November 8, 2011 11 Comments
This summer, the Artbeats film crew was given an opportunity to film fireworks from a unique perspective, one that not many people get. Homeland Fireworks, a specialty pyrotechnics firm in Oregon, allowed us to place our cameras directly inside the launch pit. We soon discovered that this would not be a typical shoot.
When you place a camera within a few feet of the launch mortars, you are putting the equipment at risk. During the shoot, we were not allowed to sit with the camera. Instead, we had to push the record button, then move to a safer position away from the launch pit. Even so, we were asked to wear protective clothing, as well as eye and ear protection. At any time, one of the launch tubes can rupture, which is the cause of many pyro accidents.
There were shell casings and burning debris constantly falling on and around the camera. We used a protective foil, but unfortunately we can only cover so much. At one point after a show, I walked up to the camera to find burning embers still sitting on the camera body. The lens is also directly exposed to ash and embers. The pyrotechnician graciously agreed to blow off the lens using a can of air at five minute intervals during the shows.
We used Nikon mount fish eye lenses on our RED-MX cameras. The cameras were pointed nearly straight up for maximum coverage. Due to the concussion involved, we used SSD cards instead of RED Drives. Fortunately none of our equipment was damaged during any of these shows.
On a personal note: It is exhilarating to watch a fireworks show from that close. Eye and ear protection is mandatory but you still feel the concussions in your chest. Since the show happens directly overhead you need to be lying down or you can end up with a bad neck ache. Trust me though…this truly spectacular sight is worth the discomfort!
We are very thankful for Homeland Fireworks for allowing us and our cameras such close access.
The Fireworks POV collection features 39 clips, captured from three different firework shows including the Hillsboro Air Show, which is the largest firework show in Oregon. The collection is available in either NTSC, PAL or HD. In addition, every clip can be purchased individually, in resolutions up to 4K.