MarcusBrownMarcusBrown Posts: 223 Open or Level 9 Skier
edited December 2021 in Videos, Photos & Media

Over 10 years ago, when I was skiing for MasterCraft, I had the opportunity to film with the talented Mark Bame and Eric Jeffcoat. At the time, I didn't know it, but that trip ended up inspiring me to ultimately pick up a camera and learn how to create. Just one year after that shoot I was injured and life took a huge pivot. But the actual footage we got was pretty special, and left an imprint on me that I couldn't shake - see edit here, it was quite insane for the times in 2010, actually:

Since that project, over a decade ago, I've been wanting to shoot a completely slow motion water ski short film. But Phantom cameras had always been too expensive ($100,000 +), and I could never find the budget to pull it off. Last year, a more affordable super slowmo camera was released, and I maxed the credit card just to get my grimy paws on one. So, with camera in hand, the best water ski company behind me and the best water skiers in the World in front of my lens, the goal was to build on those MasterCraft projects from years past, that had originally sparked the madness.

This project, right here, is honestly why I got into filmmaking to begin with: trying to create a feeling and a sensation in the viewer that would make them understand what Water Skiing is all about....what it feels like to ski at the highest levels, and what it looks like to have a front row seat to the spectacle.

Big Thanks to HO/Syndicate for continued support of FlowPointTV ....2022 will be nine years and we kinda can't believe it.

Below is the Narration for this story, and just to give you a bit of insight as to how I create the words for these FPTV episodes...I don't really know. Most times, I'll have a feeling or an idea pop up and I'll just run with it. But as you can tell, this particular episode is special to me. Most importantly, the idea for the FlowPoint came from my own experiences on a water ski....pushing my own potential, and finding the edge of what I was capable of doing....and through that journey, I caught a glimpse of something greater than myself. That was powerful...and something I hope you all have experienced at least a few times in your life.

"We are warriors, in a forgotten game.

Not because its a matter of life or death…

But warriors because we push the limits of what’s humanly possible….we choose to look beyond the soft, shallow existence that has become normal everyday life….we can feel that there is more...that if we choose to seek it, life can have a deeper meaning than simply falling in line….we follow our passion, and we find the edge….and we hang out there as long as possible….

…..out there, lies the place where a human, can become god-like...if only for an instant…

So if you wanna find us….we’ll be on the edge that exists only, at the short end of the line." - Marcus Brown
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  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,791 Mega Baller
    edited December 2021
    I love it Marcus!!!
    ...and i didn't even watch it yet!
    Best Christmas gift you could give me,Thanks @MarcusBrown !!!
    \\\ Off to watch that short film.
    My ski finish in 16.95 ...but my ass is out of tolerance!
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 806 Mega Baller
    Great way to start my Christmas eve morning! Bring your camera to Hilltop next year and do another one. Need a double awesome button for this thread!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 7,043 Mega Baller

    What is the frame rate for this "almost affordable " camera? I've occasionally had some ideas where 1000 or even 2000 fps would reveal something interesting. But I'd likely also need small and waterproof...
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 704 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
  • MinelickskierMinelickskier Posts: 79 Baller
    I LOVE IT….however it is a bit torturous to release this in freekin December….
  • MarcusBrownMarcusBrown Posts: 223 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Thanks guys. Was fun to see this project through.

    @Rednucleus I did slip a few shots from the 2021 Hilltop ProAm into this edit!

    @Than_Bogan this camera shoots 1500 fps at 1080p, and 422 fps at 4k resolution. The old MasterCraft thing we shot was on a Phantom camera that shot about 1200 fps at 1080p resolution. Unfortunately, shooting max frame rate on my camera at 1080 ended up not being quite what I all of the stuff I shot at 1200 - 1500 fps had to be scraped, as the images didn't really hold up to the standard I wanted to show.

    So, all of these images are 4k, and somewhere between 300-422 fps....or anywhere from 12.5x slower to 17.5x slower than normal speed.
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,791 Mega Baller
    edited December 2021
    Love the water droplets slowly falling back in the lake in the opening shots! Great work as usual Marcus!
    My ski finish in 16.95 ...but my ass is out of tolerance!
  • RobRob Posts: 71 Baller
    huge thanks for this - spectacular footage, both the old and the new. I remember the original from ages ago - composition, music were all great to see, and lots to learn from watching skiers in super slow mo.

    I'd be curious if at these frame rates you're starting to get into some exposure compensation even though you're shooting outside? Thanks again for doing this - awesome stuff!
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 6,081 Mega Baller
    I've re-watched that old MC video a million times---loved it. Now for your new one!
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 221 Baller
    Reminds me of some of the old black & white physics films we watched in high school, where they fired one bowling ball out of an air cannon while they simultaneously dropped a second bowling ball straight down, proving in ultra-slow motion that both balls landed at the same time.

    I have to say the skiing footage is much more interesting - in case anyone was pondering.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 7,043 Mega Baller

    @MarcusBrown Thanks!


    Yeah, once you get into ultra high frame rates there is the challenge that there are only so many photons :). Physics begins to limit how good of an image is possible when you only collect photons for a half millisecond, as required for true 2000 frames per second. (You can kinda fake 2000 frames per seconds with longer but overlapping collection times, but that then blurs in the time dimension, which is exactly what you don't want when trying to capture ultra-slow-mo!!)

    There two great ways to address the lack of photons:

    1) Crank up the light!! This can be done in many lab scenarios, but is extremely challenging in the real world.

    2) Reduce the spatial resolution. This is literally making the pixels larger, which means that each can collect more photons in a given amount of time. For many diagnostic purposes, this works great, and is exactly what I would do if I ever managed to make a setup to capture what happens in a binding release. But as a Film Maker, this seems non-viable. People don't want to watch low resolution films!


    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MarcusBrownMarcusBrown Posts: 223 Open or Level 9 Skier

    @Andre Thank you!

    @Rob getting the exposure right with this camera setup is hard, as its a bit of a guessing game: the aperture control is non-existent, as I don't have Cinema lenses for this camera. So, for any lens I want to use, I have to first put the lens on a normal camera body, set the aperture, remove the lens, mount it to the slowmo Camera, then hope I have enough leeway to fine adjust exposure with shutter speed. Not ideal, but still doable.

    The problems arise when the light is low, and the aperture needs to be wide that case, nailing focus becomes really really hard.

    @Than_Bogan so true. Lucky thing about water skiing is we do it outside (until someone builds a dome with a lake inside), so the chances of ample light are higher. But still tough when a cloud gets between the sun and the skier.

    Actually this camera will shoot over 9,000 fps, but at a resolution of about 2,000 x 128 which ends up being a very wide and thin strip of footage. Haven't played with that yet, but as I've found, even the 2048 x 1080 footage (HD) is a bit below what I would want to try to use for cinematic purposes. Diagnostics and technique is a different case tho, so maybe I'll try to find some of the 1500 fps stuff I shot and post a few clips in the near future....

  • DoubleDDoubleD Posts: 25 Baller

    Late to the game but great work @MarcusBrown. You inspire me.

  • MarcusBrownMarcusBrown Posts: 223 Open or Level 9 Skier

    Thanks @DoubleD

    Appreciate it!

  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,560 Mega Baller

    Very nice quality and entertaining as always @MarcusBrown ! Cheers

    NWA....Heaven on earth!
  • greghayesgreghayes Posts: 118 Baller
    Thanks @MarcusBrown for being our sport’s Warren Miller. Inspired!
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