There can’t have been too many times in the history of filmmaking that a camera operator has had to wrestle with shoulder-mounted gear that he felt was much too light. Cinematographer Marvin Hastert and his team from VPS Media found themselves in that rare situation while filming on a flight that simulated weightlessness. And ARRI Master Grips gave them all the control they needed.
Developed to train astronauts preparing to go into orbit, parabolic flights are one of the few ways that earth-bound people can experience weightlessness. The technique involves a pilot cancelling-out the effects of gravity by flying in a pattern of tightly controlled climbs and dives.
Marvin Hastert was commissioned by BigCityBeats to work on publicity for a festival called World Club Dome Zero Gravity. The shoot involved filming these maneuvers in an aircraft that had been fitted out as a club–complete with a bar, and a DJ. The team was equipped with two ARRI AMIRAs, and two ALEXA Minis, all fitted with Master Grips. It presented some unique challenges.
“You just can't describe the feeling,” Marvin told us, “it's a bit like riding a roller coaster, but more extreme. We quickly found that it was really important to hold the camera tight–during our first attempt the camera stuck to the ceiling above our heads.”