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MVP On Location

Shooting on the beach while trying to stay out of the way of the many bulldozers.

I was recently hired to assist with a videography project for the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. Great Lakes is a client of fellow Videomasters affiliate, Rory Graham, and he is working on revising their safety video. We spent the first day taping segments on the beach, and the second day was spent on the dredge about 2-3 miles out in the ocean. This was quite an experience for me! There are many challenges to shooting on-location, and the beach/ocean provides plenty of them.

The most obvious challenge when shooting on a beach is keeping the sand out of your equipment. We all know from experience that sand can find its way into virtually anything, and expensive video cameras can be ruined if you’re not careful. We also had to contend with constantly changing lighting conditions, as the sun seemed to weave in and out of clouds the whole time we were there. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that a poorly adjusted iris on the camera can ruin a shot, it was a constant struggle to maintain the proper lighting balance.

One of my favorite parts of this trip was shooting from a catwalk outside of the ship’s control room. As you can see in the third picture below, this was a narrow catwalk with only a thin set of rails. Fortunately, the ocean was not too rough that day, so I felt pretty secure up there. I really enjoyed the challenge of getting good video footage while maintaining a steady, secure position for myself. The view of the beach was great, too. A job like this is one of the many reasons I love doing what I do for a living!

MVP on Location

Sand is pumped from the dredge to the beach, then spread out by bulldozers.

MVP On Location

This is where I spent most of my videography time on the ship.

MVP On Location

This was the view from my perch on the catwalk.