After three days of planning, weighing, rationalising and packing our gear is just sneaking in under the 25.5kg weight limit for flying to Scott Base in Antarctica. Not everything has made the final cut but most has. A huge proportion of this mountain is batteries because the life of batteries plummets dramatically in such cold conditions.
Ok … So the Collage of Creative Arts, at Massey University is a busy place, full of talented people doing amazing projects and that means sometimes you miss out on talking to the people you work with … that’s the excuse I’m going to use because it wasn’t until I stumbled upon this interview with my fellow CoCAnut Anne Noble (Distinguished Professor Anne Noble to be correct) that I really got some great insights into her work and realised that we have similar thoughts particularly on the environment, science and process.
After much research I have opted to take a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera as my principal video camera. Although it shoots at a maximum resolution of 1080p it records in RAW and ProRes formats with a very wide (13 stops) dynamic range. It’s tiny form factor will suit a “run and gun” style of documentary while still being a very robust unit in a Camtree Cage. It’s two big weaknesses are it’s sound quality and battery life. I’m planning to overcome these issues with an external mic going through an A Box preamp and the primary audio being covered in a separate Zoom Recorder. As for batteries … well I’m bringing heaps for a start but also planning to use an external pack which I can even wear under my jacket to keep warm if I need to. Another plus of the BMPCC is the ability for me to use Nikon lenses on it via the very impressive Metabones Speed Converter. It even uses the same battery as my Nikon Coolpix A which will permanently travel with me as a pocket camera.
Stills (and backup video) will be primarily covered by my old faithful Nikon D800 – also fitted with an external battery pack. POV and underwater shots will be covered by GoPro Hero 4.
After a really productive initial discussion with @AntarcticaNZ my research has moved into a new phase – I’m now focussing on the depiction of ‘heroes’ and ‘explorers’ through portraiture in historic and contemporary contexts.
This reflects a fledgling strategic approach to repositioning the public perception of science by depicting the Antarctic Scientists as “Science Explorers” – modern approachable heroes striving to understand climate change to help deal with it.
This might be the beginning of “the new heroic age” of Antarctica?
Warren (Maxwell) and I had a most excellent meeting with Jeanine Foster from Antarctica New Zealand today. We talked through some of the logistics, looked at some of her killer photos and generally got excited! She generously added to the pile of Antarctica reading material in the corner of the studio too. Ta Jeanine.
Planning has definitely moved on this week – a content and communications strategy is forming nicely. There is even the start of a few journey maps (NB: #CoCA358 students) floating around.
AntarcticaNZ are currently doing some primary research around perceptions of Antarctica and science which is going to be invaluable.
Warren and I are buzzing! Cross discipline creative collaboration is proving exciting so far.
Hot on the heals of watching Marcus Lush’s “Ice” I watched Nigel Latta in Antarctica. Both are excellent, easily digestible introductions to Antarctica, Scott Base and Antarctic science. The demise of our local video shop posed a challenge to getting “Ice” but fortunately I was able to get it out through Massey University Library. Latta’s two programmes are very easy to access via TVNZ On Demand free of charge.