Go Pro and the democratisation of film making

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I have been a GoPro fan for quite some time and bore my Facebook friends with my middle aged attempts at being a ‘hero’ with it. The GoPro channel of course has the real thing. Beautiful films of beautiful people doing incredible things. Mostly inspiring though sometimes repetitive and nearly always about some real or invented ‘sport’ you can do underwater. Which, to be honest, can become a bit samey.

However, add a GoPro to iMovie and the GoPro editing app and just about anyone can make just about any sort of film, in HD and at 4 thousand frames-per-second, something that until very recently was so high spec that only professionals with cameras the size of a suitcase and the price of a small house could shoot. And now we have $1,000 drones to carry the camera so no need for that helicopter. The film above for example, about Orca rescue, is a powerful piece of advocacy produced in a documentary style David Attenborough would be proud of. Coincidentally shot in my adopted home of New Zealand.

My point is the democratisation of film making is not just about the shaky iPhone stuff, shot, uploaded and shared on the fly. It is now also about ordinary people (possibly with a bit of help) making high quality films, fit for their purpose, on incredibly high specification equipment that until a few years ago only professionals had access to. Admittedly, that means there is a lot of technically beautiful crap out there, but there are some great stories well told too.

David Brain

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