A Film Studio Who Exemplifies Going Above and Beyond

Last week I saw a behind the scenes video of an incredible studio. The name of the studio is The Marmalade, and they specialize in high-speed cinematography. There are plenty of studios and filmmakers who know their way around an Alexa or Phantom Flex and can do beautiful high-speed filmmaking. But what I love about these guys is that they decided to take push the envelope with their work and do something amazing.

Most high-speed filmmaking is static. A camera on sticks (i.e. tripod) shooting the subject (e.g. a bottle shattering, water splashing, a ball hitting racket, etc.) The Marmalade asked “how can we take this to the next step?” They decided they wanted to add movement to the camera itself. So they did what any film studio would do (I say that with the sincerest amount of sarcasm): they created their own software program and mechanical contraption to do it. It’s called Spike. The video below shows what it is they do and how they use Spike. It’s pretty remarkable.

I share this video with you in hopes to inspire you to take away three valuable lessons:

  • Dream big: no one had ever done this kind of high-speed cinematography before. That didn’t stop them from dreaming it and daring themselves to do it.
  • Make it yourself: there didn’t exist a camera system that could do this, so they made it themselves. The take away isn’t that you need to have software engineers on your team. The take away is, what are the things that YOU could make in the case you don’t have a dolly, or a jib, a steadicam, or a Phantom Flex.
  • Strive for excellence: as you’ll see in the video, these guys strive for excellence. They will redo a shot over and over until they get it right. (Caveat: don’t let the pursuit of excellence lead to procrastination or┬áparalysis. At some point, you just gotta go with what you got).

How have you decided to go above and beyond?