CHICAGO—When it comes to shooting documentaries, one thing is for sure—you never truly know where it’s going to take you. Whether in the Black Rock Desert shooting a short film about the Burning Man festival or rolling along Route 66 for a TV documentary about alien encounters, the life of a freelance cinematographer is never dull. Over the past few years, I have also filmed a short feature in Chicago about pregnancy, an animal show focused on potentially extinct species in Africa and a documentary on Manny Pacquiao—which was, quite honestly, a dream come true.
Fortunate as I might be to have my dream job, I wouldn’t be able to do it without the best gear. Second only to cameras, my top priority is my power source. In my world, RED and Blackmagic reign supreme, so I want to make sure I’m supporting my cameras with an equally reliable complement—a variety of equipment from Indipro Tools. My arsenal of Indipro Tools gear includes a compilation of Micro-Series V-Mount Batteries, both the standard and RED versions, and the company’s Compact 95Wh V-Mount Li-Ion Batteries. I support these with Indipro’s Quad Pro battery charger and accessories, such as V-Mount mounting plates and SafeTap regulation cables.
WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT PRODUCTIONS
At Lucky Finn, we film and edit all types of projects, from documentaries and scripted productions to music videos and commercials. My workflow changes from one project to the next, wherein I might be flying solo for something and working on set with a crew on another.
I chose Indipro Tools as the backbone of my rigs because of product reliability. Though the batteries offer an unmatched level of power, it is the simplicity of the company’s designs that make its gear affordable and reliable. The Micro-Series V-Mounts that I use are small and compact, so they are perfect for powering my camera on a gimbal. This means I don’t have too much weighing me down as I run around the jungles of Africa, filming wild animals. The size, weight and power have gotten me through thick and thin.
A LITTLE WEATHER NEVER HURTS
I’ve literally put these batteries to the test in a range of environments. I took them to Burning Man for Ryan Moore’s 2018 documentary, “Ignite.” During that shoot, the equipment not only helped me capture the event, but also stood up to the late-summer heat and sand storms of the deserts of Nevada. They’ve withstood the cold; nothing seems to affect them, and they’ve never let me down.
When it comes to documentaries, I used my RED Helium camera with the 120Wh or 150Wh Micro-Series, which can last for a long time without having to be charged. In the field, especially when you’re going out on solo adventures, you don’t always have the time or place to charge, so it’s nice to know you can make it through the shoot. The Indipro Tools batteries are truly ready for anything.
In my experience, Indipro is always willing to listen to filmmakers in order to reduce the stress that comes with fast-paced schedules and productions. It’s rare that they don’t already have a power solution to meet my needs, but they have even gone so far as to create custom solutions. They also take serious consideration of suggestions from me—and my industry colleagues—for product ideas that might improve our workflow into the future.
Founder/owner of Lucky Finn Productions, Neil Fernandez has put his creative mark on a wide array of projects. Prior to forming his own company, Fernandez worked in freelance editing positions for A&E Television Networks, MTV Productions, Lazarus Films and Go Go Luckey Entertainment, among others.
For more information, visit indipro.com or call 516-206-0171.