By Ned Soseman /
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
OConnor conquers Antartica
Los Angeles-based Digital 3D has developed a reputation for taking its gear on wild rides. Its Emmy-winning Director of Photography/Producer Ken Corben pushes boundaries so that viewers can experience worlds they would never get to see on their own. Earlier this year, Corben and a crew of 10 departed Ushuaia, Argentina for the Antarctic Peninsula aboard the 74ft sailboat, Pelagic Australis. Their mission was to shoot penguin colonies underwater, from the air and on land/ice with a shooting package that included their 3D Epic beam-splitter with Zeiss and Nikon primes supported by the 120EX fluid head from OConnor, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company.
The 120EX fluid head proved to be smooth and balanced, even with a heavy load in sub-freezing Antarctic conditions. The adjustable camera plate and the electronic balance readout helped speed pre-sets. The system’s quick and easy breakdown was another benefit, especially when the crew had to hump gear to the top of a glacier.
The OConnor 120EX is the flagship of OConnor’s extended capacity range of fluid heads. This patented head features the stepless counterbalance and ultra-smooth pan and tilt fluid drag expected from OConnor fluid heads as well as EX technology for supporting heavier payloads. EX fluid heads can go far beyond their standard capacity by slowly limiting tilt range as the payload is increased.
The result of Corben’s Wild Antarctica 3D shoot will be a 20- to 40-minute digital 3D theatrical release for large-format theaters later this year. It is one of the many productions Digital 3D has shot, supported by OConnor fluid heads.