The 3rd annual Havasu Hot Air Balloon Festival made a great subject for me to practice my documentary making skills. Furthermore with everybody and their brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and the whole extended family there taking stills I was not inspired to be another “photographer” there taking photos of these balloons. My goal was to do something a little different, moving pictures! I didn’t want this to be another “guy with a video camera” type of movie. I envisioned something very beautiful and cinematic that carries the viewer away in to balloon dreamland. I believe I have come pretty close to achieving my vision.
This yeas marks the second time I have filmed the Balloon Festival and I was determined to get more of a story this time around. Last year I did have the rare privilege of going for a ride in a balloon and of course I that made for some good footage. I also was able to film several lovely shots with the balloons around town and on the lake last year but the story was still lacking in the finished video. More or less what I had when I was through was a collection of pretty shots set to music… good, but not great. That’s why this time around I made sure to get a couple interviews. The audio from the interviews is really what ties it all together. Without that I would have had the same struggle to tell a story this year as I did last.
I also made sure to use some great camera movements in my shots this year. Last year I was going handheld or on a tripod and for the most part the shot was rushed last year. This time I put in the extra hours to get those killer shots and it really paid off but it meant long days of packing a heavy load of gear around all by my self since I was shooting this solo. My day started shortly after 5 am and finished up a little after sunset for the duration of the 4 day 3 night balloon festival.
I had an awesome time getting to know some of the Pilots and Volunteers at the event. It was also great to see the entire community of Lake Havasu bustling with energy and excitement for the balloons. I tried to capture this positive impact on Lake Havasu in the film. Thanks for watching I hope you enjoyed.
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Tech notes: Shot on a Canon 5D Mark3 and some on a GoPro3, With 50mm f1.4, and 24-105 f4. Shot in All-I @ 24fps and edited in Final Cut Pro. Some aliasing is visible in the YouTube compression of this film but the original footage has very little aliasing and noise. Even at high ISO (12000+) this camera delivers very usable footage.