The Forge of Avalon - The 240fps with the versatile Zeiss Loxia

Sword makers or to use the correct name sword smiths, are not exactly thick on the ground. So when you get the opportunity to make a short film about one it is a memorable occasion. Particularly when the swordsmith in question Richard Hoecker is based in Glastonbury in the shadow of the Tor, how much more 'Arthurian' can you get?

What to shoot it with? Well the first thing I knew I was going to need was some affordable slow motion. The budget didn't stretch to a Phantom so I used a Sony FS-700, its slow motion capabilities proved perfect for shooting the slow motion sequences of the hammering of the blade and the quenching process.

I decided to use the excellent Sony A7S for everything else in the project as I wanted to try out the new Zeiss Loxia 35mm and Zeiss Loxia 50mm lenses, remember due to their diminutive size and feather weight they fit the character of the A7S perfectly. De-Clicking the lenses did not really come into play so much as I mostly shot at F2.0, quite a bit wider open than I normally like to shoot for video but they performed admirably.

Make no mistake if you are shooting a lightweight shoot leaning towards 'run and gun' the Loxia/Sony A7S pairing is formidable, greatly enjoyable too, working excellently with my Kessler Crane slider as there is so little weight on the rails, it gave extra smooth moves.

I'm particularly pleased with the blade quenching shot (quenched in oil), 240fps on the Sony FS-700 using the Zeiss Loxia 50mm.

As you can see from this BTS still, it does look overkill, you can barely see the lens, dwarfed by the camera.


I'm very pleased with the results though.

Lighting was a bit of a challenge, we spent quite a bit of time blacking out the forge worship so we could control the lighting.

We used Chimera Triolet tungsten lights with Chimera soft boxes and Dedo lights, a versatile combo, with the excellent Manfrotto Spectra 1x1s getting into those hard to rig places.

We had a great day with Richard and Kate at 'The Forge of Avalon' and things went pretty much according to plan.

The score was going to be vital to lift the project to another level, as director David Lynch says 'Films are 50 percent sound, sometimes sound even overplays the visual'

We turned to multi talented composer Jonathan Dadley to come up with something special and he did not disappoint with this beautiful timed piece.

It was a real pleasure to show the film for the first time on the Zeiss stand at BVE 2015.