Panavision provides cameras and accessories for Drift

28 October, 2011 by IF

Press release from Well Above

Geoff Hall ACS used a combination of ARRI ALEXA and Red Epic cameras supplied by Panavision on Drift, Morgan O’Neill’s surfing action film, featuring Sam Worthington, set in the wine and surf haven of Margaret River, Western Australia. O’Neill’s script, set in 1972 is based on the true story of two brothers who battle killer waves, straight society and ruthless bikers to kick-start the modern surf industry.


Hall, who used the ALEXAs for all his land-based shots and the Epics for the numerous water shots said, “I needed to work with a company who could supply very specific kit for this project. The film had a complex surf component that required the latest camera technology in order to get the results I was after. That company was Panavision. The ALEXA with its 800ASA rating meant I could get the most out of the short winter days. The Epics gave me surf footage shot at frame rates that I couldn't get with any other camera. The camera package Panavision supplied worked brilliantly and their service and support was exceptional, especially given that we were working a long way down in the south west of Australia.”

As with many surf action movies Hall needed to use a variety of styles and angles to achieve the look he wanted, complimented only by his choice of cameras.

He added “For the surf component I wanted dreamy, ultra slow motion along with the ultimate flexibility that 5K capture gives for stabilisation of footage shot in violent conditions – the new Epics provided just that, being punished in up to 30-foot-high waves at times”

Hall used one ALEXA on the main unit and had the second as a backup and for steadicam. Hall also had to combat some serious time, weather and surfing conditions during the shoot commenting, “The main unit had very wet weather and the surf unit was in the Winter surf of Western Australia every day. It was a very tight 32-day shoot .The ALEXA is the best camera I have worked with. It sees into the dark in a way the human eye can’t, which means I can think about shooting in ways that I wouldn't have in the past.”

As with all movies, especially those shot in Australia, a good equipment supplier and systems integrator is essential. Hall concluded, “I must say a big thank you to all at Panavision for their help in getting this movie made. I got everything I wanted from Panavision on time and without compromise. I have known many of the people I have been dealing with at Panavision since I started in the business and they are always enormously supportive of production, whatever the requirements. Panavision’s Marketing Director Paul Jackson, in particular, has been of great support to me throughout my career.”

Drift is currently in post production.