camera. With the LUMIX, a camera operator can crawl into a confined space to get the perfect shot, which is a lot more difficult, and at times impossible, with a camera the size of the Sony. 

UPP Studios is fortunate enough to have tested many gopros on loan from motocross racers. The tests have inspired UPP studios to invest in a GoPro of it's own as soon as possible, to increase their overall production value and expand the possibilities of bringing their dreams and imaginations to fruition. Stay tuned as UPP Studios continues to grow it's film equipment arsenal and continue to bring you better quality and more intriguing cinematic experiences down the line. Thank you for your continued interest and support in UPP Studios content and look forward to a brand new sketch comedy video this coming Monday and every Monday subsequent to that for the foreseeable future!