Filmmaker Jon Scott talks us through why the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is now his go-to camera
I always have at least one personal project on the boil at any one time. I’ve spent a lot of time in Dartmoor National Park and done various time-lapse projects and other films in and around the park. One thing that had always fascinated me was the wild ponies that roam the moors. Having never really focused on them in my filming work, I thought that they would be an interesting yet subject for a short non-narrative nature piece.
This was shot using the Pansonic Lumix GH5, Atomos Ninja Inferno recorder, a shape camera cage for added protection, and a selection of Canon and Panasonic lenses -both primes and zooms. I also took a small lightweight Manfrotto tripod and the Zhiyun-Tech Crane handheld gimbal. Travelling on foot to some of the most remote places in England meant that lightweight kit was essential. I often hiked for 4 hours or more to parts of the moor you can’t reach other than by on foot so everything needed to fit into a single backpack. It’s crucial to have all the spare batteries, and cards etc. as you defiantly won’t find any spares out there!
At least half the battle with getting the perfect shot is to actually be there. You can plan all day long and double-check everything but until you are out there in the environment with a camera in your hand it’s exactly that - just a plan. I have been shooting for a few years now and I find that once I’m in a beautiful environment where to point the camera and how to compose a shot comes naturally to me. With a shoot like this I’m shooting and editing in my head all the time, I’m building the film up in my mind, trying to choose shots that will work. Obviously shooting wild animals requires a huge amount of patience and flexibility. You never know exactly where there will be or what they will do. I also try to be extremely respectful of my subjects, so making sure they are comfortable with my presence, moving slowly and keeping a safe distance is also very important.
I cut in Adobe Premiere Pro and do my colour correction and then grade in the Lumetri colour panel inside Premiere Pro. For larger projects I might use the likes of Davinci Resolve but I love the seamless workflow inside one application. I scored this piece with my favourite music creation software Filmstro. Filmstro allows me to perfectly time the music to how I cut my films and not the other way around. I also use it as I tend to upload most of my work to YouTube and I have had so many problems with copyright issues even when using tracks that I have fully licensed, this is no longer an issue as all the tracks in Filmstro are fully licence free.
Editing is always a personal process and I tend to approach different projects in different ways. For this specific piece, which isn’t narrative driven, I’m aiming to evoke an emotion with the viewer, it’s all about the feeling of freedom that wild ponies have, that’s what I’m trying to make the viewer feel. For this specific piece I found myself holding shots for longer than I normally would just because the subjects are so dynamic and pleasing to watch.
About the Author
Jon Scott is an independent adventure and travel filmmaker. You can keep up to date with more of his work by visiting his online home over on YouTube