Over the past three years, there have been numerous high profile projects shot with Phantom HD digital high-speed cameras. Hollywood features like Sherlock Holmes and Zombieland, wildlife documentaries from National Geographic and Discovery, sporting events from the NFL, NASCAR and the Olympics, as well as high end commercials for Acura and Xbox 360 – these are just a few examples. But if ever there was an important individual to shoot with the Phantom HD Gold, it would be none other than President Barack Obama
NFL’s Play60 teamed up with President Obama’s United We Serve initiative for this Thanksgiving campaign to encourage physical activity and combat childhood obesity. The President, along with NFL players DeMarcus Ware, Drew Brees and Troy Polamalu, were all stars in this PSA, which was filmed on the lawns of the White House in early November 2009. I served as the Phantom specialist on this project.
Time is absolutely critical and every second counts when capturing the most powerful figure in the United States. With its CineMag capabilities and instant transfer to flash memory function (no need to wait for the shot to play out to a deck before moving on), the best choice of camera for the high-speed shots in this campaign was clearly the Phantom HD Gold with 512GB CineMag.
With NFL Films’ Hank McElwee as the DP and Howard Neef pulling focus, every shot of the President catching and passing the football was nailed perfectly. After just 5 takes, director Jonathan Klein got exactly what he needed. The 1000fps shot was played back instantly for the President to review on the monitor. “Wow that looks amazing, good job!” commented Obama as he watched a playback of the shots in super slow motion moments after capture. It’s always a great thing when the President himself gives you the thumbs-up on the Phantom.
Here is a link to the video on the NFL site: Thanksgiving Play 60 PSA