Cameraman Story: University of Sydney


Cameraman Story: University of Sydney

Back on the road and this time shooting at The University of Sydney. Our assignment was capturing a series of interviews and some b-roll to showcase a new coding collaboration platform that has been introduced at the university. As we learned, coding has become a huge part of university research and learning. Having a state of the art system that allows it to be stored and shared is crucial for the university.

This video had a few requirements that were fairly unique to the project. Firstly, our producer and art director was in the US and wouldn’t be joining us on this shoot. To keep her involved, our Sydney cameraman was in constant contact with her, sending though stills from the monitor for approval. This meant that each shot could be approved and tweaked to ensure they were right for the project.

The other aspect to this video that we needed to keep in mind was that it would need to be shot in a way that allowed the images to be converted to black and white and still look great. Because the footage would potentially be used for different purposes, shooting it straight to black and white wasn’t an option. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between shooting for colour or monotone. The standard rules of videography are still the same. But to get the best looking footage you need to look for opportunities in creating contrast. Playing with silhouettes, gradients and negative space are great ways to make black and white footage look great.


With 5 interviews to capture in the one room, a lot of our time was spent re-shuffling our setup to create a shot that would look completely different. We were given a large room with huge windows and plenty of natural light. This can be a blessing and a curse. Melbourne weather seemed to have followed us because the sun was constantly ducking in and out of the clouds and a shot that looked great one minute would need adjusting when the sun came out.

This time of year was also exam time for many of the students. With people sitting their end of year tests all around us, it was important to be respectful of the environment and avoid distracting the students. With our small Sony PXW-FS5 we were able to keep a low profile and move around fast. This camera also allowed us to shoot some footage at high frame rates for some dynamic and creative footage. 

At the end of the shoot and safely back in Melbourne we created backup versions of the footage before sending it off to San-Diego for editing. Our high speed internet connection allows us to send through files the same day rather than worrying about a slow courier to the US. As usual, our Sydney cameraman also kept an offsite version for added redundancy. 

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