Focus on the action

One of the things I love about our team is their ability to adapt to changing situations. In 2005, we produced a one hour documentary on a cross country solar car race. The North American Solar Challenge took our crews across the U.S. and Canada as well. We were shooting on public highways, covering 20 teams, and each hour of each day brought about unexpected surprises.

Cameron Barrett focuses on the action
Cameron Barrett focuses on the action

It would be easy to miss key events, and we probably did miss a few. Overall, however, combining the use of radios, text messaging, and multiple camera crews, we were able to stay on top of the action. This was also our second one-hour HD production, and we shot more than 150 hours of video. If only today’s tapeless workflows existed for a reasonable price back then!

Every time I see this show, I think about how important it is to have talented shooters. Cameron Barrett was fantastic at knowing how close to get so the action lept into the lens – without her intereferring with team, drivers, or safety issues. Our assignment shooter, Jim Lahr, was terrific with motion shots, and overall, being able to grab what we needed, when we needed it was a joy to behold.

The key to this show was taking the time in pre-production to assess all of the possibilities that could arise while on the go. We often shoot in a run and gun style, so it’s important to know that we might run into. The experience of this cross country jaunt will help us with a variety of new projects as we move forward. There’s no replacement for experience.


  1. Iyos

    guys my budget is near 100k (2200$ USD)but i don’t know what to buy DSLR,SLR,Camcorder,any types of lens,body + lens or what so need your perefct advicei want cam for indoor picture ,still photography,close up and when go for tour that time for long view picture like mountains, seen scenery, or any kind of big temples or buildings. also need to record some video like birthday party or we going to any park,zoo, amusement park ,water park that time family videos so i don’t know what to buy i need to buy any single cam or two cam like one for picture and one for video recording or its will work on single main thing is that i must want best picture and video clarity and quality because this my first and last buy for 3 to 4 years i am able to use any kind of cams if i don’t then i learn for it so please suggest me technically what is best for memy most usage of cam for picture but video at some occasionmy budget is 100k. but if u suggest my wanted thing that make me happy in lower budget then i don’t mine i just told u my max budget that’s it i don’t want to cross this limit but thing is that what to buy its in your hand to guide me please. I don’t have any Professional experienced about lens and body so please suggest what type of lens body or cam have to buy good for me will learn every thing after buying this thingi used many camera but don,t have any professional experienced with photography but i am able used any type of camera with help of video tutorial or i go to learn any professional institute for photography if i think i need to know usage of camera or about camera ,because now photography is my craze and i wanted to go deep in this thing, but this is my first step to buy a good camThanks in advanceI know Canon and Nikon are best but i need suggestion on model lens ect.

    • David Barrett

      The best way to learn about using a camera is to use one. If you gain experience, you move on to the next best thing. There are dedicated video cameras for less than $1,000 that will work nicely as a first camera. The Canon Rebel line is also under a grand, if you want to use a DSLR. Make certain you leave room in your budget for a good quality mic, glass, and editing software.

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