The Tiffen Company underwrites Abacus; Steadicam beautifully conveys the genius of the performance
Hauppauge, New York – February 16, 2012 – The Tiffen Company, a leading manufacturer and distributor of award-winning accessories for the still imaging, video, motion picture and broadcast markets, collaborated with Early Morning Opera to underwrite the Sundance Festival performance of Abacus. Lead by Paul Abacus, a visionary and emerging cult figure, the dance crew was trained on Tiffen’s Steadicam® camera stabilizer system, incorporating the technology into their performance. The inventive act achieved groundbreaking success at the critically acclaimed Sundance Film Festival, which took place from January 19-29, 2012. Following its success at the festival, Abacus traveled to Los Angeles to perform a sold-out run at REDCAT (The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater), an interdisciplinary contemporary arts center.
In his sixty-minute presentation, Paul tells the audience, “What I am proposing today is the dissolution of all national borders as the next fundamental condition of our continued social evolution as a species.” The performance was a culmination of visual effects (intense lighting schemes, advanced data visualizations with live camera feed, etc.) and equally intense theories regarding media and persuasion. Lars Jan, the artistic director of Early Morning Opera, said in a TED online interview, “One of the things Abacus is about is increasing visual literacy so that people are better able to discern good content from bad.”
Abacus dancers have the Steadicam Pilot model securely strapped to their bodies, enabling them to elegantly move about the stage while filming Paul and projecting smooth, elegantly captured video instantly on the screens. The cameras are rigged to twirl fantastically around, giving the added quality of chaos and stimulating the crowd to feel Paul’s erratic passion.
The team behind Abacus, which was originally commissioned by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), used Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, to raise money to fund the project.
“The Steadicam was designed for videographers always on the move. What the performers were able to do with the Steadicam in Abacus draws perfectly on every feature the system has to offer – lightweight for quick, precise movements, strong and secure, compact, and agile,” said Steve Tiffen, President and CEO, The Tiffen Company. “Even the sleek, beautiful design was complemented by the dancers’ graceful performance. Seeing it in action on the Sundance stage and what the Steadicam is not only capable of, but how it became a character in its own right in the performance, was an awesome moment for all of us.”
For those who didn’t make it to the festival, the trailer leaves viewers begging for more, and ends with Paul exclaiming, “This is not a 99 cent store, this is not a carton of milk. You do not get this opportunity every day. Get on the roller coaster people, and scream if you feel it!”
For more information about Tiffen’s Steadicam products, please visit http://www.tiffen.com/.
To view the Abacus trailer, please visit http://vimeo.com/18133986 (opens in new tab).
For a more in-depth look at how Abacus utilized the Steadicam Pilot, please visit http://vimeo.com/35825420 (opens in new tab).
Tiffen has been a leading manufacturer of photographic filters, lens accessories, software, and camera accessories for the consumer/professional imaging and the motion picture and broadcast television industries for over 70 years. The company has a rich history of innovative product design, superior optical consistency, and unparalleled quality. Tiffen has been recognized for its product and engineering excellence, earning two Technical Achievement Awards and a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, as well as an Emmy® Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Today, the company offers a wide range of products, which include: Tiffen® filters, Steadicam® camera stabilizing systems, Lowel® light, Listec™ teleprompters, Tiffen Dfx® digital imaging software, Domke® bags, Davis & Sanford® tripods, Zing® camera covers, Stroboframe® flash brackets, Saunders® professional trimmers, and Kodak Wratten® filters. Tiffen continues to enhance its reputation as a leading imaging accessory manufacturer through aggressive growth in the image-making accessory industry.
For more information on Tiffen, please visit: http://www.tiffen.com.
Tiffen is a registered trademark of The Tiffen Company. All other trademarks and products mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Tiffen North America
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