I'm 12 miles out to sea, standing on the deck of a Russian supertanker, watching a second supertanker head directly towards our vessel. I'm documenting an incredible naval process, a ship to ship transfer, which is affectionately labelled as a “controlled collision” by my client.
I face a dilemma though, I'm confined to the bridge for the duration of the two-hour ‘collision' unable to film any action on the main deck. How do I capture the process accurately without endangering the ship or the operation?
Luckily that day I had packed my set of GoPro cameras…
Small, powerful and almost infinitely versatile, the GoPro camera is a valuable tool for video production companies (watch a sample video):
However, this awesome piece of kit is often overlooked in professional production due to its affiliation with the extreme sports community. It doesn't have to be this way though. A GoPro can add a unique or creative perspective to your corporate productions and in this article I'll give you five ways you can add a little GoPro magic to your films.
The ability to strap a GoPro to the head is possible due to its diminutive size and lightweight construction and allows you to capture an accurate first-person perspective of people at work. This technique came to my aid on the Russian supertanker, shooting an immediate view of the crew as they successfully completed the process.
You can see our Fendercare offshore video here:
This format has been adopted for other uses too; producing an accurate training video, or health and safety video for example. A true-to-life perspective can often aid in gather understanding of hazards or procedures.
Speaking of mounts, the GoPro is able to easily affix itself to moving vehicles, air, land or sea. This provides a unique, high-speed perspective when dealing with transport clients or even just as filler between driving shots. We recently made use of the GoPro attached to the side of an ambulance on call, adding a thrilling dimension to the narrative of the video:
The use of remote helicopters in video production has taken the industry to another level, quite literally. As with almost all production equipment, the aerial videography market is becoming cheaper and more accessible by the day. Areal units can be rented, bought or even built by hand and the GoPro makes an excellent addition to the package. Aerial videography such as this is still in its infancy, but immeasurably adds to the production values of your project if you can pull it off.
The GoPro comes equipped with fantastic underwater housing that not only protects from the rain, but also allows the camera to be completely submerged. While this feature may not seem immediately useful, I've seen it employed creatively in a number of projects. Make use of ponds, swimming pools, nearby lakes or rivers, high-powered jet washers or fish tanks! All of these provide an opportunity to add a unique perspective to your project that your regular equipment cannot facilitate.
Finally, one of most creative use of the GoPro can be seen when it is attached to inanimate objects. The world looks entirely different when seen from the perspective of a sword, a hula-hoop or a trombone! These are just home-video examples, but why can't they serve a commercial purpose?
Check out this awesome butter commercial!
The GoPro has spoken for itself; it is an awesome tool for any professional's kit:
Hopefully this article will open your mind to the possibilities of the GoPro camera in your video production projects, and it would be really great to hear what experiences you've had with the unit, especially if you have any examples to show. Let me know in the comments below, or reach me on any of my social media channels.