The Old School

Friday morning saw me loading the car for a photo and video “scoot and shoot” at an old school building that belongs to the charity I work for, the Royal Blind. I’ve been there before for a normal photo shoot and thought it would be a great location to get some stills of the Swifty Zero for the blog and also see if I could pull together enough video footage for a short film.

The scooter took up most of the boot and did have me thinking that perhaps I should have bought the folding version? The remainder of the boot was filled with camera bags, all manner of clothing, particularly the silly leggings I like to wear when kick scooting. Footwear, drinking water, thermos flask, packed lunch and odds and ends filled the few remaining gaps. All this for a few hours photography.

After a 30 minute drive I was on location, and based myself in an empty classroom on the ground floor. First, I did a quick recce of the building, moving anything that was lying around, particularly in the corridors, so that it was safe for me to scoot along without crashing into anything in the dark corridors and other rooms. I could have switched the lights on but the darkness seemed to be part of the character of the building and would give some added atmosphere to the scene.

Having done a few video shoots over the years, mostly about fat biking, I never plan anything ahead, favouring to simply look at any given scene within a location and decide there and then how to use the space, where the camera will go and where I will ride the scooter. Lighting is always important and the long corridors were interesting from that point of view with outside light coming in at the ends as well as various doorways long the length. Ideal for the backlit style of clips I like to create.

Creating each clip tends to have a similar procedure. First I set up the camera, switch it on, check everything is framed correctly, start recording and then finally ride through the scene. I also ride back though the scene again, giving me an additional “free” length of footage for use, if required. With the first few clips I run back though the recorded footage to check the camera is recording correctly. I’ll also do this at intervals during the shoot as well. Then it’s just a case of setup, scoot, move and repeat.

After working the ground floor, including various offices, the assembly hall and the old gym, I worked my way up the building, recording footage on all four floors, eventually after about three hours or so, accumulating over 60 clips ranging in length from around 20 seconds to over 2 minutes. Editing the footage together later would reduce all this down to around 4 minutes in the final video which can be seen here.

The same process was used for stills photography, this time using a digital camera with a wireless remote control, allowing me to be in the scene and still operate the camera. In total over 260 images were recorded offering me a good selection for posting on Kick Scooting. All in all a very successful shoot, and scoot of course, with the Swifty Zero performing well, the smooth floors ideal for effortless scooting.

Copyright ©2019 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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