What do you think of when you see that small collection box at your local McDonalds next to the register that says ‘Ronald McDonald House Charities’ on it? I can very confidently say that you probably didn’t know that they do this…
Here is the video we just produced with them:
Powerful story isn’t it? My good friend Rusty and I shot this video over 4 days out in Southern California back in May. The script was written by the CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California, and just days before we flew out there we mapped out the shot list. Our shooting schedule was crazy busy, and we didn’t get much sleep that week, but we really enjoyed the experience!
Technical Stuff and Gear We Used
The first big thing to report is that we shot this video with 3 Canon DSLRs. A 7D, 60D, and for the first time ever we shot using a full fame camera, the 5DMIII. Rusty and I both fell in love with the Mark III. This shoot didn’t really push the camera to its limits in terms of low light performance, but the full frame sensor and higher bit rate alone are just amazing. We shot with all Canon L series lenses… The 16-35mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, 50mm 1.2, and 85mm 1.2. Our favorites for sure were the 16-35mm and 50mm! The 16-35mm on the 1.6x sensor of the 7D though was kind of disappointing, it just didn’t ever seem wide enough, especially compared to how incredibly wide it was on the 5DMIII.
Of course, we’re big fans of all our Kessler gear, especially the Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly. One new addition to it on this shoot was the Elektra Drive motor. I already had the Oracle Controller from the jib, so adding the motor 100:1 motor was easy. And now, I’m not sure how I ever used the slider without the precision of motion control. In the hospital scenes at the beginning of the video, there are 4 horizontal slides blended together. This was Rusty’s idea to show the passing of time, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the motor/controller. The motor also allowed is to do some pretty cool vertical moves with the slider, giving the illusion of a few jib shots.
Here is a list of the primary gear we used:
Cameras: Canon 5DMIII, 7D, 60D and a GoPro Hero
Lenses: 16-35mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, 50mm 1.2, and 85mm 1.2
Kessler Crane Signature Series Pocket Dolly
Kessler Crane Elektra Drive Motor and Oracle Controller
Red Rock Micro Shoulder Mount / Follow Focus
Marshall 7″ Monitor
We have a pretty cool history working with non-profit organizations, but this was our first time working with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. In the video, the storyteller says “The staff and volunteers were unbelievable.” Based on our experience with them and watching their interactions with the house guests, that statement is 100% true! The volunteers were truly serving out of a desire to help others, not themselves. It was incredible to see their selfless service to those in need, at every house we visited! To the staff and volunteers of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California, we truly want to thank you for letting us capture the story of what you do every single day. Learn more about the charity at MoreThanAHouse.org
Behind the Scenes
Here is a short video of Rusty and I on the road shooting this piece…
Update: The popular blogging site for creative professionals, Fstoppers.com, has featured our project! Check It Out Here