Tips

Here at Runwildtv.com, we travel far and wide to bring the videos to you. As there are no actual sponsors at this stage, it is all currently funded through savings, so at times the budget can be a little tight. With this site gaining popularity you can be assured that more can be invested in making better films for everyone.

HOW THEY ARE FILMED

For the most part, these films have been done completely solo, only some of them have been made with any help from camera operators or assistants. Where they have, these incredibly helpful people have been acknowledged in the credits. Setting up solo shots is far more tricky than it sounds. Animals move, cameras balance precariously and it can be hard to see if it is all focused correctly. But with patience it can all come together.


Many of the underwater films were also taken solo. Some of the most memorable shoots were the solo night dives. One such dive was in the Sea of Flores in Eastern Indonesia. The other divers in the trip elected to go deep, and I only had the 5m rated housing. So I was dropped off in the middle of the night on the edge of the reef while the other divers went their own way. At the time I did not have decent underwater video lights so I had to use the hand held dive torches. The lights stabbed into the inky blackness as I floated in what felt like outer space with nobody to help if something went wrong. I found the reef edge and filmed some excellent footage as I worked my way along it, solo with no sign of the others for around 70 minutes. Towards the end I did find the others and the dive totaled 85 minutes of dive time. I managed some great closeups of Lion fish, Coronetfish and a heap of others. Quite a dangerous dive yet fascinating.

CAMERAS

For underwater use, I use the Sony HDR-XR550VE camcorder and the associated SPK-HCF (discontinued) housing. Surprisingly clear footage comes from this setup, though the only weakness is the limited depth it can be used at. The housing is rated to a depth of 5m, but I have taken it to 15m without any troubles…so far. As I mentioned, the clarity is well into broadcast quality, delivering crisp, clear footage. The inbuilt GPS unit also helps pinpoint where the footage was taken. On land, this camera is still of good quality and focusing is easier than using the SLR as it has autofocus and a small sensor.

 

On land, my camera of choice is the Canon EOS 60D . With movie quality that rivals that of far more expensive cameras it accepts a massive variety of lenses and an external gun microphone. Setting this up is best with a pre-amp to get the highest quality stereo sound. I use the Zoom H4N for this task as it is excellent. Focus is totally manual, but that’s fine for experienced users.

But you might also want to take great still shots of plants and animals. Luckily we have a guide on exactly how to do this and get great results >>here<<

 

 Buy GoPro HERO Camera at GoPro.com For the more adventurous shots coming up in future films, the excellent little HD GoPro Hero has certainly earned a place in the kit. Focus is pre-set and constant but the wide angle lens makes up for that well. In its included housing, this camera can be kicked, dropped, thrown about and submerged to over 60m and not suffer at all. If the housing is damaged, replacing it is cheap. This camera has been strapped to various items for some unique views that are impossible otherwise

 SOUND

   Sound recording has been essential for the upcoming films to replace music as a more natural background. Also, for the Canon EOS, having an external amplifier has been a true advantage. Voice overs and the like do need to be recorded clearly, so I invested in the ZOOM H4N field recorder. With incredible quality sound, plus jacks for all manner of microphones and inputs (2 mono, 1 stereo, 1 excellent inbuilt stereo) it is worth its weight in gold. It’s also small for what it is and easily fits in the pocket meaning it doesn’t need a shoulder strap and can be adjusted to the ambient sound and kept out of the way.For directional sound, the discontinued (shame really) Sony ECM-CG1 is responsible for the clear recordings that have minimal background noise.

 

  TIME LAPSE

   Two cameras have been used to film the time lapse you see in practically every film on this site. The Canon EOS 60D accepts an intervalometer (timer) that plugs into the side. The Intervalometer unit itself (Aputure AP-TR1C) can be set to almost any interval and in several modes. The other time-lapse camera is the GoPro HD Hero. It has an inbuilt timer for time lapse applications and does the job very well.<<SEE HOW TO FILM TIME LAPSE>>

 

 

 

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