In Arcbs upcoming shoot “I want to do clips of the boat moving through the water at some different speed categories. Under 2.5, 2.5-3, 3-3.5, 3.5-4, over 4 knots”
We know theres somethings impossible to shoot: Big waves look flat and calm. A raceboat surfing at 22 knots looks like old ladies slowly sailing a dinghy on a Sunday afternoon.
To show the difference in 5 speed categories we are *really* gunna have to work hard and cheat a bit or no one will see any difference at all.
This is an excellent exercise to do for your video making.
On your boat without looking at the speed instrument how do you determine boat speed?
Primarily the speed of bubbles going backwards as we go forwards. At 2 knots they are slow and gentle; 4 knots they zip backwards (in a dinghy)… at 20 knots they're too fast to see.
What other action can we see speed, but not really be able to determain the the speed in knots?
Spray between the genoa and water;
Lower speeds: Clear sunny weather, no waves, no ripples
Faster speeds: waves, bouncing, spray, crew moves faster.
What do we want in our shots?
under 2.5 knots: CU Bubble without the boat in shot… Pan with the bubble. It makes the bubble look like its lazily moving. Lack of boat in shot means theres no reference to speed. Slow action. Dissolves instead of cuts, placid. Lazy. Crew looking at flying duck, scenery etc.
2.5 to 3: Same shot, slower pan so the bubbles exit the frame left.
3.5 Wider shot so you see the side of the boat as well as the bubbles thus you see the boat moving more in relation to the bubbles.
3.5 to 4 knots same shot as 3.5 but add an action like winding a winch. Pan against the bubble making them look faster.
Over 4 knots. Put camera lower, further back, in the line of the gunwale, looking forward, action of winching (pulling in sheets – whatever happens in a dinghy ), crew moving quickly, cutaways shot of water under the genoa with spray, splashing. Quick cuts! Fast! Action!
You could shoot all this in the same wind conditions. For the slow speed shots head downwind, furl the jib etc (don’t show it furled, obviously!). For the fast shots head upwind maybe pinch too much so you get more spray and more wave action.
Yes, these are “cheats” but you are not lying to your audience, you are just trying to get around the technical difficulties of cameras on boats.
In Edit: Slow is one, lazy long 10 second shot, music soft, slow, dreamy. Fast is 10 seconds full of fast cut 1 second shots, louder faster music.
Without using "cheats" its more difficult but you can try: Lock the camera onto the gunwale afft where it can see the water up to the jib/genoa. Shoot all different speeds. In edit jump cut between them all just 1 second or less each and see if that shows the speed difference. It might but I think it will be so small you still need to use a cheat. Maybe try 1/2 second cuts. I doubt longer than 1 second would work. but, hey, its art - go experiment
Next time I will do
s question about Equipment.