gabriel yosemite fcpx

A wonderful short film from Chris Mckechnie about a boy wanting to become a park ranger for a day at Yosemite. Shot on 2 RED Epics (one of them mounted on a Movi) and all edited in Final Cut Pro X. 

Sometimes it's hard in the middle of a big complicated job, surrounded by tough deadlines and even tougher budgets to remember that our skills can make a difference. A difference that is not a commercial one, a difference in improving a life.

Chris Mckechnie got in touch with the details of a short film he made for Make a Wish National that tells the story of an incredible day for a very lucky Gabriel. The video was awarded a well deserved Staff Pick on Vimeo. We will let Chris take up the story. 

'9-year old Gabriel had a wish to be a park ranger. When Yosemite got word of his dream, they stepped up to the plate, in a VERY big way. Watch it first, then look at the shoot details below.'

My AC and I went up to Yosemite 1 day before Gabriel's wish to get establishing B-roll and to try and capture the magnificence that is Yosemite. For the interviews I used RedRockMicro's One Man Crew...a dream to work with.

That same day we also shot an interview with the Mom and Gabriel. The wish day was a long one, starting early in the morning and ending early evening. Gabriel was a trooper.

I had a second camera operator and sound guy on the wish day, to help with alternate angles since it was run-n-gun the entire day. Plus, I HATE doing audio! My sound guy had a new bluetooth wireless receiver thing that he wanted to try out on the MoVI since it weighs like nothing. It worked, like 10% of the time, so since I had NO other audio reference on my Epic, I had to manually sync everything in post! AHHHHH!!!

Unfortunately there was a news crew from CBS who got priority access, got to ride in the vehicles with Gabriel, was always on scene first, etc. So we had to stay farther back and get what we could in terms of coverage.

I was operating on the MoVI the entire day and stuck with a focal length of 50mm Zeiss Contax 2.8, since there wasn't really any time to do any lens swapping. I had 2nd cam fitted with my 80-200 f4 Contax. He had RPP's, but I wanted the look to be consistent, plus, the Contax are amazing!!! I had him on a monopod the entire day so the longer shots would be more stable, as opposed to hand-holding or shoulder-mounting.

We all rode in my truck, so as soon as we would role up on a scene, Will would bail out of the car as quickly as he could to get some establishing shots/sometimes they had already started the next mini event. I would immediately follow with the MoVI. My AC was pulling focus using RedRockMicro's Micro Remote (performs flawlessly), while I was operating in Majestic Mode. Used my Cinemizers for framing, and Jason, my AC had a SmallHD AC7.

On the editing side of things, I created dailies (2k proxy transcodes) of everything since it was a project dealing with lots of footage, even though it was only 1 official day. The edit took about 2 full days to polish the sequence, then once the edit was locked I switched seamlessly back to the native R3D files and graded right within FCPX using Denver Riddles LUT utility and emulsions. 

The music was licensed through the Music Bed, which I chose the evening after the shoot. 

Gear Used: I had Will shoot at around f5.6, while I shot between 2.8-4. 

We over cranked here and there for effect. 
Shot 5K WS at 8:1 compression. 
Edited and graded in FCPX.

(2) RED Epic's
MoVI M10
RedRockMicro's One Man Crew and MicroRemote Wireless Follow Focus
Zeiss Contax Lenses
Manfrotto Monopod for second camera
Tiffen Vari-ND’s

 

Many thanks to Chris for letting us know about the film. It's been on Vimeo for a couple of months, but we thought it was worth posting, especially when you read the comments from Gabriel's mother, Tara Lavan:

"Alright, so I suppose I have no business on this site, but I found this video and as Gabriel's mom I wanted to say thank you so very much Chris for this beautiful film. It is absolutely gorgeous! I have to tell you that I cried at the slower motion smiling shot (that smile without his two front teeth!) after he was asked if he would help them out during this busy time of the year. Thank you for this precious gift, as the day was a tremendous blur of activity."