LOS ANGELES — Award-winning high-tech production company Stargate Studios has relied on Anton/Bauer, a brand of The Vitec Group, and the world’s premier provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film industries, for more than 20 years. Today, Stargate turns to Anton/Bauer because of their reliability, durability and excellent overall on-location performance to power the ARRI ALEXA digital camera system and a custom made nine-camera rig consisting entirely ofCanon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR cameras. Stargate Studios provides visual effects and production services, such as script evaluation, storyboarding and pre-visualization, for its prodigious body of film and television projects, such as the popular TV shows 24, Grey’s Anatomy, and The Walking Dead, as well as films, including, World Cup.
“We’re shooting on location quite often,” says Sam Nicholson, Stargate Studios founder and CEO. “We do roughly 20 TV shows concurrently, so we have various teams out shooting visual effects everywhere from South Africa, to London, to Italy. But our visual effects teams are small. We usually send two people out to a remote location, so all the equipment has to be extremely reliable. The dependability of our batteries is extremely important. If one fails, we really have a problem.”
Using the Anton/Bauer CINE VCLX power system and DIONIC HC batteries with a modified QR-Hotswap-GM*, Nicholson was so impressed with the battery’s performance that he has made them Stargate Studio’s all-around choice. “Anton/Bauer batteries work so well on all the different cameras we use.”
Stargate Studios recently shot a short film titled World Cup where it deployed the ARRI ALEXA with Anton/Bauer’s DIONIC HC battery and a modified QR-Hotswap-GM. The film, which tells the story of a group of inner city kids who dream they will one day play in the World Cup, demonstrates the ALEXA’s keen ability to shoot from very bright light to very low light, and Nicholson found the DIONIC HC to be a natural fit. “Anton/Bauer is a great match for the ARRI ALEXA camera. We chose to run the DIONIC HC battery with it because, along with the camera, we wanted a lightweight and portable solution,” he explains. The DIONIC HC delivers up to 10 amps for high current draw applications, including on-camera lighting. With a 91-watt per hour capacity, it can operate a 40-watt HD camcorder for over two hours. The newly designed, built-in LCD real-time fuel gauge tracks up to five hours of run-time. Using a seven-segment numerical icon display, it indicates hours by number and circular arcs illustrate 15-minute time intervals.
Anton/Bauer provides a variety of power options for the ARRI ALEXA, utilizing any Logic Series batteries from Li-Ion to NiMH. Users can utilize belts, hot swap mounts or mount a battery directly to the back of the camera. Anton/Bauer’s new QR-Hotswap-AR (set to be released after NAB) designed specifically for the ARRI Alexa, uses two DIONIC HC or DIONIC HCX batteries for seamless hot swapping and longer run-times, and the digital batteries combined remaining run-time is available in the camera viewfinder. This exclusive communication is only available with the QR-Hotswap-AR. Providing even more power options, the ALEXA camera allows users to “hot swap” between the on-board battery and the CINE VCLX.
The CINE VCLX power system provides ultimate power performance, extended run-times and flexibility. Ideal for remote locations, the CINE VCLX batteries are powerful enough to run an ARRI ALEXA for over four hours. The safe and high power draw performance of the Nickel Metal Hydride cell technology can also power microwaves, recorders, and lighting, including HMI’s and the Litepanels 1x1 LED panels.
Stargate Studios also uses Anton/Bauer to power a unique, custom made nine-camera rig consisting entirely of Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s. “One Anton/Bauer battery will run these nine cameras all day long during a 14-hour shoot,” Nicholson says. This helps make each shoot with the rig run more efficiently. “If you have nine cameras then you have nine of everything, such as nine cables,” he continues. “To have just one battery cable going to nine cameras is easy because if you have to change the battery, you only have to change one.” The rig is used on such TV shows as Parenthood and The Event.
A customer of Anton/Bauer for more than two decades, Nicholson continues to be impressed with the company’s excellent service and support. “Our interaction with customer support has been great,” he says. “Anton/Bauer has really pushed the envelope with battery technology beyond anyone else. It’s amazing how fast the company’s batteries charge and how dependable they are, not to mention the fact that they are lightweight and offer great portability.”
*The QR-Hot-Swap-GM is not compatible with the ALEXA camera. In this example a modification was made. The new QR-Hotswap-AR is the specifically designed for the ALEXA Camera.
Anton/Bauer is recognized as the world’s innovator and premier provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other key mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film industries. Based in the United States in Shelton, CT with offices in Europe and Asia, Anton/Bauer was established in 1970 and has expanded its product offerings to include many signature lines such as its leading Gold Mount system, InterActive chargers and Logic Series batteries such as the HyTRON 50, 100 and 140, and DIONIC 90, 160, HC and HCX. Their products are compatible with virtually every camera brand on the market today. Other Anton/Bauer high performance products include the Ultralight, ElipZ, ElightZ, CINE-VCLX and CINE VCLX/2. Their superior-quality products have become an industry standard. For more information on Anton/Bauer, visit www.antonbauer.com.
A Snapshot of The Vitec Group
Vitec is an international Group principally serving customers in the broadcast, photographic and military, aerospace and government (MAG) markets. Listed on the London Stock Exchange with 2009 revenue of £315 million, Vitec is based on strong, well known, premium brands on which its customers worldwide rely. Vitec is organised in three divisions: Imaging & Staging, Videocom and Services. Imaging & Staging designs, manufactures and distributes equipment and accessories for photography, video and events. Videocom designs and distributes systems and products used in broadcasting and live entertainment, film and video production and MAG. Services provides equipment rental, workflow design and technical support for camera, video, audio, fibre optic and wireless technology used by TV production teams and film crews.
More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.
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