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Shooting a Classic $750K Boat with a RED Camera and 1000mm Canon Lens


It started with a classic Woody. Lake Tahoe has a world-renowned “woody” boat culture that promotes gleaming timber-hulled works of nautical art to skim across its deep blue water. One of the latest additions to the North Lake Tahoe waters is Tom Turner’s recently restored Riva Super Aquarama #64, valued at an astounding $750,000.

After boat owner Tom Turner approached Ascending Works and Fractal Film Co. to produce a creative short highlighting the boat, it was quickly decided that getting a Canon 50-1000mm lens onto a chase boat would be vital to capturing the essence of this boat and its purpose.

Working closely with Turner, the production crews created a cinematic short featuring some of Turner’s most loved treasures – his wife, his new boat, his home, and his dog – in a setting all parties held dear — Lake Tahoe.

“We knew that the Freefly Systems Movi XL could cope with the water, so we wanted to push it a bit further with the Canon 50-1000mm lens. Once RED heard about our project, they sent over their new Gemini Body,” says Keaton Bowlby, Director at Ascending Works.

The crew was thrilled to get their hands on this gear spread. Surprisingly, slinging the $70,000 Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm lens up into the Movi XL was the most difficult part of using it. The tracking footage this combination was capable of was astonishingly smooth. Take a look at the full gear list below:

  • RED Gemini 5K
  • RED Epic W 8K
  • Freefly Systems Mōvi XL
  • Freefly Systems Mōvi Pro
  • Freefly Systems Alta 6
  • Lomo Anamorphic Square Front Primes
  • Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm
  • Bright Tangerine Viv 5
  • Schneider Optics Filters

You can watch a behind the scenes look at the production of Timeless here:

Watch the entire Timeless short below:

About the author: Chad Davies is the principal photographer of Davies Imaging Group and the creative director of Timeless. The full credits for the project can be found here.