Calling themselves The New Merry Pranksters, three passionate, adventurous directors of photography (DPs) set out last July 2010 on the trip of a lifetime to capture the beauty of the Serengeti Plains and other natural wonders of Tanzania. The New Merry Pranksters include award-winning DP Robert Primes, ASC; DP Dan Kneece, president of the Society of Operating Cameramen; and DP Yousef Linjawi who is completing his MFA degree in cinematography at Chapman University.
Determined to give viewers a glimpse of precious, spontaneous scenes of wild animals interacting with each other amidst the majesty of the Serengeti, the DP team hauled over $500,000 worth of borrowed state-of-the-art gear packed into 10 heavy cases, including: a Sony PMW350 2/3-inch XDCAM memory shoulder-mount camcorder; a Fujinon HA25x16.5BERD Premier Series HD Super Telephoto ENG style lens with 2x extender, servo zoom and focus; a Fujinon ZA12x4.5BERD super wide angle HD ENG lens with 2x extender; and a Fujinon TS-P58A optical stabilizer, which eliminates unwanted vibration and image shifting when shooting with high-magnification HD ENG telephoto lenses.
To see Kneece and Primes explain how they employed the Fujinon stabilizer and HA25x for this project, please click on the following link:
The Fujinon lenses and image stabilizer enabled the DPs to shoot stunning animal close-ups at long distances. The result is a treasure trove of over 100 hours of spectacular wildlife scenes now being crafted into an enlightening film that will hopefully inspire throughout the world.
Details of the crews African adventure have been documented on a blog written by Bob Primes, available at: http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/3153/the-new-merry-pranksters-preface
Between the Fujinon Super Telephoto and wide-angle lenses, we were able to beautifully frame anything the animals could do while shooting from a safe distance, Primes said. A lens is a point of view. The vast majority of our vision was interpreted through the perspective of Fujinons empowering optics.
Our Fujinon lenses were extremely flexible and versatile under adverse conditions and extreme light levels, Primes continued. The lenses proved extremely roadworthy during endless hours traveling in Land Rovers along dusty, torturous roads in the Equatorial heat. We didnt want to change lenses often because of the horrendous dust out there, said Primes. And the stand-alone image stabilizer enabled us to capture countless, rock-steady, close ups of animals from a considerable distance away. The lenses built-in 2X extenders and image stabilizers 1.2x magnification provided us with a 20-1032 mm zoom lens [equivalent to 50- 2580mm when shooting 35mm].