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Trip of a lifetime
Phil Huberty, PROCAM warehouse technician, discusses an amazing filming
opportunity for children’s charity Dreamflight.
A s a warehouse technician at Procam with aspirations to
become a camera operator, I was delighted to be given
the chance to film a group of seriously ill and disabled
children on the holiday of a lifetime hosted by the charity
Dreamflight. Dreamflight is a national charity that takes 192 seriously ill and disabled
children, without their parents on the holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Florida.
They are accompanied by a huge support team of around 90 volunteers on
a chartered Boeing 747 that takes them to Florida to experience 10 magical
days. Many children could not undertake such a trip without the support of
the army of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and non-medical volunteers
who care for the children 24 hours a day.
Typically my day involves receiving and storing stock, preparing orders for
delivery and maintaining the warehouse. So I was excited to spend some
time in Florida capturing footage in a variety of environments which I would
then edit down into a bespoke video memory. I was one of 12 camera
operators who accompanied the children on the trip, and on our journey to
Florida I received a lot of advice from some of the more experienced crew.
However, nothing could have prepared me for the experience I had over the
next 10 days.
I was faced with challenges from the very start of the trip: from the flight over
to Florida, to filming on rollercoasters and log flumes, to capturing personal
and private moments on film: each challenge posed new questions and
tested my ability.
I wanted to make sure I captured the children’s excitement from the moment
they began their holiday, my first challenge was deciding which camera to
use to film in the enclosed space on a plane. The XF105 was chosen by the
Dreamflight video team as the best camera for this situation as it delivers
great images for such a compact camera. It was also versatile enough for
me to continue to use this camera throughout most of the trip.
Whilst in Florida we visited lots of different theme parks from Universal
Studios to Disneyland, each with bigger and better rides. I knew it would
be great to capture some shots of the kids having the time of their lives on
rides like ‘Summit Plummet’ a two second plunge down the fastest free fall
slide in the world! Since a shot like this needed a camera that could handle
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filming in high velocity and often
water soaked conditions, we chose
to use the GoPro HERO 3: It’s small
and compact, shoots in HD and
is favoured by the extreme sports
industry worldwide. At some of the
theme parks I was accompanied by
a park escort who told me when and
where I could film, for others I had
free reign to seize every moment on
film. When you’re being thrown in the
air on some of the world’s biggest
rollercoasters, it’s impossible to
plan each and every shot so it was
important to have a versatile camera
for the job. The GoPro was brilliant
for shooting on the hoof as there is
practically no set-up needed, you
can just grab and shoot.
A challenge at the other end of the
spectrum was figuring out the best
way to capture personal and often
sensitive moments on film. The
children were each facing their own
difficult battles and I wanted to make
sure that I could create an amazing
bespoke film that each of them could
take away to share their memories
with their families. My approach
was to speak to all of the kids
individually and get to know them
and their story. It enabled them to be
comfortable having me around and
allowed them to just have fun without
being distracted by my filming.
By filming interviews with each of
them at the end of their holiday,
the children were able to reflect