filmmaker frames a shot on his alpha camera

Zapper | A Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Short Film

Alan Stockdale

My name is Alan Stockdale and I run a Video Production company called Foundlight Productions which I set up in 2004, providing creative content from concept to delivery. I work with a broad spectrum of clients, including agencies and directly with brands. I am also a brand ambassador for Manfrotto, Litepanels, Atomos, Schneider Kreuznach and Sony, for whom I have created film campaigns. Music is at the heart of most of my projects, and by focusing on pace and rhythm, I craft stories that engage in these senses.

Zapper

‘Zapper’ is a colourful short film, shot entirely on the FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master lens. It is set in two different locations, an amusement arcade, and a multi story car park. The concept came from a simple image I had of an array of flashing lights set in the background of a scene, a frame that would really highlight the bokeh of this stunning f/1.2 Master Prime. The main character in the arcade scene is a gamer who is unimpressed with the amusement selection, until he finds a retro game he enjoys a little too much. His enthusiasm causes unwanted distraction and annoyance to the arcade’s janitor, someone you really don’t want to get on the wrong side of, resulting in an unexpected turn of events.

First impressions shooting with the FE 50mm f/1.2 GM

Being such a fast aperture lens, I had only planned to take a couple of shots wide open at f/1.2 to highlight the bokeh, but after shooting with the lens on set, I really liked the look of the image and continued to shoot wide open which gave the short a very filmic look.

The compact form factor made it ideal for use with smaller camera bodies (such as an Alpha 7S III) on a gimbal, and it was a quick switch between the first location where I shot on an FX6, and the second location where 90% of shots were on a gimbal on an Alpha 7S III.

filmmaker holding his sony fx6 to his eye
By pairing the full frame FE lens with my FX6 and Alpha 7S III, I was able to take full advantage of the insanely accurate autofocus. By utilising the face tracking on the FX6, and the touch tracking on the Alpha 7S III while moving around on a gimbal, I had no problem at all keeping my subject pin sharp while achieving a creamy bokeh background. The f/1.2 side of this lens is beautiful.

These 2 cameras in particular are excellent in low light, but pair them with this lens and you’ll have no problem shooting in sLog3 in most situations (if you want a shallow depth of field).

What quick video shooting tips would you give to potential future new lens owners?

This lens gives you control over a wide range of depth of field, which used with the Sony autofocus capabilities of their newer cameras, allows you to achieve precise, pin sharp focus points with confidence. I have owned different f/1.2 and f/1.4 lenses in the past, and have had to manually focus them. It is tricky to really nail your desired focus point, and often takes a few attempts to get the right shot. By using Sony cameras with the latest autofocus system, you are much more likely to nail focus at f/1.2 first time, and have full control over exactly how you want that to look; embrace the autofocus, even at f/1.2!

sony alpha 7sm3 mounted on a small tripod

Any last message you want to provide to the Alpha universe community on your experience shooting with future new lens and shooting this particular project?

This was a really fun project to shoot on using just one prime lens, which is a great way to discipline yourself with a single focal length. I own a range of the G Master lenses and this 50mm prime is a welcome addition to my kit bag, one that I will be using on many future shoots.

 

Alan Stockdale

Alan Stockdale | UK

Our passion for crafting original stories coupled with an obsession for utilising the most innovative equipment, has led to us creating film campaigns, from concept to delivery.

Featured products

Related stories

Sign up to get your α Universe newsletter

Congratulations! You've successfully subscribed to the α Universe newsletter

Please enter a valid email address

Sorry! Something went wrong

Congratulations! You've successfully subscribed