Thread: NATURAL HISTORY CINEMATOGRAPHY

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  1. #1 NATURAL HISTORY CINEMATOGRAPHY 
    Senior Member Christian Munoz D's Avatar
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    I was asked several times on this forum to post my experiences and techniques shooting in the wild, but I have been a little cautious just because English is not my first language and sometimes my comments have been misinterpreted. Also I feel the main interest of this forum is about feature films and cine style cinematography.

    On the other hand, I feel it can be a good contribution to our community to know all aspects of the cinematography not only cine style. Therefore, after long thought I decided to start this thread I call “Natural History Cinematography”, maybe not the perfect title but at least more elegant that “Shooting All Things in The Wild” or something like that.

    Although filming wildlife and landscapes is my passion, I work on a wide range of subjects such as commercials, sports, feature films, documentaries, etc., in both EFP and cine style. So, if the client allows, I will post on this thread as much I can on the subject of Natural History shot mainly on Red One and Epic and sometimes on other kinds or camera brands if the moderators allow me, but from time to time I will throw in an off-topic subject if I feel we all can learn of it.

    To start the thread, I want to share a piece on bobcats I shot in the winter of 2011 on the Red One. This piece is part of an Emmy award-wining documentary I shot primarily on Red One-M. On this specific sequence I used a motorized canon FD 150-600 f5,6 and a Canon FD 800 f5,6 both PL mount with ISO 320 through 1000. The shoot took over a week but the research period and the search for the right location and the right animals took a few years. Below there are a couple of stills with part of the setup we used and a few frames from the Red footage… enjoy!

    NOTE: I started here on Reduser a Natural History Filmmakers Directory open to anyone who is interested in wildlife and outdoor filmmaking with any level of skills and is not required to be a Red camera owner. Feel free to visit, contact colleagues or send your info to be included on the list. Thanks: http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...860#post923860








    My oldest son Christiaan camo in the bush waiting for the cats.





    We normally do research in different areas before select the right shooting location to be sure the animals are there and active.
    Tracks and prey help us in the quest.



    A few frames from the Red footage from Redcine and "color-corrected" in photoshop in order to find the right look of the sequence






    Christian Muñoz-Donoso

    Equilibrio Films, LLC
    cmunoz at equilibriofilms dot com
    Studio: +1 646-397-9498
    Massachusetts, USA


    www.ChristianMunozDonoso.com
    www.EquilibrioFilms.com
    www.WildViewSeries.org
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member D Fuller's Avatar
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    Beautiful stuff, Christian!
    David Fuller
    AirStream Pictures
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Webster Miller's Avatar
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    The images are wonderful. The patience and woodsman skills amazing.

    Well done.
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  4. #4  
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    Love your work Christian. I will be doing similar work in NE Wisconsin as soon as my Epic arrives. Will be happy to share some stuff here, thanks for starting this.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Ryan De Franco's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for sharing--the footage is stunning but seeing your process is really invaluable. This is a side of cinematography I have immense respect for but only amateur experience with.

    My first cinematography teacher was Tom Mangravite--cinematographer, sculptor, inventor, and World War II Navy Lieutenant Commander; the man shot over 3,000 commercials and 50 features. One day he suddenly broke up a lecture on filter factors-

    "by tha way, ya wanna know how to shoot in the arctic and keep your downstairs warm? go to a diner, ask for a can a' peas, eat the peas, punch holes in the can, gotta be a big restaurant sized can, understand? then when you're knee deep in snow all day, hang the can from the tripod, throw some charcoal in--heats up the battery belt, heats up your lens gear, keeps the fluid in the tripod head and your arteries moving. where was I? oh yeah, filter factors..."
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  6. #6  
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    Really stunning footage Christian, as usual. As a biologist, I can attest to just how hard it can be to get close to Bobcats in the wild. Great results. And I think that it is especially cool that you are working with your son.

    I'd like to add my opinion that a Natural History Cinematography section on Reduser would be really helpful and of great value for those of us engaging is this type of effort.

    You out there Gibby? Kennan Ward? Others?
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  7. #7  
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    +1. Great stuff Christian.
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  8. #8  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Very nice work Christian. I'd love to know what fluid head you were using. That's some smooth work.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Christian Munoz D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Fuller View Post
    Beautiful stuff, Christian!
    Quote Originally Posted by Webster Miller View Post
    The images are wonderful. The patience and woodsman skills amazing.

    Well done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulekh Suman View Post
    +1. Great stuff Christian.


    Thank you guys!
    Christian Muñoz-Donoso

    Equilibrio Films, LLC
    cmunoz at equilibriofilms dot com
    Studio: +1 646-397-9498
    Massachusetts, USA


    www.ChristianMunozDonoso.com
    www.EquilibrioFilms.com
    www.WildViewSeries.org
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  10. #10  
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    Great shots Christian, I would like to know what shutter angle you often use for shots like these, do you find that you have to stabilize your shots in post at times with these long lenses you are using and assuming light level allow, would you run 90 or 45 degree shutter instead of 180 to keep the motion blur to a minimum allowing you to stabilize later?

    Larry
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