So waiting for the tide to go out!! Sounds like watching paint dry! Well it’s not! It was quite tense actually! We kept watching it and wondered if that it was enough to get the jeep around. It was like watching the earth take a long intake of breath! Once there was enough space and we were advised it was safe by the local knowledge at Pendine we took the Jeep with tripod firmly strapped down on the back.
We scheduled the horses and riders from Marros Riding Centre http://www.marros-farm.co.uk/ to come down to Morfa Bychan bay as we came around to maximise our filming window of around 3 hours, this also included drone shots. So we couldn’t hang about. Filming is no only about actual filming but also directing what you want your participants to do and especially in this case health and safety.
There was also another element to consider .You can’t flog a live horse! There is a limit to how much you can ask these beautiful creatures to run before they get exhausted, so we had to get our shots in before we wore them out. We didn’t want horses keeling over on the beach! We as always listened to the expertise of the instructors at Marros riding school on when to call it a day.
We filmed the horses riding up and down the beach with a C100 and it looked fantastic. However at certain times the ripples in certain parts of the beach were making the camera judder ruining the shots so we had to recee another part of the beach which was a lot smoother.
This was also a perfect opportunity to shoot slow mo with the gh4 on the gimbal. This proved to be a masterstroke. Not only was the shot super smooth but the slow mo makes the horses and riders look fantastic! I think the current craze for slow mo makes everyone tend to shoot everything in slow! However I don’t think this is always a good idea as things that move slowly don’t look very dynamic if they are shot in slow mo, and there is no narrative in the shot. So simply shoot stuff that is moving quickly unless there is a particular stylistic reason or look you’re going for.
In this case the slow mo worked brilliantly, really emphasising the power, dynamism and speed of the horses. I’m so happy with these beautiful shots.
We also wanted a variety of shots including some close ups. It’s not really practical to change lenses too often such was the time constraints and to put a long lens on a gimbal. we would have rebalance the gimbal with the extra weight of a long lens. So we had to get quite close to the horses. They were incredibly calm animals and were not spooked at all by a vehicle getting close to them. I wish however that we got a little closer to get a little more detail but we will learn this for the next time we film horses.
I have to say I loved this shoot and loved filming horses! They are such beautiful athletic creatures I hope I get another chance to film them again and get a few more dynamic shots. However I’m over the moon with the shots. We shot almost in to the sun and exposed for the sky meaning there was fantastic detail in the horses shadow on the sand while the horses were in silhouette.
I wish I’d had time to extend the narrative a bit i.e. preparing to ride etc. but the window was too narrow on this day and by the time we did the drone shots ( brilliantly done by Skycam Wales http://skycamwales.com/ on a HH4 again) the horses were spent and had to return home. What a day!
If you want us to film horses in some way please get in touch as we loved it! Or if you fancy riding horses on a beach in Carmarthenshire get in touch with the brilliant people at Marros Riding Centre http://www.marros-farm.co.uk/ Their great.