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Watch the World's Fastest Animal in Super Slow Motion in the World's Fastest Dolly Shot

Cheetahs are the world’s fastest (land) animal, and as part of a cover story about Cheetahs in the November issue of National Geographic, cinematographer Greg Wilson paired them with a Phantom Flex camera running on the world’s fastest dolly. During the shoot, one of the cheetahs actually broke the animal land speed record, running the 100-meter dash in 5.95 seconds (take that Usain Bolt!) with a peak speed of 61 miles per hour. My first car could barely go that fast. The result is a beautifully rendered tracking shot demonstrating the cheetah’s fluidity like never before:

In addition to the behind-the-scenes segment at the end, here’s how they did it:

I asked Greg for some more details on the technical aspect of the shoot. Here’s what they used:

Camera: Phantom Flex
Resolution: 2560×1440
FPS: Varied between 1,200 and 1,600fps
Lens: Angenieux 45-120mm
Remote Head: Sparrow Head
Dolly System: A beefed up/custom SuperSlider from Doggicam Systems in LA
Camera operators were: Frank Buono and Scott Dropkin (Frank operated the famous car chase scene in Children of Men where Julianne Moore’s character is shot.)
Lighting:
1x 150,000watt LabLight made by Luminys in LA. Its a pure DC-powered, long arc Xenon bulb that has short duration bursts of about 8 seconds.
1x 20K Tungsten light through 1/2 Frost
1x 12K Maxi Brute through 1/2 Frost

I’m sorry, I thought you said 150,000 watts of light, I must’ve misread that… wait, no, that’s correct. At speeds that high, you need a lot of light — but 150K watts? That’s just crazy. Almost as crazy as an animal running at 60 miles per hour…

Link: Beauty of the Beast – National Geographic

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