Here is a short compilation of some of the footage I have filmed of Prince Harry and Meghan over the last two weeks while working as one of the broadcast pool.
For those interested, I used the Sony #Z90 for all of these images. It packs an amazing punch and in my opinion, is the perfect news camera for people who need flexibility while also traveling light. If you are used to traditional shoulder cams such as the Sony PMW 500 just be aware that you are better using the “focus magnification” button for focus on the Z90 (or auto!) rather than the traditional “Zoom-in, focus, zoom-out.”
For most of the events I shared pool responsibilities with colleagues from Sky and ITN but the shots in this short reel are all mine.
The logistics of the trip were punishing. We went to Cape Town, Botswana, Angola, Zambia, Malawi and then finished in Jo’burg. I took 13 flights and had almost no time to set anything up. Editing was done while on the move and everything was shot in the harsh light in the middle of the day.
But I loved the challenge and feel like a much sharper news cameraman and editor now. I feel like I have my news sense back after years of mainly just doing features and docs.
Some tips for anyone contemplating a trip like this:
- Travel light. After the first day I jettisoned my second camera and gimbal.
- Just get the basics right. Don’t try and be too clever. Be in the right place with decent exposure and focus, get plenty of tight shots and let the royals (or whoever) leave frame at least once in each sequence.
- If you are using a Z90 then don’t be afraid to use the autofocus. It is brilliant and I used it for all of the moving sequences and it never once let me down. The only time I switch the camera to manual focus is for interviews or if there are a lot of faces in the background of a shot.