What happens when one of the biggest camera brands, Canon, partners up with one of the coolest sports brands, Red Bull? Not only did they build a skate park in London's Natural History Museum but they invited some of the best female skaters to ride it! Check how Canon managed to capture some of the raddest footage taken in the Natural History Museum (just saying).
Skating ramps in National History Museum
Canon, Red Bull and a crew of Red Bull skaters were handed the keys to London’s Natural History Museum for one week only to film skating using all the cutting-edge imaging technology from Canon. 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.
These skaters didn't think twice about it. After setting up the ramps and railings across the building to take advantage of the natural architecture in the space, the trio of skaters was joined by skate legend Margie Didal and together they scoped out the whole museum to skate spots that no one will ever (maybe?) skate again.
Photo credit Canon x Red Bull
There's nothing easy about skateboarding. Unless you've tried it yourself, it looks easier than it is. Pulling off a difficult trick you've been working on for months is exciting, and that excitement is part of the reason skateboarding is so popular. Because it's an adrenaline sport, you wouldn't necessarily integrate it with a museum first. Showcasing this sport through some of the most talented female skateboarders shines a light on skateboarding that doesn't get ignored!
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.”
Session shot exclusively on Canon
Back to takeover! The film crew arrived on site 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 that can zoom in and out very quickly is absolutely amazing to use. It’s fast, the autofocus is good and it really brought me back to the early days of filming skateboarding.”
Canon using the Servo Grip for closeups
The additional kit included the Canon CR-N700 and CR-N500, both with class-leading autofocus 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 skating 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 the 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 low light 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 a built-in stereo microphone, wide-angle lens, and shake-free footage thanks to Enhanced Image Stabilisation.
Set of low light shots captured by Canon
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.
Kiefer 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.”
To finish off this great takeover, watch the final piece below.