In this film, I explore an abandoned grain elevator in Saskatchewan, Canada. I also showcase four different ways in which you can accomplish push/pull moves without seeing the track in the shot when using Kessler Crane Gear. Below is a 3 Minute Short I shot utilizing some of these methods. I have also included the quick start guide video at the bottom of the post.
*NOTE: I only showcase a few different methods in which you can accomplish these moves as there are many configuration options.
There are a variety of configurations in which you are able to accomplish push or pull moves using Kessler Crane Gear. These can be accomplished by one of four methods; Angles, Tighter Lenses, Height, or Length. In this post, I will show you a few ways in which you can configure your gear to accomplish these moves without seeing the track in your shots.
There are two ways in which you can use angles to keep the track out of the shot. You can either slightly tilt the camera up to frame the camera out or have your track on an angle. To do this, lower the front of the track and raise the back of the track. This method is effective no matter the length of your track.
Using Tighter Lenses
A simple way in which to keep the track out of the shot is by using a tighter lens. However, if you are wanting to shoot with a wider lens and want to keep the camera parallel with the horizon, you will have to use either the angle or length options.
Raising the camera off of the track will give you more flexibility when framing your shot. As a point of reference, if shooting with a 3 foot Cineslider with your camera raised up one foot, you can use a 24mm lens on a full frame camera and not see the track when your camera is pointed straight forward.
This method depends on the length of your track. If you are shooting with a longer track and want to have the camera parallel with the horizon, you will either have to use the angle or length options.
Using Length Extensions
Using length extensions is the most versatile option. In situations where you are wanting to push into something, such as a car window, this method allows you to do this. One thing to be cautious of however is that if there is a wind, movement may become present so keep an eye on your camera so there is no undesired movement.
Positively No Smoking
About the Film
All my life, while driving to my family’s vacation spot at Wakaw Lake, Saskatchewan, I have driven past a gravel road leading to a pair of old, abandoned grain elevators. I’ve always taken these buildings for granted, but just recently (with fellow filmmaker Nils Sorensen) I decided to pull off the highway and explore these fascinating pieces of 20th century prairie architecture.
In this short, our primary focus was to test out various push/pull techniques using a variety of Kessler Crane gear, both as a way of highlighting the equipments’ abilities and also pushing our own use of the gear. But as we began walking through the wooden monolith, we quickly realized that the building had a story of its own to tell.
We took our cue from a prominent “Positively No Smoking” sign, which we learned was a necessity in grain elevators due to the highly combustible nature of the processed grain. So, refraining from any form of tobacco products, the next step was to climb an old wooden ladder leading to the very pinnacle of the building – not so easy with a full array of Kessler gear in tow! But, we managed and were able to capture an incoming snow storm just as we set up the cineslider on the top floor. You’ll see the snow pouring in through the windows.
After spending a few hours in this elevator, we had to abandon ship or risk being snowed in to the overgrown dirt road we had to take. So we quickly packed up and drove off. Even under time and weather constraints, I think we definitely captured the essence of this forgotten staple of prairie industry.
Date: January 4th, 2012
Location: Wakaw, Saskatchewan
Film By: Preston Kanak & Nils Sorensen
Equipment: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 14mm 2.8, Canon 50mm 1.2, Canon 70-200mm 2.8, Canon 24-105mm, Kessler Crane Cineslider, Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly, Kessler Crane Oracle, Kessler Crane Pocket Jib, Kessler Crane KC Lite, Kessler Crane Shuttlepod System, K-POD.
Special Notes: 3 Minute Short – Part of the Kessler Crane Push/Pull video.