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Balloon Highlines

February 9, 2014 by   

The Balloon Highline from sebastien montaz-rosset on Vimeo.

I feel like in class we are always talking about setting up and getting that perfect shot.  Frame the shot just so, make sure everything is in focus, get the proper lighting and what not.  This is all very well and good but I think that we need to remember that in the field as multimedia journalists we won’t always have the time or the presence of mind to set up for that perfect shot.  With that in Mind I give you the Ballon Highline.

Now although in this piece each shot is deliberately chosen and framed, they had the time to set those things up.  What i liked about what they did was that they did not constrain themselves to getting pure steady shots.  All though out the piece the camera is shaking and moving around as if they are not on tripods, moving along with the people in the scene.  I think they did this since they knew their shots up in the balloons were not going to be steady so they had the entire piece feel like it was unsteady to create cohesiveness.

In this instance the shots were purposely chosen and it was a style that the filmmakers went for.  But I think it is a good reminder to us that not everything needs to be in a perfect steady shot.  Every so often we should learn to embrace the chaos and roll with the shots that work for us.


  1. says:

    Beyond cohesiveness, I also think the shakey shots are stressful to watch. Normally I’d find them unnecessarily distracting, but in this case the filmmakers are trying to create tension around hot air balloons from the get-go, and no matter what you explain you’re going to do with them, they’re not something I think of as particularly stress-inducing. I wonder if the shakey cameras help push the story forward by immediately creating a sort of artificial disquiet in the viewer?

  2. says:

    I assume they’re shooting most of this handheld, which does make it consistent throughout. I like the beginning shots with the sun glint in the corners of the shots, and the close-ups throughout on the balloon frames. Not to mention the Go-Pro on the head idea….awesome. What is with French dudes and tight-rope walking? Is it their national sport or something?

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