A Q&A With National Geographic's Oceanus DP, David Linstrom: Part Two
Welcome to the second half of our interview with Director of Photography for the National Geographic special, Oceanus, David Linstrom!
Q: You not only used the Fujinon HA13X4.5 lens during the filming of Oceanus, but you've said that, in using the HA13X4.5 it over the past 6 or so years, it's become your favorite lens. Why do you think it works so well for your style of documentary shooting?
A. The Fujinon HA13X4.5 is a beautiful lens. It allows me to get up close and personal. When shooting handheld, it allows me to move with the camera more fluidly. It makes my work look better by taking out a lot of the shake. And it's pin sharp.
Q. You said in a recent article (http://www.btlnews.com/crafts/camera/spintec-keeps-lens-clean-for-david-linstrom's-columbia-river-voyage/) that you were able to protect the Fujinon HA13X4.5 lens while in difficult waters during the shooting of Oceanus with the Spintec rain deflector from Innovision Optics. How much footage did this save from the cutting room floor, and are there any particular scenes we should watch out for that might have otherwise not been included?
A. The Spintec was used with a Tyler helicopter nose mount. It keeps rain and bugs off of the lens. Helicopter shots are expensive and since it was raining on and off the entire week we were there, it was the perfect tool for this shoot.
Q. Aside from adverse weather, is there another major challenge you often face during shooting, and if so, how do you combat it?
A. When shooting for National Geographic (and all non-fiction for that matter) I usually find myself in adverse conditions. Long flights, long car rides, hot and buggy or freezing locations, marginal food. That said, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've been to some of the most fascinating places on earth. The trick is to stay healthy and travel safe. I learned early on how important it is to re-charge at the end of the day. And to keep in mind that I'll probably never be back to this location, so get the most out of it in the short time I'm there.
Q. What was most unique about the production of this documentary?
A. The Columbia Bar Pilots have a very dangerous and unique job. It is their responsibility to navigate large tankers and container ships over one of the most treacherous waters, where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. If the Bar closes, the river traffic backs up and million of dollars are at stake. It's their job to keep the commerce moving. And they risk their lives every day just to get to work. They either have to climb up a rope ladder that extends down form a moving super tanker or be lowered via cable onto a moving ship. Then they have to steer a gigantic vessel over a sand bar in waves up to 40 ft that clears the bottom by as little as 5 ft. These men and women are some of the most easy going yet confident people I've ever met. Simply amazing.
Oceanus will air on the National Geographic Channel next year.
Posted: 1/9/2012 4:50:57 PM
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