BTS: Wastewater Treatment Plant

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We’ve filmed at some very interesting locations over the years, but recently we had a unique first: a wastewater treatment plant. If you’ve never been to one in person let me warn you….hanging out at a sewage facility for four hours without nose plugs is a BAD idea!

We shot a bunch of footage of the shaft and gearbox mechanisms while standing on top of the vibrating, floating, convex roof of the wastewater tank. It was a little nerve-racking to say the least! Filming outdoors is always fun, and we used our C100/Ninja2 rig with 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, and 24mm prime glass to get all the shots. We even set up a slider inside the compartment to get dynamic close-up shots of the shaft!

Aerial shots were an important part of this shoot. Due to the immense size and height of the tanks, aerial photography was the only way for us to obtain the wide establishing shots we needed. There was a bit of wind that day, but we managed to get all the shots we needed without any problems. Here you can see our quadcopter flying up and over the primary wastewater tank.

Piloting a quadcopter can be tricky, especially at a distance. (The copter is the speck indicated by the arrow). Our rig has a live POV feed, which means the pilot can see exactly what the camera sees in real-time. Even with that setup you need to have a clear vantage point, in order to avoid obstacles such as trees, power lines, etc. Luckily we had a massive silo next to the tank that provided a great lookout.

Next to the wastewater tanks was a giant silo that would enable us to get a couple of birds-eye view shots. 150 stairs and a bit of heavy breathing later we were at the top and were able to grab some awesome shots after admiring the view of the SLC valley. There was a bit of wind, and we made sure to hold tight onto all of the gear!

Here is the final video from the project. It combines the live footage from the plant, a couple of 3d animation sequences (another BTS for that is coming soon), the voiceover, music, and 2d motion graphics all together into one awesome video. This project was commissioned for sales and trade show use, and our client says it has been very well received, and a huge success!

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