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This Is Universal

Summer is in full swing, which means packing up the kids for vacations at destinations that are fun for the whole family. Last summer I had the chance to direct a series of videos for Universal Orlando Resort featuring a couple of first-time visitors being guided by an incredibly funny host named Jake who stole the show!

With Bark Bark overseeing the project from script through post, we filmed inside the parks for two weeks last June with an amazing local Orlando crew put together by Skystorm Productions who worked through the heat and excited crowds giving the first-timers a VIP experience of just about everything the parks have to offer.

Gear Talk

To capture all the action, our DP Bob Scott provided a pair of Sony FX9 cameras with Angenieux EZ Zooms kitted out with Bolt wireless video systems and Arri wireless focus systems. We also rolled with a Sony FX3 with a Sony 16-35mm G-Master Zoom on a Ronin 2 single-handle gimbal as the C camera, which allowed me to operate executing smooth walk-and-talks with less gear while matching the quality of the main cameras. The Sony glass on the FX3 gave me reliable autofocus without having to bog down the rig with more gack.

The summer sun kept the sweat pouring, but it also provided the main light source for the majority of our setups throughout the busy park. Our amazing gaffer Andy Seely of Radiant City Lighting & Grip spent most of his time rolling around an 8x8 Ultrabounce to key our talent, but pulled out a LED RGB light panel controlled wirelessly from a tablet for our interior moments walking through the ride queues when we needed an extra boost.

As challenging as it was weaving through endless throngs of people in all of the resorts bespoke worlds (I'm looking at you, Wizarding World of Harry Potter!), our incredibly resilient and professional crew were a dream to work and I look forward to getting the band back together the next time I have the chance to film in Orlando.

Check out the full series on YouTube to get in on the fun!

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