With the help of legendary skatepark designer Joe Ciaglia, a host of Red Bull skaters including six-time X-Games Gold Medalist Leticia Bufoni, rising star Lore Bruggeman, and Argentina’s Aldana Bertran turned the iconic space into a skatepark, creating a once-in-a-lifetime session shot exclusively on Canon.
The museum's prominent exhibitions including the Minerals Hall and the iconic Hintze Hall, complete with Hope the whale, were transformed into skate-friendly areas overnight, with ramps and railings set up across the building to take advantage of the natural architecture in the space. The trio of skaters were joined by skate legend Margie Didal and together they scoped out the whole museum to skate spots that no-one will ever skate again.
To capture the seminal moment with perfect precision, it was essential the team on the ground had the very best Canon technology available to them.
The film crews worked with the Canon EOS C500 Mark II which features a 5.9K Full Frame sensor packed into a compact and reliable Cinema EOS body, alongside the next generation Canon EOS C300 Mark III, incorporating Canon’s 4K Super 35mm DGO sensor, with 4K 120P Slow motion, High Dynamic Range and Dual Pixel CMOS AF.
Kiefer Passey, Director of Photography, commented: “One of the features in the kit I really enjoyed was the Servo Grip. Being able to have a cinema lens which can zoom in and out very quickly is absolutely amazing to use. It’s fast, the auto focus is good and it really brought me back to the early days of filming skateboarding.”
Additional kit included the Canon CR-N700 and CR-N500, both with class-leading auto focus and a 15x optical zoom (30x in Full HD) that captures productions in superb detail, even in Night Mode. Both feature exceptional stability for smooth PTZ operation, which was essential for capturing the skate magic on the day.
One of the set pieces captured at the museum was a ‘bullet-time’ moment where Red Bull skate athlete Leticia Bufoni kick-flipped over the skeleton of a Velociraptor. This was achieved in conjunction with the team at technical production agency The Flash Pack via a rig of 64 Canon DSLRs.
The Canon EOS R5 was utilised once the sun had gone down, as the quality in lowlight allowed the team to capture incredible atmospheric shots of the skaters at the museum after-hours.
The Canon PowerShot V10 acted as a small and easy-to-use lightweight portable camera with a crisp image. The PowerShot V10 incorporates built-in stereo microphone, wide angle lens and shake-free footage thanks to Enhanced Image Stabilisation.
To achieve a perfect blend of polished cinematography and ‘street-style’ shooting, skate legend Margie Didal – unfortunately injured and so unable to take part – took on the role of live recording, co-opting a Canon XF605 video camera to snag on-the-ground action shots. One of the cameramen commented, “She got some really great angles, I think we might be out of a job!”
The Canon XF605 delivers a new level of performance and control for solo shooters, with 15x optical zoom, professional connectivity and advanced autofocus including Eye Detection AF and intelligent Head Tracking for the first time in the XF Series.
Director Caitlin Black, Cut Media, said: “It’s a dream come true to be able to film inside such an incredible location and to work with Canon to capture it all.”
Director of Photography, Kiefer Passey, said: “Working with the Canon ecosystem all together has been really good. The picture quality is unmatched, the colours are perfect – it just does the job when the job has to be done in that small amount of time.
“It’s been a really fun shoot because we’ve been able to focus on the creative with such a varied and amazing range of kit to achieve our vision.”
Creative Director at The Flash Pack, Tyson Benton, said: “We use Canon for everything. You need reliability, and you need quality. Those are what you really want out of a camera. On shoots like these there’s a lot of things that can go wrong – fortunately the cameras are the one thing that doesn’t.”
Red Bull skate athlete Leticia Bufoni said: “It was a historic moment for the skate scene. We are used to being kicked out of museums or their grounds, but on this occasion the Natural History Museum allowed us to come inside and create a park around their stuff. They had obviously never had ramps in there so it was cool to create them all and skate this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“I was pretty nervous skating around their artifacts. We were taking big risks to avoid damaging them. It was certainly one of the craziest nights of my life.”
You can view Skate the Museum on Monday 19th June here: