in filmmaking, videos

The Seattle Color Run 2014 – In Slow Motion

I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday: don’t shoot at a Color Run without camera protection!

The Seattle Color Run (as with many other Color Runs) is a photographer/videographer’s dream, an explosion of color and sound with tons of movement and a diverse array of human beings. But the colored cornstarch they spray gets EVERYWHERE. It gets on your hair, on your clothes, into your orifices (mucus from my nose was blue-colored all afternoon yesterday!). It also gets onto your camera.

I saw a bunch of photographers running around with plastic bags on their cameras yesterday but honestly I don’t even know if that would have been adequate. A few grains of this stuff isn’t a huge deal, but if any more than that gets into your camera, it messes with the sensor, the focusing motor, etc. What a nightmare. I’m happy with the footage but I’m not sure if I’d ever bring a camera to such an event again.

On that note, the footage was shot on a Panasonic GH4 at 96fps with my standard camcorder chest stabilizer, then graded with FilmConvert. The grade on this is pretty rough. Since you’re lowering your bitrate when you shoot in slow motion on the GH4, it doesn’t really hold up too well in post when you’re pushing the exposure and colors. Aside from that, I’m pretty happy with some of these shots, and also pleasantly surprised that the Polaroid rig I use is adequate stabilization when shooting slow motion.

My only regret is that I couldn’t have spent another hour at this event filming more shots and coverage. But I was already getting really concerned at how my camera was getting all this cornstarch caked on top of it and I felt like I had to leave. I think I made the right decision. Maybe next time I’ll pick up one of these.