A couple weeks ago I got a call from a commercials producer I quite like working with who asked if I had ever worked with a Phantom camera. I had not. I added that I would very much like an opportunity to do so. And I got it. 1000 fps here I come, ready or not.
In Vietnam, Phantom cameras are not available domestically. For this job, we booked a camera from the Philippines for the day of the shoot. Now, I'll try pretty much anything once; if I don't have experience with some technical aspect of the job I figure that's nothing a camera test or two won't fix. Except, since the camera gear was coming from the Phillippines at significant expense, I would have no opportunity to familiarize myself with the camera and do testing.
So I did the next best thing and asked my mentor Chris Chomyn for advice. As usual, he gave me plenty of useful information and it was a great starting point for my prep.
As things turned out, I was fortunate in two respects. First, my camera was the Phantom Flex, not the Phantom HD Gold - the 1000 ISO sensor sensitivity and HQ mode make life much easier. Secondly, RSVP rentals in the Philippines provided a great DIT who handled all the camera settings, record triggering and playback. Jeremy insulated me from all of that and I was able to focus on getting the image. He even helped my local crew learn how to use the P+S Technik Skater-Mini dolly for the first time.
I also want to acknowledge Nguyen Tuan Khanh at HK Film, who went to a lot of trouble to find us a P+S Technik Skater-Mini dolly for the shoot, and then took a big glass door off of his office when we found we needed a smoother surface than what the art department had provided.
Most of what I have to say about working with the Phantom at 1000 fps is technical or practical. Aesthetically, well pretty much anything you can see moving is going to look mesmerizing and beautiful.