Three secrets that take Documentary production to the next level - SkEye Studios

For the production of the Scotty Smiley documentary, we knew that we needed top-of-the-line video equipment to bring out the best cinematic quality. To take a quick look at the results, here’s the teaser that we produced from shooting Scotty and Andy at the Coeur d’Alene Ironman.

Here’s a quick list of our most essential equipment and what enabled us technically to capture the stunning shots and interviews that are shown in the trailer for the documentary.

1. Panasonic Lumix GH4 – 4K Image at 24fps, 1080p at 96fps

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 11.02.56 PM
This camera is incredibly versatile and dynamic. It gives you the ability to capture footage in 4K at four times the resolution of 1080p, or you can switch to the “Variable Frame Rate” mode where you shoot in slow motion at 25% real time speed in full HD. When we pair this camera with a wide angle or telephoto lens, the results are breathtaking.

2. DJI Ronin M – Three Axis Gimbal Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.53.44 PM

The trademark of cinematic and professional looking footage is the stableness of the shot. The DJI Ronin provides just that and more! By mounting the Panasonic GH4 with the Lumix 7-14mm f/3.5, we were able to follow Scotty and Andy through bike and run portion of the Ironman with completely smooth shots, even when we are sprinting to just keep up with them.

3. Interviews in 4K with a Motorized Parabolic Slider. Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 11.09.03 PM

Behold the difference just some slight motion can make! Video professionals commonly shoot interviews with the camera positioned on a tripod. Other professionals have taken it a step further by mounting the camera on a shoulder rig to give the image a little more of a moving, yet slight shaky look. SkEye Studios has taken an even larger leap past these two standard shooting techniques. For the Scotty Smiley documentary, we decided to add the Red Rock Micro “One-man Crew” to our arsenal. This device moves the camera left or right along a parabolic track at a very slow speed; automatically changing directions when it reaches the end of the track. The results are remarkable. This slight motion makes the interview look more dynamic, and gives the interviewee that polished look when he/she says a line with emotion or conviction.

One Man Crew Example 3One Man Crew Angle

*Notice the Slight Change in Background between the two interview shots. Rick and Mary Ann Smiley Interview (Scotty’s Parents)

When we mount the Panasonic GH4 with the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 on the “One-man Crew,” you also have the flexibility of punching-in on this moving interview shot. As editors, this gives us the ability to change angles and distance to the subject when editing together clips and audio sound bytes; all with one camera!

4K Example Wide 100 4K Example Close 300








We can’t wait to show you the results in the documentary. Check out to donate to the documentary and stay up-to-date on the latest news.