The DJI Pocket 2 is quite a versatile and powerful little gadget, considering its modest size and price. Filmmaker Vadim Sherbakov put it to good use and decided to shoot a short film using only this gimbal and some household items. It turned out so good, that it even made it to the official selection of the Horsetooth International Film Festival.
Vadim says that the idea was born from the lack of traveling due to the pandemic. But also, he wanted to showcase the capability Pocket 2 camera. He notes that it’s “not only a great blogging device, a good b-roll camera, or [a] super gimbal for travel, architecture, etc short films, but also an amazingly capable machine for creative experiment right at your home.”
The filmmaker notes that the film was shot for DJI under contract with a specific purpose to use that camera and showcase its abilities. And in the video description, Vadim writes more about the experience of shooting with it.
So, he did what I did as a kid (only I did it without filming): he combined different inks, alcohol, soaps, and other mixtures of household chemicals. He played and experimented with them to liquid art of flow and movements. “It took us 3 weeks of pure experiments, [trial] and error, to get the right effect with inks and chemicals,” Vadim writes. But it was worth it.
After three weeks of experimentation, it took another week and a half of shooting. As I mentioned, Vadim used a DJI Pocket 2 camera, both with and without a macro lens. He ended up with more than seven hours of footage, or 690 GB of video material.
And then, it took another week and a half of post-production. “An interesting fact that only about 1.6% of all shot clips went into the film,” Vadim explains. I can totally relate to that as a photographer, too. Still, it didn’t take Vadim too much effort to edit the shots he selected, as the footage was good enough to start with. He used Davinci Resolve 17 beta, combined with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Audition, Adobe After Effects.
Of course, the project didn’t come without challenges. When shooting with a macro lens, you need to come really close to the subject. In the case of Vadim’s film, this made it difficult to get pipettes or syringes below it. This is also what made the camera visible with some darker and glossy base substances. Perhaps you can see it if you pay attention, but to be honest, I didn’t notice it everywhere. I was too mesmerized by the pretty colors.
Still, I’d say there were more advantages than disadvantages, judging from Vadim’s video description.
“For example, the ability to digitally zoom in and out, not only as an additional movement but also as compositional benefits. Gimbal movement left and right (that otherwise would require some expensive equipment). 4K, d-log setting gave us the ability to bring up colors to life. The high frame rate for the slow-motion part of the film.”
Vadim and his set stylist Luda Tregub hope that this short film will inspire creatives “to think outside of the box in using the Pocket 2 and create stunning experiments.” I don’t know about you, but watching this, all my excuses for not taking photos lately have just flown out the window.