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posted by - Monday, 08 February 2010

Not all shoots take place on comfy sound stages. Currently in production, Thunder Perfect Mind takes place almost entirely on an ice-breaker ship off the coast of Antarctica. The movie is shooting on a pair of RED One cameras, as well as the Aaton Penelope 35mm camera, shooting in 2-perf. Much of the shooting is on the open decks of the ship, so the ASL Gear T-Bag is being used to protect the cameras from the salt water spray. At least one shot calls for the camera to start at the waterline pointing at the tip of an iceberg, and then dunk under to see the massive blue ice below.

The gear was rented out of Abel NY, and I built the package for the production to checkout. Putting the Penelope into the T-Bag worked beautifully. Here are some observations from that setup.

ASL 4" Underwater MontiorFor the RED One camera, there’s a special enclosure that allows the use of the RED 5.6” LCD panel as a viewfinder. When the Penelope is in the T-Bag, the production will switch to the ASL Underwater 4” HD/SD SDI montior. We used a small AJA converter box to transform the Penelope’s composite video signal into a 4×3 SD-SDI feed. Everything is powered off of the camera’s batteries.

While the movie is mostly shooting on prime lenses, I took the opportunity to try out an Angenieux Optimo 15-40 on the Penelope inside the T-Bag (see picture below). There’s so much space inside the splash housing that the little zoom almost disappears! In fact, with a little wiggling we can even get the Angenieux Optimo 17-80 to fit.

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