Conventional mirrorless cameras such as the Sony A7S II, Panasonic GH4, and the Sony A7R II are so small and lightweight so that you can easily experiment with them and try some crazy shots and new movements on the fly. For instance, creating a flip shot has never been easier. Of course, you have to utilize a few additional accessories to do the trick such as a tripod, some sandbags and an Apple Box. Notably, the latter can be used to bring up your setup a few inches off the ground, which is crucial for performing a flip shot.
All in all, Apple Boxes are one of the most ubiquitous and useful pieces of equipment on a film set and can be used for anything that needs to be propped up or supported temporarily. Being the ideal solution for this type of shots, Apple Boxes can also be used to prop up furniture and light stands, for leveling camera dolly track, or providing temporary seats, workbenches, or stepladders, and everything in between. Here’s how you can use an Apple Box, a tripod, and your camera to perform a flip shot for your videos.
This shot is ideal for those dramatic action sequences where, for instance, your talent runs towards the camera and then the camera suddenly flips upside down showing the subject running away. First you need to lay the tripod flat on the Apple Box.
Use the sandbags to stabilise the tripod. If you don’t have sandbags, you can have somebody to hold the tripod down. Or, if you can’t find an Apple Box you can utilise a gear bag or something with a flat surface that can also elevate your setup from the ground.
Then you have to tilt down your tripod head as far as it can go and lock the tilt. To perform the flip shot, you also have to turn the baseplate of your camera sideways. Now, when you mount the camera on the tripod head, you can utilize the pan movement of the tripod head to flip the camera to 180 degrees.
Additionally, you can attach the tripod’s arm in a way so that it can help you the perform the move more fluently. Just make sure that it doesn’t hit the ground or the Apple Box while performing the move.
It will be ideal to have an external monitor to look at your framing, but even if you don’t have one, you still can perform the camera movement. So, there you go! Now you know how to achieve a neat flip shot. Just try not to overuse the technique and do the trick only once in a single project. Kudos to Brent Peirce for showcasing this excellent cinematography technique. For more cool tips and tricks visit his site CineBlur.com