By: Janik Shannon
Come 2013, the Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff National Park awaits a 10-feet tall by 75-feet wide projected video put together by two Algonquin professors.
Working with local production company Affinity Productions, Jeremy Atherton and Karl Roeder spent a good part of the summer touring 13 different park sites across Canada to compile enough material for the video wall project.
“We’ve been tasked to create a film that is going to be projected along this 75-foot wall that will celebrate the idea of parks,” said Atherton, 41, Algonquin television broadcasting coordinator. “We’re really trying to get visitors to say ‘from this spot where I’m standing right now, this idea, this concept of parks happened and it’s something we should be proud of as Canadians and something that we should want to protect and care about’. That’s our goal from the piece.”
The eight-minute long video will consist of the evolution and changes of parks over time and has the goal of making people understand the importance of the park system.
Recording with the latest technology, Atherton and Roeder used Red Epic cameras and pushed boundaries on the technical side.
“We’re not just taking a shot and filming out, we’re shooting at super high resolution,” said Atherton. “[The Red Epic cameras] shoot at a resolution that is referred to as 5k and 5k means 5,000 pixels across.
We brought out two of them into the field so we were able to shoot 10,000 pixels across video which is really quite unheard of. It’s going to be made up of four HD screens so each one is full HD resolution.”
To give you an idea of the enormity, a standard definition screen is 720-pixels across.
Working with a project of that scale, it’s safe to say that complications do arise.
“The biggest challenge was designing and implementing a lightweight rig that would allow for exact panorama stitch of the two side-by-side images,” said Roeder, 47, part-time advanced lighting and grip professor. “The optical alignment of the images and synchronization of the cameras was crucial.”
Having worked with Atherton and Roeder in the past, Affinity Productions producer Jamie Banks said she finds both Algonquin professors extremely talented and professional.
“They’re both great ambassadors for the company,” said Banks. “We send them out and they represent us well. There wasn’t a chance to wait, to wait for the weather, to wait for the perfect shot.
They came back with more footage than we imagined. It all looks like paintings. It’s going to be very beautiful; it’s going to be something we’re very proud of.”
The project also gave an Algonquin graduate the opportunity to try out her skills in the field.
During a test set-up, Caroline Hayes, 20, had the chance to go by the Rideau locks and shoot for a few hours.
She helped carry the gear, took some pictures and production notes.
“[The experience was] very unique, I had never done anything like that before,” said Hayes, production assistant at Affinity Productions.
“I definitely learned a lot working on it. Great to be able to have the opportunity to work with Karl and Jeremy because they’ve been doing so much in the industry and taught me so much working that one morning with them.”