Cinemablogapher: Super 8 on Le Grange

Behind the Scenes, Cinematography

Written by Phil Gushue

EDITOR’S NOTE: Fans of our One Shot series will recall this image that NFL Films cinematographer Ferdi Le Grange captured earlier in the regular season.  Below, a unique, retro look at Ferdi at work. 

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of assisting Ferdi Le Grange as he shot the “weasel” camera at a Giants/Redskins game.  While on location I wanted to document exactly how Ferdi would capture the scene, and thought, “What better way to show how film is shot then to film it with a Super 8mm camera?”

The NFL Films “weasel” camera is known for getting some of the more unique, non action shots that occur during the course of an NFL game.  One of the camera accessories used to achieve these shots is a Steadicam.  It’s a wonderful tool that makes the camera appear as if it’s floating through the air during operation.  To use a Steadicam however, requires a substantial amount of prep time to correctly balance the camera for use.  During a fast paced NFL game, time is usually not on a camera operator’s side, so all his calibration must occur long before kickoff.

The clip below shows Ferdi both setting up and using the Steadicam with his Aaton XTR-Prod S16mm camera.  My super 8mm footage was shot using Kodak’s 7285 Ektachrome 100D color reversal film and the Nizo Braun 460 Super 8mm camera.

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