This was the third sizzle reel that I had completed for Investigation Discovery’s series, “Injustice Files.” My approach towards this third installment which again focuses on racial crimes in the state of Mississippi was to take a much grittier, filmic approach to shooting. I wanted everything to have constant motion. So, when shooting interviews I worked off of a dolly system and when shooting in the field, the camera was either harnessed to me or suspended from my body in some fashion. For the most part everything here was shot with 35mm lenses adapted to a Panasonic HDX900 with a P&S Technik 35mm adapter.
When shooting a series like this a lot of people ask me about cameras like the Sony F3, RED, 5D, etc. My response is that all of these cameras should be considered to be different types of tools. Not every camera is great in every application. You really have to consider how you approach a shoot with primes and which camera you use to accomplish that dramatic fall-off look that clients like.
From my experience, most commercial clients get the fact that you need a focus pull, a DIT, etc. Their budgets support it and there is time allocated for file transfer and post-work. ENG shows opting for a 35mm lens based camera system like an F3 because of looks alone don’t come from this world and often fall short when it comes to crewing for production simply because they are, for the most part, unfamiliar with the workflow and are budget restricted. This is where you as a DP have to be a realist for the both of you and explain the differences of both cost and personnel before you get into the field. Know your clients and help them choose the right tools. For this project the P&S Technik adapter was a perfect compromise because it offered the client a beautiful 35mm image in a format that they were currently editing with and could archive easily.