(Las Vegas, Nevada--September 4, 2014) Cinematographer Doc Ajay Johnson recently covered Tuff-N-Uff: The Future Stars of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) 20th Anniversary. The event, which took place at the Thomas and Mack center in Las Vegas, NV, featured six championship contests, as well as the finals of Tuff-N-Uff women’s strawweight tournament. Armed with a Sony F5, Johnson carefully selected the appropriate accompanying gear to capture a full night of action-packed amateur MMA fights.
Photos courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz
Johnson needed to capture promo footage shot at 18 frames per second to create slow motion action of the fighters entering the ring and fighting in the cage. “It was important visually to match the light in the arena and see the cage and audience while controlling how much light hits the subject,” he notes.
Johnson brought his Litepanels Ringlite Mini Flood, which he says is so powerful that he was able to use it to support other camera people who didn't have a light as fast, and he did it at a distance of about 10 to 12 feet. He adds, “This Ringlite is the perfect solution for delivering even light, and it’s lightweight so when you attach it to the camera rig it doesn't put any more stress on your body for doing a handheld ENG. The light is also fully dimmable which allows you to easily control the look to match your surroundings.”
Johnson has relied on the Sacthler brand for over 20 years. “The Sachtler Ace M is the only tripod I would use for a situation like this in a crowded, indoor arena. I love the Ace because it's not only a reliable tripod, but very lightweight. It allows me to easily navigate through tight situations with the tripod on my shoulder. When I see the shot I want, I can quickly set up my camera. There’s a lot of action when shooting fighters, and I need a stable tripod with a smooth pan and tilt to keep up with the fast movements when they’re in the arena.”
Reliabilty is important when shooting a live event. There are no second takes, so Johnson counts on Anton/Bauer for his power. “Anton Bauer batteries are the most trustworthy batteries on the market. I can always deliver what I promise to my clients. The Dionic HCX provides me with about three to four hours of power for my camera, a 7-inch monitor and my Litepanels Ringlite.”
Johnson says dependability and portability are a big part of why he chooses Vitec brands for many of his projects. “Shooting live events is difficult. You have to follow the action and can't miss a beat. If you don't have the proper gear to give you the flexibility to make adjustments, when the unexpected happens then you get into big trouble. I absolutely need to be able to count on my gear.”
Ray Kasprowicz uses Litepanels Croma to shoot fighter
About Doc Ajay Johnson
Doc Ajay Johnson
has over 4,000 productions under his belt and has shot projects on five continents. Through his 24 years of experience, Johnson has developed a highly skilled and diverse background as an editor, cameraman, director, producer and writer. His diverse list of credits includes commercials, television shows, music videos, and live sporting events, among others.