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. 

Melbourne Cameraman: Deakin Waurn Ponds

Our latest assignment was for Washington based media company Websedge. We’ve done a few jobs for Websedge before and as usual, we were to be conducting interviews and shooting b-roll. This piece would eventually end up as an international conference video.

For this assignment we were being sent to Deakin University out at Wuarn Ponds.  A mere 1 and a half hour drive from Melbourne. Our subject was the Institute for Frontier Materials. Their research is based around creating new materials that will support the worlds rapidly advancing technology. Batteries that are lighter and faster, efficient carbon fibre and even silkworm silk that will repair a human ear – it’s all part of the Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin.

Shooting Interviews

The main part of our assignment was capturing a range of interviews in different environments. They needed to look good, sound good and we needed to work quickly. The right tool for the job was our brand new Sony FS5. This little camera has everything we need for quick interview setups that look great. We can plug a microphone straight into it and it performs well without needing a lot of light.


When shooting for another client, you ideally want to be handing over all of your footage from the same camera. This just makes life easier for the editor because they don’t need to worry about trying to match different footage. This isn’t always possible as the same camera that is perfect for interviews might be too big for fast paced b-roll.

Our Fs5 solves this problem because it does everything we need to shoot an interview but is also perfect for running around chasing scientists.


Like most of our clients, Websedge wanted the footage fast so that they could get to work cutting. In the past we would express ship a hard drive overseas but with cable internet we can beat the courier. With the country time difference working in our favour it meant by the time uploading had completed on our end, the editors were just waking up on the other side of the world.