An exercise of speed and efficiency on set

Director Lee Chaney, James Davis ACO from Motion 24 and cinematographer Andreas Neo have crossed paths on several occasions. Most recently, they have joined forces to film the new England Football commercial promoting the next Pokémon Youth Futsal Cup competition which is commencing in September 2021.

England Football players were involved in the ad, with filming taking place in a context of high safety and security measures as a result of Covid 19 protocols. These restrictions led cinematographer Andreas Neo to choose his equipment carefully in order to ensure the success of the shoot. In order to work around social distancing measures a flexible kit was required, with the final kit for the shoot including two Alexa mini LFs with Panavision Primo 70 as well as an AGITO and a 30ft Technocrane.  

Andreas describes this project as an exercise of speed and efficiency, this is because two thirds of the commercial had to be shot in two hours, a feat which is almost impossible. However, having used the AGITO for a previous project, Andreas was aware of how quick and easy working with the AGITO was, and he knew that it was the perfect tool for the job.

The flexibility of the AGITO and crane allowed Andreas to meet the directors brief of keeping both cameras moving continuously whilst also maintaining appropriate social distancing on set. This was made possible through the AGITO’s remote functionality which meant that James Davis, who was operating the AGITO, could keep a good distance away from the players at all times.

Social distancing was also an issue amongst the players as it meant that they could not be close together in shots. In order to combat this Andreas opted to shoot multiple plates which could then be layered to create a final shot with the whole team together. The AGITO’s speed and repeatable movement allowed for a perfect overlay to be created for this unified shot. The AGITO was also instrumental in combating the issue of height difference presented by the footballers, young players and Pokémon characters, with the AGITO’s tower allowing easy controlled movement to be achieved.

“The filming industry needs to continue pushing its boundaries, in every way. As a cinematographer I like to think my role is 50% creativity and another 50% the result of the technological components. For this reason I try to keep a close eye on new innovations to improve my work. I think the AGITO is particularly interesting and that we will see its application widely across many sets.”

Notable benefits of technological advances in cinematography include the ability to save money through reducing time on set as well as the new creative techniques that can be unlocked through working with these new pieces of kit. It is the AGITO’s high tech systems that make it the perfect tool for a shoot where speed and efficiency are essential or social distancing measures are required.

 “To this day I am not sure I could have completed this job without using the AGITO” concludes Andreas Neo.

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