Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

Filming “No Apologies”

Posted by Phil On June - 27 - 2011

First day went well. It was only a single scene so we had a chance to learn to work together and try out some of the new HDSLR film equipment.

As it was a really wide angle shot at the beginning, which left nowhere much to put lights, we hung a Chinese lantern, with a 150 watt fluorescent full spectrum daylight bulb (equivalent to 500watts tungsten).  This mean I couldn’t dim it, but it did also have the advantage of being a cold light, not burning up the paper lantern and also being daylight it matched the spill light coming in the windows.


chinese lantern film lighting

It gives a lovely soft light on the face, blending into the shadows.


These camera stills aren’t graded yet. So they look quite flat.



This is the Panasonic GH2 on rails with a follow focus, with 55mm 1.7 Super Takumar Pentax lens ( bought at least 20 years ago!),  a Cokin filter mount, external HDMI monitor and you can just see the Zoom H4N audio recorder in the background. We’re using a  Berhinger cardiod mike.   To keep the lens wide open, I have an ND2 filter on the camera.


Sequence 1

chris and oleg


This is why there is all the interest in DSLRs. The shallow depth of field gives the cinema look. However the disadvantage is that focussing is more critical than normal 16mm or video filming

oleg cu


Here we have got the 160 led battery light mounted on the camera. With the variable light level control it’s excellent for just getting the highlight in the eyes. There’s another one on a stand in the background



Quite tricky pulling focus on the track into his face.  The GH2 has autofocus, but it tends to be a bit harsh and we were using a prime lens which has manual focus. The GH2 has full 1080 HDMI output during filming, which is a help




Here’s the original trailer. Shot on a normal P2 HD video camera. Notice the greater depth of field. In the MCU the background is still in focus.

…also without the follow focus it was more difficult to keep the ECUs in focus

No Apologies (Movie Trailer 2011) from Michael Peel on Vimeo.

Here’s some links to how we filmed it.